A playthrough of Kemco Seika’s 1991 adventure role-playing game for the Nintendo Game Boy, The Sword of Hope.
Even though it took a year-and-a-half to finally reach American shores after it was originally released in Japan (under the name “Selection”), I was so glad when it did. It’s the first original game of its type by Kemco, but it borrows elements pretty liberally from older ports of the ICOM MacVenture games (Kemco themselves ported Shadowgate, The Uninvited, and Deja Vu to the NES).
The interface is directly from those earlier point-and-click adventure games, but The Sword of Hope is a distinctively Japanese game in how it uses all of this as window-dressing to the true core of the game. It’s first and foremost a JRPG. It’s a short and easy one, but that becomes clear once you realize that cinematic window and the map aren’t much more than creative presentations of the more traditional overhead map. But that’s just fine – the small, but surprisingly detailed, graphics in the window give the game a lot of personality that you don’t get from little 8×8 pixel blobs, and the constantly running text is pretty engaging, and often unintentionally hilarious. The translation in this game is certainly serviceable, but there are some really amazing instances of butchered grammar and comically stilted dialogue lines that give the game a character all of its own. The puzzles are all generally straightforward as well – it’s rarely more than “Use A on B” or “Hit X”. If you’re still trained from Shadowgate to click on every possible spot to make sure you didn’t miss anything, this will feel very comfortable.
Anyways, this appeared right around the same time as the original Final Fantasy Legend game, and though I really love FFL, I much prefer this game. It’s got a funny kind of x-factor that just makes me love it.
There are two spots in the video where I chopped out some level grinding – it should be pretty obvious when you see them, since the stats in the top window will jump suddenly. The grinding is the ONLY thing that is cut out, mainly because there was about 3 and a half hours of it total, and it seemed pointless to include that much time of me walking in circles and hitting Auto Battle.
The graphics in this video were rendered using the DMG shader in Retroarch.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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