> Originally released as Vermilion in Japan, the Sword
of Vermilion made its way to North America and Europe in 1991.
It's an action/RPG game developed by Yu Suzuki's AM2 team
and features multiple gameplay styles. Sega included
a bonus 106-page hint book (quite useful) in the Western releases.
> The plot is ever familiar to RPG players. Erik V, king of Excalabria,
is overthrown by the wizard Tsarkon, king of Cartahena. Erik commands
his most trusted servant, Blade, to escape with his infant son and the
family heirloom, the Ring of Wisdom. The quest to find "The Sword
of Vermilion" and gain revenge on Tsarkon befalls the Prince of Excalabria.
> I think the Sword of Vermilion has rather detailed graphics
and decent character animation. For sure the boss fights are the
most impressive, as you'll battle creatures that take up nearly half the
screen! The pseudo-3D stuff is very run-of-the-mill on a visual basis,
but it gets the job done. The towns are varied and feature multi-floor
buildings to explore. At the end of the day, I think the variety
of views really sets this game above the competition.
> As usual, Sega broke ground in this department. Sword
of Vermilion features 4 play styles depending on where you are.
(1) "Town Mode" uses the typical overhead view found in most RPGs from
this era. (2) "Battle Mode" uses the overhead view again, while you
fight in real-time with weapons and magic. (3) "Dungeon Mode" uses
a pseudo-3D view which is similar to Phantasy
Star. (4) "Boss Mode" uses a side view like typical action
games, yet magic is unavailable.
> Everything controls quick and is intuitive to learn. Along the
way you'll visit villages, talk to people, use/discard items, check your
status, equip various weapons/shields/armor, and look around for useful
items to snag. Just like Shining
Force, you walk through open doors to enter buildings, and
touch steps to go up/down floors. Don't forget to save your game
in the Church!
> I really enjoyed most of the tunes in Sword of Vermilion.
Naturally it's largely repetitive like most RPGs, but at least there's
lots of good melodies (maybe even one or two that you'll hum along).
I think AM2 did a great job considering this was an early
Genesis game. The sound effects are nothing special,
yet sufficient and effective.
> Sega hooked me on RPGs when I played Miracle
Warriors and Phantasy Star in the late '80s.
Sword of Vermilion was really hyped up when it arrived stateside
in 1991, so it was a no-brainer for me to acquire. It's a fun traditional
RPG with real-time battles and amazing boss fights! The replay factor
is low in my book, but it's highly recommended to first time players.
> If you would like Phantasy Star with a little bit of Wonder
Boy and Shinobi
thrown in, then Sword of Vermilion will satisfy. The
different play styles really set this game apart and above its competitors.
It's about 30 hours of classic RPG fun from the "Sega Does
What Nintendon't" era.
8.5 | Graphics: 9.0 | Control: 9.0 | Sound: 8.0 | Fun: 8.0