Game Cover
妖精物語 ロッド・ランド
©1990 1992 Jaleco Ltd.
Release: 1992-12-11 (¥6500)
Cartdridge JF-39
Platform game

European Version
Released in Europe as
( NES-R8-XXX )
Yōsei Monogatari Rod Land is a cute single-screen platform game by Jaleco, conversion of their own arcade game released back in 1990. The fairy village is under attack and all the inhabitants have been turned into monsters. And yet it was only the beginning. The player takes control of Rin (and/or Tam) whose mother has been kidnapped and kept prisoner at the top of the mysterious Mabūtsu tower standing outside the village. The young fairies don't come empty handed and are equipped with the Shīsanomo Wand, the last gift they ever received from their adored dad. They can grab enemies with the staff and repeatedly slam the poor foes against the ground to safely dispose of them. They drop special weapons when killed which can then be picked up and used against other enemies - they range from bombs, missiles, bouncing balls and dynamite. As well as the wands, the fairies can use their Rainbow shoes to create magical ladders and reach higher (or lower) grounds. This technique is also particularly suited to escape or track down running enemies. The main goal of the game is to clear each level from monsters, however there is an alternate way. The fairies can also collect all the flowers on screen - this will turn all the left over monsters that survived into red plum/peach looking enemies. In this mode, defeated foes drop letter icons that can be combined to form the word "EXTRA" and award the player with an extra life. A two simultaneous player mode is available and options allow the player to customize the fairies' features (change their color, names and even allow them to jump).
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Rod Land arcade - second mission This Famicom port is vastly different from the original arcade version. The colorful backgrounds are gone and replaced by simpler monochromatic and tiled maps. But, most importantly, the Famicom team took some major creative and gameplay liberties. Side scrolling sections now precede most of the boss encounters and get fairly large and challenging in later levels. An interesting option also allows the fairies to jump and defeat enemies by stomping on their heads - ability totally absent from the original arcade game. Although the Famicom version brought its own ideas to the table, there is one feature that wasn't carried over - the original arcade game had 30 or so extra levels where the young fairies had to rescue their dad inside a mysterious pyramid inhabited by all kind of robots (picture on the right), and this part was completely omitted from the Famicom port.

Rod Land arcade Rod Land was an arcade game released by Jaleco in 1990 (picture on the left). The game was so popular in Europe that it spawned several ports there - Commodore 64 (1991), Amstrad CPC (1991), ZX Spectrum (1991), Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1991). Interestingly, Rod Land was only released for the European Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 by Storm - it seems that it was only available in Spain (and maybe Italy?) making it very sought after by European collectors (it can currently fetch really high prices at auctions). A Game Boy version was also released in 1993 in Japan and Europe. More recently, Rod Land was also included in Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 released for the Playstation in 2003.


Click on picture to enlarge

Cheat mode Stage Select
On the Option screen, change the name of the two fairies to ICH and EAT (which spells out "I CHEAT"). Go back to the title screen and start a new game. When the first level begins, press Select to activate the Secret Password Mode and instantly jump to any part of the game.

Add your Pov here !

Rod Land is an adorable game that can be best described as a magical "whack-a-mole" Bubble Bobble - I mean, you don't directly slam your enemies on the head with a hammer (like Don Doko Don), but hitting them repeatedly on the ground is, I must shamelessly confess, utterly fun! I feel that this Famicom port has a somewhat better/faster gameplay pace compared to the arcade game that actually works really well. I'm personally not sure about the side-scrolling sections right before each boss though, I don't think they fit the game at all. I wish it also had more background variations than the two on offer and the level progress becomes slow and easy to a methodical pace after some time (despite some unfair difficulty spikes in the last side-scolling sections). all in all, Rod Land is a great platform game with a solid gameplay and awesome multiplayer fun.

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