Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 10/17/13

Pure Escapism

Warning! Quintia Road is a hentai adventure game. It has scenes of cartoon characters having sex with each other. The sex scenes are brief. If you blink, you’ll probably miss them, but they’re there and they exist in the game. If you are too young to play games with sex in them or just don’t like erotic games, then you should probably skip this one.

Quintia Road is an amazing game, but it’s something that many people will probably never play. There’s a lot of perfectly legitimate reasons to avoid this game. It’s a text heavy adventure game in Japanese, so if you can’t read katakana, then you’re out. It has erotic scenes, so if you’re too young to play or are offended by sex, then you’re out. It has a Nazi fighter pilot as its protagonist, and that should scare off anyone left. Wait! Before you head off in disgust, let me explain. The main character may fight for Nazi Germany, but that doesn’t mean he believes in what he fights for. One of the main themes in Quintia Road is escapism. The main character here doesn’t believe in the war he’s fighting and is critical of the Nazi party’s warped ideals. When it comes down to it, he wants to escape. You’d want to run away too if you were forced into dying for Nazi Germany.

Story- Quintia Road is about a Michael Ilgner German World War II pilot who is about to go into combat for the first time. His plane gets sucked into a vortex in the sky. He thinks he arrived at Normandy, but instead he’s in the magical world of Quintia, a beautiful world of magic and wonder. Some beautiful women find Michael and are in awe of his fighter plane. It’s guns are far stronger than any magic they had ever seen and its speed is faster than any flying beast in Quintia. The world of Quintia is at war, however. There is an evil wizard with hordes of monsters laying siege to the peaceful humans and magical creatures. The beautiful women believe Michael and his plane to be their key to salvation and want him to win their war against the evil monsters.

Keep in mind that Michael, the hero of the story, is technically a Nazi. Though he may be a Nazi, he’s still a human, and a heroic and courageous one too.

Quintia Road is actually a pretty complex story. It deals with a lot of complex issues, but the main theme is escapism. Michael is a soldier. His commander made him fight. It wasn’t his choice to be a Nazi, he was drafted into the Luftwaffe. He never wanted to fly over Normandy where he would probably die. If you were in his shoes, wouldn’t you want to just magically fly away to a land of beautiful women where everyone loved you and declared you their savior? Michael doesn’t want to fight a war he doesn’t believe in. He doesn’t want to kill people, he wants to save them. …Except he can’t do that. Being transported to Quintia is like a dream come true for Michael. He’s a very complex character and the story would simply not be the same without him.

Michael goes on a fantastic journey through Quintia. He meets many interesting people, slays all kinds of horrible monsters, wins the respect and love of entire nations, and even has two half naked women as his sidekicks/girlfriends. He ends up sleeping with both of them regularly! Quintia Road’s sense of escapism and wish fulfillment may be off-putting to some, but if you can understand the story, it’s beautiful. Beneath all of the fantasy and fun, you have one very depressed man who doesn’t want to die for his country and doesn’t believe in the iron cross on his uniform. On Earth, he’s weak and disposable. In Quintia, he’s strong and indispensable. The choice of making the hero a German solider in World War II may have been a controversial choice, but it works here.

Presentation- Quintia Road has a very long opening movie that is fully animated and pushes the X68000’s hardware to its limit. Who ever thought the machine would experience slowdown in something that has nothing to do with gameplay? Most of the game consists of looking at still frames with limited animation. The art is actually pretty good. Everything has that special kind of late 80s fantasy anime look to it that was all over video games for a time. Every so often, you see some super deformed characters in comedic scenes, but other than that, Quintia Road looks good.

The soundtrack is mostly lighthearted and happy. There are a few serious sounding tracks that play during dramatic scenes or just play to pump you up for a huge battle, but most of the time, the music is upbeat and cheerful. It does a great job at conveying the themes of escapism in Quintia Road. Depressed and alienated people like Michael would enjoy some happy music to get his mind on something more pleasant.

Gameplay- Quintia Road puts on the facade of a role playing game. You get a bar full of hit points, different kinds of attacks, and have a turn based battle system for when it’s time to fight. You also have some brief exploration segments. Part of Quintia Road is flying your plane from location to location, talking to people, solving their problems, fighting the forces of evil, and bringing hope to the good guys who are losing the war. Other parts of the game involve selecting verbs from a table until you choose the correct set verb so you can move on. It’s stuff like “look, talk, move, etc.” This is pretty standard as far as Japanese adventure games go.

Quintia Road is an unforgettable adventure. It takes you all over the place across its four disks. You might feel a little bit sad when it’s all over. The fantasy is gone and it’s back to your normal life, back to reality, and back to your figurative Luftwaffe duties. While escapism has its downsides, it’s hard to argue how it can make people feel really good. Quintia Road is a feel-good game, and in that respect, it does everything that it tries to do well, which is always a sign of a great game.

Cool Fact- Players are meant to see a little bit of themselves in Michael. He’s made to be relatable to gamers, especially if you play games for the escapism aspect.

Also Try- AmbivalenZ has very similar gameplay. It’s also an adventure game with a mock RPG shell. It’s story is much longer than Quintia Road, but it’s more of a straight fantasy romance story about killing demons. If you want a game like this that’s actually in English, YU-NO got a fan translation and has a very involved story. If you’re looking for a story that is the anti Quintia Road, try Final Fantasy Tactic Advance. It doesn’t get any more anti-escapist than that.

Rating: 9

Product Release: Quintia Road (JP, 07/19/91)

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