Madou Monogatari Series

Madou Monogatari is an RPG series virtually unknown in the West, as none of the games ever made it out of Japan. Madou Monogatari was first released on MSX, as a prototype called Madou Monogatari Episode II Carbuncle, included in one of Compile's Discstation. The full game Madou Monogatari 1-2-3 was released the following year and spawned several ports and remakes. The games were remade on the Sega GameGear, Sega MegaDrive, NEC PC-9801 and NEC PC Engine. Sequels soon followed and several titles include Madou Monogatari ARS, Madou Monogatari: The Final Test and Madou Monogatari: Tower of the Magician. Interestingly, the final Madou game that was made did not make it in Japan, due to Compile's bankrupcy. However, the game was released in Korea on a Discstation and roughly translates to "Madou Monogatari: The Secret of Elysium".

The games are typically first person dungeon crawlers. Random enemies appear and the player is often greeted by puzzles that must be solved in order to progress. Typically, the amount of health and magic the main character has are not represented as number. Instead it is visually represented by the characters facial expression and/or by the way the character describes him or herself. One exception is the Madou Monogatari game for Sega Saturn, which was designed as a more common JPRG.

The first game Madou Monogatari I stars Arle as a kindergarten student who has to pass her magician's exam. She does so by collecting jewels in a tower and defeating the demon Fudoushi. In Madou Monogatari II Arle is 16 years old and the game introduces Schezo Wegey for the first time, who attempts to steal Arle's magic power. At the end of the game, Arle befriends Carbuncle. And finally in Madou Monogatari III Arle meets Rulue and her servant Minotaur.

Madou Monogatari ARS includes three stories involving Arle, Rulue and Schezo. Four year old Arle coincidentally meets Carbuncle but gets lost in the forest. Though the GameGear remake shows a different story where she is scared off into the forest by Satan. Rulue's story involves her being kidnapped. She eventually meets Satan and falls in love. Schezo's story tells his adventure after he is sucked into a mirror during a school excursion. Here he defeats the Rune Lord and inherits the title of Dark Wizard. All stories are told in different timelines and are not directly connected.

The many entries in the Madou Monogatari games and novels expands the "Puyo universe" and tells the background stories to many characters. As said before, none of the games were ever released in the West. Fortunately, there are two games in the Madou series that are fan translated: the overly cute Madou Monogatari: Big Kindergarten Kids for SNES and Madou Monogatari I for Sega GameGear. Currently Sega holds the license to Puyo Puyo, Arle and other related characters, the Madou Monogatari series is licensed by D4 enterprise. It is very unlikely there will be any new Madou Monogatari game that includes the Puyo Puyo cast in future.