Hydlide was an action RPG released in Japan of 1984 for the NEC PC-6001 and NEC PC-8801 computers. It was then ported to the MSX, FM-7 and NEC PC-9801 in 1985. It was a huge hit in Japan and eventually hit the Famicom in 1986. It wasn't until 1989 that North America saw Hydlide for the Nintendo Entertainment System. By then, The Legend of Zelda was released and Hydlide was seen as primitive.
An evil man steals one of three magic jewels that keep the evil demon Varalys sealed away. Without the third jewel, Varalys escapes and causes chaos. During this time, the other three jewels are stolen and Varalys turns Princess Ann into three fairies. It's up to Jim the Knight to find the fairies, destroy Varalys and restore peace.
Despite its negativity, Hydlide was one of the first action RPGs to hit Japan and although it hasn't aged well, it had a few mechanics that are used today. For instance, you are able to regenerate your health by standing still. Future games such as Halo (in the form of a regenerating energy shield, and later, also regenerating health) and Call of Duty would use this mechanic.
In addition, there are two modes, Defend and Attack. By using Defend, you take little damage but you deal less damage. By using Attack, you deal more damage but are more vulnerable.
Why it Sucks
Note: This will mainly focus on the NES version.
- There is only one song throughout the game that sounds like the Indiana Jones theme. It never ever stops, except for the final battle with Varalys.
- There is no animation for combat. You have to hold the "A" button for Attack Mode and run into enemies. This takes away the appeal of combat as it doesn't feel like you accomplished anything.
- Though it's a very short game, it takes a long time to level up. According to Web Reviewer, ProJared, it took 100 slimes to reach the next level. In fact, grinding to the next level takes up the biggest part of the game.
- The main character is called Jim, which's laughable in an heroic-fantasy context.
- The game has a poor save system. Gamers would hit the save button and turn off the game only to learn it wasn't battery packed. The save only quicksaves and the game uses an overly-long password system.
- If you don't have the lamp and you enter a dark dungeon, you can die even when hit by nothing.
- The magic system is heavily flawed. You have to press B to cycle through the magic and then both A and B to activate. In addition, only Turn, Wave and Flash are of any use while Ice is pretty worthless. Fire has only one major use in the game, to burn a tree leading to the final dungeon.
- If you strike an enemy with magic, you get no experience points.
- The game is very cryptic and no clues are given at all in the game.
- Despite having a health regeneration system, your health regeneration is very slow, wasting time, especially during the final battle with Varalys where the health regeneration takes several minutes to finish if you can avoid damage.
- The first fairy can be found in a tree just south of where Jim the Knight starts. However, the tree is always random and if you pick the wrong tree, bees will come out. The bees can easily kill Jim so gamers will have to escape the area and wait until the bees disappear, wasting time.