North American box art
Soul Blazer, known in Japan as Soul Blader (ソウルブレイダー Sōru Bureidā?), is a Super Nintendo Entertainment System action role-playing game developed by Quintet and published by Enix (now Square Enix). Soul Blazer was released on January 31, 1992 in Japan, on November 27, 1992 in North America, and on January 27, 1994 in Europe. Similar to the company's previous game ActRaiser, the player takes the role of a divine angel, deity or lesser-deity, or avatar, sent by a divinity, called The Master, to destroy monsters and release the captured souls of a world's inhabitants. Soul Blazer was scored by Yukihide Takekawa.
The player frees a series of towns by fighting monsters in traditional dungeon crawl battles. Destroying monster lairs in the dungeons causes a soul belonging to a former town occupant to be liberated and reincarnated. This is often a human, but it could be anything from a dolphin to a talking tulip. As souls are freed, the town is reconstructed around the people. The new town occupants give the player advice and items. When the player defeats the boss monster imprisoning the soul of the head of each town, the area is cleared and the player can continue. After the hero frees the first six villages, he is granted access to the "World of Evil", where the final villain awaits.
Setting and story
The Master sends one of his heavenly divine companions in the form of a human warrior to the Freil Empire, where the evil spirit Deathtoll has destroyed all villages and incarcerated the souls of all living creatures in his monster lairs, leaving the world empty. The warrior must defeat the monsters and liberate the inhabitants from the lairs, gradually repopulating the kingdom.
The warrior travels throughout the kingdom, defeating monsters in each of six regions to gather six magic stones, each a different color, in order to open the path to Deathtoll, who now resides in the World of Evil. The warrior must also find three sacred artifacts to call upon the power of the phoenix to defeat Deathtoll.
On the way, the warrior falls in love with Lisa, the daughter of a brilliant inventor named Dr. Leo. The warrior learns that the world's devastation came about after King Magridd imprisoned Dr. Leo and forced him to make a machine to contact Deathtoll. After being summoned, Deathtoll offered the king a gold piece for each soul from his kingdom, and under the counsel of his wife, Magridd agreed, but was eventually imprisoned himself. Dr. Leo is still in Magridd Castle's prison after the warrior frees him, and Leo later sacrifices his life to kill the queen, who still wanted to bargain with Deathtoll.
After reaching the World of Evil and defeating Deathtoll, the warrior is returned to Heaven. However, one year later, the Master realizes that the warrior misses his life as a human, and agrees to send him back to the Freil Empire, but under the condition that the hero would not have any memory of his past. The hero wakes up in Grass Valley, where Lisa recognizes him. Though he does not remember her, they leave together and renew their friendship.
- The Hero (Blazer) is the protagonist, a divine angel, deity or lesser-deity, or avatar, sent by The Master to restore the world's creatures to life. Skilled with a sword and possessing the ability to speak with any living thing and be understood, he battles the hordes of Deathtoll with the assistance of his Soul helpers. In Illusion of Gaia, he is referred to as "Blazer" by the hidden boss, Solid Arm (Soul Blazer 's Metal Mantis).
- The Master is the chief deity in the Soul Blazer world. Townspeople close to death often report that they hear The Master "calling" them. The Master transports the hero between the regions on the overworld map. He also will save the game progress, and entering his temple will also restore the hero's health to full capacity.
- Dr. Leo is a scientist who created the machinery by which King Magridd's pact with Deathtoll was executed. He also created a series of paintings and models so realistic that one could be drawn into them by touching them. He possesses an empath's level of closeness to nature despite his technological background. His name is a reference to Leonardo da Vinci.
- Lisa is Leo's daughter and a resident of Grass Valley, where she lives alone on the edge of town. When the hero saves her, she harbors a gratefulness to him that gradually transforms into romantic interest.
- Turbo the Dog, Lue the Dolphin, Nome the Snail and Marie the Doll are pets of Dr. Leo and Lisa. A dog named Turbo also appears in the Enix games Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma and Robotrek.
- King Magridd is a misguided, easily manipulated king who felt a disconnection from his subjects. This dissatisfaction led him to coerce Dr. Leo into designing a machine to summon Deathtoll, bringing about the fall of the world and himself.
- Queen Magridd was seduced by the potential that lurked underneath Dr. Leo's skills, and is the primary catalyst for causing the deal with Deathtoll to occur. She will do anything for power, even after she is betrayed by Deathtoll.
|Soundtrack album by Yukihide Takekawa|
|Released||February 21, 1992 (Japan)|
|Genre||Video game music|
The soundtrack of the game was composed by Yukihide Takekawa. It was published in Japan by the record label Apollon on February 21, 1992.
|1.||"Invitation to the Overworld" (地上へのいざない)||3:06|
|2.||"God's Shrine" (神のほこら)||3:13|
|3.||"Lonely Town" (ロンリー・タウン)||1:44|
|4.||"The Mine" (採掘場)||3:11|
|5.||"Into the Dream" (イントゥ・ザ・ドリーム)||2:30|
|6.||"World of Demons" (悪魔の世界)||2:15|
|7.||"Lively Town" (リヴリー・タウン)||1:55|
|8.||"World of Soul Blader" (ワールド・オブ・ソウルブレイダー)||3:23|
|9.||"Lostside Marsh" (ロストサイトの沼地)||2:22|
|10.||"Rotting Temple" (朽ち果てた神殿)||2:51|
|11.||"Seabed of St. Elles" (セントエルズの海底)||2:32|
|12.||"Solitary Island" (離れ島)||2:46|
|13.||"Ice Field of Lanoyle" (レイノール氷原)||3:14|
|14.||"Leo's Laboratory" (レオの研究所)||2:41|
|15.||"Magridd Castle" (マグリッド城)||2:21|
|16.||"Dazzling Space" (幻惑の空間)||2:49|
|17.||"The Battle for Liberation" (解放への戦い)||1:15|
|18.||"Demon King Deathtoll" (魔王デストール)||3:07|
|19.||"Peaceful Days" (平穏な日々)||3:04|
|20.||"A Night Without Lovers" (恋人のいない夜, arranged by Kazz Toyama)||3:03|
|21.||"A Night Without Lovers (Vocal)" (恋人のいない夜, arranged by Kazz Toyama and Secret Plans)||4:44|
Quintet reported that Soul Blazer sold 200,000 copies in Japan, 70,000 copies in North America, and 25,000 copies in Europe, adding up to 295,000 cartridges sold worldwide.
Upon release, Famitsu magazine's four reviewers scored the game 32 out of 40. Game Informer magazine reviewed the game in 1992, with its three reviewers scoring it 8.5, 8.75 and 8.5 out of 10. In its first issue, GameFan 's two reviewers scored it 95% and 92%. Electronic Gaming Monthly 's four reviewers scored it 8, 9, 8 and 8 out of 10, and gave it the Editor's Choice Gold award. They compared it favorably with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, with one of the reviewers stating that Soul Blazer "is equally as challenging, and actually more fun to play." The game was reviewed in 1993 in Dragon magazine by Sandy Petersen, who gave the game 3 out of 5 stars.
Hardcore Gaming 101 has referred to Soul Blazer and a few other Quintet games as the Soul Blazer series, pointing out a few common themes between the different titles. The other games in the Soul Blazer series are:
- Petersen, Sandy (December 1993). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (200): 73–80.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 38 (September 1992), page 22
- GameFan, volume 1, issue 1 (October 1992), pages 7 & 37
- Game Informer, issue 6 (September-October 1992), page 47
- Nintendo Power, issue 40 (September 1992), pages 83-89 & 103
- "Quintet Game Library". Quintet.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1993 Video Game Buyer's Guide, page 45
- Hardcore Gaming 101: Quintet
- GameFAQs entry for Soul Blazer
- RPGClassics' Soul Blazer Shrine
- MobyGames' entry for Soul Blazer
- Review by Masters