“And introducing the challenger… Some loser with a stick!”
This little nugget of dialogue should give you an idea of the tone of Square Soft’s role-playing game, Secret of Evermore. Unlike the majority of their repertoire of games, Secret of Evermore was developed by the American branch of Square Soft. As a result, there’s no mire of untranslatable Japanese culture references to pore through, rather there’s an abundance of fictional B-list movie references instead.
Secret of Evermore is very similar in structure to the earlier yet unrelated RPG Secret of Mana for the SNES. Ring menu system, plus a stamina bar and chargeable attacks make the gameplay feel almost identical to Secret of Mana, with only a few minor aesthetic differences. The menu system was perfect for the hectic nature of the battle system, where speedy equipment changes, magic selection, and item usage were of paramount importance.
The plot follows a young hero and his dog on their journey through time, through worlds populated by zany tribesman and self-aware philosophers. From prehistory to the distant future, the hero wields bones, bazookas and alchemical spells while searching for a way back to his own time. It was a refreshing departure from the epic tales of saving princesses and kingdoms that defined JRPG’s of the time.
Although an oddball, Secret of Evermore nevertheless proves itself to be a solid game worthy of being among the very best of Square Soft’s RPG’s.