Developer: HAL Laboratory
Submitted by: Hagen Dragmire
Alcahest is a little known gem that was released only in Japan for the Super Famicom. It is a flawless blend of action gameplay and roleplaying elements that makes for an engrossing experience. The controls are solid which easily recognizable collision detection. One difference between Alcahest and another action RPG like Legend of Zelda is the addition of partners. Sort of like the Mana series, other people join your quest. Alcahest does it a bit differently having a vast cast of characters like you would expect from a solid RPG.
The story telling gives you enough so you know what's going on, yet leaves it open enough for you to come up with your own details. The characters are simple, yet complex at the same time. You can feel the raw emotion of the main character as he progresses through the game but they don't go into too many details which is welcomed.
The musical score is a thing of beauty. Like a lot of 16 bit titles, Alcahest's musical endeavors bring you into the game adding to the overall experience. The visuals are another thing that makes this game great. You not only have awesome fantasy settings, but the enemies are very well drawn and look great for a 16 bit game.
Overall, Alcahest is a game that is one of my favorites of the 16 bit era and if you can locate a copy of this cart, you should pick it up. This game is also one of the few Super Famicom games to receive a full translation via some dedicated fans, giving you no reason not to give this amazing experience a whirl.