Elemental Gimmick Gear

   An ancient civilization with advanced technology collapses. Five thousand years later, ruins from the civilization are unearthed and a mysterious robot is found. Only one man is capable of piloting the robot, which may either be the savior or destroyer of the world. Yes, folks, it's just another day in the RPG world.

 Status screen
The incredible, edible EGG

   So what's different? Well, for one thing, your "mecha" is actually a giant egg-shaped vehicle called an Elemental Gimmick Gear (EGG -- get it? Ha ha!). And the hero is no mentally-troubled teenager; instead, he's a guy named Leon who was discovered in statis inside the EGG and consequently christened "the Sleeping Man." His goal is to defend the city of Fogna from huge tentacles that have recently emerged from the earth while also trying to recover his own memory.

Using the hookshot

   Though the visuals are hardly state-of-the-art (the game was originally intended to be released on the Saturn), Elemental Gimmick Gear manages to pack in just about every style of graphics in existence. Outside of battle, you pilot your pre-rendered EGG over hand-drawn backgrounds. During battle, however, you switch to a fully-polygonal engine. Mini-games, such as an EGG race, are also conducted in 3D.

   The most appealing element of Elemental Gimmick Gear, however, is sure to be the puzzles. Your EGG is equipped with a variety of Zelda-style tools such as a hookshot and freeze beam, which must be used to overcome the various puzzles that dot the dungeons. The tools can also be used to damage wandering enemies before you bump into them and enter the formal battle mode.

 EGG battle
The world's first paqueing simulation

   Battles bear a strong resemblance to the Battling mini-game from Xenogears; they're one-on-one real-time duels between robots in which both combatants are given free run of the battlefield. Your attacks are limited to a simple punch and a more powerful spinning punch that can destroy obstacles as well as enemy EGGs. Spinning consumes energy points, which can be replenished through the use of items. Bizarrely, it's impossible to die; losing a battle simply puts you back on the map right before combat took place, allowing you to either challenge the foe again or simply flee. Although unconventional, it's not completely unprecedented -- a similar approach was also used in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

   Elemental Gimmick Gear is hardly a marquee title, but with a North American release currently scheduled for late December, it will be one of the first Dreamcast RPGs available in English. Gamers starved for a next-generation RPG may want to take a look, even if the game itself looks decidedly previous-generation.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Elemental Gimmick Gear
Developer Birthday
Publisher Vatical
Genre Action RPG
Medium GD-ROM (1)
Platform Dreamcast
Release Date  05.27.99
Vatical grabs Elemental Gimmick Gear
25 screenshots
Art and render of the EGG / 3 scenes
North American and Japanese box art