From Koei’s Imagination Series of strategy games comes Gemfire, a Medieval-styled title where players assume the role of a royal family, torn apart by the evil father Eselred, in their fight to reunite their homeland. Gameplay is turn-based strategy, with units moving in a very Chess-like fashion. Players control 4 basic units, with one additional fifth unit; this fifth unit may be a mythical monster that the player hires or one of the six unique wizards represented by the stones of the crown Gemfire, the jewel that was broken and scattered by Lord Eselred. Unique features to Gemfire include animated cutscenes for each unit’s attack, as well as a consistently-operating luck/blessing system that can bring players either great fortune or great devastation. Sometimes, it pays to be the good guy! As you battle and barter your way to reunification, your struggle will be accompanied by one of Koei’s best soundtracks, frequently noted for its diversity and dramatic power. A very good strategy game, if not the best for the SNES. - J.D. Smith
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