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In may of the year 2020, IchigoBankai opened a preorder thread at SMS Power! for his game Heroes against Demons. The result is a puzzle game that is highly addictive.
Platform: Sega Master System
Release: July 4th, 2020
Number of Players: 1
Heroes against Demons for the Sega Master System
Fabrice Dumas, also known by his nickname Ichigo or IchigoBankai, teamed up with Vingazole to forge the team 2Minds. The first game from their studio is called Heroes against Demons, even though Vingazole was not involved in the project. Polaria Poyon was the composer and created all the different tracks for the game, while Ichigo used his fantastic knowledge of programming. The programs he used were Bmp2Tiles, Emulicious, Meka, PSGlib, Deflemask, Photoshop, Python, Sdcc and Wla-Dx. Heroes against Demons is the winner of the SMS Power! Coding Competitions 2020 and the resonance was overwhelming. Ichigo used all brand new parts for the retail version, from the numbered PCB in black with it´s beautiful design, to the instruction manual and right up to the game cart itself. Those carts are everdrive carts, so the SD card slot is covered by a small, red piece of plastic. For 45,00€ plus shipping, it´s a very fair price. Ichigo has been added a ´thank you´ list on the back of the manual, mentioning Yolt1, Kagesan, Servx and Kusfo to thank them for their additional help with translations and texts.
Story & Gameplay
The Death himself invaded the Kingdom of Amalore with his demons and monsters and is now a few steps away to reach his goal to conquer this mortal world. As the last member of his troops falls down, Osric, the Great King of Amalore is near desperation. Then, right before his eyes, the three Sacred Guardians appear, who banned the Death into the limbo of hell in the past. They are going to confront the Death and the battle begins once again. Will the Sacred Guardians be strong enough to repress the Death this time as well? The goal of the game is to defeat all demons and monsters in puzzle games. The directional pad is essential to navigate the cursor, which is two fields long. With button 2, you can change the position of the cursor from horizontal to vertical and vice versa. Button 1´s purpose is it to switch all the different symbols. The Pause button on the Master System is reliable as always, even after 35 years in it´s job, while the whole field can be renewed by pushing button 1 and 2 at the same time. That will cost 500 gold, the games´currency. A very fair part of the game is the fact that one of the symbols, that can be combined with others, is going to flash up after six seconds if you are unable to find some by yourself. At the beginning, the player can choose between three different characters: the wizardess, the crusader and the hunter. Every member of the Sacred Guardians comes with his/her own skills, which are divided into attack, magic and defense. During the rounds against the demons and monsters, the mentioned gold can be collected and later used in the guild tavern to power up your character, to restore the characters´ life bar or to get a potion that gives you a short boost at the beginning of the next round. During the matches against the enemies, the goal is it to combine three or more symbols of the same type. These symbols are swords, magic books, hearts, gold coins, potions, bombs and shields. The hearts will fill up the life bar a bit, coins are good for your pockets, bombs are very destructive and a whole line will explode and the shields are protecting the hero and reflects the next attack so the enemy is gonna hit himself. The effect of the potions are well explained in the instruction manual. The player has three continues. There are three different endings for the Sacred Guardians, but they can be better or poorer; if the player wins the whole game without using any continue, the best ending is achieved.
Back in the day, when I realized that Ichigo never seemed to complete his project Lost Raider, I was a bit sorrowful because I´ve seen a lot of potential in it. Then I took note of the announcement of the retail version for his game Heroes against Demons and I began to fly up to the sky, sitting on a big fluffy cloud while drinking awesome rice wine with Alex Kidd. I instantly got into Heroes against Demons, despite the fact that I´m not a huge puzzle gamer at all. The game has a huge addictivity and makes a lot of fun, especially since Polaria Poyon´s composition works are made with a lot of passion. It´s a breathtaking soundtrack; she accomplished the feat that you´re never getting tired of it, like the developers of Tetris did in the past. The graphics are stunning, the intro is incredibly detailled and accompanied by the perfect music, the story is excitingly told. It´s fun to try out the three Sacred Guardians and discover all the different enemies. My favourite is the face of the Spirit after losing a match. It is necessary to think strategically to get further. Grab the coins if you can, to collect enough money for the upgrades. I think the best strategy is to combine the attacking symbols that fit the character you have. If you have the crusader, the swords are the most effective attack against the enemy, if you have the wizardess then the magic books are the best way to attack. The profile pictures of all the characters look absolutely amazing too, real pixel art. The brand new parts for the retail version are just great. The instruction manual was made with care and especially the drawings look like from the time when the Master System was at it´s peak. The same for the cover art; everything has been designed and built in a very professional way. Heroes against Demons gets the best note 1, with recommendation for puzzle fans and Master System collectors.
Heroes against Demons can be (pre)ordered at the 2Minds website, until nothing else will be announced.
- Website: heroes-against-demons.2minds.fr
- Thread at SMS Power!: www.smspower.org
All pictures used in this article belong to their respective owners and are presented for journalistic reasons only. Thank you Ichigo and Polaria Poyon for this amazing video game!