by Atari Corp.
for 1 player, horizontal game


It has been over 10,000 years since the demonic hordes of the underworld drove our people away from the fertile farmlands and forced us into hiding on the desolate slopes. Now, however, the predictions of the ancient sages has come true. You are Rygar the Reclaimer, born of the mystic birthmark, who has the power and the skill to weild the warrior's shield, destroy the demons, and bring our people home.

Okay, so the storyline is nothing original. RYGAR for the Lynx is an adaptation of the Tecmo arcade game, where you play the barbarian hero out to battle monsters and beasts across the land. You run from left to right across a scrolling screen, fighting monsters and grabbing artifacts along the way. Your weapon is your armored shield, which, when thrown at the monsters, returns to your hand. If there are too many creatures to be destroyed, you can stun them for a few seconds by jumping on them.

The artifacts you find along the way will either give you additional points or extra fighting powers. You must be careful in your travels, however. Touching a non-stunned creature, or falling off the path, spells instant death for Rygar. Run out of lives, and the game ends. You face opponents such as headless zombies, flying griffons, and giant rolling worms across 23 levels. Clear all the levels, and you will return peace to the land.


Okay, how's it play? As an arcade adaptation, RYGAR is almost -- but not completely -- identical to the arcade version. Veterans of the original will notice a few differences in the gameplay. For instance, you can't throw your shield in a protective arc, and throwing the shield upwards is possible only if you have a "star" artifact. There are other minor differences as well, but this is an adequate adaptation for the most part.

On the plus side, the controls are easy to use, and the game difficulty is not set too high. The game is mostly patternized, with a few random elements in terms of what artifacts appear. You start off with three lives, and get extra Rygars at certain point intervals (the first three are at 50,000, 100,000, and 175,000 points). When you die, there is no "continue" feature, and no "skip levels" feature, so this is largely an endurance contest.


The graphics on RYGAR are identical to the arcade version. Both Rygar and the demons are clearly distinctive, detailed, and animated identically to the arcade. The landscape is done in two-level multilayered scrolling, with nice details and some background animation. While it's not MICKEY MOUSE AND THE CASTLE OF ILLUSION, it is sufficently well done.

Sounds are a bit weaker, however. The game effects are appropriate and adequate, though the bells that signal the presence/taking of artifacts can get irritating. The background music is reminescent of the arcade tunes -- a low rythmic drum beat during gameplay and a musical interlude between levels -- but suffers from either being too low-volumed or too high-pitched. Fortunately, you can turn off the music by pressing Option 2 before starting the game.


RYGAR for the Lynx is a "typical" game, neither extremely outstanding nor truly dissappointing. While fans of the arcade game will find slight differences, it's close enough to be familliar (especially since the only other adaptation was a vastly different game for the Nintendo). Though there are only 23 levels, the lack of a level skip and game continues means this is an average-difficulty endurance contest which will take some time to finish.

GAMEPLAY:        8
GRAPHICS:        8.5
SOUND:           6.5
OVERALL:         7.5