#292 – Hydlide



                                                                 A technically decent, if not completely boring cover.


Hydlide (U) [!]-1


                                                     No EXP, eh? My friend, you’re in this journey for the long haul…








Hydlide lives up (or down) to the hype: it is a broken, frustrating, and most importantly, tedious action/RPG. Before I played the game, I assumed that it borrowed liberally from both The Legend of Zelda and Dragon Warrior. Like Zelda, you fight monsters in real time on a huge overworld and you have to figure out for yourself where you need to go. Like Dragon Warrior, you are a knight off to rescue a princess and some jewels or something and the initial enemies you fight are slimes! Come to find out, Hydlide actually came before either of these games, which means that, perhaps, Zelda and Dragon Warrior were influenced by it? Either way, both Zelda and Dragon Warrior refined what Hydlide was attempting to do.


For example, the combat system: instead of brandishing a sword or going into battle, you press ‘A’ to switch between ‘defend’ and ‘attack’ and then press on the enemies with your character. It is unique, and works surprisingly well, but it takes far, far too long to level up. I must have fought a couple hundred slimes and I still hadn’t leveled up once. On top of that, you must remember to save at all times. Slimes, though weak, will still take down your puny life bar completely in about three turns, if you’re not careful to attack from behind or below them (and even that doesn’t work all the time). Now, strangely, walking around in the fields will heal your character, so there’s that, but slimes can still surprise you even if you’re trying to avoid them. As for my own experience with Hydlide,after fifteen minutes of non-stop attacking slimes, I almost leveled up before a slime killed me. My previous save was probably within the first five minutes and I decided I had already experienced enough slime goo on my sword for one day, thanks. I’ll take the outdated, but still playable Dragon Warrior and Zelda over this misguided, well-meaning piece of dump. Even if Hydlide contained an interesting plot with memorable characters and unique locales, I still wouldn’t want to sludge through its worthless combat system in order to experience it.




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  • I, personally, think the cover’s cool. But I refuse to play any game whose name I can’t pronounce with 100% confidence.

  • LOL@Lance.


    That’s my score on it. 😛 I remember when this game came out. It was probably the first RPG of this type I had ever played. I saw the dragon, the knight on the cover and looked at the back of the box and thought: now this looks pretty cool. I used to rent NES games for the weekend back then. I actually played for dozens of hours. It was a rental – why not? I never did beat it, but I wound up really, really hating the game by the time I took it back Sunday night.

  • This is definitely one of those games you can tell is an re-released game from an earlier era, even at the time it was released on NES. I could see this being interesting and novel in a pre-Zelda, pre-DW/FF world when the likes of it hadn’t been seen before. But unlike those, this hasn’t aged well at all.

  • Alanna

    Poor Hydlide… a victim of the ever changing home console market. This poor game was ported over too many years too late for it to be considered fun and relevant. It shoukd have been competing with the likes of Dragon Slayer and is instead unfairly compared to NES games that were localized and released many years after Hydlide’s expiration date had expired. What it was, was a flawed, nearly broken RPG, released on Japanese computers in 1984. How many RPGs were kicking around like this in 1984? Not many… It was also a pioneer, one of the first ever made, warts and all. It helped blaze new ideas into the video game landscape. By the time US audiences saw it, there were way better games available and T&E Soft did nothing to make this version more accessible for an audience that had played bigger and better games that had built their foundations off of this one. The originators are not always the best, Hydlide is a painful example of that. As a playable game, I hated it as much as the next person, but respect it now for its history and influence. Its a shame it isnt more playable.

  • Greg

    I enjoyed it when I was 10. Even beat it a few times. Leveling up isn’t so bad but you gotta attack tougher enemies–no poopsocking killing easy slimes for hours to max out your level; the weaker enemies eventually stop giving you any experience at all. The quick save lets you level up without too much risk of wasting time.

    Worst thing was, the final boss (Varalys), if you tried to “attack” him, he’d kill you immediately. You had to ram into him in *defend* mode, back off and recharge, and repeat until he was dead. The single-use potion of healing you find makes that quicker, so if you’re like me and save your expendable items until the very end, it paid off. Between that, and being conditioned to obsessively quick save, this was a good introduction to RPGs.

    I’d give it at least a B, but that could be nostalgia talking.