Yes, video game nerds, I know Vic Tokai localized Magical Doropie as The Krion Conquest in North America. However, the Japanese version is superior (and has a nice fan translation), so that’s why I played it. For those of you unfamiliar with the NES game which came out here in 1991, Doropie is generally written off as a shameless Mega Man clone. I think that’s selling it a bit short. Sure, it’s full of tough action-platforming. I’ll even admit there’s a similar look to the characters and scenery. But Doropie’s magic makes the difference.
Magical Doropie takes place on Earth during a robot invasion in the far distant future — the year 1999. A young man by the name of Kagemaru has summoned you, the witch Doropie, to defend the planet. This means lots of shooting and jumping with your ultimate goal being to defeat the evil Empress Elysia. According to Wikipedia, the developers originally based the game on an anime version of The Wizard of Oz before losing the license. Outside of the name “Doropie” being somewhat similar to “Dorothy,” it seems like they must have scrapped everything at some point and started over.
Your witch comes equipped with five different powers — Freeze, Shield, Fire, Ball, and Broom. What makes the game fun is deciding which powers to use in order to get through each room. There is no one right answer, either. I must confess I didn’t really use Freeze or Shield, since they don’t seem to do much. Also Fire, which drains hit points from every enemy on-screen, would be great if it didn’t take a huge chunk of your life too. So 90% of the time I was using Broom and Ball. Broom literally conjures up a broom which you can ride around the screen. Ball makes your projectiles shoot at an angle and bounce off walls. I also spent a lot of time in Normal mode, since it lets you shoot in a straight line; but I’m not sure whether to consider that a magic power.
There are two things that make Magical Doropie superior to The Krion Conquest. First, Vic Tokai removed the “continue” option, from the North American version. That is ridiculous. The game is already tough as nails — especially in the later stages. Second, it cut out most of the anime-style cutscenes between stages. I assume someone thought Americans were turned off by anime, but I suppose they may have just been too lazy (or cheap) to translate the dialog.
As is usually the case with games I discuss here, Doropie and Krion have both skyrocketed in value over the years, and I can’t say they’re really worth the prices you’ll see on eBay. At least now you know which witch to wish for.