Epoch isn't a company you may have heard much about, but they actually published quite a few games. If it wasn't Lupin for SNES or Dragon Slayer for SNES, it was some other odd title like Sylvanian Families for the Gameboy Color. Generally speaking, the majority of Epoch games are obscure. This game is actually originally made by Nihon Falcom who are usually just referred to as "Falcom". As you are probably aware, Falcom makes a lot of old-school style RPGs such as Brandish and Ys.
Known for making many Japanese PC games, Falcom one day decided to make a series known as Dragon Slayer - Eiyuu Densetsu (Dragon Slayer - Legend of Heroes). The series was a bit popular and has seen several ports and they are different in many ways. The "Legend of Heroes" series is actually a continuation of another series simply dubbed "Dragon Slayer". If I had to say, given the years in which the ports were made, the SNES port is the most inferior of them. The story has you journey with the fifteen year old Atlas (the young man with blonde hair shown in the image to the left) as he travels the world defeating evil and all that good stuff. Along the way, he will meet three others (Rando, Flora, and Shindi) and together, they will be known as heroes for their acts of heroism and bravery. In other words, the story is very typical fantasy save-the-world drama that you've probably heard more times than you might ever want. Regardless, Falcom takes a simple story and combines it with colorful characters and adds a dash of light humor.
Anyway, the graphics are what you'd expect from most Falcom games. They are very simple. Actually, looking back in retrospect to what I stated on GameFAQs, the graphics are NES caliber. There isn't really much present (other than anime art) that shows that this is an SNES game and if I took one glance at it without knowing what it was, I would think it was for NES. To be blunt, the SNES has displayed much better graphics not only in 1993, but in years prior. The game has backgrounds when you get into random encounters and spells are ok, but nothing jaw dropping. Thankfully, graphics aren't everything and this may not be anything worth noting if you have played numerous Falcom titles. You may have come to expect their basic style that speaks to the inner classic gamer within. The visuals may please gamers looking for that old-school feel. I thought that a lot of the sound was pretty good. There may be one or two I could live without, but I recognize Falcom as people who make good music overall and the same rings true for this game. The quality of the music is fair, but could have probably been better. Thankfully, the music was well thought out and lifts the game in areas where the visuals fail to impress.
The gameplay is very ordinary for the most part. It doesn't wow me on any level, but it works. I'm not particularly fond of the magic system, though they were trying something a little different. MP recovers as you walk around and since your MP doesn't go very high, magic is very limited. Each hero has different characteristics that make them effective in battle...warriors excel at strength, wizards at magic...very traditional stuff. Exploration is very simple, though seeing enemies on the field is kind of a cool plus. You buy items from shops like you would in any other RPG and battles are turn-based. If you haven't figured it out by now, this game doesn't do anything all too revolutionary and the game is extremely average. Not the worse game in the world, but there are much better RPGs out there. The battle system is rudimentary and while the characters are nice and the music is catchy, the game doesn't do too much to hold my interest. Don't listen to me though; the Dragon Slayer games are wildly popular in Japan and if you are a Falcom fan, you may enjoy this traditional RPG. I can't say that the average gamer will feel the same way so if you don't like what you see below, you probably don't want to get NEAR this game. There was a reprogrammed version of this game for the Sega Megadrive in 1994.
- Written by Vyse the determined -