MiSTer FPGA – Dark Half (ダークハーフ) / Super Famicom (SNES)

A big thank you to viewer Michael Smith for recommending this very unique RPG. In this game you play as both the hero and the villain, alternating between them each ‘day’ in the game’s timeline. This game never left Japan; translation link below.

As the hero, you play a very traditional role as the ‘chosen one’, in the line of other great Paladins. Companions join you with different strengths and weaknesses, and battle happens with an isometric view on a grid style playfield.

As the villain, you wander across the continent amassing power by taking the souls of the living and trying to reclaim your lost artifacts. The hero can later visit the bones of the people that have been killed by the villain and collect their spirits, which has a role in which ending you get in the game. The villain can visit secret areas that the hero previously uncovered on the world map, and either take the souls of NPC’s there, or find monsters to recruit. You also get a spell early on in the game that lets you recruit enemy monsters while in battle.

There a lots of secrets in the game, with hidden entrances to houses and chests to find behind buildings, just hidden from your view because of the isometric angle. It pays to search the towns you come across, and even in remote areas of the map, you will sometimes encounter hidden areas, which yield items and spells. You can see in the first section with the hero in my video, I came across five of these hidden areas on the way to the second town.

Dungeons are often puzzle heavy, requiring a bit of trial and error to understand, and plenty of secrets to uncover. You don’t want to spend too long searching for secrets though, as both the hero and villain in the game have a “soul meter” which limits how much you can move. The amount seems pretty generous and you regularly get 500 extra soul points from the red-cloaked NPC’s that allow you to save your game, who are scattered at pretty much every location in the game. You can also trade the game’s currency for additional soul meter, so there are ways to earn it back quickly. The villain increases his meter by killing npc’s he comes across, and seems to build it much quicker than the hero.

Graphics and music are a bit of a mixed bag, with often dark and unmemorable visuals, and a rather poor use of the SNES palette overall.

I do recommend giving this unique RPG a try, if you are into the genre, as it is a solid departure from the norm. Just make sure you learn the healing spell with the villain so you don’t end up like I did in this video. Early in the game, you’ll get a ‘dark gate’ spell that should be used on *all* enemy types/variations to learn new spells (or improve existing ones) when they join your party.

Eng. Translation by Aeon Genesis & Eien Ni Hen: https://www.romhacking.net/translations/2344/

SNES core 10-28-2020 build – Dark Half (ダークハーフ)

Filter: SNES_110_85_Soft // Gamma: Off

Played using an NTT Data SNES controller via BlisSTer/LLAPI

Settings: Integer Scaled to 1080p // HDMI to Datapath e1s capture card

00:00 – Settings
00:29 – Title/Intro
02:03 – Gameplay

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/WalrusFPGA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalrusFPGA


None of this would be possible without the constant hard work of Sorgelig. It cannot be overstated how much he has done and continues to do for this project, since its beginning. You can support him either at his Patreon in the link below, or on Paypal, depending on your preference. MiSTer is a paradigm shift in how we can experience these classic games. This is a long-term preservation project that will continue to grow so that gamers today and in the future can experience these excellent systems as accurately and lag-free as possible. Donating what you can will help keep the updates coming. Thank you.

Patreon: https://patreon.com/FPGAMiSTer

PayPal: https://paypal.me/FPGAMiSTer

NOTE: I am not affiliated with Sorgelig and am only sharing these links as a fan of the project who wishes to see it continue to grow rapidly.


SmokeMonster’s overview video of this core: https://youtu.be/8DF8UPSNYys

Github link for this core: https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/SNES_MiSTer

MiSTer Forum/Wiki/Github (source, guides and info): http://MiSTerFPGA.org

Classic Gaming Discord for live chat/help: https://discord.gg/UDu5ztY
(go to the rules-faq-roles channel for info on how to see the MiSTer channels in there, etc)


Worldwide list of sellers for MiSTer expansion boards: https://misterfpga.org/viewforum.php?f=34&sid=74e1c5e7dae1b99284789d93194cfa0b

I have personally ordered all my parts from https://www.MiSTerAddons.com and have been 100% satisfied with the quality and service there. (North American seller. If in a different region, check list linked above for best local shipping rates.)


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