From the Database of Home of the Underdogs
Copyright 1989, Caijin/CAPCOM
Sweet Home is a little-known “survival horror RPG” for the Nintendo console from CAPCOM that is the true precursor to its famous Resident Evil series (the designers of RE admitted in interviews that they drew inspirations from this game. For its time, the game is very innovative: different characters in your party have unique skills, and knowing who to use in which situation is key to winning. The game also has multiple endings which depend on how many people survive at the end. Although it was never released in the USA, you can now play it in English, thanks to combined efforts of two amateur translation groups. The review at Classicgaming.com explains in more detail why this is one of their Games of the Week:
“Far and away the coolest, most involving, and imersive Horror RPG ever, let me introduce you to Sweet Home a forgotten classic, never available in English until now. Both an classic RPG and Survival Horror game, Sweet Home is the saga of five anime-style “people” who journey into the haunted mansion of Mamiyama, in search of a “famous fresco”. You will guide the destinies of the brave Kazuo, the shy Emi, the steadfast Akiko, the brave and beautiful Ashuka, and the rest.
The first word that comes to my mind when I think of Sweet Home is scary, and after that I think of huge! While the game can be beaten in about the same time as Dragon Warrior II, some aspects of the battle system are still being uncovered, such as the left to right hand attack statistics . I once set out to author an FAQ for Sweet Home, but gave up after months of straight work. It’s that deep. Amazingly, even though the story is insanely frightening, especially for the technology, the story is not told through dialogue. Rather, you must piece together what the devil happened by reading diary entries left behind by the party that came before you, some fifty years ago.
Another thing I should mention is that there are no inns of any kind, and no way to resurrect a dead character. This can become rather hairy, as each character has a delightfully bizarre and out-of-place special item. Lighter, Vacuum, Camera, and First-Aid Kit. Hmmm…no weapons to begin with. Fear not, for there are a surplus of tonics, that will restore that HP and MP.
Colorful graphics round out the package, showing your exploits from dusty hallways to rainy garden ponds to a lonely and dangerous crumbling veranda. Picture an amalgamation of Resident Evil, Maniac Mansion, and Dragon Warrior, and you’re still way off. It’s just not like anything ever before seen by most gamers. All that and it includes five separate endings, not counting the nifty death animations.
This game is so innovative it just blows my mind. For example, the final boss battle is not just a battle per se, but an exorcism! It’s the kind of game that make you say “This is so cool!” ” Highly recommended, although RPG beginners should take heart: this game is much more difficult than your average Nintendo game.