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Sorcerian

aka: Dragon Slayer 5: Sorcerian
Moby ID: 1010
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Description official descriptions

Sorcerian is the fifth game in the Dragon Slayer series. It is set in the fantasy land known as Pentawa, whose inhabitants are in constant need of protection from ferocious creatures roaming the wilderness. The king of Pentawa hires a party of adventurers, and their first assignment is to retrieve a precious sceptre from a dungeon, where it is guarded by the evil demonic lord Ouks.

The game is an RPG with an unusual side-scrolling perspective and action-based combat, somewhat of a cross between Wizardry and platform games. Despite being a Japanese game, Sorcerian resembles Western RPGs of its time, focusing more on character development than story. In the beginning, the player creates a party of four characters, choosing between fighter, wizard, elf, and dwarf (races and classes are not distinguished). Beside the usual inns and shops, there are many things that can be done in the towns of the game, including complex development of magical spells (up to 120 spells of different disciplines), training to raise personal skills (strength, intelligence, etc.), enchanting weapons with elemental magic, as well as looking for part-time jobs.

The view switches to side-scrolling when the party ventures into a hostile area. Combat is performed in real time, with the player controlling the entire party at once. The lead character can be changed at any time, and battle actions will be carried out by whoever is in front. Melee attacks and magic spells are unleashed by pressing corresponding buttons. The characters can also jump and interact with objects by bumping into them. Dungeons are usually maze-like, and some contain simple puzzles such as finding and activating hidden switches to open doors.

Spellings

  • ソーサリアン - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (PC-88 version)

30 People (17 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 51% (based on 7 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 57 ratings with 3 reviews)

A console-ported RPG with some arcade qualities

The Good
The one aspect I truly enjoy about this game was the fact that your characters can age as the game progresses, their character portraits going grey as the characters get older. Age is a factor most games don't factor in (since many don't take place over any extreme amount of time) but this addition gives Sorcerian an epic feeling.

Although incredibly simplied, the interface serves its purposes and the game is fairly easy to play.



The Bad
I could sum up my dislikes of this game in the simple terms of: console port.

I have never been a big fan of console RPGs. The mentalities of your standard Japanese console RPGs and Americna PC RPGs are vastly different. Console RPGs don't even try to hide their powergaming, number emphasis nature behind pretty interfaces or fancy stories. Your goal is to go out, do whatever you were required to do, collect whatever else you can find along the way, and go back to town. Aside from the stories provided in the manual, there's little to no storytelling. If you believe Darkstone or Diablo are shallow RPGs, avoid Sorcerian.

There's also a goofy arcade element. Your party moves along in a side scroller fashion (similar to the second Zelda game, or an old NES game) and combat occurs in this mode. Your party all moves and jumps at the same time, jumping over fireballs and dodging bats. It looks silly and makes the game for action oriented than some RPG fans may wish.

The Bottom Line
Not without a few merits, at Sorcerian's center is a console RPG and one must be wary of such. Fans of the old Final Fantasy games for the NES may enjoy themselves here, but anyone seeking a Bard's Tale or Ultima should steer clear.

DOS · by Ray Soderlund (3501) · 2000

One of the most unique RPGs to come out for the PC.

The Good
First of all - Sorcerian had the best music of any game I ever played from the 80's on the PC, period. And the graphics were excellent at the time, and will still hold, because of the unique high-res EGA look. The ability to play your characters over their entire life was another romantic approach at roleplaying and getting to become attached to your players. It was an absolutely beautiful game for its time.

The Bad
Trying to enchant stuff into items was quite confusing, and painstaking, as well as the fact that your party was essentially just a walking howitzer wandering around the countryside in a line once you had some enchanted artifacts. There was a lot to be improved in gameplay because of the two dimensional platform-like way that the game was played. And I never did finish the last mission, it was just too hard.

The Bottom Line
Sorcerian stands out as a very unique RPG for the PC, and is definitely worth taking a look at. I just get so sentimental thinking about it.....

DOS · by Old man gamer (381) · 2000

Unique RPG, but can be tedious

The Good
What I like most about this game is that it has a great atmosphere. The music is great and the graphics create an interesting game world to explore. Every scenario has its own feel and it helps to make the game interesting to explore. For it's time, the hi-res EGA make the game look sharp. Also, very few RPGs actually age their characters, and it adds an interesting dimension to the gameplay.

The Bad
The scenarios can quickly become an exercise in frustration by making you trace your steps through several doors and areas that look almost identical. I've never gotten the enchantment system to work right, which is a shame because in the manual there are tons of spells and effects available to the player. I've only been able to get basic fireball spells to work. Some of the dialog does not make a whole lot of sense.

The Bottom Line
A nice side-scrolling action RPG that has a lot of potential, but can become frustrating quickly.

DOS · by Clayton Cushman (194) · 2010

Trivia

The game features over 60 music tunes!

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Related Sites +

  • Sorcerian Solution
    This is the ONLY sorcerian walkthrough out there! Believe a person that spent three years of searching to find it!

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1010
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Yakumo.

Genesis added by J. Michael Bottorff. Wii added by yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy). TurboGrafx CD added by Zovni. PC-88, PC-98 added by Terok Nor. Sharp X1, MSX added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Gene Davison, Unicorn Lynx, Игги Друге.

Game added March 9, 2000. Last modified January 25, 2024.