"The Tale of Rosenkreuzstilette, the Blades of the Rose Cross"
Thousands of years ago, Magi once roamed the land. But humanity fears what they cannot understands, so Magi were treated to a live of a life of hatred and persecution by the Holy Empire and the Orthodox Church. But one Magus rebelled against his destiny along with his eight disciples and fought them in a grueling battle. That very Magus lost his life during the battle, but in the end his final wish was granted. All Magi would live alongside humans as soldiers of the Empire; thus the Rosenkreuzstilette, the Blades of the Rose Cross was founded. Many years later, a Magus by the name of Spiritia Rosenberg would herself in the midst of a war started by the very same organization founded by the great Magus who fought to end their persecution. This is the tale of Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~...
Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blade of the Rose Cross~ for Windows PC is Japanese action-platforming doujin-soft based on the original Mega Man series from the NES era. This is a Mega Man-based doujin-soft that I highly recommend for Mega Man fans to check out. The game has generated praise by many fans for its cast of characters, various styles of music, beautiful scenery, and its blend of Japanese and German languages.
As I mentioned in the introduction of the review, Magi have once excited in the world but were forced to live a life of being feared and hated by the Holy Empire and the Orthodox Church for having the ability to use magic. A great Magus and his eight disciples fought against them in a war that ended up costing the Magus' very life, but he was able to free the Magi of their fated destiny by fighting alongside humans as soldiers of the Empire. The Rosenkreuzstilette, the "Blades of the Rose Cross" founded and would end the discrimination of Magi everywhere. You play as Spiritia Rosenberg, a Magus of the Rosenkreuzstilette who returns after six months of training along with her fairy friend, Lilli, to meet with Count Michael Zeppelin's biological daughter, Iris at the Imperial Training Hall. Iris, however, Iris becomes a victim of a mysterious dragon's abduction and makes off with her with Lilli in pursuit. An attack against the Imperial Training Hall was made shortly after Iris' abduction and becomes engulfed in flames.
At the very heart of the inferno at the burning Black Forest, the home of animals and fairies, Spiritia and Lilli finds Freudia Neuwahl, Spiritia's childhood friend who informs them of the identities of the arsonists: the Empire's only magic-user strike force. In other words, the Rosenkreuzstilette, with Freudia in charge of the assault. She then asks Spiritia to join her and the organization's cause. Not one to accept sacrificing innocent lives, Spiritia refuses to take part of the rebellion and she was branded traitor of the organization. This leaves Spiritia to fight against a military force composing of her former friends. The story of Rosenkreuzstilette is very well-written; a plot-filled storyline filled with betrayal, tested friendships, and plot twists that will change how you will see some of these characters.
The visuals for this game is a sight to behold; the beautiful scenery in the background might distract you as you play the game. In Spiritia's quest to stop her friends and the rebellion, you will explore vast worlds ranging from graveyards, underwater temples, sky palaces, and an old factory crawling with death traps. Character and enemy sprites and visual effects are wonderfully done. The character design are also top-notch; the character illustrations for the game was done by WOMI, an h-doujin artist who really knows how to bring these characters to life (definitely better than what you'd get most Touhou Project games). I will say that you will need a decent computer to run such quality visuals. Otherwise, be prepared to face slowdowns and possibly long load times.
Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross'~ is truly remarkable. The game's soundtrack fits well with the settings of each stage and there is a nice variety music in the game. The music ranges from the orchestral styles of Castlevania to more energetic styles of Mega Man, you're bound to find a favorite track in this game. The game also has a rock-sold Japanese voice cast who fits into the character so well.
Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ is a clone of the original NES Mega Man games. So you if you've played Mega Man before, then you should know what you're in for. But for the sake of convenience, I'll explain the gameplay of Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blade of the Rose Cross~ anyway.
As Spiritia Rosenberg, you go through several stages with a boss waiting at the end of each stage. In each stage, you must reach the end while taking down enemies, avoiding obstacles and traps, and find power-ups such as 1-Ups and Cross Tanks along the way. Once Spiritia defeats one of her friends, she gains their abilities and she can use them against a boss who could be weak against it. Spiritia also has the abilities of Mega Man from later Mega Man games, such as switching weapons on the fly and sliding. But one thing Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ does differently from the classic Mega Man games is the boss' Desperation Mode (this is also a nod to Mega Man X8). When the boss' HP reaches the halfway point, they will up the ante and perform different attacks then before. This gives the boss battles an edge and it stands out more from other Mega Man-based doujins.
Some of the gripes that I have is the game's inability to allow the player to re-enter a stage once you completed it, so this makes it possible to miss out on useful items like those Cross Tanks when you can't go back and find it. Another cause of concern is the game's difficulty for those who are an absolute novices of the classic Mega Man games. I find the game's challenge just fine, but others might have a hard time getting through the game. Luckily, this game is nowhere near the frustration levels of Twilight Frontier's MegaMari - Marisa no Yabou. Also, this is a Mega Man game. So if played dozens of Mega Man games in the past, then you've already played Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ without even knowing about it. I'm not saying this is entirely a bad thing by any means (heck, old-school fans such as myself love reliving the old glory days of the Blue Bomber), but Mega Man has been around much longer than Spiritia has.
Despite a few flaws, Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ is a must-have for Mega Man fans everywhere. Although the game is Japanese, an English patch made by the good folks of Schwer And Schwer Alike and Darkside Translations is available for those who don't understand Japanese dialogue. There are many references to not just Mega Man; many homages to Castlevania and other computer and video games, anime and manga series, Japanese visual novels, table-top role-playing games and board games are found in this game. This goes to show you that Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ is more than just a Mega Man-clone, but a wonderful trip to memory lane.
Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ gets a 9 out of 10 and my highest recommendation for Mega Man-based doujins.
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