The Tower of Druaga


Recently there have been some games which makes a point to be really, really hard on purpose. I wanna be the guy and Syobon are just some examples. I'm not sure if any of these games come close to The Tower of Druaga though.

The game was released by Namco in 1984 for arcade and was soon ported to a bunch of other platforms. You play as a knight who traverse a 60 floor tower while stabbing enemies and finding hidden treasures. Treasure chests will only appear if you do certain rather obscure things, different for each floor. We're not talking bomb the crack in the wall like in Zelda 3 here. You won't get any hints of what to do. Maybe you need to stand on that tile over there, draw your sword, and count to ten, or kill a red enemy after you've killed a blue, or use a certain item. Making matters worse, many of the treasures are mandatory to complete the game, and you won't really find out until you reach the end. Making matters even worse, you can easily lose treasures, and there's also evil treasures which may cripple you permanently. Also, you can get 'Zapped' back from the last levels to the beginning.

Mind, this game was released before the internet and before 'save states'. It very much relied on several people collaborating and chatting among themselves, because I can't see how one person could beat this game alone.

Wait, why am I talking about this game? Well, it's interesting because it seems to be some kind of Proto-Zelda. Many of the enemies are the same, and the hero has the sword-shield mechanic as well as grid aligned movement. I think some of the music is similar too. Playing Zelda right after Druaga really does feel like you've just made a 'next-gen' jump. Zelda has aged a lot less than Druaga and is still highly playable.


Trivia:

  • There's a fun Druaga anime which the authors have released on YouTube and a bunch of other video sites.
  • Ugetsu Hakua did the character design for the anime. It's an artist I've been keeping an eye on for quite a while, although his site haven't had much on it in recent years. Anyways, the knight designs are really cool.
  • A lot of people who make brief contact with The Tower of Druaga complain that the hero is slow... this because they did not find the speed boots on floor 2. Without them the hero will have to crawl through the game.

Also, new project:


Tower of Kana Edutainment

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tower of Kana concept ROCKS
Now lets pray for you to persevere and actually develop it... which won't happen... ever, right? :)

Jintiuroh said...

Dude, where were you when edutainment was popular!? I woulda played this Tower of Kana game into oblivion and back!

jonas said...

never got that tower of kana out of my head! actually, I'm attempting to learn java so I can make something like it and play it on my cell. hope this is ok? I'm not gonna distribute it in any way or so...

King said...

Dude, where were you when edutainment was popular!? I woulda played this Tower of Kana game into oblivion and back!

Mr. Blue said...

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