A Zelda-styled video game. Released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994, Young Merlin
showed the titular Arthurian icon as a blonde-beefcake in his younger years. As the game begins, Merlin spies a woman drowning in a river near his home to which he plunges in after her only to be swept into a mysterious land overrun by the Shadow King and his army of cussing David the Gnome
look-alikes that tend to join together to create other monsters.
Along the way, Merlin enlists the aid of the Lady of the Lake, gets items of power, meets friendly characters, traverses dungeons, and, yes, he skates on a minecart or two (or three... ).
The game's dialogue is carried out by odd noises, gestures, and pictographs - so no reading's involved.
The game was developed by Westwood Studios
and published by Virgin Interactive
. Frank Klepacki composed the music.
This game provides examples of:
- All Just a Dream...Or Was It a Dream? - The ending.
- Ambidextrous Sprite
- Ambiguously Gay - Everybody seems this way. Don't believe me? Just have Merlin use the comb. Nearly every enemy stops what they're doing and gawks at him with hearts above their heads as he combs his hair of "hawtness".
- Clairvoyant Security Force - The Iron Knight and the Mushroom enemies.
- Combining Mecha - Sort of. The goblins, small as they are, generally band together to form larger monsters like hogs, evil trees, and homocidal shrubbery.
- Crowning Moment of Funny - One of the goblins guarding a log near the beginning of the game, challenges Merlin to cross a line, backs up, does it again, then splits. It's obvious the goblin's acting tough, but is clearly afraid of the blonde pretty boy.
- To a lesser extent (and annoying example), any time a goblin kicks you in the shins because you're in the way.
- Cut and Paste Environments
- Enemy Chatter - The goblins do a lot of this.
- Excuse Plot - You get the feeling the designers wanted to just put Merlin in some random location for the sake of it.
- Event Flag
- Every Bullet is a Tracer
- Fake Difficulty - Save for the minecart-skating and puzzle spots, the only difficulty seems to arise from knowing what to do next. The items have no real obvious use.
- Flash of Pain
- Follow the Leader - The game borrows from the Zelda series.
- Foreboding Architecture - Those black flags with red eyes painted on them in the last stage.
- Game Breaker - Thunder which destroys virtually anything on-screen, though you lose it a bit later after you get it. The Torch is also this to a lesser degree. Plus, equip the Hourglass with any other weapon and you're practically unstoppable. A glitch in the Comb item also causes some weird invulneribility too.
- Guide Dang It - Without a walkthrough, you'll more than likely play it, get stuck, and never play it again.
- For Massive Damage - That piddly star not doing it for you? Raise your torch and the nearest enemy, no matter how far will barbecue instantly!
- Game Within a Game - The minecart rides.
- Gravity Barrier - Most notable under water.
- Healing Spring - Several. In fact, the only body of water you can't get it from is the water around you when you dive below the surface.
- Informed Equipment - Until you use it, naturally.
- Mime And Music Only Game - Some of the confusion arises from this, making it even more difficult to understand what the items are to be used for or even where to go next in some cases.
- Mood Whiplash - You spend most of the game in a generic fantasy setting until you go through the gateway in Pinedale. Welcome to your game on drugs where rainbows, dragons, giant insects, mushrooms, and ladders popping up out of the ground and turning into giant purple people-eaters at any moment are the norm. :)
- Off Model - Anatomy, posing, and facial feature distortion vary depending from sprite to sprite.
- Only Smart People May Pass - Only in the first dungeon. Block puzzles ahoy.
- Overheating - Several items do this. The Snowflake. The Medallion. Even the Torch.
- Point of No Return - the last minecart segment counts as this.
- Respawn Point
- Save the Princess - Merlin tries to do this at the beginning only to find the girl is fine later... then has to do it for real in the climax.
- Scripted Event
- Story Driven Invulnerability - That Giant Spider? You can't touch him until the rematch. Same with the Shadow King.
- Teased With Awesome - The $@#in' Thunder Spell.
- Temporary Bulk Change - When you use the balloon item to climb up cliffs and get out of the ocean.
- That One Level - The minecart levels. There are three!
- 3/4 View
- Top Down View
- Totally Radical - Merlin treats skating on his... mining... board as such.
- Underground Level - The mines are a sinister maze that will get old very quickly.
- Unfortunate Character Design - Oh those freaky souless faces... Merlin, the wizard, and the Shadow King are prime examples.
- Voice Grunting - All characters "speak" this way. Sometimes to an unsettling extent.
- Warp Zone
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?? - Two words. Bubble Wand.