Let me guess - you read the title, and are now saying to yourself "What the hell is Rob talking about? Has he lost his mind? Nude girls? Mystic Defender? Huh?" Well, read on, and all shall become clear...
Mystic Defender was one of the first Genesis games released, sometime in late 1989. It looked curiously like the Sega Master System game Spellcaster (the reason for this being that both games are based on the anime series Kujaku Ou - see The Twisted Saga of Kujaku Ou for more details), but instead of having RPG elements mixed in with action/platform levels, it was all out action. It's not very well known, and seemed to come and go just like that. It's been one of my favorite Genesis games for years, though - ever since I first played it after getting a Genesis back in '90.
Getting to the point here... when you reach the end of the game, you fight the final boss, Zao, which looks like a large column of organic matierial. He shoots small glowing purple balls at you while strange tadpole-like creatures work their way out of his body and head straight toward you. It takes several blasts (I'd advise using the Psycho magic) to his heart to kill him.
It's impossible not to notice the woman imbedded up to her waist in the organic matierial that makes up Zao. It's Alexandra, the daughter of the "supreme deity" mentioned in the opening of the game. She's on top of the column, and - here's the surprise - she's topless. This is in a U.S. released Sega Genesis game? Presumably he's draining her life force to make himself more powerful.
Once you destroy Zao, he begins to slide into the ground, leaving Alexandra behind. Lo and behold, as Zao slides into the ground, she's revealed to be completely nude. Incredible. Nudity in a video game, especially at this time, was completely unheard of (I'm sure you can imagine my reaction when I first saw it). A purple bubble encases her as she floats to the ground. Now she's only about an inch and a half tall, so you can't see much - but it's quite clear that she's wearing nothing. Check out the pic below for yourself if you don't believe me - this is an unaltered shot of the end of the game (thanks to V-Alis for providing it to me!).
See what I mean?
Here's a closeup of Alexandra for you.
I find it odd that Sega of America allowed that into one of their own games, yet when Razorsoft was going to release Stormlord a year or so later with nude faeries sprinkled throughout the game, Sega made them put clothes on the faeries. That's kind of hypocritical, don't you think?
Oh well... that's a little bit of forgotten video game trivia for you.
Update - 6/17/02: Andrew Ballard recently let me know that he picked up a copy of Mystic Defender that had something quite unusual in it - Alexandra was not nude at the end of the game, but was instead wearing a pink dress! He also sent photos he took - check it out for yourself:
Hmmm... it certainly does look like she's wearing a pink dress here. Has anyone else ever seen Alexandra in a pink dress? Email me and let me know!
Update - 9/5/04: I should have put these up sooner, as I've had them for a while now. Anyway, Ben G. sent more pics of Alex in the pink dress... however, he discovered that there was a version of Kujaku Ou 2 that had Alex in the pink dress as well! Check them out below:
Kujaku Ou 2 pic #2
Mystic Defender pic #1
Mystic Defender pic #2
On top of that, he sent the following info concerning the different versions:
"I'm not any sort of programmer to clarify the first bit, but I was working with hex workshop a bit comparing two saved game states off of GENS. Oddly, besides differences in saving game states (ex. - Music, location, etc.), setting some offsets to 00 or FF cause various things like the different status bars to go away or end up in weird places.
The one that I had found, and that I was only really interested in was at this position:
...as usually offsets come in pairs. So it would look like:
0010 or 0080- The value here for 3 lives is 08 or for 5 lives it is 10
You would want to change that pair of offsets to say this: 00FF - I am not sure offhand, but I had not died from that.
The status bar shows Joe with only x 0 lives after the first level, but he doesn't die, or least I have not got him to yet. I think it is possible, just it will take a while. FF isn't infinite.
The other VERY interesting part, is that as a rule of thumb, a pair of offsets are usually backwards in saved game states. I am not sure why, but, there are two lacking pieces of logic here. 10 in hex is 16 in decimal, and 08 is just 8 in decimal. Reversed, it makes even less sense. They don't correlate to actual values, but, it is the right offset I believe. Why this works, must be a magic of math either that or sheer luck from trial and error.
I had only played in the Japanese version, and sadly to say, at the ending, the girl was in a purple/pinkish color dress after beating Zao. The ending credits as well were different. Both endings are a bit, ehh, letting down considering how hard the damn game is to beat... lol.
Anyhow, I wanted other MD/KO2 fans to have some knowledge about the saved state ordeal."
Shortly thereafter, he sent this followup:
"I played through the US version as well now, and VERY SADLY to say, Alex is still wearing the pink dress. I am not sure what to think of this, or if there is a different rom version out there with different sprites or something. I have all the JUE 00, JUE 00 H, JUE 01 versions as well as MD and some number."
So, anyone else want to experiment with the different ROMs and savestates to try to shed some more light on this mystery? You can download the savestates Ben provided for both MD and KO2 here, the ROMs you'll have to find on your own.
Ben was also nice enough to send over screenshots of the ending of Kujaku Ou 2! Thanks Ben! Check them out below: