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Video Game / Young Merlin

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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:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Everybody seems this way. 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 homicidal shrubbery.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Voice Grunting: All characters "speak" this way. Sometimes to an unsettling extent.