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Thread: Arabian Themed Games

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    Peach (Level 3) NeoZeedeater's Avatar
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    Default Arabian Themed Games

    Considering most video games are developed in Japan, North America and Europe, it's understandable that most games take place within these cultures. Yet, sometimes developers look to other cultures for inspiration. Arabian folklore(or at least Western interpretations of it) has inspired a number of games, many of which are high quality. These games contain things typically associated with that culture's myths: scimitar sword fights, flying carpets, magic lamps, etc. Here's a history of the use of Arabian themes in video games.

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves(Quality Software, various computers, 1981)
    I can't think of any game earlier than this RPG that uses the theme.


    Ali Baba and 40 Thieves(Sega, arcade, 1982)
    Is that Pac-Man wearing a turbin?


    Sindbad Mystery(Sega, arcade/SC-3000, 1983)
    Like with most maze-chase games, you collected items and avoided enemies. It was nothing groundbreaking but still I liked it. You can also find it on Sega Ages: Memorial Selection 2 for Saturn.


    Arabian(Sun Electronics/Atari, arcade, 1983)
    http://images.webmagic.com/klov.com/...A/wArabian.png

    Atari planned on making a 5200 version but it never surfaced although it might exist in prototype form.

    I'm most familiar with its 1985 Famicom version Super Arabian.
    This game is very nostalgic for me since it was the first import game I played. It was a charming little platformer where you had collect the money bags in each level while avoiding enemies. After four different levels, you save the princess.


    Tales of the Arabian Nights(Interceptor Micros, C64/Spectrum, 1984)
    This game(the C64 version, I haven't played the Speccy port) stood out because of its extensive use of voice, which was very uncommon at the time. The voices weren't very clear though. The game itself was decent, starting off similar to Sunsoft's platformer but with added variety like riding a flying carpet in a side-scrolling level.


    Master of the Lamps(Activision, various computers, 1985)
    This was a 3d on-rails flying game. The software scaling was surprisingly smooth.


    Legend of Sinbad(Superior Software, C64, 1985)


    Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic(Nintendo, Famicom Disk, 1987)
    DDP was the Japanese original of what became our Super Mario Bros. 2. The only major difference between DDP and SMB2 is that it has different sprites. Minor differences are that DDP has some vocal sounds for the characters that SMB2 does not and some of the music is different. With or without Mario this is one of my favourite 8-bit games.


    Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon(Cinemaware, various computers, 1988)
    As one would expect from a Cinemaware game, Throne had very detailed and impressive cinemas. The game itself is a hybrid of action, adventure and strategy. I don't remember much else about the game except for some first person sword duels and some side-scrolling levels.


    Magic of Scheherazade(Culture Brain, NES, 1989)
    RPGs were a rare find on the domestic NES at the time, which made this game stand out even more. This game mixed in action and turn-based RPG gameplay.


    Prince of Persia(Broderbund, various formats, 1989)
    Persia is close enough to Arabia so I'll mention it. Mechner's classic series created a new breed of platform/adventure games.

    Khalaan(Rainbow Arts/Chip, various computers, 1990)
    A turn-based strategy game.


    Sinbad Chitei no Dai Makyu(IGS, PC Engine, 1990)
    Some RPG. More info wanted.

    Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo! Daibouken(Sega, MD, 1990)
    This platformer was drastically altered for its Western release as Decapattack.


    Exile(Telenet, Genesis/Duo, 1991)
    I'm not sure if this counts as Arabian themed but I enjoyed this Action/RPG on Genesis back in the day even though it was extremely easy. The adventure elements used an overhead view and the action was like a regular platformer.

    http://www.vgmuseum.com/images/genesis02/xzr.html

    I never did play the Turbo version or its sequel, which was brought here by Working Designs.


    Arabian Fight(Sega, arcade, 1992)
    This System 32 game used a lot of fancy scaling and detailed graphics but I found it to be one of Sega's weakest beat 'em ups.


    Arabian Magic(Taito, arcade, 1992)
    This beat 'em up, on the other hand, I enjoyed.


    Defenders of Oasis(Sega, Game Gear, 1992)
    I have heard much praise for this game but I still haven't put much time into it. It's often compared with classic Phantasy Star games.


    Arabian Nights(Krisalis, Amiga/CD32, 1993)
    A decent platformer.


    Aladdin(Virgin Games, Genesis/Amiga/PC, 1993)
    This is one of the best Disney games ever made and brought Dave Perry and company into the limelight. The animation was smoother than any Genesis game before it.


    The Master System/Game Gear game was similar and made impressive use of the hardware. Capcom made an Aladdin game for SNES too. I think most would agree it wasn't as good as the Genesis game but still cool.


    Equinox(Sony Imagesoft/Software Creations, SNES, 1994)
    This was the sequel to the NES game Solstice. Equinox was an isometric adventure/puzzle game similar to those popular on the Spectrum computer.


    Monster World IV(Sega/Westone, Mega Drive, 1994)
    I consider MW4 the best Genesis game never to leave Japan. Unlike the previous games in this excellent series, this one has an Arabian-inspired setting and had a female character named Asha as the player instead of male characters.


    Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse(Stormfront/SSI, PC, 1994)
    This is supposed to be a pretty good Action/RPG. I have yet to play it.
    http://www.ibiblio.org/GameBytes/is...iews/qadim.html

    Magic Carpet(EA/Bullfrog, PC, 1994)
    A lot of people seem to hate this game but I really liked it. Maybe they were playing one of the shitty console ports. Magic Carpet was a fully 3d flight action game that where you explored and gathered mana to build settlements. I loved the dream-like atmosphere. It wasn't long before a sequel was made.


    Beyond Oasis(Sega/Ancient, Genesis, 1995)
    This was one of the better Action/RPGs(or adventure, whatever you call the genre) on the Genesis. I bought its Saturn sequel Legend of Oasis a while back but I only briefly played it; it doesn't seem as good as the Genesis game so far.


    Legend of Oasis


    Arabian Nights: Sabaku no Seirei Ou(Takara, Super Famicom, 1996)
    This RPG hasn't been translated yet last time I checked.
    http://www.vgmuseum.com/pics7/arabian.html

    Arabian Otome(NEC, PC-FX, 1997)
    Some Strategy/RPG, I think.
    http://www.ncsx.com/arabiano.htm

    Jewel of Arabia: Dreamers(Quarter Note Software, Mac, 1999)
    I don't have Mac access so I can't comment on this shareware RPG but many seem to like it.


    Shantae(Wayforward/Capcom, GBC, 2002)
    What happened to the GBA sequel? It wasn't released, was it?


    Please add any I missed. What are your favorite games to us the theme?

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    Peach (Level 3) TheSmirk's Avatar
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    I'll state the obvious, and mention Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

    On PC, Magic Carpet

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    I think you forgot "Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse", a D&D based PC game. It was pretty good, as I recall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacmanhat
    I think you forgot "Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse", a D&D based PC game. It was pretty good, as I recall.
    I listed it but I couldn't find a linkable pic.

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    Kudos on yet another great history thread!

    Arabian has always been my favorite of this group, but I've gotta say "holy crap!" at the mention of Master of the Lamps! I used to play that one for hours on end (Atari 8-bit version) and completely forgot about it until right now. Thanks for sparking that memory, now I've gotta go dig up that game!!
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    Nothing from the Karnov series applies? Aww... poor Karnov.

    Great post though! +250 meseta to you for doing the research!

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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalpress
    Nothing from the Karnov series applies? Aww... poor Karnov.

    Great post though! +250 meseta to you for doing the research!
    Thanks.

    I figured Karnov was Russian or something but I could be wrong. I loved Karnov. I still have the Tiger handheld version too which was better than most of their games.

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    Super Arabian was hard. I could get to the 3rd or 4th stage. I don't know how many there are after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoZeedeater
    Quote Originally Posted by pacmanhat
    I think you forgot "Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse", a D&D based PC game. It was pretty good, as I recall.
    I listed it but I couldn't find a linkable pic.
    Aha, NOW I see it...

    It was a combination of the Forgotten Realms-ish games of that time and a little more action thrown in. Pretty fun, but pretty difficult as well. I think I might still have it lying around somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoZeedeater
    Quote Originally Posted by digitalpress
    Nothing from the Karnov series applies? Aww... poor Karnov.

    Great post though! +250 meseta to you for doing the research!
    Thanks.

    I figured Karnov was Russian or something but I could be wrong. I loved Karnov. I still have the Tiger handheld version too which was better than most of their games.
    Now that you mention it, I think he IS Russian. Ah, Russian, Arabian... what's the difference, they all hang out in the sand :P

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    Would Eternal Darkness' Kareem section count?

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    Yes someone actually rememebers Arabian Nights!!!
    If you havent played this game before, i really suggest you do as its one hell of an awesoem adventure platformer!

    Great research/article! Cheers!

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    What about Riddle of the Sphinx for the VCS?

    Really awesome post by the way. You should flesh this out a bit and turn it into an article.

    Chris

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    What about Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire? This rpg adventure game is set in an Arabian enviroment and you travel using a magic carpet. I own it but I've never got around to playing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cauterize
    Yes someone actually rememebers Arabian Nights!!!
    If you havent played this game before, i really suggest you do as its one hell of an awesoem adventure platformer!

    Great research/article! Cheers!

    I used to play that game a lot and still remember it positively.

    BTW I think KARNOV for arcade and NES looked kinda of arabian...does anyone else agree with me?

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    Don't forget Prince of Persia: Arabian Nights for the Dreamcast

    There was also a game called Persian Wars for the PC. It was RTS game I belive. Here is a short review.

    Also, as I was looking over DP's Avatars II, and selevting mine, I realized Metal Slug X is Arabian themed. Sure its more modern, but its still Arabian. Would this, or even Desert Strike Return to the Gulf count?

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    Dunno if this counts really (as my memory is hazy and I can't find any good screenshots) but wasn't Mystery Quest for the NES themed with arabian-style castles and people with that kind of garb? I somehow seemed to think so...
    In a land beyond sight...

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    Nice to see the mention of the Arabian Nights RPG for Super Famicom. :) After the Aladdin games, it's the first thing that comes to mind for me when I think of Arabian games. I don't own it and have never actually played it, hehe, but man, what a stunning looking game for Super Famicom. It's a little pricey compared to most Super Famicom RPGs, but it's definitely on my list of SFC games to get.

    Also, while it doesn't really have any Arabian content, Baten Kaitos is an Arabian title. It's a constellation, and it means "belly of the whale", describing that particular part of the constellation.

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    That's a nice list.

    It'd be pretty hard to compile an even longer list, giving all games with arabian themes [but only partial]. Along with its close neighbour egypt, it's 1 of the more common world locales transformed into the gaming arena.
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    Apple (Level 5) SuperNES's Avatar
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    i think Alcazar for the Commodore 64 was arabian themed.

    also, i present you this award for "Most random history thread ever"

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