Babylonian Castle Saga

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Babylonian Castle Saga
Genre(s)Action role-playing game
Developer(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
Game Studio
Publisher(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
Creator(s)Masanobu Endō
Platform(s)Arcade, Fujitsu FM-7, Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX, Super Famicom, PC-Engine, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Windows, Mobile phone, PlayStation 2, Wii, Wii U
First releaseThe Tower of Druaga
July 1984
Latest releaseThe Labyrinth of Druaga
January 13, 2011

The Babylonian Castle Saga[a] is a Japanese role-playing video game franchise developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, formally Namco, for arcades and home video game platforms. Beginning in 1984 with the arcade title The Tower of Druaga, the series would spawn a total of nine sequel and spin-off games, alongside a manga, soundtrack albums, and two anime series by Gonzo K.K.. Later entries in the series would be developed by Endo's personal game company, Game Studio.

The series was created by Masanobu Endō, who prior to which created Xevious and Grobda. Much of its characters and setting is inspired from Sumerian and Babylonian mythology, such as The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Tower of Babel. The series stars Prince Gilgamesh, a gold-armored knight, and the maiden Ki, in their efforts to protect the mythical Blue Crystal Rod and seal away Druaga, a four-armed demon who seeks the rod to enslave the human race.

The series is known for its high difficulty and the game that would help establish the "notebook carrying" trend for Japanese video games - it would also serve as a prime inspiration for other games to follow, including Ys, Hydlide and The Legend of Zelda. Dragon Quest creator Koichi Nakamura has also cited the series as a key inspiration for him. International reviews for the series were mixed, with its difficulty and learning curve often criticized, although being given praise for its musical score and historical importance. Several games in the series would be ported over to both digital storefronts and various Namco video game collection titles in following years.

List of games[edit]

Release timeline
1984The Tower of Druaga
1985
1986The Return of Ishtar
1987
1988The Quest of Ki
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994The Blue Crystal Rod
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000Seme COM Dungeon: Drururuaga
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005Druaga Online: The Story of Aon
The Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigi no Dungeon
2006
2007The Tower of Druaga: The Recovery of Babylim
2008The Tower of Druaga ~The Phantom of Gilgamesh~
2009
2010
2011The Labyrinth of Druaga

There are five games in the main series.

In the game's canon, the chronological order is The Quest of Ki, The Tower of Druaga, The Return of Ishtar, and The Blue Crystal Rod.

Also, some side stories were made, including:

The Tower of Druaga[edit]

The player assumes the role of the hero Gilgamesh, whose goal is to rescue the maiden Ki (カイ, Kai) from the demon Druaga. In order to do this, he must traverse through 60 floors of an immense tower. Gilgamesh comes equipped with a sword, which he can use to defeat monsters, and a shield, which can be used to block magical attacks.

The Return of Ishtar[edit]

It picks up where Tower of Druaga left off. The player controls two characters: Ki as well as Gilgamesh. It can also be noted in this game that Ki is a magician, not a damsel in distress like many people believe. The tower now has a few different ways to exit, and the aggregate total of levels is 128 (covering the 60-floor tower).

The Quest of Ki[edit]

The story of The Quest of Ki is actually a prequel to the original Tower of Druaga. It occurs shortly after the demon Druaga has stolen the Blue Crystal Rod and taken it to his tower. The goddess Ishtar sends the priestess Ki to the tower in order to retrieve it. The game then follows her doomed quest to the top of the tower, and leads directly into the story of the original game.

The Blue Crystal Rod[edit]

Also known as "The Destiny of Gilgamesh", it is the least well-known of the sequels. This game picks up where Return of Ishtar left off and is the final game in the Tower of Druaga series, according to Namco.

The Nightmare of Druaga[edit]

This game is set three years after the original Tower of Druaga tetralogy. In it, Ki and Gilgamesh are about to be married, however, Ki is kidnapped by an evil sorceress, Skulld. The game is known for its unforgiving difficulty, as death in the game results in losing all your items and half your gold, and its harsh penalty for resetting. Should a player reset the game, they will be greeted by Ishtar, who will scold them for "meddling with the flow of time".

Nightmare was not made by Namco, but by two other companies called Arika and Chunsoft. It was far less successful than the prior games, and was even given a low rating in a video game magazine. This game is the fifth in the "Druaga series" (not counting "Drururuaga"), and the eighth in the aforementioned Mystery Dungeon series.

Seme COM Dungeon: Drururuaga[edit]

This game is placed about 100 years after the original Druaga timeline and stars Gilsh, a descendant of Gilgamesh. Gameplay is best described as a dungeon-building capture the flag with collectible cards. Use cards to equip your character with weapons and spells, and to populate your dungeon with monsters. Then battle against an opponent and his dungeon (AI or link cable). Enter the opponent's dungeon via linked teleporters, find the three keys to unlock the crystal, and return it to your home base before he does the same. Success yields additional cards. Each item or monster is highly specialized, allowing for different strategic combos. It features many Namco cameos, such as Soulcalibur's Nightmare, the sword Soul Edge, Valkyrie, Pac-Man, and even the enemies from Dig Dug.

Druaga Online: The Story of Aon[edit]

This game is set outside the main chronology of the series, and borrows characters from Namco's Valkyrie series. Gameplay is similar to The Return of Ishtar, only four players may play at the same time; each controlling one of the four available characters: Gil, a young version of Ki, Valkyrie, or an ancient golem named Xeovalga. Players also earn gold from killing enemies that can be used to upgrade equipment.

The Tower of Druaga: the Recovery of BABYLIM[edit]

This game is an MMORPG developed as part of the Tower of Druaga "Animation x Online RPG" project which also includes the anime series The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk.

Anime series[edit]

An anime reboot series titled "Druaga no Tō ~the Aegis of URUK~" (The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis Of Uruk) premiered on April 5, 2008, both on Japanese television and with simultaneous streaming in English on YouTube, Crunchyroll and Bost TV.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: バビロニアン・キャッスル・サーガ Hepburn: Babironian Kyassuru Sāga?

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Druaga no Tō ~the Recovery of BABYLIM~".