Solomon no Kagi is an action/puzzle game by Tecmo, and conversion of the arcade game of the same name originally released in 1986. Eons ago, demons roamed at large in the world and caused chaos. To prevent the world's utter destruction, the king Solomon used his benevolent magic to create a book, only weapon capable of sealing away all the demons and their powers. The book, known as the Solomon's Key, eventually restored peace and order to the world. But, in the present day, an evil mind found the mystical spellbook and used it to free many of the ruthless demons from their captivity. King Yutora (aka Yutra) from the Lilac (aka Lyrac) fairy kingdom sends Dana, his best wizard, on a dangerous mission to restore peace and order. The young enchanter must travel through the Miya constellation and its twelve areas based on the Zodiac signs. Each level is a chamber filled with blocks, items, enemies and, most importantly, a door and a key. The latter are at the core of what makes Solomon's Key tick - in order to complete a chamber, Dana must first collect a key and then make it to the exit door before a timer runs out. However, the task at hand is far from easy and each chamber is filled with lethal obstacles and deadly enemies - but Dana has a few tricks up its sleeve. His magic wand allows him to create or remove blocks below him, or facing him. This ability is at the core of the gameplay and is the main component used to solve the game's fiendishly puzzles. Dana also come equipped with a short supply of fireballs (listed on a scroll in the upper-right corner of the screen) that he can use to overcome even the toughest enemies. Blocks and defeated enemies also often reveal bonus items that come in various shapes and forms, from colored jars (fireballs or super fireballs), scrolls (extants the fireball scroll), hourglass (increases time) and so forth. Additionally, bells are scattered throughout the game and release fairies - they are an important aspect of the game and each chamber usually hides a few (Dana is awarded an extra life for each ten fairies he collects). Solomon's Key consists of fifty chambers and holds many secrets, such as hidden rooms, special items and warps to only name a few.
Game ID: TCF-SK
Solomon no Kagi for Famicom was released on July 30, 1986 in Japan. Retail price: 4900 Yen.
The original arcade game and the Famicom port are fairly similar. The chambers are (for the most part) the same but the Famicom version arguably features more of them (well, although the arcade game consists of fifty one chambers, five of them are generic bonus levels so, technically, the Famicom version feature more original levels). The console port also feels easier and the player is allowed more time to complete each chamber. Some bonus items and secrets are different (the arcade version has different keys that lead to hidden bonus stages for instance), and the arcade version has slightly more enemies (such as colored slimes).