MYSTIC WAND

by ALPHA DENSHI / SNK

NEO GEO MVS NGM-035

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

Mystic Wand was an early action platformer style game programmed by Alpha Denshi within the first year of the NEOGEO's lifespan. It is considered to be the most elusive of all the proto games. Very little is known about Mystic Wand. The play mechanics used by the game are similar to those found in Tecmo's Solomon's Key. The player controls a magical character that uses a wand to form & shoot blocks on the screen in order to progress through several levels of a fortress. A final confrontation with Satan awaits the player at the top of the tower.

This game would have been a welcome addition to the NEOGEO's game library because the system was almost completely devoid of non-fighting action games. It was most likely dropped from SNK's game lineup in favor of the trending fighting game phase that was taking over the revenues at the video arcades. Luckily, Alpha's earlier effort, the 46 meg Raguy / Blue's Journey from 1990 did get released, giving us some insight into their creative abilities.

NEW INFORMATION!! (from Hatono Takashi who worked for Alpha Denshi.)

Mystic Wand was a game developed between 1990 and 1991 for the NEOGEO that allows two players to play simultaneously. It's an action game with puzzle elements, based on Tecmo's Solomon's Key. The planner was Kenji Sawatari, who later created World Heroes, and the designer was Gen Suzuki. The players control two characters. The A button creates colored stones and the B button is used to jump. If you press the button to create a stone next to it, the color of the stone will change, and it will disappear when 3 of the same color line up vertically or horizontally. Also, if you press and hold the stone creation button next to a stone, you can attack by throwing the stone to the side. If you collect all the items scattered across the screen, the door will open and you will be cleared once you enter it. (There was trial and error during development, and there was also a version that cleared the game just by collecting all the items.) As far as the boss battle is concerned, you can clear it by hitting the boss with a stone and defeating it.

The location test was held at a game center in the town of Okegawa. The income was good on the first day, but after that it dropped sharply, and no matter how many times I made adjustments to it, the income did not go up, and so as a result, the game died. And since it was a dead game, there was no catalog, panthlet, flyer, etc.

After that, Gen Suzuki hid the development board, and when he was dismissed from the company, it seems that he took it away (in the form of stealing from the company). If this game ever comes up at auction, the seller is him or someone who bought it from him.

INFORMATION TIMELINE:

-- 1991 -- Mystic Wand was location tested at a game arcade in Japan.

-- June 1991 -- Mystic Wand is exhibited by SNK at the 1991 (CES) Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Illinois. During the show, someone with a handheld video camera was able to record the games attract mode.

-- August 1991 -- Joystick Magazine #18, a European video game publication, publishes a short article on the show, with a screenshot of Mystic Wand.

-- September 1991 -- Mystic Wand is exhibited by SNK at the 1991 AMOA (Amusement Machine & Manufacturer's Association) show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

-- November 1991 -- EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) magazine includes a supplement from SNK Home Entertainment with an article about Mystic Wand.

-- December 1991 -- An advertiser (Die Hard Game Club) in EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) magazine lists Magic Wand as coming soon.

-- January 1992 -- An advertiser (Die Hard Game Club) in EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) magazine lists Magic Wand as coming soon.

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