Alcahest (video game)

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AlcahestSNES boxart.jpg
Developer(s)HAL Laboratory
Director(s)Atsushi Kakuta
Producer(s)Satoru Iwata
Designer(s)Tsuyoshi Wakayama
Programmer(s)Hiroaki Suga
Artist(s)Hitoshi Kikkawa
R. Ishida
Satoshi Ishida
Composer(s)Jun Ishikawa
Platform(s)Super Famicom
Genre(s)Action role-playing game

Alcahest[a] is an action game for the Super Famicom, developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Square.[1][2] The game was released in 1993 in Japan, however fans have created an English translation patch.


Gameplay screenshot.

Alcahest is an action game with a top-down perspective that plays similar to games like The Legend of Zelda or Gauntlet.[1][2][3] It is divided into 8 stages that are progressed by finding items that aid the protagonist Alen on his quest, and end with a boss battle. After specific boss fights, the player gains the abilities of one of the four elemental Guardians. Alen will also find five allies that join him at predetermined points of some levels. They are the young wizard Garstein, the princess Elikshil, the knight Sirius, the android Magna and the shape-shifter dragon goddess Nevis. Though they cannot be controlled directly, allies attack and use special moves when the corresponding button is pressed.

The player's vitality decreases when attacked. MP is used to summon Guardians in battle, and SP (Special Points) is required for a partner's special attack. At the end of each stage, Alen's vitality increases. The player is also able to attack enemies using a sword, which can also be charged for a special attack, different depending on the elemental Guardian selected. Items can also be found that restore Alen's stats.

The player gains points by defeating enemies and bosses. After gaining a certain number of points, the player earns an additional continue. The player is given passwords at the beginning of each new stage.


Development and release[edit]

Alcahest was first announced in 1992 under the tentative name Guardian Blade.[4]


Alcahest was mostly well-received by critics who reviewed it as an import title since its release.[12] Public reception was also positive: in a poll taken by Famimaga, it received a score of 21.2 out of 30, indicating a popular following.[13]


  1. ^ Japanese: アルカエスト, Hepburn: Arukaesuto


  1. ^ a b Alcahest (アルカエスト) 完全攻略ガイドブック (in Japanese). NTT Publishing. 1 December 1993. pp. 1–128. ISBN 978-4871882828.
  2. ^ a b "International Outlook - Alcahest". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 54. Sendai Publishing. January 1994. p. 82. Archived from the original on 2019-01-05. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  3. ^ Alcahest 取扱説明書 (Super Famicom, JP)
  4. ^ "NEW SOFT: ガーディアンブレード". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 182. ASCII Corporation. June 12, 1992. p. 162.
  5. ^ "CVG Reviews - And Here's The Rest: Every Game Reviewed - Alcahest". Computer and Video Games. No. 152. EMAP. July 1994. p. 98.
  6. ^ "NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: アルカエスト". Famitsu (in Japanese). ASCII Corporation. 1993.
  7. ^ Pseudo supprimé (26 March 2012). "Test de Alcahest sur SNES par". (in French). Webedia. Archived from the original on 19 December 2019. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  8. ^ Morisse, Jean-François (February 1994). "Import (Version Japonaise): Revoilà Squaresoft - Alcahest". Joypad (in French). No. 28. Yellow Media. p. 141.
  9. ^ Lopes, Gonçalo (22 February 2016). "Alcahest Review - The Legend of Alen". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  10. ^ Mott, Tony (April 1994). "Import Review: Alcahest". Super Play. No. 18. Future Publishing. p. 34.
  11. ^ Merenda, Piefranco; Juza (July–August 1994). "Review: Alcahest". Super Console (in Italian). No. 6. Editoriale Futura. pp. 72–73.
  12. ^ Jones, Darran (March 2016). "Minority Report: Super Famicom - Alcahest". Retro Gamer. No. 153. Future Publishing. p. 74.
  13. ^ 超絶 大技林 '98年春版: スーパーファミコン - アルカエスト. PlayStation Magazine (Special) (in Japanese). 42. Tokuma Shoten Intermedia. 15 April 1998. p. 160. ASIN B00J16900U.

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