game Cover
game HuCard
©1988 Hudson Soft / Vol.5
Release : 1988-01-22 (¥4500)
HuCard (2 Mbits) HC62005
Role Playing game

Jaseiken Necromancer is a role playing game by Hudson Soft and can be considered as the first of its kind to be released for the PC Engine system. The balance of the world is at stake - the demons from the underworld and the gods from the heavens are at war and a legion of hellish creatures driven by an ancient warlord is now trying to take over the realm of the humans. The king has been murdered and a hero must rise and find the legendary Necromancer sword and use it to defeat Azatōsu, the demon king. Jaseiken Necromancer follows a traditional Japanese role playing formula - the player leads a group of several heroes (the main player and two additional characters) who wander around an overhead map, resting in villages where new weapons and other items can be purchased. Playable characters vary from knights and sorcerers, as well as weak heroes who seem to only exist for the sole purpose of added comic relief. They all receive upgrades following a classic system based on experience points. Finally, the player's progress can be saved using a (fairly long) password system.
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Jaseiken Necromancer - art Jaseiken Necromancer can be considered as the first Role Playing Game for the PC Engine system. It was popular in Japan despite its really dark atmosphere and the controversy of blood blowing out of killed enemy characters. This is probably the first feature that will surprise any player - graphics are far from the cute Dragon Quest, or semi-cute Final Fantasy series. Some of the first enemies the player encounter are giant dark butterflies or weird looking zombies with their bodies cut in half and their intestines out on the floor, without forgetting, as aforementioned, the burst of blood that spurts out of them when they get the final hit. Additionally, anyone familiar with the fantastic bio-mechanical work of HR Giger will most certainly recognize the covert art of Jaseiken Necromancer (picture on the left). The famed artist from Switzerland is better known for his work on Ridley Scott's Alien, but he also contributed work for a couple of video game companies, such as Dark Seed and Dark Seed 2 (Sony's Playstation and PC Computers). The following copyright information can be found on the Jaseiken Necromancer HuCard: "package artwork ©H.R.Giger Preproduction by the permission of Ugly Management through Tuttle-Mori Agency".

Interestingly, some sources mention that up to six episodes were planned for Jaseiken Necromancer. Although none of them were apparently ever made, pictures of the enigmatic Jaseiken Necromancer 3 appeared in PC Engine magazines back in the days, and some of them even attest that a demo was available in various stores in Tokyō at the time. The game never surfaced though and its content is still a complete mystery. Hudson Soft released a new enhanced version of the game in 2004 for Cell Phones in Japan (also compatible with the I-Mode system), as well as a direct sequel in 2009. Jaseiken Necromancer: Nightmare Reborn, a more polished version of the sequel, was also released in 2010 for the DSiWare platform.

Jaseiken Necromancer - Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook
Jaseiken Necromancer -  Japanese Comic
Japanese Comic
Jaseiken Necromancer -  Japanese Figurines
Japanese Figurines


Jaseiken Necromancer manual Game illustration Game illustration Jaseiken Necromancer Figurines
Jaseiken Necromancer guidebook Jaseiken Necromancer comic
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Jaseiken Necromancer is notable for its dark atmosphere, and the mix of heroic fantasy and gruesome horror is most certainly interesting and unique. It is overall fairly well put together and nicely presented, and the graphics must have really stood out back in the days. Unlike Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy which featured 'Chibi' heroes, Jaseiken Necromancer offered well-proportioned and realistic character sprites. However, we have here an early RPG and it features all the gameplay elements that make most of them tedious and painful to play - random fights, slow levelling system that is mostly based on heavy grinding, and giant maps using the same handful of grass and tree tiles. Japanese language is also an obvious barrier here, but the game doesn't use any Kanjis which can be a good opportunity for anyone seeking to improve their language skills (although the password system is incredibly cumbersome and unwieldy). All in all, Jaseiken Necromancer is an interesting piece of PC Engine history and its dark atmosphere alone makes the game stand out, but it's a fairly average affair all round.

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