Miracle Warriors (SMS)

Miracle Warriors Box Art

Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord

System: SMS

Release Date: October 1988

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: RPG

Hoo boy! It’s the first real RPG of the list! It only took three years to get a straight up RPG (Deadly Towers is more action than RPG in my book) with Sega’s Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord. I was super happy and excited to get into this one, as I had never heard of it before and I typically enjoy a good RPG. Unfortunately, it’s not really a good RPG.

I’ll start with my gripes because they’re important. First, you strewn into the world with a king telling you to save the world and starting you with absolutely nothing. Like save the world, go away, bye. So you start wandering and you get into combat. You have no options other than attack or retreat. So you attack and attack and attack and get it right back. You finally win and you get… fangs? This must be currency right? Well, not exactly. You need to make sure you have the world map provided as a pack in with the game (thanks segaretro.org) in order to have any clue on where to go. You get into town and hopefully you fought a fight that gives you guilders (money). If you didn’t, you can’t heal. You can turn in your fangs for 50 guilders apiece, but it’s all or nothing and you need to save them up to trade for items throughout the game.

That leads me to my second gripe. The grinding is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy grinding. I’m looking forward to Phantasy Star and Dragon Warrior. But most of the grinding in Miracle Warriors is for money. Until you find the right areas on the world map, you rarely get an encounter that drops you money. Which means you end up with copious amounts of fangs, but you are hesitant to trade them in because you don’t want to lose them all.

Combat is another swing and a miss. Through the game you recruit companions after you collect a necessary item. You would think this makes combat easier, but it doesn’t. Only one character can hit per round. The only way characters level up is if they make hits during combat, which makes leveling a huge pain, as misses are way too frequent. At least you can control who the enemy attacks, as they will target the character that attacks them. Unless, of course, they are capable of a flame or sleep spell. Then the whole party gets hit.

Towns have healers, equipment shops, blacksmith shops, elder houses, and random homes. You can spend those hard earned guilders at all the shops and then cry that you no longer have money and have to grind some more. The houses and elder houses give little bits of information, but they aren’t all that helpful. You really just have to walk around and get lucky in finding dungeons to go to. The battles sap you of your strength fairly quickly and you have to make sure to not walk into a battle with low health, because there is no way to heal in battle until near the end of the game and those potions aren’t easy to come by.

There are some magical items that can be acquired that are necessary to beat the games boss encounters. First are magic nuts that can be gained from defeating Liphant enemies. Later you can find a staff of quakes that can be bought for 10,000 guilders each. Stones of protection cost 50 fangs and are found in a remote village. The potions you can use in battle can be gained from defeating Sea Dragons in the ocean. The most powerful and most expensive item is the white sphere, which you can buy one at a time and each costs 1000 fangs.

The last section of the game is maddening. You have to stumble into the squares for several dungeons in a desert. You then enter a dungeon and have to make your way to a boss to find a key. This is a huge pain, as you aren’t given any hints (at least that I found) to nudge you in the right direction. The final boss was certainly something that wouldn’t have gotten past the Nintendo of America censors, but Sega loves boobs, apparently. To get through the ending, I ended up looking at a walkthrough on GameFAQs and wasn’t too impressed with what was there. I’ve thought about creating a new walkthrough with my newfound knowledge, but spending any more time on this game would be a waste of my time.

Graphics: 3.0

The graphics are quite pleasant for the most part.

Sound: 2.0

I also enjoyed the music and sound enough that I wasn’t annoyed with it over eight and a half hours of play.

Gameplay: 1.0

Very primitive battles. Lack of items.

Difficulty: 0.5

The grinding necessary is obnoxious. Poor hints on what to do next.

Fun Factor: 1.0

I liked grinding for the first couple hours, then when there wasn’t any real payoff to my advancement, I got discouraged.

Overall Grade: 1.5

Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord earns a C-. Hey, I finally got an RPG, but it wasn’t a very good one.

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