Alundra, the other Link of the past
A game that features a silent protagonist, with a destiny to save a troubled land, a sword, bombs, magic wands, and warping between realms? All it’s missing is a damn boomerang, and a cute princess :O!
This ain’t your momma’s Zelda however!
Lol all jokes aside, Alundra is through and through an undeniably great rpg that had horrible marketing. It’s such a shame that most people don’t know about it. Even though most rpgers of an older age have at least owned a playstation at one point and time ( I think).
Of course many things could have led to bad marketing, but I can say at least North America got to see the game thanks to the now defunct Working Designs, who introduced it to the US in 1997. Five years after Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and one year before Ocarina of Time came out on the Nintendo 64.
This had to have been Sony’s answer to Zelda being so popular. Or else they wouldn’t have helped Working Designs bring it to the masses.
So I’m gonna place my cards on the table about this game, and you decide if you’d like to spend some time enjoying it :).
Alundra is a young man with the ability to walk between the worlds of the conscious and the unconscious. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, Alundra has tried to help people with their unrelenting nightmares, unfortunately he still doesn’t know how to use his gift to its full potential.
Now, Alundra is having his own dreams… In them he sees a man…no, a guardian, shrouded in a cloak. This guardian is named Lars. Lars implores Alundra to travel to the village of Inoa, to stop an evil that was sealed in the past, but has yet to awaken. Lars has seen where this evil will awaken. It is in a lake north of the village of Inoa.
Haunted by the words of Lars, and plagued by unrelenting visions, Alundra finally decides to board a ship headed to Inoa.
Thus begins Alundra’s greatest adventure yet…
Lars will point out something in your dreams in the intro sequence. The fact that you are a releaser, aka a dreamwalker. One who has the ability to enter another’s dreams. This ability will become an important part of the storyline as you delve deeper into the mysteries of why you were called to Inoa, and explanations of your own power and past.
In the beginning of the game you’ll get to see our hero on board the ship, after some things happen, Jess a friendly blacksmith from the town of Inoa will save you. Then the fun begins.
Like I said before this is definitely not your mother’s Zelda. This game is very heavy handed in the story department, meaning it’s pretty good. It has a much more mature and darker theme. So without giving anything away I can say this: you’re going to see love, hate, betrayal, and even death.
So right off the bat, I can tell you that it’s hard not to compare this game to Legend of Zelda (the snes one). The graphics themselves are 2d and for the most part pleasant to look at.
You do have a sword to smack stuff with, you also eventually get the ability to use magic through wands and scrolls, and bombs will blow stuff up. Every dungeon has the get item use it here mentality to pass certain aspects of the game. Life vessels in this game are similar to heart containers in Zelda. I think that the devs might have even “borrowed” the idea of warping between realms or worlds from LoZ too. You will run into various puzzles as well. You can even blow up trees and make stuff fall out of them…thankfully this is where the similarities end, because as I said before this game is a tad bit darker and mature in execution.
First off you’ll notice that you can jump, and even run as soon as you can move your character. Something that is definitely a godsend in an action rpg. I never understood why Link had to get items to jump and run.
Next you’ll notice that unfortunately there is only one town. The difference here though is that as the storyline progresses you get to know almost every townsperson intimately, to the point of caring about them and wishing to save almost all of them. (Yeah I said almost all of them.)
I don’t think you’ll have to many issues with the sound in this game. This is one the few games where I don’t have to turn down the sound in every new map. A lot of the songs are very enjoyable to listen to. Especially the beginning part of Inoa town.
~Dungeons & Puzzles~
Now lets move on to the true butthurt of this game….I mean the awesomeness. The damn dungeons. This game is hard. I don’t mean like Ninja Gaiden hard, I mean like there are puzzles that will either make you love this game because you like using your brain. Or you will give up on the game, because you didn’t want to use a walkthrough to figure something out. You won’t be seeing too many similar LoZ type puzzles. You have to use your environment sometimes. This game won’t just test your mental capacity though. You’ll also be tested on your dexterity, so I hope your thumbs are fast. That or you have some serious patience.
Don’t worry though, the game will work you up to a certain level of difficulty. In the beginning the gameplay is disgustingly easy, especially the puzzles. Just place a barrel here and there and you are on your way. The most difficulty you will have in the beginning is just remembering where to go to next. Then once you hit a certain point you’re sure to say wtfudge.
The puzzles in my humble opinion are good, because old school games like this tested the true mettle of a gamer. I myself loved the game, I actually like any rpg that has some sort of difficulty with puzzles. It’s a nice break from all the battling imo. The best feeling in this game besides seeing certain parts of the story, has got to be when you solve a puzzle on your own. Makes you feel all tingly inside. Please though if you don’t have any patience and you break controllers and/or throw things normally…do not play this game. Just a heads up.
I can give you a slight hint about some puzzles. Since the game sometimes is hard to gauge as far as the pixels are concerned. If you’re stuck in an area, and something doesn’t look like it can be jumped on. Try jumping, it’ll save you more time in the long run.
That’s about 30-40 hours of gameplay right there for the average gamer. So I hope you’re ready.
After all is said and done, there is only one thing I do not like about Alundra. The damn colors. The color in the game is very washed out looking. Like they used to much brown or something. It’s hard to explain, but you can see it just through the videos I have here and the pics.
So do I still suggest you check this game out,……. of course! This applies even more to some of the rpg lovers who are older. Since this game has a more mature storyline, it allows you to relate to some more serious issues, while allowing you to escape to an interesting world. I always did love the games that made you think.
This is one of the must play games if you are a true action rpg lover, that and you don’t mind 2-d graphics.
Did you know?
This game was actually made by the same team that made Landstalker on the Sega Genesis. You can tell just by the gameplay. The really big difference is the isometric view that just ate up a lot of people’s patience. If you think Alundra is hard with the dexterity puzzles…then you my friend have not played Landstalker. D:
Some people even hearken Alundra as the spiritual successor to Landstalker. “Who’d a thunk it…”
- If you have a Playstation 3, make sure you support our developers and check the Playstation Network (PSN) as they might have it.
- This is one of those collector type items again. Since when Working Designs released it it came with an artbook, and some other goodies. You should be able to just find the game though. Don’t be surprised if it’s expensive for a new copy on Amazon. Or any other site that sells games.
So here’s another good game, and an action rpg at that, that I truly recommend to you guys. So what are you waiting for? Have you played it yet?