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Game screenshot on the FCEUX emulator.
Magic Jewelry is a NES unlicensed tile-matching puzzle video game derivative to Columns, which was programmed in Taiwan by Hwang Shinwei and published by RCM Group in 1990, without a license from Nintendo.
This title is common on pirate Famicom multicarts and systems; for example, it's built into the Dynavision and Power Player Super Joy III but existed also two hacked versions, called respectively Abacus and Coin Tetris (the first only on N-Joypad). A faithful unofficial remake for iOS and Android was released in 2015.
Magic Jewelry's mechanical is similar to Columns by Sega, in which 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 three column pieces falling in a rectangular playing field. Once the combined column drops its pieces on other jewels, if there's a removing chain reaction the player earns additional scores. It also goes to the next level when the white "X" column, falls on a jewel causing the removal of any of the same color; however, the same column if dropped on an empty part makes getting a normal score. Finally, the game is over when only one column touches the field's upper edge.
It mainly represents New York City with a depiction of the Statue of Liberty appearing in the screen's right side, but is taken from the intro of Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, a 1988 game for NES. In addition to that there are clouds, stars, and the half-moon who repeatedly moves from down to up.
There are eight songs in Magic Jewelry, 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 covered 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 published by RCM Group), that which was less known due to its first appearance in a "150-in-1" multi-game cartridge. As in the previous game the gameplay hasn't changed, except for some new features added, which are:
- The intro cloned from original Columns, with a game's instruction screen in Engrish that appears below;
- The main menu with five options, where the first is to choose a level to start, the second is instead to changing the column theme ("Jewelry", "Fruit", "Card", "Hat", "Dice", "Block", and "Mahjong"), then still the change of difficulty (choosing one of the six column components) for third, and finally the last two respectively for turn on / off the music and time;
- The six new background designs based on the column themes (besides to the original), like the Moscow Kremlin, if the choice falls on "Block";
- The Two-player mode with an available time limit (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 from 10 to 16 contain remixes of previous songs; the music repeats every sixteen 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.