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Could Sega Release Madou Monogatari in the West?

Rango

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Madou Monogatari

A Look at the Madou Monogatari Series.

Madou Monogatari is a JRPG series released for various consoles in the early-mid 90s. Developed by Compile, the series featured Arle Nadja whom, along with the game’s cast, would later appear in the Puyo Puyo series. Note that the series has remained exclusive to Japan since its first release.

The series started as a dungeon crawler akin to Shining in the Darkness. You would guide young Arle through dungeons from a first-person point of view. If you’re interested in watching some gameplay, you can check here.

The series would eventually evolve into a traditional JRPG for Sega Saturn in 1998. This would feature traditional dungeons and side-view JRPG battles akin to contemporary series of its era, such as Lunar, Final Fantasy, and more. You can check out a snippet of gameplay here.

Note that the Saturn release was the last title to come to consoles. D4 Enterprises would later release a mobile port of the original Madou Monogatari titles for mobile phones. You can check the list of games in the series here.

Puyo Puyo.

The puzzle series, Puyo Puyo, made its debut in America in the mid-90s. While not bearing the name or characters, the gameplay and the titular gooblets appeared in two games. Among these include Kirby’s Avalanche for SNES and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean-Bean Machine for Sega Genesis.

Kirby's Avalanche

The series would not be released with the associated Puyo name until the release of Puyo Pop in 2002. Note that original developer Compile went bankrupt and sold the rights of Puyo Puyo and Madou Monogatari’s characters to Sega. However, according to GiantBomb, Sega does not own the rights to the Madou Monogatari series itself.

Also note the release of Super Puyo Puyo 2 on the SNES library of Nintendo Switch Online. Despite being completely untranslated, Nintendo released this puzzle game for their first batch of classic SNES titles. Whether it was to round out their library with puzzle games or due to Sega’s request remains unknown. However, the curiosity of such an import title released for the library would surely build interest among new fans as well.

Puyo Puyo 2

Pictured in the bottom left.

The long-standing series of Puyo Puyo has been released in Japan for over 25 years. While America has seen sparse releases over the years, Puyo Puyo Tetris built a name for itself in 2017. Released for PS4 and Nintendo Switch, the titled garnered an 83 on Metacritic. Despite its relatively niche status, it sold over 550,000 units in America alone.

Puyo Puyo Tetris

Furthermore, the budding fanbase even hosted official eSports tournaments for CEO and EVO; two premiere, international fighting game tournaments. Despite only 41 players attending AnimEVO, the small, but vocal fanbase proved that even puzzle games can get a spot in a tournament dominated by fighting games.

Recent Releases of Classic JRPGs.

Whereas JRPGs, such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Octopath Traveler, succeeded on the Switch, classic JRPGs from Square-Enix have made a comeback as well. Note that this not only includes those released in America, but JRPGs exclusive to Japan are getting official localizations for the first time.

While Trials of Mana recently saw its first American release earlier this year, Romancing SaGa 3, and SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions will come to the west in late 2019. In addition, Square-Enix released Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, which is its first release on consoles since 1999.

Romancing SaGa 3

Additionally, Bandai Namco released the highly-requested Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, in America this past January. This release came out exclusive to Japan in 2009 for PS3 and featured extra gameplay and story content. Ten years later, Bandai Namco would release this version in the west complete with a new dub for all the additional scenes.

Tales of Vesperia

While Square-Enix and Bandai Namco have done their part to satisfy their classic fans, other JRPGs still wander in the past 20 years later. Despite heavy requests, Sega’s own Skies of Arcadia has yet to resurface anywhere in the current era. Therefore, it stands to reason that Sega does not plan to prioritize Skies of Arcadia, last released for GameCube in 2003. Consequently, it’s less likely Sega shows interest in an even more niche title despite the success of the recent Puyo Puyo series.

Series’ Future

Even though Compile went bankrupt, the company eventually re-emerged under the name Compile Heart. As of 2019, the developer has released various games including Hyperdimension Neptunia and Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God. Compile Heart christened the title Sei Madou Monogatari in Japan. As a result, the title bears great similarities to the original series. You can read more about it on Puyo Nexus.

Madou Monogatari

Given that D4 Enterprises owns the rights to Madou Monogatari, it remains unclear if the series will ever resurface. The only way to portray the series similarly would likely be via a joint venture among Sega, D4 Enterprises, and Compile Heart. Due to the amount of licensing required among all three companies, however, it also remains unclear if this would even be a practical opportunity either. While Sega has found success with the Puyo Puyo franchise in the west, at the end of the day, a niche JRPG based on a niche puzzle series means the release of Madou Monogatari in the west would be highly unlikely.

Conclusion

With that said, chances are quite slim as you’ll find little demand to begin with. However, with the growing fanbase of Puyo Puyo, new fans may find themselves curious with the origins of their beloved characters. As we’ve seen JRPGs popping back up for the first time in over 20 years, who’s to say Sega won’t seek a remake? During this era of re-released JRPGs, the possibility of a remake or remaster remains slim, but not impossible.

Madou Monogatari

We hope you enjoyed this look at Madou Monogatari. Are you interested in seeing this series come to the west? Let us know in the comments below!

Rango has been gaming since 1993. He loves Action/Adventure, JRPG, and Platforming games the most. When he's not writing reviews, he competes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments.

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