Games > Record of Bahamut War

One of the first War Simulation games I have known, this is also one of the best in its days (hey, I'm always this lucky). Not that I'm boastful of my choice of games, but I'm boastful of my big cousins' choices (who were like gods). The original title, "Bahamut Senki", was similar to that of Record of Lodoss War "Lodoss-Tou Senki", therefore my unoriginal translation. :P

And why are there people mistaking that "Mu" in Katakana for a "N" in Hiragana, making it "Bahant Senki"? They didn't consult a Japanese expert!

Heroes
Character Select - From top left to right, Jiek, Bastral, Shelfa, El Moea, Gairam, Belflame, Climut, and Barma
Military Phase Menu
Battle Map example 1... there's a secret
Battle map example 2

This is a story that set stage on the Bahamut continent, which has seen ages of conflict and chaos. There was a time when humans and elves brought peace and order to the land, but that is all long gone now. What is left on this land is the endless war and struggle of the powers. And you as the player will be able to become one of the eight powerful leaders ambitious to conquer it all.

The eight leaders are- (forgive me for the crappy English names)

  • Sieg (Jiek?) the prince of the humans
  • El Moea the young leader of the elves
  • Shelfa the almighty wizard
  • Bastral the most powerful of the Berserkers
  • Gairam the head of the giants clan
  • Belflame the head of the dragons
  • Climut the lord of the demons
  • Barma, lord of the undead

It's easy to tell who are the good guy and bad guy here eh ladies and gentlemen!? But the bad guys are awesome. They have more powerful creatures (like dragons... giants...) but they are also restrained by starting out in deserted land areas... Ack, I'm starting this review too deep. Back out.

First of all, the characters. Sig is a de-facto storybook prince, a righteous lord who hopes to restore his kingdom and bring order to the land. That makes him the leading good guy. Barma was the human hero from the last war, though I'm not too familiar with the specifics, for all that it matters now, he comes back as a walking corpse, commanding armies of undead (zombies, mummies, ...) and that makes him the standard bad guy... And there are these in between that are more or less just greedy for power. (okay okay, so the Elves are more righteous and elite from others, and Climut for crying out loud is the lord of the demons and he's the runner-up badguy!) But that's not important when you can be ANY ONE OF THEM! What Excitement it is! that you can be an evil lord in this game...

Next, the game itself... which is what really matters. ^_^ The overall gameplay is similar to that of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, where a continent is divided up into pieces like jigsaw puzzles, each of which is a base unit that can be owned by one lord. As you start the game, you begin with owning only one piece of land... what you must do is, of course, expand your territory as much as possible, killing all the opposing forces and be the last single superpower...

The game goes in turns. In each turn, first come the political phase, where you carry out the diplomatic affairs (alliance, trades, etc), then come the military phase, which are executed per piece of land. There's a full range of actions that you can take in a land: hiring new warriors, training, spying on others, troops transfers, and eventually invading alien territories.

There are two kinds of battle forces - ones hired by money, and ones summoned with special energy. The former kinds are the 'regular' troops, they are fairly balanced in strength, more civilized (in a way), and are special to your leader's species characteristics (if you're an elven lord, you get elves...) The latter are more like 'tamed beasts' than troops, and can be anything from cyclopes and unicorns to hydras and griffins. These kinds are specific to terrain types. Energy required for summoning come from previously won battles, which means they are hard-earned and needs more resource management.

The game offers different engines for battle maps and even close-up combats. For all the higher level gamers, however, it's recommended to use Hex-map over the RPG style, and no 2D action games, please. :P The system also allows for a few more advanced features such as Heroes and Plots. (Well, I used the word plots... they are more like special spells that you can cast during the politics phase, works something like a player enchant card in magic the gathering.) These are also preferred as they add more depth into each units and variations in the way a battle can be fought.

There's a way to play multiplayer on this thing, but in the old days without networking, the multiplayer feature is rather cumbersome... each player take turn using the same control pads. ^^;

One extra note I wanna make on this game is how it inspired me to design a game of my own. When I didn't get to play this game (which were often), I decided to create something just like it - with my own kinds of map, my own kinds of troops, etc. Of course, everything on paper. It has never gone far, but it was probably my first ever game-design experience. On that day, I felt that I learned so much just by attempting to create a game. My brain seemed to be on fire, as it started to tackle a new dimension of thinking when I tried to put everything into a logical box. I believe it had been a great lesson.

Ray Chien, Oct. 2002



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