Secret of the Stars


Secret of the Stars

Infobox VG
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title= Tecmo: Secret of the Stars


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developer= Tecmo
publisher= Tecmo
distributor=
designer=
series=
engine=
version=
released= JPN 1993
NA 1995

genre= RPG
modes= Single player
ratings= ESRB: K-A (Kids to Adults)
platforms= Super NES
media= 1 Cartridge
requirements=
input=

"Secret of the Stars" (named "Aqutallion" in Japan) was a 2D RPG released in 1995 and developed and published by Tecmo for the Super NES.

Gameplay

The battle system follows the traditional RPG battle system where the party trades blows with opponents in simple turn-based fashion, the player selecting all commands for the following round of combat and then watching the results, such as in the Dragon Quest games. Play switches between two parties throughout the game. Certain areas are inaccessible without the right party.

Plot

The main character Ray and his party of Aqutallion warriors quest to find and destroy Homncruse, the evil power threatening their world. Ray begins his journey alone on a tiny island, but eventually he meets his friends and fellow Aqutallion Warriors, Tina, Cody, Leona, and Dan, and even creates a town for the victims of Homncruse's evil to live. Villains encountered along tend to rage from comical, such as Cat Boo and Badbad with his lackeys the Badmen, to the elite generals of evil of Homncruse, Dram, Booth, Gara, and Godem.

Initially all the teens are considered Pennon, the lowest rank of warrior. Before they can destroy Homncruse each of them must undergo a trial at their respective temples hidden around the world to receive the secondary powers of Banalet. Dan is an exception because he is the descendant of the prosperous Wise Man clan of Aqutallion. When Ray, Tina, Cody, and Leona achieve the status of Banalet and are united by the powers of Dan, Aqutallion is reborn and the group gains incredible powers.

The Aqutallions are not alone. 11 members of Kustera can be recruited to fight for the young warriors in their place for a time being. The Kustera are mostly meant to serve as a suppliment to the Aqutallions, but their role in the story is vital to its progression. From the same temples where the Aqutallions gain their Banalet status, there is a Kustera only warp icon that sends the group to a dungeon where great treasures are hidden.

The Aqutallion

Ray:The Leader of the Aqutallion Warriors. He wears a blue jump suit style outfit and has blonde hair. Ray can wield Blades, Hammers, and Guns. Ray's magic consists of fire spells and healing spells. Overall Ray is a well rounded character that can deliver powerful attacks, both physical and magical. His temple is the easiest one to find as it can be found very early after arriving at Old Hill.

Tina:Tina is the first friend Ray finds. While investigating Beegees Ray defeats a group of Badmen and rescues Tina. From then on she follows Ray into battle. She wears a schoolgirl style outfit and has blue hair. Although physically weaker than Ray, Tina can still wield some low level swords as well as staves and wands. Her true potential lies in her magic, which consists of healing, ice, and support style magic. Her temple is the second to be available to challenge.

Cody:Cody is the second friend to be found. Initially he is being held captive by Garados and has been transformed into a Lion, and later turned to gold. Even before being restored to his human form, Cody travels with the group and can even battle, but he doesn't receive Pennon status until he is human again (He also can't use equipment or spells). Cody wears a red shirt with gray pants and has brown hair. He is the strongest of the warriors, and can wield stronger style weapons such as axes and spears, along with swords and hammers. Cody has wind magic as well as a couple of self supportive spells, but because of his strength his magic power is below that of his friends. His temple is located near the towns of Karappon and Codo.

Leona:Leona is the third friend to be found. After saving Cody, the party returns to Decatas to find Leona and her gang. Dram unfortunately kidnaps Leona before she can join. Fortunately he doesn't take her far and the party only has to break into the rich district to recover her. Leona is easily recognizable by the winged crown she wears. She has red hair. Leona is the fastest of the 5 warriors. She can use some swords and claws as her weapon. Leona also receives Lightning magic as well as a few supportive spells. Leona doesn't hit quite as hard as the others, but her attack magic is arguably the strongest, with only Dan possibly beating her. Leona is also capable of equipping certain weapons that can let her attack twice in a row. Leona's temple is located on a snow-covered island. The party will take damage walking across the island, unless the "Step" spell is cast. Dan:The final friend to be found. Unlike the other four, Dan is not Aqutallion, but a Prosperous Wiseman. Only when Dan joins the party will Aqutallion be reborn. Dan and his father reside in a secret tunnel beneath the well of Brasca. Dram discovers this and kills his father, but the four friends are able to defeat Dram and recruit Dan to their party. Dan is the youngest and shortest of the group. He wears a green jumpsuit and has purple hair. Physically weak, Dan makes up for this with a wide range of spells. He receives the best healing spells as well as the non-elemental bomb spell. Once Dan gains more levels he will often replace Tina as the main healer of the group due to his ability to heal everyone with one spell. Since Dan is not Aqutallion there is no temple for him to challenge. Dan's attack magic may be stronger than Leona's, but it has two drawbacks. (1) Dan's spells cost a ton of MP to cast. (2) Dan is often needed in more of a supportive and healing role, so Leona is usually the one to magically attack the opponent.

The Kustera

David:David serves as an early mentor for Ray on his home island and leads Ray to his starcrest. David is a purely physical character. He can't use spells, but has a wide range of weapons and armor he can equip.

Ryu:After restoring the people of Beegees to their human forms, Ryu becomes available for recruitment in the town. Ryu is a ninja, which means he is exceptionally fast and can equip certain unique weapons. He also has access to some low level attack and healing spells

Ben:When arriving in Decates, Ben's wife can enlist your help in bringing Ben out of his drunken stupor to fight once again. Ben is a priest, and has a spell and equipment selection very similar to Tina's.

Andy:The boxer from Box Town. He joins the party after you defeat him and his brother. Like David, Andy is purely physical attacker, however he has a much more limited selection of weapons and armor to choose from.

Arthur:Andy's brother who resides in the town of Sleepers. He joins when you defeat him and his brother. Arthur is the exact opposite of Andy. He is very physically frail but has a wide range of attack magic he can use.

Jubei:A samurai warrior from Onsaka. He is recruited after you defeat him. Jubei is another purely phyiscal character. He has a wide selction of weapons to choose from, as well as a couple unique samurai style weapons only available to him.

Murray:A wizard trapped in Moreyees. Once you free him from the curse keeping him prisoner he joins you. Like Arthur, he is very frail phyiscal, but can use powerful magic spells.

Shark:Found in a small house in the area of Bonzley. Shark will join you only when all 5 Aqutallion warriors are together (after getting Dan essentially). Shark is very similar to David, having no magic but wielding a variety of weapons and armor.

Evelyn:The bunny thief in Elekees. All you have to do is talk to her and she joins. Evelyn is like Leona, except she can't use magic.

Kathy:An Archer from the female town of Amaboss. She'll join with Beth after you enter the town. Kathy is another physical character, except she uses bows as her weapons.

Beth:A medic from the female town of Amaboss. She'll join with Kathy after you enter the town. Beth is a powerful healer, but has no access to attack spells.

The Villains

Cat Boo:The first available boss fight in the game. Cat Boo is originally an optional boss fight on Ray's home island. With proper gear and gaining a couple levels, he can be taken down very quickly. On the main continent Cat Boo becomes a common enemy.

Badbad:The leader of the Badmen. He has used a Dog Pill to turn the citizens of Beegees into dogs, and has the only other Dog Pill that can return them to normal.

The Ringo Brothers, Bingo and Leech:These are lieutenants of Homncruse who have kidnapped the children from neighboring towns and are holding them for Homncruse.

Garados:The owner of the circus, and another lieutenant of Homncruse. He has kidnapped Cody and transformed him into a Lion to keep the Aqutallions from reuniting.

Dram:The 1st general of Homncruse. Dram is a giant man covered in plate mail and wielding giant axes. He is sent to destroy Dan, and ultimately prevent Aqutallion from being reborn. He is easily the weakest of the four generals, as he is defeated by only four of the warriors. He later is resurrected as Bio Dram to battle the Aqutallions once again.

Booth:The 2nd general of Homncruse. He is a troll like creature who wears a white hood and cloak. Booth is responsible for the destruction of Alazina, the town closest to his castle. He is later resurrected as Bio Booth.

Gara:The 3rd general of Homncruse. The only female general, and the only general to look like a normal human. Gara maintains rule of the city of Amaboss from her castle. She is resurrected later as Bio Gara.

Godem:The 4th general of Homncruse. A winged bat like creature, Godem is responsible for the ultimate destruction of the Aqutallions Temples. He is resurrected later as Bio Godem.

Homncruse:The source of evil in the game and final boss fight. His name may be a corruption of "Homunculus", and his creator Parakless a corruption of "Paracelsus".

Developmental History

A prototype of the USA version of Secret Of The Stars, has a slightly different title screen and has frequent gameplay glitches to the point of being unplayable.

Reception

The game was panned by many critics and gamers. One major complaint was about the separation of Aqutallion and Kustera parties; others complained that the Kusteras were never fully used in the course of the game. In addition, being required to level up two parties exacerbated what they believed to be a system that required excessive leveling to advance the plot, and the relatively high amount of enemies that are needed for the player's party to gain levels. Even the story, graphics and gameplay were attacked by many, calling them poorly written, NES-like, and simplistic. Since then, Tecmo has not made any similar role-playing games.

External links

*moby game|id=/secret-of-the-stars
* [http://www.allrpg.com/games/secretofthestars/index.php3?page=review&num=1 ALL RPG Review]
* [http://www.vgmuseum.com/end/snes/b/tecstar.htm Secret of the Stars game ending]
* [http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/snes/data/588647.html GameFAQs Link]


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