The Krion Conquest
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|The Krion Conquest|
Cover Art by Lawrence Fletcher
|Publisher(s)||Vic Tokai (NES)
The Krion Conquest, known in Japan as Magical Kids Doropie (まじかるキッズどろぴー? Majikaru Kizzu Doropī), or more simply Magical Doropie (まじかるどろぴー?), is a side-scrolling action-adventure video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, developed by Vic Tokai in 1991. Later, Genki Mobile ported the game to Japanese mobile phones.
Players control a wand-wielding character that fires different types of projectiles based on the wand type the player has selected. The wand selection is signaled by the changes in the player's outfit color. The powers included are the normal shot (red outfit), the phoenix ability (pink outfit), the freeze shot (blue outfit), the bouncing ball shot (green outfit), the shield ability (orange outfit), and the broom ability (purple outfit). The game play resembles Capcom's Mega Man series, while the cutscenes resemble the ones in Tecmo's NES version of Ninja Gaiden. However, unlike the first three Mega Man titles, The Krion Conquest allows players to shoot directly upward, crouch to dodge enemies and projectiles, and charge attacks. (This action was later incorporated in Mega Man 4 and most of the later Mega Man titles that feature the charging "Mega Buster".)
The North American version of this game, The Krion Conquest, excluded some features from its Japanese version, Magical Kids Doropie. Due to the perceived popularity of difficult video games in North America, Vic Tokai removed the "continue" feature. The most obvious difference between the original Japanese release and the North American version is the removal of every cutscene except the slightly modified introduction sequence and several redrawn in-game graphic elements. No official English names were given to other characters. The circled hexagram (resembling the Star of David) at the end of each stage in the Japanese version was removed in the North American version because Nintendo of America does not allow religious content in video games.
The following plot summary is translated from the mobile version's website: "The year is 1999. The player was put in the middle of a war already lost. When the Akudama Empire, (known as the Krion Empire outside Japan), attacks the Earth with his army of robots. No conventional weapon in existence is efficient against this opponent. The robots are, however, totally vulnerable to magic. A hired mercenary, Kagemaru, summons the only non-sealed witch, Doropie (known as Francesca outside Japan), to stop the Akudama Empire's offence. The imperial army, led by an old nemesis of Doropie, Empress Elysia, does not surrender though. Elysia captures Kagemaru and blackmails Doropie into breaking her seal and setting her free. It seems that the mercenary lost his life, and Doropie sets out to stop the now-free Empress. After the battle, the dying Empress Elysia confesses the reasons behind the invasion and apologizes. The imperial warship explodes shortly thereafter, but not before Doropie escapes it. She is contacted by Kagemaru, who apparently has survived the wounds that Elysia inflicted on him. Doropie comes back to Earth shortly afterwards."
- Doropie (どろぴ～?) (known outside Japan as Francesca): A witch that was summoned from a place full of demons. To save the world, she takes 6 magic abilities along with her and fights against the robot army corps, the Akudama Empire.
- Kagemaru (カゲマル?): The boy who summoned Doropie to fight against the Akudama Empire. He has the secret of Gokuraku Kishin Tei. Unlike Doropie, Kagemaru didn't have an official name in the North American version.
- Gokuraku Kisin Tei (極楽機神帝?): The master of the Akudama Empire robot army corps and the one responsible for the declaration of war against the whole world. She is closely connected with Doropie. Like Kagemaru, no official name was given to her in the North American version.
Development and release
According to its designer, the development of the Magical Kids Doropie project took approximately 10 months to finish. The title was originally planned to be a licensed game based on the 1986 anime, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. However, the anime's copyrights for Japan were held by TV Tokyo, so the designers were unable to use it. They decided to develop their own basic design, which ultimately became Doropie. The name Doropie is a transliteration (or gairaigo) of Dorothy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz anime. The rest of the Doropie design did not contain any other references to Dorothy or Oz.
Doropie's design, however, exhibited one unusual feature: the lack of eyelashes. Even though drawing eyelashes is typically used as a primary form of expression for anime-style female characters, the character designer tried to make it cute without symbolic parts. According to the main designer, her witch costume with a magical broom was the heroine's oldest design used in arcade and home video games of that time. Some developers had an opinion that "NES is for boys" and objected to having a girl as the protagonist of the game. The rest of the game's staff told the character designer that most video games during its release had male characters as protagonists because players couldn't relate to female protagonists as playable characters.
Due to the limited memory capacity of the cartridge, as well as hardware and technical problems, the final stage was cut short. It also prevented one of the designers from making magic abilities more useful in attack, defense, and movements. For instance, the "Freeze" ability was originally planned to allow players to create footholds and platforms out of enemies, while the "Shield" ability was originally planned to allow players to lay it out and allow the character to move downward.
A sequel was planned, but Nintendo had just released the SNES. The new developer kit was too expensive for the designers to use to create the sequel. Fourteen years later, Genki Mobile released the mobile phone version on January 14, 2004 exclusively in Japan through the Vodafone service. Its difficulty from the original was altered in the mobile phone version, allowing players who found the original too difficult to easily beat the mobile phone version. Other differences from the NES version included the shrinking of several graphics to fit the small screens of mobile phones and the introduction of two new modes: "Easy" and "Upload".
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