Friday, April 20, 2012

Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow over Mystara

Anyone playing this game?

In early 90s Capcom are well known in Arcade World as they dominates the beat em up genre with solid titles release after releases and some of them are quite well known for using Western IP licenses. Out of all these Beat em Games the best one in my opinion is the Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow of Mystara which is one of the last beat em up titles that Capcom made before they migrate to home consoles. I find this game display some finest points of Beat em Ups genre based on Capcom's culmination of experience on the genre and offer really enjoyable experience even if you are not following DnD series.

Welcome to DnD world!

Shadow Over Mystara is the sequel of Tower of Doom which is released a year before. The story continues the plot of Towe of Doom where the Group of Adventurers traveling to a land and fighting monsters and stuff. In this game, you get to choose 6 available characters from Fighter to Magic user and each characters offered different play style. Fighters is the best for starter since he is able to use most of available weapons and quite tough. Magic User is the strongest one out of all character as he can easily wipe out the enemies with his devastating spells but he is really hard to play solo due to low HP and some bosses really kill this guy. Out of 6 characters, my favorite would be Cleric because he can remove pesky ghouls with his turn Undead and really awesome once he got the Morning Star. He also make really solid team with Elf on 2 player team too.

Back when i was in primary school, i remember that i played this game a lot in my local arcade despite unable to manage finishing it. This game certainly leave quite lasting impression until now and partially what make me getting into RPG series.

 Shadow Over Mystara added some RPG element in its gameplay which makes it a unique experience of gameplay compared to other Beat em ups. In this game, the powerups comes in form of equipments like accessories or weapons which could make life easier and there are currency in the game which are used to buy items at certain points in the game. Moreover this game offer rather long gameplay for its genre and along the way, and also there are tons of secret in the game which even i still missed couple by this time. Perhaps it is one of the major contributing factor too for making the game to be really fun compared to other beat em up. Some of the secret are simplistic like extra normal treasures to getting strongest weapon which certainly require some sacrifice to acquire. Even one of the secrets leads you to fight a miniboss which is more or less as tough as the final boss.

I addition of rather long single playthrough, there are several branching routes in the game which add tons of replayability value, some of them requires specific character in the party. Each branch are unique in terms of design and you will fight different bosses unlike Denjin Makai.

 Unfortunately we probably won't see this game to be ported anymore due to license issue which is too bad considering Shadow over Mystara have quite high production value Scratch that we got Chronicles of Mystara quite recent . There was also a port for Sega Saturn though it never managed to reach US shore. The game is really fun especially if you get friends to play 4 player mode as you only get to cover all of the secrets with that mode but 2 player is fine too. In short if you have MAME and like Beat em ups, Shadow of Mystara is a must play except if you hate RPG stuff. If there are some arcades that still have this game, i would really love to see it in person though i don't think there are any in Sydney.


  1. Is it just me but are the shopkeepers hot in this game? The alien miniboss was a pain in the ass to fight as you can't use magic against it and it had a petrify skill which instantly killed you.

    1. Only 2 of them are, otherwise the rest are just ordinary. Beholder is quite annoying for magic user but still possible to use magic as long as you get behind it. Lich is more annoying as he is immune to most of magic attacks.