GRR…cough, sputter, sniffle….

Has anyone out there ever played either the Sega Genesis or Turbografx 16 version of EXILE? The game came out around 1992-3 or so. In it you play an Arab named Sadler in the country of Assissi. You wind up assisting a Templar Knight names Yu’ug D’Payne (a name suspisiously close to Hugh De Payens, the historical founder of the Templar Knights, and just happens to dress in historical Templar garb, Crucifix-bedecked cape and all) in finding the Holimax (obviously the holy grail). As it turns out, you wind up searching the world for this grail-like object, which winds up being different objects depending on the culture you visit. At one point you face opposition by “Clispin” crusaders (oh, by the way, this probably takes place in the late 13th century)and Catit monks (who are also historically based). You find yourself catching the tail end of the Crusader horrors, finding yourself in towns where “Clispins” burn people alive for heresy. You also spend a time in India, trying to ressurect the Spirit of Moa, practicing an ancient Masonic rite (are you seeing a connection?). Being that it is a Japanese game, the most exciting scenes with the coolest music happen when you find yourself in medieval Japan, still finding the Holimax (which is now a series of mandalas you must unite), after which you find yourself in 8th century Greece, where you wind up speaking with Pythagoras (another of the Masonic pantheon). Yu’ug (or Hugh, however you are following this) becomes posessed by Hiram Abis himself (Hiram Abis being the original founder of the Masons; look him up in II Samuel), and you find yourself confronting Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, the murderers of Hiram Abis. It’s an incredibly daring narrative, no matter what format. No wonder it’s the only fantastic game put out by Working Designs, and since then they have distanced themselves from it. The plot is incredibly solid (even if it were not solidly historically based), and the characters are great. And it is definitely the only game you will ever see where they will have you play an Arab hero during the Crusades. It’s also really cool how non-Manichean the values are in the game.