Mystic Wand was an early action platformer style game programmed by Alpha Denshi within the
first year of the NEOGEO's lifespan. It is considered to be the most elusive of all the proto
games. Very little is known about Mystic Wand. The play mechanics used by the game are similar to
those found in Tecmo's Solomon's Key. The player controls a magical character that uses a wand to
form & shoot blocks on the screen in order to progress through several levels of a fortress. A
final confrontation with Satan awaits the player at the top of the tower.
This game would have been a welcome addition to the NEOGEO's game library because the system
was almost completely devoid of non-fighting action games. It was most likely dropped from SNK's
game lineup in favor of the trending fighting game phase that was taking over the revenues at the
video arcades. Luckily, Alpha's earlier effort, the 46 meg Raguy / Blue's Journey from 1990 did
get released, giving us some insight into their creative abilities.
NEW INFORMATION!! (from Hatono Takashi who worked for Alpha Denshi.)
Mystic Wand was a game developed between 1990 and 1991 for the NEOGEO that allows two players
to play simultaneously. It's an action game with puzzle elements, based on Tecmo's Solomon's Key.
The planner was Kenji Sawatari, who later created World Heroes, and the designer was Gen Suzuki.
The players control two characters. The A button creates colored stones and the B button is used
to jump. If you press the button to create a stone next to it, the color of the stone will change,
and it will disappear when 3 of the same color line up vertically or horizontally. Also, if you
press and hold the stone creation button next to a stone, you can attack by throwing the stone to
the side. If you collect all the items scattered across the screen, the door will open and you
will be cleared once you enter it. (There was trial and error during development, and there was
also a version that cleared the game just by collecting all the items.) As far as the boss battle
is concerned, you can clear it by hitting the boss with a stone and defeating it.
The location test was held at a game center in the town of Okegawa. The income was good
on the first day, but after that it dropped sharply, and no matter how many times I made
adjustments to it, the income did not go up, and so as a result, the game died. And since
it was a dead game, there was no catalog, panthlet, flyer, etc.
After that, Gen Suzuki hid the development board, and when he was dismissed from the
company, it seems that he took it away (in the form of stealing from the company). If
this game ever comes up at auction, the seller is him or someone who bought it from him.
-- 1991 -- Mystic Wand was location tested at a game arcade in Okegawa Japan.
-- June 1991 -- Mystic Wand is exhibited by SNK at the 1991 (CES) in Chicago, Illinois.
(during the show, someone with a handheld video camera was able to record Mystic Wand.)
-- August 1991 -- Joystick Magazine (Euro) publishes an article with a screenshot on CES.
-- September 1991 -- Mystic Wand is presented at the 1991 AMOA show
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
-- November 1991 -- EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) announces Mystic Wand as available.
-- November 1991 -- An SNK supplement has a short article about Mystic Wand.
-- December 1991 -- Advertiser (Die Hard Game Club) in EGM has Magic Wand coming soon.
-- January 1992 -- Many advertisers in EGM list Magic Wand (and Dunk Star).
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