Cadash is a side-scrolling RPG released in 1991 for the Turbo Grafix and in 1992 for the Sega Genesis. It’s a console port of an arcade game of the same name which was released by Taito in 1989. It was also re-released in 2005 for the Playstation 2 as part of the Taito Legends compilation.
Cadash has a high fantasy setting and the player is able to choose between a warrior and a wizard. The arcade version included a priestess and a Ninja as playable characters, because nothing screams medieval fantasy like a Ninja. On starting the game I was surprised at just how massive the character sprites are. They’re huge. They honestly borderline on being too big. Due to the characters taking up so much screen space, it’s often impossible to know when an enemy is about to appear from the side of the screen. Annoying stuff.
Luckily you have a health bar. If this game was a one-hit-you’re-dead type affair, my control pad would have been hurled out the window. Also, as this game is an RPG, so you get experience points from killing enemies which accumulate until you gain a level. Gaining levels makes you stronger and tougher, and makes those surprise enemies a lot easier to deal with. Enemies also drop gold when defeated, and that gold can be used to buy better equipment as well as healing items. For whatever reason, I never seemed to find myself short of cash, so the upgrades were a given.
There is a story line in the game. Something about demons and princes. You have to go kill a Balrog. The usual shit. There are also a lot of NPCs sprinkled through the game which are crucial to understanding what is going on, and also what needs to be done in order to progress tot he next section. Cadash has a very strong RPG feel to it, despite it being a 2D platformer. I also found that a little grinding at certain points made the game a whole lot easier. It’s not very often that you find yourself grinding in a 2D platformer.
While the Genesis port of this game seemed to play quite well, I have a sneaking suspicion that the arcade original would wipe the floor with it. I haven’t played the arcade version of Cadash, but after playing the console port, I really, really want to give the original game a spin.