Wing of Madoola

This game is new to me, so I’m just going to wing it.

Review Date: February 25, 2021

Release Date: December 18, 1986 (Japan date; Japan only release)

Platform: NES Famicom

Publisher: Sunsoft

Genre: Linear Platformer with RPG elements

Anecdotes: Having just played Super Mario 2 and Lum’s Wedding Bell, I’m a little worried about what’s next on the Japan exclusive list. Super Mario 2 was difficult to the point where Nintendo chose not to release it out west and Lum’s Wedding Bell was even more ridiculous than that. I figured this would just be another virtually impossible game like those two. Imagine my relief when I realized the number at the top was a health meter. Lucia can take hits.

Hey, look at all the good stuff I found for Lucia!

Description: Players control Lucia, who will have to traverse 16 stages in a quest to find the Wing of Madoola. Lucia starts with a short range sword, 1000 HP, and 1000 MP. That’s right; this game is a platformer/RPG hybrid. In each stage, Lucia will come across doors that will often have items inside. Some examples include an apple, which refills 500 HP only once; a spring, which refills all health as many times as Lucia wants; scrolls, which are single use MP refills; sword upgrades; etc. Inside one door of each stage is a boss. Some are easy, some are hard. Many will appear in other levels. Each boss guards a crystal boss, which must be obtained to advance to the next level.

It’s Suneisa vs. Lucia. Time to place bets; does the half woman, half snake win, or the woman with the Flame Sword?

Positives: To start, I noticed a handful of similarities between this game and one of Sunsoft’s works from two years later, Blaster Master. This almost feels like a predecessor in some ways. There’s an overworld with numbered stages, but they’re shorter here and players don’t need to search old stages for the exit to the next one. The overworld is filled with doors that lead either inside or to another part of the overworld. Like Blaster Master, each stage has a boss inside one of the doors who must be defeated to advance to the next stage. It really hit me during stage 5:

This is stage 5 in Wing of Madoola, which, to me, looks A LOT like the Catacombs/Area 4 of Blaster Master.

So, after playing all sorts of grueling games lately, a much fairer game like this one is a welcome relief. Lucia doesn’t get extra lives, but she does have an HP meter. Lucia can take a few hits, but the real treat is that the developers put in a simple method to continue. They’re unlimited, Lucia can choose any stage she has reached, and Lucia keeps ALL of her upgrades.

Even nicer, Lucia can walk into healing springs to recover HP. They appear periodically, with the first one in stage 4.

Expanding on the upgrades, I like the idea that most of the upgrades actually have significant effects. Lucia can go from slow and low jumping to fast and almost flying (and as I get later in the game, maybe she actually can fly?). The sword goes from practically useless to one shotting half to bestiary.

Outside of a few glitches and the bosses, which is down in Negatives, the game runs very smooth and Lucia controls as well as I could ask for. She can switch directions in midair. She doesn’t slide when she lands.

Negatives: There are issues with the bosses. Most of them have the ability to disappear off the screen on one side and reappear on the other. Lucia doesn’t know where to find the boss, and she could chase after one until it goes offscreen, only to have it appear behind her. Sometimes, it’s a challenge just to get them to appear at all.

More Screenshots:

The first boss of the game…is a giant huevo. I’m not kidding. She is fighting an egg.
It looks like Blinky sent a few relatives out to get Lucia.
Lucia can fall down waterfalls, but instead of killing her, they usually force her to redo sections of the stage.
This has a bit of a Castlevania look to it, no?

Grade: B

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *