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This was literally the cover. Though, the Japanese version looked a bit better.
"Thank you!"
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Magic Sword: Heroic Fantasy is a Medieval European Fantasy-themed side-scrolling Hack and Slash Platform Game developed by Capcom for arcades in 1990, and ported for the SNES in 1992 as Magic Sword, albeit losing what was probably its main draw: the option for a two-player cooperative game. Outside that, the only other notable element of the game is the use of Assist Characters: eight different characters (Amazon, Bigman, Priest, Wizard, Thief, Ninja, Knight and Lizard Mannot that one) held captive behind doors found all throughout each stage, which the player can open with keys he gets from treasure chests. Each helper has its own strength and weakness (and some even special abilities), and they gain levels by picking certain items. The player can't control his partner's movements, and they only attack when the main character attacks on his own.

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The story is set in a nameless world, which is being oppressed by the resurrected Evil Lord Drokmar and his armies of ghouls and monsters. Drokmar's immense evil power comes from an artifact known as the Black Orb, a crystal that has increased the Evil Lord's powers significantly. By request of the ruler of the land, the main character (originally "The Brave One", later named Alan) accepts to destroy the orb and bring light back to the lands. But in order to do it, he'll need to ascend the 50-story Dragon Keep and defeat Drokmar's five sages, claiming the Magic Swords in their possession so he'll have a fighting chance against Drokmar, awaiting on Floor 50.

Outside a few Capcom compilation games, Magic Sword reappeared in 2008 as a port for mobile phones, and 2010 when it saw a re-release as a bonus bundled with the HD remake of Final Fight.

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Not to be confused with the old live-action film The Magic Sword.

This game provides examples of:

  • 1-Up: The Yashichi as with many other Capcom arcade games has this effect, adding one entire lifebar and change.
  • All There in the Manual: While the English version of the game opted for Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep", Japanese side materials as well as the Super Famicom manual actually gave names to the heroes beyond their professions as well as backstories.
  • Amazonian Beauty: The Amazon, though her physique varies between her in-game sprites and artwork (with the art for the Double Impact release perhaps being the most notable example). Ironically, her class is not geared towards direct combat, instead brandishing a crossbow.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Black Orb, which is said to grant its wielder immortality and great power, but it also seems to twist the user's mind and turn him really evil.
  • Assist Character: The eight helpers.
  • Attract Mode: It provides details about recruitable partners and the effects of power-ups.
  • Automatic Crossbow: The Amazon.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Bigman has a double-edged axe, which he swings like a boomerang. The second player gets a more common big axe.
  • Barbarian Hero: Both main characters, specially Alan/Player 1.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Minor enemies, in both grizzly and polar variations.
  • The Beast Master: The sage who sics his "children", the Giant Worms, against you.
  • Big Bad: The Evil Lord Drokmar.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Knight throws spears.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • A bit too much on the Engrish side of things. The US version of the game retranslates things, and while the writing is still simplistic, it is much more readable. The translator would eventually go on to join the staff of Midway Games, presumably as a writing supervisor.
    • "Lizardman - Becomes an ally only when brided with a diamond ring." Perhaps the translator meant "bribed" or "bridled", or maybe you really are marrying the lizardman.
  • Boss-Only Level: The penultimate level when you fight Drokmar's final sage.
  • Character Level: All helpers gain levels by sticking around and finding special items. This increases their technique's effectiveness (usually range and effect) and strength.
  • Charge Meter: A bar on the HUD accumulates over a couple seconds' time and empties when the player character attacks. When the bar fills, the attack shoots out a projectile.
  • Chest Monster: Several chests are rigged with traps, such as fire explosions, enemies hidden within or falling rocks. Thief partners can tell if a chest's rigged when it glows red.
  • Crossover: Alan, Drokmar, and a few of the game's characters and enemies appear in the quiz game Adventure Quiz: Capcom World 2 as challengers.
  • Degraded Boss: A Palette Swap of the first dragon boss appears later as a Giant Mook.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are a minor (and very annoying) enemy.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Gauntlet's ability is "increasing power power" in the item listing during the attract mode.
  • Discard and Draw: Getting a new partner causes your last one to leave.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The Terraformer, an Elite Mook who manipulates pieces of the ground as his attack.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: One mook type, first appearing in Level 2, is a fire-breathing, moving Moai head.
  • Energy Ball: In two flavors. The Cleric shoots out a group of homing orbs, and the Wizard fires his straight forward in a powerful cluster.
  • Every Man Has His Price: If a player character has a diamond ring as his active item, he can turn enemy Thieves and Lizardmen to his side. Even more useful, if the player already has a partner of that kind, the newly turned one will join at two skill levels higher.
  • Evil Overlord: Evil Lord Drokmar.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Lord Drokmar and his five sages.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Dragon Keep.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: All the partner characters are designed in line with basic archetypes.
  • Golem: A type of Giant Mook.
  • Gratuitous English: Some of the pleas for help from behind locked doors, like "Get me escape!" And "Get rid of me!" is almost certainly not what they meant to say.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Food items restore the player characters' health.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Keys come in silver, gold and platinum flavors, and any of them can open can open the matching doors.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The backgrounds show the gradual passing of time, with the game starting in the daytime, becoming dusk about halfway up the tower, and becoming night before the final section.
  • Item Get!: Each time you get a new sword, it spins around with sparkles as triumphant music plays out.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The whole game.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: They pop up all over the place throughout the game for points, power-ups, and traps.
  • Knife Nut: The Cloaked Wraith Mooks.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Certain floors are surrounded by a fiery blaze, which doesn't really affects our sturdy hero.
  • Lizard Folk: A winged variation is a type of enemy, and by having a diamond ring in the inventory you can make one switch sides.
  • Loincloth: Standard dress for a Barbarian Hero like The Brave One (Alan).
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The player can switch among a large variety of shields of many sizes and shapes, which provide extra defense against attacks. The Knight has also a big shield, but his is useless.
  • Mad Bomber: The Thief's attack is throwing small bombs.
  • Magnet Hands: Both played straight and averted: You can't lose the original steel sword, but the swords gotten off bosses are thrown off your hands when the player is hit, which then must be recovered.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Three Chimeras serve as bosses: the ("normal") Chimera, the Skull Chimera and the King Chimera. They have the upper body and head of a lion, the lower body of a (blue) horse, a snake as a tail, dragon's wings and two extra heads (those of a dragon and horned horse) sticking out from behind the lion's head.
  • Multiple Endings: The game offers a choice between two after defeating the final boss. You can take the Black Orb and become the next Evil Lord, or shatter it and free the land of its influence.
  • Mummy: They're minor enemies who are slow but can take a few hits.
  • Nipple and Dimed: While the Amazon in-game wears a plunging unitard, the game's artwork portrays her in a skimpy bra with an obvious nipslip.
  • No Name Given: Both player characters. Later, they were given official names: Alan and Belger.
  • One-Winged Angel: All bosses except the Giant Worm's sage and Drokmar take on a monster's form before battle.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons are recurrent bosses in the game. Two are generic western-looking dragons who shoot lightning out of their mouths, while the third is actually a two-headed Hydra with an identical attack pattern to the dragons.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: A type of recurrent minor enemy.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The red-cloaked zombie Mooks who come from under the soil and try to stab you.
  • Palette Swap: All Mooks get at least one halfway through the game, as well as most bosses.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Ninja's shurikens eventually turn into these.
  • Playing with Fire: The wand item grants the player character the ability to shoot high-powered fireballs from his sword for a limited amount of time. The Fire Sword also gives the ability to shoot fireballs.
  • Power Floats: Drokmar.
  • Power-Up: For your partner, hearts. Blue hearts heal and red hearts increase their level (they start at 1 and top out at 8). But be careful...
    • Poison Mushroom/Power Up Let Down: Black upside-down hearts gave the player points but cost the partner a level! If you want to make the most of these, don't touch them, but have a diamond ring ready (you can then get the thief that tries to take it to join you with the ring). Also, scissors give you points but release that partner from you, leaving you stuck with whoever gave you the scissors.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Subverted. The Lizardman is the only enemy in the game who actually can be turned into an ally.
  • Score Multiplier: The pendant, which doubles points gained while having it.
  • Segmented Serpent: Third boss, the Giant Worms.
  • Shock and Awe: The last magic sword acquired in the game is the Thunder Sword. Instead of shooting out a fireball when the player character's charge meter is full, it shoots a long stream of lightning.
  • Shout-Out: In Namco × Capcom, one of Sylphie's skills is named after the game.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Ten good guys, one woman.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Giant ones that hang from the ceiling by chains are common obstacles in a few floors.
  • Spikes of Doom: Several stages have them, and are especially bothersome if you drop your sword among them. They are also used in later bosses' chambers to spike up the challenge.
  • Spread Shot: Some of the allies' attacks, mainly the Ninja.
  • Sword Beam: The Magic Sword used by the player can shoot magic blasts as its main attack.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Lizardman's means of attack is to throw three swords at a time.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Brave One/Alan, but not Belger.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: The weapons gained from defeating bosses range from a broadsword to a scimitar, to even a katana.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Black Orb causes this.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Your health degrades over time even if you don't take damage. If you don't obtain food items at a steady pace, you may find yourself near death at an important battle even if you fared well against the mooks.

Alternative Title(s): Magic Sword

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