The Empress. Yes, you can play her.
A series of color-matching puzzle games created by the now-defunct Data East
. The original game was released in arcades in 1995. The second and third games were created for the Neo Geo
MVS system; Magical Drop III
was Data East's final Arcade Game
. The fourth game, Magical Drop F
, was a PlayStation
exclusive released in 1999. Magical Drop V
, developed by Golgoth Studio, was released on 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 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 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.No relation to Magical Doropie
Tropes in Magical Drop:
- Artificial Stupidity: For some reason, the Magical Drop AI in Magical Drop V regularly dips into this (to the point where Death outright breaks most of them in under 10 seconds). Unfortunately, the Ghostlop AI goes to the other extreme and edges into Perfect Play AI (especially if the rank gets jacked up from defeating Black Pierrot), forcing fights against them to go to quota.
- Bad Export for You: The US and (moreso) World versions of Magical Drop 1-3 have odd voiceacting and less features than the Japanese version. Most notably, the World version of Magical Drop 3 is completely missing the Adventure game mode, while the US version has a stripped-down one that removes the other characters from the board.
- Magical Drop V is slated to be a case of Regional Bonus instead by adding an extra game called Ghostlop to the US and world releases.
- The Neo Geo Pocket version is the only english-language version to have actually translated the character's between-match dialouge instead of replacing it with generic "I will challenge you!" phrases.
- Bishōnen: Magician and Hierophant
- Bokukko: Justice
- Bonus Boss: Black Pierrot:
- In Magical Drop II, he's the True Final Boss (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.
- Bookworm/Meganekko: High Priestess, who is seen reading her book calmly as the game goes.
- BFS: Justice attacks with this while performing her ultimate attack
- Cute Bruiser: Everyone, but specially Strength
- Cluster F-Bomb: Chariot, at least in the Japanese version.
- Daddy's Girl: The third game's Strength is the daughter of the former Strength and is pretty close to him. He apparently was seduced by the Empress, so Little Strength's goal is to de-brainwash him.
- Everyone Calls Him/Her their Arcana: Yes, the characters do have actual names, but everyone seems to refer each other by their Arcana name.
- Fun Size
- Gainaxing: The World, which has arguably reached Memetic Mutation status around the internet.
- Gameplay Grading: 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.
- Guest Fighter: In Magical Drop V: Bruce, McCoy, and Mushman from Ghostlop
- Hot-Blooded: Chariot and Strength
- Marilyn Maneuver: Again, The World.
- Perfect Play AI: 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.
- Something about a Rose: Magician
- Shock and Awe: Hierophant's ultimate attack has him using his Simple Staff to blast his enemy with lightning
- Tarot Motifs: 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 nearly perfect, embodying the positive and negative maternal aspects of the card, with a Dominatrix Evil Overlord persona and a kind, nurturing, saintly one — the plot of the second game revolves around freeing her from being stuck permanently in the former persona.
- The Lovers, on the other hand, is a five-year-old girl who rides around on a pig — try figuring that one out.
- Notably, they actually corrected an instance of Did Not Do the Research between games. In Magical Drop 2, Strength was a huge, villainous, and male bruiser... which is the exact opposite of everything the card represents, so for 3, his virtuous and courageous tomboy daughter ended up taking his place.
- The World, who is not only Ms. Fanservice, but, ironically enough, the ribbon that strategically covers her takes away from a more accurate representation.
- Verbal Tic: Many of the characters have them in the Japanese version, for example:
High Priestess: "______ masu~!"
Magician: "______ de aru~!"
Star: "______ desu~!"
Temperance: "______ kana~"
World: "______ desu wa"
- Zettai Ryouiki: If Fortune in V turns out to be a Tsundere, she'd be a grade S.