Magical Drop 3 - Miscellany Guide revision 4 Last updated 10-28-2002 by R. Rouse ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section 0 - Introduction While not as well-known as Tetris or its distant cousin Puzzle Bobble, the Magical Drop series has a near-cult following nonetheless. Combining more than twenty characters with fast-paced color-matching action, Magical Drop III is as good as puzzle games get. Magical Drop is the story of each character's quest for the Magical Drop, an item that grants the wishes of whoever holds it. Kind of like Aladdin's lamp or the Triforce or something, I guess. The Magical Drop is in the possession of Fortune, and each character is pursuing it for their own reasons. Star, for instance, wants to sing on stage, Father Strength hates being bald, and Magician just wants to be loved. Hey, you don't play games like this for the stirring, emotional plot. This is not an FAQ on how to play Magical Drop 3, nor is it a guide to different modes of play. The information here is almost exclusively confined to the Challenge Mode. There is already an excellent guide on the game mechanics by anders0n at gamefaqs.com. If you're new to Magical Drop 3, I'd recommend you read that first. Magical Drop is a game heavily based in the Tarot. The Minor Arcana of a deck of Tarot cards is like a deck of playing cards-- four suits split into numbers, with face cards. The suits in the Minor Arcana are Wands, Pentacles (Stars), Swords, and Cups. Sound familiar? Yep, each color of balloon in Magical Drop shows a sign of one of the suits of the minor arcana-- Reds are Wands, Blues are Pentacles, Yellows are Swords, and Greens are Cups. Red Wands, Blue Stars, Yellow Swords, Green Cups... they're magically delicious! A Tarot deck also has a Major Arcana of twenty-two cards. The cards in the major arcana are numbered from 0 to 21, as follows: 0. Fool 1. Magician 2. High Priestess 3. Emperor 4. Empress 5. Hierophant 6. Lovers 7. Chariot 8. Strength 9. Hermit 10. (Wheel of) Fortune 11. Justice 12. Hanged Man 13. Death 14. Temperance 15. Devil 16. Tower 17. Star 18. Moon 19. Sun 20. Judgement 21. World Needless trivia: In some very old Tarot decks, Strength and Justice are transposed. Who said video games (er, writing video game guides) won't teach you anything? Each card in the Major Arcana corresponds to one character in the game. Fool, Star, Devil, Magician, High Priestess, and Chariot are Magical Drop veterans, having been in the series from the first game. Debuting in Magical Drop 3 are more recent additions: Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Young Strength, Death, Sun, Judgement, and all the secret characters. In the lists of characters later on in this guide, I will refer to them in the order of the Major Arcana. The secret characters are Hanged Man, Moon, Temperance, Hermit, Tower, and Fortune. Hermit and Temperance are encountered during many one-player games. Tower and Fortune serve as opponents in the second-to-last and final matches. You'll only encounter Moon or Hanged Man if you're doing very well, or not doing very well at all. Normally, the secret characters are unavailable for play-- That's why they're SECRET. However, there is a trick to unlocking them. On the character select screen, there is a countdown timer. Move the cursor over a character's portrait that you know the Arcana number of, and when the counter reaches that number, press "C" three (and only three) times. For instance, when the counter reads 17, point to Star and press C, C, C. If the counter reads 13, use Death, and if 5, Hierophant. You'll know if you did it right-- a fanfare will play and six more character tiles will fly onto the screen. You'll get ten extra seconds to choose a character. This is the "Secret Character Trick" I refer to later in this guide. There is another, final character, who is not based on a Tarot card. The Black Pierrot is well-nigh impossible to find, and only challenges the best Magical Drop players. There isn't any way to play as Black Pierrot. A sidenote: Before a match begins, two Tarot cards slide in from either side of the screen, then flip over to reveal each character's field. In this guide, I refer often to a character's "card". By this I simply mean that character's playing area on their half of the screen. ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section I - Game Versions There are three "versions" of the game, depending on where the Arcade machine was intended to be released. The differences between the Japanese version, European version, and American version are subtle, and don't affect the actual gameplay much, but they are there. If you're playing on an arcade cabinet, it's pretty easy to tell if the game is set to Japanese display. Is the logo and game text in Japanese? Alright then. If the text is in English, look for the Credit displays at the bottom of the screen. If there is one credit display on the right side, you're in the European mode. If there are two, one on each side of the screen, the machine is set for the USA. If you're playing on MAME32, you can switch game settings by starting the game and pressing TAB to bring up the main menu. Go to Dip Switches, then change the "Territory" setting. Exit the menu and press F3 to reset the machine, and you're in business. Thanks to the mysterious and largely anonymous "Fenrir-Knight" for the tip. Those using NeoRage can freely switch from one localization to another in the machine settings menu before launching the game. Props go to "Weasel Despair" for this tip. Here are the differences I've found in localizations: In Challenge Mode, the Japanese version begins with the story of the Magical Drop. To paraphrase: "From an old magic book- Inside the Magical Drop is a wonderful magical land. The mysterious Magical Drop will give you anything you wish. This year, many competitors are going to a great 'Magical Drop Meet' to win the Drop. Who will win? Let's start the fight!" In the European and American modes, there is no story at the beginning. In the Japanese version, each character has a unique line before each battle. In the other versions, there are only two variations of between-match dialog: "I'll never lose to you!" and "Now, let's see who's better!" The Japanese Challenge Mode has a "Hard" difficulty, not found in the other versions. At the beginning of each two-player match, the American and European voices have a woman's voice that says "Ready? Go!". The Japanese version has one of the characters (the computer-controlled character, in one-player mode) saying "O-o-i? S'taato!", which means basically the same thing. Japanese voices are better than European voices; European voices are better than American voices. See section IV. In Adventure mode, the Japanese game again begins with a story that was cut from the other versions. The Japanese Adventure mode plays like a race-- there are three other characters on the board, and if any of the others get to Empress's castle before your character, it's Game Over. Annoyingly, the computer players aren't affected by the tiles they land on over the course of the game. In the American and European versions, the only character on the board is controlled by the player. There's no hurry to get to the end. The Japanese game has Japanese menus, obviously. The European and American versions are in English. ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section II - Attack Pattern Guide When playing Magical Drop 3 ("MD3" from here on out) versus another character, the easiest way to win is to overwhelm your opponent, filling their screen with balloons. When you clear several balloons at once, or perform a lengthy combo, your character does an "attack" animation and balloons cascade down your opponent's card. The more balloons you clear, more lines will be added to your opponent's playing field. And, of course, if the balloons cross the line at the bottom, you've won! Usually you'll need to clear at least six balloons in one move to attack at all. The simplest attacks add three rows to your opponent's field, the most complex combinations add as many as eight. There are seven columns of balloons in the playing field, and three rows of balloons at the beginning of a match. When a character attacks, balloons are added to the top line on the opponent's playfield. Not every character "attacks" in the same way, however. Different avatars utilize different attack patterns, from Devil's pure simplicity to the aggression of Young Strength. Individual columns may have balloons added to them immediately, while other columns have low priority in the attack. For the purposes of this guide, I am writing each character's attack pattern as a seven-digit string to show column priority. The columns with the lowest digits will be added first, with any lines after the highest digit in the string cascading all seven columns at once. It's probably easier to illustrate than to describe: Magician's attack pattern is 5213125. At the beginning of the match, his opponent has a 7x3 pattern of balloons: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O He scores a combo that will add three rows to his opponent's field. In the seven-digit string, columns three and five have the number "1", so those get a balloon first. For the second step, columns two and six get a balloon in addition to columns three and five. For the third step, columns two, three, four, five, and six all get a balloon. His opponent's field ends up looking like this, with new balloons marked with an X: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 O X X X X X O O X X O X X O O O X O X O O O O O O O O O O O O O If Magician had instead scored a six-row combo, the same as above would happen for the first three rows. There is no number 4 in Magician's attack pattern, so no additional rows would move for the fourth step, making it a repeat of the third step. The final two columns, 1 and 7, begin moving during the fifth step, and as all the columns are now moving, the sixth step involves all of them cascading at once. His will end up with a field looking like this (new balloons, again, are marked with an X): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X O X X X X X O O X X X X X O O X X O X X O O X O X O O O O O O O O O O O O In a nutshell: A 1 marks the first column to move in an attack. A 2 denotes the second, a 3 the third, and so on. If a number is missing, that step is a repeat of the one before it. Once all columns begin moving, they will continue moving for each step thereafter. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- So now, without further explanation, the patterns. These are illustrated as they would cascade with an eight-step attack. 0. The Fool 1. Magician 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 2 1 3 1 2 5 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 2. High Priestess 3. Empress 4 1 4 5 4 1 4 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 4. Emperor 5. Hierophant 2 1 2 4 2 1 2 5 2 1 3 1 2 5 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 6. Lovers 7. Chariot 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 7 5 3 1 2 4 6 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 8. Young Strength 8. Father Strength 3 1 5 1 5 1 3 1 2 4 5 4 2 1 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 9. Hermit 10. Fortune 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 1 4 4 1 4 4 1 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 11. Justice 12. Hanged Man 4 4 2 1 2 4 4 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 13. Death 14. Temperance 2 1 2 4 2 1 2 5 3 3 1 3 4 5 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 15. Devil 16. Tower 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 4 4 3 1 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 17. Star 18. Moon 7 5 3 1 2 4 6 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 19. Sun 20. Judgement 6 6 3 1 3 6 6 6 3 3 1 3 4 6 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O 21. World XX. Black Pierrot 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 1 5 5 3 5 5 1 O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O ---------------------------------------------------------------------- So which attack pattern is best? It depends on what you like. A pattern like Fool's or Lover's will give your opponent many balloons to worry about, but since they're in large clusters, they will be relatively easy to clear. Attacking with a single or double protrusion (like Sun or Young Strength) doesn't add many balloons, but since they're in spires, they will be more difficult to clear. There are a few combinations of the two-- Empress and Judgement have several full rows of balloons after a small protrusion, and Fortune attacks with three narrow advances before the rest cascade. From what I can tell, the computer tends to have more problems with narrow protrusions, but if you're playing a human opponent who is easily overwhelmed, you may want to use a "flood" character. I'm not sure what determines the color of balloons that appear during an attack. I believe it may be linked to what character is attacking (Hanged Man, for instance, may use different colors than Lovers, even though they use the same pattern). It may also be linked to what colors were cleared to initiate the attack. Like the Moblins say, it's a secret to everybody. ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section III - Background Guide While the battles in Magical Drop are fought on cards, the cards themselves hover over different backgrounds. The background used in any match is determined by who is in the match: 1) If the battle is in one-player mode, Human vs. Computer, the background is that of the computer player. 2) If the battle is in two-player mode, Human vs. Human, the background corresponds with whichever character was chosen first on the character select screen. The backgrounds don't have any effect on the match itself. They're just there to look pretty. The backgrounds are: Flowery Field -- Several large flowers of various shapes and colors on a bright background. -- Used by: Fool, Lovers, Star, and Sun Stone Sword -- An embossed sword, carved into a brown rock pattern. -- Used by: Emperor, Chariot, Justice, and Judgement A Paper Mess -- A pile of chaotically arranged papers, with handwritten scripts. -- Used by: Magician, High Priestess, Hierophant, and World Stormy Castle -- A castle on a cliff, with a thunderstorm behind it. -- Used by: Empress, Death, and Devil Sunset -- A serene-looking field with a single tree, at sunset. -- Used by: Young Strength and Father Strength Scattered Leaves -- A pile of multicolored autumn leaves. -- Used by: Hanged Man Luminescent Crescent -- A translucent yellow field covered in solid yellow crescent-moons. -- Used by: Moon Stone Wall -- A wall built of irregularly-shaped stones. -- Used by: Hermit Stained Glass -- A series of round windows with colorful stained glass. -- Used by: Temperance Lightning Bolt -- A streak of lightning against a dark sky. -- Used by: Tower The Wheel of Fortune -- A burning, eight-spoked wheel. -- Used by: Fortune The Black Pierrot -- A wavy blue field with the words "Black Pierrot" written in pink neon. -- Used by: The Black Pierrot, not surprisingly. ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section IV - Voices In the Japanese version of the game, each character has his or her own unique voice. Devil sounds like a little kid, World is a soft-spoken woman, Empress is as loud and brazen as you'd expect, Hermit sounds like a grizzled old man, and Tower's voice sounds like grinding stone. Each match begins one character saying "Oi? Staato!" with their own inflection. Hermit, for instance, has a longer pause between the two words than anyone else, Star sounds very meek, and Fool has his own "Anya! Anyanya!" instead. In the European version of the game, there are five different voices split among the twenty-three characters, and one "Narrator" voice. The "Narrator" is a woman's voice that starts each match by saying "Ready? Go!", replacing the customized invitations for each level. The others are as follows: Fool has his own voice. Magician, Hierophant, Chariot, Hanged Man, and Devil share a voice. Emperor, Father Strength, Hermit, Tower, and Black Pierrot share a voice. Lovers, Young Strength, Justice, Death, Temperance, Star, Sun, and Judgement share a voice. High Priestess, Empress, Fortune, Moon, and World share a voice. In the American version, there is only the Narrator voice at the beginning of the match, then all characters sound the same. Yes, the voice reserved for Chariot, Magician, Hanged Man, and Devil in the European version are used by everyone! After playing the Japanese or European versions, hearing one male voiceover for characters like Fool, Star, and Tower just sounds _wrong_. ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section V - Character and Animation guide The avatars are what make this game great. If it weren't for these Tarot-based personalities, you'd be playing Money Puzzle Exchanger instead. The characters are large, detailed, well-animated, and generally cute as a button. In a few rare instances, nothing is going on for your character to react to. In these instances, your character does his or her "stand" animation. Whenever you complete a combo and send balloons onto your opponent's screen, your character will do an "attack" animation. Each character has up to three attack animations. Doing a simple combo will play only the first attack animation, while more complex combos will draw out the later animations. Whenever your opponent completes a combo and attacks your character, though, your character voices dismay over the event with a "victim" animation. A single frame of this animation, in grayscale, is used when that character loses a match. When you win, your character does his or her "victory" animation. 'Nuff said. As balloons tumble down the screen, characters react to the onslaught with their "panic" animation. Balloons as far down as two or three rows from the bottom cause the characters even more stress, revealing the second panic animation. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 0. The Fool Fool rocks. Fool looks like a little kid wearing a robe and collar that's way too big for him, and always has a runny nose. He holds a cat in his arms that tends to mimic his actions, including the trail of mucous down its face. I think this is "Father Fool", the one who showed up at Fool's ending of Magical Drop 2. The smaller Original Fool only appears in the victory animation. Or maybe it's the other way around. It's not like you can really tell them apart anyway. In both the Japanese and European versions, Fool has a voice used by him alone. Stand Animation: He stares blankly towards the screen. The cat waves its arms now and then. Combo Animation 1: Fool leans forward and sticks his tongue out, and the cat does likewise. A-nyo-o-o! Combo Animation 2: Fool nuzzles his cat, while the cat waves its arms. Nya-nya-nya! Combo Animation 3: Fool and the cat both squish their faces up against the screen. Nyoo-oo-oo-oo! Victory Animation: Fool swings his cat back and forth, while another Fool leans from behind him holding a flower. Victim Animation: Fool lets go of the cat, puts both hands on his cheeks, and squirms. The cat doesn't fall, but does the same thing. Next time you're in trouble, try mimicking the sound Fool makes here. It's sure to get the point across. Panic Animation 1: Fool begins shaking his head back and forth. The cat closes its eyes and waves its arms. Panic Animation 2: The drop from Fool's nose sticks to his cat's forehead as he shakes his head back and forth. The cat weeps openly-- so would you, if someone's nose was running all over your head. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Magician Magician is depicted as a bit of a narcissist, but isn't as effeminate as Emperor. He wears a headband with the infinity symbol on his head, and a long, loose-sleeved coat. He has a strange affinity for roses. In the Japanese version, Magician speaks in an archaic form. Most of his phrases end in "de aru", something like using "thee" and "thou" in English. In the European version, Magician shares a voice with Chariot, Hanged Man, and Devil. Stand Animation: Magician keeps his head turned, but looks towards the screen and rubs his chin. You can tell he's scheming something. Combo Animation 1: Magician closes his eyes and shrugs his shoulders. His Japanese voiceover for this animation is "Warui de aru!", translating loosely to "You really suck." Combo Animation 2: From his "shrug" animation, he brings his arms close to his body. Wind lifts his hair and the sleeves of his robes upward. Combo Animation 3: Magician casts his "Magical Flash!" spell-- he creates a ball of light, raises it over his head, and throws it toward the screen. His card flashes for several seconds. Victory Animation: Magician turns his back towards the screen, then looks over his shoulder. Raising one hand, he summons a rose in a puff of smoke, then tosses it towards the screen. Victory Animation 2: Magician turns his back and summons the rose as above, but instead of throwing the rose, he takes a sniff of it and sneezes the petals off. Victim Animation: Magician leans towards the screen with a shocked look on his face. He screams "BAKA NA!", loosely translating to "You fool!" or "Idiot!" Panic Animation 1: Magician closes his eyes and rubs his chin. Panic Animation 2: Magician covers his face in shame, tears of embarrassment streaming down his face. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. High Priestess High Priestess is a scholarly woman in robes and a miter. She carries a book with her, and wears a pair of small spectacles. In the Japanese version of the game, she has a young girl's voice, but in the European game, she's given the voice of the older female characters. Strange, that. Priestess's attack pattern is VICIOUS. Stand Animation: Actually, it looks like she's sitting down, reading her book. Priestess turns a page every once in a while. Combo Animation 1: Priestess turns around in place and giggles. Combo Animation 2: Priestess raises one finger and opens her mouth, as if she just got a good idea. Combo Animation 3: Priestess jumps up and down once. Yaaay for Priestess! Victory Animation: Priestess raises one hand in the "Victory" sign. She fans herself with the book, and her hair billows accordingly. Victim Animation: Priestess cringes in pain, ripping the book in half down the spine. Panic Animation 1: Priestess brings the book close to her face and looks upward with tears in her eyes. Panic Animation 2: Priestess takes a bite out of the spine of her book and pulls it upwards. The book is surprisingly stretchy. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Empress Empress is a woman of very... um... dominating stature. She is dressed in a tight leather getup with lots of belts, and wields a whip. In Magical Drop 2, she held the Magical Drop itself and used its power for evil (or something). When defeated, she turned "good"-- she shed the tight leather for more conservative robes. But this isn't Magical Drop 2, so she's back in the dominatrix outfit. Empress appears to have some connection/history/relationship with World, but I'm not sure exactly what. In the Japanese version, Empress has a voice worth hearing, if only for her third attack animation and her victim shriek. In the European version, she has the same voice as World, Moon, Priestess, and Fortune. Stand Animation: Empress stands tall with one hand raised, clenching and unclenching her fist. Rowr. Combo Animation 1: Empress pulls her whip taut across her chest. Combo Animation 2: Empress cracks her whip once. Devo would be proud. Combo Animation 3: Empress goes berserk, swinging the whip around like a madwoman and cackling. Victory Animation: Empress turns off to one side and licks her chops. Victory Animation 2: Empress feigns off to one side as above, then turns back to the center. A "page-turning" animation covers her card, and when you see Empress again, she's in her "good" robes. Victim Animation: Empress curls up defensively and puts a hand to her face. Panic Animation 1: Empress moves down the card and begins clenching her fist more quickly than before. Panic Animation 2: Empress stretches her whip in front of her face and chews on it in frustration. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Emperor Emperor is a thin man with a handlebar moustache. He wears gold-trimmed robes, a crown, and a red cape. He is very... effeminate. At least he hasn't been conned into his New Clothes yet. Not surprisingly, Emperor is very soft-spoken in the Japanese version. The European version gives him the same voice as Father Strength, Hermit, Tower, and the Black Pierrot. Stand Animation: Emperor crosses his chest with one arm, putting his elbow in that hand. He twirls his moustache with his other hand. Combo Animation 1: Emperor turns to look at his opponent and pulls on his moustache. His mouth stretches into a silly-looking "O" shape. Combo Animation 2: Emperor gets a ridiculously huge smile on his face, and clenches both hands to one side of his head. Combo Animation 3: Emperor gets close to the screen so that only his head and hands are showing. He clenches his hands under his chin and shakes his head back and forth in delight. Imagine him squealing like a girl when he does this. It's only proper. Victory Animation: Emperor puts one hand on his face and stands there as if to say "Oh, poor you..." and blinks twice. His upper lip is clefted, like a cat's, the Japanese way of denoting that someone is being very clever. Victim Animation: Emperor does a "wild take". His head getting disproportionately large with a look of horror on his face, and spreads his arms out to either side. He shakes toward and away from the screen. Panic Animation 1: Emperor waves "bye-bye". Panic Animation 2: Emperor's eyes turn bean-shaped, he rolls his pupils back and forth in shock at all the balloons on his card. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. Hierophant A blue-haired youth in a miter and robes. A "Hierophant", by the way, is traditionally a religious figure that makes known the secrets of his sect. They might as well have called this guy "High Priest", but oh, no, he's Hierophant. Well, the joke's on you, buddy. Magical Drop on Neo Geo Pocket Color translated your name as "Hi-Elephant". So there. In the Japanese version, Hierophant has a pretty typical (if somewhat soft) young man's voice. In the European version, he shares a voice with the other young men, like Hanged Man, Chariot, Magician, and Devil. In his and other character's endings, Hierophant is made out to be quite the lady's man. Stand Animation: Hierophant stands with his arms at his sides and nods his head. Combo Animation 1: Hierophant scratches the back of his head nervously. ^_^;; Combo Animation 2: Hierophant puts one hand out, a bolt of energy crosses it, and a golden staff with a blue orb on the end appears. He then raises the staff to his forehead, closes his eyes, and concentrates. Combo Animation 3: Hierophant swings the staff above his head, then brings it down in front of him, casting a lightning spell. Victory animation: Hierophant (I'm getting really sick of typing his name) closes his eyes and grins. Victim Animation: Hierophant puts his arms out to either side, bent at the elbows, and quakes at the impact of balloons cascading down his card. Panic Animation 1: Hierophant goes from nodding his head up and down to shaking it back and forth. Panic Animation 2: Hierophant winces his eyes shut and grins, trying to keep a cheery demeanor under pressure. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. Lovers A pink-haired girl in a tunic, riding on a pig with a heart-shaped symbol on its forehead. This is "Lovers"? Somebody at Data East was on serious drugs, I think. Whether Japanese or European, Lovers has a little girl's voice, although a different one for each version. The pig, apparently, is mute. Stand Animation: The girl sits on her piggy's back, bouncing up and down a little. Combo Animation: The girl raises both arms in cheer, then smacks them down onto the piggy's head. Tears well in the poor piggy's eyes. Such abuse! I'm calling PETA. Combo Animation 2: The pig flaps is ears and rises into the air. It's hard to tell whether it's supposed to be smiling or if its eyes are winced shut from the effort of lifting off the ground. Lovers can win any match... WHEN PIGS FLY! Combo Animation 3: The girl throws a few punches at the air. Victory Animation: The girl bounces up and down on her surprisingly elastic mode of transportation. Victim Animation: The pig does nothing, but the girl waves her arms and struggles to keep her balance nonetheless. Panic Animation 1: The girl clenches her fists and shakes her head back and forth. Her hair swings in front of her face. Even the pig looks concerned. Panic Animation 2: The girl ducks down low, wiping her face with the back of one hand. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 7. Chariot A young man in armor and a cape, carrying a spear. A crest in the shape of a lion's head adorns his helmet. He has a nervous tic that shows in a few of his animation cycles. Chariot is a bit of a potty-mouth, he won't hesitate to shout "KUSOOO!" during his victim animations. In the European version, he shares a voice with Magician, Devil, et al. Stand Animation: Chariot clutches his spear menacingly in both hands. Combo Animation 1: Chariot brings one arm down in front of him in a "Yes!" stance. His voiceover for this, not surprisingly, is "Ye-su!" Combo Animation 2: Chariot swings his spear in an arcing pattern twice. Combo Animation 3: Chariot removes the ridge running down the back of his helmet and throws it towards the screen. Victory Animation: Chariot turns to one side, props his spear over his shoulder, closes his eyes, and grins. His cape blows in the wind, and his tic tugs at the corner of his eye. Victim Animation: Chariot snaps his spear over one knee. Raarrr! Chariot smash! Panic Animation 1: Chariot closes his eyes and begins sweating. His tic pulls at the end of his mouth. Panic Animation 2: Chariot gets a very strange look on his face and sweats profusely. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 8. Young Strength A boy with short brown hair. He wears a shirt with the infinity symbol on it and thick bracers on either wrist. He is, as you may imagine, Father Strength's son. They usually appear together in intros and endings. From what I've read, the "Strength" Tarot card is supposed to denote quiet fortitude. Even so, Young Strength spends a lot of time shouting. In the European version, Young Strength has a girl's voice, sharing with more feminine characters like Star, Judgement, and Temperance. Stand Animation: Young Strength clenches both fists and taps his knuckles together. Combo Animation 1: Young Strength winds up, then delivers a punch. Combo Animation 2: Young Strength drops his arms to his sides, clenches his fists, and screams a mighty scream. Combo Animation 3: Young Strength picks up a HUGE boulder from the ground, then smashes it into pea gravel. Oh, so THAT's why he's called "Strength". Victory Animation: Young Strength is lifted on the back of a grinning lion, then turns toward his opponent's card and shouts. His Japanese voiceover here sounds a bit like a young Tarzan. Victim Animation: Young Strength clenches his eyes shut and waves his arms around, throwing a tantrum. Panic Animation 1: Young Strength begins breathing heavily. Panic Animation 2: Young Strength brings his fists in front of his face, grits his teeth, and shakes. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 8, revisited. Father Strength A hulking brute of a man, covered with nearly as many scars as he is muscles. This is the titan that gave players of Magical Drop 2 so much trouble, serving as the battle just before Empress. He wears a spiked headband and bracers, but little else. To unlock Father Strength, highlight Young Strength on the character select screen, hold down the C button, and press A (for a pale Father Strength) or B (for a darker, tanned Father Strength). In the Japanese version, Father Strength is the same loudmouth he was in Magical Drop 2 (and I'd ~love~ to know what he's saying). In the European version, he shares a voice with Emperor, Hermit, and Tower. Stand Animation: Father Strength leers and taps the knuckles of both fists together. Combo Animation 1: Father Strength turns his back and flexes his muscles. Combo Animation 2: Father Strength turns and faces the screen again, still flexing. Combo Animation 3: Father Strength, like Young Strength before him, lifts a rock above his head and smashes it to the ground. Victory Animation: Father Strength flexes his muscles (again) and grins smugly. Victim Animation: Father Strength does a wild take, much like Emperor. Panic Animation 1: Father Strength glares and grits his teeth, a tic pulling at his eye and mouth. Panic Animation 2: Father Strength gets a dopey look on his face and scratches his head with both hands. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 9. Hermit Hermit is an old man with bushy eyebrows and beard. He wears a hooded robe, and carries a staff and lantern. To play as Hermit, do the Secret Character trick. In the Japanese version, Hermit has a raspy, dry voice. In the European version, he shares a voice with Emperor, Tower, and Black Pierrot. Stand Animation: Hermit's lantern swings back and forth a little. Combo Animation 1: Hermit chuckles to himself. Combo Animation 2: Hermit's lantern disappears. He raises his hand and creates a ball of dark energy, crushes it in his fist, then puts his hand over the entirety of his card. Combo Animation 3: Hermit throws down his staff and rips his robes off, revealing a tattered gi and bald head. Hermit then flies into the background and stands on a mountaintop, with splinters of rock rising into the air all around him. Victory Animation: Hermit wipes his brow with his sleeve. Victim Animation: Hermit's eyes bulge and he clutches the small of his back. Panic Animation 1: Not all that different from his regular Stand animation, Hermit's eyebrow tics a little. He tightens the grip on his staff. Panic Animation 2: Hermit opens his eyes and glares outward, quaking with rage. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 10. Fortune The Wheel of Fortune is actually a very shapely woman. More like Vanna, actually, if she were an evil magician instead of a game show co-host. Fortune wears a tight, ankle-length dress, and is in desperate need of a suntan. White rings circle her wrists, waist, and hair, and hang beneath both ears. Stylish. To play as Fortune, do the Secret Character trick. In the Japanese version, Fortune has a woman's voice, but doesn't share it with anyone like she does in the European version. In that version, she uses the same voice as World, Moon, and Empress. Stand Animation: Fortune glowers while her ring accessories spin and shimmer. Combo Animation 1: Fortune turns her head to one side and grins smugly. Combo Animation 2: Fortune raises her hands in front of her chest and creates a small orb of energy. Combo Animation 3: That orb of energy turns into a blast as Fortune turns her attention to her opponent. Fortune shouts, "Daaark waaave!" Victory Animation: Fortune turns into a wheel, which begins turning. Victim Animation: Fortune raises her arms into the air and quakes. It looks a little like she's playing hula-hoop with the ring around her waist. Panic Animation 1: Fortune glares at the screen. Her lip quivers like she's about to either cry or snap like a dry twig. Panic Animation 2: Fortune continues glaring, her eyebrow showing a tic. Upon losing: Any other character's lose picture is taking from their victim animation. Fortune instead turns into the wheel, taken from her victory animation. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 11. Justice A girl in leather armor that includes, against all practicality, a bare midriff. She has some kind of charm around her forehead and holds a balance in one hand. She also has a really freakin' big sword strapped to her back-- Cloud Strife would be jealous. Despite her poor choice of accessories, Justice is actually quite fashion-conscious. In the Japanese version, Justice has a loud, assertive girl's voice. In the European version, she uses the same voice as the other girls: Star, Death, Temperance, Judgement, and so on. Stand Animation: Justice grins, the balance in her hand tipping back and forth. Combo Animation 1: Justice puts one hand on her hip and smiles big. Combo Animation 2: With a crackle of electricity, Justice swings her hand towards the screen, index finger raised. We're Number One! We're Number One! Combo Animation 3: Justice unleashes a mighty roundhouse punch. Electricity courses over her card. Victory Animation: Justice leans toward the screen and waves one finger, then winks and grins. Victim Animation: In an obvious show of frustration, Justice clenches both fists and grits her teeth. Argh! Panic Animation 1: Justice looks upward, her mouth puckered into an S-shape. Panic Animation 2: Justice scratches the back of her head and smiles haplessly. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 12. Hanged Man Hanged Man, not surprisingly, is always hanging upside down by one foot. He keeps one leg crossed over the other at all times. HM dresses in tattered clothes and chews on a straw, and for some reason, his hat doesn't fall off despite it being closest to the ground. Anyway, to play as Hanged Man, do the Secret Character trick. Hanged Man doesn't really have anything of note to say about his Japanese voice. In the European version, he shares a voice with Chariot, Hierophant, and other virile young folk. Stand, er, Hang Animation: Hanged Man crosses his arms in front of his chest and chews on his straw a bit. Combo Animation 1: Hanged Man nods his head once. Combo Animation 2: Hanged Man puts his hands on his hips and grins, chomping down on the straw in his mouth. Combo Animation 3: Hanged Man has guffaws a belly-laugh. Victory Animation: One of the cooler victory animations in the game, Hanged Man moves his hand beside his face and points upwar... er, downward... no, wait... argh. Hanged Man points at the ground with his index finger, then sinks... no, rises... grr. Hanged Man points toward the ground, then slides off the top of his card. There. Victim Animation: Hanged Man grabs onto his hat and pulls it over his eyes, clenching his teeth. Panic Animation 1: Hanged Man hangs lower, so you can still see his face underneath the balloons. He closes his eyes and chews hard on the straw in his mouth. Panic Animation 2: Hanged Man hangs lower still, almost off the bottom of his card. He brings his arms up in front of his body and tenses the muscles in his hands and arms, clenching and unclenching his hands. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 13. Death Between the skintight outfit and skull motif, Death reminds me a bit of Tron Bonne from the MegaMan Legends series by Capcom. If only Death had a small army of cute lego-man robots to do her bidding! Oh well. In addition to her swimsuit, cape, metal collar, and stylish skull earrings, Death (not surprisingly) carries a scythe. Her ears are pointed, and one tooth sticks out of her mouth. Death's Japanese voice is brash and loud, especially her victim animation. In the European version, Death shares a voice with the other girls. Stand Animation: Death smiles grimly and takes a deep breath. Combo Animation 1: Death grips her scythe. Combo Animation 2: Death holds the scythe in front of her and opens her mouth a bit. Her voiceover translates roughly to "Time to sleep..." Combo Animation 3: Death rears back and takes a big ol' swing with that harvesting device she's been carrying all this time. Please don't send me to the torture room, Miss Death! (x_x) Victory Animation: Death draws her thumb across her neck in a throat-slitting motion, then gives a thumbs down. Two "You're dead" gestures for the price of one! Victim Animation: Death grabs her throat and gags. Panic Animation 1: Death clenches a fist. You can see the veins bulge through her glove. Panic Animation 2: Death opens her mouth and wheezes, her eyes bulging. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 14. Temperance Isn't she cute? Temperance wears an ankle-length dress and gold jewelry, and sports a pair of feathery wings on her back. She carries two jars that are constantly pouring water to one another. To play as Temperance, do the Secret Character trick. Temperance has such a soft voice in the Japanese version, it's hard to hear her sometimes. In the European version, she shares a voice with the other girls. Stand Animation: Temperance's vessels pour water from one to another. Combo Animation 1: Temperance claps the two vessels together. Combo Animation 2: Temperance smiles big and holds one jar towards the screen. It looks like she's doing an endorsement or something. Obey your thirst! Combo Animation 3: Temperance turns her back to the screen and beats her wings a few times. Victory Animation: Temperance leans forward and winks. Victim Animation: Temperance leans backs a little and shakes her jugs. Not those jugs, you pervert, the ones that pour water. Panic Animation 1: Temperance gets teary-eyed and starts breathing heavily. Panic Animation 2: A tear in her eye, Temperance shakes her head and flaps her wings. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 15. Devil Devil is a mischievous youth with batlike wings and horns. One tooth sticks out from his lip, like Death. I guess that's his other fang on the pendant around his neck. Devil has the voice of a young boy in the Japanese game, but sounds a bit older (and remarkably like Chariot and Magician) in the European version. Stand Animation: Devil holds his hands on his hips. Combo Animation 1: Devil points at the screen and taunts. Combo Animation 2: Devil sticks his thumbs in his ears and fans them, waving his tongue at the screen. Neener-neener-neener. :p Combo Animation 3: Devil takes to the air and sticks his foot right in your face. Victory Animation: Devil gives you a big thumbs-up. Victim Animation: Devil curls up defensively, covering his face with his arms and crying like a little girl. Panic Animation 1: Devil looks upwards sadly, flapping his wings now and then. Panic Animation 2: Devil keeps his gaze turned upwards, gritting his teeth and shaking his fists and wings nervously. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 16. Tower The largest character in the game, Tower is just that-- a giant, anthropomorphic building. There's a door in his midsection and a flag on the top of his head. Tower only has one eye; it looks like a crystal ball. Where his other eye should be is covered in bricks. To play as Tower, use the Secret Character trick. Tower's has one of the most unique voices in the game; it's deep and thundering, sounding a bit like grinding stone. He doesn't say much, mostly groaning or shouting. In the European version, though, he has the same voice as Emperor, Hermit, and Black Pierrot. Stand Animation: Tower's flag waves in the breeze. Combo Animation 1: Tower claps the bulwarks that serve as his hands a few times. Combo Animation 2: Tower rears back, then punches the ground. Splinters of rock fly from the impact. Combo Animation 3: Robots in disguise! Tower's head sinks into his torso and is then replaced by a cannon. The cannon aims toward the screen and fires. Victory Animation: Tower raises his arms above his head and is struck by lightning from several directions. He doesn't seem to mind. Victim Animation: Tower falls apart, crumbling into rubble. Not Barney Rubble, just a pile of rocks. Panic Animation 1: Tower moves a little closer to the screen so that only his torso and head fit onto the card. His eye flashes different colors. Panic Animation 2: Tower moves _very_ close to the screen. His eye flashes rapidly. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 17. Star Another Magical Drop veteran who's been here since the first game, Star is a pretty girl in a long dress with ankle-length hair. She, like Temperance, holds two jars, but the water they pour goes to the ground instead of each other. I'm still working on translating what Star says during her combos, but most of it ends with the same word (or suffix). Maybe she has a distinct speech pattern, like Magician? In the European version, she has the ubiquitous girl's voice. Star wants to be a singer, but... she's not very good. At all. Stand Animation: Star smiles and pours water. Combo Animation 1: Star turns to one side and brings the jars close to her chest. Combo Animation 2: The jars disappear. Star blows a kiss towards the screen. Her voiceover is "Rabu-rabu-desu!", "rabu" being the Japanese transmogrification for the English "love". Combo Animation 3: Star rears back, then points the jars at the screen. Small stars (the five-pointed radial shape, not the character) fly out of them. Let's falling! Victory Animation: Star puts on hand behind her back and does the "Victory" symbol with the other. Victim Animation: Star winces, her hands beside her face, and cries. Panic Animation 1: Star gets teary-eyed, looks upward, and shakes her head back and forth. Panic Animation 2: Star drops her jars and folds her hands under her chin in a pleading gesture, swaying back and forth. Look, she's begging you not to send over any more balloons. How can you resist a cute girl pleading like that? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 18. Moon Moon strikes me as the token "seductive" character. Not as cute as Star, fetish-pandering as Empress, or blatantly shameless as World, Moon is nevertheless well-drawn, serious most of the time, and dresses in a pretty revealing outfit. Yet, despite her name, she never shows off her rump. Moon is arguably the most difficult character to play against in Challenge Mode-- To battle against her, you'll have to win every match quickly and without using continues. If you're very good, Moon will challenge you after you defeat Hermit. To play as Moon, use the Secret Character trick. Moon shares a voice with World, Empress, and Priestess in the European version. Her Japanese voice isn't anything to write home about. Stand Animation: Moon stands with one hand on her hip, lookin' all seductive an' stuff. Combo Animation 1: Moon draws one hand close to her chest, with a small smile. Combo Animation 2: Moon tosses her hair. Combo Animation 3: Moon leans forward and winks. Victory Animation: On par with Hanged Man, Moon raises her arms and flies off the top of her card. She is then lowered back onto the card sitting on a crescent-moon shape. Victim Animation: Moon leans toward the screen, her hand at her mouth and a tear in her eye. She wiggles her hips a little. Panic Animation 1: Moon leans back and looks annoyed. Panic Animation 2: Moon looks off to one side with eyebrows furrowed. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 19. Sun Arguably the cutest darn character in the game. Were it not for the threat of serious bodily burns, I would want to take Sun home and keep her as a pet. Imagine the grinning, gleeful sun you'd expect on a children's cartoon, then give it a little baby's body and a diaper. Cute as a button, but with a vicious attack pattern-- Sun goes for the throat. Sun has, not surprisingly, a baby's voice in the Japanese version. She's unable to form words, preferring instead to just giggle and babble. In the European version, Sun shares a voice with Temperence, Judgement, Star, and the other girls. Sun's ending is a bit disturbing. Stand Animation: Sun floats in the center of her card and burns. Combo Animation 1: Sun kicks her little sun-ny legs and laughs. Awwwww. Combo Animation 2: Sun floats off the right side of her card, then from right to left in the background, then floats in from the left side and retakes her position in the center. Combo Animation 3: Sun takes a deep breath, then exhales a blast of fire. Whoosh! Victory Animation: Sun turns in place, then wiggles a bit and grins. Victim Animation: Sun's arms and legs hang limp, her eyes get big, and her mouth puckers. Panic Animation 1: Sun waves her arms and legs and steams a bit. Panic Animation 2: Sun closes her eyes in irritation and burns more fiercely than usual. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 20. Judgement Charming in a tomboyish sort of way, Judgement has short hair and freckles, feathery wings, and a bugle. And noooooot much else to say. Stand Animation: Judgement grips her bugle and bounces a little, as though she were rolling on the balls of her feet. Combo Animation 1: Judgement plays a few notes on that instrument she's holding. The Japanese voiceover sounds like a few notes played on a brass instrument, but the European and American versions are the same voices as usual. Combo Animation 2: Judgement leans forward and wags her index finger, scolding her opponent for being so foolish as to challenge her when she's capable of combos like this. Combo Animation 3: Judgement gives a big thumbs-up. Hey, just like Devil! She's an angel, she shouldn't be acting like that! Victory Animation: Judgement thumbs her nose at her opponent. How rude. Victim Animation: Either she wants the balloons to stop, or she's refereeing a baseball game and is calling "Safe!" Panic Animation 1: Judgement looks upward with a concerned look on her face and flaps her wings a little. Panic Animation 2: Judgement turns her gaze straight up, clenches her fists, and beats her wings. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 21. World The most shameless of fanservice characters, World is barely dressed in a hovering ribbon, which takes every chance it can to _almost_ fall off or _almost_ uncover her. But hey, pandering sells video games. I'd imagine that's why World runs the tutorial in MD3, a job formerly held by High Priestess. I guess some folks find a third eye in the middle of the forehead sexy. Then again, the traditional Tarot card illustration for World doesn't bother covering anything with the ribbon. It could be worse, I guess. In the Japanese version, World is soft-spoken and tends to muse on the beauty of things. In the European version, World shares a voice with Empress, Moon, and High Priestess. Stand Animation: World hovers, her ribbon blowing softly in the breeze. Combo Animation 1: World runs her hand through her hair, then swings her arm in front of her, as if to say "Aw, nuts". Combo Animation 2: World gives a little curtsy. Combo Animation 3: World spins in place. Whee! Victory Animation: World jumps up and down a few times and... bounces. Like I said, totally shameless. Victim Animation: Remember the famous scene of Marylin Monroe on top of the vent, struggling to keep her dress from blowing upwards? Yeah, same thing. Panic Animation 1: World looks upward with one hand over her mouth, puzzling. Panic Animation 2: Looking genuinely sad, World chokes back tears. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- XX. The Black Pierrot The only character not to be taken from a Tarot card, the Black Pierrot is the embodiment of shrill-voiced death. He's a tiny little guy, smaller than Lovers. Black Pierrot (BP from here on out) dresses all in black in what appears to be a parody of a jester's outfit, and wears a black "X" on his forehead. There's no way to play as BP, and only the best Magical Drop players can challenge him. If you keep your score high and stick to consecutive wins without continuing near the end of the game, BP might challenge you before the battle with Tower. BP has recruited three backup singers since Magical Drop 2. BP's outfit doesn't change at all when palette-swapped-- only his eyes and the singer's outfits change from red to blue. Stand Animation: BP stands with his hands at his sides, grinning menacingly. Combo Animation 1: BP clenches both fists at his sides, arcing electricity over his card. Combo Animation 2: BP disappears, the backup singers take his place and sing a few notes. Combo Animation 3: The backup singers, already present from animation 2, stretch upward. Weird. Victory Animation (You'll see this a lot): Black Pierrot puts his hands behind his head and shakes his hips. His three backup singers crowd onto the card. Victim Animation: It looks like BP punches himself in the face and flies into the background. Weird. Panic Animation 1: BP narrows his eyes and scowls. Panic Animation 2: BP's entire face is shadowed, and the whites of his eyes disappear. He grins a hapless grin. Weird. ====================================================================== ====================================================================== Section V - Stupid Legal Stuff Nobody Bothers to Read This game guide is copyright 2002 Richard Rouse. It may not be duplicated or sold for profit without permission. Not like I'd expect there's a big market for guides on five-year-old cult-classic video games, but hey, I'm just covering my ass here. I am not affiliated with Data East or SNK, but I do like the game they've put together. Tetris, Puzzle Bobble, the Triforce, Moblins, Money Puzzle Exchanger, Devo, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Wheel of Fortune, Cloud Strife, Tron Bonne, "They're Magically Delicious", "Obey Your Thirst", and "Robots in Disguise" are all characters, properties, or trademarked slogans and are the properties of their respective copyright holders. Not to be taken internally. If ingested, consult a physician. No guarantee, promised or implicit, is given for the authenticity of the information contained in this guide, but I'm pretty anal-retentive about insignificant details, so I'd imagine it's mostly right. Please keep your arms inside the Magical Drop 3 Miscellany Guide while in motion. This guide has only been submitted to http://www.gamefaqs.com and http://www.neo-geo.com, and posted on my personal website at http://blank.nothing.ca. If you found it anywhere else, I'd appreciate knowing about it; I can be contacted from the website listed above. Again, not like I figure there's a big market for pirated FAQs on games this old and obscure, but better safe than sorry.