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File:ZELIARD 6050.gif

Zeliard is a Metroidvania-style adventure game by Game Arts, considered to be one of their better pre-Lunar titles. Like Game Arts' earlier titles Thexder and Silpheed, it was originally released in Japan on the PC 88 and brought to western shores by Sierra.

The game takes place two thousand years after a Cosmic Horror known as Jashiin was sealed away by the nine Tears Of Esmesanti, after causing much havoc upon the world and claiming it for his own. After the self-proclaimed "Emperor of Chaos" somehow breaks free from his prison, he causes an extremely long sandstorm (it was raining sand, actually) that severely damages the beautiful landscape and turns Princess Felicia la Felishika to stone, simply as an act of revenge against the descendants of those who imprisoned him. Duke Garland, guided by the Guardian Spirit and appointed by King Felishika, sets forth to reclaim the holy crystals and finish off Jashiin and end his reign of terror. There is a video review, for those who'd like to know more.

Zeliard provides examples of the following:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Inverted, since the price tag for most items actually decreases as you progress.
  • All There in the Manual: The game includes a (black-and-white) map of every dungeon in the game, even identifying such features as invisible air currents and fake walls on the map. This doesn't make it any easier to navigate them, however.
  • Anti-Grinding: The sages in each town have a limit to how many level-ups they can grant.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The dragon of the Volcano cavern is vulnerable in the face; anywhere else is just Scratch Damage.
  • Big Bad: Jashiin, who was a Cosmic Horror from another galaxy before becoming a Sealed Evil in a Can. He didn't take it very well, and it shows.
  • Blob Monster: Two of the bosses are gelatinous cubes. Many of the more-common monsters are some kind of blob, especially in the final world.
  • City of Gold: Complete with a place named "El Dorado," although very little of the gold is available for the taking.
  • The Coats Are Off: Jashiin does this in the intro to the final battle.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Averted: Walking through the Volcano Cavern without the "Asbestos Cape" results in Garland losing health because of the excessive heat.
  • Covers Always Lie: For its US version, anyway, which depicts a red-bearded Horny Viking slashing at a frog.
    • The "slashing at a frog" part is pretty accurate for the first two levels, at least.
  • Disc One Nuke: The better spells you acquire serve this role, being far more effective than sword around the time they are first learned.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The second boss is a giant octopus/squid.
  • Faceless Eye: One of the levels features giant eyeballs that rush at you at high speeds.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Cangrejo
  • Gratuitous Spanish: All of the level names, all of the spell names, most of the boss names, and many other elements of the game are in Spanish with the occasional Portuguese.
  • Guide Dang It: As with many adventure games of the time, the latter stages start to get more complicated to a point where taking a few steps without using a map can get you lost.
    • The game doesn't actually tell you how many experience points you've acquired or how much more you need to reach the next Level Up; visiting a sage will only give the player a general measure of how close they are. (It's actually measured by the "Almas" you collect from defeated enemies).
  • Heroes Prefer Swords
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Sword of the Fairy Flame, also a Sword of Plot Advancement as it is the only weapon capable of slaying the Final Boss.
  • Informed Equipment: Swords and shields have different colors and graphics, but shoes and other equipment (including the hooded cloak that is the "Asbestos Cape") are not visibly equipped.
  • Jungle Japes: The third set of dungeons.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Caliente/Reaccion/Correr requires the Asbestos Cape just to be able to stand in it without taking damage.
  • Money Spider: Averted. Enemies drop sphere-shaped soul crystals known as Almas, which can be exchanged for gold at the bank. In fact, it's the only way you can actually get more gold.
  • New World Tease: The first level requires you to pass through a portion of the second level (which is separated from the rest of that level).
    • Vista, the fifth boss. The entire fifth level is pretty much a Zombie Apocalypse, but nothing could prepare this troper for that... gaping mouth... giant eyeball... thing.
  • One-Hit Kill: NPCs claim that the Fairy Flame Sword can do this. And (at least against Mooks) it does.
  • Plot Coupon: The Tears of Esmesanti, which are retrieved once per dungeon boss.
  • Redheaded Hero: Duke Garland
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The fourth world. You have to acquire special shoes to walk on the ice without slipping.
  • Smart Bomb: The final spell, Guerra
  • Soul Power: Almas. See Guide Dang It above.
  • Stab the Sky: Duke Garland does this every time he gains a Tear of Esmesanti.
  • Stationary Boss: The squid boss of the second dungeon.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Happens twice with both the Knight Sword and the Fairy Flame Sword.
  • Taken for Granite: The Princess has been turned to stone by Jashiin. Amusingly, she looks different in the various pictures seen in the game.
  • Teleport Spam: Jashiin does this in his first form.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Espada (Throwing Swords), due to its lackluster damage capabilities, and Rascar (Falling Rocks), due to the random nature in which the rocks fall.
  • Vancian Magic
  • Wake Up Call Boss: The crab boss of the first dungeon, Cangrejo.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Combined with a general theme of rot, decay, and undeath for one of the worlds.