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Elemental Gimmick Gear - DC Game


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As my DC journey continues I found this accidentally not realising it was an RPG of sorts. Did this not get a PAL release because i'd never heard of it before?

My original plan was to create a thread as i'd start the game, then add to it like I did in the Silver thread before. Unfortunately, I was heavily into the experience of playing, so much so, that I just finished the game now.

I'll give an overview of the game anyway with my own thoughts about it as well.


Elemental Gimmick Gear was released back in 1999 exclusively for the Dream Cast by Birthday and Hudson Soft. It is a classic action/RPG with similarities largely the likes of Zelda, Alundra, Story of Thor, Shining Wisdom. The graphics appear as an overhead top down view with attacks being made by punching and using various powers. The graphics, despite being 2D are amazingly hand drawn and very colourful. Every part of the game seems to have been drawn without the need to repeat certain sections over to fill in the games. Therefore you get a sense of detail everywhere with the occasional animation of water or a drip from a pipe.


The story itself doesn't go too in depth as it sticks mostly toward the action. The translations are often shoddy too. It starts like this, a human is found uncovered within an ancient ruin by a team of people sitting within a robotic like suit (several times his own size). Over 100 he is kept in a lab and civilization learns from the technology of the uncovered suit and begins to replicate the technology loosely. After 100 years the ruin itself begins to awaken after another team accidentally switch it on also awakening the sleeping human. You pretty much control this human mostly within the robot suit trying to learn about who you are and why the ancient ruin has begun to destroy the land around it as it lives in the form of an organic structure. Ultimately you are there to destroy the thing and prevent it from ending all life on earth.


It took me roughly 35 hours to finish so it does have a good enough life span without being too quick. The downside to the game is that it doesn't quite feel expansive enough, or rather you spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards through the same dungeons to uncover new items which help you get that little bit further. There aren't a whole lot of dungeon areas, but they are diverse and pretty large. As I just mentioned, you play the game metroid style where by you use new items to help you progress and uncover secret locations with items. This includes using fire to melt ice, a stretching arm to help you jump across gaps, freezing enemies to push them as blocks and a lot more.


The difficulty is pretty high for this sort of thing overall and probably one of the hardest of its kind of game ive played to date. The puzzles are unique and work well with a lot being present in the game, but they are equally as tough to crack in places. The enemies can be really difficult to get by without being hit quite often. You have a spinning attack where your robot spins like a top, but unfortunately, your health decreases whenever you use it. The spin is also needed for many other things and there's even a side game of racing involving a spinning egg along a 3D mario kart like course.


The bosses are the only sections which feature 3D battles and work smoothly although occasionally do slowdown a little. These sections of the game are almost always the hardest parts of the action. I didn't get through a single one without dying once. Ironically I found the first boss to be one of the hardest in the game largely due to having very little health and no powers at all pretty much. There was a third boss which suffered from control issues in order to beat it properly. You would have camera issues and also no lock on which made it very hard to hit properly, then the analogue stick would cause you to spin too much when aiming a special power in a direction.


The music is really well put together with a lot of diversity amongst the different areas of the game. Strangely, when I heard the music to the main town/village you enter, I could have sworn i'd heard it previously on another game as I instinctively knew the notes as I listened through the first time.

It's taken me about two weeks to do but definitely a good game to try out if you are into that sort of thing. I had no idea it existed and was pleasantly suprised at the find.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Funny you should mention that because I read this on the Gamespot page review shortly after finishing the game.

The game was developed by Birthday and was originally planned for a release on the Sega Saturn console. It's good the game has retained its Saturn-esque image, but it adds flavor with an additional gameplay element that uses the hardware capabilities of the Dreamcast console.

You can see the full review on this page.


Regardless though, i'd say it's one worth hunting down if anyone has a DC and liked the older top down Action RPG's such as Zelda or Alundra.

Also I don't know if anyone is aware of Petedorr's Gaming Room channel on Youtube, but Ive been watching a few of his vids over the last three months or so and noticed he made a brief video preview i'd say of the game.


Did you play this then?

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Do you remember any of the bosses in the game? Some of them were a bitch to beat. Specifically the first one for me which is a centipede type creature made up of a collection of individual creatures all with legs which can split apart but the main ones to focus on are the back and the front one. I'm not sure if it was down to not having every power up I could have had at that point, but as far as any magic or what ever was concerned, I had none and the spin attack, although useful, would deplete energy as you used it. This creature anyway would come out of holes in the walls and run about and if it picked you up, you'd know about it as you ended up losing around 15HP each time. It would knock the fuck out of you for fun and lasted for like 15-20 mins. Considering I had only 50HP in total, it made it very hard when trying to avoid being picked up but at the same time trying to go in close enough to wack the front head.

In the end the easiest option was to avoid it as much as possible when it was in the "full" length form, and go for the head(S) while they split up as they can't pick you up, but some explode. Still this only takes off a couple of HP each blast. Compared to 15 in one go. It gets fast though in it's final stages and seems impossible to walk away from without getting picked up, and that was my most frustrating point of the whole game.

Other than this, there was another boss which appeared first as one form, but then splits up into two. Like a ghost thing split in two in the middle by an orb. the aim is to walk on a platform with a ramp and use either your fire i think it is or your stretchy arm to hit them and it is really really awkward trying to get a successful hit. If you stay on the floor and try to walk towards them, they disappear and reappear elsewhere making it hard to hit them. The problem is with trying to charge your stretchy arm thing and then aim and then hit them before they move again.

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The bosses were difficult, as much down to control and camera issues also unfortunately. The 3D boss battles must have been added after the Saturn code was ported, as if to justify being on a proper 3D console or something. They're just not that well balanced or polished compared to the rest of the game.

No-one else has played this then? Shame if so, it's a lovely little game.

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Yer you must be right. I mean some of the standard top down enemies could be tough at times, such as those robots which spin round. I remember when you first beat that boss and go to the room where the elevator to the final boss is held in the heart of the Fog dungeon place. They were hard to dodge and could kill within two to three hits. But eventually if you search enough of the game, you can pick up much needed power ups for Health maximising, Defence, Attack and Mind which was related to the maximum magic points.

As far as camera angle was concerned, for me out of all the bosses, it was that ghost boss (no 3) which took the piss. It forced you to pretty much stay at the bottom of the screen near the ramp as the camera would raise up and cover more of the room you were in. The further up you walked, the closer the camera got to your character meaning you couldn't really see what was happening with the boss, added to the fact that they would disappear if you went anywhere near them, and then reappear elsewhere before shooting you from a direction you wouldn't be able to see coming. But then again, I think this may have been to force you to use the lower part of the room where the raised ramp was to attack the enemies from higher up, as you couldn't hit them properly when on ground level most of the time. Still the control to even attack on the ramp was a bit crazy.

I didn't like how it took several seconds to switch into a ball and spin too, as well as pretty much all the attack moves in general bar the standard short range punch. It would leave you open to attack and annoyingly you'd be forced to restart charging what ever it was you were trying to use.

The side bonus games which involved the racing and the trials were overly difficult. I couldn't for the life of me get the highest rank. Despite thrashing the best time and coming first in the race, it still wasn't enough. It would give you points based on several criteria, and I think one of them was to do with the items you picked up on the race course. You had to bear in mind that every time you retried, it would cost you and a fair bit too in the later races. On top of that if you fell off the open ended roads (think rainbow levels on Mario Kart) you'd instantly have to start again and pay. The prizes for winning were so low that it was hard to justify spending so much money to get a good score and come first as you'd have already spent way more to get that far. It cost money just to see the courses in the first place get built. And instead of paying the correct amount to the guy who needs donations every time he needs to build a new course, you get the options of either giving him 1 coin 50 coins or all your money. So you had the option of either spending ages giving him sums of 50 coins each time...or you could just give him all your stash and lose everything including the surplus money left over.

Another noticable thing was the way you got items from killing enemies. At first it doesn't seem to come across as an issue as you get health and money frequently, but as you gain a new spell or what ever that would require its own magic type for each one (as opposed to all spells sharing one magic type like all RPG's do), it increases the types of items enemies drop. By the end of the game where you have about 6 spells, health and money, it can be a pain trying to find an enemy which will drop the magic type that you need as you have less chance of it occuring. At least though it was easy enough to go back and replenish everything.

The continue scenario would do my head in after you attempted to beat a boss and then died. The reason why, is that after dying, you got the option of continuing of ending the game. Naturally you'd continue, however your hitpoints would be limited to around a third of the maximum which was NOT good when facing the difficult bosses, rendering the continue option here pointless. It was ok for the rest of the game though. Again I think this may have been one of those things overlooked after the 3D aspect was included.

I seem to be highlighting all the negative points of the game but again I still say that it's pretty good overall.

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I must say I can't really remember too much, having not played it since release (early 2000), but I do remember those races. Think I just gave up on them to be honest.

The camera dipping was a big problem on the bosses, it was there to keep 60fps but it really upped the difficulty quite unfairly. Should have been 30fps with a better view really.

Think I might revisit this sometime soon, good thread.

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