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Title: Rygar (4th Review)
Rom Player: NNesterJ
Reviewer: Chris H.

Synopsis: As a young child of 5 playing Nintendo while my parents desperately tried to get me to go outside, Rygar was one of my “favorite” videogames. I put “favorite” in quotation marks not in an ode to the hermits of Rygar who “put” “everything” “in quotation marks” (more on that later), but also because I didn’t actually enjoy the game; rather, I played it endlessly because nothing made any fucking sense. You see, Rygar was one of many games for the Nintendo that required more than hand-eye coordination, the ability to tell your right from your left, and the willingness to spend many hours in the basement while your friends played football (a sport I first learned about from a videogame, btw). Rygar required you to think a bit, to know where to go, to know who to talk to, to know where to use what items. A game like this usually has characters in the game (NPCs, if you’re a dork) who tell you these things, so only the barest spark of brainpower is necessary.

Rygar was also one of those games that had NPCs so useless as to render the player virtually impotent.

A lot of games of the era were like that, to be sure. Nintendo also bought you legendarily confusing quotes from popular games like The Legend of Zelda (“Dodongo dislike smoke” – no, thetruth.com dislikes smoke, Dodongo dislikes EXPLOSIVES GOING OFF IN HIS STOMACH JUST LIKE THE REST OF US) and Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest (too fucking many to name, but I was able to find a Nintendo Power about CV2 and could never find one about Rygar.) Anyhow, a lot of games were terribly translated or whatnot, but Rygar often took the cake. Much like Castlevania 2, you were often required to go to specific places; but with no map telling you where to go; told about items that you had no idea how to locate other than the off-chance you ran into them; and referred to characters never otherwise named. Rygar’s way of helping you through all this the game was the hermits.

Old men with white beards, no shirt, and purple pants, they sat eternally on elevated pedestals in large chambers located inside trees and caves. I have to question the hero’s wisdom in accepting their advice. In Chicago, we have a word for old half-naked men sitting inside alcoves wearing purple pants. They’re called “homeless”, and I never take advice from them, especially if they’re saying some crazy shit about how Dean Cain played Superman to distract from the fact that he’s an alien wanting to kill the President. In Rygar, they tell you to go to places I’ve never heard of and only they talk about. “In the ‘Gran Mountain’ lies the entrance to ‘Garloz’.” Well that’s just fantastic. Thank you, crazy naked man. In my ‘pants’ lies the entrance to ‘my genitals’ out of which I’ll produce a ‘steady stream of urine on your little podium there’ and then I’m going to go ‘home’ and take a ‘nap’. Even more annoying was the propensity of the hermits to put proper nouns in quotation marks. Look at the sentence “I go to DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.” There are three proper nouns there, and not one of them has any quotations marks around them, because I speak acceptable, common-usage English. I would be willing to give Tecmo the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe this is a common practice in Japan, but that’s not accurate either. It turns out that the programmers are just really fucking ‘retarded’.

Anyway, the hermits information falls in one of two categories; a) shit you’d find out on your own soon enough anyway, and b) completely useless and/or inane. One of the destitute fellows in this game tells you that “A monster, ‘Eruga’, lives deep within this forest.” WELL SHIT I GUESS I WON’T BE GOING THERE ANYTIME SOON! He could have told you how to beat it, or given you something to help, or hell, passing out in a puddle of Wild Turkey and vomit would have been more useful. But nope, all you get is “KEEP GOING AND YOU’LL FIND A BOSS!” Well fuck, thanks, I guess. Let me go to the nonexistent shop to get some nonexistent ammo and potions and stuff that would help if they existed.
Several of these poor people’s pronouncements fall into the second category. One guy told me that “The grappling weapon will help you complete your quest” and later, I ran into another that simply said “Fight! Fight! Fight!” My true path laid before me, I threw the grappling hook around his neck, pulled him off his hobo platform, and beat him senseless for fifteen minutes while he was trying to tell me about how his crack addiction led him to where he was today. I left him alive and gave him some money to go to the nonexistent store to get some nonexistent potions to cure his very existent skull trauma.

So I finally actually beat Rygar about 15 years after I first played it, and apparently it wasn’t a commentary on the socioeconomic plight of our nation’s elderly, but what else was I to think? Also, it took me until the PS2 sequel to figure out that you were wielding something called a “diskarmor” as opposed to something I called “a spiky yo-yo”. The one good thing I have to say about Rygar is that the music for the first level inspires me to passion, and I listen to it every time I prepare for romance.

Best Cheats: Not a cheat related to Rygar per se, but any high-school juniors who use Rygar as an SAT study aid will score negative points on the Vocabulary/Grammar section of the test. PROTIP: Make sure to write about "hobo urine" in the essay section.

Game Play: 3
Graphics: 5
Music/Sound: 8
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 7

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