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Retro Fire

Written: 6.13.13
Acquired: 2.13.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $9

Pub: EnixOct. '93
Dev: Copya Systems12 MEGS

Back in the day I didn't give a DAMN about the RPG genre. However, a big part of me was always intrigued with the lesser touted games. And I can remember seeing the ad and preview of this game, and being semi-curious about it, despite my non-love for the genre at the time. One of the coolest things about being older is having the luxury of going back to experience your childhood curiosities. How did Paladin's Quest fare?
If nothing else, that is one gorgeous and awesome looking cover

                                                     "UVO, TAKE ME BACK TO JANUARY 1st, 1994"

I bought this game cart only originally in 2006. Later I bought another copy, complete, in 2010. Was I in for a very lovely surprise or what when I realized the game I had bought was being passed down to me from its first original owner, receipt and all!  I love archiving and documentation, even if it isn't mine. Just look at this receipt. The things that run through my mind. I can't help but notice he bought it right after lunch on 1.1.94. Paladin's Quest was released about two months ago or so. Did he want it for Christmas?  Did he have to save up in order to buy it?  Did his parents buy it for him?  How old was he?  Was it his # 1 choice?  Did he rent it, or had he borrowed it from a friend previously? I picture a starving RPG nut power walking to Babbage's after eating a Big Mac combo meal in the food court, determined to purchase Paladin's Quest on the first day of the new year   Ever wonder what happened to games ya bought back in the day?

Heh, it's also fun to look at the prices back then. I so remember when SNES games were fetching $70 just about. Our little friend is quite the high roller, isn't he?  Busting out a Benjamin Franklin in cash there. I wonder if he came to regret his decision to buy the game. I wonder if he liked it or did he hated it. I wonder why he finally decided to part ways with it and I wonder where it was stashed from 1995 to 2010. I also wonder what he did to celebrate New Years the night before
Sorry, I'm just wired [You mean "weird" -Ed.] like that, ya see...

                                       There's sumthin cool bout buying a game from its original owner


The game opens up with his classmates egging our hero on

                                        Our hero caves in, accepting the dare, which will unleash hell...

Be prepared for loads and loads of cut off letters

Battles with 6 or more bad guys can get a little drawn out. You'll need a healthy dose of patience with this

                                            Paladin's Quest is a slower moving, more methodical RPG

Speaking of battles, here's the battle menu. It's pretty cool that you can select commands simply by pressing the D-Pad. If you click on weapon, you can see in the second shot that it then opens up a variety of options, from attacking to healing. Theoretically, you could play this game's battles with one hand. The other hand you can use to... well, nevermind

The good duke, Duke, follows you up the Tower of Gabnid. What you are about to discover is far beyond anything you could have imagined

Don't forget to open treasure containers, like the one on bottom

You ever had a dare go
REALLY wrong before?
Well, our hero is about
to experience just that!

                                       [I double, no, TRIPLE dog dare you to play SNES Ultraman -Ed.]

Way to go, pal. You've just activated DAL GREN: world destroyer

                                                               Not your best moment ever, is it?

Dal Gren automatically punishes you. There's nothing you can do

Geez, one little dare gone wrong and you're half responsible for having wiped out your own land. Talk about a rough day

                                            DESPAIR. DESTRUCTION. DESOLATION. DOOMED. DAMN

Sad but true. The hero moves at a snail-like pace, and there is no run option in sight. It's enough to turn off some players for good. I'm not joking when I said it requires more patience than the average RPG

Factor in the slower paced battles and it's a very methodical RPG

See that ole liquor bottle sign there?  That means you've located the local tavern. It is here that you can recruit mercenaries for hire. There are many as you trek throughout the game. Upgrading and managing your allies is part of the key to your success. Keep in mind some allies are not always what they seem...

                                         Give props where it's due. The mercenary hire system = unique

You can look up their stats and abilities prior to plopping down the cash. Choose and manage your allies wisely is the key...

Thankfully you can swap 'em out too (well, most of 'em anyhow)

It's a simple and classic formula. You know what you're getting. Diehards will probably get some enjoyment from it. Give it a shot if you've already beaten everything else!

                                        But don't rush to play it if you still haven't defeated the top dogs

Ah, Gremlins. Loved that movie back in the good ol' '80s. There's three of them here, but thankfully they're not too difficult. Make quick work of them and leave before the house burns down to the ground

What did I say about feeding them after midnight??

Normally I would say that this is one hopping party, but it looks anything but!

                                                  "Damnit Steve, killed another party again, didja?"

"Hey, how about this place?"

"Dunno man, looks like a shady part of town to me"


"Did you hear that?"

"I don't think that was my stomach..."

"Let's crash this shindig"

"Alright... I guess beggars can't be choosers after all..."

Sometimes it feels like you can walk a decent distance without a fight. Other times it seems like you can't take four steps without a random battle

                                         This can make collecting "way out there" items a bit of a pain!

Alornso is no cake walk. You will need to make every battle turn count, especially since your party is only at two members at this point

He can dish out the hurt in a hurry!

Make sure you develop your hero's spells. Unlike other RPGs where leveling up means your magic ability goes up as well, here in PQ you can only level up your spells by using them. Another unique concept was that there is no MP count. Using spells takes points from your HP. It seems funky at first, but became second nature before long

                                       Developing your spells is the only way you'll be able to win it all

A bunch of haters and critics, no doubt...

                                              Get used to seeing strange abbreviations and cut-off text!

Not all allies leave at your request. Some will exit the party on their own, in an attempt to fulfill their own destiny. Mercenaries come and go. Only loyal Midia remains throughout. Goes to show you the priceless value of a true friend who sticks with you thick and thin. You're truly blessed if you have two or three friends like Midia in real life. See ya, Fritz!

Soul piercing conversations shared at midnight = the best

                                        Gotta love that Midia. She always knows how to pump a guy up

Paladin's Quest
is full of strange looking towns and villages. It all adds to its weird quirky atmosphere. Although the visuals are
a bit of a disappointment, the creativity behind 'em isn't completely lost. You feel like they didn't quite hit the mark they wanted to, but that enough of the target was hit to pull you into a fascinatingly odd world that's reminiscent
of a very wacky acid trip

PQ is a middle of the road RPG with an out of this world style

It's always a nice mini-rush when you click on
shelves and cabinets
and then you hear the
sound effect that plays
everytime you've found
an item. Good feeling!

                                           Wouldn't it be awesome if it were that way in real life, too?!

The points added are random. Neat when you get the higher end!

Many more bizarre locales await. Don't hesitate, play this amazing game right now! At least, that's what I wish I could say. Play it if you have beaten the rest...

                                                      I hope you're not afraid of heights, my friend...

Ominous and unsettling scenes are the order of the day

                                                 Cynical?  Me?  Never!  Just speaking the truth here...

UGH!  This part. How I loathe thee. This must have drove the few dozen people who played this game back in the day crazy. Now we have technical marvels like Youtube to show you the way. You may say it's cheap, but try solving this bit for 10 minutes, before you too throw your hands up in the air. Sometimes, it just ain't worth it. When you get to this part, just remember my words...

The most annoying and infuriating part of Paladin's Quest. GAH!

                                                   LENNUS II -- THE SEQUEL TO PALADIN'S QUEST

Not very well known is the fact that Paladin's Quest saw a sequel, Lennus II, released only in Japan over the summer of 1996. Thanks to the efforts of hearty translators, gamers who don't read Japanese can now enjoy and play through "lost" games like Lennus II. I recently went through the sequel, and am happy to report that it improves upon the original in pretty much every way. It's no Chrono Trigger, but what is?  RPG lovers will enjoy Lennus II... which quite nicely makes several references back to the original game, such as the scene that mentions Midia. It is not necessary to play Paladin's Quest first but if you wanna know the complete backstory then it's ideal to beat PQ first. However, some may find PQ off-putting, so you might want to skip straight to Lennus II if that's the case. You gotta love the repro scene... so many solid and awesome games we could only dream of playing are now accessible... as if they came out on the Super Nintendo so many moons ago. Lennus II won't rock your world but it's not a bad way at all to spend a couple weeks


Probably the coolest thing about the game is the box cover art, which absolutely does a stellar and nifty job of conveying a MAGICAL adventure. The game itself wasn't revered in the least. EGM gave it scores of 8, 8, 6, 6 and 5. Super Play rated it 62%. GameFan completely overlooked it, which all but pretty much suggests they didn't think much of it; otherwise, they would have promoted PQ. Indeed, in a world of great RPGs, Paladin's Quest battles for the scraps of "HEY, LOOK AT ME!"
Awesome cover, not so awesome game

Not only does it have a cool cover but probably the best looking title as well on the entire SNES scene. Lovely isn't it ^_^

                                       ... is for diehard SNES RPG warriors only. Plenty better out there!


The SNES has such an amazing library when you think about it. The RPG genre is well represented; some of the very best call Super Nintendo home. As someone who not too long ago fell in love with the genre, I'm experiencing gaming redemption left and right. Playing through games like TERRANIGMA and Tales of Phantasia for the first time has been a blast. On my quest to play all the ones that interest me, Paladin's Quest has always intrigued me. It's lesser known, has a unique art style and seemed like it might be somewhat of a sleeper hit. After investing just over 30 hours during the span of three and a half weeks to finish the adventure, I can safely say that it resides somewhere in the middle of the pack. It's not great, but it's not without some redeeming values, either

It resides firmly somewhere in the middle of the SNES RPG pack

Let's start with the good. The first thing that strikes you about Paladin's Quest is no doubt the pastel-like visuals. This helps to give the game a rather distinct style... you just don't see many RPGs with the kind of look that you find here. Second, we have the nifty mercenary system, where you are free to recruit the allies you desire. It gives the game some strategy and even serves as sort of an in-game difficulty buffer. Want to make it tougher? Pick the weaker fighters. Want to give yourself the best shot? Then pick the most ruthless assassins. Variety is the spice of life. On the negative side, your hero moves as if he's got crap in his boxers, battles tend to drag at times, bosses are weak and the battle system in general is a bit awkwardly constructed. Sure there are some pretty good tunes, but the music isn't particularly anything to write home about. What you have here is a slightly better than average RPG... one that you shouldn't rush out to play, but a decent choice when you've beaten the rest. Some actually love Paladin's Quest, so who knows, you may fall in that boat with them. Me, it was best in the first half; the second half or last third began to drag a bit too much. Definitely had potential, but execution fell a little short. The Super Famicom only sequel Lennus II is a far better and more satisfying effort. Try that one!

Graphics: 6
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6
Longevity: 6

Overall: 6.0

Give Paladin's Quest a shot if you must, but the sequel's superior!

                                       Enemy map is simply scrumptious. Love the color. Classic SNES

Weapon and item chart is also super helpful. Damn abbreviations

                                       I love SNES RPGs, along with all their charming packaging!  ^_^