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Game screenshot on the FCEUX emulator.
Magic Jewelry is a tile-matching puzzle video game for the NES derivative to Columns. It was programmed by Hwang Shinwei in Taiwan and released in 1990 by RCM Group, without a license from Nintendo.
The title is common on pirate Famicom multicarts and systems; for example, it is built into the Dynavision and Power Player Super Joy III, but existed also a his hacked version called Abacus (only on N-Joypad). Two unofficial iOS remakes of this game were released in 2012 and 2014. Also unofficial Android remake of this game was released in 2015.
Magic Jewelry is similar to Columns by Sega, which is that the scores are obtained with the combination of a line made up of three or more colorful jewelry (horizontally, vertically or diagonally), using-moving-positioning columns of three pieces that fall in a rectangular playing field. After the column combined drops his pieces in other jewels, if there is a chain reaction of removing the player earns additional scores.
It then goes to the next level when the white column "X-X-X", falls on a jewel causing the removal of any of the same color; however, the same white column when falls on an empty part of the field makes getting a normal score. Finally, the game is over if only one column ends in the upper part of the field.
Its background design, which represents New York City with a depiction of the Statue of Liberty appearing on the right side of the screen, is taken from the intro of Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode (a NES 1988 game).
There are eight songs in the game, some of which are repeated with various remixes (after each eight stages). Seven of them are known to be renditions of existing songs:
- Stage 1 (Level 0): "All Kinds of Everything", by Dana.
- Stage 2 (Level 1): "Huānlè Zhōngguó Jié (歡樂中國節)" [Happy Chinese Festival], by Chen Yang (also known as "China Festival").
- Stage 3 (Level 2): "Lóng de Chuánrén (龍的傳人)" [Descendants of the Dragon], originally written by Hou Dejian and performed by Li Jian Fu, but later re sung by many Taiwanese singers (like Fei Yu-ching and Leehom Wang).
- Stage 4 (Level 3): "Rise from Your Grave", the Round 1 & 4 theme of Sega's 1988 arcade game Altered Beast.
- Stage 5 (Level 4): "Jägerchor (Hunters' Chorus)", by Carl Maria von Weber.
- Stage 6 (Level 5): "Moonlight on the Colorado", by Dick Robertson.
- Stage 7 (Level 6): "Greensleeves".
- Stage 8 (Level 7): "Speak Softly Love", by Andy Williams.
In 1991, appeared a sequel titled Magic Jewelry II (always programmed by Hwang Shinwei and released by RCM Group), that which was less known due to its first appearance in a "150-in-1" multi-game cartridge. Like his previous game the gameplay was the same, except it has added some features, which are:
- The intro cloned from the original game Columns, with a game instruction screen that appears after;
- A main menu screen with five extra options, where the first is for the choice of a level to start, then the second is to changing theme for the columns ("Jewelry", "Fruit", "Card", "Hat", "Dice", "Block", and "Mahjong"), the third is instead for the choice of one of the six column components, and finally the last two are for turn On / Off the music and flash;
- The six new background design based on the theme columns (besides the original one from the prequel), such as the Moscow Kremlin, if the choice falls on the "Block";
- A Two-player mode with a time limit available (called "Flash").
Note: When the game begins, a voice speaks in an incomprehensible way probably saying, "Are You Ready?".
The same eight songs of the first game were also used in this sequel, as well as a unique and exclusive song used on Stage 6 (Level 5): "Tennessee Waltz" by Cowboy Copas, while "Moonlight on the Colorado" became the theme for Stage 9 (Level 8). Stages 10–16 contain remixes of previous songs; the music repeats every 16 stages, therefore Stage 17 (Level 16) has exactly the same music as Stage 1 (Level 0). Additionally, the starting song varies depending on the theme.