That cape is boss
It looks more complex than it really is.
PUBLISHER: American Sammy
RELEASE DATE: June 1990
Arkista’s Ring dares to copy Zelda and leave out the non-linear exploration that made the latter game so popular! How would American Sammy accomplish such a task? By focusing on combat and combat alone. There is a story here about a ring and the elven kingdom and other such Tolkien-esque nonsense, but none of it is important. You’re a spunky elven princess named Christine (the name “Link-ette” sounded absolutely ridiculous), a girl who’s feeling good from her head to her shoes. Thirty two levels of shoot-and-run madness is the main course (the game actually repeats a couple times after you’ve beaten it, so you could technically go up to stage 125 – but that would just be nutty). Equipped with your trusty arrows, your only goal is to shoot the enemies around you – worms, ninjas, bats, vortexes, trolls, anything goes. Once you have shot enough enemies to quench the level’s bloodlust, a key will appear in a random hole somewhere in the level. You obtain the key and progress to the next level. Occasionally, the enemies will drop item bags which give you different items to help you on your journey. The items include potions, weapon upgrade (flamethrower!), a wand that obliterates every enemy on-screen, among others. You can also pick up extra health points (in the form of strange items, like Dracula’s cape) and lives, but these are far more rare. While the combat is certainly enjoyable, Arkista’s Ring is really only a half or a third of a game. If Zelda could combine dungeon crawling, world-exploring, and excellent combat, then American Sammy easily could have added more depth to this relatively unknown game. Still, if you’re a Zelda aficionado and you haven’t tried on Arkista’s Ring, you’d do well to remedy this immediately.