Slayers Royal was the first Slayers game released for the mid-90's CD-ROM based game console systems. Released on the Sega Saturn, and more recently, the Sony Playstation, the game blends a turn-based three-quarters overhead strategy game with a simple RPG-style interface. While not a full-fledged roleplaying game, the game is definitely enjoyable for fans of Slayers, with full-motion video abounds (11 sequences in all, for the Saturn version) and a LOT of digitized voice sampling.
In a near forest, Lina, Gourry and Naga encounters an elf child, named Lark, being attacked by 2 mazoku. After rescuing him, they find that the mazoku had kidnapped Lark's sister, Rynnea, in order to gain an ancient amulet they had, now in hands of Lark. Long after that, they discover the real power of the amulet: with it, the mazoku can resurrect Ruby Eye Shabranigdu.
Gameplay : Adventure ModeEdit
Adventure Mode itself has two components : Conversation and Roaming. In Conversations, simply use the A or C button to go to the next screen of text, and use the D-pad to choose options. Just about all throughout the game, the A and C buttons select an option, and the B button will either pull up a menu or cancel.
In the Roaming mode, it's a bit more complicated, but not horribly. Whenever the eye cursor is onscreen, you can move it around with the D-pad. The A and C buttons 'look at' or 'talk to' the object underneath the eye cursor, but the targeting is pretty finicky, i.e. you must be RIGHT on top of someone's eyes or mouth in order to talk to them.
By pressing different buttons in Roaming mode you can access different options. The B button pulls up a small menu, on which the icons are [travel], [save], [load], and [configure]. More on the 'travel' option in a little bit... the 'save' and 'load' icons should be self-explanatory for most Saturn owners, they save and load games into your Saturn memory. Configure options are as follows, I will confess now that I never fiddled with these and have no clue how to translate them ^_^;
    Comment Speed Navigation ?? Comments ??
       Animation ?? Self Greed ?! Sound ??! Navigation ??
Third menu (System):
    Sound
In certain locations, other options come up. Shops bring up the [Buy] and [Sell] options, inns bring up the [Sleep/Rest] option, and restaurants allow you the [Eat] option. When at an inn, if there is only one selection for Rest, then it will be to sleep overnight. Otherwise, the first one will be to rest until nightfall, and the second will be an overnight stay. I'm not sure the difference between the eating options, though I think that the first one is the Lina specialty - gorging yourself to exhaustion - and the second is to just eat a little. The second seems to be easier on the budget.
The Y button calls up a menu which allows you to look at your character stats and items. I would guess that you can level-up at certain points in the game, some stats seem to be different for each character, depending on their strengths. For example, Zelgadiss has 'Golem', 'Demon', and 'Serious' whereas it seems Amelia has more justice-oriented statistics. The similar stats are HP = Hit Points, MP = Magic Points (these maxes do not change throughout the game), ATC = Attack, DEF = Defense, HIT = To-Hit skill, INT = Intelligence, as in how well your character thinks when you aren't controlling him/her (as in, between rounds). Unlike other menus, you've got to hit Y again to leave this menu.
The Z button, or the 'Travel' option in the B-button menu, allows you to move from place to place. Usually, there are a few different types of places you can go within a city.
Inns / Hotels: Here's where you stay the night, or rest for a few hours. Restaurants: You go here to eat. Big surprise :) Streets: You have to be on the main street of a town in order for the 'Leave Town' icon to show up. Stores: Every so often, you can go to a store and buy useful things, though I don't think I've ever bought anything useful at a store yet o_o; Special Areas: Most towns have special buildings that you can enter. Leave Town: This icon only shows up in the main entrance: it looks like a mountain range and usually appears in the lower right corner of the map.
Gameplay : Battle ModeEdit
Battle Mode is a bit more complicated than Adventure Mode, and it tends to be where you'll spend most of your time, and most of the real GAME. Oh, and before I start explaining anything else, DON'T EVER HIT THE Z BUTTON!!
The Game Plan:The basic idea behind this fighting engine is that it is round-based. In other words, you select what you want your characters to do, and then turn on 'Real-Time' mode to let them do it. Of course, the enemies get to act in Real-Time mode, as well. The Z button is one way of turning on Real-Time Mode, but to turn it off and select a new action, you have to hit the B button. Sometimes, you have to hit the B button several times to get it to recognize that you want to leave Real-Time mode. Whenever it recognizes it, the status bar in the upper right will read 'Chotto matte ne' (Please Wait) to reflect it; whenever the enemies are done moving, then you get to select what you want your characters to do. If you don't hit the B button in time to leave Real-Time mode, you will NOT get to select a new action, and thus if your characters beat the enemy they were attacking, they stand there and do nothing. Unless they're in AI mode, in which case they'll automatically figure out what to do next.
The Screen: Your characters are the recognizable Slayers characters. The enemies, in almost all cases, are the ones you shouldn't recognize. (Except Lark! ^_^) If you don't see a little bar at the bottom of the screen, hit the X button to pull it up. You should see each of the characters' names in katakana, along with their statistics. Let's take Lina, for example, who always shows up first. You should see her name, 135/135, 195/195. The first pair of numbers is hit points, the second is magic points. The first number of each pair is the current number of points, the second is the maximum. You can't ever have more than your maximum. Your hit points will go down as you get hit, and your magic points will go down as you cast spells. Your magic points gradually refill, but your hit points can only be refilled by magic spells like 'Recovery'.
Gourry cannot use magic, all the other characters can. For magic-users, there may also appear a small bubble with an exclamation point inside. If this bubble is visible, the character whom it appears by cannot cast magic for this round of gameplay. The color of the exclamation point indicates how long before the character can cast magic again: blue means a long time (about three or so rounds), red means the next round of play, and the other colors are in between. Of course, the lag time between spells depends on the proficiency of the mage; Lina can cast fire spells quicker than Lark. Of course, other factors can cause an exclamation point to appear, like getting smacked by an enemy's spell.
The Menus: As you move the cursor around, you can hit the A or C button to select a particular character. To move between characters quickly, just hit the L or R buttons on the front of the controller. If you select an enemy with the A or C button, you will only see their hit points and name, but if you click on a player character, you can also select from a menu. Now, the menus are a little bit tricky to understand...
All your characters start off in 'AI' mode. If you wanted to, you could leave your characters in AI mode and let them fend for themselves in Real-Time Mode, but this would generally be a bad idea because the computer AI, quite frankly, SUCKS for anyone who doesn't have magic ready. But the computer DOES know when and where to use particular spells, so occasionally if you're stuck you might want to just leave it in AI mode.
Ahem. In any case, there are two sets of menus : the AI control menu, and the Action menu. The AI control menu has four icons, going counter-clockwise: [AI off], [Shield], [Sword], and [?]. The Action menu also has four icons, counter-clockwise: [AI menu], [Attack], [Defend], and [Cast Magic]. When your characters are in AI mode, and you click on them, you will be in the Action menu, and all icons except for [AI] will be crossed out. So if you want to leave AI on, hit the B button, else select [AI] and hit A or C to go to the AI Control Menu. From here you can either select aggressive AI (the sword), defensive AI (the shield), random AI (the question-mark), or to turn AI off.
If you turn off AI, your characters will just STAND there unless you tell them something to do. Usually, if you have your cursor on a character, and they don't have a thought blinking over their head to indicate motion, attack, or something else, then they aren't going to do anything once Real-Time Mode is enacted. To make them more productive, hit the A or C button to bring up a menu and give them something to do. If AI mode is off and the character can still move, then you can actually select one of the Action menu icons - you can fight, set defense options, or cast a spell.
The fight menu has three main options: attack (person with a sword), shove (person shoulder-blocking), or run/maneuver (person running). If you select attack, you will be prompted to select your target. Yes, you can attack your friends, though this is only useful for waking them up. Same goes for shove, but instead of attacking, you can shove the target one square back if you are successful. Run moves you to the target location as quick as you can.
Oh, by the way, Lina has a special fourth option: Bunny Slipper. Just like attack, but it only does one point of damage. But one day, though, I actually made Mossman run away with a Bunny Slipper, so maybe it does a bit more than that ^_-
The defense options menu allows you to determine what your character does when attacked. The sword option means that your character will try to counterattack, the other options let you sidestep within the same square, dodge to another square, or just stand there and take the damage.
To cast a spell, you cannot have an exclamation point over your character's name, and you'd better not be Gourry. Certain spells won't work against certain enemies, i.e. flames don't work well against Brass Demons, and nothing but spirit magic works against Living Mail. Each spell has an MP cost (how many magic points it takes to cast), a damage rating, a to-hit bonus, and a 'Step' rating, which indicates how many rounds the spellcaster will be unable to cast any OTHER spells. Also, each spell has a different blast effect: some common spell effects are cone-shaped (Dragu-Slave), some are linear (Flare Lance), some are circular/plus-shaped (Fireball), some are single-square targets, and some are simply touch-range or for the spellcaster only. Each spell has to be targeted as well - be wary on setting targets. It's not wise to try and throw a fireball over your companion's head, for example. It WON'T work. It's also not wise to throw a fireball into a square adjacent to your friend. That'll hurt them, as well.
Oh, and you can also get more options by pressing the B button without a character selected. This will give you a menu with the options [Real-Time Mode], [Save], [Load], and [Configure] - the Real-Time Mode button does the same thing as the Z button, and the other three do the same as they do in Adventure Mode. Note that it's better to use this method of entering Real-Time Mode, as it's just WAY too easy to 'accidentally' hit the Z button...
General Advice : If you see full-motion video, you're doing something right. ^_- Conversations : Knowing Japanese usually helps in the conversations, considering there's never any English aside from the occasional numbers. Luckily, the conversation component of Slayers Royal isn't too terribly complex. In most conversations, whenever a choice comes up, I got by just selecting the first option. In bartering for goods, usually you want the lowest price; the last option will be the lowest price. Eventually you learn to recognize which symbols mean 'No, I don't want to buy anything' - these are usually the ones without numbers. :) Inside Cities : There's a trick to roaming around the game - do EVERYTHING YOU CAN in EVERY CITY. Whenever going to a new city, you should walk to all locations and do everything you can. Talk to everyone who looks like they're paying attention to you; if they're not looking at you, usually you can't talk to them. Though sometimes it'd be good to click on doors if they're obvious, too :) After that's done, go to the inn in the city and rest a few hours until nightfall. Once nightfall arrives, the only places you can go are usually restaurants and the inn, so go to the restaurant and talk to everyone there. Oh, and usually gorging yourself at the restaurant's a good idea too, as that seems to be the main way to level-up. After eating, go back to the inn and get a good night's rest. If nothing 'special' has happened in the city by morning, walk around the town again - you shouldn't have to look at anyone, just do a quick run-through. Then, if nothing else has happened by NOW, go look somewhere else. Mazes : I have no help for ya here, I just kinda brute-forced my way through the mazes, and I think that's what you have to do; just take all the right-handed paths until you can't any more, then back up and try the left ones if you dead-end. Outside Cities : Whenever you're outside a city, your options are usually pretty limited. The best thing to do is learn which cities are which... your ultimate goal in the game is Lezariam. The city you are currently at is at the top of the screen here, and your destination is shown at the bottom. Lezariam seems to be in the lower-left area of the world, at least on my lame map. Pay attention to conversations, and you can probably get hints about where to head to. By the time you get to Saillune you're about halfway through the game - you find companions in this order: Naga, Lark, Zelgadiss, Amelia, Sylpheel, and Naga again. Trip : I'll probably have to go through the game again before I can list all the cities here (the Japanese names) for a walkthrough ^_^; Spoilers
Get Bonus Points for Dill-Branding Naga! After the first conversation in town, go to the center of town, and talk for a while. Then, go to the lower-left icon in the town, and then try to go back to the restaurant. Naga will make some comment about how they just LEFT the restaurant, and Lina will get quite irritated and Dill-Brand Naga into the stratosphere. You get to level-up for doing that, so it's actually worth doing. Ending : Well, the group splits into two parts - Zelgadiss, Sylpheel, Amelia, and Gourry hold off the hordes of monsters while Lina and Lark, joined later by Naga, face the bigbadguy Diol in an attempt to stop him from resurrecting Shabranigdu. After the altar and Lezariam necklace are destroyed, Lina, Naga, and Lark free Rynea, Lark's sister, and head outside. Now... according to Ansel Wilson: "When Rynea was a child, her father told them that it's possible that someone could come looking for the Lezarium Necklace and try to resurrect Shabranigdu. (Smart old man, eh?) Apparently, if the necklace were destroyed, the resurrection could not take place. Lina then says that if their father told them about that, then why didn't Lark mention it? Rynea says that Lark used to sleep through those stories. Hence the Lark-beating by Lina and Naga."