Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 11/20/13

There has always been a dragon here

So, do you know what an MSX Turbo-R is? It’s a very specific type of MSX that was made by Panasonic to play games that the MSX2 couldn’t handle. Only a handful of games were made with the MSX Turbo-R in mind, and Seed of Dragon was one of them. The system as a whole wasn’t all that impressive. In 1990, consoles such as the popular Genesis and SNES had more powerful graphics and better sound capabilities. Seed of Dragon at least tries hard and is a great action game too.

Story- Half of the game is in Japanese and the other half is full English voice acting. You play as a man in space, sent down to Earth to go… defeat stuff to save it? The story isn’t very clear and makes about as much sense in Japanese as it does in English. The ending, as nonsensical as it is, is a little emotional and is a great way to wrap up such a weird game.

Presentation- Everything in Seed of Dragon has a kind of washed out HR Giger look to it. There’s a lot of monochrome, with very few colors despite the MSX Turbo-R’s capabilities. The animation is nice, though and the scrolling is smooth, smoother than any other MSX game out there. Riverhill Soft did a great job on this one, showing that they have mastered the hardware. Okay, it’s pretty obscure hardware, but they mastered it, and that’s what counts! Sprites have that Konami look where they have no face and realistic looking bodies. Bosses are incredible, take up more than half of the screen, and have far more colors than anything else in the game. If you like old school 8-bit sprite work, this is a must see. Seed of Dragon’s music is great too. It’s very heavy on the drums, catchy, and some of the best 8-bit music you can find on the MSX.

Gameplay- Seed of Dragon is an action game with minor RPG elements. You have to explore around various areas, trying to find the boss so you can kill him. You “level up” by acquiring better equipment. Level are pretty long and there are eight in total. You can play them in whatever order you like, but it’s recommended that you play them in sequential order unless you really enjoy losing.

You probably will lose a few times too. Seed of Dragon is hard and it’s hard in the style of old NES games. Bosses have patterns and memorizing their pattern in the only real way to beat them. Repeat until success. This kind of memorization based gameplay will rub some players the wrong way, but if you don’t mind that kind of challenge, you will love Seed of Dragon.

Cool Fact- If you try to run Seed of Dragon on an MSX2, the system crashes. I had to use an emulator to play this thing because my system wouldn’t run it.

Also Try- Valis 2 is another fun MSX game that plays similar to Seed of Dragon with leveling up through equipment and is also part of the Valis series, my personal favorite game series. If you want another game with actual Giger visuals and the word “seed” in the title, try Dark Seed. It’s a bit antiquated, but it’s also a very fun adventure game. If you want something else from Riverhill Soft that’s good, try the Turbo CD version of JB Harold Murder Club. It’s a fun mystery game and it’s in English.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Seed of Dragon (JP, 12/31/90)

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