Title: Treasure Hunter G
Developer: Sting
Publisher: Squaresoft
Date Published: 24 May 1996
Platforms: SNES

Treasure Hunter G has monkeys and lesbians. These are just two of the factors that make this game so completely different and fun. It had a battle system like no other, as well as an ingenious cast of characters.

However, it was released only in Japan. Fortunately, just last year in 2002, a third party translation was released that made most (but not all) of the text easy to understand.

Our protagonists, Red and Blue, think every word their father said was pure bullplop. Their father, Brown, was traveling around the world, retrieving Out of Place ARTifacts, commonly known as OPARTS. When he arrives back at home to tell his sons of his adventures, the tales sound so exaggerated that they couldn't possibly be believed.

Red and Blue are woken up one morning by their grandfather, Silver (who takes care of them when their father is away) to find Brown zooming overhead in a giant ship, the Ferric Falcon. It crashes, and the story begins.

Red is your average hero, with the exception that he has to deal with the antics of Blue almost constantly. Blue is, as Red says, a blockhead. He happens to be the comic relief for the story, and he does a good job at it. These two team up with Rain and her pet monkey, Ponga. Rain can speak to just about everything living, including bees, plants, and of course, monkeys. She has been offered sex numerous times from Mio (the lesbian). And we have our monkey, Ponga.

The battle system, as noted earlier, is not your usual battle system. Rather than a full-blown action system like that of Zelda or Kingdom Hearts, or a Active Time/Turn Based system like the Final Fantasy series, Treasure Hunter G goes for a more tactical approach.

The enemies are visible and can be bumped into, causing combat, like Xenosaga. But some battles are automatic, and the enemy jumps out of the bushes (or something similar) and engages the characters. The actual battles themselves are tile based, and the characters and the enemies can move in eight directions on the square tiles, one character at a time. Each character has an ACT stat, which designates how far s/he can move and how often s/he can attack. As the characters get closer to the enemies, the amount of ACT is necessary to do stuff rises. There's three colors of squares that an enemy can radiate: blue, yellow, and red. Blue is the cheapest color to move across, while red is the most expensive. If there's no color present, it takes 1 ACT to move or do something. Land based enemies tend to radiate more red and yellow, where flying things radiate yellow and blue.

Experience Points are awarded in battle (like in Final Fantasy Tactics), and thus characters can level up and learn new abilities and spells in battle. In addition, a small amount of Experience is doled out during a victory. The spells are from the Final Fantasy spell set (what else would you expect from Square?) and the familiar Fire, Bolt, Ice, Meteo, etc. are here. No money is given in a battle, and the main source of income is by selling unnecessary items.

The scenes when the characters go to an Inn are well done and varied. They have not yet failed to make me laugh. Example: Ponga is the first to wake up and jumps on Red's chest, causing him to spaz out. This scares Blue, who rolls off his mat all the way across the room and stops with a crash. I can't think of any other RPG that does anything besides play the Inn music.

It still has a couple of translation bugs, but it's nothing that really impedes the gameplay. It's readily playable on the ZSNES.

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