Arcana is a RPG for the SNES, by HAL Laboratory. It is known as Card Master: Seal of Rimsalia in Japan. The game was novel in representing all of its characters as cards, but it plays like a dungeon-crawling RPG, rather than a card based game. In keeping with this metaphor, the death of a character resulted in a "torn" card, and the magical properties of some cards were used to explain abilities of the game's characters. Arcana retained many conventions from earlier NES games and, as is common in RPGs, the game's intent was to be difficult and challenging to the player, so as to create a feeling of reward upon completion. Assuming a first-person perspective, the dungeons and towns of the game were navigated from the viewpoint of the characters and, with a few exceptions, the conversations between characters held true to this as well. Battles within the game were also portrayed in the first-person, displaying the protagonist characters along the perimeter of the screen, with the enemies in the center. Arcana's battles, however, were not graphically intensive and the characters' animation was limited to, at most, five frames. Breaking from the established format by Square Soft of displaying the damage incurred by characters above their heads, this information was instead summarised in a text display at the bottom of the screen similar to Dragon Quest games from Enix. The map's tile based dungeons were, arguably, the most challenging aspect of the game. Seeing often only what was immediately before the characters, the player was free to move in the four primary compass direction. Labyrinthine in their design, and often fraught with dead-ends and hidden dangers, the detail in the drawing of these dungeons compensated for their relative lack of animation.
Arcana 1.0 - The Latest Versions History
Arcana 1.0 -> Apr 14, 2008 -> Major Update: