Lucifer Ring is a 3-D Beat-Em-Up in the style of Golden Axe. It was released for the Japanese PS1 in 1998 by Toshiba EMI, re-released in PS1 Classics format in 2009 on the Japanese PSN Store, and RE-Re-released in 2013 by MonkeyPaw to finally bring it to the US.
In this game you play as Nash, the hero of Freisia. His quest is to stop the dark wizard Bair from using the 4 rings of Lucifer to open the gates of Hell itself.
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- Control Pad(or left Analog Stick): Move character(in-game, double-tap to run), move selector(in-menus)
- Square Button: Weak Attack, Grab Power-Ups(in-game)
- X Button: Strong Attack, Grab Power-Ups(in-game), Cancel(in-menu), Skip between-level narration
- Circle Button: Jump(in-game), Confirm(in-menu)
- Triangle Button: Special Attack(in-game), Magic Attack(in-game, with full SP Bar)
- R1: Hold to Dash(in-game)
- L2: Zoom Out(in-game)
- R2: Zoom In(in-game)
- Start Button: Pause game
- Jump Attack: Jump and push either attack button to attack airborne enemies(or enemies big enough for you to still be able to hit them in mid-jump). The attack takes the same amount of time regardless of the button pressed, but a Strong Jump attack will do more damage than a Weak one.
- Dash Attack: Press either attack button while dashing to perform a Dash Attack. The type of attack you perform changes depending on the attack button pressed. A Weak Dash Attack will launch your character straight forward, sword extended while a Strong Dash Attack will have your character continue to dash but swing his sword a few times. The Weak Dash has greater range, but your character will have stopped dead after it. The Strong Dash requires you to be up close and personal, but won’t cause you to stop.
- Special Attack/Magic Attack: Pressing the Triangle Button triggers both of these. Whether you use a Special or Magic attack depends on if the SP bar is full or not. If it is, you perform a Magic Attack. If not, you perform a special attack. The basic special is the same for all swords, a Spin attack that hits any enemies close to Nash. The Magic attacks vary depending on the sword you use, and generally affect all enemies on-screen. The specific magic for each sword is detailed alongside the sword itself.
- Combo Attacks: Certain button combinations can trigger special attacks that can deal a lot of extra damage depending on what type of enemy you use them on or the situation you use them in. The individual combo attacks will be detailed in the following section, however they all have a few things in common. Firstly, in order to trigger a combo, all of its hits must connect. Secondly, you can be knocked out of a combo by getting hit at any point before the final attack, so be careful. The combo attacks are:
- Forward Strike Combo: Press Weak Attack four times. It’s a basic 4-hit combo on a single enemy. Useful on a relatively tough single target.
- Circle Strike: Press Weak Attack three times, then Strong Attack once. At the end of the combo, Nash will make a spinning strike that hits anything nearby. Useful for damaging multiple enemies at once and giving yourself breathing room.
- Somersault: Press Strong Attack twice. Nash will stab his sword into the enemy and do a flip, dealing damage going straight upward. Useful on large enemies.
Lucifer Ring is an example of a beat-em-up. Occasionally you will be stopped by glowing red walls that appear along with the Enemy Counter (see the Game Screen section). Only when the Enemy counter hits 0 will the walls vanish and allow you to proceed. Occasionally you will encounter a mini-boss. These enemies are much stronger than normal and are typically fought one-on-one. Their life bars are at the bottom of the screen, and you won’t be able to proceed until you defeat them. Lastly, each level has a boss at the end that MUST be defeated. The bosses each have multiple modes of attack and can wipe the floor with you if you’re not careful in how you fight them.
Title Screen menu:
- New Game: Start a new game.
- Load Game: Load your save data. Note that the save doesn’t track actual in-game progress, only special features that you’ve unlocked.
- Option: Go to the options menu, where you can set and tweak the game options to your liking.
- Enemy Level: Change how tough the enemies are. You can set them to Easy, Normal(Default), Hard or Expert difficulty.
- Sound Mode: Change the sound between Stereo and Monaural.
- Sound Test: Listen to the various sound effects and music tracks. Press Circle to access.
- Key Config: Press Circle to access this menu. Here you can change which button does what by highlighting the action you want to alter (Attack 1 is the Weak Attack, Attack 2 is the Strong Attack) and pressing the button you want to use to perform that action. You can also turn the controller vibration on and off from here.
From Top to Bottom, Left to Right, the game-screen elements are as follows:
- Timer (very top-left corner): Measures how much time you have left in the current area.
- Health Bar (directly to the right of Timer): Measures how much health you have. It fills up when you get health power-ups and empties when you take damage. When it completely empties you lose a life.
- Life Counter (directly to the right of Timer, below Health Bar): Indicates how many lives you have remaining. When you run out, it’s Game Over, unless you continue.
- Special Bar (below Health Bar, to the right of Life counter): Indicates how much SP you have. This bar fills up as you deal and take damage. Once it’s full, you can use your sword’s Special Attack.
- Enemy Name/Health (Top-Right corner of screen): Shows how much health the enemy you hit most recently has remaining, along with its name.
- Boss Name/Health (Bottom-Center of screen): Shows the name of the boss or mini-boss you’re currently fighting, along with how much health it has remaining.
- Enemy Counter (Bottom-Right of screen): This counter shows how many more enemies you have to defeat before you can continue onwards. If enemies are present and the counter is not, they will continue to respawn indefinitely.
Pause Menu Translation:
From top to bottom, the options on the Pause Menu are:
- Return to Game: Returns you to the game.
- Return to Title Screen: Takes you back to the game’s title screen
- Vibration: Turns the vibration feature on/off(Default is Off)
- Fire Sword(Red sword, wreathed in fire): Gives you the Fire Sword. Enemies knocked down by a Fire Sword attack may burn for a few seconds, doing a tiny amount of additional damage. The Fire Sword’s Magic is the Meteor Strike, which drops mini-meteors onto the battlefield.
- Ice Sword(Blue sword, little snowflakes around it): Gives you the Ice Sword. Enemies hit by the Ice Sword have a small chance of being frozen in place for a few seconds. The Ice Sword’s magic is the Freezing Ice, which creates a massive spiked outcropping of ice around Nash.
- Thunder Sword(Yellow sword, lightning wrapped around it): Gives you the Thunder Sword. Enemies hit by the Thunder Sword have a chance to be slowed for a few seconds. The Thunder Sword’s magic is Thunder & Lightning, which calls massive lightning strikes down on the battlefield.
- Holy Sword(White sword, blue hilt): Gives you the Holy Sword. The Holy Sword doesn’t have any special abilities of its own, but is the strongest of the swords. The Holy Sword’s magic is the Holy Light, which covers the battlefield in, well, holy light.
- Normal Sword(Grey sword): Gives you the Normal Sword back if you have any of the other swords. No special effects. The Normal Sword’s magic is the Shockwave, which radiates out from Nash when cast.
- Healing Herb(Green thing with a leafy top): Restores 30% of your Maximum Health.
- Cure Potion(Blue flask with red liquid in it): Restores 60% of your Maximum Health.
- Super Cure Potion(Fancy-looking red bottle): Restores your health to the maximum.
- Crystal Ball(Blue orb): Instantly fills your SP Bar.
- 1-Up(1UP): Adds an extra life.
- There is no way for Nash to block incoming strikes, so the best defense in this game is good mobility. Keep your eyes open for any incoming enemy attacks and be ready to get out of the way at a moments’ notice.
- Keep your eyes peeled for potential alternate routes. They can contain power-ups(and challenges) that are unavailable if you stick to the main path through the level.
- Falling into a pit is Instant Death in this game, so be CAREFUL when jumping from platform to platform! ESPECIALLY when you don’t have the benefit of the analog stick!
- Always try to have your SP Bar full when you go to fight a Boss or Mini-Boss. A Special Attack can do most of the work of a boss-fight if you have it ready.
- The SP Bar carries over between parts of a level, but not between levels themselves. So either use it or lose it.
- Certain enemies(and bosses) are weak against certain swords. In the case of bosses, this can be the difference between your Magic Attack dealing ¼ of a life bar worth of damage or it dealing an ENTIRE life bar worth of damage.
- It is possible to hit the same (very large) opponent multiple times with a Somersault or Jump Attack. It’s also possible to be hit several times by single enemy attack.
- If you defeat a Mimic Chest, you can get whatever item it had. But if it falls off a ledge, its item is lost.
- In the Cave level, you can access a hidden route in the room with the collapsing bridge if you jump toward the screen once you reach the exit of the area.