[[caption-width-right:176:The Empress. Yes, you can play her.]]
A series of color-matching puzzle games created by the now-defunct Creator/DataEast. The original game was released in arcades in 1995. The second and third games were created for the UsefulNotes/NeoGeo MVS system; ''Magical Drop III'' was Data East's final UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame. The fourth game, ''Magical Drop F'', was a UsefulNotes/PlayStation exclusive released in 1999. ''Magical Drop V'', developed by Golgoth Studio, was released on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} in November 15th, 2012.

''Magical Drop'' games put far more emphasis on characters than other puzzle games that make it to the U.S. territory. While other puzzle games have only small animated window dressing around the playfield, if they have characters at all, Magical Drop Uses characters as the background, and in VS. mode, each has several animations to coincide with the action and each even has unique voice samples (At least in the Japanese version).

The characters also control what special moves are available to the player and what chains are needed to execute these special moves. These moves are typically based on the Tarot Card the character is themed for. For example, The Chariot has offensive style special moves, especially in two player. In contrast The Empress is mostly defensive and The Fool's special move does nothing except grant extra points!

Another is the lenient combo system. While other games of this type such as ''[[VideoGame/PanelDePon Tetris Attack]]'' check to make sure that one group of pieces is DIRECTLY responsible for another matching up before issuing any kind of bonus or streak, ''Magical Drop'' is like ''VideoGame/{{Klax}}'' in that ANY new match is counted into the "chain" until the animation is done and all parts resting on the vanishing blocks fall into place.

However, easy chains do not make this game easy. The game accounts for and even DEMANDS it. Depending on the mode and difficulty, the game will not last long without near-endless chains.

[[IThoughtItMeant No relation to]] ''VideoGame/MagicalDoropie''.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: Most of the games lower the difficulty whenever the player uses a continue.
* ArtificialStupidity: For some reason, the Magical Drop AI in Magical Drop V regularly dips into this (to the point where [[AIBreaker Death outright breaks most of them in under 10 seconds]]). Unfortunately, the Ghostlop AI goes to the other extreme and edges into PerfectPlayAI (especially if the rank gets jacked up from defeating [[BonusBoss Black Pierrot]]), forcing fights against them to go to quota.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Some of the characters' wishes upon the titular Magical Drops go horribly wrong. For example, Hanged Man (who is perpetually hanging upside down) asks to be normal for a day; his wish is granted and he finally gets to walk on the ground...while everyone else hangs in midair.
* BonusBoss: Black Pierrot.
** In Magical Drop II, he's the TrueFinalBoss (reached by 1-credit-clearing the game)
** In Magical Drop III, he occupies a "Special Stage" slot immediately before Tower, accessed by having 150,000 points and 3 consecutive victories before fighting Tower.
** In Magical Drop V, he occupies an Extra Stage slot between Empress and Ghostlop character mushman, and requires you to get above a certain score and maintain a high rank to access. Unlike his two other appearances, he can be unlocked in this game by defeating him and finishing the game at the heightened difficulty rank.
* CompetenceZone: Much larger than many of its puzzle game brethren. Even excluding the ReallySevenHundredYearsOld characters, the roster's ages range from '''1''' to 75 years old, with less than a third of the cast being teenagers.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: In higher difficulties, your opponent moves via ''teleportation''. The game openly admits to this in V.
* ContemptibleCover: [[http://i.imgur.com/lwEHsD5.jpg The cover of the European PSX version of III]], the "highlight" being an adult (and busty) version of the canonically ''7-year-old'' Daughter Strength. The left side of the cover would be reused for the PAL version of the Game Boy Color ''Magical Drop''.
* DifficultyByAcceleration: Played straight in Puzzle Mode, but downplayed in competition-based modes where Quota prevents matches from going too long.
* DifficultyByRegion: Whether intentional or due to [[BadExportForYou something going wrong in the PAL conversion process]], the European PSX version of ''III'' moves at a much slower pace than the Japanese version.
* DynamicDifficulty: In addition to the AntiFrustrationFeature mentioned above, ''Magical Drop III'' attempts this by sending the player to different opponents based on their clear time. We say "attempt" because [[DifficultySpike you have to face]] [[WakeUpCallBoss Hermit regardless of what branch you're on]].
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The ability to manually drop lines wasn't introduced until ''III''.
** The player had to match three item balloons in order to activate them in the first ''Magical Drop''. In ''II'', the player couldn't hold item and normal balloons at the same time.
* EpilepticFlashingLights: Magician's Magical Flash animation in ''III'' is a textbook example, with an ''incredibly'' intense flashing effect that can easily disorient even non-photosensitive gamers. Death's victim animation, which rapidly cycles through multiple colors, also deserves mention.
* FunSize: In II, a miniature version of themselves is the cursor. The dialogue scenes in both II and III have chibi interpretations of themselves.
* {{Gainaxing}}: In addition to World's [[MemeticMutation memetic]] victory animation, Empress's and Judgement's chests also bounce in their animations. It's prominent enough that Data East Arcade Classics' description on the [[UsefulNotes/EntertainmentSoftwareRatingsBoard ESRB]]'s website explicitly calls out the game for this; no other game in the collection is singled out in that manner.
* GameplayGrading: Magical Drop V has this on each match, going from D to S. Originally, it was tied solely to speed in Story Mode and score in Versus mode, but the first major patch changed it to where you have to fulfill 3 conditions while winning to get an S rank (Get a 10 combo AND over 20,000 points in the stage without the match lasting more than a minute). Presumably, this was done because of the sheer difficulty of getting to the 200-balloon quota in under 20 seconds that the Ghostlop characters usually force you to do.
* GuestFighter: In Magical Drop V: Bruce, [[spoiler:[=McCoy=]]], and Mushman from Ghostlop
* InstantWinCondition: Quota. The game keeps track of how many balloons have been cleared; when one player meets the Quota, the match ends right then and there.
* InterfaceScrew: The nature of many items in ''Magical Drop F''. Examples include Emperor's (slows down the opponent's clown cursor) and Empress's (flashes her character portrait on top of the opponent's field) items.
* MagicalLand: The setting of the series is literally titled Magical Land, existing within a magical book titled ''Magical Drop''.
* MatchThreeGame: A rare "launcher" type puzzle game.
* PerfectPlayAI: At release, the Ghostlop AI in Magical Drop V would either be defeated in the first 5 seconds by sheer luck or never miss its target forcing you to go to quota, which basically prevented you from obtaining an S-rank in Story Mode on stages 9 and 11.
* PragmaticAdaptation: The Super Famicom ports of the first two games use six columns in their playfields instead of the arcade version's seven, as the only other option would be to shrink the puzzle pieces in order to fit the console's resolution.
* SequelDifficultySpike: Not only does the AI in ''Magical Drop III'' start [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard bending the rules]] sooner than its predecessor[[note]]Teleporting is exclusive to [[TrueFinalBoss Black Pierrot]] in II's default difficulty, but the AI will start using it much earlier in III[[/note]], the fact that less balloons are sent in general means that it'll take much more to down the opponent. ''Magical Drop F'' [[SequelDifficultyDrop goes in the opposite direction]] by downplaying character-specific traits outside of {{Limit Break}}s, reducing the playfield by a column, and using much simpler color patterns. But it is played straight again in ''Magical Drop V'' (at least after the final update), as despite the rampant ArtificialStupidity, attack power is nerfed so much that it takes expert-level chaining to win matches via clogging the opponent's field.
* ShaggyDogStory: If another character gets to Empress's Castle before the player in ''III's'' Adventure Mode, [[NonStandardGameOver the game ends without the player's character getting their revenge on her]].
* {{Stripperiffic}}:
** The World wears only a floating toga strip. The funny thing is the game actually ''covered her up''. If you look at the artwork on the Rider-Waite tarot deck, of which the character designs are based on (see TarotMotifs below), you'll see that her costume is even more revealing.
** The Empress as well. A [[HellBentForLeather Leather clad]] FemmeFatale with a NoblewomansLaugh, [[GainaxBounce bouncy breasts]] [[WhipItGood and a whip]]... Can we really deny that?
* StylisticSuck: The arcade endings in ''III'', as well as the endings in ''V'', are depicted as crude doodles.
* TarotMotifs: Each of the characters is named and modeled after a Major Arcanum. Exactly how close they are to the actual card depends on the character.
** The Empress is a clever interpretation; her default, dominatrix persona is a representation of the ''reversed'' arcana. In II, it is revealed she has a nurturing and motherly persona as well, which is the upright arcana.
** The Lovers, on the other hand, is a five-year-old girl who rides around on a pig try figuring that one out.
** The Strength is a virtuous and courageous tomboy with a pet lion. Funnily enough, their first iteration of Strength (a huge, masculine brute) was the complete opposite of this. He still exists, but as a secret character.
** The Hanged Man is upside down. ''Constantly.''
** The World, who is not only Ms. Fanservice, but, ironically enough, the ribbon that strategically covers her takes away from a more accurate representation.
** Heck, even the game pieces count too. The symbols for each color represent the Minor Arcana. (Red, Wand; Yellow, Sword; Green, Cups; Blue, Pentacles)
* TournamentArc: Most of the games are centered around a yearly tournament whose grand prize is a wish-granting Magical Drop.
* UpdatedRerelease: The first ''Magical Drop'' received one named ''Magical Drop Plus 1!'' that introduces an "endless" single-player mode. The English version, ''Chain Reaction'', is based on ''Plus 1!'' rather than the original.
* VerbalTic: Many of the characters have them in the Japanese version, for example:
--> '''High Priestess:''' "______ zamasu~!"
--> '''Magician:''' "______ de aru~!"
--> '''Star:''' "______ desu~!"
--> '''Temperance:''' "______ kana~"
--> '''World:''' "______ desu wa"
** Lampshaded in the Japanese version of ''II''; the difficulty levels for the Puzzle and Hirameki modes are labeled by character, and a given character's Verbal Tic is shown when they're highlighted.
* VictoryByEndurance: ''V'' trends towards this, with the game generally requiring larger chains to send lines than its predecessors. By comparison, it's not uncommon to see matches between two high-level players in ''III'' last for 20-30 seconds.
* WelcomeToCorneria: Each character only has one pre-battle line in the arcade version of ''III''. This is taken UpToEleven in the non-Japanese versions, where the exact same conversation happens regardless of the characters involved.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Fortune in V sports grade A.