A side-scrolling beat-em-up with a couple extra touches that made it stand out from the pack, 1990's Magic Sword is a game that has been burned into my psyche since I was a kid. What sets Magic Sword apart from the pack is the ability to rescue partners in jail cells. After they are freed, they travel by your side, adding their unique skills to your own. There are eight types of partners to assist you: Amazon, Caveman, Thief, Priest, Wizard, Ninja, Lizardman and Knight and their abilities level up the longer you keep them. Partners can be switched out by freeing more characters from jail—provided you have keys. There are traps and monsters abound, items with special purposes (like a gold ring that will tame an evil Lizardman to your side) some interesting bosses and two player co-op adds to the fun. With unlimited continues on a console version, it’s long but not hard to make it to the end, and it’s a blast.
I’ve dreamed for years of a remake of the game coming out in 3D on modern consoles. But probably a side-scrolling remake in HD would work great too. Updates to the visuals and soundtrack (which is excellent) would be a good start. Online and offline co-op would be a must, as it’s not as much fun scaling the massive tower without a friend. It would be good if Capcom could add combos to the attacks and RPG elements, like stat level ups for both players and partners from grinding, similar to the Metroid-style Castlevania games. Another idea would be to have a choice of which stats to upgrade, a la Castle Crashers. Additionally, a little more variety among bosses and enemies would be nice. There are a diverse amount of enemies, but with dozens of floors, they start to repeat. I think that a speed run mode would work well in this game too. DLC like Mega Man 9’s, such as additional modes and characters, could also work well for those wanting to go all out.
Capcom has re-released the game on Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 on PS2 and Xbox and Capcom Classics Collection Remixed for PSP. Clearly they haven’t forgotten about it, though as much as I want it, I doubt it would be high on their remake list. I’m sure I’m one of the few gamers who views Magic Sword as one of their favorite Capcom games.
Look for more Capcom remake wish list installments soon!