Dark Law: Meaning of Death Soundtrack, Satoshi Nagano / Michihiko Shichi, 1997
By 1997, the SNES software supply has dwindled to a trickle – but intriguing new games for the ageing console still popped up here and there. One such title was developer Sakata SAS’ Dark Law: Meaning of Death, the sequel to 1991’s Dark Lord. While the premise of its fantasy narrative was fairly pedestrian (ancient evil returns – and kidnaps the damsel in distress!), Dark Law surprised with its unexpected take on RPG gameplay tropes. Focused less on combat and more on exploration and puzzle-solving, Dark Law was considerably less linear than most other JRPGs. Instead of following a clearly delineated path, gamers would select from a series of short stories or scenarios that ultimately became connected. And true to its ominous name, Dark Law: The Meaning of Death dealt with unusually sombre subject matter (at least for a 16-bit RPG).