11/4 – Soul Blazer

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

The Super Nintendo was home to some of the most well-loved RPGs in gaming. As Sega generally avoided RPGs during the 16-bit era, most developers opted for SNES development as their only other mainstream option. While the flood of high quality games was great for the console, it meant some games were lost or overlooked. Today’s game is the first in an unofficial trilogy of oft-forgotten games. Today’s game is Soul Blazer. Developed by Quintet and released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo.

Soul Blazer is an action RPG, ditching turn-based menu combat for real-time sword slinging. The story follows the Freil Empire after its destruction at the hands of the evil spirit Deathtoll. Deathtoll has succeeded at destroying the empire and nothing remains alive. The main character, Blazer, is an angel sent by The Master to defeat Deathtoll and restore the Freilians. 

Soul Blazer contains six main towns that Blazer must restore. To do this, he travels around the area, destroying monster lairs. Each monster lair destroyed is a soul that is restored to the town. Souls can be people but they can also be plants or animals as well. As more monster lairs are destroyed, the town is rebuilt and Blazer can move to the next location.

Having just come off the success of ActRaiser, Quintet was looking to create a follow-up with similar themes. Soul Blazer kept the theme of restoring a culture while defeating enemies but took greater inspiration from Zelda than from the action-platforming genre. In retrospect, fans often regard Soul Blazer as the first in an unofficial series, along with Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma. Critics praised Soul Blazer but it sold relatively poorly, selling less than 300,000 copies throughout its life cycle. Unfortunately, Quintet has not been active in any capacity since 2004 and it is unknown who owns the rights to Quintet’s library of games. Regardless, because of the inactivity, Soul Blazer has never been re-released or remade in any form since it’s original release.

Thank you so much for listening! In case you haven’t heard, I recorded a podcast with Adrian Simple from The Gaming Observer that went up yesterday. If you want to learn more or give it a listen, I’ll post a link on videogameoftheday.com. Follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday to make sure you never miss new content. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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