Title: Paladin's Quest
Developer: Enix
Publisher: Enix
Date Published: 1993
Platforms: Super Nintendo
ESRB Rating: Everyone

This game is... interesting. To address the basic plot first, you play as Chezni, who is a student in a magic school. One day, you decide to unleash the world-destroying power of the Dal Gren. Hilarity ensues.

To put it simply, this game is not a very good game. The palette is made mostly out of eye-hurting pink colours, and quite often new tiles will just be old tiles with slightly different hues. For example, almost every 'ground' tile in the game. Some of the tiles are lacking detail to the point where I still have no clue what they are supposed to represent, aside from an abstract collection of shapes. The translation is both horrible and wonderful at the same time. All the characters aside from the two main ones (Chezni and Midia) are cardboard cutouts with no lines, and the main two are not much better. The plot is your average SNES RPG of "A new town, a new horrible catastrophe to avert" up until you get your airship time machine.

Despite all the above flaws, I do really really like this game. You may not.

To elaborate on some of the above, specifically the plot: At the beginning of the game Chenzi unseals the Dal Gren, because he is a moron. Afterwards, it's a series of quests from each town you come across: Chezni, our princess has been kidnapped! Chezni, our town is being flooded with lava! Chezni, our temple is going to fall on us! Chezni, our livestock are revolting! On so on, and so forth, until the end of the game.

The geography of the world (called 'Lennus') is also rather odd. There are two main continents, Naskuot and Saskuot. As one may guess, Naskuot is the one to the north, and Saskuot is to the south. Between the two, there flows a fast-running ocean. That makes up one hemisphere. The other is just water, water, and more water, with a few scattered islands around. Each continent has its own unique sprite set, which I think is a nice touch-- one that could have been much better had the sprites not been, for the most part, just palette swaps of each other. Also a notable bit of geography: Each of the two continents has seven different races on it, no more or less. The races I've seen (and written down) are: Lafury, Saynol, Lubott, Skuruu, Godom, Doru, Fiorla, and Rackgo.

Of the various interesting things this game does, the one most will notice or mention is the terrible translations. Each item can be seven characters long, which could allow for some cryptic-but-readable items, but whoever was in charge decided dropping spaces was just impossible. Some item names that establish a pattern: Com sk, Fl dor, Btl ct, Sph cd, P fth, Pow drs, St rb. The actual dialogue is usually much better, although still rather stilted.

The magic system is actually fairly complex for being so useless-- "there is no MP in the game," someone in the magic school says scornfully, "you use your HP to cast spells!" The problem is, of course, that this means pretty much any spell aside from the status-healing ones is useless, because who wants to hurt themselves casting a spell that does maybe 5% more damage than just hitting the thing would?

There are eight spirits you can acquire: Air, Fire, Heart, Sky, Light, Water, Sphere, and Earth. Each spell you can cast is based on two spirits. For example, if you have the spirits of Air and Fire, you can cast 'FireA' (Air/Fire), 'Escape' (Air/Air), and 'FireS' (Fire/Fire). However, not every combination seems to have a spell to go with it and anyway, you won't use any of them anyway. You do get a bonus spell for collecting all eight spirits, without which you can't expect to beat the last boss unless you cheat, or in my case, have a very glitchy cart. Each time you cast a spell it raises your affinity towards the spirits it uses, and the higher your affinity the more damage you do (and take) with related spells. But as previously mentioned, it's really not worth it.

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