Box Shot
Platform: NES
Publisher: FCI
Designer: Pony Canyon
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Published Date 1989
Reviewed by: Adam King

Role-playing games are among the most fun games to play on the NES. Hydlide by FCI is not one of those fun games, mainly it's an exercise in frustration.

In this kingdom called Fairyland, the evil wizard Varalys kidnaps the princess, transforms her into three fairies, and hides them in different parts of the lans. Jim the knight must defeat Varalys. So you basically just wander around the landscape killing things, gaining levels, and stuff like that.

This game has problems right from the start. You walk around each part of the land on this overworld map, defeating villans while searching for objects. You're usually in DEFEND mode, but hold down the A button, and you're in ATTACK mode. To attack enemies, you need to hold down A and press into them, and more often than not, they can press back and inflict more damage that you're giving them. If you do defeat them, you get experience points. The key word is if. More often than not, they'll hit back, doing you in rather quickly. You have spells, but to use them, you must build to a certain level (which, as mentioned, is near impossible since you'll spend too much time getting killed.) Occasionally you'll wander into caves that are entirely dark and get killed by enemies you have no chance of defeating.

Plus, when you open the menu, don't be fooled by the SAVE option. It only saves until you turn off the power. Otherwise, once you die, that's it. You have to start over. Luckily, you can get passwords.

The graphics are terrible. The enemies look small and are not very well animated. Also, the landscape doesn't look good. The music is just as bad. It sounds like a watered down version of the Indiana Jones theme. The fact that you have to press against enemies to do damage also sucks.

In the long run, Hydlide is a game you don't want to play. If you want a game that looks like Zelda, and plays like Zelda, you might be better off with Zelda (Ed Note: or Crystalis!)