How is it? I discovered the franchise years ago but never cared that much for it. But it just picked my interest... because I'm getting fond of the first JRPGs. Aside from ports/remakes, there are only 3 games, so it shouldn't take me a lot of time to beat them. It seems all the games are translated to English, the question would be if the best versions are also translated. I know the first game from that AVGN episode about it, but it sounds like the usual bad port (sometimes I wish he made an episode about an Ys game) and probably the MSX/PC versions are the good ones... or at least, not so bad. But what about 2 and 3?
PS: I didn't find a thread about the franchise or the games, but if there's one, just delete this thread.
I never played through the Hydide series either actually and I always wanted to give it a proper go. The third one is supposed to the shining game in the series and it does look really nice from what I've seen of it so far. I've been told that it's not a series for everyone though.
But if you end up playing them, I'd love to know your honest opinion of them.
Yeah, that's what I want to do, but first I need to know what are the best versions of each game.
I don't think I'm the most suited to comment these games, since I'm relatively new to old JRPGs. I only played the whole Ys franchise and the first Dragon Quest trilogy, and the first Hydlide is even older. I don't know if I will like it but my curiosity won't let me skip the games.
I've been looking into the different versions of the first game:
PC-6001 PC-8801 MSX MSX2 FM-7 PC-9801 Famicom / NES Windows
And I found this about the different versions, from hardcoregaming
Hydlide was first released for the PC-88 computer in December 1984, with terrible, ear piercing sound and the screen just flipping over to the next area as you reach the border. The X-1 version adds scrolling, and the PC-66 version, while having lower resolution graphics, has joystick control and an actual soundtrack, however primitive. The F-7 version is much simpler due to the crappy controls, but it adds a few extra enemies. The MSX port adds slightly better sound and uses a password system to restore progress. There was yet another release for the MSX2 standard, which is much the same but with improved colors. The PC-98 version is the same as the PC-88 but with various speed settings. In 1999, T&E Soft put out a remake for Windows. It essentially just puts a high res graphics layer over the PC-88 version - you can switch between the new graphics and the original on the fly - but includes an actual soundtrack.
The only version that used to be familiar to non-Japanese gamers is the NES version, known as Hydlide Special in Japan and simply Hydlide everywhere else. It's very similar to the PC versions, but it's upgraded to include magic spells, and uses the theme music from Hydlide 2 - the one more widely known as the Indiana Jones theme rip-off. The game has about four total tracks - the main theme which comprises about 99% of the music you hear, the password entry theme, the final showdown music which appears on the screen where you fight the final boss, and finally a shorter version of the main theme to celebrate your victory.
So maybe the Nes version is actually the best one. That sounds... so wrong! And the Windows remake seem not to have those extras available in the Nes version. Then I read
When Hydlide was released for the Famicom, it was actually given the name Hydlide Special to denote certain enhancements that this version contained over the original. Magic was only introduced to the series in Hydlide 2, but was retrofitted for use in the Famicom version of the original Hydlide.
So it makes sense that the remake doesn't include said extras. I'm going for the Windows version... but I can't play it for reasons that are against the rules, I think?
Also, I tried to look into what kind of name is "Hydlide", my first language is obviously not English so I don't know if that's a word or a name... and I found this. What!? Really, what's a "Hydlide"?
Ok, I finished the game and I liked. I feel now that I should defend the game, because it's really unfair what people says about it. It's obvious they weren't familiar with 1984 games and they ask it to be more modern that it could ever be.
Well, it's a pretty short game. The world is very small (5x5 tiles with 5 caves and 1 final dungeon). The game is also pretty simple: you travel around the world to get the items and the 3 fairies, then the final dungeon.
It uses a bump system, but you don't bump to the sides like the Ys games did. Instead, it depends on the direction the enemy is going. For example, if the enemy is walking to the left, you have to attack it from its upside, under or right. If you do, you won't lose health. But if you fail, you will lose health depending on the enemy, your level and your mode.
Talking about the mode, you can choose between attack and defense modes. In attack mode, you do a lot of damage, but you can die with just a single attack. In defense mode, you do little damage, but your defenses will be really high. The idea is to use attack mode for low level enemies to gather experience quickly, because a single attack will kill one of these enemies. For really strong enemies or enemies that will hurt you no matter what you do, you have to use defense mode or you'll die in a second. You have to learn when and how to use both modes to complete the game.
I played the Windows version. It features a save/load system that you can use to save in any moment in a second. So, even if you die a lot (you will), you just have to save constantly. This is the biggest flaw of the game, but if you are a patient person, it won't be that bad.
Aside from dying, the game is not hard at all. There is one or two things that requires a guide, but that's it.
There's no magic system, in fact the NES version is the only version with a magic system. It was introduced in the sequel, then reintroduced in the first game for the NES port, and it doesn't allow you to get experience points.
Talking about experience: yes, you need to defeat 100 enemies for every level, but it only requires a few minutes. And at certain levels, some enemies just don't give you exp. points. But there's an option to change the speed of the game, to speed up the grinding.
The windows remake includes an arranged and an original mode, between "modern" sprites and the PC-88 graphics. Just press C every time you want to switch graphics, which is awesome, because it doesn't take time.
Overall... it was fun. I don't see myself replaying it at all, and I can't recommend it because it's not a memorable experience. I don't know when I'll start Hydlide II, but I will in the future.
Thanks for the review Asi! : ) One of these days I definitely plan to play through all of them. Maybe even Virtual Hydlide too. : )
Super Hydlide? From what it looks like, it's one of those early 3D games with bad and slow controls. Since it's a new version of the first one... I can skip it with absolutely no problems. Hooray!
So I've been looking for what version of II should I play. And I think there's only a translation patch for the MSX version. So I guess it's that, and I'm glad it's not the PC-88, because from a video, the sound is absolutely horrible, I almost became deaf. While I can't see anything from the X1 or the FM-7 ports, the mobile version's camera is too close to the character for me.
Said this, I decided to look for what Hydlide 3 (or Super Hydlide for the NA) could offer and DAMN, I didn't expect that at some point the game would... well, I won't say anything, but it's NOT what you would expect from a typical medieval JRPG setting from 1987. At all. I wonder, is this one of the first time in which a JRPG does this 180º stuff that would latter become kind of a norm?
My only concerns about II and III it's that they ask you to do a lot of chores and repeat the usual not-fun parts of the genre, like going through the same awful dungeon 2 or 3 times. I didn't have that problem in I, because it was a short and simple game, but it looks like they got ambitious in the sequels and we all know about "revolutionary features" that wasn't good additions for the games at all. The first moments in III looks like that exactly. Or obscure ways to progress through the game, which, ok, the first one had as well, but with such a small map you would eventually found most of them just by playing (aside from killing the wizard enemies
Anyway, I'm going to play II in the next weeks, just wanted to say that.
A few days ago I started playing Hydlide II and I just finished it. Almost one year after I beat the first game!
If I had to describe Hydlide II, it would be like... what if Hydlide I was a prototype and II was the real first Hydlide game? It's pretty much the same game but with a lot of new content. About the gameplay:
- Same bump system. - You have to create a character, give it a name and customise your stats between health, strength and magic. - The map is bigger than the previous game and there are 3 or 4 dungeons instead of... one, I think? There's people running and walking around the kingdom (Knights, Farmers...) and there's a new mode after attack and defend: talk. You select this mode and the people will say stuff and give you some hints. You can also attack and kill them, but then, your "forth" meter will drop (the equivalent of Xanadu's karma meter) and if it's low enough, people will react to it, and you won't be able to buy items from the shop (they'd scream"Get away you scum!"). To increase this meter, you just need to kill monsters. Be aware of thieves, they can attack you, but they'll drop easily your forth meter if you kill them. - Monsters can drop items and money. There are now menus that show your stats, items, money... Also, if you get a dark crystal/ball, you can drop it. This item is only needed for one event, but you'll keep getting it again and again... and if you don't drop it, your health won't regenerate. Yep, it's annoying. - Leveling up only increases your health. To increase your strength, you have to pay for "ascetic exercises", a minigame where you fight a monk and have to decide when to attack and avoid. I... don't really get how it works to be honest, but leveling this stat up is really tedious. To level up your magic, you just pay money to a magician. - Forgot to say this, but leveling up also gives you magic spells. This is a new feature that didn't exist in the first game (added in the NES port, also made after Hydlide II). There are tons of spells for a game like this, 5 for attack mode, 5 for defend mode and a few more outside of those. Pretty interesting. It regenerates by itself like health does. - One of the new spells gives you the chance to scan the screen in search of hidden spots or secrets, which is REALLY helpful... but some spots are just... for example, chests and stairs are invisible. "Ok, just use your search spell" but stairs also demand to be on the spot and press a direction. It complicates the game in an unnecessary way. You'll need to hold certain items just for the end (if you use them, you can't beat it), be in a certain spot, wait some time... even with some help, it's still very cryptic. - The final dungeon is HUGE, around 5 big floors I think.
At first I thought "ah, so this is Hydlide influenced by Xanadu", and it looks like it was released at the end of 1985, after Xanadu. But it still feels like a Hydlide game with a lot of additions, so they only took elements that would improve the franchise. I'm a bit impressed by what this game was able to do back on 1985. It really feels like Zelda took influences from this game, Xanadu and other games.