RPG Review #87: Treasure of the Rudras

NuMetalManiak
Already going on an onlook of the whole year and I've been significantly less active on these, probably due to the length of these games perhaps? Don't be fooled by the fact this one is a SNES title, Rudra no Hihou, English-title, Treasure of the Rudras, is quite a long and complex game. It's surprisingly translated well for a game that only had a Japanese release, and I'll explain why soon enough.

Gameplay: As a seasoned player of these types of games, the onset of this honestly doesn't offer much. Standard turn-based gameplay, standard navigation through locations, standard random encounter rates are applied, standard chests and potential gimmicks.

So what's the big deal? How about the magic system? Yeah, there you go. This is a magic system that honestly should've been in other games. In other words, ALL magic in this game is actually enscribed. There's spells you might find just by talking to NPCs or finding chests, and the best part is you can enscribe at any given time. You know what that means. Yes, even the absolute most powerful of spells can be given to the player at the start of their adventure. But there's a few extra things to point out. There are opposing elements of course, fire and water, thunder and wind, light and dark, as well as void and dark which don't seem to be opposing or have a weakness, and then of course you factor these elements into the enemies fought or the equipment used. There's also enhancing the spells so that they will be more useful, like doing more numbers or using up less MP. That involves having a prefix or a suffix added to the spell, which will certainly enhance them more. Some characters are really bad with MP so they could use some powerful spells that only cost like 1 MP, and believe me, they don't tell you about those particular spells in-game, because it would make things too easy. In boss fights, what I usually have is a stock of elemental barrier magic, combined with loads of status-buff and status-debuff spells, which will make fighting with not just magic, but with weapons a whole lot more fun.

And then the other great thing about Treasure of the Rudras is that you'll be playing with multiple plots on multiple adventures. There's three main characters you play as, each with their own companions and adventures, and then it all intertwines into a fourth, final scenario at the end. During these journeys, the groups may meet each other, and a few items left behind may be used by someone else. Which can factor into the sidequests a bit. Pretty neat. Grade: A-

Characters: Four main jadebearers in the plot, and in each of their subplots, they have three extra companions.
Sion: He's a gladiator and a tournament battler, given a jade in his right eye after a mishap happens early in his scenario. He is a terrible spellcaster with very low MP but an excellent fighter.
Foxy: The girl among Sion's companions, she's basically middle ground.
Ture: He's a member of the Giant's race. He's surprisingly good at everything but is only available in Sion's party.
Ramyleth: He's a king of the Danan race, a decent spellcaster and can use bows while in Sion's party.
Surlent: A researcher and archaelogist, Surlent gets it the worst in this plot, but ends up with a jade anyways.. He is the only character to use scythes in combat, which are for some reason long range weapons, and he's good with spellcasting.
Legin: Surlent's lackey, he's also middle ground.
Sork: A somewhat reluctant warrior who joins Surlent's group. Pure warrior class, terrible MP.
Lolo: A little amnesiac child revealed to be a member of the Danan race. He can use bows and is pretty good at magic.
Riza: She's already born with a jade in her forehead. Has a high MP count and can use rapiers and bows.
Garlyle: A revolutionary fighter who falls in love with Riza in her story.
Pipin: A self-proclaimed king of the Reptile race where they ssssspeak like thisssss. Has a unique equip in nails.
Marina: A member of the Mermaid race, she's an excellent spellcaster and can equip spears.
Dune: He's a thief, but he's one of those who prefers the term "treasure hunter". An obvious jack-of-all-trades character, who you meet several times in everyone's plot along with his lackey Cid. He's playable only in the final scenario.

Sion, Surlent, Riza, and Dune are the main jadebearers for the final scenario. A lot of other characters here seem interesting for a bit, but not by much. I guess that's okay. Grade: B

Plot: Yeah so as I said, three different scenarios are played out, although they each happen around the same time as each other so they'll intertwine a few times, as well as counting down the days that elapse as you play each one. I'm not sure exactly HOW this game is supposed to be played, because I will just play one scenario all the way through until its finished, then play through another scenario from the top. Well, whatever.

Treasure of the Rudras takes after Indian mythology it seems, involving a destruction of the world every 4000 years. Guess what's gonna happen soon in this game's plot? Yep. And the heroes of the game are gonna stop that. There's this Majestic Four who were responsible for creating the world, as well as a being known as a Rudra which has a race of its own, where the previous race before it will be destroyed. Previous Rudra's apparently become fossilized when this happens. The current cycle of races that has transpired is Danans, then Merfolk, then Reptiles, then Giants, and now Humans. And as it turns out, only fifteen days remain in this game's plot before the next Rudra is to awaken.

In Sion's scenario, he's a knight of a castle who investigates cultist activity in a nearby tower. While fighting a powerful giant named Surt, he loses his companions Rostam and Huey, as well as his right eye which will eventually bear a Jade. Foxy and Ture help him out around this time, and as it seems, the man who is to be scheduled for the fighting tournament, Captain Taurus, seems to be missing. In between fighting his way up to the top, Sion's searching for Taurus's whereabouts along with other cultist activity, finding Ramyleth in the process. After he wins the tournament, Sion and his party are mysteriously transported in what is known as the Aboveworld, with multiple floating continents containing other races. Surt has for some reason returned as well. Seeking out Four Divine Danans, Sion gets some treasures, but all the floating islands sink to the overworld. While everyone survives and Surt is later killed, Foxy ends up dying after a certain boss fight and has to be revived at a hidden village. Meanwhile, Taurus is back, and Sion is actually pursuing him until he reveals that he's the leader of the cultists. He is then killed, and there's a branching point involving Surlent's party and some treasures, either take the Apocalypse blade from Surlent and give him the Psycho shield or take the Power shield and have Surlent keep the Apocalypse blade. Then Sion fights Rudra itself along with a ruler of the dead known as Gomorrah. That's it for Sion's scenario.

Surlent's scenario starts with him working as an archaeologist researching Lago Stones alongside Legin and Dr. Muench. He's also friends with Eremia (Foxy's father) and Solon (Sork's master). He also runs into Dune and Cid a few times, and they steal some of the relics Surlent finds. Surlent gets into a subplot in finding kidnapped children, as well as taking down cultists who have taken these children, one of whom is Lolo. A cataclysm occurs later on during a solar eclipse, and Dr. Muench is dead. Surlent finds the Rudra of the reptiles and is actually killed by it. In the Netherworld, Surlent is helped by a man named Kurgan, or so it seems! He's tricked into removing the seal from the Apocalypse blade, then his soul gets trapped in it while Kurgan uses Surlent's body to wreak havoc and the Rudra of the humans, Hausen, releases Netherworld creatures into the open. Gomorrah helps Surlent out, getting the bodies of Sion's dead friends Rostam and Huey temporarily so he can eventually reclaim his former one. Afterwards, he has to take shards from Lago Stones and is also told he's the key to the next Rudra, apparently. After getting the shards, and helping Dune with his multipurpose airship, he heads for the Netherworld once again. Again, the branching path is similar to what Sion deals with, but it's much different for Surlent. If Surlent keeps the Apocalpyse blade, the final battle against Hausen will be lost and Surlent's body will become the new Rudra, while this doesn't happen if Surlent trades the blade.

Riza's scenario shows that she is apparently the "Chosen" to purify the world, guided by prophecies, so she sets out. She meets Garlyle, a revolutionary, in a nearby non-polluted town and together they take down Kurgan, which results in butterflies being released and the air freshening out (this is seen in other scenarios too from different perspectives). Pipin mischievously tries to resurrect the Rudra of the Reptiles but is shown the error of his ways, then they journey west. After watching Sion battle in the tournament, they have an audience with his king, then meet Riza's mother, Aqua, or so it seems as she dies rather shortly after. Later on Riza meets Marina, then fights a monster to gain a seed, which she plants on the Polluted continent, removing all the pollution there. She also deals with a mysterious spirit named Laumen and a dark king known as Eltina, before setting off for the oceans, helping Marina again and this time removing the pollution from the seas. Riza eventually reaches Meifa, where she was destined to go, and battles her. She finds out the destroyer of races is on the moon, an entity known as Sodom, and then journeys up there with Meifa's help to destroy it. She is then told of Mitra, the strongest of the Majestic Four and that only jadebearers can defeat Mitra.

The final scenario branches everyone together, going from the character who completed their scenario last. Sion and Surlent meet up with Dune and they all journey to the moon where Riza is, saying goodbye to all their companions as they head home, although Ramyleth decides to stay with them. That decision saved them as Dune's ship, Brasnir, malfunctions, and Ramyleth takes over. The endgame is practically a boss rush through several dungeons along the way, where both Hausen and Saizou, members of the Majestic Four, eventually die in battle. Finally there's the battle with Mitra. When that's done, Dune gets the knowledge of the Eternal Engine from Mitra and everyone escapes at the nick of time. The decision to use the Eternal Engine is cut down by Riza, who says it will basically repeat Mitra's actions, and that they all decide to let humanity evolve naturally. The dream sequence the jadebearers were shown was actually a warning, according to Dune. I'd say these plots were pretty decent overall. Grade: B+

Music: Decent battle theme, different themes for characters, and some unique boss themes. It's got the SNES flair to it all right. Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+

This is worth at least one go, at least for the English players. The sheer amount of customizing magic makes it worth it, and the different plots also help make this a little more than the standard RPG.

Comments

This is one of the best blog post series. Great review. - iliekpiez

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