Video Game / The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
The remake that no one expected

A Nintendo DS Eastern RPG based around The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road - also known as WIZ-ZOWAD in japan - was developed by Media. Vision and published by X Seed in 2008 (with a north American version coming out about a year later.). It features a unique, entirely touch control scheme, controlling the character and options via a virtual track ball and buttons.

It begins with a Cute Witch reading from a book and deciding to bring a lead character and her pet into it. These two individuals just so happen to be Dorothy , who lives contently by herself in the country with her dog Toto. They are swept up by a mysterious tornado, and thrown into the World of Magic, Oz, where progression is impossible for those who lack magic, and fighting skill.A mysterious projected shadow and voice calling itself the Wizard of Oz introduces himself to Dorothy, and invites her to see him at his castle. He gives her magical shoes so she can move about in the world and she obliges to seek him out.

Along the way, she encounters: a good natured and optimistic - but dumb - Scarecrow who wants a brain; a Bruiser with a Soft Center Lion who wants courage; and an Axe-wielding, powerful, short-tempered Tin Logger who can only say "Hva!"

The friends eventually get to Oz's castle, and he requests a favor. Four witches who he fears are rising in power:

Flora, the Spring witch; Delphi, the Summer witch; Holly, the Autumn witch; and Protea, the Winter witch and mother of the other three.

They've already taken over areas surrounding his palace, dividing the land and preventing it's unity. Since there are barriers he cannot cross to end this, and he cannot go to deal with each witch individually, as one of the others my take over his palace while he is away. He requests that Dorothy and her friends take a magical 'Egg' that provides their power and defeat the witches in each area. In exchange, he will grant them their most desired wishes in gratitude.

So the four embark to defeat the witches, not knowing what will happen next...

The game has received a decent reception, critics have pointed out that while the game is linear in design and that fights are a bit repetitive, they praise the beautiful design, control scheme, and general fun the game has.

Beyond The Yellow Brick Road has examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: more or less everyone from the original film, (with some exceptions).
  • Adaptational Badass: damn near everyone, while most of the heroes in the original had no physical strength or real combat ability, here they fight as a team with strategy.
  • Adaptation Expansion: So much it isn't even funny.
  • Adapted Out: More things than you can count, (Ex; the Entirety of anything even involving the munchkins is gone).
  • Adaptational Villainy: Oz
  • An Axe to Grind: Take a wild guess.
  • An Ice Person: Protea (The Winter witch).
  • Anti Anti Christ: Protea's daughters qualify as this, Flora almost constant apologizes and even wants to help dorothy get back.But since she can't always predict how her magic would work, that can't happen. After beating one, they give up being a witch for some reason or another. Flora, decides to travel the world looking for flowers, Delphi follows her dream of being a diva.
  • Backtracking: SO . DAMN . MUCH !!!
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: More or less how the Lion fights, he doesn't exactly go in "bare handed". He uses various "gloves", "knuckles", and "claws".
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Arguably Holly's castle.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The 4 witches get this in one form or another, (Delphi partially averts this, due to her "castle" actually being a summer villa).
  • Blade on a Stick: the scarecrow's main method of attack.
  • Black Sheep: The game itself is this, even among obscure Rpgs. The game uses a Track Ball (which is surprisingly not as bad as you think it would be), for movement.
  • Blow You Away: Flora via her "Floral Wind" spell, (and well, The fact that she can summmon TORNADOES at will helps too). Seraphini (the wind spirit) also qualifies.
  • Bonus Boss: Inverted. There are 3 of these, which come in the form of old men who are all part dragon,beating them nets you new spells and abilities for your team.(With each fight getting harder than the last, not to mention each of them have at least one unique attack). They are found within the levels outside of one of the first three witches domains You aren't forced to fight them, but you most likely survive even the first witch unless you beaten Io (the first one) at least once.( The spooky ghosts can be this as well depending on how well prepared your are).
  • Book Ends: The first and final parts of the game take place on the yellow brick road, and also in a sense the healing spot found in the first and last witch castle's can also count.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Delphi uses this in her boss battle.
  • Combat Medic: Dorothy is this considering she is the only, if not first to receive healing magic after beating Io for the first time.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Sprinkled here and there.
  • Cute Bruiser: Dorothy, who's more than willing to beat the snot out of her enemies if it is the only means of returning home, a large contrast to the original character, who couldn't knowingly enact violence on others. (Though Dorothy does show some remorse and actually apologizes to the witches after beating them)
  • Cute Witch: 3 out of the 4 witches.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Dorothy immediately apologizes to Flora after defeating her.
  • Defeat Means Playable: The scarecrow, lion, and tin man are all this.
  • Disappeared Dad: Both Dorothy, and the witches. averted at the end. The latter's never get mentioned.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The Earth spirit Avan, and Delphi (via her "earthquake").
  • Depending on the Writer: Kicked into overdrive for this game, and also in an interesting twist naming the four main characters considering just HOW the process goes,
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Surprising, since this isn't a Mon game. Dorothy is very effective on ghosts, Lions good on attacking Hard-shelled enemies, Strawman is great with water-based monster, and Tin Man is powerful against plant like creatures. There are also some Non-Elemental monsters mixed in for good measure.
  • Fake Longevity: The game itself isn't very long, it's just the (mostly unnecessary back tracking that will eat up your time really).
  • Flying Seafood Special: many water-based enemies are freely floating sea animals, such as the Jelly Fighters and Thornpuffs.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:

  • Sanguine (blood): Dorothy

  • Choleric (yellow bile): The scarecrow

  • Melancholic (black bile): The Cowardly Lion

  • Phlegmatic (phlegm): The Tin Man

  • Freudian Excuse: The lion's entire reason for fighting you is to scare you. Delphi fights you because the Tin Man won't leave (see "My Friends and Zoidberg" below for more details).
  • Functional Magic: Flora's tornadoes (arguably) can be considered this, since she says she can't completely control where they go.
  • Garden of Evil: Flora's castle, inverted in that it isn't exactly "scary" or "unpleasant". But the flying puffer fish, anthropomorphic rocks, robots (yes robots), and other enemies don't exactly make it pleasant either.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Crabby Crabs, hard-shelled monsters that snip at the air constantly.
  • Graceful Loser: All of the witches apply to this, as well as the three dragons.
  • Instant Runes: Used by Flora in the ending.
  • Jungle Japes: Boom Boom jungle.
  • Magic Staff: Flora uses one of these, and arguably Dorothy (since she CAN use magic)it's possibly channeled through it. (It does help that her weapon of choice is a "cane".
  • Magic Wand: Holly uses one of these.
  • Making a Splash: Varun
  • Manipulative Bastard: Oz, the eggs that you were collecting were draining the witches power, making more areas in their domains more accessible. So he essentially made you fight all of the witches, and steal their eggs, So he could knock out every last bit of competition he had for the throne. hide this text
  • Marathon Level: Essentially, every level can be this, considering how they're set up. The levels start of with a straight path. Then the game throws in a million forks in the road, annoying enemies, the fact that the track ball (even if you know how to maneuver with it)can screw you over. Thankfully the forks have signs by each of them that can be marked so you won't get too lost.
  • Meaningful Name: Flora. And possibly the other witches as well.
  • Missing Mom: Dorothy. [[spoiler" averted at the end ]]
  • Motor Mouth: The Scarecrow, according to Holly. Which, with the way dialouge and cutscenes are set up. You wouldn't be able to tell otherwise. The ONLY time that Dorothy and the other 3 main characters dialogue is seen is during the "Storybook" cutscenes. So that doesn't help either.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Delphi acts like this towards Dorothy and co. with "Zoidberg" being the Tin Man. (apparently she's allergic to metal) hide this text
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Taking on the Spooky Ghost for the first time, (at least with no knowledge beforehand).(see "Quieter than Silence" below).
  • Nothing Personal: This is essentially the scarecrow's response to Dorothy when she tries to pass him. (He was asked to guard the path behind him).
  • One-Hit Kill: The "Falcon Swoop" skill the Scarecrow.
  • Our Mages Are Different: See the (heavily) averted "Squishy Wizard" trope below.
  • Palette Swap: EVERY normal enemy have a few of these.
  • Playing with Fire: The fire Spirit Kalama,(And Holly to an extent). The three dragons, and certain normal enemies count as well.
  • Plot Twist: The game manages to throw a good few of them at you. The game starts with an intro involving a witch picking out Dorothy's name, her pet and it's name. And overall making the game seem like some big storybook Turns out, it isn't. The witch isn't the "Wicked Witch", it's one of the game's 4 witches: Holly. Who was just writing the events of the game up until you fight her. hide this text
  • Punch Clock Villain: Apparently Holly was being a witch as a "Hobby". go figure
  • Quieter Than Silence: The "Spooky Ghost" (a RARE but powerful black ghost with red eyes that only appears in certain areas of the game). Causes thee game's usual jaunty battle theme to come to a complete standstill if engaged in battle.
  • Savage Wolves: Hungry Wolves.
  • Smarter Than They Look: The Scarecrow
  • Squishy Wizard: The 4 witches AVERT this to a tee. None of them are a walk in the park, even if you are prepared well.Forget the fact that they get attacked with a cane, a spear, an AX, and by a FREAKING LION for crying out loud. And the magic that you'll most likely be using on them.
  • Stripperrific: Delphi's outfit is pretty much this,(understandable since she is the Summer witch).
  • That One Attack: Every boss (from holly onward at least) has one. OZ especially with his "WIZ-ZOAWD" spell, which basically super charges his magic power. And then there's the "catastrophe" attack that the dragons have
  • The Beach: The second area of Delphi's domain.
  • The Ditz: Seraphini is implied to be this.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Oz, though the game manages to throw a few surprises in there as well.
  • The Unintelligible: The tin man, (oddly enough).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Oz, big time.(See "Manipulative bastard and True Final boss below for more details
  • True Final Boss: Oz, which isn't surprising if you actually pay attention to his dialouge after unlocking a Witch's castle. (He essentially denies any offers that the witches give you and tries to assure you that their evil. Hint: He's wrong).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Using the wind spirit in Delphi's castle (or villa rather). It's "unexpected" because your being introduced to a new gimmick, weather vanes that open (and close) gates in the current area. The empty torches, scales, and brick walls are seen before you get the spirit that corresponds with them. (Thankfully it doesn't take long to find the wind spirit.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The reason why you fight the scarecrow, the tin man, and arguably some of the witches.
  • Weak, but Skilled: the Strawman, who while having the lowest damage output, has the best speed of the group. And multiple status debuffs, among other things.
  • We Can Rule Together: Somewhat inverted, Holly wants the Cowardly Lion to join her as an "assistant". Although not for the reason you'd think
  • X Meets Y: The Wizard of Oz, meets Jrpg.