Sorcerian (1987)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Sorcerian (1987): A Comprehensive Guide to the Groundbreaking Action-RPG


Sorcerian is a groundbreaking action-RPG released in 1987 for the PC-88 and MSX2 home computers. Developed by Nihon Falcom, the game was notable for its innovative character creation system, class-based puzzles, and episodic format. Sorcerian set the stage for many future RPGs and is still fondly remembered by fans today.


Sorcerian is a side-scrolling action-RPG in which the player controls a party of up to four characters. The game features a unique character creation system that allows players to create up to ten characters, each with their own class, race, and job. There are four different classes (fighter, wizard, elf, and dwarf) and over 60 different jobs (ranging from clown to exorcist) available for characters to perform. Each class and job has its own strengths and weaknesses, affecting the character’s seven primary attributes (strength, intelligence, protection, magic resistance, vitality, dexterity, and karma) in different ways.

The player can choose from fifteen different scenarios, or quests, to play through in the order of their choice. The party must battle enemies and perform tasks within the given levels to clear each scenario, before moving onto another scenario of their choice. The player controls the entire party at the same time, with all four members running in a line, jumping in sequence, and attacking in unison. The party members follow behind in a manner similar to the Options in the arcade shooter Gradius (1985). Sorcerian also employs class-based puzzles, such as using a high-strength character to force open doors.

Character Creation

Sorcerian’s character creation system is one of the most in-depth and customizable in any RPG. Players can choose from four different races (human, elf, dwarf, and gnome) and four different classes (fighter, wizard, priest, and thief). Each race and class has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, humans are well-rounded and have no major weaknesses, while elves are agile and have high magic resistance, but are physically weak.

Once a player has chosen a race and class for their character, they can then choose from a variety of different jobs. Each job has its own unique set of skills and abilities. For example, fighters can specialize in close combat, while wizards can specialize in magic. Players can also choose to train their characters in multiple jobs, allowing them to create truly unique and versatile party members.

Aging System

Sorcerian features a unique aging system that adds a sense of urgency and strategy to the gameplay. All the characters have a default starting age of 16. Each time a player begins a new scenario, a year passes by, while additional time passes by in towns as a character goes through training or enchants items. The characters age at different rates depending on their race, with humans reaching old age at 60, dwarves at 100, and elves at 200. Upon reaching old age, for every year that passes, a character can die permanently at a random time. There is also an “Advance Time” to speed up the flow of time.

The aging system forces players to carefully consider how they spend their time in the game. Players who want to explore all of the scenarios will need to carefully manage their characters’ ages, making sure to retire them before they reach old age. The aging system also adds a sense of realism to the game, as characters grow older and weaker over time.

Episodic Format

Sorcerian was one of the first RPGs to use an episodic format. The game was released in a series of fifteen different scenarios, each of which could be played in any order. This episodic format allowed players to experience the game in a variety of different ways, and it also allowed Nihon Falcom to release new scenarios on a regular basis.

The episodic format also helped to keep the game fresh and exciting. Each scenario featured its own unique setting, enemies, and challenges. This variety helped to keep players engaged and motivated to continue playing.


Sorcerian was a critical and commercial success, and it is still considered one of the best action-RPGs ever made. The game’s innovative character creation system, class-based puzzles, and episodic format set the stage for many future RPGs. Sorcerian also helped to popularize the action-RPG genre in Japan, and it is still fondly remembered by fans today.


Sorcerian is a groundbreaking action-RPG that offers a unique and rewarding experience. The game’s innovative character creation system, class-based puzzles, and episodic format set it apart from other RPGs of its time. Sorcerian is a must-play for fans of action-RPGs and anyone who is interested in the history of the genre.

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