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LTTP: Crusader of Centy and Brain Lord

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,047
8
0
Long Island, NY
So recently, I was hanging out with my friend and decided to show him Crusader of Centy. Since we both strongly prefer retro games and he's never played... I bought the game a few years back (2005 I think?) but realized, I forgot 99% of the game! So I decided to give it a quick replay...

Not sure how many people here have played Crusader of Centy, but it's basically SEGA's (and Gau/Nextech's, of Ranger-X fame) answer to Link to the Past. The game is set up very similar to LttP but with a Mario-style overworld instead of one large seamless overworld. You collect golden apples to raise your maximum health, and buy a few powerups with gold coins. But the main difference is in Crusader of Centy, you get animal helpers which have different powerups (like, the ability to make your sword reflect off a wall, or the ability to run really fast)... since, soon after the game begins, you are cursed and only able to speak to flora and fauna... There's also a bit more emphasis on top-down platforming in this game, and it moves at a brisker pace than LttP (though not quite Ys level).

It's a very charming game, although it's easy and short (took me 2 days to breeze through the whole game). The story picks up towards the end of the game
and has a plot of humanity being at war with a mostly benign group of monsters... it makes you feel bad when you defeat some monsters, like a giant pulsating heart that doesn't fight back, or monsters that question "why do the humans attack us so much"?
. There's even a Sonic cameo in it!

Screens:


Brain Lord I remember seeing the ads for in EGM back in the day, it always sounded really cool (I love that "ITS DO OR DIE TIME" in the ad), and since I've always been a fan of Enix and action RPGs, I'm surprised I never picked up a copy. It's made by the same developers as the much-maligned 7th Saga, and shares some similarities in art style. Instead of having a more anime/SD look, the characters look big and bulky. I almost thought this was some weird western developed game when I first saw it.

Anyways, NeoGAF-legend demi namedropped this game to me so I picked up a CIB copy relatively recently. The game is also an action RPG, but with more of a focus on equipment than LttP and Crusader, there are various helms/armors/weapons to find with different stats. But, you still find max life powerups instead of building experience levels. You have a group of spirits that do stuff like shoot fire at enemies, and they build experience levels... you can deploy these spirits at will (as long as you've purchased the requisite item powerup associated with these spirits).

The dungeons are very sprawling, filled with puzzles (mostly of the push-block variety), deadly enemies, traps galore, and multiple lock-and-key items to find. There are some platforming elements (like jumping on moving platforms) which doesn't work as well as the developer intended. I think the level design is pretty good for a game of this era, it's no Alundra but it's interesting enough for those who are nostalgic for the days of classic top-down action RPGs like me.

The main problem with Brain Lord is terrible slowdown when your spirits are deployed. This is probably why the game is pretty divisive (Gamefaqs reviews are everywhere from 3 to 9) at least to my knowledge. Also, the hit detection on the platforming is pretty poor, and there were several times when I missed a moving platform I had to jump on.

Screens:



I never really hear either of these games get discussed on here often, if ever... both come recommended (Crusader of Centy more-so than Brain Lord) for fans of 16 bit action RPGs.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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I think Centy has some fans here, I picked it up and posted it in the "Now Playing" thread and a lot of people were commenting on it. Prices on it are pretty high, and have gone up drastically in the last 2+ years. $50 for loose, $100 for boxed, $120+ for CIB. I remember getting it cart-only for like $10 back in 2007. The tip book is super hard to find, but it's all text (no concept art or anything) so it's not really worth the coin. It's a good game, could have been longer to give you more time to work with all the animal powers, but it's really charming and fun to have. The art is quite colorful and there are a lot of interesting touches and details. There aren't any really insane SFX like in Ranger-X, but I forever adore GAU/Nextech though because of their Genesis output. It's probably worth noting that the EU/PAL version of the game has a drastically better English translation than the USA release and is substantially cheaper as well.

I wish more people played the game, as there are some oddities in it that I can't find any info on. Like, what the heck are the rock of prostration and such in the Animal Village? Do they do anything?

If you enjoy Crusader of Centy, you will probably also enjoy the stellar Beyond Oasis (aka Story of Thor in EU/JP markets). It was made by Ancient - of Streets of Rage 2 fame - also for the Genesis/MegaDrive. I'll plug my Hardcore Gaming 101 article and drop some screens here:


 

skullomania

Member
Sep 1, 2010
279
8
0
www.kokopolo.com
I loved Crusader of Centy (known over here in the UK as Soliel) when I was younger! I remember being moved by the hidden moral in the game
ie, questioning whether the humans are actually justified attacking the mosters without any provocation
.

It made me vow to one day create a game of my own where the player is actually rewarded for choosing not to fight ...(who knows, maybe I already did ;) )
 

Jazzem

Member
Aug 17, 2007
2,790
0
885
I really like the look of Soleil/Crusader of Centy, definitely a Mega Drive game I'm in the market for. Strange that it's never had any sort of re-release on a compilation.
 

BOTEC

Member
Feb 8, 2010
1,846
0
0
Always wanted to try Crusader Of Centy.

Picked up Brainlord a few months ago during a 16-bit kick. Got over pretty quick, games' not so hot. Also Illusion Of Gaia. Meh. I guess there aren't any more hidden gems out there.
 

Sir_Crocodile

Member
Mar 31, 2009
21,803
2
755
If you enjoy Crusader of Centy, you will probably also enjoy the stellar Beyond Oasis (aka Story of Thor in EU/JP markets). It was made by Ancient - of Streets of Rage 2 fame - also for the Genesis/MegaDrive. I'll plug my Hardcore Gaming 101 article and drop some screens here:

Yeah, the Story of Thor games were awesome(though the sequel could have done with being a bit more colourful). They felt kind of like arcade rpg's - except when I didn't know where I was going. Weapons variety was cool, elemental were fun- especially the puzzles based around them, and enemies were satisfyingly chunky.

Took me a while to perfect ifreet racing though
 

thebeeks

Banned
Nov 15, 2010
2,622
0
0
DFW Metroplex, TX
Heard about Centy a few years ago and have been looking for it in local retro game stores/garage sales since then with no luck. I know I could just bite the bullet and get a copy on ebay, but the prices are crazy. Looks damn good, though.
 

galvatron

Member
Mar 22, 2010
4,518
0
0
Austin, TX
Gorgeous, yes, but the Crusader of Centy and Beyond Oasis shots have obviously been upscaled by emulators. Genesis games don't look like that on a TV.

They actually don't look too different, in terms of clarity, from my Genesis playing on an arcade cab...

I like both games, but I think Zelda does Zelda better. Never finished these two, so my opinion might change once I do.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Gorgeous, yes, but the Crusader of Centy and Beyond Oasis shots have obviously been upscaled by emulators. Genesis games don't look like that on a TV.

They look pretty damn close if you're using SCART RGB on an HDTV. Although that could be considered a bad thing. The images I linked for Beyond Oasis are in native resolution, though, not upscaled.

I like both games, but I think Zelda does Zelda better. Never finished these two, so my opinion might change once I do.

While Centy does imitate Zelda, Oasis doesn't at all. The combat and familiar systems make it stand on its own.
 

charsace

Member
Mar 23, 2007
26,595
0
0
Centy was a great game back in the day.

And your avatar is a great shop. You have a bigger pic?
 

aidan

Hugo Award Winning Author and Editor
Oct 26, 2006
6,452
0
1,260
I'm so sad that Crusader of Centy never saw a release on Virtual Console. It was always near the top of my most wanted list for the service.
 

Teknoman

Member
Nov 7, 2007
61,370
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0
Houston, Texas
www.youtube.com
Always wanted to try Crusader Of Centy.

Picked up Brainlord a few months ago during a 16-bit kick. Got over pretty quick, games' not so hot. Also Illusion Of Gaia. Meh. I guess there aren't any more hidden gems out there.

Its kind of a bittersweet feeling once you've tackled all of the best well known and hidden 16 -32 bit gems (not that I have yet...but thanks to GAF and hardcoregaming 101, getting closer...so I can tell).
 

kokujin

Banned
May 5, 2011
1,365
0
0
Crusader of Centy is such a sweet game, I really like the sadder tone the game had later on, the soundtrack is also very good.Great thread OP, glad to see this game get some recognition.

Its kind of a bittersweet feeling once you've tackled all of the best well known and hidden 16 -32 bit gems (not that I have yet...but thanks to GAF and hardcoregaming 101, getting closer...so I can tell).

I know the feeling,I am down to 10 or less Genesis games I want, and I am already feeling sad.I really don't know where to go from here.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
62,408
10
1,115
If you enjoy Crusader of Centy, you will probably also enjoy the stellar Beyond Oasis (aka Story of Thor in EU/JP markets). It was made by Ancient - of Streets of Rage 2 fame - also for the Genesis/MegaDrive. I'll plug my Hardcore Gaming 101 article and drop some screens here:



This game is good! I bought it on a complete whim on the Virtual Console a few years back and was really impressed and surprised I'd never heard of it.
 
Seeing this thread makes me pine for the days when I can finally quit playing modern games and go back to earlier days.

Something about being able to play games with just a few buttons and not have to fuss with stuff like "camera controls" or seeing a dozen logos and cutscenes before being able to start the game...sigh.

Really need some more older-game compilations dammit. All the convenience of this generation with the games that I actually enjoy playing.
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,047
8
0
Long Island, NY
Centy was a great game back in the day.

And your avatar is a great shop. You have a bigger pic?

My avatar? The original is from http://kimjongildroppingthebass.tumblr.com/

Also, Gau/Nextech made a game called Linkle Liver Story for Saturn that is very similar to Centy. But it only came out in Japan... It stars a group of furries in an action RPG environment, a top-down game with some slight 3D/polygonal effects. It even starts up with an 'obstacle course' type training ground like in Centy. Great music in the game, played it a whole bunch but never beat it due to the language barrier.

Some images of Linkle Liver Story:

 
Dec 14, 2009
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I've heard that "Linkle Liver Story" is either a missed up version of "Wrinkle River Story" or supposed to mean "One Who Lives in the Land of Linkle Story".
 

AwRy108

Member
Dec 6, 2008
4,172
0
1,010
Manheim, PA
Crusader of Centy was a great title, esp. since it was so unique among the Genesis library.

Brainlord had a lot of great ideas, but the spotty platforming and constant slow-down ultimately ruined the experience for me.
 

Night_Trekker

Member
Jan 27, 2005
17,174
2
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South Carolina
Crusader of Centy is one of my favorite games of all time. I picked it up on a school trip, having never seen another copy of it (and never since). Totally worth it. Getting home at around 2 AM and playing it instead of falling asleep is one of my most treasured gaming memories.
 

Augemitbutter

Member
Feb 3, 2008
17,069
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played some Soleil back in the day on my mega drive. i don't think i have ever beat it, but it was a good game and it looked sweet.
 

Syril

Member
Mar 28, 2008
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I started to play it, and it was pretty fun, but the theme of the story
unfortunately starts to fall apart soon after it shows up. Building a story about monsters being terrorized by humans doesn't really work when every area is full of monsters that attack the human main character on sight.
 
Nov 27, 2009
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I loved Crusader of Centy (known over here in the UK as Soliel) when I was younger! I remember being moved by the hidden moral in the game
ie, questioning whether the humans are actually justified attacking the mosters without any provocation
.

I loved how every RPG before Centy (and after) had your main character just mow down random animals/monsters for no reason whatsoever. I like the game made a story about it.

If it wasn't so easy & on the short side, I would definitely put it on par with Zelda LTTP.
 

spookyfish

Member
Sep 15, 2004
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Ah, Brain Lord.

The only game that actually caused me to break a controller in frustration after missing the same jump for what seemed a billion times.

I later found out that I was trying to jump from the wrong place. It couldn't be made.

D'oh.
 

ramine

Unconfirmed Member
May 19, 2011
447
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0
Sorry to bump the thread, but I recall at some point earlier this year someone made a great recap of Crusader of Centy / Soleil and listed all the awesome stuff you got to do (talk with animals, kill something and realize how petty you are, etc).

Anyone know where it was? I've tried searching here and Google.
 

lunchwithyuzo

Banned
Jun 20, 2010
11,040
1
0
Crusader of Centy and Ranger-X are my most wanted Genesis VC releases. Both are absolutely amazing games and I dunno why it never happened? Does Gau/Nextech/NEX own the rights or something?