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Triad Stone aka Strahl

version: usa - year: 1994 - developer: sega (originally data east) - publisher: pioneer productions - format: laseractive, mega ld - condition: near mint- rarity: very

The North American version doesn't come with a spine, unlike the Japanese version. In the option screen you can set up to 3 difficulty levels (easy is already pretty hard), and switch languages between English and Japanese. Triad Stone is also known as Strahl on 3D0 and Saturn.


I put the numbers on the map to show you the best order in which to play the levels. Reach Level 7 without ever dying and you should get 3 extra credits.


"POWER POWER POWER!" Tap the power button repeatedly until the bar gets full to open the gate. These sections become way hard towards the end, so it's a wise thing to have autofire equipped on your joypad while playing.


Timing is everything, but the visuals cues do help!


Here, press the sword button and then right to strike.


Another easy POWER sequence at the beginning of the game.


The artwork is fantastic throughout.


Level 2 gets a bit trickier. It's a good thing to know what comes next.


Level 7 is tough as hell. Quickly press the sword button and then tap down to slash the monster.


The last level is goregous, very short and extra tough. Just one word for it: memorize!

Review - Triad Stone is an interactive anime style game similar to Dragon’s Lair in which you basically have to follow the on-screen prompts to successfully advance throughout the adventure.

Apparently, it is based off a 1985 Data East arcade laserdisc game, although I could not find any trace of this version anywhere. Triad Stone was also released on 3D0 and Saturn under the name Strahl, but these versions should have a worse video quality.

Triad Stone on the LaserActive requires the Mega LD module to work, and I must say it is probably one of the best games for it. Given you don’t mind the limited nature of the gameplay of interactive movie games in general, then you should truly enjoy what’s on offer here.

There are about 9 levels to go through, some of which can be played in any order, but with a caveat. The goal of the game is to collect the 3 magic stones to return the land to peace, but each of these stones also grants you “Power”. While the first stone is easily collected in the first selectable level, it should be noted that playing levels in the order they appear is probably the wisest choice. Why?

If you don’t do that, you’ll end up in stage 6 or 7 facing some very annoying special effects over the graphics. In particular, Stage 6 will have a weird “page folding” effect and even worse, stage 7 will bug you with some kind of water ripple effect. These levels are kind of hard in their own right without any weird looking effect applied onto them, so make sure you play the levels in the order they appear, and collect the 2nd stone in level 5, before confronting the subsequent levels and you’ll be fine.

The second stone (level 5) is actually guarded by a beautiful witch. The fight in itself looks like an eerie ballet, while you spin, slash, jump and fall in a desperate attempt to grab the second magic stone she’s keeping away from you.

The art direction for this scene is almost unrivaled, as you will stare in awe at the gracefulness of the characters on screen. The pure beauty of the penciled traits of the deadly yet gorgeous witch who laughs mockingly at you, or the pastel colors giving life to the drawings will make you wonder if you’re playing a game or if you fell into some kind of mesmerizing interactive painting!

Level 6 sees you all tied up by small Lilliputian-sized creatures just like Gulliver but after you eventually break free, for some reason you’ll shrink to the size of an insect and will suddenly be surrounded by giants and you’ll be forced to slalom your way out to safety.

In the fire level (level 3), you’ll be battling huge stone giants, while literally running onto their body to hit and run!

Anyways, as you make progress, you’ll come to realize the time available for you to follow the onscreen visual cues will start decreasing...

I normally find laserdisc games of this sort to be quiet tedious, but Triad Stone will gradually introduce you to the genre to then leave you on your own in the last stages, with very little time to react. Despite the visual cues which are most definitely an advantage over other games of this kind where you simply have to guess and advance through tedious trial and error, here a combination of very quick reflexes and memorization will eventually lead you to stage 8 and the last fight in stage 9.

What to say about Triad Stone? I had a very nice time playing through it, be it because of the irresistible quality of the anime work (how can you resist that haircut hehe), or the wild fantastic journey which was ahead of me. The fact I didn’t feel bored in a game with such limited gameplay is an achievement in itself. And when you’ll be done with it, you’ll feel as if you woke up, out of a very odd yet fascinating dream.

Bottom line: a very enjoyable laserdisc with high quality animations, worth discovering! 9/10










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