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Thread Author: Kazuya_UK
Thread ID: 721
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There are 48 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 20068 times.
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Magician Lord Discussion (past GotW thread)
This was a past game of the week discussion thread.

^ Click for full version

Genre: Platform
Meg Count: 46 MB
Players: 1 or 2 player alternate
Released on: Home/MVS/CD

Also available on the Nintendo Wii VC since October 2007

Brief Description:

A launch title on the Neo Geo and one of the first titles that gave gamers a glimpse of what the system had to offer. You control a shape shifting wizard called Elta who can morph into one of six different forms, each with varying attacks to help him battle through eight stages of side scrolling platform action.





Walkthrough of the 1st Stage:


Other media:

Go to the SNK Jukebox to listen to music from this game. The following track(s) are available:

- Stage 1 Theme - Dale of Evil Gods

Link -->

So, let's discuss this game in detail. Have you played this game before or is it a title you have missed out on with it being one of the older titles, and do you have the cart/CD in your collection? Also, how do you rate the game for the era it was released in, and has it stood the test of time well?

Please vote in the Magician Lord poll to your right! -->
Edited by Kazuya_UK on 03. February 2008 15:00
Well, I'm going to start off by apologising for my review of this game, which is linked above. Truth be told I have never been a fan of it, but I think part of that is that I never had the chance to play the game when it was first released so the wow factor that some people talk about was never there for me.

As Goemon put it in the other thread, this game is very much like Ghouls & Ghosts by Capcom, although I have to say that I would rather play that than Magician Lord any day. There are positive things that I can say about it; the graphics are very colourful and detailed for a game of its time, the transformation element is interesting, and the music is pretty cool and above par for the games that were released on the Neo Geo in 1990. However I find the controls quite stiff and unless you are willing to spend a lot of time memorising patterns and tricks for beating the bosses you'll get very frustrated... this is indeed one hell of a tough game, and although I like a challenge... I love Pulstar for instance... Magician Lord has never really held my interest for long.

Many will disagree with me, but I do have respect for the game with it being a Neo Geo launch title. I spent a bit of time playing the game today and had fun, but only got a couple of stages in before I stopped playing. I might persevere for a while and see if I can like it some more, but as it stands I don't hold it in the same high esteem as many other Neo fans. Smile

Much thanks Kaz for the beautiful game preview!
Let's see, I've had next to zero experience with this game before and if I can say one thing after just running through a few levels, it's "thank heaven for unlimited continues!". Honestly, this game is ridiculously hard. Unlike Kaz, I do not enjoy difficult games in general but this one has managed to avoid my wrath thus far by A - returning me to the spot I died and B - killing me so often that it is amusing more than anything.

Anyway, I got as far as the level with lots of frogs and looong ladders. I couldn't find my way out so I stopped there. The music's pretty cool but the animation seems a bit stiff. There's a lot of neat stuff to see in the background though. I'm going to have another go at it pretty soon.
Born to Die
I finished this game before just for the trivia value Grin
it was a good effort back in the day I guess. But I can't think of a reason to play it again away from trivial ones.

I consider it a technological proof of NeoGeo at the time though Smile
Btw, nice idea for a thread Kazuya Wink
Darn this one is a toughie... but it can still be enjoyable... although not one of my favorite Launch titles, you can still have some fun blasting enemies and humming the the awesome soundtrack. It's still playable but it does have a hard time standing the test of time. But this game was really good looking many years ago.One thing of course, I like the transformations esepecially the Dragon and the Ninja. It's a shame they never made another one, they could've improved the sequel in so many ways.
Edited by Atomduck on 21. January 2008 01:46
I might care for the transformations more if I didn't die 2 seconds after getting them. Although the first stage is getting easier. The big obstacle is those damn flying things.
Born to Die
Damn Kaz ....... Reading the first post here makes me really miss the old multi page indepth Neo reviews of the old NGFL.

Any chance they are still around somewhere ?

Hmmm maybe they are cached at the Internet Archive Wink

Dont remember what the old URL is at this point though ?

My two cents on ML ..... Not a bad game though its way to unrefined to be a must have title, but then on the Neo there is no reason not to own it I guess.

As long as you dont expect alot I think most people would be happy with it though. There are certainly worse platformers on the Neo.
Edited by candycab on 21. January 2008 07:44
I spent most of the eighties, most of my life, riding around in somebody else's car, in possession of, or ingested of, something illegal, on my way from something illegal to something illegal with many illegal things happening all around me.

James Newell Osterberg, Jr

"Last screw is hidden under a warranty-voiding sticker. Darn, cant return this thing to the store - guess Ill just have to make a laptop out of it!"

Ben Heck on PS3 Slim
I've played Magician Lord, i like it. The difficulty is extreme but i don't mind, the graphics have a certain charm about them too. I like this game and would buy it.
The more I look at it, the more I have to retract my animation comment. It's definitely there, it's just the ML's sprites have nearly zero character to them. Therefore, stiff sprites - not animation.
I find it amusing that your cape hugs your ass when you climb ladders. It's as if the developers made a concerted effort to put some man-booty in there.
Born to Die
candycab wrote:
Damn Kaz ....... Reading the first post here makes me really miss the old multi page indepth Neo reviews of the old NGFL.

Any chance they are still around somewhere ?

Hmmm maybe they are cached at the Internet Archive Wink

Dont remember what the old URL is at this point though ?

My two cents on ML ..... Not a bad game though its way to unrefined to be a must have title, but then on the Neo there is no reason not to own it I guess.

As long as you dont expect alot I think most people would be happy with it though. There are certainly worse platformers on the Neo.

There are still multi page in-depth reviews on here, as far as I know all the old content was moved across. Example:


That's the 4 page Matrimelee review. Or was it something else you were thinking of? If there's something else missing I still have everything backed up onto disc somewhere so I could have a look for it. I'd definitely like to imporove the review database in some way though, and maybe make it a bit easier to navigate. It also brings me to another point... if we keep doing this game of the week thing, how about we add some people comments from the threads onto the reviews themselves? It's always cool to have the extra info, plus any extra stuff that we dig up like screenshots, flyers, videos etc, could all be added to the reviews too?

Anyway, back on topic. I've been playing Magician Lord a little bit again today, and I can get through stage 1 on level 4 difficulty without dying... that video helped a lot actually. There are also videos on youtube that show much further into the game and might be a big help, just search for Magician Lord and you should find them. The tactics used in those will definitely help you! I do agree with boogiepop what the fact the game doesn't send you back to the start of the level after dying is a godsend in this game!

I kinda like this game and play it once in a while, it's the first Neo Geo game I've ever owned.
The music is pretty good, although a higher amount of songs would have been nice. The graphics are also pretty good for it's time (maybe even now). The biggest problem for this game is the difficulty, also there is one level I really hate. I'ts the level with the ladders, this one alway takes me a long time to finish because I never know where I have to go or where I have been. Also the controls could have been a bit smoother and more precise.
Not a great game, but it's still a nice little old game.
My arcade stuff

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!"
Magician Lord was one of the first games I bought for my AES. In my opinion the game is hard, but not in a "good" way. It can be pretty frustrating. Maybe faster attacks would make this game better, if you could fire shots more rapidly, and at a constant rate. However, I really like the design and looks of the first two stages, and I love the music in the first stage.
Neo-Geo is pure bliss!
Magician Lord is one of the first games I ever saw on the Neo, I remember it used to be in some of the same ads as Nam '75... I never got the chance to play it in the arcades unfortunately but when I finally got to play it in, what, '94 maybe, I was still quite impressed by it. The graphics, though a bit stiff, still stand up to anything else that came from the 16-bit generation. And the sound's okay too. Launch titles are always a bit dodgy, even now *cough* PS3 *cough* Wii, but I think Magician Lord, like Nam '75, has stood the test of time admirably.

It is hard as nails though. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play it. Let's see how far I can get on one credit... My money's on, well, not very bloody far. Wink
Umm, how do you beat the cloud level again? It's making me tear the hair off my head.
Born to Die
Such a difficult game and yet I really like playing it for some reason :sweat:
boogiepop wrote:
Umm, how do you beat the cloud level again? It's making me tear the hair off my head.

Last time I played I just kept jumping and shooting without really stopping and when I almost reached the end I accidently fell/ jumped of a cloud and found out you don't have to jump all the way across.
My arcade stuff

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!"
I never got the chance to play Magician Lord when it was first released, I only discovered it years later through emulation. Ever since it has been one of my favourite non-fighting games on the Neo Geo. A few people mentioned it is a little bit like Ghouls and Ghosts and I would agree. The Neo Geo is not exactly overflowing with platform games so it's nice to have a bit of variety.

The graphics are colourful with some nice parallax scrolling. They still impress me today. As for the soundtrack well this is one of my favourite Neo soundtracks especially stages 1 and 4. The boss stages are quite a sight to behold with impressive looking bosses and dramatic music. Immediately before the boss fight it always amuses me when your evil nemesis speaks to you with some slightly strange phrases like 'be dead down here'.

Magician Lord certainly is very challenging but if I have only ever played this on AES and CD. I read in Kaz's review that 'the difficulty level has been toned down a bit' for the AES version. I can understand people getting frustrated with this game and it might feel a bit stiff to control but I enjoy the fact that this is so challenging. The CD version is by contrast ridiculously easy and means you do not get any sense of achievement when you beat the game. Personally I have never managed to beat the game on AES but I really would like to. I can get all the way to the stage 7 guardian, an armoured knight, just before the boss and can never defeat him.

The cloud section at the start of stage 7 is not as difficult as it might first seem. I first shoot all the eyeballs I can before jumping on the first platform. Then I walk from platform to platform sometimes ducking and sometimes shooting. Then when you have got only part of the way across do a big jump to the left to land on the edge of a platform. It's not an exact science but it should work around 40-50% of the time.

I was playing this game tonight and reached level 6 before saving with the memory card. I had a lot of trouble with those annoying frogmen in level 5.

Anyway I love Magician Lord and feel it really does stand the test of time as a very enjoyable and challenging platformer.
Edited by merlin on 22. January 2008 22:52
Guys would you all mind me adding quotes from the above posts into the review? I was thinking about incorporating them somehow, think it would be a nice addition and it's always good to have different opinions in there.

Also, here's some videos that might give some good gameplay tips Smile

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Guy has skills.... Shock

I think this game looks really good Smile The music kicks ass!It would be a cool idea to have videos of all the games in the reviews section..

Well... keep an eye out over the next week or so because something is coming with regards to videos Wink

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