Enix is probably most well known for being an “RPG company,” since they are the creators of what is arguably the quintessential Japanese RPG series, Dragon Quest. During the 16-bit era, however, that series remained Japan-only, and many gamers in the West missed out on the DQ sensation…well, we had Dairy Queen, another DQ sensation, if that’s any consolation…ah, distracted by delicious ice cream, gotta get back on track!
ANYWAY, for most gamers outside of Japan, mentioning Enix and the Super Nintendo usually recalls memories of one of two games–Act Raiser and Illusion of Gaia. However, in its native country of Japan, Enix is a POWERHOUSE company and much more than a game publisher. It not only published a ton of games on the SNES during the 90s, but also has holdings in other industries completely unrelated to gaming.
One of the results of Enix’s properties crossing over into their gaming sector was the Super Famicom title Violinist of Hameln, a colorful, musically-themed, 2D side-scroller released in 1995 that was based on one of the company’s manga series that was popular at the time. It’s not very well known outside of Japan, unfortunately, and in my opinion, is one of the true hidden gems for the system…and the good news is that it won’t cost you too much to get in on the Violin-playing action!