Popful Mail is a 2D side-scrolling action game from Nihon Falcom, the creators of Ys and Dragon Slayer. It features Mail, an overambitious elven bounty hunter, and her two companions Tatt (a naive wizard's apprentice) and Gaw (a small, bat-like dragon) that the player can switch between as soon as those characters have joined the party. The game plays similarly to Wonder Boy in Monster Land, or Falcom's own Legacy of the Wizard or Ys III, with characters exploring each stage and defeating enemies to earn money which can then be spent on better equipment or curative consumables.
Originally released in 1991 for the NEC PC-9801 home computer, Falcom would eventually publish a version for the Super Famicom in 1994. The same year, Sega published a version for the Sega CD (which would later be published in the US by Working Designs in 1995) and NEC did the same for the PC Engine CD.
The PC-9801 and PC Engine CD games are almost identical, though the latter benefits from the CD storage with its improved graphics, cutscenes and redbook audio. The Sega CD version increases the size of the playable character and emphasizes the combat and platforming, while streamlining the exploration aspects and aging up the cutesy characters for cutscenes. The Super Famicom version is similar to the Sega CD version, but lacks a lot of features (including the animated, voiced cutscenes) due to the limitations of the platform.