At a Glance: In a world beyond the law, where outrageous stunts are a way of life, one man must become a master of honorable swordplay or die of AIDS trying.

Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)

Download: Download ROM here - 22k


Our hero prepares to embark on an epic quest recover his missing eyballs. Right: kleenex

As a general rule, I try to avoid RPGs or any type of game that involves stat building. I just don't see the point of spending hours killing monsters to accomplish something you can do in a few seconds on a graphing calculator. However, since like 30 people on the forums submitted Hydlide, I ended up playing it and, oddly enough, getting a pretty good idea of why it was submitted so many times.

Note: Maybe you're one of the RPG fans who disagrees with me when I say Hydlide is god damn ass-bleedingly terrible. If you are, that's fine, since it's not like I can hold it against someone for not changing their opinion of a game because of a page and a half of dick jokes I wrote in my computer class yesterday. Just try to suppress the urge to email me your 700-word dissertation on how I'm a fag for not liking your favorite Nintendo game. I know your clever insults sound awesome when you read them out loud to yourself, but since this is the internet, the only real frame of reference I have is my mental picture of some 15-year-old typing this crap from his sister's pink floral pattern Barbie personal organizer.

Game Plot: Oh god, you have to save Fairyland from a monster that turned the princess into 3 fairies. For a dramatic reenactment of this incredible story that was left out of the bible for some reason, please refer to the first screenshot and imagine 4 more frames of animation where it looks like the blue gargoyle is spitting diet pepsi on the deformed rag doll.

Hydlide is the metaphorical pebble dropped into a vast pool of water that gives us a brief glimpse of how large and crappy the universe really is. The first thing you'll notice upon starting is that you're some kind of bloated midget getting attacked by ninjas and gay eskimos with fucked-up names like "ROPER" and "LADYAM". Don't let that fool you, though, because the rest of the game really sucks.

In the enchanted world of Hydlide it's impossible to cross rivers, find weapons, or do pretty much anything other than get annihilated by a bunch of Magic: The Gathering rejects. Also, if there was some way to put money into my nintendo, I probably would've paid to stop hearing the god-awful theme song, which sounds like it was composed on a Sesame Street keyboard by one of the programmer's nephews.

This screenshot is the defining moment of the game.

Enemies: The monsters look like they were drawn by alien brain parasites using the host bodies of alzheimers patients to shoot purple lasers at my TV screen from outer space. And I've noticed that while it's against the law to make an rpg that doesn't have a slime creature as the first enemy, there's no restriction on the crappiness of the actual slime sprite.

You fight monsters by holding down the A button and walking directly in front of them. Then, depending on the phase of the moon, you either win the battle or die instantly the next 20 consecutive tries. It's probably one of the reasons Nintendo researchers have yet to find a Hydlide cartridge that hasn't been lit on fire or thrown into a garbage compactor.

Weapons: Uh, I found a pot at one point. I never got to see it, but judging by the size of the box it was in, It probably could've held an entire swimming pool of sentient slime.

Number of Levels: There aren't any real levels per se. Just a bunch of random areas tied together by the fact that they all suck. There are mazes with nothing in them, rooms that are completely dark, and sand dunes just a few feet away from a forest. Japan may be the magical land of milk and honey where psychotic homeless drifters can find job opportunities making video games, but even they should draw the line at people who don't understand the concept of temperature.

Number of Bosses: I did a calculation of how much more informative this review would be with a description of the first boss and it came out to just a fraction of if I used this paragraph to call the developers fucking douchebags again.

Defining Moment: When I play Hydlide it feels like a retarded person is trying to explain to me what it's like to have down syndrome. I know it's supposed to have some kind of meaning, but there's no way I'll ever be able to understand it until science gets off its ass and invents a fantastic virtual reality world of universal symbolism. Anyway, this screenshot is my defining moment. It says just about everything that needs to be said about the game.

Graphics:- 7
Gameplay:- 10
Story:- 10
Sound:- 10
Fun:- 10
Overall:- 47

Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).

– Jedidiah "Jed" Kirchner (@notoriousamoeba)

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