Mahou Daisakusen – Story/Characters/Setting
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No one knows when it began. The mobilization of the Goblins gradually expanded, until they at last succeeded in establishing a single Empire of their own.
All this weighed heavy on the brow of King Codwenna. He gathered all the loyal knights at hand and launched an attack on the Goblin Empire, but it was a total disaster. All he managed to learn was that the Goblins were ruled by a single charismatic leader—a human no less—and that the development and mass production of magical weapons was well underway.
The King was shocked. Magical weapons, which used mana to operate, were known to exist. But no one had ever succeeded in reproducing them, and their full operation was limited and not well understood. What could the Goblins be plotting…?
The King foresaw the approaching doom of his kingdom. But the Order of Knights themselves had failed! After much internal debate, the King decided to place a tremendous bounty on the Gobligan King’s head.
Now he could only wait for a hero to arrive and save them all…
ガイン Gain the Warrior
I am Gain, the wandering warrior. I have travelled east and west, hither and thither, seeking the ultimate weapon. And today again, with my beloved monkey companion Shain, I continue my quest. The other day I won this magic ship “Valhallyzer” in a little bet. Now I’m one step closer to being the strongest! Or so I thought… what’s this? The Gobligan Empire? And a bounty on the Goblin King’s head…! Awesome! With that money, I could buy all the special weapons I want! You Gobligan bastards, keep your necks clean! Cause I’m coming for your heads…
Let me introduce you to my ship, the Valhallyzer. After I won it in a bet I gave it a proper tune-up. Its magical computer uses the ambient mana in the atmosphere with amazing efficiency, enabling someone with no magical abilities like me to wield incredible power! I’d also like to draw your attention to the Buster Sword. Marvel at its razor sharp blade! Even the hard-as-nails hide of that Breath Dragon will be shred to pieces!
チッタ Chitta the Magician
Hello, I’m Chitta. Despite my youthful appearance, I’m a full-fledged magic user! Did you know, my Grandfather was one of the four legendary heroes who sealed away the Evil Overlord? I received magical training from him everyday! But my hometown is a real backwater snooze. I’m dying of boredom here! So I think I’m going to sneak out when Grandfather isn’t looking. I know there’s a whole wide world out there with excitement in store!
I snuck out with my Grandfather’s old magical ship, the “Gun Dalf”. For being so old it sure is amazing! Its “Thunder Beam” is ultra stylish, and the “Ice Cube” is sooo pretty! This is the perfect ship for a magician of my power!
ミヤモト Miyamoto the Samurai Dragon
I am known as Miyamoto. If you would pardon my asking, have you happened to see the giant ninja called Tsumujimaru? He was my disciple, but he turned his ambitions to my Master and murdered him! My Master, who found me and saved me from despair, teaching me the way of Bushido and Ninjutsu… there can be no forgiveness for this. What!? You say he was spotted in the heart of the Gobligan Empire? This time you won’t get away, Tsumujimaru! Prepare yourself!
I use no mechanical devices; I fight with my body alone. I fight with shurikens, ninjutsu stones, and other secret techniques of my tradition. No clumsy machine can compete with my speed and grace!
ボーンナム Bonum the Sorcerer
I am the world’s foremost necromancer, Bornham. There is no shortage of men in this world who detest me and my black arts, but so be it. I have sacrificed my body to the study of my art, and that is a difficult thing for men to understand. Perhaps they are also disturbed by my penchant for bone collecting…hehehehe! Anyway, lately I’ve heard of some “Gobligan Empire” that’s been strutting about unchallenged… this is the perfect opportunity for me to test the power of my magic!
The Golgodian is, in fact, my own body become one with the divine dragon helm that adorns my head. Thus transformed, I can fly in the sky and absorb the ambient mana there, enabling me to cast powerful spells in rapid succession! My personal favorites are “Skull Napalm” with its annihilating fire, and “Search Ghost” which can seek out even the most hidden of enemies!
Well, since you’re here, I’ll tell you of my legendary exploits and introduce these Gobligans as well.
Why the ruler of the Gobligan Empire is a human, I’ve got no idea. But he sure seems to hate humans, so I’m sure there’s some convoluted backstory there. Although the ultimate weapon “Gobligan Emperor” he uses is not yet complete, it looks incredibly powerful. I admit he was a little tough, even for the Mighty Gain!
The Gobligan King’s only son, and good god, this guy doesn’t stop! Everytime I kill him he keeps coming back stronger and with better equipment! He’s a real annoying bastard! Why won’t you just die?! I was really surprised when he came back the third time as Space Bashinet. I can’t believe he was able to merge himself with such a huge machine!
He supposedly killed Miyamoto’s Master, and is as strong as you’d expect! On top of it, he’s such a small target, my shots kept missing him! My homing shots can’t track him either! He was a tough little bastard.
Your journey begins from this floating castle town. Highlights include the detailed spritework of the attacking Goblin soldiers and the fleeing humans, as well as Bashinet’s first appearance! He ruthlessly destroys the townpeople’s homes, igniting your burning sense of justice! Also, please note the cows. (“A game with cows is a good game.” –Toyama)
The boss is the three-headed, cybernetically enhanced “Breath Dragon.” Witness the destructive power of his fire breath!
This stage features a pitched battle in the dark clouds with the giant battleship “Brigadoon.” There is a generous moment midway through the stage where you can collect four bombs. Don’t let them go to waste by dying with bombs in stock! Also, be sure to note the disorganized flailing about of the Goblin Marine Corp and Goblin Captain!
You will be frozen in awe when this boss appears, the magical assault cruiser “Skull Howard the 3rd”! His giant skull face never fails to impress no matter how many times you see it! Watch out for his skull hadouken!
Next, you descend into a dark dungeon that has never seen the light of day. This is where the Gobligan Empire conducts its experiments, so it is teeming with all manner of powerful creatures. The midboss marks Bashinet’s second appearance. His new sawblades that boomerang back are especially deadly. After crushing him again, you fight your way through the sewer. If you get trapped by the slimes, spin your joystick around quickly to escape!
This boss is the giant jelly “Violent Slime.” His hobbling movement may be funny, but you’ll have no time to laugh while fighting him! You might crack a smile at his dribbling, oozing movement he makes when he’s about to die, though!
Now we leave the dungeon and head to the Valley of Ruins! It is a place full of mysterious buildings and objects that look to be some kind of ancient weapons. The enemies here are mecha types excavated from these very ruins. Bornham’s Grandfather was old enough to remember that the city you can see distantly below was once called “Shiva.”
Here we have the third appearance of Bashinet, aka “Bashinet Special.” With his extensive array of massive and powerful weapons, he is truly deserving of the title “special.” Well, his multitude of weapons may not be all that strong, but the thickness of his laser will leave you speechless!
This lengthy stage begins in the floating Gobligan capital. It was once the kingdom of Prince “Giant Slang”, but has since been turned into a weapons factory for the Gobligans. Dealing with attacks from the many tanks and cyber-enhanced magicians can be confusing and tough, but keep cool and endure. After destroying the production sites for the Breath Dragons and Skull Howards, you proceed into the heart of the Gobligan Empire…
Say hello to “Junk Golem”! His cobbled form befits his tyrannical disposition: arms and body from from Skull Howard, his chest from Breath Dragon, and his shoulders mounted with tank cannons. His defense is strong, so be prepared for a long battle!
In the heart of the Gobligan Empire lies a Coliseum. Here you must fight 4 boss-class enemies in a row. The spectators may give you a reward if you win, so keep at it! Your opponents include the corrupted divine dragon “Fire Dragon”, the giant robot operated by six people known as “Great Mecha Goblin,” Tsumujimaru himself, and finally, “Bashinet Final Version,” a bipedal robot that Bashinet has fused himself with.
At last, you face the ultimate weapon “Gobligan Emperor,” piloted by the Gobligan King himself. If completed, it would have been about 57 meters high, but now only the face and hands are ready for operation. Make sure you don’t get crushed by his punch!
In the midst of relaxing music, the villagers, King, and Princess come out to greet you. Just as you’re getting ready to enjoy the ending, the 5th incarnation of Bashinet reappears, bursting out of the castle! Grabbing the Princess in his left hand, he fires bombs at you like a madman. If you shoot the Princess, he fires a dangerous scattered laser pattern from his head. Enjoy his angry reactions as you take him down, and keep shooting!
After defeating Bashinet, you finally get to see the ending. But just before you beat him, don’t miss the children chasing the Goblin soldiers away!
ODDS AND ENDS
It wasn’t until the very end that we finally decided on the title of Mahou Daisakusen. The title needed to convey both “fantasy” and “shooting” at once. Day after day the meetings continued, until we had 108 failed titles (incidentally, the same number of earthly desires). Here we’ll introduce some of the more interesting failures:
Elemental Armor – aside from sounding clichéd, it was too familiar to Elemental Master on the Megadrive.
Destroy the Magic Castle of Gladiolus! – it was supposed to evoke the image of an old adventure story.
Fun Ball – this one had a lot of punch to it… everyone liked it but still, no dice.
Mahou Keiji (Magic Cop) – would have been a STG where you catch magic criminals.
Shuyaku – supposed to make you feel like the shuyaku (main character). fail.
Spell Dynamic – someone liked Dynamic Pro…
Death Pegasus – Death + Pegasus… lacked oomph.
The Invincible Magic G – sounded like a single hero story, no good.
Magic Sensei – would have been a STG where delinquents receive correctional education at magic school…
The Fearless Mages – I liked this one, but it was just too manly for everyone.
At the end of all that we had finally settled on “Mahou Daisensou.” We even had the title logo drawn and everything… but at the AM Show that year we saw Irem’s In the Hunt (Kaiten Daisensou) on display! And so we finally ended up on the slightly altered title Mahou Daisakusen.
In the USA
I think many people know about this already, but when Mahou Daisakusen was released overseas we drew the characters in an American comic book style and publicized it that way. It was just something the designers wanted to try for fun, but it makes for a good bit of trivia. The story can now be told.
One criticism we often received with Mahou Daisakusen was the supposed “gag system” we had advertised. This referred to how when you cleared a stage with two players, they would recite lines to each other in a boke/tsukkomi (fool/straight man) routine. The thing is, that’s all the “gag system” was. But we really oversold it by advertising it in a huge lettering in the promo flyers, “YOU WILL BE THRILLED BY THE GAG SYSTEM!” Anyway, we sweat blood and tears coming up with these, so lets have a look at some of them.
Stage 2 Clear
Bornham: How dare you defy me, the original and true King of Bones!
Miyamoto: Ah…you are a true bone maniac! I admire that!
Stage 3 Clear
Bornham: …what a waste of good dragon bones…
Miyamoto: I bet you’ll find some even bigger ones ahead…
Stage 4 Clear
Bornham: By the way, is there anything you collect?
Miyamoto: Actually, I’m a jar maniac!
Stage 5 Clear
Bornham: Look at these bones, the color, the lustre! I’m in heaven!
Miyamoto: No! Jars are the ultimate art!
Stage 6 Clear
Bornham: Heh! I wouldn’t expect a dragon to understand the majesty of bones!
Miyamoto: Heh! I wouldn’t expect a philistine to understand the beauty of jars!
…What the hell is a “jar maniac.” I’ve forgotten what that was about.
Or rather, I want to forget…