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Medieval Mediocrity - Mace: The Dark Age

On 07/10/2020 at 09:10 AM by Matt Snee

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The Nintendo 64 was not exactly known for its fighting games, probably because there were very few of them. And with the exception of the original Smash Bros, few of the ones that were on the system were good. 

Mace: The Dark Age was an Atari arcade fighting game ported to the N64 by Midway in 1997. It's not a great game. But, when my brother and I got our N64 from our parents on Christmas, one of the games we got was this mediocre fighting game. 

Taking place in medieval times, Mace included a variety of knights, mercenaries, and the requisite scantily clad female fighters. My brother preferred three characters: The Executioner (a masked BDSM guy with a giant axe), Ragnar the viking, and a guy with a ball and chain. I liked playing with the blue-armored samurai character, Takeshi. 

We played a bit of the game, and when I moved out to San Francisco and took the N64 with me, I remember playing with my friend who preferred using Lord Deimos, the demonic, giant knight in red armor with a laser sword. We had some epic battles. 

Well, it wasn't a very good game, but it was what it was. 




07/10/2020 at 09:52 AM

Mace was a poor man's Soul Edge, and the fact that it got a cover feature in Nintendo Power was some serious damage control on Nintendo's part on how badly they screwed up with the N64 library. See also: Quest 64.


I actually had a meme I did for a Simpsons shitposting page that made fun of Quest 64 but couldn't figure out how to post it here. Basically, it replaced Worker and Parasite with Quest 64,

Cary Woodham

07/10/2020 at 08:42 PM

Quest 64 was so, so bad.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/11/2020 at 05:05 PM

you know, I never heard of Quest 64 until way after the N64's demise. I don't know if I've ever seen any screenshots or videos. But I have heard it's bad. 


07/12/2020 at 01:09 PM

Quest 64 was a localization of Holy Magic Century, which was made in Japan by Imagineer (best known for big head baseball games.) It only had one playable character (down from three in early previews), a broken magic system where only earth magic really mattered, and a simplistic structure so linear it almost made FFXIII look open world. There wasn't even any money or shops in the game. But it was the only thing resembling an RPG on the N64 until Harvest Moon, Ogre Battle, and Paper Mario showed up, so Nintendo tried to hype it up for people disappointed at the loss of Square and who could see the handwriting on the wall for Earthbound 64/Mother 3. But it sucked hard. It summed up every problem I had with N64 and 5th gen Nintendo in one game.

An awful lot of games that wouldn't have registered a blip on the SNES or PS1 got highlighted on N64 due to lack of competition on a fairly popular console. Acclaim and THQ even became briefly respectable, though Turok was a legitimately good game. 

Cary Woodham

07/10/2020 at 08:42 PM

Wow I have never heard of this game, or at least don't remember it.  And I know a lot of N64 games!  Which characters do you think I'd like?

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/11/2020 at 05:06 PM

there are only three girl fights - the Arabian one pictured above, a big-boobed ninja girl, and a scantily clad valkyrie. But I think you'd like the Arabian one cause she dresses like Shantae. Laughing


07/10/2020 at 10:00 PM

I remember this game. I either had a copy or saw it around. I might have tired it once. Fighting games weren't my thing anyway. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/11/2020 at 05:06 PM

yeah I'm not crazy about fighting games either. But sometimes I indulge in them. 


07/11/2020 at 10:11 PM

That's my way too. 


07/11/2020 at 01:19 PM

Hey, when you're a kid, you play what you've got. My dad bought us notoriously-terrible-but-not-as-bad-as-pop-culture-says-it-is Shaque Fu because it was new for $10, and we played the heck out of that game.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/11/2020 at 05:07 PM

yeah, I played a whole lot of shit games when I was younger because I didn't know any better. Tongue Out

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/12/2020 at 12:25 AM

Never heard of this game, but there was a ring out-based 3D fighter on N64 I rented quite a bit ... and worked into a Nerds Without Pants podcast at one point, but now I can't remember the name of it. lol 

In any case, the good thing about mediocre fighters is that while mediocre, if the gameplay isn't totally broken you've still got yourself a fighter. It's like cooking mashed potatoes. Sometimes you've really hit on something, most of the time they're fine, but very rarely do you manage to mess them up so bad you can't eat them. 


07/12/2020 at 01:23 PM

Kinda... but Mace is no Soul Edge/Soulblade, and sales reflected that.  The game was very slow and stiff compared to Namco's fighting games.

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