• The new bonus episode of the Smash Brothers Documentary Metagame, Godslayer, is now available on Vimeo

  • Welcome to Smashboards, the world's largest Super Smash Brothers community! Over 250,000 Smash Bros. fans from around the world have come to discuss these great games in over 19 million posts!

    You are currently viewing our boards as a visitor. Click here to sign up right now and start on your path in the Smash community!

Tower of Druaga's Gil Zaps to Smash!

GoodGrief741

Smash Hero
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
9,885


Gil, depicted as surprised as you are that he finally got his own thread

Who is Gil?


The average Gil, diagramed

Prince Gilgamesh, usually known simply as Gil, is the player character in The Tower of Druaga. Gil is the prince of Babylim who sets out to rescue his friend, the priestess Ki, from the demon Druaga, by climbing the titular tower and finding the pieces of the Blue Crystal Rod. Gil returns as the player 2 character in the sequel, The Return of Ishtar, alongside Ki who is now the protagonist. Both return in the final game, The Blue Crystal Rod, where they are tasked with returning the titular item to the heavens above. As the game has nearly 50 different endings, Gil and Ki's fates are up to the player.

What is The Tower of Druaga?


No further explanation needed, right?

Originally developed as a "fantasy Pac-Man", even reusing the Super Pac-Man engine, The Tower of Druaga would nowadays be classified as an action RPG. In it the player, as Gil, battles their way through 60 semi-randomized floors filled with enemies. In each floor, Gil must find a key before he can continue to the next. Every floor also hides a treasure; the way to find treasure is unique to each floor and often perplexing, but many of these treasures raise his stats and some are required to complete the game.

The Tower of Druaga didn't originally release outside Japan and remained that way for over a decade, explaining its obscurity worldwide. In Japan, however, it was a massive hit both comercially (it was the second most successful arcade game in its year of release) and critically (it's regarded as a classic). Aside from spawning a multimedia franchise (called the Babylonian Castle Saga), its influence in the industry can't be understated. It can be considered a kind of proto-action RPG as it pioneered the combination of stat-based mechanics with real-time combat. It inspired the development of Dragon Slayer and Ys, two series that are commonly considered the first pure ARPGs. Also owing to its influence was a little game called The Legend of Zelda, whose equipment-based progression, mazelike dungeons filled with enemies and puzzles alike, and cryptic ways to advance can all be traced back to Druaga.

What is the Babylonian Castle Saga?

The Babylonian Castle Saga is the name of the franchise started by The Tower of Druaga. Why it isn't simply called The Tower of Druaga franchise is beyond me considering 3 of the 4 mainline games take place in it but that's the way it is. Below is a breakdown of the games and other media in it, along with Gil's part in it.

  • The Return of Ishtar (1986): After defeating Druaga, Gil and the rescued Ki must make their way down the Tower. Gil is a playable character in this unique title that requires two players, being the melee counterpart to Ki's spellcaster.
  • The Quest of Ki (1988): This Famicom prequel follows Ki as she makes her way up the Tower of Druaga in a doomed quest that leads to Gil having to rescue her in the original game. The only game in which Gil isn't playable, but he shows up in the ending.
  • The Blue Crystal Rod (1994): The final game in the tetralogy, released on the Super Famicom, it's also known as The Destiny of Gilgamesh. Gil is once again playable alongside Ki as the two travel around the world to return the Rod to Anu, the King of Gods.
Beyond the mainline games, the franchise also includes:
  • Seme COM Dungeon: Drururuaga (2000): A card game taking place 100 years after The Tower of Druaga. Gil still manages to show up and is summonable.
  • Druaga Online: The Story of Aon (2005): A non-canon arcade ARPG, Gil is one of four playable characters.
  • The Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigi no Dungeon (2005): The series' Mystery Dungeon title sees Gil on a quest to save Ki, now his fiancee, from the witch Skulld.
  • The Labyrinth of Druaga (2011): A remake of The Tower of Druaga for mobile phones, this one once again sees Gil ascending the titular tower to rescue Ki and defeat Druaga.
There were also two anime series - The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk and The Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk. These take place 80 years after the original game, and Gil shows up as King Gilgamesh, a benevolent ruler and retired hero. The anime had a manga adaptation and an MMORPG continuation.


Old Man Gil, still a badass

Last but not least, there was a board game, and a theme park attraction in Namco's Wonder Eggs theme park. On the latter you shot monsters with infrared lasers; players were ranked from Bronze to Gold Knight depending on whether they had defeated Druaga and rescued Ki. I guess this means that, in a way, we are all Gil...

This Gil guy rings a bell... Where do I know him from?

If you aren't Japanese and/or a hardcore retro gaming fanatic, you probably didn't play any of the games above. However, even if you aren't familiar with them, your favorite Japanese devs certainly are, so Gil has made tons of cameos in games outside his series.

For example, you may be familiar with him from his appearances in Smash 4 and Ultimate! He's a DLC Mii Costume in both:



It's subtle, but the designs are actually different! You can always trust Sakurai to go the extra mile.

And also shows up as one of the many (many, many, many) sprites on Pac-Man's Namco Roulette taunt:


From small beginnings...

But let's say you didn't buy his costumes and don't spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing every reference and cameo in Smash (amateur...), you may still know Gil from these games:

  • Namco X Capcom: Gil and Ki show up as playable characters (Gil's artwork above is from this appearance)
  • Tales of: Several games in the series reference Tower of Druaga and Gil in particular, mostly by featuring his armor and items as equippables. Among the games that reference Gil are Tales of the Abyss, Symphonia, and Phantasia.
  • Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean: Many Magna (cards) are of Gil's items, such as the Golden Helmet.
  • Soul Calibur: The Blue Crystal Rod is a weapon for Sophitia in most games, with some also giving her the Hyper Shield, the Red Line Shield, and the Red Crystal Rod. Gil's strongest sword, Excalibur, is also a weapon in Soul Calibur III.
  • Pac-Man 99: In the Tower of Druaga skin, Gil replaces Pac-Man.
  • Pac-Man Monsters: A Pac-Man gacha I just found out existed, in which Gil is a summonable "Monster".
  • Family Stadium: You know those baseball games Namco makes? Gil's in at least one of them.
  • Namco Museum Volumes 3, 4 and Encore
Why should Gil be a fighter in Smash?

IMG_20210915_010402.png

For one, he's a hard worker

It's easy to underestimate Gil. His games are virtually unknown to all but a few aficionados outside Japan. When Tower of Druaga released worldwide in 2009, it was destroyed by Western critics as being too cryptic, too punishing, and simply too unfun. Most of what the game introduced got lost in imitation and surpassed by what came after. However, when placed in its historical context, Tower of Druaga is revealed to be nothing short of groundbreaking. There is a direct throughline connecting every ARPG and most action-adventure games to Druaga, and if you look before it you won't find anything that even resembles it (only 1980's Adventure comes close to fitting within the genre in a modern sense). It's not hyperbolic, nor is it novel, to say videogames today wouldn't be what they are without Druaga. With that pedigree, I think it's fair to say that Gil deserves at least consideration.

Fine, I'm sold. How would he play?


By doing what he does best: find treasure!

Gil is commonly depicted as your archetypal knight wielding a sword and shield. His shield blocks projectiles like Link's and his sword... well, you can probably guess what that does. Gil also has several other tools and weapons befitting the genre: pickaxes, gauntlets, rods, maces, candles, bells, scales, potions... The Tower of Druaga is filled with secrets and Gil can wield them all. The Jet Boots, which make him quicker, could function as a dash attack. The various rings and necklaces that enable him to walk through certain enemies and elemental attacks could translate to attacks that also grant him invulnerability to certain elements, adding a highly situational advantage to his moves. Since a big part of the game is finding better items to upgrade your stats (new armors, shields and helmets) maybe he could have a similar system to Arthur in MvC. And of course you can't forget about the Blue Crystal Rod, a must have.

If that isn't enough to convince you of Gil's potential, seeming like every other Link wannabe, then consider this idea. One of the defining traits of The Tower of Druaga is its crypticness. Every room has a treasure that only shows up by performing a secret and usually counterintuitive action, and the treasures themselves have confusing effects, with some not being apparent until much later and others even harming, depowering or killing Gil. To me, that means Gil should have a cryptic moveset: attacks that appear to have the same properties, but actually have one difference that can mean completely different applications. Moves that have Gil equip a barely visible necklace, only for a lucky player to find out that it negates electric-type damage. More than one attack has Gil throw out a potion as an item, but one of them has a healing potion and the other temporarily reduces the speed of the fighter that drinks it, without there being an obvious distinction between the two. Some attacks could even change their properties depending on whether Gil did or didn't use a specific attack before. This would make Gil daunting to play as and against, but extremely rewarding to those that take the time to learn him. A mirror match between two Gils would be akin to a chess game, each trying to read their opponent's attacks and force the other to use the move that would change their attack's properties for the worse. It might be ridiculous but it sounds interesting at least.

If that doesn't strike your fancy, why not check out post #15 of this gamefaqs thread? It details a concept for an Ice Climbers-like moveset with both Gil and Ki. (Thanks to tonygameman tonygameman for suggesting it!)

One final aspect is that Gil has been depicted as everything from a realistically proportioned human to a chibi knight; what depiction Sakurai would take is a big question mark, but I like to think that it would be something in between (like a taller Toon Link).

What are Gil's odds right now?

Well, he got a Mii Costume, so... y'know.

Admittedly Gil isn't looking like a frontrunner for this game, or the next. He's Bandai Namco, which means he has to compete with some of the biggest brands in gaming and a couple of fan favorites, that have their support and sales/marketing potential all but ensured. Meanwhile it took me four sections of this thread just to explain basic things like "this is the guy" and "these are the guy's games".

This thread is meant to be more of a primer on everything Tower of Druaga. I played it as a kid and really liked it, and it's influence and development are even more interesting than the game itself, so it always surprised me that it's a non-entity for so many people. This, I guess, is my small attempt at correcting it.

Gil's Golden Gallery


Gil in The Tower of Druaga


Gil in Nightmare of Druaga


Gil in Druaga Online


Gil in The Recovery of Babylim, the MMO


Smol Gil, from a spin-off called Sugoroku Adventure


Gil's fursona I guess (yes this is official artwork)


Gil in Family Stadium, looking ready to hit some home runs


Gil and Ki celebrating the ancient Babylonian tradition of Christmas


Ki, who is also a total badass

Art by Kevin Fagaragan



Promotional artwork of Gil

Final thoughts



This is only the second thread I've made. I always find the act of making one daunting and feel nervous that me tackling it bars another person from making a better one and running it in a way that benefits the character's support more. But with Gil being so unknown, disconfirmed, and us being potentially days away from knowing the final fighter in Ultimate anyway, well, the stakes are low enough to my liking. I can't play videogames because of a recent hand injury so this has been a nice little game-adjacent project to slowly chop at.

Special thanks to Rie Sonomura Rie Sonomura who pointed out there was no Gil thread and C chocolatejr9 who dared me to make it!

 
Last edited:

tonygameman

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
191
Location
Finland
Switch FC
SW-3706-2453-6800
It's about time someone made a support thread for this good ol' golden knight, I'll immediately support him, as a huge retro Namco arcade fan! (cannot wait for Taira no Kagekiyo! Mr. Stevenson Mr. Stevenson and Oddball Oddball from a Rick Taylor thread may also enjoy this, tagged to increase interest)

Long times ago, my old friend at GameFAQs, legowallin (who also made full movesets for Wonder Momo & Bravoman), has suggested some ideas for Gilgamesh's moveset (post #15; an archived thread overall tells about The Tower of Druaga's history, legacy & importance; images/videos can be easily seen when signed in), with Ki accompanying him like in The Return of Ishtar.
 
Last edited:

Guynamednelson

Pranked!
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
8,493
NNID
Nelson340
3DS FC
2105-8742-2099
Switch FC
SW 4265 6024 9719
The Tower of Druaga never released outside Japan until its Wii Virtual Console release in 2009
This is what the Wikipedia page says, but the game's also been part of Namco Museum compilations before that, starting with the PS1's third volume in 1997.
 

GoodGrief741

Smash Hero
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
9,885
tonygameman tonygameman Thanks for your support! I added you to the list, and also put up a link to the moveset suggestions you posted on the moveset section. I'm a big fan, it's very faithful to Return of Ishtar and it would be great to feature Ki in such a major way.

G Guynamednelson Thanks for the correction, I thought I had played it before '09 but I assumed I was wrong when I did the research. It's fixed now.
 

Rie Sonomura

fly octo fly
Premium
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
18,504
NNID
RieSonomura
Switch FC
SW-4976-7649-4666
#JusticeForGil

not particularly here to support, but glad he finally got a thread after so long

it’s interesting to learn about his series’ history too. I know it inspired Legend of Zelda and one of the anime series but I learned so much more today
 

GoodGrief741

Smash Hero
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
9,885
I wouldn't say I dared you as much as I referenced a popular meme, but hey: you actually did it.

Anyway, I'll support. Though may I ask, would Ki work as an Echo?
I'd say probably not, Ki has always played differently to Gil. She's the mage to his fighter so it would be strange to see her wielding swords and shields.
 

GoodGrief741

Smash Hero
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
9,885
Welp, there's my ignorance showing again...
Don't worry, now you probably know more about the series than 90% of Smashboards! And I'm not one to speak, I needed to be corrected on when Druaga was finally localized...

Still, Ki would probably show up in a major way since she's so important, like a Mii Costume or even an appearance in Gil's moveset.
 

tonygameman

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
191
Location
Finland
Switch FC
SW-3706-2453-6800
Besides Ki (maybe as a Gunner considering elemental projectiles with Blue Crystal Rod as a cannon), I can think of some possible Mii costumes based on Namco arcade classics to come with Gilgamesh.
  • Clovis (Dragon Buster; Swordfighter - he also has a big post of his own in Amino, which I'll recommend to check out, even though a second part isn't coming as a user told me)
    • I also slightly designed his moveset (with no details) by technique names (on Valor's FAQ at "(c) Controlling your character" and "(e) Magic") and game sources.
      Shield - Shield (Buster; unlike Link and Gil's here)
      Jab - Sword Swing Combo (Valor)
      Dash Attack - Dashing Slash (Valor)
      Side Tilt - Basic Sword Slash (Buster)
      Up Tilt - Upward Stab (Valor)
      Down Tilt - Crouching Sword Slash (Buster)
      Side Smash - Charged Sword Swing (Valor)
      Up Smash - Backflip (Valor)
      Down Smash - Hammer Blow No. 2 (Valor)
      Neutral Air - Aerial Sword Swing (Buster)
      Forward Air - Forward Thrust (Valor)
      Back Air - Jump Kick (Valor; turns around)
      Up Air - Aerial Backflip (Valor)
      Down Air - Downwards Stab/Thrust (Buster)
      Neutral Special - Fireball/Fireball Special (Buster)
      Side Special - Ice/Thunder/Vortex Magic (Valor; like Hero's in charging)
      Up Special - Vine Rope Climb (Buster)
      Down Special - Heal/Defense/Stealth Magic (Valor; latter turns Clovis invisible for a short period of time)
      Final Smash - Special Sword Technique (Valor)
  • Taizo Hori (Dig Dug; Gunner - found this somewhere, with his harpoon replacing a cannon. Would use his bad-ass design from Namco X Capcom)
  • Rick Taylor (Splatterhouse; Brawler or Swordfighter - maybe use the original design and a machete for latter?)
  • Taira no Kagekiyo (Genpei Tōma Den/The Genji and the Heike Clans; Swordfighter)
  • Valkyrie (Valkyrie no Densetsu/The Legend of Valkyrie; likely chosen for a pack)
  • Bravoman (Brawler)
  • Wonder Momo (Brawler)
If anyone have recently purchased the Gil costume and want to make an accurate moveset for him, there it is, also from legowallin (straight from post #20, except that a Down Special is changed).
  • Design: Chibi (was made for SSB4, but you can easily re-create it) or Anime/NxC
  • Voice: Type 10 (High)
  • Neutral Special: Blurring Blade (references his super move in Namco X Capcom)
  • Side Special: Gale Stab (references how he attacks in the original arcade game)
  • Up Special: Stone Scabbard (being perpendicular and a single sword stab for both the rise and fall)
  • Down Special: Reversal Slash (references how he can block projectiles with his shield in the original arcade game)
 
Last edited:

GoodGrief741

Smash Hero
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
9,885
That's a great selection of Mii Costumes! I can totally see them as Gil's pack. I'd love for Ki to be a Gunner, though precedent indicates that she'd probably be a Swordfighter like most staff-wielders and mages...
 
Top Bottom