I love RPGs and I love my NES. I always wished there was RPG that played like a Zelda game, have multiple characters that I could give orders too, and have Ninja Gaiden like cut-scenes. My wish came true in the form of Radia Senki:Reimmeihen or Chronicles of the Radia War made by Tecmo.
The characters you’ll meet are Darus, a mage that will shoot projectiles and accompanies you through the whole game. Baru, the leader of a band of thieves and uses a boomerang. Haman, is pretty much the Tank and can take out obstacles that block the road and is loyal to the princess. Saria, another mage but uses stronger magic. Leorina, who was imprisoned in her town of Guandia. And last is Medea, Darus’s sister and another mage, she’s the final 5th member of your party.
The story isn’t too much to go on, It’s as basic as you must find the mysterious princess and stop the Big Bad Evil from taking over the world. You play as an amnesiac person who you name, who journeys out to find answers. A person named Darus, a mage, finds and befriends you after your plane crashed. The two venture out and find Princess Lefis. She reveals that her stepbrother Gadiss is looking for the keys to the sacred Radia Tower. Meanwhile Nova, a lackey of Gadiss, as begun destroying forests in search of the princess. Along your journey you’ll run into Baru, Haman, and Saria. The leader of Zenobia, Duke Necrude, was the one ordered to kidnap Lefis. After rescuing Lefis, the heroes find out that Gadiss has finished his airship, the Fitzcarraido. The party finds Lefis but Nova appears tells the party that Saria she’s his daughter and a spy. He suggests that the Hero is the key to opening the Tower, but the Hero won’t help them. To open the Tower, eight magical items are needed, some which the party already have. They collect the rest but Nova and Saria steal them and open the Tower. Nova explains that opening the Tower is only half of it, the real Radia is revealed when both the Tower of the Moon and Gate of the Sun are opened. Nova nearly kills the party but Saria steps in and stops him and send the party to Elfas, where you began your journey. The heroes make their way to the Gate and defeat Gadiss and open Radia Tower. Lefis gets kidnapped again by someone claiming to be the Master of Dreams. The heroes confront him and it’s revealed that he created the world they live on called, Lemuria. After that, The heroes make their way to the Nightmare Monster and destroy it. The Hero saves the day and remembers that he’s from the real world and this is only a dream. Lefis begs him to stay but teleported out.
The gameplay is like a combination of Zelda and Final Fantasy. You have a party maximum of five and characters will join and leave your party, similar to Final Fantasy 4. Though the game seems open ended, it’s very linear. There aren’t any “random” encounters but enemy encounters are on predetermined locations. The battle system is one of my favorites, at the start of each battle, you can tell everyone to fight and they’ll act on their own accord, you can tell them to regroup to move to a single spot, or you can Trick the enemy, which is like running from a fight, but it’s funny because everyone will look like they dropped dead. When engaged in battle, you attack with the B Button and the A Button brings up the Menu. You can tell an single character to Rush, making them fight an enemy of your choice, Move, which is like the Regroup command, Defend, where they’ll avoid combat, and Fight, self explanatory. You don’t get money after each fight but you get “Prizes” which can be Meat, Bones, or Tusks. Meat is a weak healing item, Bones which can make enemies run, and Tusks that can poison an enemy, all of these can be sold. There many towns where you can buy weapons and armor. Each character has four slots to hang onto weapons and armor like Final Fantasy 1. You’ll want to check every pot and bookshelf in every town to find items as well, more importantly for Scrolls which can teach a character a spell, provided they have a charge ready, yup just like FF1 again, Spells have charges. The game doesn’t really tell you what the spells do, some can heal, some do massive damage to enemies. The only way to find out is to look at a guide. Save points are plentiful as any bed you get into will recover your health and magic charges.
This is one of my top favorite RPGs for the Famicom, next to Final Fantasy III (I really need to do a write up on that). One complaint is being on the NES/Famicom, depending on how many characters are on screen, the game can lag.