Magic Knight Rayearth

by Working Designs

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After being delayed for what seems like an eternity, Magic Knight Rayearth is finally nearing completion, and we've just received a mostly-English version of the long-awaited action/RPG from Working Designs.

Magic Knight Rayearth is based on the anime and manga series of the same name that has gained quite a bit of popularity since it first hit Japan back in 1994. Written by CLAMP, the game tells the story of three teenage girls who bump into each other in Japan's famous Tokyo Tower and get sucked into a magical, mystical world by an unseen force who begs them to become "Magic Knights" and free their imprisoned princess from the clutches of an ex-aide gone wretched.

The three girls--Hikaru, Umi and Fuu (for the few of you who expressed concern about possible name changes--fear not, all of the original Japanese names will remain intact in the U.S. release)--are the main characters of the game, and each has her own weapons and eventually can wield a variety of powerful (and helpful) magic spells to aid her in their quest. Similar to Secret of Mana or even Zelda, MKR features realtime action (nothing is turn-based--your attacks depend only on how quick you can smack that attack button), and there are several towns and dungeons that you'll have to visit on your journey. Along the way, you'll acquire items and information, and you'll need to make use of the spells you've learned to overcome physical obstacles that stand in your way.

One of the most appealing aspects of Magic Knight Rayearth, and one that makes it stand out against so many other action-RPGs of this type, is the fact that throughout the game there are several full-screen animated cut scenes that unfold the story in dramatic fashion. The animation is gorgeous, and contains full voice, as do many of the game's important NPCs in the various towns and villages. And yes, the trademark Working Designs humor that has graced so many of their past games is once again present in Magic Knight Rayearth-although not nearly to as brash a degree as was found in their last release, Albert Odyssey (which is a good thing, since Rayearth is a rather well-known licensed property).

Magic Knight Rayearth is due for release in November (barring anymore unforeseen delays), and will be the second-to-last Saturn release for Working Designs (the last one is LUNAR: Silver Star Story, due Out in the first quarter of '98). It may have been a long time in coming, but as one of the few big third-party games still on the way for Saturn, and one of the most charming action-RPGs ever created, RPG-starved Saturn owners won't want to miss it.

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It's been in the works for more than two years now, but finally it looks as if Magic Knight Rayearth is nearing completion. This gorgeous-looking Saturn action RPG (which has been delayed numerous times, mainly due to licensing problems) is coming with a host of enhancements over the Japanese original, which already was one of the best games of its kind when released in August 1995.

Rayearth, which is based on a popular anime series in Japan (the manga is available in the U.S. from Mixx Publications), tells the story of three teenage girls who, while on a field trip to Tokyo Tower, are summoned to a faroff world where magic and fantasy collide.

We've previewed Rayearth before, so you know the basics of its game-play--just think Zelda-style action with bright, vivid graphics and lots of anime flavor. But in the latest version we received from Working Designs, we found some interesting new features. One fault with the Japanese game is it's a bit on the easy side, so WD has enhanced the enemy Al--making them faster and more lethal, and Bosses are much more dangerous than they ever were. Another change is that a lot of the pointless audio in the towns throughout the game (not the important plot stuff, but the less critical banter) has been taken out so that WD could add voice to the Diary entries that each character makes throughout the game. The whole diary thing is already a creative and useful way to go back and see how the story has progressed through the eyes of each main character, but now you'll be able to hear the characters read their diary entries. Even the diary text is improved--it's all hand-written!

Rayearth looks like it's going to be the final third-party Saturn game, and if you've stuck with the system this long, you'd be foolish to pass up this little gem.

Working Designs-tlie king of Saturn RPGs-is readying yet another Japanese RPG for Sega's 32-Bit system. This game's story line, which promises to last more than 30 hours, involves three girls who are transported from modern-day Tokyo to a magical world, where they go on a quest to save a princess. The game's world is loaded with enemies, and only the princess can restore peace. Magic Knight Rayearth is played in an overhead. Zelda-style perspective, and the game's plot is told through ammo-style cinemas. The game is based on a Japanese cartoon that will come to the U.S. this fall, so the cinemas should be especially spectacular. The story is also furthered by conversations with the game's huge cast of characters. And when you talk to these characters, their responses are played straight from disk. You'll he doing a lot of talking, too-the game contains more than 90 minutes of audio. At least you won't have to read much text.

Translation work on the action RPG Magic Knight Ray earth has kept the folks at Working Designs pretty busy. Not only did they have to translate the game's plot: they also had to re-record the more than 90 minutes of digitized dialogue that spools off the CD throughout the adventure (much as they had to do for the Sega CD's voice-heavy RPG Potful Mail). The result of these efforts will be an epic RPG whose principle characters talk to players and thus save them from reading screenful of text.

Magic Knight lies players guiding three teenage girls who arc magi coolly transported from modern-day Tokyo to a mystical and troubled dimension. Here they must travel the land, visit towns and fight hordes of evil characters-some-times more than once-to rescue a princess who can restore peace and order to the world. As players battle through the game-which is played Zelda style, with lots o( real-time fights--they can choose to control any one of the three princesses at any time.

Magic Knight Rayearth's lush, colorful world is viewed from the traditional overhead, three-fourths perspective, but the game's story is often pushed along by spectacular cinemas. These anime-style cut-scenes should be especially breathtaking, considering that they're based on the Japanese Magic Knight Rayearth cartoon (which is reportedly coming to America this fall).

Magic Knight Rayearth rating

Magic Knight Rayearth system requirements:SystemP-200.

Systems: Win9x Windows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game modes: Magic Knight Rayearth supports single modeSingle game mode

2016-08-25 Magic Knight Rayearth game added.

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