Surging Aura

Original Title
Mega Drive
Official Website
This was the final game in Sega’s “Mega Role Play Project”, a branding designed to give gamers confidence in the quality and quantity of RPGs on the Mega Drive and to hopefully woo them away from the Super Famicom. As with all games under this umbrella the game came with a small pin badge stuffed inside the case (bottom right photo).
If the artwork looks familiar its because the design work for this game was handled by Mutsumi Inomata, who went on to work on numerous anime shows as well as a handful of the “Tales Of…” games. Allegedly the game engine is a tweaked version of the one used in Phantasy Star 4, and while it seems a logical assumption I haven’t been able to find any hard evidence to back that up.
The game itself has some unique characteristics that set it apart from other JRPGs of the era – the main character dying within the opening ten minutes of the game being one of them. The other big departure from RPG norm is the battle system; you have to give your teammates orders rather than directly control them, and the game uses an interesting mix of ATB bar and a magic chanting system (much like the one used in Suikoden 3).
The game has recently been fan translated into French, and while an English patch was attempted the project wasn’t completed.