You probably noticed that my last blog post was about the joys of Project EGG and the vast quantities of retro Japanese computer games they’ve got (if not, read it now!) – so it’s natural that my next post would be about a game from that lot that’s caught my eye!
What we have here is Mystic Arts, a single-screen action game that debuted on Compile’s Disc Station #19 in 1998 (if you don’t already know, Disc Station was an amazing disc magazine by the company with all sorts of extras and games packed onto each “issue”). The player controls Thany, one of the cast members of the RPG Geo Conflict 3 and the object of the game is simply to defeat every enemy they can see before the timer runs out.
As you’d expect it starts off fairly simple – enemies aren’t very aggressive and there’s not a lot of them anyway so you just leap about and knock seven bells out of them. Before long though you’re facing off against knife-throwing goblins and even the odd boss monster too, and it’s by this point that you really need to learn how the game’s combo system works.
There are just two buttons to worry about – attack (A) and jump – but even with such simple controls there’s a lot of choices and variety in Thany’s combos. The most basic attack is a straightforward four-hit AAAA combo, which can be modified with with either ↓+A or ↑+A replacing the final blow. Other attacks include using ↓↓+A to perform a standing attack that knocks away enemies both in front and behind as well as a →←→+A “fireball” attack (more like Streets of Rage’s Blaze than Street Fighter’s Ryu). When you also take into account Thany’s ability to dash, jump and guard you’ve got getting on for twenty different ways to deal with the enemy – not bad for a minigame RPG spinoff eh?
The game seems to have been an influence on the more recent doujin title Fairy Bloom Freesia, so if you like the look of this do give that a go too. Mystic Arts was also packaged with the official Taiwanese release of Geo Conflict 4.
You can see the game in motion here -