Welcome to The Magical Land of Wozz!
I first heard of this game through davidvinc on Youtube (a favorite gayming vlogger for me and my partner). I’ve really been feeling retro JRPGs recently, so I decided to give it a go and I’m excited to start this adventure!
The Magical Land of Wozz (Chou Mahou Tairiku WOZZ, 超魔法大陸WOZZ) is a Japanese role-playing game that was developed by Red Company in 1995 for the Super Famicom/SNES. There was no official western release, but Translation Corporation released a fan translation in 2014 and through the magical powers of the internet, the western audience gets to experience this game! Thanks Translation Corp!
The story is set in the fantasy land of Wozz and revolves around three young heroes summoned by the wizard Sullivan to defeat the evil Balam and stop him from further corrupting the realm. The game utilizes a classic turn-based battle system with the player selecting actions from a menu. There is also an option to set your non-main party members with AI functions to reduce player input during battle. Like most other RPGs from this time, travel is done via the character sprite walking around the overworld map and quick travel can be done through TELEPA phone booths once you unlock them. Overall, the game is pretty standard for JRPGs and I’m here for it. Let’s jump in!
The story begins with a beautiful landscape view, however we quickly notice something is off due to the large glowing light in the sky that is sending blasts of energy over the land. As the view shifts, we see some villagers pacing around town. As rain begins to fall, panic sets in and the villagers hurry to take cover. An unlucky villager does not make it inside in time and we see him get locked out of a building. It turns out that this rain is known as Fear Rain and any of the Wozzians (I made that up) touched by the rain are turned into monsters. The scene shifts to what appears to be a church and we see three sages discussing ways to stop Balam. Sullivan, the great wizard, decides now is the time to use what strength he has left to summon the Hero of Humankind as a ditch effort to save Wozz and deliver swift justice to Balam. He channels his energy into a wooshy swooshy summoning spell and is surprised when not one, but three individuals show up.
Queue the entrance of our three protagonists. First, we have Leona Kitazato, a Japanese genius girl that is skilled with bazookas and gifted with the ability to synthesize items. Next, we have Shot Phoenix, a cocky American archer with a spiky hairdo that rivals many of the JRPG protagonists of generations to come (I’m looking at you, Cloud). Finally, we have Chun, a shy and quiet Chinese psychic with the ability to use ESP skills. All three heroes are surprised to be here, as is Sullivan. Much to Shot’s chagrin, the trio are stuck here since Sullivan used the last of his magic to summon them. He offers them a solution, however – defeat Balam and perhaps his magical technology can be used to send them back to their world. After choosing who your main protagonist will be, Sullivan briefs the trio on their mission and gifts them with some Wozzian clothes to help them fit in, some weapons so they can protect themselves, and some money to buy supplies. I chose Chun, since I like magic and I tend to be quiet in nature.
Sullivan is pretty dry and simply tells the party “Go north and defeat Balam’. The trio sets off and at this point you’re free to explore the town. We find some items in barrels and get the chance to buy some equipment and sundries at the item shops in town. You can also talk to some of the townsfolk and read tomes to get a little history on the world of Wozz. Apparently Wozz is filled with all the magical denizens we hear of in fairytales – wizards, fairies, demons, ghosts, etc. Due to their magic nature, Wozzians can live anywhere from 500 to 10,000 years (Wow!). We also find out that Wozz exists concurrently with the human world, but when human technological advances started interfering with the Wozzian magic, they cut off access between the two realms to preserve their livelihood. The books in the church also tell us a little bit about their religious beliefs. Much like the human realm, Wozz has the Pure Land (heaven), where good natured people go to when their lives end, and the Dark Land (hell), where bad people go after they die. Finally, we learn about magic and the Fairy Queen. Wozzian magic consists of 5 elements (fire, ice, wind, destruction, and lightning) and the magic is controlled by the Fairy Queen and her subjects to make sure it is not used recklessly.
A helpful villager also tells us about the TELEPA, a small shack-like structure in each major city that looks like a phone booth. They are cut off right now but once we activate them, they can be used to quick travel between locations.
We set off to the north and quickly find a small town called Dolune. There is not much going on here, but we do find out that where there was once a plentiful supply of water, the town is now dry and the townsfolk are worried they won’t be able to last long without their water supply. The solution is simple enough – get more water from the Spring Cave to the north. However, the townsfolk warn that many have attempted to bring water back but no one has ever returned. Our heroes also discover that a young child has been infected by the Fear Rain and the only cure is the magical Evian water from said cave.
Leona shows her good nature by saying she would be heartbroken if anything happens to the child, so she asks if they can take a detour to save the child. Chun is onboard but Shot, true to his cocky and arrogant nature, decides he is not interested and leaves the party to go hunt Balam. He wants to go home, dammit!
With Shot gone, Leona and Chun head to the Spring Cave to try and get the cure for the sick child. The duo easily dispatch monsters as they make their way deeper, but the are interrupted by a series of earthquakes. Still adjusting to the new situation they are in, Chun panics and decides that he can’t make it any further due to his fear of monsters and earthquakes. Leona, however, is on a mission to save this kid so she leaves Chun behind and goes deeper into the cave. Chun decides to head back to the village to wait, but upon leaving the cave he runs into Shot. Shot tells him that the northern forest path is blocked and he can’t go any further, so he’s heading back to town to get help.
The duo heads deeper into the dungeon but are caught in another earthquake, this time having their path cut off by some large boulders. Shot can’t get the boulders to budge, but Chun steps forward and flexes his ESP muscles to clear their path.
After clearing the rocks, they hear a scream from deeper in the cave. Oh no! Leona is in trouble! They hurry to catch up with her and find her cornered by an elephant demon. Is this Balam? The trio reunites and our first boss battle begins. My strategy for this fight was to have Shot continuously attack every turn, Chun use his Telekinesis, and Leona swap between regular attacks and using items to keep Shot and Chun in top shape. I’m not sure exactly how Chun’s Telekinesis works, but I think it is similar to Geomancers from the Final Fantasy series. Depending on your environment and good ol’ RNG, various effects happen on each cast. One round had me hurling a giant boulder at the elephant man for 450 damage, but the next round he whipped up a sandstorm and did 45 damage to the boss. It took me about 10 minutes to beat this guy. He wasn’t hard, but he sure did have a LOT of HP for a first boss fight.
Back in Dolune, we stop the fear rain from turning the child into a monster. His family is grateful and offers to help us, but they don’t know how to traverse the northern forest. They suggest we head back to Journey Town and talk to Sullivan. Doot doot doot – back to Journey Town! We head to Sullivan’s church mansion and ask him about the forest. It turns out that there is a tree guardian named Maharod and he’s super good friends with Sullivan, so Sullivan joins us to go check things out. Before we set up, Sullivan makes it clear that he’s too old and weak to fight so he’s just gonna sit back while we do all the heavy lifting. Slacker! The team heads to the forest and Sullivan is all “Ah, yes. I am very, very familiar. We should head east! Or is it west? Or north? It’s definitely one of those.” Sigh…great. The forest functions like the Lost Woods from the Zelda series and if you take a wrong turn you get sent back to the beginning. Good thing this forest is only about 4 screens big and Sullivan isn’t totally wrong with his directions. Eventually we make our way to the blocked path and find Maharod chilling in our exit. Something is wrong though…the fear rain has corrupted Maharod! Don’t worry – Grand Wizard Sullivan knows exactly what to do.
Now Maharod is pissed, so he attacks the party. Queue our second boss fight! This fight was waaaaay easier than the first one…which isn’t saying much. The only annoyance in this fight was that he kept paralyzing Shot, so I’d have to waste one of Leona’s attack turns to cure his paralysis. Chun was still my trusty magic boy though and hurled boulders to victory. After we beat Maharod to his senses, he and Sullivan share a chummy moment and then Maharod scoots his big tree ass to the side so we can continue on our journey. As an apology, he also teaches Shot his first battle skill – Power Shot!
This is where part 1 of our journey ends. I’m looking forward to playing more. Despite not being very far, I am really enjoying the simplicity of this game. The music is catchy, the sprites are cute, and the writing is silly but engaging. Hopefully you’re enjoying it as well! See ya next time!
Click here to head to part 2 of The Magical Land of Wozz!