Late at night, a young boy sits in front of his television, playing a RPG called moon. We see bits of the game as it's played from beginning to end, and shortly afterward, the boy is pulled into the TV, and the game world, where things really get strange. Thus begins ASCll's moon, a game so full of originality in every category that it is hard to properly describe, but here goes: Upon landing, you're a wandering spirit, until you visit a small cottage just outside of the first village, where a kindly old woman gives you shelter, than a hat, coat, boots and gloves which bring you to "life'.
You soon encounter the knight you played at "home" as he dispatches an odd looking creature. It seems that the "hero" is killing off some innocents and you have to capture their souls, so that they can be brought back to life and taken away (via flying saucer!) at which time you receive a sum of money which varies according to the creature. While this sounds simple, a few of the beasts are a bit tricky to trap and will only respond to certain items which can only be acquired by talking to and/or showing other items you find to the people you meet in the game. Each one speaks their own sonic melange of accented dialects and clever editing: you car make out a bit of English here, French or Japanese there, and at times it seems to fit!
Time is also a factor, as the game has a day and night cycle, and unless you eat and rest, you'll die! When you level up and later rest, a floating head lets you know how much active time is added to your day, so you can travel further and get your own place (!) where the game opens up even more! You soon disCover a record shop in a cave (the owner is jamming away on a guitar, but hides it when you get close) where you can purchase "MoonDisks" to program and play on your MD player during the game as BGM! The styles range from free jazz to hip hop and much more, and the regular in-game music is excellent as well, with its quiet piano solos, ambient walkabout tunes, and a regal castle theme that distance fades as you move through the castle! I still haven't mentioned the wonderful graphics which feature both sprites and rendered characters against prerendered backgrounds- it looks as if the designers combined bits of Disney, Bakshi and Picasso to great effect. The gameplay is simple as well, with only 3 commands (USE, EAT, STOCK), and even though the text is in Japanese, a little trial and error goes a long way (sort of like Young Merlin for the SNES).
To sum things up, if you're looking for a unique change of pace and don't mind a bit of a challenge, moon gets my highest recommendation!
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