James is an avid reader with a book collection in the hundreds and growing. He enjoys wildlife, wilderness and the many simple things life
Let me get one thing straight
Nintendo has many IP's such as Mario, Pokemon, Zelda and then it has lesser ones like F-Zero or Metriod but it also has many forgotten ones such as the subject of this article, The Mysterious Murasame Castle. This game has been mostly locked in Japan probably because of the heavy Japanese influence and with only one game in the entire series probably even forgotten. However, I honestly think this game could stand a great revival and I can think of a number of games that it could draw inspiration from that would work well with the game's established formula, so sit back and let me explain.
A small bit of history first
The Mysterious Murasame Castle (謎の村雨城, Nazo no Murasame Jō) is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo, which released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System (FDS) on April 14, 1986. The game was one of the early games released for the system, and the second original game after The Legend of Zelda. The game was released outside Japan for the first time on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in Europe and Australia in May 2014 and in North America in August 2014
The player takes on the role of the main protagonist Takamaru. The objective is to race through Murasame Castle and the four neighboring castles, obtain the four gems from the castle lords and defeat the main antagonist Murasame. The player moves from different directions in a top-down view with no side-scrolling. The game has only a limited number of power-ups, forcing players to rely on their own action skills more than anything else.
The game world has scrolls scattered throughout the castles for Takamaru to collect, and special raccoon suits may reveal power-ups. Players are given a certain number of lives, and may gain additional lives by rescuing the castles' princesses and playing through bonus rounds after completing the first half of each level. One life is lost when Takamaru's health gauge runs out or he runs out of time. When all lives are lost at any point in the game, the game over screen will appear, in which the player can continue the game or save their progress.
The game consists of five castles: Aosame Castle, Akasame Castle, Ryokusame Castle, Momosame Castle, and the titular Murasame Castle. The appearance of enemy characters (including samurai, ninja and hannya) borrows heavily from existing Japanese culture. Each level, divided into two parts: the path to the castle, and the castle itself, is of considerable size, and Takamaru must defeat generic enemy characters to reach the innermost region of the castle where the castle-lord resides.
The player's only weapons are a katana and shurikens; upgrades to the shuriken can be obtained, but are lost whenever Takamaru loses a life. The katana can only be used when Takamaru is close to an enemy or projectile (excluding fireballs), while the shurikens can only be used when he is farther away. The katana can also be used to deflect projectiles. Other items include fireballs, which are more powerful than the shurikens; a lightning-themed explosive, which gives heavy damage to every enemy on screen; and a cloak, which makes Takamaru invisible and invulnerable to enemies and objects for a short period of time. When Takamaru reaches more than 99 lives, he becomes invincible.
A little inspiration from the competition
It's not unheard of for these companies to copy someone else's work for example, I can't prove it but I don't think Sekiro would have happend if it wasn't for Nioh. Both of the previously mentioned games have heavy Japanese influence and utilizea fast paced combat style and in the case of Sekiro, your only weapons is a katana and shuriken, sound familiar? Gameplay wise counting Nioh 2 we have three games that offer a similar play style to what the Mysterous Murasame Castle offered back in 1986 except in the current era of video games.
If Nintendo where to make a games using these as inspiration to for a massive remake it would work, in fact given that Nintendo has worked with Team Ninja at Keoi Techmo on many other projects such as Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors I am sure they could probably get Team Ninja to help them out again in fact Keoi already have a small amount of experience with Murasame main character Takamaru.
Takamaru as he appeared in Samurai Warriors 3
Samurai Warriors 3 (戦国無双3, Sengoku Musou 3, in Japan) is the third installment in the Samurai Warriors series, created by Tecmo Koei and Omega Force. The game was released in Japan on December 3, 2009, in Europe on May 28, 2010, in Australia on June 10, 2010, and in North America on September 28, 2010, for the Wii.
Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo attended the game's Press Conference on August 5, 2009, to present a new mode in the game based on the Famicom Disk System game The Mysterious Murasame Castle. Nintendo published and distributed the game outside Japan for the Wii.
In the game not only is Takamaru playable but all is powers and abilities are very reminiscent of his power ups from his 8-bit days such ahs fireballs and turning invisible and becoming invincle for a few moments. Keoi could most definitely help Nintendo bring back Takamaru and given the relationship between the compinies and there experience with Takamaru already, they would be the guys to do it.
As for the heavy Japanese influence
I don't see this as being a problem, Sekiro, Nioh 1 and 2 and all the Samurai Warrior games borrow heavy influence from the the Japanese culture and history from scenery used in games to even some of the characters. This is not 1986 we have access to all the knowledge we need if we have questions about who this or that is or why this tea ceremony is so important.
On a personal note I have actually become more cultured through games, I would play something like Indiana jones and the Infernal Machine and would ask qusetions about some of the locations he went to and would look them up and learn more about the world. this is a trait I still often do today when playing something like Assassins Creed or Ninja Gaiden. Colter in video games is not a bad thing in fact it could be a great way to learn about things and it would be really cool for Nintendo to embrace there roots for once.
Knowing Nintendo, this will probably never happen but we can dream and honestly I think it would be really exciting to see Takamaru comeback in a new game, it could be become one of the great IP's like Mario or Zelda if given the right attention and treatment
But what do you guys think, would it be worth bringing back Takamaru or do you think that would be a mistake please let me know in the comments below I'm Wanderin Jim and I hope you all have a super happy day.