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Rudra no Hihou

Super Nintendo

Game Description:

Treasure of the Rudras was the first and last game by director Keita Amamiya, responsible for the Kamen Rider series, as well as Zeiram and some other things. Popular belief holds that Amamiya was fired by Squaresoft for making such a bad game. I find this very difficult to believe. I mean, it’s a pretty decent game, for one thing, and I think that if a game really was that bad, and it actually was the fault of the director, it probably wouldn’t have gotten, you know, released. Anyways.

Rudra here was one of Squaresoft’s last releases for the Super Famicom, and looks very much like every other post-FFVI RPG of Square’s. The music is very catchy, having been done by the same guy who composed the soundtracks for all the Gameboy SaGa games. Hell, some of the tracks are downright fantastic. Naturally, it’s Rudra’s graphical and musical excellence (and the simple fact that it’s a Japan-only Squaresoft game) that have propelled it to “underrated gem” status.

There’s three chapters, involving three different people, that can be played in any order, and you can stop one and start another one as easily as hitting Reset (and possibly saving beforehand). In the fourth chapter, all three characters band together, and go fight the ultimate evil or something. This system works out to be pretty neat, and would probably in today’s gaming world be called the “Matching Cool Encounter System” or something crazy like that. As an early example, if you clear the air of toxins in one chapter, the characters in the other chapters will be amazed at how the sky suddenly turns blue and bright and clear. It really gives you a sense of three people doing stuff all at the same time. It seems like lots of developers now are using the “play-as-multiple-people” shtick nowadays, but not put to such good use.

The real jewel of the game though, at least to most people, is the game’s magic system. It’s all based on words; meaning, enscribe a word, any word you want, and pow it’s a magic spell. There’s some order to it all, like IG is a basic fire spell, and LEF is your healing magic, and you can attach various prefixes and suffixes to those words to make them more powerful or target multiple enemies and such. The further along you travel, the more powerful suffixes you can learn, and you can see what spells your enemies cast and try them out yourself. Pretty neat, huh? The problem is, the magic system the way it is, every single spell is available to you from the second you start playing; all you need to know is the right word. So you can go look at a FAQ or type in random things and immediately rock your enemies’ faces, with no limit to your power other than your Max MP. It also seems like the developers were prepared for this, as the game (especially the bosses) are bastard hard. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will die quickly and often. This might not be a problem if you know exactly what to do, but it seems like the game discourages fair play, while (in contradiction) encouraging straight-up trial-and-error. Personally, I’ve never been big on the whole “die repeatedly while learning from your mistakes” way of beating bosses.

Gideon Zhi mentions more than once that despite the graphical similarities, this game is definitely not Final Fantasy VI, in that you can’t just walk through the game and expect to be prepared for anything. But is that necessarily a good thing?

Translation Description:

One of the last Squaresoft’s Japan-only RPGs now in Spanish!

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Rudra no Hihou (J).smc
  • CRC32:5D8CB7AC

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