Zeliard is a platform game with rpg elements. Originally it was developed in Japan for the NEC PC-8801. It was brought to Europe and the North American market with an English DOS version by Sierra in 1990.
It is one of the earliest games that I recall having an extended intro and ending (there were others, I’m sure, but we were not aware of them), making for a satisfying completion experience. I played it quite a bit, but (due to lack of skill) had to watch my brother complete it.
Not only is Zeliard a great game with fun/funky graphics, the soundtrack (both MT-32 and Adlib) is brilliant. I consider it, along with Silpheed essential demo material whenever I showcase early PC titles to anyone new to the retro DOS gaming scene.
A single episode hitting the “big 3” Game Arts/Sierra titles including Thexder, Silpheed and Zeliard would make a fun listen.
Fun fact – the Creative Labs Game Blaster card bundle sold at Radio Shack in the US included a patched version of Silpheed to support the CMS card’s stereo square wave FM synth chipset that was competing with the Adlib card. The Adlib version sounds better but there’s a certain charm in the CMS version which sounds a bit like an NES.
I got this from Home of the Underdogs around 2000 or so and played it on my old DOS machine. It was pretty cool, though I did give up in some later dungeon that had a pretty annoying maze with invisible updrafts and stuff. But it certainly felt like finding some unknown gaming treasure, Japanese style action game on the PC with great music, especially since I never heard about it before!