Disc Station Deluxe 2 cover art (MSX2)
Madoushi Lulba (魔導師ラルバ Madōshi Raruba, lit. "Wizard Lulba") is an adventure game created by Compile, released for the MSX via various episodes on their Disc Station disk magazine, before finally being compiled into one single release through Disc Station Deluxe 2 in 1990, complete with enhanced graphics and an extra chapter. The game centers around the warrior of light, Cyber Cat, and his mission to thwart the ambitions of the dark wizard Lulba, who desires to conquer the world. The game proved to be popular, and as such influenced later works of Compile's, most notably Madou Monogatari (and by extension Puyo Puyo).
Madoushi Lulba is a light-hearted fantasy-themed adventure game with slight RPG elements, the most notable of which being a life gauge in the top left corner of the screen. The game takes place across three episodes (four in the rerelease), each with different scenarios. The player, controlling Cyber Cat, must interact with various characters in order to complete the chapter, sometimes receiving items or giving them to other characters. Each chapter ends with a boss fight of some sort, often requiring players to work out a solution in order to beat the foe. The life gauge can be depleted from engaging in certain interactions or by bosses attacking, and when all five orbs of health are gone, the chapter ends and the player must restart the episode they were on.
An evil, tremendously powerful 4.6 billion-year old sorcerer known as Lulba has been resurrected, and plans to drown the world in darkness with his army of 240 million monsters. The only one who can stop him is Cyber Cat, a young feline warrior who has been chosen to wield the sword of light. Along his travels, Cyber encounters various quirky characters (most of whom are anthropomorphic animals of some sort), including the dapper but feisty Haagen Duck who insists on tagging along with Cyber.
Reception, Legacy, and connections to Madou Monogatari
Madoushi Lulba proved to be a success for Compile, being one of the few games to get a rerelease via Disc Station Deluxe. The game's fantasy theme was reused for their dungeon-crawler RPG Madou Monogatari and later its spinoff, Puyo Puyo. One of Lulba's henchmen, Owlbear, would become a mainstay in the Madou/Puyo universe after his appearance in Madou Monogatari II. Furthermore, several other characters would show up in Madou Monogatari: ARS (with Owlbear appearing in Madou Monogatari A as a recurring boss), such as Haagen Duck, Obaba, and Osaru.
- The antagonist and protagonist of the game, Lulba and Cyber Cat, seem to have laid the groundwork for the characters Schezo and Lagnus the Brave of Madou Monogatari/Puyo Puyo:
- Both Lulba and Schezo are sorcerers who desire power, are much older than most of their respective series' cast, employ Lizardmen and Cyclops henchmen, share the title of Dark Wizard, and each are beheaded at one point. They also share somewhat similar appearances (both outfits featuring prominent cloaks and the color blue).
- Cyber Cat and Lagnus are both young brunette, sword-wielding light warriors who oppose their respective dark counterparts.
- Kazunari Yonemitsu, who would later go on to direct Madou Monogatari and Puyo Puyo, worked as scenario writer for this game, perhaps explaining the similarities between those games and Madoushi Lulba.
- Keiji Uemizu, who was the scenario writer on a number of Madou Monogatari and Puyo Puyo titles, is said to be a huge fan of the game. As a result, many of the characters from Madoushi Lulba made appearances in Madou Monogatari: ARS, including Owlbear who would go on to make frequent appearances in his works.