I think if there’s one episode of this show that I’m the most proud of, it’s this one. Moldorian is a name I’d only first heard of a few months ago when the fan translation was released and what a cool story! This is a game that has languished in obscurity for 25 years despite being technically one of the most impressive games on the Game Gear.
There are certain consoles that are basically black boxes to me, personally. Consoles I knew very little about as a kid and never had a chance to play then or since. The Sega Saturn is another of these for me and I have, to this day, never played a single game on the Sega Saturn. The Game Gear isn’t as unknown to me, in fact, I own one myself, but I have played only about three games total. These consoles are some of the main reasons I started doing this in the first place. To learn about hidden gems for these consoles so that I may get the chance to play them some day.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the story of Moldorian as much as I did.
2/17 – Moldorian: The Sisters of Light and Darkness
Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s video game of the day.
Today’s game is from the often forgotten Sega Game Gear, Sega’s competitor to the Game Boy. While the console was mostly known for its 8-bit adaptations of 16-bit games or Master System ports, this game stands as a wholly original RPG for the handheld. Today’s game is Moldorian: The Sisters of Light and Darkness.
Moldorian released in 1994, the same year as RPG classics, Final Fantasy VI and Earthbound. Despite being on limited handheld hardware, Moldorian ambitiously attempted to replicate some of the systems from those games. The game uses a real-time battle system that melds the Active Time Battle system of Final Fantasy with the quick inputs of a fighting game. Every button on the Game Gear is used to quickly input commands during a player’s turn. If an input is not entered in time, the character will do nothing. Despite the speed required, the player must still fight strategically as in a normal turn-based RPG.
The encounter rate for the game is high but because of the fighting system, battles are much quicker than most RPGs of the time. Along with the unique battle system, Moldorian has many other features common-place in RPGs today but rare at the time, especially on an 8 bit console. Buying equipment allowed you to see the stat differences between new and old equipment before purchasing. Enemies had multiple item drops, including common and rare drops. Players have the ability to save at any time. The environment could be investigated for hidden items. Spells contained descriptions for their effects. While these may sound like basic game features today, none of these were commonplace in the early 90’s.
Moldorian’s story puts players in the role of Navarre, a boy who sets out to discover the whereabouts of a missing friend, Milia, and his father who have been kidnapped by demons. The journey takes him across the world of Moldoria and into the realm of demons to save them.
Many modern players have likely never heard of Moldorian, not only because it was released on the Sega Game Gear but also because it was never released in the US. Moldorian remained Japanese exclusive on the Game Gear and has never been ported to any other consoles. However, in December of 2018, the game received a fan translation for the first time, allowing western audiences to finally enjoy this Game Gear RPG.
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