From the makers of the world renowned “Wizardry Empire” titles, Starfish SD brings you the latest entry in their popular series of dungeon crawlers. Elminage Gothic, previously only available in Japanese on PlayStation® Portable, now comes to PC offering a classic old school dungeon crawling experience with a dark, gothic twist!
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (108 reviews) - 66% of the 108 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 18, 2014

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Reviews

“The game features some very fun gameplay in a large dungeon and is very in-depth with tons of features to boot.”
8/10 – Universal Gaming Reviews

“Elminage Gothic is a great throwback to a style of game I grew up on and loved over the years”
7.5/10 – Chalgyr’s Gaming Room

“If you are the type of person who relishes in challenging themselves, with the patience to crawl through hordes of relentless enemies, then you can’t do much better than this. At around 50 hours long, this is a task not quickly completed.”
8/10 – RPGsite

About This Game

From the makers of the world renowned “Wizardry Empire” titles, Starfish SD brings you the latest entry in their popular series of dungeon crawlers. Elminage Gothic, previously only available in Japanese on PlayStation® Portable, now comes to PC offering a classic old school dungeon crawling experience with a dark, gothic twist!

In ancient times, the Great and Dark Gods clashed in a ferocious war over Man's control of the world, bringing despair and ruin to the lives of all humans.

As the conflict raged, the Great Gods sought to vanquish the power of the Dark Gods through the faith of humans. In return for their faith, the Gods promised humans a world of peace and prosperity and thereby a contract between humans and the Great Gods was formed.

By the contract, the Dark Gods could not interfere with the world of humans and were forever sealed inside their world of darkness. The people worshiped the Great Gods in thanks for their prosperity, and the world entered an era of peace.

However…

The humans grew complacent and allowed their faith to fade.

Now, in the far-off realm of Ishmag, King Jardin ushers in an age of peace. Unknown to him, the dark powers have already begun reaching out in secret, planting the seeds to bring about the revival of the Dark Gods into the hearts of men. Foul and hideous creatures are emerging from the deep, treacherous caves of Tsun-Kurn and rumours of a rising evil are creeping across the peaceful lands.

It is up to you to arm yourself and descend into the depths of Tsun-Kurn in an attempt to put an end to the ever growing darkness and save your kingdom.

• Featuring well over 80 hours of classic dungeon crawling gameplay!
• Choose from 16 different character classes including Hunter, Thief, Summoner and Valkyrie
• Battle and defeat over 400 stunning monsters, creatures and demons!
• Employ over 70 spell types as you descend through multiple dungeons
• Collect and arm yourself with over 600 different items
• Featuring the classic and traditional “THAC0” battle system
• Now fully translated into English for the first time!

This PC conversion also features a number of improvements over the original, including:
• Higher resolution art
• Improved user interface
• 8 stunning Steam Trading Cards to collect!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card with 64Mb RAM and support for v3 shaders
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 420 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (108 reviews)
Recently Posted
Goufy
20.3 hrs
Posted: August 30
Elminage Gothic is a really really good dungeon RPG but man does it not hold your hand. Its the kind of game you would pour an entire summer over figuring out all the classes and systems. Sadly I don´t have that kind of time atm but I will def get back to it.

The map system is a ♥♥♥♥ move though

4 Killer Polyps with bows out of 5
Helpful? Yes No Funny
telos
15.8 hrs
Posted: August 28
Sticks very, very close to Wizardry, but manages to be more tedious at the same time. Only played through the first dungeon but it was just a completely and utterly empty maze. Limited map usage is really dumb too btw even if it never really gets to be an issue.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Smiling Spectre
497.8 hrs
Posted: August 17
Крайне противоречивая игра. Скажу сразу: если в первые полчаса не понравилось, можно выбрасывать, потому что дальше только хуже. В этой игре всё сделано максимально неудобным игроку способом. После пары часов игры я стал подозревать, что это сделано специально, после пары десятков - решил было, что создатели просто затачивались на игру высокоуровневыми персонажами, не обращая внимания на трудности низкоуровневых и игнорируя грубость интерфейса, но последний донжон (съевший у меня не одну сотню часов) всё расставил на свои места: это таки сделано специально.

В остальном перед нами игра, сделанная по канонам первой трилогии Wizardry - ну, только что цветная и более разнообразная. Более того, один из бонусных донжонов прямо является трибьютом оригиналу - он чёрно-белый и без текстур. Игра - Dungeon Crawler в чистом виде: ходишь по лабиринтам толпой из 6 человек в два ряда, от первого лица, походово, уничтожаешь монстров, собираешь лут, повторить до бесконечности. Да, монстры и ловушки невидимы, пока на них не наступишь. Да, они возрождаются после любого Save/Load. И да, разумеется, случайные монстры тоже есть! (Я уже говорил, что игра к игроку недружелюбна?)

Классы здесь украдены из Wizardry же, но ролевая система далеко не такая щедрая: здесь точно так же есть "базовые" классы (боец, вор, маг, клирик, алхимик), которые заточены под одну задачу и быстро прокачиваются, есть и "продвинутые" классы, сочетающие свойства пары базовых, и есть "премиум", которые обладают особыми свойствами и сочетают несколько классов сразу. Но, в отличие от оригинала, смена класса вызвает полное забвение всех навыков, уровней и параметров. Сохраняются только очки жизни и по три заклинания каждого уровня.

Система оборудования крайне идиотская: складывается только Armor Class и бонусы для оружия. Все параметры, относящиеся к магии, не суммируются - берётся наибольший бонус, что означает, что 90% вещей в игре не нужны совершенно ни для чего. Кроме того, все вещи с заклинаниями имеют примерно 30-50% шанс сломаться после использования заклинания. А восстановить их можно только в городе или специальным заклинанием. И да, довольно скоро начинают встречаться монстры, которые ломают и ту экипировку, которая не ломается сама.

Монстры здесь крайне злобные. Очень скоро начинают попадаться враги со спецатаками, среди которых есть и обезглавливание, убивающее любого, независимо от параметров - и нет, 100% защиты от обезглавливания в игре у игрока нет (у монстров - есть). И такие монстры есть уже с четвёртого донжона.

Впрочем, жить с этим можно, если подобрать экипировку... пока проходишь сюжетную кампанию. Бонусные донжоны - особенно последняя башня - имеют монстров, которые безоговорочно убивают часть партии или вообще всех, как ты их не экипируй.

Ах, да, убитых персонажей можно воскресить. Примерно с 80%-ным шансом на успех. В остальных 20% персонаж умирает совсем, и воскресить его можно только в городе. Я упоминал, что игра нас не любит?

Ну, и донжоны. Они хороши и разнообразны. Полный джентльменский набор: есть многоуровневые лабиринты, подводные, есть ямы, ловушки, телепорты, односторонние стены, скрытые двери... здесь есть всё. Включая совершенно пустые сегменты лабиринта, где есть только монстры. Потратьте час-другой, чтобы это выяснить. У высокоуровневых магов, правда, есть заклинание телепортации, которое позволяет попасть в любую точку карты, где вы уже были. Но есть и антимагические зоны, которые блокируют всю магию, отключают все зачарования, и телепортироваться из них нельзя. И блокированные зоны есть, куда телепортироваться не выйдет - в стратегических местах, поближе к боссам. А последняя бонусная башня имеет 25 уровней и при этом блокирует телепортацию совсем. Я уже... ах, да, говорил.

В общем, вот так оно всё и идёт. Если вам нравится бродить по лабиринтам и зарисовывать их руками (автокарта, правда, есть. И это предмет. И он ломается, естественно), если вам нравится убивать бесчисленные толпы монстров, всё усиливая персонажей, если вы согласны ради этого терпеть почти полное отсутствие сюжета и уродский интерфейс а-ля 80-е - игра рекомендуется. Если же всё это вызывает у вас скорее недоумение - лучше не надо.

P.S. После прохождения последней башни убийство Главного Босса дало мне три артефакта (аналогичные тем, что я получал в конце сюжета)... и всё. Ни ролика, ни завершения сюжета, ни-че-го. Достойный конец игры. Можно играть дальше - только зачем?..
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Heretic
2.5 hrs
Posted: August 16
It plays like a Wizadry game, if you like those you'll like this.

If you don't, stay away.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dr. Turtle, Ph.D
375.2 hrs
Posted: July 29
The gameplay mechanics and artwork is great, once the consumable maps gets out of the way once the game's modded. There's a deeper plot than meets the eye and dark undertones, which I wouldn't spoil for you. The technique to last in the game is to have a balanced team with two mage spell casters as the last tier has the option of teleporting to a specific part of the map, and two cleric spell casters to be able to revive characters. It takes time to know the ins and outs of the classes, but once you do the game would be enjoyable as there's an option of having multiple parties on the same (or different) dungeon. There's wonderful battle sprites and the thrill that keeps you on your toes as you wouldn't know when you'll be killed - thankfully there's multiple save files and loading anywhere within the dungeon, so to revive characters you can save and reload until you luck out at reviving the character.

Overall, this game is one of the few on Steam that lasted me hours of gameplay and I'll recommend it to everyone.

Pros
  • Puzzles: Time-consuming puzzles and intricate dungeons, each having their own theme. Lots of wall-checking, unless if your hunter can pick up hidden walls.
  • High level-cap: I'm currently on level 400 at the Ibag Tower, and I still get pawned by enemies if I let my guard down.
  • Variety of classes, alignment, skills and class-changing: If you class-change to an unrelated class, you retain 3 of each spell that you reached. Imagine the customizability of your perfect team. Some alignments have party retrictions which would be easily circumvented by dropping them at the dungeon and coming back to pick them up.
  • Various races to create and monsters as party members.
  • Classic design and pseudo-apocalypstic theme.
  • Crafting items and strengthening weapons: Weapon restrictions can be lifted with an alchemist, along with crafting items to aid you with your journey.
  • Boumit in every dungeon, save for the last two dungeons.
  • Option to customize character busts and faces with monsters at a certain point.

Cons
  • Inventory is too small. It can pile up if you're fully equipped.
  • Grinding can get repetitive
  • High probability of being beheaded and killed
  • OC wall-checking
  • Servant is actually a herbalist.
  • Some dialogue are in Japanese.
  • If you flee after running into a fiend, you can't recruit it.
  • Aging and permadeath
  • Customization is limited, unless if you mod the game and reach the end of the game.

TLDR
It's a game for hardcore RPG fans that love creating their own parties, exploring dungeons, crafting and forging weapons and puzzles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Otakatt
82.3 hrs
Posted: June 11
I'm a huge fan of the older Wizardry games so when I saw this game I got my hopes up and... it hasn't disappointed. Elminage takes the oldschool grid dungeon crawl experience and adds a lot to it. There's a lot of variety in the dungeons and puzzles offered, the monster art, while sometimes peculiar, is gorgeous and really interesting to look at. I love the variety in classes and races you can play. Admittedly things were a little tedious before I got access to the mage's teleportation spell, but after that things went great.

If you like what the oldschool sort of Wizardry games had to offer, this may very well be up your alley.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kyuu
69.1 hrs
Posted: June 2
If you are a fan of Wizardry-esque games, then you will probably enjoy this. Unfortunately, this version is neither the best game in the the series nor the best version of this particular game. It's still an enjoyable ride, but I still wish they would have ported the 3DS version's changes into this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Phaerun
4.0 hrs
Posted: May 31
Although I am a fan of dungeon crawlers this game is unplayable for me and I can't recommend it. Unless you like starting over every single time someone gets injured and has to heal in the temple. This is the first review I've written and felt compelled too after having a negative experience with Steam support for not issuing a refunding due to going 2 hours over the time limit trying to fix it since I do this genre and seemed like a good game besides that bug.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TFJ
92.0 hrs
Posted: May 29
Elminage Gothic is basically Wizardry on steroids.

For those who don't know Wizardry, it's basically a first person, party based dungeon crawler. You set up a party of 6 characters of varying classes and venture forth, while trying to avoid a terrible death. And it will come, since this particular Elminage game is pretty brutal and the hardest in the series. Recommended for hardcore or veteran players of the genre.

Weak points include the archaic interface, lack of information regarding some mechanics and questionable design decisions, such as maps being consumable items and inventory management being a pain. Though I have to say that those things are very faithful to the old Wizardry games and are clearly by design. I also strongly recommend playing this with a controller.

Everything else is stellar. The art is of high quality. The soundtrack is surprisingly good and fitting of the theme and mood of the game. Gameplay is decently balanced and all classes feel very useful, with strong and weak points. Combat is interesting, with multiple ways to approach battles. Dungeon design ramps up pretty quickly and can get crazy later on. And there's a ton of content, with 70+ (!) dungeon floors to explore.

Considering the price, it's a steal. Fans of DRPGs should definitely check this game out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
psousa
9.6 hrs
Posted: May 13
In "Elminage Gothic" you take control of up to 6 adventurers in an attempt to vanquish the rumored darkness in the caves of Tsun-Kurn.

Story:
It starts with an interesting introduction but the rest of the game is pretty straightforward and lacks any real depth (same with the dialogues).

Gameplay:
  • There are several places to visit in the city, where besides getting quests, you can: rest, recover HP, perform alchemy and smithing, view items and defeated monsters data, among other things. These places comprise of a tavern, an inn, a temple, a shop, the castle and lastly a Training school. This last one, it's where you can you choose from a list of already created adventurers to be your companions or perform "adventurer registration" (i.e, create new characters to be your companions). You can also change the classes of already existing characters or simply delete them.
    Character creation goes further than most RPGs: besides the common options in these games, like gender and name choice, it also includes 8 different races to choose from (including some very uncommon ones like dragonewt, werebeast, fairy, gnome and hotleat); "alignment choice" (Good, Neutral or Evil) that limit the choice of the 18 classes at your disposal (by choosing one of the alignments, there will be a couple of classes unavailable to you). You will also get bonus attribute points that also determine what class you can be: to get a certain class you need a determined number of points. You can re-roll the points you get until you can choose the class you are interested in but, fair warning, it is very hard to get more than 20 points (the best I got was 28 after many tries). To be able to pick the "Lord" class you need 30. You can also select the character's age (it affects slightly the bonus attribute points) and one Extra Skill.
    Note: Created characters will have lower level than the ones that are on the list to pick from.
  • Besides the variety of traps, treasures and items there are also hundreds of different monsters that require different tactics to defeat. Traps can also be tricky to deal with. All this requires a very fine tuning between the skills and classes of your party members when in combat and dungeon crawling.
  • There is a large variety of dungeon levels too (so far, all dungeon levels I encountered are different).

Soundtrack:
Beautiful but lacks variety.



The game also has a few flaws:
  • One thing, among a few other, that this game lacks is a tutorial but you get the hang of it pretty quickly.
  • Trying to return to a dungeon level after navigating through so many already makes dungeon crawling a bit dull and repetitive.
  • So far I encountered a couple of bugs and glitches that aren't fixed.
  • Controlling your character through the dungeons is harder than it should be.
  • The dungeons have very low resolution.


Despite all these flaws, this game is actually very good. In my opinion, the best part of this game is (micro-)managing your adventurers/companions to face the many obstacules (enemies or traps) thrown your way.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
497.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Крайне противоречивая игра. Скажу сразу: если в первые полчаса не понравилось, можно выбрасывать, потому что дальше только хуже. В этой игре всё сделано максимально неудобным игроку способом. После пары часов игры я стал подозревать, что это сделано специально, после пары десятков - решил было, что создатели просто затачивались на игру высокоуровневыми персонажами, не обращая внимания на трудности низкоуровневых и игнорируя грубость интерфейса, но последний донжон (съевший у меня не одну сотню часов) всё расставил на свои места: это таки сделано специально.

В остальном перед нами игра, сделанная по канонам первой трилогии Wizardry - ну, только что цветная и более разнообразная. Более того, один из бонусных донжонов прямо является трибьютом оригиналу - он чёрно-белый и без текстур. Игра - Dungeon Crawler в чистом виде: ходишь по лабиринтам толпой из 6 человек в два ряда, от первого лица, походово, уничтожаешь монстров, собираешь лут, повторить до бесконечности. Да, монстры и ловушки невидимы, пока на них не наступишь. Да, они возрождаются после любого Save/Load. И да, разумеется, случайные монстры тоже есть! (Я уже говорил, что игра к игроку недружелюбна?)

Классы здесь украдены из Wizardry же, но ролевая система далеко не такая щедрая: здесь точно так же есть "базовые" классы (боец, вор, маг, клирик, алхимик), которые заточены под одну задачу и быстро прокачиваются, есть и "продвинутые" классы, сочетающие свойства пары базовых, и есть "премиум", которые обладают особыми свойствами и сочетают несколько классов сразу. Но, в отличие от оригинала, смена класса вызвает полное забвение всех навыков, уровней и параметров. Сохраняются только очки жизни и по три заклинания каждого уровня.

Система оборудования крайне идиотская: складывается только Armor Class и бонусы для оружия. Все параметры, относящиеся к магии, не суммируются - берётся наибольший бонус, что означает, что 90% вещей в игре не нужны совершенно ни для чего. Кроме того, все вещи с заклинаниями имеют примерно 30-50% шанс сломаться после использования заклинания. А восстановить их можно только в городе или специальным заклинанием. И да, довольно скоро начинают встречаться монстры, которые ломают и ту экипировку, которая не ломается сама.

Монстры здесь крайне злобные. Очень скоро начинают попадаться враги со спецатаками, среди которых есть и обезглавливание, убивающее любого, независимо от параметров - и нет, 100% защиты от обезглавливания в игре у игрока нет (у монстров - есть). И такие монстры есть уже с четвёртого донжона.

Впрочем, жить с этим можно, если подобрать экипировку... пока проходишь сюжетную кампанию. Бонусные донжоны - особенно последняя башня - имеют монстров, которые безоговорочно убивают часть партии или вообще всех, как ты их не экипируй.

Ах, да, убитых персонажей можно воскресить. Примерно с 80%-ным шансом на успех. В остальных 20% персонаж умирает совсем, и воскресить его можно только в городе. Я упоминал, что игра нас не любит?

Ну, и донжоны. Они хороши и разнообразны. Полный джентльменский набор: есть многоуровневые лабиринты, подводные, есть ямы, ловушки, телепорты, односторонние стены, скрытые двери... здесь есть всё. Включая совершенно пустые сегменты лабиринта, где есть только монстры. Потратьте час-другой, чтобы это выяснить. У высокоуровневых магов, правда, есть заклинание телепортации, которое позволяет попасть в любую точку карты, где вы уже были. Но есть и антимагические зоны, которые блокируют всю магию, отключают все зачарования, и телепортироваться из них нельзя. И блокированные зоны есть, куда телепортироваться не выйдет - в стратегических местах, поближе к боссам. А последняя бонусная башня имеет 25 уровней и при этом блокирует телепортацию совсем. Я уже... ах, да, говорил.

В общем, вот так оно всё и идёт. Если вам нравится бродить по лабиринтам и зарисовывать их руками (автокарта, правда, есть. И это предмет. И он ломается, естественно), если вам нравится убивать бесчисленные толпы монстров, всё усиливая персонажей, если вы согласны ради этого терпеть почти полное отсутствие сюжета и уродский интерфейс а-ля 80-е - игра рекомендуется. Если же всё это вызывает у вас скорее недоумение - лучше не надо.

P.S. После прохождения последней башни убийство Главного Босса дало мне три артефакта (аналогичные тем, что я получал в конце сюжета)... и всё. Ни ролика, ни завершения сюжета, ни-че-го. Достойный конец игры. Можно играть дальше - только зачем?..
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
It plays like a Wizadry game, if you like those you'll like this.

If you don't, stay away.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
142 of 165 people (86%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
66.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
Wizardry is a pretty influential game isn't it? Nearly every major RPG franchise owes something to this classic series. Despite its Western roots, Wizardry has become very successful in Japan, with innumerable ports, sequels, and clones. Unfortunately we've seen maybe a fraction of Japanese Wizardry-likes here in the US.

Off the top of my head there has been:
-Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land (hugely recommended)
-Wizardry: Labryinth of Lost Souls (ehh..it's ok I guess)
-Class of Heroes 1 & 2 (second game is decent)
-The Dark Spire (didn't get very far, I should give it another go)
-Elminage Original and Gothic (I'm supposed to be reviewing one of these games huh?)

There are a number of other D-RPGs out there like the Etrian Odyssey series, a handful of the Shin Megami Tensei games, Demon Gaze, and so on. The point is, there are hardly any of these games available in this side of the world. By comparison, the number of Wizardry-likes available in Japan can no longer be considered a real number.

Elminage Gothic is one of the few very rare Wizardry-likes available in the U.S. That should be more than enough reason to get a recommendation...right? Eh...well sure why not? But that doesn't mean I can't give the game a good hard look.

The story of this game involves great evils, increasing numbers of monsters, sealed demon gods, etc. It's not really a story, more of an excuse to explore dungeons and kill (or be killed). Elminage Original has a similarly vacant plot but I think it had one or two interesting villains. Well, I think they had conversations with the player-character that couldn't be summed up as "I'm gonna kill youuuuuu RAWR!" Point is, this game has a non-existent story. There are 13* dungeons, most of which are optional, but you'll want to explore them all for better gear, and because it's fun.

As with all Wizardry-likes (WizLs), the first step is building that perfect party. There are several races and classes available and finding the right setup takes patience & hard work. Old standbys like the three fighters, thief, cleric, and mage are possible, but most players will want to go with the advanced classes. Valkyrie and Samurai are able fighters as well as serviceable spell-casters, summoners can get almost any monster to serve them, and alchemists are proficient in numerous utility spells . Also unlike most J-RPGs, even powerful monsters tend to be weak towards status effects.

WizLs are rarely known for sensible mechanics. Expect the first couple hours of this game to be a little confusing. Yes it's normal to gain 1 HP or even lose stats when leveling up. While you can (and should...at least early on) re-roll for better HP boosts, the system is designed to work itself out.

Elminage Gothic is a very offensive-oriented game. Oh sure having a low AC is nice, but the monsters in this game are designed to kill, not hurt. As soon as you arrive in the second dungeon you'll be welcomed by ninjas. Getting beheaded is the most common cause of death in this game. Granted, that's not to say you won't be seeing your squishy mages nuked constantly by lightning bolts, nor will devastating status effects such as stone be a rare occurence. That's just how often death occurs in this game. If you've entered a new area that's out of your league (gear isn't good enough or lacking experience), this game will let you know in the hardest way possible.

Elminage Gothic isn't what I'd call balanced. In fact a lot of battles in this game are going to be one-sided. I'm not expecting fairness when I play D-RPGs. On average the difficulty of these games is higher than normal. Besides, this game offers everything from 99 save slots to an easy teleport spell, so you never really lose progress. Sometimes though, the average enemy encounter can be absolutely ridiculous. Take for example the Master Ninja. Imagine if a ninja started the battle invisible. They could attack (and behead) you, but you couldn't do anything about it for at least one round. These guys attack twice, that's potentially two dead party members. Master Ninjas can attack in groups of three or more. For maximum effect let's say you get ambushed by a group of these ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s.

Are you freaking kidding me?

It can go deeper than that. Picture a group of werewolf archers. They have a skill called lightning attack. Basically it's a first-strike move. Before you ask, yes these guys behead. That wasn't enough so the archers are paired with enemies that can cause party-wide status effects. These effects can include sleep, paralysis, whatever. So by the end of the battle every in your party is suffering from some kind of ailment. These archers have a pursuit sweep ability, where at the end of the round they automatically strike all ailing party members. Your sleepy, scared, poisoned, or otherwise indisposed party is going to suffer through potentially SIX waves of behead-capable arrows.

It's almost pornographic. How could one game hold so much contempt for a person that they'd invent all these twisted scenarios? Even Elminage Original wasn't quite this nightmarish.

Some of the other changes Gothic brings to the table involve exploration. Previous Elminage titles had easily available mini-maps. Gothic however expects the player to use magic maps. These items are one-use compasses essentially. They show what you've explored and where you're currently located. It's mostly a nuisance. Early on an easily repairable map can be found, and apparently somebody has already figured out how to hack the game to make infinite magic maps. The dungeons are for the most part really good. Some involve numerous treks between different floors(Hastrana), others require switches to be flipped, and still others(Royal Tomb) are just there to confuse and frustrate. I can see why Starfish went with the magic map system, since a number of dungeon puzzles rely on the player not having a mini-map. Genre-veterans won't find a lot of new ideas in these dungeons, but they'll welcome them all the same.

Delivering punishment to those enemies that held you down for so long is extremely rewarding. Still, it's nothing that I can consider balanced. Instead of simply getting destroyed in battle after battle, your party is stomping formerly insurmountable odds like so many insects. Even fights are few and far between in this game. In some cases the boss encounters can involve round to round strategies, some can even require a stout defense. However, all of the bosses automatically recover HP every round. Essentially the boss-battles -- normally the culmination of all your knowledge and abilities -- boil down to two things 1) damage race and 2) equipment check. Again, this speaks to how offense-oriented this game is.

All that said, I don't really consider this a knock against the game. That's simply the way it's designed. Everyone has their own preferences, but I enjoy the short and to the point battles, even if they can be annoyingly unfair in how they're put together at times. Unfortunately this style of game-design probably won't gel with "Iron-man" players. Some will have foresight to know when they're in over their heads, but that doesn't mean their complaints are invalid (especially when their well put-together party is undone by a ludicrous ambush).

Holy smokes Steam reviews have character limits? Better cut this short then.

The game is addictive as hell. It's also rewarding. It's $10 and pretty awesome if you can accept its idiosyncrasies.
But that's just my opinion.

*There are three post-game bonus dungeons.
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54 of 61 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
340.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
RECOMMENDED for any hardcore RPGer or dungeon crawler enthusiast

I have always loved Wizardry-style dungeon crawlers, and Elminage Gothic succeeds in being my 2nd favorite dungeon crawler of all time (Behind Wizardry 8). It is not without some flaws, though.

First, the great things:

+ It's Wizardry. Grid-based maps, 6 party members, 9 different races, 16 different classes (You can recruit monsters too!). You can change classes, too, with some restrictions.
+ 75+ floors across 16 different dungeons to explore, all with a unique environment and music. Lots of variety. Yes, rotating floors, teleporters, pitch black rooms, shoots, pits, traps, ie what you would expect in a Wizardry game.
+ 400+ GORGEOUS hand-crafted monster models. Detailed in-game bestiary as you find more monsters
+ 500+ different items/weapons/armor
+ 65 quests, fairly non-linear
+ Weapon/armor crafting. Endless customization to fit your needs.
+ Great music, especially the 8 battle themes. Soundtrack included!
+ Random encounters are rare. 90% of battles are from preset monster locations that respawn if you leave the dungeon

Now the bad things:
- Pretty bad menus. You get used to them after awhile though and quickly learn how to navigate them efficiently
- Limited inventory space (Warehouse eventually gets expanded to 99 which is fantastic!)
- Maps are consumable, but early in the game you get a reusable map item, and there are magic spells that let you view the ENTIRE dungeon on all floors.
- Leveling up system is confusing for new players. HP gains are based on your vitality and level so don't worry about how much HP you are gaining per level, because it will balance out. If you want to min/max your stats, you have the freedom to.

If you are looking for a huge game that rewards you with exploration and experimentation, Elminage Gothic fits the bill. Having finally done everything possible in the game, I must say that it was some of the best 300+ hours I've spent.

9/10 as there are some things that could be improved. Can't complain though because games like this are pretty rare.
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32 of 32 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
In "Elminage Gothic" you take control of up to 6 adventurers in an attempt to vanquish the rumored darkness in the caves of Tsun-Kurn.

Story:
It starts with an interesting introduction but the rest of the game is pretty straightforward and lacks any real depth (same with the dialogues).

Gameplay:
  • There are several places to visit in the city, where besides getting quests, you can: rest, recover HP, perform alchemy and smithing, view items and defeated monsters data, among other things. These places comprise of a tavern, an inn, a temple, a shop, the castle and lastly a Training school. This last one, it's where you can you choose from a list of already created adventurers to be your companions or perform "adventurer registration" (i.e, create new characters to be your companions). You can also change the classes of already existing characters or simply delete them.
    Character creation goes further than most RPGs: besides the common options in these games, like gender and name choice, it also includes 8 different races to choose from (including some very uncommon ones like dragonewt, werebeast, fairy, gnome and hotleat); "alignment choice" (Good, Neutral or Evil) that limit the choice of the 18 classes at your disposal (by choosing one of the alignments, there will be a couple of classes unavailable to you). You will also get bonus attribute points that also determine what class you can be: to get a certain class you need a determined number of points. You can re-roll the points you get until you can choose the class you are interested in but, fair warning, it is very hard to get more than 20 points (the best I got was 28 after many tries). To be able to pick the "Lord" class you need 30. You can also select the character's age (it affects slightly the bonus attribute points) and one Extra Skill.
    Note: Created characters will have lower level than the ones that are on the list to pick from.
  • Besides the variety of traps, treasures and items there are also hundreds of different monsters that require different tactics to defeat. Traps can also be tricky to deal with. All this requires a very fine tuning between the skills and classes of your party members when in combat and dungeon crawling.
  • There is a large variety of dungeon levels too (so far, all dungeon levels I encountered are different).

Soundtrack:
Beautiful but lacks variety.



The game also has a few flaws:
  • One thing, among a few other, that this game lacks is a tutorial but you get the hang of it pretty quickly.
  • Trying to return to a dungeon level after navigating through so many already makes dungeon crawling a bit dull and repetitive.
  • So far I encountered a couple of bugs and glitches that aren't fixed.
  • Controlling your character through the dungeons is harder than it should be.
  • The dungeons have very low resolution.


Despite all these flaws, this game is actually very good. In my opinion, the best part of this game is (micro-)managing your adventurers/companions to face the many obstacules (enemies or traps) thrown your way.
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49 of 61 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2014
I've got about 4hrs of this game under my belt at the time of writing. Why I'm I telling you this is because its my first impressions of Elminage Gothic (EG) I'm not a big RPG gamer with the exception of FF titiles and Dragon Quest. If you're thinking of buying this due to the 1st person RPG style from a yesteryear I can't think this will disappoint many. I rather have been enjoying EG however a few niggles which seem to stand out! It doesn't explain very much. This can be a + or - depending on preference. The biggest wall you will hit is getting lost and a party wipeout due to how the game has consumable maps!? Thats right single use maps, run out and its hit and miss if you'll see light again. Once this is understood and you buy lots of magic maps and remember to manage items and know when to head back its not bad. Although I could see this putting more casual gamers off. Overall this has the ability to become a favourite of mine.
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44 of 54 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 19, 2014
Thac0(To hit a armor class of 0), vast maze like dungeons, deadly traps, deep charecter and party customization, level and stat drains, possible permadeath, large mobs of monsters, anti magic zones, zones of darkness, and all that. If those words start making your mouth water or makes you start thinking back to the old school Wizardry games and fond memories of late nights being glued to the warm glow of a computer screen with a caffinated soda in one hand and a pile of graph paper in the other savouring the fustrastion and the joys of trying to solve a vast deadly monster filled maze. Then this game is for you. This game is a Wizardry clone and one that isn't afraid to really hold anything back but rather embraces the old school nature of those games.

Monsters that can drain your stats or levels, it's got that. Possible one hit deaths it's got that. Vast maze like dungeons made to get you lost? oh yeah it's got that and in spades(over 94 floors to explore spread out over 16 dungeons), varied monsters it's got that too, it's even has for better or worse the old school Wizardry 1-5 level up system(you know the one where you have to rest at a inn and your stats can not only increase but decrease every level up but it is balanced out), charecters that can age yup, if it was a part of the old Wizardy rule system it's probley in this game.

Now this game isn't for everyone, if you are the easily fustrated type or a graphics ♥♥♥♥♥ this game will be a major turn off as this game is unapologeticlly hard and is not only emulates old school Wizardry games in the rules but also in the games graphics(though admitedly it's better then the early PC versions which were just wire frames for the dungeons) which take a cue from the japan only PS1 remakes of Wizardry's 1-5 which used 3d graphics for the dungeons and static hi-res portrates for the monsters and the town(which was still a basic menu like the orginal versions). But if that doesn't bother you and your looking for something that captures the old school Wizardry era dungeon crawler then this is for you. Just keep in mind while there is a automap feature it is a limited one as you can only access it via use of the consumable one use magic map item(though you can buy as many of them as you can carry and there is a multiple use one that can be found in the second dungeon but it can break but is repairable) and a level 1 mage spell so you may want to rely on it only when you are lost which probley will be very often since many passages and rooms are built in a way to confuse and trick you.
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64 of 87 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
43.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2015
If i have to describe Elminage Gothic(EG) in one word it would be: Tedious.

I have grown up with Wizardry and Might&Magic and i played the heck out of Wiz6-8 and MM3-6. I can handle basic dungeon crawlers and while EG resembles those games superficially it lacks a soul. The closest match is probably Wiz6 gameplay wise, but it adds much more tedium to it.

- Massivly limited Inventory while bombarding you with junk
- No resting in dungeons, so if your spellcasters run out of their exteremely limited spell pool you have to track back all the way through those Dungeons with Map layouts that make no sense other than to annoy the player and are too hard to navigate without a map which is a consumable item. And i consider that Underground Map to be a consumable too, because it breaks all the time.
- Crap breaks all the time and due to limited inventory carrying spares restricts the limited inventory even further.
- Losing attributes randomly and wide range of hp gains forces save scumming early levels (which based on ingame clock and steam play time so far is several hours and im lev 15 ...)
- No difficulty indicator for Traps/Doors (just gonna avoid Magic Drain like the plague)

I wanted to like this, i was craving for a new turn based dungeon crawler (sorry Grimrock), but this one falls flat so far.
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37 of 49 people (76%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2014
A good Wizardry clone. Played "Original" on PSP and loved it. For this price this game is a steal. Love that gothic feeling.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
218.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
While playing Etrian Odyssey has spoiled me quite a bit, comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. While I would reccomend the former to anyone, Elminage has a few issues that give me a little hesitation. Some of the sound choices put me off. The music isn't that bad, fortunately, yet the menu confirmation sound is a bit over-loud. The art direction is very very top notch and the ability to go into an art gallery mode to appreciate the beasties you fight is a welcome decision.

What is NOT a welcome decision was that this port removed the capability to insert artwork from outside sources for your own characters! Some of us like to draw our own characters and thrust them into the character grinder that is the Wizardry series. This was a missed feature and Starfish really dropped the ball on this.

Gripes aside, the real meat and bones is the wizardry gameplay and from the get-go the game does not pull its punches. If you decide to generate your own characters ( And you should! ) the starter dungeon goes from a challenge for the pregenerated level 5s to a nightmare for your level ones. Every level you get, even if it's one HP point, you will savor and each victory comes that much sweeter, especially since party members can now cover each other! Having a tank character is actually a huge asset and lets your dual-wielders or two-handers take a breather if they get picked on, since he or she can defend them. It's a nice little touch of teamwork from the usual fight/fight/fight/parry/parry/parry.

Speaking of, the dreaded fight/fight/fight/parry/parry/parry is something that no longer happens nearly as often. Furthermore, you can also screw monsters over by putting thieves in the front line. If monsters can't detect them, they can't target them, nor can they aim at the back line, unless they have a longer range weapon.

Oh that's right, kids. Long range weapons are no longer just for your characters. From the second dungeon on, your back row can be exposed to heat from spear wielders and ninja weapons that can behead on a lucky shot. Still, back line members are nowhere near as likely to get pinged off as your front line is, so there is that going for them. Oh, and on the subject of being hidden? Enemies can hide too and screw over your chances at getting at the mages in the back line. If you happen to encounter a group of mages with fighters in the back row, the fighters will gladly advance on you to keep their casters out of the line of fire.

There are also classes that are nonstandard from the classic wizardry series, and in a decision that made me smile, there are also genders that are nonstandard from normal nomenclature. I got a chuckle when I rolled an effeminate "?" gender mage, only to find out later that they also qualify for a valkyrie class change when they get the stats for it, their indeterminate gender qualifying them for the normally female-only class.

There really is a lot to like here, and the ups far outweigh the downs. I just wish that they would have included the ability for us to import our own drawings so we could play as characters we truly make. Alas, it is a fly in the ointment, but if you've ever played, and liked the Wizardry series, this is Wizardry, 110% so. Fans of the RPG Genre should find enough here to greatly enjoy and I would gladly reccomend it to them, especially at the $10 price tag. It's a crime not to enjoy another entry in the wizardry series.
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