[I ♥ The PC Engine] Mashin Eiyuuden WataruPosted on June 27th, 2009 11 comments
Mashin Eiyūden Wataru
(Keith Courage in Alpha Zones)
Release Date: 8/30/88
Price: 4900 yen
Media: HuCard (2 Mbit)
PC Engine FAN Score: 19.48 / 30.00
Kōgien: “A game themed after the TV anime of the same name. The peppy music and animation are enjoyable. Play is divided into two sections: the Wataru part where you gather information and purchase items, and the largely battle-oriented Ryūjin-maru part.”
I hate this game so much! Nobody likes it! It’s so crummy, it makes my eyes turn red and my nose ooze pus! I hate the inane action, the tinkly music, the cheap deaths, everything! Nobody in Japan likes it, either, because thanks to its release in the early region of the original anime’s TV run, it shares only a passing resemblance story-wise to the show it’s based on.
Mashin Eiyūden Wataru, the anime, ran from April 15, 1988 to March 31, 1989 on NTV. The very short version of its plot: 9-year-old Wataru Ikusabe is taken to the God Worlds when he visits a pond known as Ryūjin-ike, or Dragon God Pond. In the middle of this land lies Sōkaizan (創界山), the Montain of the Creation of the World. The evil emperor is holed up in there, ruling over the mountain with some other gods, and Wataru has to pilot the Ryūjin-maru robot to get back the mountain’s seven symbolic rainbows and restore peace to the land. He requires forty-five episodes to accomplish this, but you only need a few hours and the debug-mode cheat, you lucky man.
If anime dorks know this series, it’s strictly because a 21-year-old Megumi Hayashibara got her first really big voice-actress role in it, playing the girl that Keith Courage calls “Nurse Nancy.” If video game dorks know this title, it’s strictly because it was localized into the worst pack-in game ever devised.
Why all the hate? Just look at this video, depicting the final level of the game. Note how many enemies require multiple hits for no reason. Marvel at how the game doesn’t scroll vertically unless forced to at gunpoint, making spikes (which end your game immediately with a single scrape) invisible to you until it’s too late. Be amazed at the fact that, once again, if you were a launch-day adopter you would’ve been paying over $300 in 2008 dollars in order to purchase a TG16 with this pack-in.
The Legendary Axe was right there, people! Why?!! *turns into robot, cuts metallic wrists*
…i liked it
you may remember my penchant for not liking things
i hate to tell you, but i liked it too. i played really far into it, simply because i liked the atmosphere. likewise the difficulty wasn’t above most nes games, which were its contemporaries anyway.
also, in that day especially, you didn’t *want* your best game to be the pack in. you wanted people to buy that game separately, right? so as an action game, i think wataru was an alright second. it’s just really 8-bit is all.
Wataru’s greatest sin, as far as I am concerned, is that it quickly becomes repetitive and tedious. If the level designs were more intriguing and varied (the overworlds were especially lame), if leveling up your weapons were more satisfying, well… it would have been pretty neat.
The potential for a truly great game is already there, especially the “feel” of the mecha jumping (I dig it, anyway) and the overworld/underworld provided a nice change of tempo and purpose to the typical Action RPG’s of yore. At least Wataru offered an (admittedly lame) Action RPG overworld + frenetic hack-n-slash platforming underworld.
That said, I will shamelessly refer you to the following page because everyone needs Keith Courage Wallpaper for their iPhone:
At the very least, you’ll get a kick out of the localized names given to the enemies.
As a kid, I had three copies of Keith Courage. I don’t even know where they came from. I only had one friend with a TG16 and he never came over.
I think Keith Courage cards reproduce asexually.
Hi, I liked it too. And it wasn’t because I “had to.” My dad’s girlfriend bought me Impossamole for Christmas, and I hated it even though he told me I had to like it. So there.
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[…] Another early classic, and (as I griped about earlier) one that NEC-HE USA should have put in the forefront of the TG16’s launch campaign over something like Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. […]
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