Magical Vacation (series)
Magical Vacation,[a] sometimes abbreviated as MagiVaca,[b] is a series of two role-playing video games developed by Brownie Brown (now 1-Up Studio) and published by Nintendo. Both games are set in the same continuity, featuring a nameless protagonist who starts their adventure at Will-o'-Wisp Academy, a school of magic on the planet Kovomaka. Their teacher, Miss Madeleine, and their principal, Biscotti, serve as guiding characters, among other recurring characters between the games.
History[edit | edit source]
Magical Vacation[edit | edit source]
The first game in the series, Magical Vacation,[a] was released for the Game Boy Advance exclusively in Japan on December 7, 2001. It was the first Game Boy Advance game to be announced by Nintendo with a title on June 7, 2000, originally scheduled for Spring of 2001. The game was the first creation of the newly-founded Brownie Brown, headed by Kōji Tsuda and Shinichi Kameoka, who also served as the game's lead artists. They both had previously worked with SquareSoft on the Mana series, with the game's art direction being nearly identical to that featured in Legend of Mana. The setting of the game differs from Mana in that its high fantasy is not strictly medieval, blending modernistic design elements such as vehicles and robots with more fantastical character and environment designs. The game notably features a very large cast of characters, all of whom have their own magical spirit, whereas the protagonist is able to freely choose almost any of the game's spirits. In addition to its single-player gameplay, the game also features a multiplayer mode called Link Mode that takes advantage of the Nintendo Game Link Cable, an accessory that allows data connection of Game Boy Advance systems.
Shortly after the game's release, a tie-in manga was released titled The Day Before the Seaside School, taking place one day before the game's events. Furthermore, two venues called the Let's Amigo Events were held in January 2002, allowing players to connect to each other's games and unlock multiplayer-exclusive content.
Magical Starsign[edit | edit source]
The second game in the series, Magical Starsign, was released for the Nintendo DS. It is the only of the two games to release internationally, first releasing in Japan on June 22, 2006 as Magical Vacation: When the Five Planets Align,[c] and in the United States on October 23 of the same year. Meanwhile, the game did not come out in Europe until February 9, 2007. Unlike the previous game, which featured various realms in a single world for its environments, Magical Starsign's areas are instead the various planets of the Baklava solar system, with the player only being on Kovomaka for the game's tutorial section. The gameplay significantly differs from the first entry in the series, scrapping the multitude of elemental spirits in favor of seven Affinities, with the protagonist only able to choose between two of them. The cast is similarly reduced to only six characters, in comparison to 16 regular party members in Magical Vacation. New to Magical Starsign are egg characters, additional party members who are obtained through the game's version of Link Mode, Amigo Mode. Amigo Mode now utilizes the Nintendo DS's wireless communication functions, allowing up to four players to directly compete with each other in Amigo Dungeons, or share messages and items in Tag Mode.
In 2008, characters from the Magical Vacation series made cameo appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, including the recurring characters Mokka, Traveling Putty, and Pyrite as collectible trophies. In late 2009, a Traveling Putty again made a cameo appearance as a playable character in the DSiWare game A Kappa's Trail.
Knights of the Universe[edit | edit source]
Between May and October of 2008, a manga titled Knights of the Universe[d] was sequentially uploaded to a page on the Brownie Brown website. Illustrated by Shinichi Kameoka and Kōji Tsuda, and written by Nobuyuki Inoue, Knights of the Universe would be based on the original plot of Magical Vacation 2. Updates to the manga ceased after six issues, as Brownie Brown became increasingly preoccupied with game development. According to Hiroki Matsuura, under the alias Mattsun, the six existing issues of Knights of the Universe make up the story's first chapter.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Following the restructuring of Brownie Brown to become 1-Up Studio, the series has remained inactive. Despite this, its characters once again made cameos in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
In 2017, a simulation role-playing game titled EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap, a spiritual successor to the Magical Vacation series, was created for iOS and Android devices by the studio Brownies, which was founded by Shinichi Kameoka after his departure from Nintendo in 2013. Following the game's discontinuance in 2018, it received an enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch on December 16, 2021, titled EGGLIA Rebirth.
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- IGN Staff (June 7, 2000). "Nintendo's New Game Boy Advance Development Team". IGN. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
- IGN Staff (September 29, 2000). "Beware of Hitchhiking Brownies". IGN. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
- Magical Vacation
- Magical Starsign
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Knights of the Universe
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Romhacking.net - Translations - Magical Vacation