A tie in with an anime series of the same name, Gulliver Boy takes place in a surreal reimagining of our world. Venice, Spain, and other Mediterranean-esque locations will be traveled in this steampunk/mecha/magic world ultimately leading to Atlantis.
Gulliver, a young magic user and his younger, super genius inventor buddy Edison are pulled into a sweeping war as Judau, the king of Spain is attacking Venice. They team up with a musical healer named Misty and set out to end Judau’s reign. But, are there other forces at work?
Anyone who seeks to collect showpieces for the Engine’s capabilities should get this title. The HuVideo alone is worth the price of admission, but then you get an amazingly rich game to boot? Bonus!
Of all the Engine’s 16-bit RPG’s with their Run/Fight/Magic/Item battle systems there are two whose graphics are so solid, so indicative of the beauty of pixel art I’d put them against any other console of the time; Seiya Monogatari and Gulliver Boy. Just look at any screenshot.
There’s not much CD music here. I’m guessing with the HuVideo, they sacrificed some space and the wavesynth music is standard Engine fair – no landmarks were created in that department. However, when the compressed version of the main theme plays, it is just as wonderful as a Joe Hisaishi soundtrack (Studio Ghibli composer). And, like Seiya Monogatari, the voice acting is superb although some voices, like Edison, are that grating, high pitched kind used for humor in Japanese media.
Gameplay, as mentioned above, is standard RPG. Walking the overworld, you see the creatures so you can pick and choose your battles. In a fight you get a beautifully detailed, although rather static backdrop. Your characters’ portraits are displayed at the bottom. You can control three of your characters, the fourth member can change throughout the game and make their own decisions in battles. During boss fights, the enemy picture takes up the whole window and it updates to show damage when they’re losing.
If the world could have experienced titles like this instead of some of the system’s shovelware, perhaps Hudson would have been a contender through the 32/64-bit era and beyond? The community should rally around this one, it truly is a landmark title.
W. Eric Myers