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Game - The Magic of Scheherazade EDIT  
December 1989September 03, 1987

Overview

The Magic of Scheherazade is an action-RPG for the NES. It was developed and published by Culture Brain, originally as Arabian Dream Scheherazade for the Famicom in 1987 and then translated as The Magic of Scheherazadefor the NES in 1989.

Though from first appearances a game that attempts to ape The Legend of Zelda, Scheherazade also incorporates elements from Dragon Warrior as well, creating a model of action RPG that would later be seen in Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger to name a couple.

The game was innovative for its time, incorporating elements of action-adventure and RPG styles, featuring a unique setting based on the Arabian Nights, allowing time travel between five different time periods, having a unique combat system featuring both real-time solo action and turn-based team battles, and introducing team attacks where two party members could join forces to perform an extra-powerful attack.

The game follows an amnesiac wizard (which the player names) as he attempts to thwart an evil magician named Sabaron while also attempting to find his missing girlfriend Sherherazade, who has been transformed. Along the way the player can meet and join up with a huge cast of characters, though only two of these characters can join the player character in battle at any time. It's up to the player to discover their respective strengths and weaknesses and craft teams around them.

The game has many idiosyncrasies and imaginative ideas for the time. These include: Being able to recruit generic frontline soldiers that help soak up damage and dish it back out; a time travel mechanic that comes to the fore in many of the situational puzzles; a regularly occuring solar eclipse that grants the player various benefits while at the same time making it hard to see where they're going; combat which switches between regular real-time combat such as that found in Zelda and turn-based combat such as that found in Dragon Warrior; learning formations that provide various benefits in the turn-based battles; bartering with shopkeepers for discounts, with the risk that the irate shopkeeper simply boots them out of the store; as well as many others.

Characters

  • The Hero. The amnesiac hero of the game, controlled by the player. Can transform between a fighter, a "saint" and a magician whenever the party visits a mosque. Fighters have more health and the best melee attack making them ideal for exploration, the saint has some useful skills which means it's occasionally necessary to become a saint for certain stretches of the game, and the magicians have a stronger ranged attack which can be highly beneficial for the game's boss battles.
  • Coronya. A cat-girl sorceress that is with the hero from the beginning. Ineffective in battle, though useful at discovering hidden staircases and providing advice while exploring.
  • Faruk. A genie the player encounters early in the game. A reliably tough fighter.
  • Kebabu. What appears to be a female floating head. She requires a bit of work to recruit and isn't too useful in battles, but she is able to carry the hero out of boss fights they weren't prepared for.
  • Gun Meca. Despite the name, he is more C3PO than ED-209, only joining when his translation skills are needed and fairly obstinate the rest of the time. Still an effective fighter in battles though.
  • Supica. A flying squirrel monkey needed to get across an expansive desert. Useless in combat.
  • Epin. A diminutive figure that makes a particular boss easier to manage.
  • Pukin. A marionette with a pumpkin head created to assist the hero.
  • Mustafa. A floating shaman-like character that refuses to join the party unless he gets paid in advance.
  • Gubibi. An odd creature that resembles a Mr Potato Head.
  • Rainy. A small lizard fellow that is impressed with the party's strength and joins them.
  • Hassan. The very last character recruited and also the most powerful. Like Faruk he is also a genie.