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Esh's Aurunmilla

version: jp - year: 1985 - developer: funai - publisher: laserdisc corp. - format: msx1, ld-700, laserdisc - condition: near mint- rarity: very

A rare and beautiful game which saw its only home release on the exotic Palcom MSX + Laserdisc combo.


The Palcom MSX PX-V60 linked to the Pioneer LD-700, playing Esh's Aurunmilla.


Changing the difficulty level from low to high will shorten the amount of time you have to perform the right moves.


The asterisk to the right is drawn by the MSX1 hardware and overlayed ontop of the background graphics played by the laserdisc.


The final section of the game sees you freeing the princess while also attempting a desperate escape with her on a flying ship out of the planet. Exhilarating!

Review - Esh’s Aurunmilla was originally released in the coin-op scene by Funai back in 1984, and if you are familiar with interactive movie type games, then you should know what to expect.

Esh’s Aurunmilla feels like a happy mix between Dragon’s Lair (DS) and Space Ace (SA), and the quality of the animation is almost as good as Don Bluth’s works.

The similarities among these games are actually striking, like for example the appearance of the main hero who looks like a cross between Dirk and Ace and the blonde princess in distress who could almost be mistaken for Princess Daphne’s little sister!

Also, the humorous death scene animations are strongly inspired by DS and SA. Somebody could even consider this game to be a rip-off although I think that Esh’s Aurunmilla is really much more than just that.

Generally speaking, I think that it is one of the most inspired interactive movie type games I played, and it really uses the Palcom MSX and Laserdisc Player combo neatly.

Scenes load up and change quickly and death animations don’t take forever to load when you die. This is important because...you will die a lot at the beginning, before you learn the game!

Another interesting thing about this game is that it points the player towards the right move by displaying an asterisk in the general direction you need to press. This makes the adventure less challenging than DS and SA although timing can often be very tricky and sometimes, the asterisk will be placed in some very awkward positions which will require you to press in some entire different direction.

Moreover, firing is used both to fire your weapon and to jump, so that can lead to confusion. It should be noted that the control system lacks a bit of precision so it is sometimes more efficient to just press the fire button repeatedly and hope to get the sequence right in order to advance.

I also found out that there are some significant differences in the moves between this MSX version and the arcade version. The MSX version will often require the use of diagonals while in the arcades, there are no diagonal moves to be performed.

Luckily, you are equipped with a stock of 3 lives and more importantly, with infinite continues so if you really like this kind of games, you should be able to finish the 16 levels on offer if you don’t give up right away.

Once you complete the game, you’ll be treated to a beautiful ending scene before the game starts over, mixing randomly all the previously played levels.

This MSX version only includes Japanese voice acting which is a bit of a shame considering that there is a version of the coin op which should indeed be dual language (Eng/Jap). In the end, Esh’s Aurunmilla is a quality Laserdisc game with a wonderful atmosphere and setting. If you enjoy this type of games, it will certainly make you happy. The price went up a lot in the past couple of years though, so it might be long before you find a reasonably priced copy for sale.

Bottom line: If you are looking to time travel back to the 1980s and breathe the unique atmosphere of the early laserdisc arcade games of that time, Esh's Aurunmilla is a must play. With its fascinating mix of fantasy and sci-fi, it will awaken rare emotions, that maybe you thought forgotten. Precious and pure, the unicorn of laserdisc games. 9/10










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