In 1984, the game Hydlide
came out on a Japanese microcomputer. It ported to multiple other computer systems, and in 1989 was ported to the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System. It is this version that the vast majority of gamers know about.
A princess is attacked by the dragon Varalys, who breaks her into three fairies and scatters them through the land. One of her kingdom's bravest knights, Jim, sets out to retrieve the fairies and the crystals that will restore her to her original form and allow him to slay Varalys.
While the original microcomputer versions sold well, the Famicom version is notorious for being absolutely terrible. The graphics are messy and hard to interpret, the gameplay is a badly designed ripoff of Ys
, and it's nearly impossible to figure out what you're supposed to do.
The game received several sequels, one for the MSX, Super Hydlide
for the Genesis, and Virtual Hydlide
for the Sega Saturn, the latter being a remake of the original. None are known for their quality.
For clarity purposes, the original (or rather, the Famicom version) will be just called Hydlide
, the Genesis game Super
, and the Saturn game Virtual
This game contains examples of:
- Big Bad: Varalys, the final boss of the original and Virtual. He's reduced to The Dragon in Super.
- Dueling Games: Believe it or not, the original came out a year before The Legend of Zelda. Both are top-down adventure games with a large amount of Guide Dang It, but the latter handily beat the former at every turn.
- Genre Shift: Super takes a hard left turn into science fiction around the halfway point.
- Guide Dang It: There is absolutely no clue at any point what you're supposed to do.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Jim.
- Money Spider: Averted in the worst way possible in Virtual - monsters give you NOTHING. Not even experience. Played straight in Super.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: You must eat, and eat regularly, to survive in Super.