Monday, November 23, 2009

Amethyst Reviews: Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~

Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~

Release date:
December 31, 2007.

Publisher(s): [erka:es]
Developer(s): [erka:es]
Platform: Windows PC
Genre: 2D > Action > Platform > Doujin soft
Mode(s): Single player
Content: Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Language

In an sea of endless Mega Man games as far as the eye can, everywhere you look there's another Mega Man lurking in the shadows. So shouldn't it be time the series has meet its end already? ... Heck no. Besides, Mega Man rules. And it if weren't for him, we wouldn't have this little gem from [erka:es], Rosenkreuzstilette ~Blades of the Rose Cross~ for the PC.

So the basic promise of the story goes something like this: thousands of years, Magi, human beings born with the gift of magic roamed the earth. However, these born with such a gift where treated to a life of persecution, hatred, and being feared from the Holy Empire and the Orthodox Church. One great Magus and his eight disciples fought a great war against the Holy Empire and the Orthodox Church. In the end, that great Magus sacrificed his very life, but in the end, he succeeded in ending the persecution of Magi when Empire accepted them into their fighting force. Thus creating the RKS, Rosenkreuzstilette: the Blades of the Rose Cross.

Decades later, our heroine, Spiritia Rosenberg along with her fairy friend, Lilli, returns home after her six months of training and they are on their way to meet up with Count Michael Zeppelin's daughter, Iris Zeppelin. Upon their arrival and some idle chit-chat, Iris gets abducted by a dragon and makes off with her with Lilli in pursuit. Though it was not too soon when an attack out in the distance had begun. Spiritia and Lilli rejoined after the forest where fairies lived was set ablaze, and the culprit behind the forest burning was none other than Spiritia's childhood friend, Freudia Neuwahl. Freudia, and most of Spiritia's fellow Magi in the RKS have started a war against the Holy Empire
and the Orthodox Church into creating a new world for Magi. Spiritia, like the girl scout that she is, refused to take part of the war. She was branded as traitor to the organization and now must put an end to this madness.

Rosenkreuzstilette, if you haven't guessed by now, is a Mega Man-clone based on the Mega Man games on the NES. So if you have played any of the Mega Man games on the NES before, you should know what the basic gist of the gameplay should be. But for the sake of convenience, I'll explain it to you anyway. In Rosenkreuzstilette, you must go through several stages and defeat the boss waiting at the end while taking enemies, dodging traps, and picking up power ups along the way. After defeating that boss, you get a new weapon. With that weapon, you could use it on a boss who could be weak against it, hence the rock-paper-scissors element of the Mega Man games. But when I say this is a Mega Man-clone, this is a Mega Man-clone. Right down to the old-school 2D gameplay, the menu screens, the difficult and challenging gameplay, and even the password system, Rosenkreuzstilette is perhaps one of the only Mega Man doujin softs out there that stays true to the original pedigree.

The visuals of the game are beautiful. The Castlevania- and Touhou-style setting and themes is a nice change of pace from the usual futuristic theme of the Mega Man franchise. The backgrounds and the beautiful settings has to be one of the visuals strongest points. Character, enemy sprites, visual effects, and the characters themselves are also wonderfully done. Rosenkreuzstilette also has a wide variety of stages; from graveyards, to sky palaces, and a factory filled with death traps, this is one visually pleasing game. Especially for those who loves old-school 2D games.

Audio for this also incredible. A rock-solid cast of Japanese voice actors coupled a great soundtrack of music ranging from haunting orchestral styles of music that of the Castlevania series to energetic music similar to Mega Man, you are bound to find a favorite piece of music somewhere in this game. Rosenkreuzstilette also has one of the most solid storytelling you'll find in any Mega Man game; a plot filled with betrayal, tested friendships and an unforgettable cast of characters, Rosenkreuzstilette has easily one of best storylines in a Mega Man-clone to date. The game, however, is Japanese. So for those can't read Japanese wouldn't understand a thing they're saying. But don't worry, there is an English-translation patch for the game made by the good people of Schwer and Schwer Alike and Darkside Translations and a Chinese-translation patch available.

Gameplay as mentioned earlier is derived from the NES Mega Man games while elements from later games in the series is apparent in Rosenkreuzstilette such as charging up weapons, sliding, switching between weapons on the fly, its all there. One thing that Rosenkreuzstilette does differently from the original Mega Man games is the Desperation Mode. Whenever a boss is half-way towards defeat, they will up the ante and perform different attacks from what they did before. This gives the boss battles in the game an extra edge when it comes to the challenging aspect of game and it helps makes the battles much more interesting.

isn't just an homage to Capcom's fabled Blue Bomber; Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Castlevania, other various video and computer games series, and even a few anime series is paid homage in Rosenkreuzstilette as well.
You can chose to play the game in Story Mode if you want to play through the game's storyline, or skip it altogether in Arcade Mode. And like other doujin soft out there, you can save snapshots and replays of the game and share them amongst friends.

Now for the downside. For starters, this is a Mega Man game, and if you've played Mega Man before, then you've already played Rosenkreuzstilette without even knowing about it. Not to say this totally a bad thing, but Mega Man has certainly been around much longer than Spiritia Rosenberg has. This is also, as mentioned before, a hard game. So to those who are complete novices to the NES Mega Man games (or any of the traditional Mega Man games for that matter), you might get frustrated dying over and over again.

But don't fret gamers, Rosenkreuzstilette is nowhere near the likes of, let's say, Twilight Frontier's MegaMari - Marisa's Ambition. Another cause of concern is the game's system requirement. You will (might) need a decent computer to run this game at its best. Otherwise, you might suffer through long load times and/or slowdown. Trust me, I've tried playing this on the computers at my school, which aren't that good of PCs, and it could happen to you.

Despite some minor flaws, Rosenkreuzstilette is an excellent game for Mega Man fans. This also goes to show that Rosenkreuzstilette is more than a Mega Man-clone; its a wonderful trip to memory lane.

Rosenkreuzstilette gets a 9 out of 10.


  1. Justin's new name should be "Resident First Post". ;-)

    Still, well done, Viper. Now if only this review could be posted somewhere that actually gets a lot of traffic...

  2. Justin's new name should be "Resident First Post". ;-)

    Good one. I check on this website an awful lot, so usually I'm the first to comment.

    . Now if only this review could be posted somewhere that actually gets a lot of traffic...

    Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions, but I would entirely agree with what TDOMMX said.

  3. @Justin: Thanks.

    @TDOMMX: Well I was thinking of having the review on GameFaqs, but of course they don't have Rosenkreuzstilette listed on their site, even though they have a bunch of Touhou games on there. I tried to get them to add RKS to the site, but they reject the information that I've sent them.

    I actually e-mailed Mint about GameFaqs rejection (and the lack of e-mails from the Japan RKS community for the fanart contest) one time, but I haven't got a response from him. Either he's very busy or ignoring any e-mails that might be considered "pointless" to him. But I think having Rosenkreuzstilette known on GameFaqs could do some good for the English RKS community; we could message boards, people making guides, and whatnot for the game.

  4. Well, this is probably the most frequented area of the English-speaking RKS fanbase, but that does sort of make it preaching to the choir...

    It's very strange that GameFAQs would reject RKS. Strange, and more than a little annoying. Wonder what their deal is.

  5. I actually e-mailed Mint about GameFaqs rejection (and the lack of e-mails from the Japan RKS community for the fanart contest) one time, but I haven't got a response from him.

    Oh snap, sorry about that. >_>

  6. ...And yet Touhou, Gundemonium, and Melty Blood have their own listings. Doesn't make much sense, does it?

    If it's any consolation, I submitted how to access a locked-out feature in Phantom of Inferno to GameFAQs, and it was rejected because it "wasn't a cheat". Even though they accept ordinary passwords (see every SNES Megaman X code section) and other useless crap that a game flat-out gives to you.

  7. I can't believe GameFAQs rejected so much stuff. I just boggles my mind.

  8. Agreed, TDOMMX. Why would they waste time with useless passwords that people will when cheaters would use passwords like All Heart Tanks, Armor parts, etc. for Mega Man X (or any of the old Mega Man games for that matter). If Cory Rouse from G4TV's Cheat! taught me anything is this: "When life's got you down, throw it into God Mode and keep kicking butt!"

    I just hope people don't do the same thing with Rosenkreuzstilette if ever gets listed to GameFaqs... >_>

  9. Nice review, Viper. :-)

    Now the waiting for RKSF is even more intense, seeing a review makes me... Want to see what's coming next.

    I can at last make a link to this review at, but I don't see much more for the moment...

    Gamefaqs refuses it ?! I thought that just nobody tried to make a Faq, as I checked RKS quite a few times already.

    Melty Blood deserves it, it's a good game. But so does RKS, quite difficult to understand then... O_o

  10. I can at last make a link to this review at, but I don't see much more for the moment...
    ...Terms of Use, Item #1. And I'm pretty sure you meant to say, "at least".

    Gamefaqs refuses it ?! I thought that just nobody tried to make a Faq, as I checked RKS quite a few times already.
    It's all the weirder that MegaMari has its own section. So, a doujin spinoff of another doujin game is okay, but a semi-original title isn't?

    Melty Blood deserves it, it's a good game. But so does RKS, quite difficult to understand then... O_o
    Amen. Watching people play MB in college was my "gateway drug" to visual novels (along with Phantom of Inferno). I still need to play through Fate and Act Cadenza (importing those cost an arm and a less...).

    Now, when's Rockin' Android going to release Big Bang Beat...? And will anyone even think about translating Big Bang Age...?

  11. Sure, Killing_Doll, go ahead. Just make sure that you note the Hongfire readers that the review belongs to me. And yes, apparently I was the first who ever tired to get GameFaqs to list RKS on their site, and the first to fail doing so. After reading TDOMMX's last comment, my mind wonders... :<

  12. Oh yeah, I wanted to ask this question that's been bugging me for awhile now. Is Kiora alphes (the illustrator of Immaterial and Power, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, MegaMari, etc.)?

  13. You guessed right Letty, typo. I forgot an "e"...
    I put a link, of course I mentioned you Viper, you're the author, so it's obvious to mention it ;-)

    I still play MB these days, it's as good as ever. Since we won't get BlazBlue before 3 months or so here, it keeps being my favourite ^_^

    After looking at what you said, both of you, Gamefaqs refusals makes no sense... Could they keep ignoring the community after the launch of RKSF ?! I think not...

  14. Rockin' Android is translating Big Bang Beat!? Why didn't I know about this till now!?

    and about Daibancho, I proposed it for Amaterasu Translation's 3rd Project, but it appears it's not on the VN community's list of priorities.

  15. To be my knowledge, Rockin' Android is trying to secure English language release rights for the following games (source):
    - Big Bang Beat
    - Crescent Pale Mist
    - Rosenkreuzstilette

    The group has announced the eventual release of the following titles via its YouTube channel. Many of these have already been released:
    - Suguri*
    - Acceleration of Suguri*
    - Flying Red Barrel
    - Qualia**
    - Bunny Must Die
    - Gundemonium Recollection***
    - Gundeadligne***
    - Hitogata Happa***
    - Dreadlock

    * As part of Suguri - Perfect Edition.
    ** Under the name Qlione.
    *** As part of Gundemonium Collection.

    The Gamasutra article notes that Enrique Galvez and his team are working with fan translation groups to help release these games in North America. Mint has attempted to contact Rockin' Android's staff, but has yet to receive a reply. Personally, I'd love to take part in an official English release of RKS, though I must admit that I'm a bit disappointed in the support that the game has received thus far...

  16. Wow, didn't know about all that! This seems like good news for all us doujin fans.

  17. This seems like good news for all us doujin fans.

    I will agree with Lion on this one.

  18. I tried to get RKS on GameFaqs and they STILL reject the information I've sent them. What do I need to do to get these people to list RKS on GameFaqs?! >_>

  19. Hey guys, I don't mean to change the subject or anything, but Kiora has plans to release another doujin at Winter Comiket.

  20. This RKS review was worthy of a front page post? Really? The only item that I had not seen before was the results on the game over screen. I been playing this game for 6 months and have never come across it. I've gotten my ass kicked by RKS plenty of times.

    Other than that, this review was no different than the several dozen others I have seen all over the place. Are we that starved for anything RKS related?

    Hell, a majority of the comments back here are more interesting and informative should be on the front.

  21. Aside from RKS finally being accepted on GameFAQs (thanks, Justin!), there really isn't any RKS-related news at the moment. Because of the Blogger format, Viper couldn't exactly create a page for his review and link to it from the front-page post. His review may not be news-worthy, but it's arguably better than not posting anything at all.

    (Realizes the Darkside front page hasn't been updated since mid-October)

    Actually, if you've come across dozens of reviews of RKS, I'd love to see them. I'm only aware of three other than Viper's: one at Hardcore Gaming 101, one in Gaming Fringe's Indie-Pendence Day column, and a subsection of Rockman Perfect Memories. Note than none of these mention that the English version has already been released.

  22. How did Justin get RKS listed GameFaqs?! D: Well at least its FINALLY one there, though I really don't know why they reject me TWICE and accept his. I'd better start sending screenshots and whatnot over there...

  23. It's called Google, type in rosenkreuzstilette. You may be surprised. I was, at was NOT listed. Like the Spriter's Resource.

    I then typed Rosenkreuz Stilette and came up with even more interesting results. Maximum PC of all places.

  24. ...I have a feeling that I read your post as being far more condescending than you'd intended it to be, what with the vibe and all...

    In any case, I was talking about actual in-depth reviews of the game, not graphics resources or brief mentions in the comments section of an unrelated post. I'm not sure how much time I've wasted on Google and YouTube trying to gather feedback on both the game and the English localization - to no avail. The Spriter's Resource wouldn't have any of what I'm looking for, and the two pages on Ravy Comics aren't exactly what I could call useful (they just pointed out a few issues that we had already planned on correcting)... I don't speak Vietnamese, so I had to dismiss a good chunk of the results I came across, too. And the rest of the results at the time were courtesy of our Resident First Poster (via DeviantArt or Pixiv).

    Viper, I have no clue what happened either. I filled in a GameFAQs submission form as well, but changed my mind before clicking the final Submit button since you'd already been turned down so many times before. I was surprised when I searched for the game later and actually got a hit. I've since submitted the game's credits, release details, and the Grollschwert code, so they'll appear once the latest submission queue has been cleared. Justin inadvertently marked the retail release as an online one, so I can't upload my boxart scan until they correct it. Oh well. At least the game's finally up there.

    I wonder if anyone will start writing a FAQ for the game now (not that it really needs one...).

  25. "Justin inadvertently marked the retail release as an online one, so I can't upload my boxart scan until they correct it."

    I hope they correct it soon. (-_-)

  26. Is a good review of this curious game!!! It´s a truly emulation of the megaman game (in mahou-shoujo style!!!)

  27. wow this new game look like with a little bit touch of Mega man, the health bar and the bosses stages, and now you combine this fabulous game style with anime and pretties girls.