An RPG released for the SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem by HAL Laboratory. Known as ''Card Master: Seal of Rimsalia'' in Japan, ''Arcana'' is the story of a young warrior named Rooks and his attempt to fulfill his destiny as the last of the Card Masters.

The island of Elemen is home to six kingdoms, which have frequently engaged in war and bloodshed. But these wars were not the greatest threat the land faced, as the evil goddess Rimsalia attempted to destroy the entire island and claim it as her own. She was thwarted by the Card Masters, an order of wizards who wielded tremendous magical power in the form of the playing cards they carried. Rimsalia was sealed by the Card Masters, and peace returned to Elemen for a time. Ten years ago, however, the darkness returned in the form of Galneon, the court magician of the kingdom of Lexford, who murdered King Wagnall and seized power for himself. When the Card Masters opposed him, Galneon murdered as many of them as he could find, until a young man named Rooks was the only Card Master remaining. At the same time, Galneon prepared to undo the seal that bound Rimsalia, and return her to the world. Now, Rooks sets out on a desperate quest to stop Galneon before he can fulfill his goals and bring ruin to the world.

While this game wasn't all that original or innovative, it made up for it with an immersive atmosphere, a unique elemental system, and CrowningMusicOfAwesome. While it never reached the heights of the Franchise/FinalFantasy or VideoGame/DragonQuest series, ''Arcana'' nonetheless has an impressive cult following even today.

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!!This game provides examples of:

* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Justified. The quality of equipment and the prices at the inns increase with every chapter, but that's due in part to the fact that you go from the small village of Galia to the larger town of Doraf to the HiddenElfVillage and finally to the royal capital of Lexford over the course of the game.
** Played straight in-between chapters 2 and 3, where Rooks is still in Doraf, but the inn has inexplicably jacked up its price by 50 gold.
* AnAxeToGrind: [[CaptainObvious Axs, of course]].
* BigBad: Empress Rimsalia.
* {{Brainwashed}}: It's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:Teefa is under Galneon and Ariel's control, and they're using her to help revive Rimsalia.]]
* CardGames: All the characters are represented as images on playing cards, which gives the game a very unique appearance. Cards also feature heavily in the game's mythos. Rooks can use magical cards for a wide variety of attacks, most of which are ElementalPowers.
* CarryABigStick: Salah prefers to wield maces and clubs in combat.
* CombatMedic: Rooks is not only the strongest physical fighter in the game, but he's also the best healer.
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler: After having the Crystal Sword stolen right out from under him, Rooks tries to fight back against Ariel and Teefa, only to find out that Teefa stuck him with a slow-acting paralyzing spell before they entered the room. Cue Ariel and Teefa beating the living hell out of the helpless Rooks until Axs and his sorceror companion intervene.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: The Demon Axe, Demon Shield and Demon Mail serve as Axs' ultimate equipment, and he uses them to fight for the forces of good.
* DuelBoss: At least one of them in every chapter after the first. Chapter 2 ends with Rooks fighting Zerel one on one, Chapter 3 ends with Rooks fighting Sauza, Rooks insists on fighting Ariel by himself in Chapter 4 and the final battle of the game consists of Rooks fighting Rimsala. In every case, Rooks only has the spirits to back him up.
* ElementalPowers: Rooks and the spirits he can summon can cast spells to bury enemies alive, blow them away with deadly winds, or burn them with intense flames.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Water beats fire. Fire beats wind. Wind beats earth. Earth beats water. Most of the game's strategy centers around using the elements to your advantage.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Salah and [[spoiler:Teefa]], of course.
* [[EvilChancellor Evil Court Magician]]: Galneon murdered King Wagnall and seized the throne for himself.
* FauxFirstPerson3D
* FightLikeACardPlayer: The in game the cards are not the end all be all but are pretty useful for the early to mid game and Rooks is the last person who can really make use of them. Despite this, everything is graphically represented by cards, making you think they would be a little more central.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Rooks, who can use the cards for a variety of effects. He can also cast powerful healing magic, and is the strongest physical fighter in the game.
** TheLancer: Darwin, an elven swordsman who also knows a lot of magic, most of which helps to weaken his enemies' attacks. At first he joins Rooks only because they're headed in the same direction, but later on it turns out that he's searching for [[spoiler:Teefa]], who he was given to protect after King Wagnall was murdered ten years ago.
** TheBigGuy: The dwarf warrior Axs is one of the Knights of Lexford, and an old friend of Rooks's father. He raised Princess Salah as her protector after King Wagnall's murder, and later joins Rooks in an effort to stop Galneon.
** TheSmartGuy: Adopted by Axs after King Wagnall's murder, Princess Salah trained as a priestess, a warrior and a magic-user. When she nurses Rooks back to health after he's nearly killed at the Balnia Temple, she decides to join him to overthrow Galneon.
** TheChick: Teefa is apparently one of Ariel's apprentices, who accompanies Rooks on his initial journey to the temple in Balnia. She later [[FaceHeelTurn betrays him]] and steals the Crystal Sword. Later on, it's revealed both that [[spoiler:she's the missing princess]] and that [[spoiler:she was brainwashed by Galneon and Ariel into working for them]]. When Rooks and Darwin free her, she joins the struggle against Galneon.
* GuestStarPartyMember: All the other characters join Rooks at certain times, and leave at others. At most, you only ever have two other characters in the party with Rooks and the elemental spirits.
* HeelFaceTurn: Teefa accompanies Rooks on the first part of his journey before betraying him. Then, after Rooks and Darwin are forced to fight her, it's revealed that she was [[spoiler:in fact {{Brainwashed}} by Galneon and Ariel]]. She then joins them for good.
* HypnoticEyes: Teefa's eyes glow with a reddish tint in the first chapter. This goes away after [[spoiler:Rooks and Darwin free her from Galneon's mind control]].
* InTheEndYouAreOnYourOwn: Zig-Zagged. [[spoiler: Every party member holds off a monster so Rooks can go fight Rimsala, which he has to do himself.]] However, even when Rooks does not have anyone with him, he still has a spirit to take hits for him.
* KilledOffForReal: If one of your human party members die, you can't bring them back and it's GameOver. This doesn't apply to the elemental spirits, which you ''can'' revive if they're destroyed.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Spellcaster enemies can basically attack the entire party at once whenever they feel like it, but the lower level spells tend to do less damage than the more physical capable enemies. Once enemies start learning higher level spells and inflicting status ailments, though (especially the Attribute spells,) they're far more dangerous than even the strongest purely physical enemies.
* MrExposition: Reinoll the Elder explains to Rooks that he needs the Three Treasures and the four elemental spirits if he hopes to defeat Rimsalia, and alludes to the heroic Fanas, the ancient Card Master who first sealed the Evil Empress away.
* MultiarmedAndDangerous: Rimsala
* MultipleHeadCase: Rimsala again, though the heads don't all serve the same purpose.
* NintendoHard: A high encounter rate and the fact that you get a GameOver if ''one'' party member dies both contribute to this trope. The game's difficulty is still overrated compared to other first person [=RPGs=] though, such as the Wizardry and Megami Tensei series; enemies lack any sort of insta-death spells and there's plenty of opportunity to train your characters before each boss, meaning any deaths are generally caused by carelessness.
* OneHitKill: Each spirit (except for Marid) learns a party-wide instakill spell near the end of the game (though it costs a ton of MP and isn't the most accurate spell.) Dao's Petrify is effectively the same thing, although it's more of a two-hit kill since the petrified enemy needs to be hit one more time to finish it off.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Axs wields large battleaxes and hammers in combat, can take a lot of physical punishment, and knows very little magic.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Darwin is perhaps a borderline example, as he's probably the strongest fighter in the game after Rooks and also knows a fair amount of magic. He also joins you in three chapters, as opposed to the other party members who only appear in two each.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Ariel has a number of apprentices, who Rooks and the party fight throughout the game, including the {{Bishonen}} swordsman Zerel, the [[WolverineClaws claw-wearing]] Sauza, and the MartyrWithoutACause Karul. Subverted by Teefa, who's the first apprentice introduced and who actually joins your party.
* TheRestShallPass: On approach to the final level, your companions do this, leaving Rooks to fight the BigBad alone.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Ariel used to be Rooks' closest friend in childhood. Now, he works with Galneon to bring about Rimsalia's reign of evil.
* SealedEvilInACan: Rimsalia herself. Galneon is trying to free her.
* ShesAManInJapan: Although his gender doesn't change, Ariel has the more masculine name of "Alan" in the Japanese version.
* SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear: Completely averted. Whenever another party member joins Rooks, they ''have no equipment at all'' and you have to go back to the shops to get their gear. On the other hand, whenever they leave all their equipment remains in your inventory, so you can then sell it in the next chapter.
* SquishyWizard: The spirits. Even the more physically imposing ones like Efreat and Dao have pretty pitiful physical attacks and have to rely on spells to do any real damage, and despite their high defense, they tend to take more damage than the other characters (fortunately, they slowly regenerate HP and MP with each step, even when not active.)
* SummonMagic: Rooks can summon the elemental spirits from certain magical cards to assist him in battle. The spirits function as additional party members, although they don't otherwise play a large role in the storyline.
** DishingOutDirt: Dao, the Earth Spirit, can cast spells to throw deadly rocks at enemies and bury them alive.
** MakingASplash: Marid, the Water Spirit, can control water and [[KillItWithWater use it to drown her enemies.]]
** PlayingWithFire: Efrite, the Fire Spirit, casts deadly flames to incinerate his enemies.
** ShockAndAwe: Sylph, the Wind Spirit, attacks with lightning bolts to destroy her enemies. She can also [[BlowYouAway control the winds to blow her enemies away]].
* TakeYourTime: Standard issue. However, the event where the companions hold off an encounter for you say that there isn't enough time for you to fight Tiamat, and send you forward.
* TheyCallHimSword: Axs.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: It's implied that Ariel and Galneon are like this, hoping to in fact use Rimsalia's power to establish a Utopian society.
* VendorTrash: The Golden Sword and Rococo Armor (a suit of armor made up of precious gems and metals) are pretty much useless in combat, but can be sold for a fair amount of coin at the weapons shops.

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