game Cover
game CDRom
(c)1991 KOGADO
CDRom˛ KSCD1001
Role Playing Game

La Valeur is a traditional japanese RPG by Kogado and was probably the first game released by the company for the PC Engine system. A legend says that magic stones have appeared and have the power to grant their owner any wishes. At the same time, a strange temple has magically appeared from the sky and demons are now back to the country. Alan, a young hero and dragon slayer, embarks on a journey to free the country and his journey will start in a small village hidden within a forest along a winding river. His first mission will be to get the village headman's daughter back, and enter the dark cave nearby where she was brought in. A sword and some money are given to our hero from the start, but he will quickly realise that much more will be needed to get all the necessary equipment to fulfil his quest. La Valeur uses many traditional japanese elements : overhead view of the scene and experience and gold acquired during turn based fights. The game offers some original features though. For instance, objects are symbolised by little icons making the whole experience somehow less frustrating for non-japanese speaking players. Fights are also simplified and propose unusual fighting options like cut or pierces. The issue of a fight often depends upon what option and weapon are being used. When confronting a group of monsters, players do not have to worry about which one to hit first, they are all slashed at the same time and can all be killed in one blow. However monsters get stronger as your hero does, and a group of three giant slugs will obviously hit three times as hard... as one.
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Here are some hints to get through the beginning of the game:
The first task is to reach the cave two screens north of the village. My advice would be to level-up first. No need to go beyond level 3 though, Alan will just stop earning experience points until you reach the next area. Do not go to the cave yet, it is dark in there and you need a lantern. The tree-creatures wandering around have one, but you will have to trade it for their favourite dish : a mushroom. There is one hidden in the forest passed the first bridge, but an nasty monster guards it. Only the spear can defeat the beast. This weapon can be purchased in the village. Make sure to use the pierce option ( second option, below attack ) when you fight it though. With the lantern, you can now enter the cave and retrieve the captive girl. Magic rings can also be collected from chests spreaded around the forest. They won't open at first, you must go to the magic shop in the village (hut on the left, after the small bridge) and get the green key. This key has to be explicitly used in front of each chest ( open the menu, pick second option on the right then last option ). Those rings are later used to learn magic spells.

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La Valeur feels and looks old. Difficulty is also very well unbalanced. At the start, our hero won't last more than a couple of seconds, each enemy hit eating most of his life. After a painful first hour, Alan may gain enough experience points to reach another level. But this won't help much though and enemies will still hit you hard. Thanksfully, a sort of red magic radish can be purchased in packs of ten and refill your life at any time. However, be warned ! Items can not be used during fights, so make sure you are strong enough before engaging one ! Japanese language can be a barrier though and some puzzles are tricky to figure out. Alan also stops leveling up if you stay too long in the same area and makes its hard to know if there's anything you missed there the first time. Finally, in-game musics are actually very good, only the varied sound effects are on the down side. All in all, La Valeur is an old and frustrating RPG, especially if your knowledge of japanese is poor.

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