Zeliard?

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By wyrdwad

Paladin (928)

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07-02-2016, 09:09

I finally beat Fire Hawk: Thexder the Second Contact today, after playing it on and off for a few months, and was absolutely blown away by it -- Game Arts did an outstanding job with that game, and any owner of an MSX2 or higher who has yet to play it definitely owes it to themselves to give it a shot, as it's easily one of the most fulfilling and well-designed platformers I've yet played on the entire system.

That said, I've been looking into other Game Arts titles from that era, and came across a lesser-known action RPG/platformer/Metroidvania called "Zeliard" that I've never heard of before. Looking up footage of it, it seems like a pretty kickass game all around, and is absolutely something I'd want to play -- especially since, by the looks of it, it shares its basic game engine with Fire Hawk, just repurposed for a different gameplay style. Everything from graphic tiling to movement to enemy behavior seems very much akin to Fire Hawk in its design, and even the music has the same sort of sound to it (which is, of course, an awesome thing!).

The problem is... Zeliard never came out on MSX, despite being two years older than Fire Hawk. As far as I can tell, it came out for the PC88 in Japan and for DOS in North America (and Japan?), but that's it. And that seems a little odd to me, since Game Arts games of that era were typically multi-platform and included MSX -- and Fire Hawk got an MSX port, despite being a technically more advanced game that seemingly shared a lot of code.

So my question is, does anyone know if there was ever an MSX port planned for Zeliard? Maybe a prototype in existence, or a fan-made port? Or has there ever been any word from Game Arts as to why Zeliard never got an MSX release?

I'm just really fascinated by this game, and figured some of you guys might know a bit more about it.

Here's a longplay of the English MS-DOS version, BTW:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkAnWnfmQCM&list=PLA16562F31...

Thanks, for any answers any of you can provide!

-Tom

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By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

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07-02-2016, 11:26

I really enjoyed FireHawk too. Everything, from game concept to music amazes me. Actually, a game with blocky enemy motion has to be very well designed to be playable, and FireHawk is.

As for Zeliard, never heard of that game. I don't think there is an MSX version of Zeliard, but I hope the experts around here prove I am wrong :-)

By Metalion

Paragon (1353)

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07-02-2016, 12:40

Never heard of Zeliard on MSX, but seems very doable : 8x8 tiles background, 8 pixels scrolling, SCC-like music .... Smile

By Grauw

Ascended (9762)

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07-02-2016, 13:48

Yeah, it’s a real shame… It would’ve been one of the top games for MSX I think. Falcom must’ve also been a little inspired by Zeliard when they made Ys 3 Smile.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (928)

wyrdwad's picture

07-02-2016, 20:22

Grauw wrote:

Yeah, it’s a real shame… It would’ve been one of the top games for MSX I think. Falcom must’ve also been a little inspired by Zeliard when they made Ys 3 Smile.

Yeah, the Ys 3 comparisons are impossible not to make. Kind of surprised to see a game that plays that similarly to Ys 3 released two years earlier!

Game Arts was totally on fire in the late '80s. Wink

-Tom

By SLotman

Paragon (1236)

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07-02-2016, 21:25

When I saw the video, I thought I recognized the sound... yup, Tandy 1000 has the same sound chip as Coleco/SG-1000 - so at least the music could be easily adapted for MSX Smile

Too bad the CPU is different (80188 CPU... 4 or 8 Mhz). The problem is the graphics: 640x400 will be tough to adapt to MSX Tongue

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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07-02-2016, 21:30

That gameplay video reminds me of a mix between The Goonies and Vampire Killer... Smile But indeed looks very doable for MSX (apart from porting issues).

By wyrdwad

Paladin (928)

wyrdwad's picture

07-02-2016, 21:51

SLotman wrote:

When I saw the video, I thought I recognized the sound... yup, Tandy 1000 has the same sound chip as Coleco/SG-1000 - so at least the music could be easily adapted for MSX Smile

Too bad the CPU is different (80188 CPU... 4 or 8 Mhz). The problem is the graphics: 640x400 will be tough to adapt to MSX Tongue

Well, that was the MS-DOS version. There's also a PC-88 version that I'm assuming would be easier to adapt (though it doesn't look as nice, and certainly doesn't sound as nice):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IjrRudHJ5I

Probably still higher-res than the MSX version, but I'm guessing at least a little closer. ;)

-Tom

By Grauw

Ascended (9762)

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07-02-2016, 22:22

SLotman wrote:

When I saw the video, I thought I recognized the sound... yup, Tandy 1000 has the same sound chip as Coleco/SG-1000 - so at least the music could be easily adapted for MSX Smile

The longplay video wyrdwad linked to actually plays the music on the AdLib/SoundBlaster OPL2… But I also like the Tandy DCSG version. There’s VGMs of them too, so you can play them on MSX with VGMPlay:

Zeliard VGM for DCSG can play on the Musical Memory Mapper, Franky or PlaySoniq.
Zeliard VGM for OPL2 can play on the MoonSound.

(And for completeness’ sake: Zeliard VGM for OPN/OPNA — doesn’t do the OPN justice IMO.)

I first noticed Zeliard when I was looking for DCSG VGMs to test VGMPlay with. The music is really good.

By Meits

Scribe (6355)

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07-02-2016, 22:24

RetroTechie wrote:

That gameplay video reminds me of a mix between The Goonies and Vampire Killer... Smile But indeed looks very doable for MSX (apart from porting issues).

I thought of The Goonies as well Smile I guess it's the caverns and climbing ropes...

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3443)

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08-02-2016, 12:38

How interesting! There's even excellent support for the MT-32 on the MS-DOS version.

This port from Sierra is a nice surprise, given that the Fire Hawk port for MS-DOS so crappy.

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