The Black Onyx
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|The Black Onyx|
European cover art for the MSX version of The Black Onyx.
The Black Onyx (ザ・ブラックオニキス Za Burakku Onikisu?) is a 1984 role-playing video game released in Japan by Bullet-Proof Software, and written by Henk Rogers. It was one of the first Japanese-language RPGs ever made, and, having sold 150,000 copies, helped familiarize the Japanese public with RPGs. It was originally released for the NEC PC-8801, and ported to several other platforms. A version of the game was released for the Famicom in Japan. It featured completely redesigned gameplay, a new map, and was retitled Super Black Onyx (スーパーブラックオニキス).
Because of memory limitations, another part of the game were released separately on some platforms as The Fire Crystal (ザ・ファイアクリスタル?) (which added a magic system). Two other parts were announced, The Moonstone (ザ・ムーンストーン?) (which allowed the party to explore the wilderness), and Arena (アリーナ?) (which allowed the party to take part in Arena battles).
The player can create a five-member party (4 members on GBC), or can ask friendly encounters to join the party to fill empty slots. The party will explore the dungeons under the town of Utsuro (ウツロ) to obtain the legendary Black Onyx. Doing so will break the curse which binds the town in eternal night.
The combat system has no concept of distance, so there are no bows or similar missile weapons. There are melee weapons, shields, and armor, however. The hospital in town can offer "examinations" which display the PCs' stats.
There is a bank in town where the heroes can deposit money. This protects money from thieves; but there is no interest on the deposits, since there is no time system.
The labyrinth under the town has several entrances, each hidden in one of the locations of the town. The labyrinth has six floors corresponding to the six colors the computer can display. These must be solved in the proper order (which depends on the platform) in order to create the stairway to the Black Tower, where the Onyx resides.
- Edge Staff (2008-03-06). "THE MAKING OF... Japan's First RPG". nex-gen.biz. Retrieved 2011-04-08.