Format reviewed: Sega Master System
Submitted by: Stephen Westwood
This version of Rygar was only ever released in Japan unfortunately, as I was a Master System owner at the time and I would have loved this. I have, however, seen an English cover and cart pictured while googling, which was probably just a prototype but I will be taking out a loan if it ever appears on Ebay.
The opening screen shows a sword so the plot is something to do with that. Maybe Rygar has become disenchanted with his awesome spiked shield on a chain diskarmor weapon and is after a change? Seems he is going to go through a lot of effort to get hold of it anyway. So he dons his red pants (which are baggier in this version, a change of fashion in the mystical worlds no doubt) and goes running left to right killing anything he comes across.
All the great arcade game play is here but this conversion does take quite a few liberties with the original, but then this is named differently from Argos no senshi so perhaps it is not supposed to be a straight port?. The backgrounds are colourful, but quite sparse in places and range from the decent enough forest scenes to damn right ugly. The level designs are completely different and sometimes even have two levels where Rygar can go under the ground which is handy at times but often just a novelty. They are cut into sections which helps for start points when continuing, though when you get further into the game the continues are not so generous and start you at the beginning of the level. This makes the game pretty hard despite the fact that the continues are unlimited, so thank emulation for save sates! The levels end in a boss fight, not something the arcade game had till the last level.
The enemies are all there and attack in plentiful doses but some are quite strangely drawn. On the plus side there is no flickering anywhere and it all moves rather fast., Rygar himself looks good and is animated well, though he has lost his manful voice and screams like a child when he’s killed! There is also a good attempt at the background music throughout. I have always loved Rygar since the arcades and while this isn’t a patch on the original it is actually a very impressive game for the humble 8 bit Sega. It’s quite long, and although variation is something people say Rygar lacks this one does seem to deal with that quite well while still sticking to the original game play. Notably the rope climbing ‘levels’ play a more important part as they can be quite tricky. And, as with the arcade, it isn’t just a fight to get to the end but also a high score endurance challenge, and to me, it seems a real shame it didn’t get a UK release.