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Video Game / Lord Monarch

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Super Famicom cover art

Lord Monarch (ロードモナーク) is a real-time strategy war game by Falcom. The game is considered to be the seventh installment in the Dragon Slayer series. It was originally released in 1991 for the NEC PC-9801, then later ported in 1992 to the Super Famicom and in 1994 to the Sega Mega Drive.

Gameplay involves ordering soldiers around and controlling the kindgom's tax rate to expand territories and manage currency before sending out the king to defeat the opposing armies.

During 1997, Lord Monarch was remade for Windows as Lord Monarch Online and released for free in both Japanese, and for the first time, English. Lord Monarch is one of the 42 titles included in the Japanese version of the Mega Drive Mini.

This game features the following tropes:

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The king unit is the only one capable of claiming neutral cities, opening chests, easily dispatching armed soldiers and facing the other monarchs, but sending him out must be a calculated gamble. While outside the castle he'll lose HP like mooks do and won't collect taxes from them. Wasting too much time or engaging with an enemy king without preparing enough is suicidal.
  • Decapitated Army: A faction will instantly lose upon the defeat of their king.
  • Gameplay Grading: Player performance is graded according to much territory was claimed, so speedy clears are discouraged. In fact, the Mega Drive version's story mode depletes the time limit if any stage is cleared with a low territory rate.
  • Have a Nice Death: In the story mode for the Mega Drive version, every chapter has an unique game over scene:
    • Chapter 1: The disgraced prince is comically beaten up by his father.
    • Chapter 2: Rubia berates Alfred for his incompetence and marries some unseen rival.
  • Hint System: The game lets the player know how much they should tax the soldiers at any given time. In the story mode for the Mega Drive version, they can ask Old Lance for hints as well. Warnings are also given for running out of funds or becoming able to finish a stage.
  • Hit Points: Soldiers and kings constantly lose HP while exploring and performing actions on the field, and if it runs out they poof. The kings accumulate large amounts of HP the longer they stay at their castle.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Invoked in the Mega Drive version's story mode. Alfred wants to seek out strong opponents but is told to start with the small fry instead for practice.
  • Timed Mission: Each chapter in the Mega Drive version has a time limit, but one can't play too quickly — that countdown will be depleted by a certain amount based on how much territory the player hasn't conquered in a mission.