Shiren:Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (game)
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer
不思議のダンジョン 風来のシレン DS
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer DS
Shiren the Wanderer
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (Japanese: 不思議のダンジョン 風来のシレン DS, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer DS) is a roguelike game developed and published by Chunsoft, released for the Nintendo DS in 2006. It is not only the first set of games for the Shiren the Wanderer series but also the first series in the Mystery Dungeon franchise to use original characters. A port on smartphones based on the remake was later released in 2019 exclusively in Japan despite having an official English translation.
Shiren the Wanderer is a roguelike game in which the player traverses thirty randomly generated grid-based, top-down areas – referred to as floors – in which they fight enemies and find items. The player can move in eight directions, attack with melee weapons and arrows, and use a wide range of items with different effects: for example, some heal the player, some fling away enemies, and some allow the player to swap positions with an enemy. The items are kept in the player's inventory, which only has a limited amount of space. For every step the player takes, their health regenerates, but their fullness counter also decreases; because of this, the player needs to carry food items with them, which also take up inventory space. The gameplay is turn-based: every time the player performs an action, such as moving, attacking, or using items, all enemies and characters in the area perform one action as well. In addition to the enemy characters, there are friendly characters, three of which can join the player's party and help them with things such as healing.
If the player's character falls in battle, they are forced to restart from the beginning, with all their items and experience points gone; to avoid this, the player can store items in warehouses found in towns they travel through. Because of this, the player makes long-term progress by upgrading powerful items at village blacksmiths and storing them in warehouses, while upgrading their character is more of a temporary improvement. In the Nintendo DS version of the game, the player can avoid having to start over by getting rescued by another player: this is done by giving the other player a rescue quest, either through a password or the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. When a player embarks on a rescue mission, they start from level 1 and have to reach the fallen character without stopping at towns on their way. If they succeed, the rescued player can proceed from where they left off, and keep their items and experience points.
After the player has finished the thirty floors that make up the main game, a fourth companion character and additional, optional dungeons become available. These dungeons are harder than the main game but include highly powerful items as a reward for their completion. A puzzle-based dungeon called Fay's Puzzles is also available from the start, in the first town, hosting fifty puzzles about avoiding enemies, using items and moving carefully.
|"||To fulfill the wish of his deceased friend, Shiren's journey to reach the top of Table Mountain begins, where legends tell of a city of gold, home of the Golden Condor. Joining him is Koppa, his talking weasel companion, who was enticed by the legend of the golden city.||„|
|~ The game's synopsis.|
The game takes place in a fantasy version of feudal Japan, and follows a rōnin named Shiren and his companion, the talking weasel Koppa, on a quest for the Land of the Golden Condor. They travel through forests, towns, mountains and caves, and are joined by three people they meet during the journey: Kechi the Masseur, a man who pretends to be blind; Oryu the Blinder, a travelling woman who has the power to blind people and monsters; and Pekeji, a man who claims to be Shiren's brother, separated at birth. Shiren eventually reaches the land, where he frees the golden condor from an ancient insect-like creature. He and Koppa ride away on the condor, flying across the towns he had passed, and the townspeople look up at the condor and make a wish. The condor lands, letting Shiren and Koppa jump off, before flying away. The game ends with Shiren and Koppa walking away into the night.
The Nintendo DS version was directed by Hironori Ishigami and planned and supervised by Tomie, while Hiroyoshi Umetani was the main planner and in charge of game balance, Shin-ichiro Tomie created the scenario and events, Tanaka worked on the presentation and assisted with the scenario, and Masayasu Yamamoto programmed the dungeons. In addition to Sugiyama, the Nintendo DS version's music was worked on by Hayato Matsuo. The idea of developing a Nintendo DS version started when Chunsoft was considering creating a series of Mystery Dungeon games for the Nintendo DS. Previous Mystery Dungeon games came up in conversation: they considered doing something with the Game Boy games, but decided against it as it would have required them to redraw all the art, leaving them to decide between working on the Super Famicom or the Nintendo 64 games; they eventually settled on working on the Super Famicom title Shiren the Wanderer.
The idea of it being a simpler project due to the original art being reusable turned out to be untrue: because so much time had passed since the original's release, there were multiple parts that had to be reworked, leading to a process similar to creating a whole new game from scratch. All character graphics were redone, special effects were changed, and certain animations were added, such as sleeping animations. Some item placements were changed, the overall difficulty was adjusted, and some characters' battle statistics were altered; one such instance was making Kechi stronger than Oryu, due to it being perceived as illogical that a person with a sword would be weaker than a person fighting with her bare hands.
The unused scenario Tomie had written for the original version was included in the Nintendo DS version in the form of a bonus dungeon, playable after completion of the main game. It was altered slightly from the original plan due to technical restrictions: the scenario originally involved a nest with several large Tainted Insect enemies, but it was not possible to have so many large enemies appear at once. The developers considered using smaller Tainted Insects, but eventually decided to change the nest into a path with insects appearing every ten floors, and renamed the dungeon "The Tainted Path".
Ishigami played a large role in the implementation of the Wi-Fi rescue quests, and it went smoother than anticipated, something the developers attributed to their experience with developing mobile games. They were initially concerned about how the player loses all their items if they die during a rescue mission, but realized that it had to be that way to avoid people abusing rescue missions to get new items. Due to programming changes between the Japanese and the English versions of the game, rescue quests from the North American and European versions are only compatible with each other, and not with the Japanese release.
The Nintendo DS version was released by Sega on December 14, 2006 in Japan, on March 1, 2008 in Australia, on March 4, 2008 in North America and on March 31, 2008 in Europe; outside of an earlier unofficial translation, this was the first time the game was made available in English. The remake would receive a Bargain Edition later in Japan on August 21, 2008.
Sega decided to localize the game due to them having a good relationship with Chunsoft, and wanting to "test the waters" for an American release of a Chunsoft game; they chose Shiren the Wanderer specifically because they felt it was a high-quality title that had been well adapted to the Nintendo DS platform. The localization was produced by Keith Dwyer at Sega, who said that, although there were some changes between the Japanese and the English versions to accommodate the change in language, they wanted the game to be fundamentally the same, as making it too different would lose the original's flavor. Dwyer noted that while some situations and words were difficult to recreate in English, the elements of Japanese culture present in the game were not a hindrance during the localization. The box art was changed for the localization, both to appeal to American players and to better communicate the tough journey the player goes on in the game.
- For this subject's image gallery, see Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer.
In Other Languages
|Shiren the Wanderer series|
-  Gameplay, Plot and Sales sections based on the Wikipedia page.