EmP brought up an interesting fact about Hydlide: there are several other games in that series (yes, there's an actual series) in two other generations. While I haven't gotten to the other generations yet, I did download an MSX emulator and played Hydlide 2 and 3.
Yes, I downloaded an MSX emulator just to play two likely awful games.
I will say, though, that they're not as bad as the original.
In Hydlide 2:
-There are actual townsfolk you can talk to and buy items from.
-You can create your character and customize their starting stats.
-You don't have to hold down the attack button and bump into enemies. Simply pushing button 1 switches you between "defend" and "attack" modes. You still have to bump into enemies, though.
-The world is covered with farmers, mages, knights and such all just wandering around. You can murder these people for experience and money.
-You get another stat called "forth" which is basically like karma in Fallout. Murdering innocents will drop your forth, causing shop owners to not sell you any goods. This also denies you access to certain areas.
-HP takes way longer to restore.
-There's an actual attack animation!
-There are full scale towns!
-The game still sucks!
-I could not find a save option. I believe you have one life to win at this game, unless there's a save point that I missed. Probably in the town.
-Leveling up is weird. You have to level up at a shrine, but to do so you need enough experience. So you have to go out and kill enough enemies to gain enough experience, then use the experience like money a the shrine to gain a level. Sounds redundant; it would have been better had they stuck with the older format of leveling up.
Bottom line: both games are still awful. They're just not godawful.
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