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Written: 11.29.13
Acquired: 2.2.13
Status: Cart only
Price: $44

Pub: SquaresoftMay 1996
Dev: Sting24 MEGS

On a system that's loaded with brilliant RPGs left and right, Treasure Hunter G doesn't get enough credit. And I firmly believe it's not a case of the game being an acquired taste; rather, it's just something most people have not played. Thanks to the almighty repro scene, lost gems like this have been fully translated and are ready to be explored. If you ever wanted to save the world with a pair of brothers, a girl and a quirky monkey, if that's you, then you have come to the right place ^_^
It just might very well be the finest SNES RPG you've yet to play...

                                                    A LONG LOST HIDDEN TREASURE UNEARTHED

Treasure Hunter G was one of those games I not only missed, but I never heard of until a few years back. Sadly, I feel it's the same way with too many others. Some people like to call it RPG-ing meets Donkey Kong Country. Given the pre-rendered graphics and a primate companion, it's easy to see why. Sadly, by the time this game came out, May 1996, the SNES was already dead in the water, virtually. As such, it never had an American release. Seemingly, for years on end, all was lost. But then thanks to a fine and dedicated gentleman by the name of Metalhawk, gamers can now experience 'lost' gems like Treasure Hunter G in all its English glory. Ya gotta love those people who made it possible, as they have opened up a new portal to SNES gaming. What I love about this game is how MUCH you can explore your environment. By comparison it makes searching in other RPGs look downright primitive. If you see it you can smash it. We're talking jars, pots, barrels, heck, even bushes aren't safe from your OCD thirst to treasure hunt. This leads to discovering useful items and the like, which make exploring the landscape a hoot and a half. It's a riot running around, destroying the surroundings and discovering secrets galore

Treasure Hunter G has
a charming exploratory feeling to it, and it's only fitting, given the title of the game. You'll trek through some unique locations and spoil yourself to some truly awe-inspiring sights, all in the good name of treasure hunting. Along the way there are plenty
of apoplectic bad guys to dismantle, funky NPCs to interact with and various allies that are certain to leave a lasting impression. It's a journey you owe to yourself to embark on... let's take a closer look...
A congruous marriage of tactics + RPG, it's one not to be missed


Red is the main protagonist. Not surprisingly, he is the strongest character of your posse. Although he cannot use long-ranged weapons, he does swing a mean sword. Sadly, his mother passed away when he was young, and his father, Brown G, is often away on his treasure hunting madcap adventures. Therefore, Red was forced to fend for himself and take care of his younger brother for all those years. Robbed of a robust childhood, Red can be defiant and rebellious. He has the least amount of action points, so he doesn't get around as much as the others, but the most evade and health points. Overall, Red's a solid cat

Growing up as latchkey children, without a mother or a father around during those crucial childhood development years, Blue has been rendered, pardon the pun, helpless. He is often found crying and whining; it's probably safe to say that he's one of the most feminine male characters in SNES gaming history. However, don't judge a book by its cover because Blue is handy in battle. He wields a mean axe or spear, which can strike two squares away and hit two baddies at once. Owning the second highest amount of ACT and health points, he can set deadly traps as well

Who is Rain?  You're not entirely sure when she shows up on the scene but being compassionate (and possibly horny) you take her in all the same. Rain's the kind of gal that sees trouble following her around everywhere. She's constantly being stalked by evil. Yeah, I'm not so sure I'd take her in personally, but hey, every RPG has to have that token female lass. And surprise surprise, she is the weakest of the group, but has the most ACT points and some powerful (healing) spells that are sure to come in handy. She can also communicate with her primate pal

Monkeys, you can't live with them, you can't live without them. Or so the saying goes [There is no saying of such, fool -Ed.]. Ponga is one cool little critter. It's hard not to fall in love with him. Able to play the violin and use magic, Ponga is unusually gifted for a monkey. He strikes with cutters which can hit up to two spaces (be careful you don't nail your own allies, which YES, you actually can) and he is capable of learning ALL the spells within the game. Not just here to be a token cute mascot, Ponga is well rounded and will endear himself to your gaming heart


Indeed, rather than your typical traditional turn based combat, you instead operate on a grid system that sees every movement count as an action, and you only have a set number of action per round. There are blue, yellow and red squares. Each color, then, eats up progressively more points

It's a unique, different, very fun take on the RPG combat system

Another sick feature of Treasure Hunter G is how each strike grants you experience points on the fly, rather than coming all at the end as most other RPGs do. This allows you to level up in the middle of a fight, which is totally awesome. Also, every character levels up for every 100 points they gain. Yes, you read that right!  The game moves fast and it's neat to see your levels climb rapidly!

                                       Between the ACT points and the leveling up system, THG delivers

It never shifts to a new battle scene. You just fight it out wherever you are. Very cool stuff, and it ensures that each battle will be unique due to the ever shifting landscape. You can attack diagonally or from behind. Certain weapons allow you to clobber from a couple squares away, saving ACT points for more strikes and less maneuvering. Brilliant

Gone are the mindless tap-tap battles that fill up most other RPGs

There aren't many tactical strategy RPGs on the 16-bit SNES, so it's nice that this not only fills that void but it does so with flying colors. You can attack in 8 directions, cast spells, use items, hell, even set booby traps, and so forth. Crowding a miscreant, or setting one up to be blown SKY HIGH by means of a well placed land mine, it's intriguing and loads of fun

                                       In a genre filled with me-too RPGs, Treasure Hunter G stands out

Playing Treasure Hunter G harkens me back to when I first completed Shining Force. The grid tactical battle style appealed to me tremendously. It felt more rewarding killing bad guys when you actually had to move your way through any given battle war zone. Shining Force remains a CLASSIC that holds up well to this day

Shining Force (Sega Genesis) is a shining example of the genre

                                                                        THE STORY GOES...

                                             This Gamrius VI guy wasn't all that original, was he now?

In a way, the game was refreshing due to its pure simplicity  ^_^

                                        Indeed, it proves not every great RPG needs to be 40 hours long

*cue dramatic horn sounding blares from PACIFIC RIM's trailer*

                                       It's amazing what programmers were able to do late in SNES' life

Link always wanted a Super Nintendo sequel to Link to the Past,
but he was told sorry, it ain't happening. It was then that he took
matters into his own hand by crashing various other SNES titles

"Uhhh... I think you took the wrong portal, pal... this is MY game, Nangoku Papuwa-kun"
"What?!  Oh... I guess I have slipped into the wrong portal, accidentally... heh, my bad..."

Link runs back to his own world but not before popping up in Treasure Hunter G, too

                                           Because silly, it's obviously a dramatic plot point in a RPG...

Plot ain't original but who cares when the game's as fun as this is

                                        Squaresoft's last published Super Nintendo swan song...  *sniff*

Why didn't I know of or play this game earlier? Treasure Hunter G is a fantastic RPG that is packed full of action, exploration, treasures and humorous dialogue. It's a must-play for any diehard

Be sure to play this as soon as you can. You'll be glad you did

                                                                    THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!

                                        From the very start ya knew you would be in for a fun adventure

The characters have a lot of life and "zing" to them. Gotta love it

                                       "Oh YEAH?  Well did it at least involve me beating up your ass?"

A spiffy black and white flashback early on gives some backstory

                                        Not all kumbaya, the bickering made for an interesting storyline

The old man wasn't lying after all. There really IS a Ferric Falcon...

                                      ... as well as a hulking magical tree. No relation to Secret of Mana

Those are the wise words of a man who has lived life a time or two

                                                            Now THAT'S enough to make ME cry

Good old gramps springs into action by bonking our hero on the ol' noggin, waking him up from his recurring nightmares of a unsettled past... the feel and flavor of this game is rather endearing and easy to get into right away

Gotta love Gramps -- he's one of my all time favorite RPG NPCs

                                       You could say that he's an original (Treasure Hunter) G.. [Oi -Ed.]

Behind his rough and guff exterior lies a soft, gooey heart, er clock

                                        You can actually hear the atmospheric tick tock tick tock. Nice!

One of the things I enjoy about the RPG genre is the droll ability to snoop around. I guess it fulfills that sneaky inner part of myself that enjoys doing things I know I ought not to. Some RPGs aren't too interactive. This is clearly not one of those games!

The ability to interact with the environment made it fun to explore

                                       You do hafta be wise with what ya carry. Gimme some more giv!

The overhead world map is gorgeous and simple. It is much smaller than most SNES RPGs, because the game is so much shorter, but I don't mind that. In fact, one of the reasons why I enjoyed this game as much as I did was partly because of how quickly it moves and how it never ever wears out its welcome. Give me quality over quantity EVERYTIME

The things SNES could do by '96 was impressive. Such a shame...
were it not for the 32-bit demand, SNES had some good years left!

These babies act as classic save / restore statues that you see in so many RPGs. Nothing beat seeing one of these bad boys after a particularly nasty dungeon trek

                                          Is there anything better than seeing one after a long hard bit?

Throughout the genre's existence, fans are split on enemy encounters. Some love the old school random battles... while others see 'em as "Ain't nobody got time for that!" I'd add how ironic then that you're playing an RPG but I digress. I love either one, quite frankly, and Treasure Hunter G satiates the two sides as it features a bit of both. Though the random battles aren't random as much as they are "set" ambushes, á la Chrono Trigger. And once you kill them, they're gone forever. Isn't that just convenient?

Enemies are either visible or ambush you at set intervals. Brilliant

I love the game's text. Both in how it looks and the actual words used. Both make it such great fun to read. It's just got a very pleasant aesthetic to it that I can't get enough of

                                         This old lady teases a large donation but only gives out 20, ha!

Yikes, I originally thought it was my younger sister and so I named her Jenny, when, yes, he's really my younger brother. Well, it's hard to tell -- what with all the crying and long hair!

Atmospheric scenes like this make it a joy to play late at night

Who is Red's little brother, Blue, anyway?  He cries more than Baby Mario so forgive me for mistaking him for a girl to begin with. Though, my two Korean friends here feel the same about Blue as I first did

                                        Spike Lee's OLDBOY remake is out now. Stick with the original

I love their ability to face diagonally. I love the little cute text boxes. I love that silly damn monkey!  ^_^

Things are kept basic and simple. Therein lies the beauty of it all

One of the many great things about this game is all the entertaining NPCs you will come into contact throughout your journey. Some spew philosophical balarky, while other folks lament over their youthful regrets and discretions. It's all handled in a very slick and quirky package that keeps you coming back for more and more

                                       Just like in the real world itself, cynical and harsh haters abound

And then ya have your
pure tongue-in-cheek moments of tomfoolery that goes to show you
the game never takes itself TOO seriously

"Um, sorry pal. Yer only supposed to stare at it for 38 SECONDS..."

Here we're introduced to a strange little cat that goes by the name of Mio. HUH. What's up with the lesbian yearnings?  Note, I never said I was opposed to it...

                                                   Um, yeah. Talk about an awkward silence there...

Of course, in any RPG, you gotta have some big, bad, memorable bosses
to liven things up after so many "foot soldier" fights. Treasure Hunter G has a fetching selection on offer, starting with Hel the witch. Her loyalty to the Dark Lord knows no bounds, and she can unleash some nasty spells in addition to teleporting anywhere on the grid, thus keeping you on your toes. Kill her zombie minions, and then go for the head!

The grid system adds an extra layer of strategy to boss battles

Nothing satisfies in this game quite like cornering a boss and then just take turns teeing off. Poor Hel finds herself here trapped, much to the twisted sick delight of my foul heart

                                       It kinda brings a whole new meaning to the term gang bang, eh?

An impressive moment of Mode-7 beauty here, folks. Kujira the whale is one of the coolest and most memorable means of travel in any RPG that I can recall. To see him streaking across that lush ocean with the coalition nestled on top is a sight to behold. It's a shame that the SNES had to die when programmers were just starting to discover the system's vast potential

There's a handful of stand out moments, this being one of the best

I just love the unique style and presentation of this game. From the avatars to the text, it hit a retro bone inside of me that made it difficult to put it down

                                       Uh oh, looks like trouble is over the horizon. Naturally, of course

You gotta love it when you're playing a game, something cool takes place and you say to yourself, "Man, that's exactly what I would have programmed too!"  Sting dared *NOT* to miss the grand opportunity of using Kujira's backside as an impromptu war zone!

Make quick work of those nasty slime creatures to protect Kujira

Ah, I remember this scene well. It was sad as much as it was a sham and a farce. Gotta feel for her...

                                         Sometimes, fantasy is far more pleasant than reality for some...

It's Dr. Hello everyone! He's the zaniest cat in town, brimming with personality and energy. Not just a pretty face, he also invented some mighty handy things that will aid you along in your quest. About as helpful an NPC as you'll ever meet

Nice dude, but he's gotta drop the "last mad scientist" shtick

Ah, exactly 20 hours in and it hardly feels like it has been. That's when you know a game is fun and quality. The pace of the game never dragged and it's a breath of fresh air compared to some other long RPGs that insist on bombarding you with over 40 hours of gameplay

                                       Sometimes, less is more. Treasure Hunter G is a perfect example

"No.... it's Iowa"

                                       *facepalm*  FAIL. Just... fail  ["If you build it, he will come" -Ed.]

In addition to physical strikes you also have at your disposal a variety of handy spells, ranging from pillars of flame to shards of ice. Different spells have different effects and bigger ones cover more grid tiles

Always gratifying when a spell just manages to account for all  :)

This mammoth winged goddess directs you to the path of serendipity. She is quite a marvel, and shows you how much the genre had grown in character models compared to earlier SNES RPGs

                                       So, your old man wasn't lying, after all. The Ferric Falcon LIVES!

Like that old TV show,
Father Knows Best, at
the end of the day your
pops knows what's up

What would an RPG be without some clichés and "deep" quotes?

Oh snap, here is the Dark Lord in all his evil glory. You knew the first fight was far too tame. Indeed, he soon reveals his true form, and it's a memorable one!  Keep your hero up front because he can only attack close up, and keep Ponga in the back for his spells. Although the grid system has been majorly cut back here... it's still more fun than a barrel of monkeys [Had to eh -Ed.]

                                       In terms of visuals, the Dark Lord delivers the goods. He's badass!

But just when you think it's over, the Dark Lord's prized treasure, the Bone Dino, is resurrected!  Er,
at least partially, anyhow. Still, it makes for quite the spectacle, as Dino's half rotting corpse is stuck in the frozen cliff. With each blow the Bone Dino erupts an ear-shattering cry and the screen shakes like a mother, making this final fight highly satisfying. In
a way, it's almost a tragic fate for the trapped, half-resurrected monstrosity, unable to defend itself, as you unleash armageddon
Poor guy's defenseless as you deliver a monster-sized ass kicking

                                        THE "G" IN TREASURE HUNTER "G" STANDS FOR "GRACIOUS"

Treasure Hunter G is by no means a perfect game. If there's a blemish to be thrown at it, it's incredibly easy. You actually recover a certain portion of your health bar following each battle. It's like possessing the Sword of Miracles (for all you Dragon Quest V fanatics out there). But in all honesty tho, a facile game is never hated on by me when it's so much fun

                                     Gimme an outrageously fun but easy game over a hard boring one


Sadly, Treasure Hunter G never saw the light of day here in the US. If only it did, but by May 1996 the 16-bit SNES was left in the dust. A shame the game couldn't have come out a year earlier, and somehow saw American soil. If it did, there's no doubt in my mind that today it would be hailed and celebrated as one of the SNES' top RPGs. As it is, only dedicated and devoted SNES gamers, who scour retro gaming message boards and spend hours looking for hidden gems they might have missed, will ever experience all the joys this game has to offer. Although game history cannot be rewritten, thankfully the original Japanese dialogue was, so that English users can enjoy this game as though it were officially released. And enjoy it they did... I have yet to meet anyone who has not liked it at all

Fan translations have launched a new cascade of SNES treasures

                                       Super Play Magazine giving Treasure Hunter G some good lovin'


Treasure Hunter G may likely be the best RPG you have yet to play. It combines cutting edge visuals (for its time) and good old school RPG traits (a four person crew, zero class changes and plenty of fun NPCs) with
a unique grid style battle system. The game looks beautiful and plays like a dream. Every battle is a little different due to the landscape shifts, and there's more strategy here than what's found in your average RPG. The formula works extremely well and makes going through the zany Treasure Hunter G universe a real pleasure. With plenty of rich locales to traverse, nasties to kill, treasure to be found and wacky locals to meet, Treasure Hunter G is an enjoyable adventure from the very beginning all the way to the very end. You would be crazy to miss it!

For its last published SNES title, Squaresoft went out with a bang

It's not perfect, though. You can only carry 20 items per, which can be annoying at times when the goods begin to pile up, but this added even more strategy as you're forced to work out what to keep and what to discard. The music and sound are not up to par with the likes of say, Square or Nintendo. The game is also rather easy and short, but after playing so many 40+ hour RPGs, I found it refreshing to play one that only took me 26 hours to complete, and it could *probably* be finished in 20. Rather than dragging itself out and wearing out its welcome, the adventure moves along at a very brisk pace, and when you finally lock up Bone Dino in its icy prison, you almost feel a sense of sorrow that it's come to an end. That speaks volumes. Treasure Hunter G is fun top to bottom, and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly. If you love the genre, and you consider yourself a SNES fan, you'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you left this gem of a treasure unearthed. Besides, I ask you, where else could ya save the world with a violin playing monkey? I rest my case. Put this at the top of your queue; you'll be glad you did. Another SNES treasure!

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Longevity: 8

Overall: 9.0

Gold Award

Aw, you gotta feel a little bit for that Bone Dino. At least I do. What did he ever do?  The Dark Lord wishes to unleash it in order to rule the world. Instead, it's only halfway resurrected, and rather than being a challenging final fight, it's more about allowing you the joy of bashing in its skull. It's definitely not something you see in RPGs, making it stand out. In the end, I like Bone Dino and think
it was simply a victim of circumstances. The Dark Lord was truly the evil one
Sadly posing little threat, you're still forced to put it down forever.
In a way, Bone Dino is the most tragic end boss of all SNES RPGs

                                        Or, is it?  And who is that bloke?  Why is he there?  Hmmmm...