Released on 2/26/93, published by Sunsoft
Xak is the first game in a series that began on the PC-88/98 and was then ported to various other PCs and consoles. The Super Famicom only got a port of Xak I. The title is written in katakana as サーク, which would be Anglicized as something like "Circ" or "Sark". The subtitle "Art of Visual Stage" has nothing to do with the game itself, but refers to the graphical engine -- apparently in its initial PC-88/98 release the game was notable for its graphical engine that provided better graphics than other games which were able to show depth of field and such.
Xak is heavily influenced by Ys, to the point where it starts to cross over from "influence" to "ripoff". It's an action RPG with an odd-looking title, where the first story is split into two games. You run into enemies to hit them (in the original version) and it has a similar looking item and equipment screen. The feel of the games is very similar.
The Super Famicom port of Xak I redoes the entire game, changing it from a "run into enemies" system to one where you actually swing your sword. It feels a lot like Lagoon in that you have to make sure you stand in the right place, and you can find yourself getting a game over very quickly. Fortunately you can save anywhere and on a game over the game immediately loads your most recent save, so progress is quick even if you die a lot. As in Ys, levelling has a huge effect on the game. Enemies that you start out barely damaging you can eventually hurt just by running into them.
Unfortunately because only Xak I was ported to Super Famicom, you get an incomplete experience -- there is a final boss and some closure to the story but there are a bunch of loose ends, characters that barely serve any purpose (but will be back in II) and a final scene that teases the second game. This makes me wish I had started with Turbo CD games.
As you can also tell from this post, the game is very short. I beat it in a little over 6 hours.
The main character is Latok, who as usual has the bloodline of a god (Duel). His father disappeared half a year ago, so when Pixie shows up to deliver him a message, Latok has to take it instead.
|The father's name is "Dork"|
|Latok carrying Frey|
In the Morul Fort Latok finds a statue of Duel that tells him he needs three of the Xak Depuls, which will give him the power necessary to defeat Badu. Other than that your main goal here is just to get through the Morul Fort out to the other side, which involves fighting the second boss. This boss also went down in 2 hits.
|A water dragon|
|Fire and Water elemental|
For some reason after this you get a scene where it replays moments from the game so far (less than 3 hours!) and then we're in "part 2".
|Part 2 is starting!|
The fort itself requires a Flame Mantle to walk through fire curtains, and a gas mask to go through gaseous areas. Rachel's dad is in the fort but his leg is hurt. He gives Latok the medicine but has to stay behind.
|A gas area|
|This isn't the superfamicomshooting blog|
|Flame Dragon boss|
In the next area is the final boss. He kills you in one hit, which is annoying, but he's not very difficult aside from that, despite his two forms.
Next up is Albert Odyssey, the first SRPG on this blog.