The Sword of Hope (Game Boy) Playthrough – NintendoComplete

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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.
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No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I played through this game and was awsome back in the day.. i loved the doll that u use as an item and it stops magic.. good old days where you get transported to a fantasy world… and the best sword the sword of hope it hits all enemies!

  2. Thank you for this video, I was trying to remember this game for the longest time. I had remembered fighting the treant and that’s about it lol

  3. I first played this game back when I was around 10-11 years old. I remember it took me MONTHS before I was finally able to beat it. Kinda embarrassing looking at it now, and seeing that, yeah, you can play it from start to finish in just 3 hours.

  4. Wow those memorys from the soundtrack alone i feel like the german translation of this game is better than the original english one. I played through this awesome game when i was young it was pretty hard the section with the those stupid warped to the beginning. Absolutely love the cemetery music its just so unsettling in a good way thank you for all of you reading this habe a great day you and i are connected through this game!

  5. I bought this when it came out and tried my hardest back in the day, but never made any progress. I'll live vicariously through your video here.

  6. I spent hours playing this in the back seat of my parents minivan! I vaguely remembered 'moth' and 'herb'. I also remember some sort of vines. Couldn't remember the name of the game either!
    So thank you for bringing back my preteen years!

  7. Huge fan of Shadowgate here yet I have never seen this played before ever. Wow I need to get on this. Even the sounds are strait from Shadowgate NES.

  8. I see you cut out a significant portion of grinding from level 9 to 18, its crazy how much the difficulty ramps up inside shabow's cave

  9. I've never played this game to be honest, but it really has that unmistakable Kemco sound to it. The musical compositions in their games often evoke the image of a crystal cave in my mind for some reason. While we're at it, would be cool to see a playthrough of the NES Shadowgate at some point! 🙂 That one had some pretty cool tunes as well.

  10. The Sword of Hope is a pretty excellent mash-up of Shadowgate and Dragon Warrior that's still really playable still today. The super-awkward and stilted English translation is also pretty great.

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