Tarot (derived from the Italian word tarocchi) is a specific type of playing card deck. It is well-known in popular media for its association with divination. Magical Drop draws heavily on concepts derived from tarot; in particular, the vast majority of the cast is inspired by the 22 "Major Arcana" cards.
The first known allusions to the tarot deck are thought to originate from the early 1400s. The availability of tarot decks appears to have been limited to the elite, until the invention of the printing press made mass-production viable. Tarot was (and in some areas of Europe, still is) primary used to play card games.
The idea of tarot being a tool for divination appears to have originated in the late-1700s. Many attempt to tie the deck into ancient Egypt, despite there being no historical standing for these assertions. One tarot deck created for the purposes of divination, the Rider-Waite deck, has heavily influenced the modern interpretation of tarot.
The Tarot DeckEdit
A modern tarot deck generally consists of 78 cards. There are 4 suits (cups, wands, coins, swords) with 14 faces (1-10, plus Jack, Knight, Queen, King), resulting in a total of 56 "Minor Arcana." In addition to these cards, there are 22 trump cards known as "Major Arcana." Each card bares a unique illustration.
Tarot in Magical DropEdit
Magical Drop draws heavily on the tarot deck and the many concepts surrounding it. As in most media, the Rider-Waite deck is a primary influence. Aspects of the series inspired by tarot include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Almost every character is based, to varying degrees, on a Major Arcana. Exceptions include Black Pierrot, Burnz, the Ghostlop characters, and the characters in the Saturn/PlayStation version of the first Magical Drop. Additionally, there are two Strengths in the series, with "Father" Strength bearing little resemblance to the original card and "Daughter" Strength being a more faithful representation.
- Each standard puzzle piece displays one of the four Minor Arcana suits, based on their color.
- Before starting a match in Magical Drop III and Magical Drop V, both players' fields slide onto the screen like face-down tarot cards before flipping over to reveal the characters.
- Upon finishing a playthrough of Magical Drop III's standard Competition mode (either by failing to continue after losing or by defeating Wheel of Fortune), the game displays a fortune. This depicts one of the characters, either right-side-up or upside-down, giving the player advice based on how they played the game.
- Magical Drop for WonderSwan also features fortune-telling. Players choose a life subject and then enter their information, after which the game displays a fortune.