Video Game: The Magic of Scheherazade
Kinda like that, except with flying monkeys and time-traveling cat girls.
Mustafa: Hey, I should have gotten 100 more rupias.
Kebabu: Mustafa! I said stop it!
Epin: Hey! Don't fool around!
Gun Meca: That's right. This will be the decisive battle.
Pukin: I'm trembling with excitement, sir.
: I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid...
—The hero's companions
, on their way to the final battle
A 1989 NES
game by Culture Brain, The Magic of Scheherazade
is the North American release of the 1987 Famicon Action RPG
game Arabian Dream Scheherazade
. Drawing its themes from the Arabian Nights
tales, it wasn't a major release at the time, but has grown into a popular cult classic, with innovative features that have since become standard console RPGs elements.
The story revolves around a nameless hero
, the descendant of the legendary hero Isfa
who sealed the world of demons
away centuries ago, who wakes up with amnesia after a fierce battle, only to find a feline "time spirit" named Coronya who's been waiting for him. She explains that he tried to confront an Evil Sorcerer
named Sabaron and lost, and so Sabaron cursed the hero with amnesia, threw him into another era, and has imprisoned the royal family, including the hero's girlfriend, Princess Scheherazade
. The hero, with the help of Coronya and a variety of other party members he meets along the way, must navigate a network of time portals
, defeat the five elemental demons Saberon has awakened throughout the land, and find his way back to the present for a rematch with the evil wizard.
In the meantime, though, there are rupia trees to plant and harvest, casino games to play, mercenaries to hire, bank loans to take out, classes to attend, magic carpets to fly and a large variety of side-quests revolving around one of the most cheerfully eccentric casts to ever grace an 8-bit RPG.
This Game Provides Examples Of:
- American Kirby Is Hardcore - Many examples are compared to the Japanese version such as the Hero's sprite which was anime like with big eyes to a simplistic design.
- Ancestral Weapon - The last, most powerful weapons in the game are your ancestor Isfa's weapons.
- And the Adventure Continues - Each of the heroes turns down the offer of reward and luxury to instead continue their time traveling adventures. Alas, see also Vapor Ware.
- Anti-Grinding - You can only level up so much in each chapter before having to move onto the next.
- Arabian Nights Days - Despite the time travel premise, the setting always stays firmly in Arabian fantasy world territory (though sometimes an Arabian fantasy world with robots!).
- Bad Future - In the third chapter, the ice demon Troll is threatening to bring about eternal winter. When the heroes travel 30 years into the future to recruit an ally, they find that it's already happened.
- Baleful Polymorph - Coronya, who's actually a magically transformed Scheherazade. Also several combat spells which can change the target into hamburgers, milkshakes, dolls, exploding rockets, and more.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer - Pretty much all your otherwise-capable allies have their own crazy quirks, with Coronya and Faruk as the straight men trying to keep the rest of them focused.
- But Thou Must - Most of the dialogue options asking if you will or won't save the world.
- Cat Girl - Coronya
- Chickification - Sadly, once she's returned to her human form, Scheherazade proves far less interesting than Coronya, and she ends up becoming My Girl Back Home at the end of the game.
- Clockwork Creature - Gun Meca the translator robot, and possibly Gubibi.
- Combination Attack - They're named after the constellations and involve three party members casting various spells to create combination attacks, against which certain formations of enemies are vulnerable.
- Cowardly Lion - Rainy, who's initially found cowering in his home and refuses to leave unless you're a fighter. Once he's recruited, though, he loyally follows the hero into battle despite being scared.
- Cursed with Awesome - Coronya, who, as a spunky magical catgirl who controls the gates of time, would seem to have gotten a major trade up from her true identity as Scheherazade.
- Difficulty By Region - The Japanese version's overland was much more complex containing passageways that were not present in the US version.
- Disc One Nuke - The Monecom spell in the first world fills up your gold and healing items to the max, which can easily last you almost all the way through the game.
- Easter Egg - Overlapping with the Good Bad Bugs, the password screen also allows you to select and listen to the ingame music via "SOUN D", and to see the game's ending by entering "END".
- Eldritch Abomination - Goragora and, to a lesser extent, the five demons fought throughout the game (particularly Salamander, a demon so powerful that your only hope of defeating him is to travel back in time two thousand years and fight him the moment he's born).
- Eldritch Location - The Dark World.
- Exposition Fairy - Coronya, an exposition catgirl who guides you to the time portals, explains where each one goes, and lets you know when there's a hidden door somewhere onscreen.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys - Especially flying, magical prankster monkeys.
- Everything's Better with Princesses - Four of them, and one of them's your girlfriend.
- Evil Is Not a Toy - Sabaron finds this out the hard way while trying to control Goragora.
- Fantasy Character Classes - You can choose between Fighter (who fights with a sword), Magician (who fights with a magic rod) and the Saint (who has certain miscellaneous advantages and is required by the story at times), both at the beginning of the game and, by paying a fee, during the game.
- Genie in a Bottle - Your second ally, Faruk, as well as his brother Hassan.
- Grande Dame - Kebabu, who tests your moral fiber by asking if you'd pick up a girl in a hamburger shop.
- Faceless Eye - The first demon, Gilga.
- Hello, Insert Name Here
- He Knows About Timed Hits - Near the beginning of the game, NPC's will outright tell you how to navigate the menu and which buttons to use to talk to people, cast spells and use your weapon.
- Heroic Lineage - Your descendant was Isfa, famous for sealing the Dark World and stopping Goragora.
- Heroic Mime - Your character, for the most part, though his allies more than make up for it.
- In Medias Res - The game starts after the hero's already tried to stop the villain's plot. It went badly.
- Inescapable Ambush - The wizard fights and the demon boss fights are normally inescapable, though once you've recruited Kebabu, she can be summoned to fly you to safety.
- In-Universe Game Clock - The Alalart Solar Eclipse happens at regular intervals, allowing you to plant rupia seeds, cast the Great Magic spells, and boost your odds of winning at the casino.
- It Was with You All Along - Scheherazade, who's been accompanying the hero as Coronya since the game began. Near the end, you have to correctly guess her true identity.
- Lost Forever - The Great Magic spells can only be learned in their respective chapters, and you can't go back to a chapter once you've completed it.
- Magic Carpet - The gang's means of traveling between chapters, as well as a Warp Whistle between towns.
- Mini-Game - The casino roulette wheel.
- Miser Advisor - Mustafa, who demands money before he'll join the party, and then keeps trying to raise his price during the adventure. The other characters start threatening to hit him if he doesn't cut it out.
- Mook Maker - Some of the mini-bosses are wizards that, while harmless by themselves, constantly summon minions. There are also some structures that spawn segmented, centipede-like mooks.
- Nonstandard Game Over - If you don't correctly guess that Coronya is Scheherazade near the game's end. Also if you say "yes" when Rainy asks if you're afraid of the monsters.
- Omnicidal Maniac - Goragora, whose only purpose is to bring about destruction.
- Petting Zoo People - Many of your party members, who include a talking, flying squirrel/monkey, a tiara-wearing catgirl with a magic wand, and a surprisingly Moe harpy. Even the hired mercenaries look like anthropomorphic bulldogs with spears.
- Player Mooks - The mercenaries, who are fairly expendable in battle, but make up for it with sheer numbers, the ability to always hire more and by gaining levels if they survive each chapter.
- Portal to the Past - The central premise of the game, as each chapter takes place in two different eras and recruiting your allies and defeating the bosses will require traveling back and forth between them.
- Quest for Identity - Part of the story, though since your character's a Heroic Mime, it doesn't come up often.
- Regional Bonus- An odd, and very early, case of North American gamers getting the bonus, as the graphics and music of The Magic of Scheherazade were extensively updated from the original.
- Save the Princess - Naturally, since it's an 8-bit adventure-RPG, though subverted when it's revealed that the princess has been fighting alongside the hero since the game started.
- Sealed Evil in a Can - The demons your ancestor sealed away in the Dark World.
- Sequence Breaking - Most of the game's guarded against it, but there is one place where, armed with the right spoilers, you can do things out of order and throw the rest of the game off its rails.
- Spoony Bard - The Saint class, whose main use is just completing a few Saint-specific sidequests.
- Stalked by the Bell - If you linger too long on a particular screen, the music changes and a fairly tough Grim Reaper mini-boss appears. On the bright side, he does drop a large bag of money when he dies.
- Super Drowning Skills - Don't try to walk into any body of water, unless you're at one very specific part of the game with the one specific ally needed to breathe underwater (but only in that location).
- Talking Your Way Out - If you can't defeat or escape from an enemy squadron, you can always try bribery.
- Take Over the World - Sabaron's villainous motivation.
- Team Mom - Coronya, whose role in the intermission cutscenes between chapters usually involves trying to manage the rest of the team's bickering and keep them all focused on saving the world.
- Tongue-Tied - Coronya, who'll lose her soul if she reveals her true identity.
- Too Awesome to Use - The five Great Magic spells, in theory. Although they're immensely powerful spells that disappear after one use, most of them are really only useful in the game chapter they're found in (and there's always the Good Bad Bug workaround for completionists).
- Total Eclipse of the Plot - The Alalart Solar Eclipses occur periodically, tinting the screen dark, enabling the Great Magic spells, and causing a variety of other effects (by virtue of allowing the blue star Airosche to shine during the daytime). The eclipse also figures into the backstory, as a trigger for the time gates and as the only time that Goragora can be defeated and the Dark World sealed.
- True Companions - Your cheerfully bickering allies, as they get closer to the final battle.
- Vapor Ware - A sequel was in the works for the SNES, but development eventually fizzled out.
- Warp Whistle - The magic carpet.
- Wide Open Sandbox - An early attempt, as the solar eclipses, the tree-planting sidequests, the universities, the mercenaries, the haggling merchants and the ability to take out loans and accrue interest from them, the casinos and the ability to alter the setting with some of the Great Magic spells (such as turning deserts into forests) can keep the player busy for hours without worrying about moving the plot forward.
- You Already Changed The Past: In world two when you are looking for Supica you are told that 'He used to be in this world five hundred years ago, but a boy named *Player Name* has taken him far away.'
No, it's Sha-hair-uh-zod