Maglam Lord


Review by · February 20, 2022

Being a Demon Lord is hard work; you’re just trying to live your life freely but inadvertently get branded as a danger to all creation. That is exactly what happens to the Bladelord Killizerk (and with a name like that, what other career choice did they have?) at the beginning of action RPG Maglam Lord.  The gods and other demons form an uneasy alliance to halt Killizerk’s chaos, and the Demon Lord barely gets away thanks to the help of their loyal servant Balgackwein, or Balga for short. To recover, they fall into a deep slumber watched over by Balga’s grandson Satyus, eventually waking to a completely different and apparently utterly peaceful world called Arcadio. Here, they’re branded an endangered species and must team up with others in the same boat in a bid to regain their former power while maybe finding love in the process.  Of course, nothing about this strange new world is what it seems on the surface.

In many respects, Maglam Lord is a tale of two different games mashed together in a less-than-perfect combination. On one hand, you have a dialogue and choice-heavy visual novel that is quite well-done for the genre. You even get to choose Killizerk’s gender at the beginning of a new game, with slightly different personalities to help encourage replayabilty. You frequently break up blocks of text by interjecting your own thoughts, and aspects of the game’s ending are determined by choices you’ve made with a variety of characters throughout the game’s relationship simulation portions. The storyline can be quite humorous, especially if you’re familiar with the tropes it’s making fun of, but there’s a surprising hint of seriousness just underneath the surface that builds up wonderfully as the narrative progresses. Maglam Lord truly shines at its brightest through its story, characters, and various visual novel elements.

A dialogue options screenshot from Maglam Lord.
The various dialogue options are fun and aplenty! They may even affect affection levels for certain characters.

On the other hand, there’s its action RPG portion to consider. Unfortunately, this is where the game hits a bit of a stumbling block. Its overly simplistic nature makes it the weaker of the game’s two halves. This isn’t the robust, combo-heavy action RPG one might associate with heavyweights of the genre like Ys or Kingdom Hearts. Rather, the gameplay is made relatively easy to pick up and is to-the-point as far as stringing simplified combos goes. Its fun presentation almost reminds me of a 2D fighting game, but its less-than-complex implementation makes it lacking for those craving a heavier action-oriented experience.

It almost seems like the developers tried making the action part of the game as easy to get into and master as possible so as not to alienate newcomers to the action RPG genre, especially those who might be more interested in the game’s story and relationship-building. In that regard it works, because I found that I picked up the controls and what I was meant to do readily enough just by playing. But given how much time is spent on these segments, they grow redundant after a while. This is especially so if you play through the extra side missions, which I recommend if only to keep your levels high enough so the main story missions pose no trouble.

During the action RPG segments you battle strange monsters called mutabeasts to collect resources and materials. You then use these materials in a simplistic crafting system to create specialized weapons called Maglams. Maglams come in three variations: the sword, the spear, and the axe. Each encountered enemy also helpfully notes which weapon they’re weak against. You can even decorate your weapons with specialized attachments or decor that net you bonuses in combat. A mere button press cycles through your equipped weapons, letting you go to town on the monster with the weapon strongest against it. You can jump if height is needed, and each party member has a specific character skill you can use. You’re also a simple button press away from using learned skills or abilities and items as you see fit.

A battle screenshot from Maglam Lord.
Battles tend to be on the simplistic “slashy-slashy!” side of things.

If you need an extra bit of firepower for a boss, you can use a filled-up Demon Gauge to merge Killizerk with the party member you’re controlling at the moment. You’ll gain some potent attack strength and powerful special moves for a limited amount of time. The gauge fills up just by fighting or with certain items, though I found I didn’t really need any of them myself until the final boss fight. Battles can be quite easy if you pay attention to weapon types, have decent defensive gear equipped, heal when needed, and keep relatively leveled. Should you fall in battle, Maglam Lord presents a “try again” option instead of a traditional game over screen, which further adds to the feeling that the action RPG portion of the game was designed to be less stressful in general. It isn’t bad by any means, but it certainly isn’t a game people looking for challenges will flock to.

If you maintain equipment and keep your recovery items well-stocked, even status effects won’t be more than a mild annoyance during a fight. The sole exception is the troublesome Amnesia effect that’ll prevent you from using most items or skills until it’s cured. The only time I struggled was when I got afflicted with that status, because even level grinding isn’t much of a concern in this game. Party members you don’t use will still level up alongside Killizerk and your main, making the few missions where you’re required to play as them not require level grinding. This is especially the case if you do all the side missions before advancing the main plot.

These side missions are broken up into two categories: collecting and slaying. Collecting missions require you to find a specific number of materials out in a dungeon no matter how much of said item you already have. Slaying side missions have you targeting specific foes in an area. The collecting quests can be quite tedious as it might take you awhile to track down however much of the material you’re looking for. It almost seems to be random whether you’re going to have a lengthy search or a short one. The missions’ lengths and easy fights add to Maglam Lord’s action RPG elements feeling like they drag on, but staying on top of missions is still helpful for the experience and crafting materials alone.

A visual novel artwork scene from Maglam Lord.
The visual novel art is gorgeous, and the characters are all quite interesting once you get to know them.

The maps for each dungeon area could’ve used some fine-tuning, as they’re split up into blocks with lines showcasing general connection points between them. The only real variations shown are vague arrows for level tiers and the like. There isn’t a marker for your location either; instead, the “box area” you’re in gets highlighted. This can cause some confusion when trying to place where exactly you are in a dungeon, as some can be tricky navigating solely on memory. The majestic woods dungeon was a particularly confusing locale to traverse. It’s nothing too game-damaging, but just a few additional tweaks would’ve been greatly beneficial.

Visually, the game’s graphics are also very much divided between the VN and action RPG portions. The story presentation boasts high production values with lovely art and expressive character portraits designed by the character designer, lack. The characters actually move in a subtle breathing motion instead of being completely static, which is a nice visual touch for the lengthy VN dialogue story scenes. There are even unlockable date CGs you can acquire in the game’s dating portion. Clearly a lot of work was put into the VN component! However, dungeon traversal and battle graphics are in done in a chibi 3D style that isn’t really pushing any system boundaries. They aren’t bad to look at per se, but it isn’t going to wow anyone looking for impressive, high-end graphics, either.

The characters fortunately help to steer the game, and they’re all incredibly distinct and likable in their own rights. Killizerk, Balga, and Satyus are a great group unit soon joined by hero siblings Charme and Darius, the robotic butler assassin M.O.A.V., intrepid journalist beast girl idol Julette, and eventually the mysterious wish-granting “saint” Acklao. Killizerk can date and potentially romance any of the five party members along with two other characters regardless of gender, which is still something of a rarity in JRPGs. My initial playthrough wound up with male Killizerk and Darius eventually forming a love connection largely due to my chosen responses being favorable to Darius. These character-specific dialogue choices are helpfully shown with icons of specific characters appearing beside them. Darius being my main fighter in dungeons apparently also added to his overall affection levels. It ended up being a surprisingly touching subplot, especially once Darius had gotten some decent character development. Certain characters will respond more favorably or less favorably to certain dates, and special story-specific dates will offer even more insight into the character participating in them.

A screenshot of the Dating Dojo from Maglam Lord.
Love Guru G.G. is there to help guide Killizerk in the ways of courtship!

The dating sim element is a fun interlude amidst the repetitive dungeon exploration and fighting. I love how all the characters in the cast have hidden depth to them that you see as their individual stories are explored more. This is done in relatively equal measure throughout the game, and there are a few characters such as Mamie and the eccentric Love Guru G.G., Killizerk’s mentor in all things romance, who take some surprising twists over the course of the game. Killizerk is an interesting character in their own right: they aren’t necessarily a bad guy, but more of a free spirit. I loved how clueless they were at first about everything other than fighting until they interacted more with people. Maglam Lord is a game I’d say is worth playing if you’re a fan of story and characters given how strong the writing and plot developments end up being.

Tonally, the music is decent but forgettable save for each party members’ individual character battle themes. Those songs accurately fit each one’s personality brilliantly. The theme that plays during the love confession towards the end of the game is also quite pretty, but I’d be hard pressed to think of any other tracks beyond that. They were “nice enough” and worked for their respective moments, but without standing out. The game’s Japanese voice acting was absolutely wonderful and quite emotive throughout, even if certain high-pitched character voices could grate on your ears at times with how loud they’d get. Special mention should go to the surprising main antagonist of the tale’s voice work! The script itself was localized rather well, with only a few errors here-and-there and perhaps a less-than-literal translation at times.

I’ve been a fan of Felistella‘s work since I first played the localized version of Summon Night 5, and was mightily curious as to how Maglam Lord would play given that. The story is charming, fun, and full of hidden depth at times with characters who can’t help but grow on you and an enjoyable relationship building system. It’s a shame that the action RPG elements are so simple and threadbare comparatively, but I’d still recommend the title to both Summon Night 5 fans and visual novel lovers in particular given how easy even the action RPG parts are to pick up. Unfortunately, fans of challenging action RPGs might have to look elsewhere. It is obvious that Felistella clearly knows how to spin a good tale if nothing else, and I’ll continue to look back on Maglam Lord fondly as I prepare for an eventual second playthrough!


Excellent visual novel story segments, great characters, fun relationship-building elements, choice-heavy dialogue options, easy to pick up and play.


Action RPG elements too simplistic for most to find any real challenge, 3D graphics in the action RPG component aren't the best when compared to the VN art, dungeon maps could use some fine-tuning, crafting system is also on the simpler side.

Bottom Line

Maglam Lord is a entertaining, albeit simple, action RPG with a wonderful story and well-done VN elements.

Overall Score 82
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Audra Bowling

Audra Bowling

Audra Bowling is a reviewer for RPGFan. She is a lover of RPGs, Visual Novels, and Fighting Games. Once she gets onto a subject she truly feels strongly about, like her favorite games, she can ramble on and on endlessly. Coffee helps keep her world going round.