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What's the 'gomi' (rubbish bin) for in the items menu?[edit]

You can only carry 22 pages of items - that's 132 items in total, not including anything that's equipped. 132 sounds a lot, but bear in mind that each item uses a space of its own - in a Final Fantasy you can carry 198 items just by stocking up on potions and antidotes!

The bin is simply the way you discard unwanted items. The difference here is that the bin can hold 8 items, which can then be restored or destroyed. So you can actually carry 140 items around with you, if you really need to.

Are those battle messages really necessary?[edit]

The battle system often strikes new players as clumsy and choppy, because the flow of combat is constantly being broken by messages which rarely contain any information not immediately visible from the graphics. Fortunately you can turn them off: push the second button on the configuration menu (the bottom tab of the main menu). I imagine many will agree that this is an improvement.

What's that 'Turbo-file' option on the main menu?[edit]

The Turbo-file was an external storage unit ASCII produced for the Super Famicom. A number of games support it, notably other ASCII titles, although apparently Bahamut Lagoon as well.

Is Dark Law the sequel to Dark Lord?[edit]

Dark Lord (Famicom, Data East: 1991) does indeed bear a strong resemblance to this game. It has a similar structure (free character creation, scenarios), a similar magic system, and - the real clincher - a battle system that is obviously a slightly more primitive version of the one we have here.

Is this an actual sequel? I really don't know, mainly because I haven't bothered to play far enough into Dark Lord to get a feel for the plot. (I hate reading kana-only text.) However, here's a (very) rough translation of the Dark Lord intro: as you can see, the basic premise seems pretty similar.

"In the distant past, a pair of gods were fighting for control of the world...

At this time the world was still a place of chaos and turmoil...
The god of light, Alpharse, governed all of nature and humanity.
The lord of darkness, Ragmaila, led the Demi-Humans and the powers of evil.
The long war between the armies of the gods continued without pause...
But at length the time came for the end of the fighting...
Alpharse gathered his remaining power and confined Ragmaila and the
  Demi-Humans in defeat...
By sealing their spirits in water, the world was preserved...
So time passed, with people living in freedom and peace.
...that world was Alph Land.
And now... the door has opened!"

Replace "Alph Land" with "Layfall", "Ragmaila" with "Altzart", and "Demi- Humans" with "Death-Creatures", and you have Dark Law!

Another near-parallel is found in the mythology, namely the name of the god of light ("hikari no kami" in both cases). In Dark Lord his name (in roomaji) is Arufaazu; in Dark Lord, however, it is Orufasu (Orphas in my translation). Close, but not identical...

How is Dark Law related to other games?[edit]

Firstly - it has nothing whatsoever to do with Dark Half (SFC, Enix: 1996).

There are a number of striking similarities between Dark Law and an earlier title called Wizap! (SFC, ASCII: 1994). There appears to be little or no connection between the plots, so I'm guessing they're only related in the way that Final Fantasies are, but there's considerable consistency in terms of jobs, spells, the scenario system, and general similarities in plot and style. The only major difference is the battle system - Wizap!'s system is closer to Secret of Mana than Dark Law, although there's an option not to play in real time. There's a character called McStarr (or Maxter, if you prefer), a scenario which revolves around a shinigami and a curse, the "people into monsters" topos, and even a spirit/deity called Orufausa (another variant!).

Tell me about Murasame[edit]

I know this is slightly off topic, but Murasame blades are among the weapons that crop up in an awful lot of RPGs, and people really should know the legends behind these things. His rebus dictis, I'll hand over to Gray Brangwin:

"Muramasa and Murasame were both famous swordsmiths who forged blades

unparalleled in quality, and virtually indistinguishable from each other, except in one important aspect; in that, whereas blades forged by Muramasa embodied the true samurai spirit and brought tranquility and peace, the blades forged by Murasame were cursed and attracted war to themselves. It was said that if you were to drop a leaf in a stream and then place a blade forged by either in the way of the leaf, the leaf would always veer away from a Muramasa blade, and inevitably be pulled towards and cut in two by a Murasame blade."

What's with the melons?[edit]

Due to a slip of the pen, a Chinese character meaning "claw" has been given an extra stroke in the game's font, which unfortunately turns it into a character meaning "melon". This leads to some amusing dialogue: "The wounds on Lambar's neck... they look like melon marks!"