Brandish is an Action RPG series by Falcom, which currently consists of four main games. It is notable for having a rotatable "camera" despite having entirely 2D gameplay, thus allowing the player to do things like circle strafing, hit and run attacks, and other typically-3D techniques.
The original game was released in 1991 for the SNES, and it was the only one ever released in other countries, and with great alterations at that. Its story starts with the protagonist, Ares, being ambushed by a mage Dela Delon, who aims to avenge her evil wizard master, killed by Ares in the game's backstory. While battling, one of Dela Delon's spells breaks open the ground, sending them both into a deep labyrinth. Now, Ares must figure out a way to escape.
Brandish 2: The Planet Buster was originally released on PC-98 in 1993, and was then ported to SNES in 1994. Brandish 3: Spirit of Balcan was developed in 1994. Both of these sequels again centered on Ares and Dela. Brandish 4 or Brandish VT: Fata Morgana Templum, followed in 1996, but while it retained the series' gameplay and graphics, the storyline was very different.
There was also a 2009 remake of the original game for the PSP, known as Brandish: The Dark Revenant, which is 3D, but retains the same rotatable camera system. 2009 also saw the fan translation of the second game.
The series provides examples of the following:
- Always Over the Shoulder: And with sprite-based graphics, no less! The trick was loading four versions of each map that switched as you "turned."
- Amazonian Beauty: Umber, a muscular wrestler who fights in a revealing outfit that basically looks like a sling swimsuit with a tubetop.
- Ascended Extra: Dela Delon becomes playable in The Dark Revenant and Spirit of Balcan. Similarly, Umber and Jinza, who were NPCs in The Planet Buster, become playable characters in Spirit of Balcan.
- Badass Normal: Ares.
- Bag of Spilling: Applies to Ares at the beginning of each game. Justified in The Planet Buster where Ares gets beaten up and loses the Planet Buster at the beginning of the game.
- Beam Spam: God Bistall's second form in The Dark Revenant uses this.
- Bifauxnen: Mauve in Brandish VT is a mild example.
- Black and White Magic
- Breakable Weapons: Combined with a limited inventory.
- Breakout Character: Dela Delon has become the signature character of the series and features on many front covers, despite only being playable in Spirit of Balcan and a secret mode of The Dark Revenant.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass and Genius Bruiser: Garahad in Brandish VT.
- Determinator: Ares.
- Disappears into Light: Happens to God Bistall in The Dark Revenant.
- Dub Name Change: In the SNES port, Ares is know as "Varik", and Dela Delon as "Alexis". The latter was due to Character Name Limits.
- Everything Trying to Kill You
- A God Am I: The motivation of most villains in the series.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Always an option.
- Gratuitous Ninja: One of the bosses in the first game are a group of ninjas. One of the playable characters in Spirit of Balcan is a ninja master.
- Gratuitous Russian: The Japanese cover of Brandish includes the backstory written out in Russian for some reason.
- Heroic Mime: Ares.
- Hot Witch: Dela Delon and Mermelada.
- Karma Meter: Present in Brandish VT where every character except Mermelada and Garahad will get different endings depending on their karma at the end.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Ares.
- Magic Knight: Ares.
- Ms. Fanservice: Again, Dela Delon. Also Umber (Brandish 3) and Mermelada (Brandish 4).
- Numbered Sequels:
- Brandish 2: The Planet Buster
- Brandish 3: Spirit of Balcan
- Brandish 4
- One-Winged Angel: The final bosses in every installment except the first game go through this.
- One-Word Title
- Pit Trap: Lots, to the point where one expendable item is dedicated solely to finding them.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Dela Delon's role in the first and second game is to generally try to get in Ares' way and accidentally trigger a trap, thereby hinting the player how to avoid it. Garahad in Brandish VT fulfills the same role.
- Regenerating Mana
- The Rival: Dela Delon to Ares.
- Sitting Sexy on a Piano: Dela Delon in the cover art for Brandish Piano Collection.◊
- Squishy Wizard: Dela Delon in The Dark Revenant.
- Stripperiffic: Dela Delon and Umbar.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The sword Planet Buster that Ares gains at the end of the first game. It leads to the plot of The Planet Buster where an evil king tries to become a godlike being using the power of the sword.
- Wallet of Holding
- Whip It Good: Dee in Brandish VT.