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Seiken Densetsu: The Emergence of Excalibur

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'Seiken Densetsu: The Emergence of Excalibur'
Seiken Densetsu Emergence of Excalibur logo.png
Developer Square
Publisher DOG
Platforms Famicom Disk System
Release date April 1987 (planned date)
Genre Action role-playing game
Media Nintendo 3-inch diskette

Seiken Densetsu: The Emergence of Excalibur (聖剣伝説 THE EMERGENCE OF EXCALIBUR), originally known as simply Excalibur (エクスカリバー) is a cancelled action role-playing game for the Famicom Disk System that was developed by Square, during a time when the company led a union known as the Disk Original Group (DOG). It would have been the first Seiken Densetsu title.


Image 1 SDEoE screenshot.png

According to magazine advertisements, the party was made up of a maximum of four active characters, consisting of a Hero and three AI-controlled supports. Individual characters could take on any number of personalities, for example being cowardly and thus prone to running from foes.[1]

Image 2 SDEoE screenshot.png

Developers wanted to include innovative ideas, such as a loyalty system determining whether characters would join the party and/or turn traitor. As many as 20 recruitable characters were planned. Also planned was a feature that would have required the player to knock on the doors of buildings in towns by "knocking" the microphone of the Famicom's second gamepad[2].

Image 3 SDEoE screenshot.png

Battles occurred in a dungeon which was composed of 5 underground levels.[3]


Character artwork and descriptions were shown in Famitsu magazine.[4]

Hero SDEoE screenshot.png Hero (主人公): Place of birth unknown. A young man who stood up to defeat Vargas. At first, no one took him seriously, but he soon found powerful friends and defeated demons one after another, earning the title of knight. There is a legend that says, "A hero descends from the sky. He defeats demons and returns to heaven again". However, it is unclear whether he is the hero of that legend.
Elise SDEoE screenshot.png Elise (イリス): From Bardos Island. She is the eldest daughter of King Rexach II of Bardos Island. She is a brave, kind-hearted, and beautiful girl who is skilled with a sword.
Patrice SDEoE screenshot.png Patrice (パトリス): A native of Oztok (オズトック). An unparalleled lover of alcohol and a stubborn pacifist.
Perseus SDEoE screenshot.png Perseus (ペルセウス): Place of birth unknown. He is polite and kind. He is said to be a well-known warrior.
Atlas SDEoE screenshot.png Atlas (アトラス): Born in Lancelot (ランスロット). He is a coward, a fool, and has a low fighting spirit.
Rene SDEoE screenshot.png Rene (ルネ): Born in Lancelot. He is a short boy with a small temper and timidity. His quickness is second to none.
Hinomaru Man SDEoE screenshot.png Hinomaru Man (日の丸マン): He appears when the protagonist is in trouble and leaves after being beaten. His true identity is unknown.
Uribo SDEoE screenshot.png Wild Boar the Merchant (売り子のうり坊): Sells weapons, armor, and items in the dungeon. Looks like a short kid, but is a great mage.
Fred SDEoE screenshot.png Fred (フレッド): From Bardos Island. His parents were killed by a monster, and he is driven by an unusual hatred toward his enemies.
Alphon SDEoE screenshot.png Alphon (アルフォン): From Bardos Island. Although he lacks cooperation, he is good at using magic, and has both wisdom and courage, making him a useful person.
Dolan SDEoE screenshot.png Dolan (ドラン): From Bardos (バードス) Island. He is a coward and lacks ability, but has great potential.
Gato SDEoE screenshot.png Gatt (ゲート): Born in Wordsworth (ワーズワース). Ambitious and fights bravely to make a reputation, but hates taking orders from others.
Mysterious Person SDEoE screenshot.png Mysterious Person (ナゾの人物)
Vampire SDEoE screenshot.png Vampire (バンパイヤ): He is a member of the vampire race, and if a person's blood is sucked by him, they will also turn into a vampire.
Hydra SDEoE screenshot.png Hydra (ヒドラ): A monster with a dragon-like body and multiple faces. A fast and powerful monster.
Mummy Man SDEoE screenshot.png Mummy Man (ミイラ男): An immortal monster. If a person is trapped by his wrappings, their whole body goes numb and they are eventually suffocated to death.
King Reixach II (ライザック2): The former king of Bardos Island and father of Elise.
Vargas (バルガス): The evil demon who rules Bardos Island.


In the first version of the game (Excalibur), the game was set in Medieval Europe and the protagonist had to pull out the holy sword Excalibur to defeat a large man, becoming a knight and finally subduing him. In the second version (Seiken Densetsu: The Emergence of Excalibur), the story was about a young man who sets out on a journey in search of the holy sword Excalibur, which was necessary to defeat the demon Vargas who ruled over the Bardos Island.[5]


Image 4 SDEoE screenshot.png

Sometime between 1985 and 1987, the game was advertised in Famitsu magazine as simply Excalibur. It was originally supposed to be an RPG trilogy for the Famicom Disk System and set in actual Medieval Europe.[6] Hiromichi Tanaka wanted the game to be something like a real-time version of Wizardry.[7]

The game later remerged as Seiken Densetsu.[8] The first installment in the series, The Emergence of Excalibur, was only supposed to be the beginning of the story, which would consist in a five-game series that would unfold over several generations.[9]

Although Square solicited pre-orders for the game, Kaoru Moriyama, a former Square employee, affirms that management canceled the ambitious project before it advanced beyond the early planning stages. In October 1987, customers who had placed orders were sent a letter informing them of the cancellation and had their purchases refunded. The letter also suggested to consider placing an order on another upcoming Square role-playing game in a similar vein: Final Fantasy.[10] According to Hironobu Sakaguchi, the project was simply too big and ambitious to be made on the Famicom Disk System.[11]

Of course, the Seiken Densetsu trademark was eventually reused for the game that became Final Fantasy Adventure.



Despite Square saying that Final Fantasy Adventure was a complete reboot compared to The Emergence of Excalibur , some ideas do seem to have been carried over:

  • The Holy Sword of course, although it was called Excalibur and not yet Mana Sword.
  • The use of candies as items.
  • Monsters seem to have been recycled, most notably the Hydra.
  • The "Hinomaru Man" seems somewhat similar to Shadow Zed.
  • The name Elise (イリス in Japanese, which could also be transliterated as Iris) was reused for a character in the Final Fantasy Adventure remake Sword of Mana.