Saturday, June 15, 2013

Game 14: Super Hydlide (Genesis) - More Dragons Than Dragon Wars

It feels strange to take a month off from a game. Lingering questions still haunt my thoughts: what will I find at the top of the tower; where are key items I've heard about (e.g. I.D. pass, bankbook); how can I reach Cloud City? I know I've forgotten some things in this gap.
I expect to see this screen more often
Notably I haven't made a map yet. I'd normally take a look back through my recordings to map certain areas. I do this after playing because I don't like pausing to map while streaming since it increases down time. I'm probably over-thinking this as a problem, and for some games I should take the time; otherwise, I risk being lost in mazes and large expansive worlds where everything looks the same. I'll definitely (possibly) do this before my next excursion.

Well, the only cure for such a lack of playing is to dive right back in. To the top of the tower! The top is easily reachable now that I have access to the elevator from the second floor. There are two floors available, 198 and 199, but they're both empty. What's their purpose? I haven't find one yet. At the top I met with the beast mentioned by the townsfolk.
Big ball of smoke isn't so scary
I was expecting a tough battle; I had forgotten I wanted to purchase an Arrow for ranged attacks just in case it was a flying monster. It was, but it was also easily fought with melee weapons. Even though the boss was a simple affair, I did manage to see my first 'game over' screen by accidentally chasing it off the edge. Second round, I was bit more reserved in my pursuit.
Yay! What's a Cloud Stone?
Winning granted me the Cloud Stone. What does it do? According to the manual it protects me while among the clouds. I attempted to walk off the tower with little benefit, so maybe Cloud City is a myth (not likely).
Is Cloud City in this direction?
I was sure the Cloud City entrance was at the top of the tower, but I never found it. Instead I took to searching over land for anything I missed in my earlier travels. Without a map, and hardly remembering where I searched prior, I followed the river north of the tower.
And so our hero resorts to grave robbing

To my surprise, I found a couple new sights (or maybe just ones I'd forgotten). The first was a lake that had three pillars rising from the water. The second was a graveyard. While visiting each gravestone I was surprised when I stumbled upon a hidden staircase.
Just like that; stairs appear
The hidden city provided a new selection of equipment, hints, and places to explore.
So am I!
While I couldn't afford any of the new equipment, it's good to know what's available. A Bow, a Holy Sword, a Bronze Shield, and a Star Helmet were at the top of the list. Beyond cost, the weight of the equipment held back my impulse to buy. Also present was the camping gear, which allows me to sleep (and save) anywhere outside. It's outside my price range for the moment.
For that price it better be a portable house
I found the sister bank to the one in Forest City; they gave me a bankbook and allowed me to deposit and withdraw money. Money in the bank accrues interest at a rate of .1%/day. It's a paltry sum, but it's free money. Just think, in 18 years I can buy the camping gear!
Sounds like I have to jump down the crack at some point
Most of the hints are obtuse enough that I've taken to writing down everything. I mean I get the some things like a palace submerged in the lake; however, I'm not sure what to make of the Scroll of Jeem inside that palace. Rumors of a forbidden warehouse and secret caves piqued my interest.
Who or what is Jeem?
The warehouse had a sentry watching the front, and he warned me no one should enter. As soon as the guard retired for the night, I made my way inside. I searched for a secret entrance that I failed to find from the outside, and was quickly rewarded for my efforts.
Secret passages look like normal walls
Inside the warehouse was an allotment of chests, many empty. The first I opened had a knife, which left me instantly encumbered. Encumbrance plays leading role as the most annoying mechanic in this game. After collecting all the treasure I stood in this empty building and wondered where to find the hidden cave entrance. I scoured the walls, I searched the floors, I stumbled upon the entrance.
Check twice, find entrance
I feel like my progress so far is mostly accidental. The cave inside was dark (what else did I expect). I didn't have the funds to purchase the lamp, so I went about grinding. Might as well continue wandering around at the same time.
Can I come back for it? No? Well alright... wow, this is heavy
I ran across a sword at one of the gravestones, a silver sword. It wasn't listed in the manual. It weighed too much to wield. It also weighed too much to carry. I took a risk and discarded my ax. I couldn't use the sword yet, but my fists didn't offer too much of a reduction.

Beyond that initial discovery, I didn't find anything new outside the city. I returned with my new lamp and some oil. Inside the cave, with the help of the lamp, I could now see three steps in front of me instead of one. Progress here was hard fought.
This is a normal amount of damage I sustained per enemy
The cave had twisty passages and hidden traps. The traps are invisible until triggered, or maybe I failed to see the indicators. Poison wasn't such a big deal with antidote magic. Bombs were just simple damage, easily curable. Paralysis was a bit more annoying, but at least I could still attack.
Adding injury to insult
I had no clue what I was looking for here. None of the townspeople mentioned anything other than the existence of the cave. I found some ancient runes that I couldn't make out. I'm not sure if I couldn't see them well enough, they had completely faded, or if I need some codex to decipher them.
Ruins? I'm going to imagine it says runes
There was plenty of treasure. I found the best armor up to this point and again encountered encumbrance. The silver mail weighed 20K, and my current load capacity wasn't quite that much. I tried to push through with it, but after some consideration I admitted to myself the extra defense didn't outweigh the time loss from slower movement. I sold the armor as I had no way to store it for later.
Just look at that extra AC
Why did I have to take everything out of a chest when I knew I couldn't carry more? I tried to make the silver mail work. I even dropped my chain. The turning point was finding magic mail, which I could easily wear with my other gear. I sold the silver mail. I may never find another one, but playing this way is too cumbersome. The magic mail appears to be equivalent to chain mail.
Stick! A divine stick! Joke! Get it?
I had explored the entire cave and only come away with new equipment; I was hoping for a new lead. While considering my options I grinded on some zombies. While chasing one particularly annoying one (they run away when low on health) I stumbled into a secret room. It wasn't hidden from my character's perspective, only my own.
Gold was the driving force to eradicate the zombies
I had a feeling this area existed beyond my view, but I hadn't seen an example of such a door. I had no way of expecting this kind of gateway. Inside was only a single ration of food, but the discovery now gave me the insight I needed. I searched the rest of the cave for more. I found one, and only one more.

Inside was another boss, a dragon... with three heads.
The game does well with scaling
It was a tough battle. I forgot to mention this before, but during boss battle the menu is locked out. You can't pull it up to check your stats, you can't pull it up to use magic, you can't pull it up to use items. That means no recovery and no weapon swapping.
Die monster!
This dragon didn't even show a health bar. Honestly I don't know if I was doing any damage to it. Was I even hitting it in the right spot?
Am I doing this right? No health bar...
In the end I succumbed not to the dragon, but hunger. Apparently I had spent too long searching the cave and ran out of food. If you don't eat every six hours your health ticks off at a good pace. It only took one such tick to end me.
But I was doing so well!
Well, I have a new goal. I have no idea if I'm equipped to handle this boss, or if I've skipped over some necessary item. I think I may try a Bow.
Scaling of the status bars seems off
Session Time: 2h50m (Total Time: 4h50m)


  1. Interesting game :) Good luck with the boss!

    1. Thanks. Boss went down easily on the third attempt.

  2. Man I beat this back in the day but remember absolutely nothing about it. None of this is coming back to me. Maybe your just under leveled right now. But I do remember the bosses in this game. I remember the dragon you have to beat the 3 heads individually. And if I'm not mistaken you can hit the head when it shoots at you. I hope that helps. Other than that I lost. I can't remember squat about how you are supposed to beat the game. I do remember the last boss and ending being pretty cool though.

    1. Yeah, I followed this and took out the dragon by focusing on the heads after they extended. It seemed I needed to attack their mouth from the front. I have no idea the size of the hitbox though.

      I feel like I'm getting close to the end. I tried to get a post going yesterday, but I got distracted. Maybe today; either that or I'll try to finish the game up and make a final post.

  3. I remember watching you fight that dragon! It kicked your ass a whole bunch of times. :D

  4. Just revisiting this game from my youth. :) That dragon was smashing me up! I was level grinding for ages in the Tower of Habel on the 3rd floor, top left screen. With the sword weapons, there's a glitch where you can attack through walls and can't be hit and this had loads of walls to hide behind... Once I got to 8000+ handle I got the Silver Sword from the gravestone that's one screen up and one to the right from the Subterranean City entrance...

    I'm still nowhere near where I had got to back then... I must have churned hours upon hours on this game. Hated being caught in the paralysis trap too :/

    1. I remember finding the silver sword randomly and being encumbered by it. This game was fun, and I'm glad it has some fans. Good luck with the rest of your playthrough.