Light Crusader, which combines RPG and action/adventure gameplay, is just what the name implies: lite. As an RPG, it's less challenging, less complex, less absorbing, and yet still strangely satisfying in some very basic ways.
In Crusader's fairly standard story line, you play David Lander, swordsman extraordinaire. You visit the nearby kingdom, discover strange goings-on, and set out to rid the land of a scourge. What follows is lots of talking to people, searching through mazes for special items, and fighting with various undead and otherwise wickedly enchanted creatures.
A blend of action and RPG, Crusader's perspective is from a 3/4-overhead view, a la Beyond Oasis. Standard RPG elements include quests to complete, monsters to fight, and a variety of items to collect and use, such as the four elemental (earth, wind, fire, water), which combine to make 15 spells. Relics, keys, and more items found along the way enable you to solve the quests, and ultimately, the game.
ProTip: When you encounter these laser devices, you can almost always use them to open doors -- if you can figure out how to maneuver them next to the doorway.
Despite its weaknesses, Light Crusader shines in several areas. The graphics are above average with beautifully drawn villages and scenery, a range of interesting enemy creatures, and some killer bosses. The only drawback is David's lack of movement, as well as entire areas where there just isn't enough eye candy or action to make them interesting. Musically, Crusader's classical/medieval tunes nicely complement the action, though they're somewhat repetitive.
- An old standard works in this game -- stock up on items by fighting all the enemies in a room, exiting, and returning to fight them again until you have all the items you want.
- When you reach this interesting puzzle with the lever, push the block onto the lever, then rotate the lever to the other platform. Push the block off onto the tan square, and the door opens.
- To get out of your first grave predicament in the cemetery, just push on the third tombstone from the left in the second row from the back.
- To open the door in the room just after the Red Dragon, you must leap and cut down the swinging hostage.
Your range of moves include a sword slash, jumping thrust, and the ability to flip switches. You're a tall, gangly sprite with nowhere near the range or fluidity of movement of Ali in Beyond Oasis. In fact, maneuvering in the 3D environment can get mighty annoying, especially when you're trying to precisely jump or slash something in the air.
In the end, Light Crusader gets a passing grade because of some cool bosses and interesting puzzle challenges. It doesn't have the depth of Beyond Oasis, but it's fun and challenge lie more in solving the puzzles and exploring the mazes than in completing the quests. Not a game for hardcore RPG fans, Crusader might be a fitting challenge for novice players or those who like their RPG with a twist of action/adventure on the side.
- To get the Green Orb, press the letters on the floor in this order: R, Y, G, B.
- To earn another orb, go to the room with the tuning forks, play the tune on the music box, and replicate it on the tuning forks.
Download Light Crusader
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- Game modes: Single game mode
- Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
- Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
- "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
- "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
- "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)
Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.
- Genre: action/RPG
- Players: 1
- Save feature: backup ram
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Treasure
- Available: 1995
Treasure, the hot Japanese developer who brought you Dynamite Heady, worked long and hard on Light Crusader, attempting to finally make the definitive action/RPG. The problem with this genre has always been that there isn't enough action for the action fans and the RPG elements are too simplistic for RPG fans.
Treasure's experience with action games shows through in Light Crusader. You often come across bosses which require patterns, and platforms to jump on. One problem with the action elements is the perspective which the game is played on. The 3/4 overhead perspective means that you can only move the character diagonally, which makes for some control problems. However, once you get used to the perspective, there is some decent action.
As for the RPG elements, Light Crusader has plenty of them. Unfortunately, most of the puzzles are real simplistic and just require basic common sense. Things like moving a loose brick onto a platform to keep a door open and moving an explosive barrel close to a door and then igniting it aren't real tricky. Another problem is that the storyline just isn't real deep and talking with other characters isn't really required or supported very well.
Light Crusader is still one of the more exciting and graphically pleasing titles Genesis is coming out with, but a deeper story would've really made a big difference.
After two Genesis games-the Contra-ish shooter Gunstar Heroes and the goofy-ass side-scroller Dynamite Headdy-which were applauded by critics and ignored by the-lovin' masses, the Japanese developers at Treasure bid adieu to Sega's 16-bit workhorse with Light Crusader, an RPG that looks and plays much like the earlier Genny role-player Landstalker and the little-seen SNES adventure Equinox. The plot is the typical "slay the evil wizard" crap, but the gameplay's the thing here, as you guide the eponymous David through a series of dungeons viewed from an angled overhead perspective. Some rooms have critters to slay, and the sword-swinging David snuffs them in visually appealing ways, as heads fly and guts spill. Other rooms have logic puzzles to solve, usually involving items that need to be manipulated (i.e., pushed) into various places. Lastly, there are a few bosses in each dungeon (as they say in Cajun country) to keep you from getting too cocky. Combine the hours of dungeon exploration with dozens of gossipy villagers, oodles of stuff to buy, four types of magic spells, and a lovely auto-mapping feature, and you have an action-packed RPG which the American public will likely ignore. Sigh. Better luck on 32-bit, Treasure.