MAGIC SWORD
game Cover
game cartridge
マジックソード
©Capcom 1990,1992
Release: 1992-05-09 (¥8500)
Cartridge SHVC-MD
Action / Platform game

American Version
country
Released in America as
MAGIC SWORD
( SNS-MD-USA )

European Version
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Released in Europe as
MAGIC SWORD
( SNSP-MD-XXX )
Magic Sword is a side-scrolling action game by Capcom and is the conversion of their own arcade originally released in 1990. The player takes control of a barbarian-looking warrior armed with a sword on a journey to defeat the evil lord Drokmar. Things wouldn't be that difficult if he wasn't located on the last top-floor of a huge tower counting no less than fifty! Thankfully, an option at the beginning of the game allows the player to start on a higher storey if he wishes to. Keys are scattered along the way and they can be used to either open doors (to access the next floor staircase), or open chests and retrieve special items or trigger, for the unlucky ones, surprise ambushes. One originality of the game is also the ability to rescue other fighters (usually by unlocking their jail cells) who follow you around in a way similar to traditional 'options' in a shooter. There can only be one active at the same time though, but they are varied (8 in total) and they all come with their own set of skills and weapons: Big Man, Knight, Ninja, Priest, Amazon, Wizard, Lizard Man and the Thief. A special attack can also be unleashed at anytime to clean up a big portion of the screen in exchange of some health. The game is called Magic Sword and indeed, the main character's sword has magic powers - it automatically charges up during the game and can fire deadly fireballs at the enemy. Also, after completing a few floors, the player has to defeat an obligatory boss and, if victorious, gain a new and more powerful sword - as long as he doesn't drop it by accident...
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The original arcade game was released by Capcom in 1990. It featured a two simultaneous player mode unlike the Super Famicom version tested here.


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Magic Sword artwork
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Magic Sword is a good looking game, no doubt about it, with detailed graphics and smooth animation cycles - it definitively displays Capcom's trademark style at the time. I also quite like the game structure, it somewhat reminds me of Rogue - countless floors with treasure chests and tons of items and monsters, minus the randomly generated levels though. However, the game suffers from terrible slowdowns, especially when these nasty flying snakes composed of multiple parts show up and try to knock you down. Floors have some variations but the same designs are reused many times throughout the game with a different palette. They quickly become somewhat repetitive but enough detail was added here and there to keep the game entertaining and fun. This title is not a breathtaking game but I often get back to it just to waste half an hour slashing and slicing crippled mummies and multiple-headed flying dragons.




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