RPG Review #112: Deep Dungeon

NuMetalManiak So for the next trio of reviews or so, I have decided to try out a very obscure mini-franchise by Hummingbird Soft, with the first two being on the Famicom Disk System. The games are called Deep Dungeon, the first installment is called Deep Dungeon, Madō Senki, and it is quite a primitive game to play through.

Gameplay: This is a 3D dungeon crawler RPG, making it similar to Shining in the Darkness or Phantasy Star I. The direction is given as to where you're going, and there's a map that can be reached as well. There's seven floors in the so-called Deep Dungeon, along with an underground world where the finale is located. At the beginning there's a king to talk to, as well as shops for weapons, armor, and items. However, you can only have one piece of armor at a time, which means the previous one is discarded. The same for the weapons, and there are only eight slots for regular items, with two of those slots taken by Bread (healing items) and Holy Water (cures poison). Key items unfortunately take up item slots, and while it's possible to discard a key item and leave it for later (it will be in the same place it was discarded, technically), the limits make this primitive RPG much harder.

In the deep dungeon itself, the battles are one-on-one much like Dragon Quest. Encounters in this game play differently than others. It's possible to be standing still, and an enemy will just show up in front of you. Some items can be used to chant magic, which surprisingly means that the items are actually unlimited in use. Also there is no MP, the spells in this game take from the health pool and only cost 1 HP each. Combat in this game will be frustrating, so much that you and enemies miss so often without any real reason as to why. It's definitely a huge low point for this game. On the field, there's piles of trash and treasure that can be inspected, as well as a few traps. It definitely tries in a lot of ways, but doesn't go the mile at all. Grade: C-

Characters: The main character is just another nameless hero. The town is called Dorl and the hero has to infiltrate the deep dungeon to rescue the princess Etna. The main villain is the Emperor Ruu. There's no real characterization for these characters since it's so primitive.

Plot: Well I just said all that can be said about this game's plot. The hero goes into the dungeon for treasures and rescues the princess near the bottom, fighting his way through the graveyards, rivers, and traps all in the deep dungeon (there's also a fake princess somewhere). I'm really not sure what else to add, this plot is quite basic and uninteresting. Grade: C-

Music: The only really high point, as each dungeon floor has unique music which broods a bit of atmosphere in each floor. Not much else to really say. The battle theme kinda sucks to be honest. Grade: C

Overall Grade: C-

Rarely do I think NES/FDS games are worthwhile, but I'll continue to play through them even if it means I gotta suffer my way through each one. This entire series sounds interesting, even if it is so primitive to play.