- Still whacking through the great content on Hardcore Gaming 101 that's been stealth-posted recently, and another highlight is an overview of Falcom's Japanese RPG 'Sorcerian', an important RPG milestone over there, but relatively unknown over here.

Writer Al LaPrade explains: "Part five of the Dragon Slayer "series," Sorcerian is a bizarre mixture of side-scrolling platforming action and concepts adopted from both complicated western RPGs such as Wizardry and simplified Japanese RPGs such as Dragon Quest. What would be an unrefined mess of a game in less capable hands ends up here being an extremely charming and arguably successful experiment in the "out there" game design that characterized computer game development in both the US and Japan during the mid- to late 1980s."

The most interesting thing about it: "Once the quest begins you will be in for a shock when you realize that this game, which up until now has seemed like some sort of Wizardry clone, is now a side-scrolling action game. You control all four characters at once which looks pretty comical." But despite this, it looks like an interesting and compelling game, as evidenced by multiple remakes all the way up to the Sega Dreamcast.

There's also lots of hardcore info in here about crazy obscurities like third-party scenario disks for the series: "Two sets of scenario disks were released by a company called Takeru Soft. Similar to Sengoku and Pyramid, Gilgamesh Sorcerian had an historical/mythical theme...in this case the myths and legends of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian king/legend/hero. Visitor from Space did not have a literary/historical/mythical theme but instead had the theme of "environmental destruction."" Great piece.