Mystic Defender was one of the first adventure games released for the
Genesis back in '89. The game looks and plays like a Genesis sequel to the
SMS game Spellcaster, minus the RPG elements (in fact, both games are based
on the anime Peacock King Kujakuo). Mystic Defender is a very good game,
still one of the better Genesis games in existence.
Mystic Defender is the story of Joe Yamato, who has been given the job of
infiltrating Azuchi Castle and rescuing the daughter of the supreme diety,
Alexandra. Seems Alex has been kidnapped by Zareth, a warrior determined to
revive his dark master, Zao (which looks like a giant tree of organic
matierial that shoots out flying fish-tadpole things).
Mystic Defender is played from a side view perspective, similiar to
Castlevania and other sidescrolling games. The weapon system is set up like
R-Type, with a power bar that you use by holding in the Fire button (which
powers up the standard weapon to a really powerful attack). Joe picks up
special weapons as the game progresses - Psycho Magic, which shoots out
three fireballs at full power (you start with this), Flame Magic, which
envelops Joe in a in a cloud of flame and shoots out a contollable
flamethrower (you find this in level One), Sonic Magic, which shoots out
six balls of power (at full power, four balls bounce around the screen and
smash into enemies - you find this in level Two). Then there's the most
powerful magic of all, Thunder Dragon Magic, which summons a giant three
headed dragon that destroys everything on screen with two giant blasts of
fire (this can only be used once, but you find them scattered throughout
the game). There are also two other icons to pick up - a red symbol, which
lets you power up your weapon faster, and a blue symbol, which replenishes
one life block.
The graphics are excellent for such an early game. The attention to detail,
especially in Joe's design, is great! The creatures are also designed very
well - a really good boss is the flying priest that turns into a giant
slug-like creature with the priest for a head. The control is very good -
it's a little tricky trying to jump onto platforms sometimes, and it's been
remarked that Joe really needs a diagonal firing system. The music is also
good - it's very atmospheric and really seems to fit the game.
An interesting note - Mystic Defender has the only bit of
officially-Sega-sanctioned NUDITY in a Genesis game! If anyone remembers
the controversy surrounding the old Genesis game Stormlord (Razorsoft
wanted nude fairies in the game, but Sega said no), it's kind of a surprise
to see a naked girl in a Sega game! When you encounter Zao, Alexandra is
stuck on top of him (presumably Zao is draining her life force). She's
visible from the waist up, and she's topless. . . then when you kill Zao,
he slides down into the ground, leaving Alex floating in the air, encased
in a bubble. As Zao slides down, it's revealed that Alex is totally nude!
Granted, she's only about an inch and a half tall, but it's the principle
Mystic Defender is a great game, worthy of a purchase (if you can find it -
it seems that older Genesis games are getting harder to find as time goes
on). Still, it's a worthy addition to anyone's Genesis library.