ARGUS NO SENSHI - HACHAMECHA DAISHINGEKI
( Rygar )
1987 ©Tecmo Ltd.
Release: 1987-04-17 (¥4980)
Released in America as
( NES-RY-USA )
Released in Europe as
( NES-RY-XXX )
Argus no Senshi (aka Rygar in the west) is an action/adventure
game based on the arcade game originally released by Tecmo in 1986. The
evil king Raigā (aka 'Ligar') and his army of fierce beasts have
attacked and invaded the kingdom of Arigōru (aka 'Argool').
The people's only hope is to summon a legendary
warrior from the past who is now destined to destroy the impending evil, to
find the five Indora fighting gods and to restore peace to the land. He
is equipped with his signature Diskarmor, a large spiked disk attached
to the end of a chain that can both damage enemies and collect items from afar.
Enemies drop two kind of items when killed - life potions and star stones.
The stones are at the core of the gameplay and increase the warrior's spiritual
points (or 'mind strength') - they serve as experience and as an opportunity
to enhance some of his abilities. A status sub-screen can be accessed at anytime during
the game by pressing the start button. There, spiritual points can be used to
activate three kind of spells - The Power Up spell (3 SPs) increases the reach
and speed of the Diskarmor, the Attack Spell (5 SPs) activates a special
power that allows the warrior to inflict damage to all enemies on screen and the
Recovery Spell (7 SPs) refills his life-bar. Argus no Senshi also
incorporates role playing elements and our hero gets gradually stronger as he
fights more enemies. Interestingly, the game also switches to a top-down view
when the warrior enters the vast valley of Garloz, and special doors and
temples lead to side-scrolling levels and to the game's fearsome bosses. Finally,
special items are hidden throughout the expansive game world such as the
Grappling Hook (that allows Rygar to gain access to previously
unreachable platforms) or the Crossbow (can shoot ropes across chasms).
Finally, although Argus no Senshi has no save or password features, it has
infinite continues and revives the player at the nearest checkpoint upon death.
The Famicom version of Argus no Senshi shares little in common
with the original arcade game. Although it borrows some elements such as enemies,
environments and the signature Diskarmor, most of the game features exclusive
content for Nintendo's 8 bit console. Tecmo also decided to
steer the game towards a non-linear and open ended action/adventure style gameplay.
Games such as Metroid (along with Akumajo Dracula II) paved the
way for this popular style of gameplay - a side scrolling platformer that the
player was free to explore and revisit at will.
The arcade game Argus no Senshi (aka Rygar in the west) was originally
released in 1986 (picture on the right). However, unlike the Famicom version tested here, this first
game is a straightforward side-scrolling action game where Rygar fights legions
of monsters with his lethal Diskarmor. The game was then ported to countless
home systems at the time such as the Sharp X68000 (1986), Famicom (1987),
Commodore C64 (1987), Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987), Amstrad CPC (1987),
Master System (Japan only and released as Argus no Jūjiken in 1988),
Atari Lynx (1990) and was part of the Tecmo Classic Arcade released for the
XBox in 2005. Players will have to wait 2002 to see a sequel to the original
arcade game - the full 3D Argus no Senshi (aka Rygar The Legendary Adventure)
was released for the Playstation 2 in 2002. The last (so far) Rygar game
was Argus no Senshi: Muscle Impact (aka Rygar: The Battle of Argus) released
for the Nintendo Wii in 2008.
It is interesting to notice that the original Japanese title for the game is
Argus no Senshi which can be translated as "The Argus Warrior". Maybe I'm looking too much into this,
but in the Japanese manual, the bad guy is called ライガー(Raigā, which was translated
as "Ligar" in the American version). So, it seems that the name Rygar
is in reality the name of the evil baddy in the game, and not the name of the warrior
controlled by the player who is always referenced as Senshi (warrior) in
the Japanese manual. Sounds like yet another name that got 'lost in translation'.
Teaser text copied from the American version:
You and Rygar, the legendary warrior
of Argool, must defeat the evil king
and his army of dangerous beasts.
With powers and weapons from the
Indora war gods, you go into battle
It's up to you! The enemies are strong,
the terrain treacherous, and the
challenges difficult. The sun is setting
and Rygar is depending on you.
Rygar's exploits were once confined
to arcades, but now he is battling the
forces of evil everywhere. Join forces
Click on picture to enlarge
Add your Pov here !
I must say, Argus no Senshi looks beautiful and features picturesque
landscapes, cool enemies and the levels are incredibly varied - each new area
takes you to another unique location, from desolate mountains to thick forests
and deep underground tunnels. The soundtrack is also really good and further enhance
the sense of immersion. Unfortunately, the game is undermined at various turns by
technical shortcomings. The gameplay has its share of annoying glitches - the warrior
sometimes get stuck while climbing down a rope, the grappling hook (in some situations)
prevents you to crouch-attack and the pulley is a nightmare to use in the overhead world.
When you die (and believe me, you do that a lot) you have to start from the beginning of
the level with only three lives (a full life bar would have been great). Also, it's a bit
annoying that you can't save your progress - you lose everything when you power the
console off ! All in all, I have mixed feelings about Argus no Senshi, there
are times when I really have fun with it, looking at the beautiful landscapes and
unique bestiary, but then I hit one of its annoying drawbacks that frustrates me to
no end. I still recommend it and I think the reward (if you are patient enough)
is worth the effort.