(VC Arcade / Virtual Console Arcade)

Rygar (VC Arcade / Virtual Console Arcade)

Game Review

Rygar Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Lesser-known than its NES counterpart, but is it still worth picking up?

When you utter the name "Rygar", many people will instantly think of the NES game with the same name. In it, you played as the bare-chested warrior Rygar, making his way through both side-scrolling and overhead stages using his unique weapon, the Diskarmor, to take out hordes of enemies and defeat evil. Like most NES classics, though, it has its origins in the arcade, and appropriately Tecmo has chosen to release said version first.

The basic plot is still the same: as Rygar, you must traverse multiple levels and defeat hundreds of enemies to eventually vanquish their leader and bring peace back to the lands. Your main tool of destruction is the Diskarmor, essentially a spiked shield attached to a string, which Rygar can throw into enemies and then pull back, and he can also spin it over his head from front to back if he's surrounded. Rygar's secondary form of attack is far more standard for videogames: jumping on enemies can temporarily stun them, although a later upgrade gives you deadly jumps instead.

The arcade version of Rygar has absolutely no overhead stages. It's a side-scrolling only affair, although there are a few vertical sections here and there. All levels are connected without loading screens, instead rooms in which your score is tallied, which basically means you're running from the beginning to the end in one almost completely straight line with pretty much no interruptions. There's 27 levels total, so Rygar has quite a trek ahead of him!

Being an arcade game, Rygar is mercilessly hard: enemies will come at you in groups of three or four at a time and will not hesitate to jump or attack at unexpected times, aside from simply running straight at you. The enemies will also not only appear in front of you, but also behind, above, and even under you, so you have to be alert at all times or risk death. Like many other arcade games, a single hit will take you out, unless you're under the effect of a (very rare) invincibility item.

Thankfully, Rygar can find a few helpful upgrades by defeating enemies and smashing open special stones that pop up. One increases the length of the Diskarmor's string, while another gives it the ability to go straight through multiple enemies instead of "bouncing" off the first one it hits. In total there's five upgrades, and you'll want to have as many as you can at all times; a single death will take them all away, so it's imperative to make the chance of you dying as small as possible.

The stages aren't actually that long, and you'll be thankful for it, as Tecmo snuck in a very mean trick near the end. After stage 20, you are no longer allowed to continue if you die: should you lose all lives, you're sent straight back to level one. Prepare for a lot of restarts before you're finally good enough to tackle the final seven stages without losing all lives!

Once you finally make it to the end the final boss is expectedly anti-climactic; with an extremely predictable pattern and little life he'll go down very fast. After that you're treated to a really simple ending screen, after which, you guessed it, the game starts back at the beginning with increased difficulty!

In terms of graphics, Rygar is quite pleasing to look at. The levels have a decent amount of variety in objects and the background is different for pretty much every single stage. The music is less good, however: a single song plays during all 27 stages! It's not really bad, but after a while you'll definitely be wishing you could listen to something else.


Rygar is a mixed bag, really. Those looking for a challenge will definitely find their money's worth here - although you can adjust the game's difficulty level, even on the easiest setting, the game will be extremely tough to clear without practice.

On the other hand, of course, this means that unless you're willing to invest a lot of time, the game will likely not appeal to you. Although it starts off pretty easy, the difficulty ramps up extremely fast - you'll soon be swarmed by enemies from all sides with almost no chance of fighting back, frequently leading to situations in which you just can't survive and have to take a hit. Add to this the fact that you can't continue during the final seven stages, and most will find the game too challenging to invest much time into it.

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User Comments (21)



Corbs said:

I remember a time when I thought this game was amazing. And then about 4 years ago I bought the arcade pcb for my cabinet and it just hasn't aged that well. Still decent, but the NES version blows it away. Great review Drake!



Sean_Aaron said:

I've always liked this game. I think it was the look of the game and the buzzsaw thingy, but yeah it's definitely not one you just plunk a bunch of credits into to see the end like Metal Slug -- to be honest I didn't think it had an ending (and I'm surprised you wouldn't be able to continue beyond stage 20 -- wouldn't they want more of your money back in the day?).



Betagam7 said:

For me the game has big nostalgia factor from playing it on the C64. Alot of reviews keep mentioning the NES version but seem to forget that not everyone owned a NES and in England especially home computers like the C64 and Spectrum were the norm so this is a superior version of the game to the one many of us played as children. Even among my NES owning friends i don't recall anyone owning Rygar so perhaps the game wasn't as well known in some countries as others.
A six seems a tad low for me as there's good replay value with high scores and rankings to attain and challenge over (which the review doesn't mention). That was always the point in arcade games which were never about flashy endings, but its something that's lost on the current generation who've been led towards expecting individual reward over competative 'king of the arcade' style bragging rights. I'd give it a 7 if I had no nostalgia coming into it and an 8 with the added nostalgia factor because its a genuinely challenging title that rewards skill unlike so many arcade titles that just rely on coin drainage, its more than possible to master Rygar so that it can be completed within a reasonable amount of credits.

Either way, this is the first VCA title to convince me to part with my money and at 600 points its good value I feel. Roll on Rastan Saga!



Devil_Hunter_Dante said:

Long live Rygar. I had the PS2 game but ended up selling it. It was fun but not great. I remember playing the NES one I think at my cousins house as a kid.



Betagam7 said:

Anyone else experiencing sound problems with this. When I played it tonight there was a crackling sound that randomly appeared every minute or so. Tried reloading it and it was still there. Other VC games were fine so it wasn't my telly.



Sean_Aaron said:

I remember a mate renting the NES version and we were both quite disappointed with how unlike the arcade it was.

I have the Japanese version; no sound issues there. I'd say mail Nintendo support if it persists.



CanisWolfred said:

I'll certainly get this version. I always liked playing it on MAME, and now I'd get to use the proper controller for it.



Betagam7 said:

I've been doing a Five Credit run on it so far and can get to level 8 quite easily. I didn't realise that the game had 27 levels though so I may allow myself some more credits to play through with. Its very hard to get on the games high score table as you don't just have to get a high score but you have to achieve it on a high level with a good rank. Because of this I've beaten my own high score yet didn't get onto the table above a lower score I registered.



Betagam7 said:

Okay, I've now deleted and redownloaded Rygar and there are still sound problems. The game emits a hideous crackling noise at random intervals that corrupts the music and sound (most often near the end of the level, when entering the vault).
Has anyone else had this issue yet. I'm playing the PAL release.



deggs said:

hey nintendo and tecmo. a word of advice: "RELEASE THE NES VERSION".

it would seriously be awesome. infinite continues so that i wouldn't have to leave my nes on for days like i did as a kid. seriously, i've been waiting for nes rygar since the concept of virtual console was announced. i'll be thoroughly irate if it doesn't come out any time soon...



Siward said:

I didn't like this version nearly as much as Rygar on the NES, This doesn't come close to the atmosphere of Rygar. If Techmo wants to make an enhanced version, that might work in Wii ware game, but they should port the NES version too. I mean, that's just common sense.

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