Rhapsody A Musical Adventure Review



Rhapsody A Musical Adventure, released in Japan as The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom (マール王国の人形姫 Māru-ōkoku no Ningyō-hime?) is a tactical role-playing game for the PlayStation from Atlus USA and Nippon Ichi Software, the creators of Disgaea, and is part of the Marl Kingdom series

The game centers around the adventures of Cornet, a girl who can talk to puppets and has a magical horn that grants wishes, and Kururu, a puppet that has the heart and soul of a human. The majority of the game is about Cornet and Kururu trying to save Prince Ferdinand (whom Cornet is in love with) after he has been turned to stone by the self-proclaimed “most beautiful witch in the world.”The witch, Marjoly, also has a crush on the prince and had meant to put him to sleep, but messed up the spell and accidentally turned him to stone.

When starting a new game, the player can select a game difficulty (easy, normal, or hard), which affects how long it will take to finish the game. The player selects different places on the world map and encounters random encounter battles, such as in the Dragon Quest series. Unlike most role-playing video games, the player can save at any time, except during battle.

An oft-mentioned point of appreciation is its relatively unique plot premise and flow. Rhapsody is a theatrical musical in regard to its presentation style, containing frequent cut scenes that are sung, rather than simply spoken and acted. Players are given the option of listening to the lyrics and voice-overs in Japanese, English, or muting them entirely

The battles are fought in a tactical role-playing game fashion. However, unlike other games in this genre, the battles tend to last less than a minute, with the exception of boss battles, and require little tactics. This makes the game stand out in its genre and may have also led to its limited mainstream success with more hardcore players of the genre

Cornet is the main character, but mainly offers support in battle-puppets that are found throughout the game do most of the fighting for her. Kururu never actually fights in any battles in the original, though she does in the remake for the DS. Each character learns different skills as they level up, except Cornet (in the original only), who has attacks called Rewards. Cornet can blow her horn during battle to power up the puppets and gain appreciation points, which allow her to unleash these devastating techniques. Most Rewards are represented by foods, such as flan, cake, and candy.

Like in most tactical RPGs, each character has a certain move number and can attack at a certain distance. Most party members can only attack at close range, unless he or she has a long-range skill. Each character can also equip three accessories and use items. The game features some normal status problems (sleep, paralysis, etc.) like in most console RPGs, but has some original ones too, such as frog and philanthropy. Each enemy also has an element (thunder, wind, earth, fire, water, dark, holy) and a weakness to the opposite element. Each element has its own set of spells, which can be used to take advantage of such weaknesses.

Unlike in most tactical RPGs, instead of gaining experience points each turn, all the characters get the same amount of points at the end of battle. After earning enough experience points, the character will level up and become stronger and possibly learn a spell.There are also skill points, gained when a character strikes the finishing blow. The more of these points a character has, the higher his or her critical rate becomes. Inotium, the in-game money, is also won after every battle. Occasionally monsters will join Cornet after they are defeated. These monsters can then be used in battle, like puppets, and can use special monster abilities.

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure has a sequel, Little Princess: Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2, which has been fan-translated. The third game, Tenshi no Present: Marl Ōkoku Monogatari, also known as Angel’s Present: A Marl Kingdom Story, has also been translated by fans.
Rhapsody’s influence has extended into Nippon Ichi’s subsequent series of tactical role-playing games. One of the characters of La Pucelle: Tactics is a descendant of the characters in the game, while the shops named after Cornet’s rival, Etoile Rosenqueen, have spread even to the Netherworlds of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Antiphona no Seikahime: Tenshi no Gakufu Op.A takes place in the same world and features Marjoly, who also appears in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice as DLC (and like all other DLC, is included with the Vita port, Absence of Detention, for free) and makes cameo appearances in each game of the Disgaea series. #JRPG

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8 Comments

  • Apologies for lack of the content first of all. I'm planning to do lot of Retro JRPG reviews on the channel especially from PS1 and PS2 era. Of course i will keep doing some of the newer games as well (Gotta catch up with persona & tales games eventually).

    Sugi JRPG
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • On Normal mode, I kept Sharte in the party the whole time, and she's just way overpowered. Every fight, I would just have everyone else End until I got to her, move her forward, have her use Holy, and she would basically one-shot entire groups every time. For like the whole game. I gave her the Holy Charm and she was basically unstoppable.
    I had the same issue with the dungeons; there are only two types and they all look the same, and since they are really mazy it's hard to know where you've been and where you need to go. The Ancient Forest seemed especially bad to me. I found myself intentionally not looking for chests and going straight to the end (if possible) since you almost never got anything really great from chests anyway.
    Still a great game, for what it is, I love it. The characters are charming and likable, the story is fun. I recommend.

    Next time I play (years from now, probably) I'm going to play on Hard mode, which is much harder. But this is really a game that's more about character, story and charm than it is about strategy and tactics.

    Thanks for the video!

    Marcus Mysteriously
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • I'm playing this game now and loving it! It was just the RPG I was looking for. If I want a hugely complicated, overly-dramatic Final Fantasy type adventure, I'll play Final Fantasy.
    This game is just oozing charm. I'd love to see a sequel, but that will never happen.

    Marcus Mysteriously
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • I wanted to start JRPG's AMD I choose this one. Been playing it for a few hours and it's good so far, easy to play and entertaining.

    Lucho Gabriel
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • Soo cute game gota get my self dis 😊

    knut magne hausken heskja
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH !

    GameFever ID
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • Only 12 hours!? I didn't know NIS made non-grindy games.

    I think the intention with the similar looking dungeons was to make players make their own map, like in D&D

    Doctard
    Posted July 7, 2020
  • The PS1 version of this game, like a lot of other RPG's on the console (as well as SNES JRPG's) is expensive, so no chance of ever adding this to the collection other than the DS port.

    Bloodreign1
    Posted July 7, 2020

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