Mike, also known as Royal, was probably best known for his graphical talent. Memoria is an older OHRRPGCE game by Royal that shows some of his early graphical capabilities. Even with it being some of his early work, and over seven years old, it is still an impressive game as a whole.
The graphics are nice, although they have lost a bit of flair over time. The maptiles and character graphics are colorful and drawn well. Royal makes use of character expressions in some cutscenes, which is quite refreshing to see even today. Speaking of cutscenes, they all seem to have been drawn by hand and look good, even if some of the coloring seemed a bit strange. My guess would be that he also colored them by hand, which is rare in itself. The battle graphics are less exciting than the map tiles, but are more or less decent. The worst graphical aspect would likely be some of the earlier battle backdrops. With that being said, they were still better than a lot of backdrops in other games of that time.
Memoria tells the majority of its story through highly detailed and animated cutscenes. I believe that it is also one of the first games that gives you several choices throughout the game that actually affect the outcome of the story. The story itself your typical cliché, one-to-save-all type, but the delivery is superb. With the help of character expressions and numerous cutscenes, the plot flow remains steady throughout the game. I was a bit upset by the amount of spelling errors present in such a short game, and text box translucency seems fluctuate throughout the game as well. Also, some global text strings seemed to be messed up (“item” command in battle is “poison”?), but that is most likely due to playing such an old game on newer releases of the engine.
Because the demo only spans about an hour, with almost half of it being cutscenes, it is difficult to reflect on the gameplay. The very few battles you do encounter seem polished though. The balance of simplicity and difficulty was just about right. However, the final two encounters would have been a little more exciting if the foe’s ability tables were more unique.
I think that the majority of the music was ripped from games like Chrono Trigger, but their placement was fine. I wasn’t too fond of the fort’s outside music, because I did not feel that it fit with the event that was taking place there.
I think it is safe to say that Memoria is one of few older generation games that has actually aged well. Although some of the ideas present are not as groundbreaking today, there is still a lot that one can gather from this game. I really enjoyed playing it, even if it was a short demo. It has been almost ten years since an update, but I still hope that one day Royal decides to come back and finish it up.