Soul Blazer (1992)

This is the first in a sort of trilogy of games by Quintet. There are a few loose connections between the games, mostly shared similarities gameplaywise. All three are action-adventures with some RPG-elements. Apart from that, they are all stand-alones. The story of Soul Blazer is fantasy, but not the kind of high fantasy so prevalent in RPGs. It’s a weird story whose plot resembles some sort of pseudo-creation myth. Due to some evil, the world has vanished.

All that remains are a few dungeons full of monsters. Your job is to go in there and kill them all. Stopping a certain number of monsters at chosen points releases aspects of the vanished world: people, houses, animals and other stuff. Those returned often help you in various ways: new spells, weapons or other useful items and information. When you’ve managed to return most of the world, you have to face the demon king.

While the writing is mostly bare-bones and the overall story arc pretty basic too, the gameplay is a true winner. It’s incredibly fun to expand the world by closing down the spawning points of the monsters. Each closed spawning point gives you a little reward: a new way in the dungeon you’re in or a new person to speak to.

This makes the game extremely addictive. It has the one-more-room-effect, where you just want to play a bit more to see what happens next. Also the graphics were sometimes really beautiful. I really liked the underwater world and the table cities in doctor Leo’s laboratory.