Secret of Evermore is an action RPG for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System which uses a lot of gameplay concepts found in the popular Mana series. It is notable for being soundtrack composer Jeremy Soule's first video game. It is also the first and so far only game developed by Square designers in North America. After lackluster sales and reviews, the team was dissolved and spread out to many other developers such as EA, Gas Powered Games and Microsoft Game Studios.
The game begins in 1965 in the fictional American small town named Podunk, where a scientist named Professor Ruffleberg created the world of Evermore, a utopia which could be manifested in any way its inhabitants saw fit. During its unveiling at a party, however, something went wrong and trapped all of the party's guests in Evermore with no way of escape.
Thirty years later, a young boy and his pet dog are on their way home from the cinema when the dog decides to chase a cat. The boy follows him into the Professor's abandoned mansion, where they accidentally activate a machine that sends them to the world of Evermore. They soon discover that things in Evermore aren't working as they're supposed to, so they must set out across the world to meet its inhabitants and find their way home.
Each of the original inhabitants has a world designed to their liking. Depending on the realm the player is currently in, the dog transforms into a creature more suitable to his surroundings, making him faster, stronger and a great companion in combat.
Secret of Evermore is a top-down action RPG. The player controls the boy and the dog as they travel around Evermore fighting monsters, casting spells and talking to non-player characters. The majority of the gameplay elements were copied from the successful game Secret of Mana, also released by Squaresoft, such as the controls, the combat system and the ring menu system. It also as a few unique elements of its own.
Combat is a simple case of facing the main character towards an enemy, and pressing the attack button. At the bottom of the screen there is a 'power bar' for each character. This displays the character's current hit points (HP) and the character's current combat state. If an attack is made, a small counter on the bar quickly fills back up to 100% - if another attack is made before it reaches 100% then that attack is slightly weaker. This means the player must time their attacks correctly to deal the most damage.
Holding the attack button down will charge up the power bar. It will fill up as many times as that character has leveled up in their weapon. When the button is released, the character will perform a special attack, which has varying power depending on how long it has been charged. Some special attacks deal more damage, or more hits, or will connect with more enemies at once.
Instead of a traditional magic system, Secret of Evermore has the player come across alchemy ingredients during the game. Alchemy recipes can be learned from different characters, and when the player has collected the right combination of ingredients, they can be converted into one use of the alchemy spell. The spell can be cast any time the player likes after that, however only a limited amount of recipes can be memorized by the character at any one time. Alchemy spells will level up and become stronger with repeated use.
The player can also utilize "call beads" to summon previously met characters, who can cast more powerful spells.
By holding down the 'sniff' button, the dog will begin to sniff the surroundings, and will lead the player to places where there are hidden alchemy ingredients and other items. The dog will also change into different forms depending on which realm the characters are in: In Prehistoria he is grey and looks like a wolf, in Antiqua he is white and looks like a greyhound, in Gothica he is a pink poodle, and in Omnitopia he is a robot and gets a ranged attack.
|The Boy is the game's protagonist, and the one the player controls. He is a great fan of B-movies and is always spouting off one liners from his favorite films. He lives in Podunk, USA, and bravely sets forth in Evermore to try and save its inhabitants.
|The dog is fiercely loyal to his owner, but prone to chasing cats. He accompanies the boy on his journey, and makes great use of his ability to sniff out important items. He is also a reliable companion in battle, willing to attack anything that poses a threat.
|Fire Eyes, also known as Elizabeth, lives in the jungle world of Prehistoria. She is the first of the inhabitants that the pair meets and she sets them on the right path through Evermore. After meeting her, she can be summoned with Call Beads to cast spells.
|Horace Highwater was a museum curator, and as such he created the realm of Antiqua to indulge his interest in ancient civilizations. He can also be summoned by using a call bead.
|Camellia Bluegarden created the realm of Gothica and made herself the queen. She can be summoned using call beads to cast spells.
|Professor Ruffleberg created the experiment that is Evermore, and when trapped there, he created the realm of Omnitopia to fulfill his fascination with technology. He is the last of the inhabitants that the pair will meet.
|Carltron is Ruffleberg's robot butler and the game's main antagonist . Taken at face value, he is an obedient and forthright servant, however he is actually evil, and is the cause of all the strife in Evermore. In the end his plans are shut down (as is he). When the game ends, the last scene shows that Carlton is returning to his duties as Ruffleberg's butler, but he may not be as docile as the Professor is led to believe.
CD Track List (Orchestrated songs: #1-8; SNES music #9-29)
- "10 PRINT Hello World"
- "Variations of Castle Theme"
- "The Secret of Evermore"
- "Ancient World"
- "Greek Temple"
- "Ocean Theme"
- "Merchant Theme"
- "The Queens"
- "Greek Temple"
- "The Scientist"
- "Puppet Song"
- "Mini Boss"
- "Greek Temple II"
- "Cecil's Town"
- "Over the Waterfall" -
- "The Rat's Chamber"
- "White Castle Town"
- "Quick Sand Field''
- "Dark Castle"
- "The Tinkerer"
- "White Castle"
- "Freak Show"
- "Dog Maze"
- "Final Boss Music"
- "Ending Music"
- "The Return"