Games > Guardic Gaiden (The Guardian Legend)

Guardian Legend: Shooting Stage A
Provided by Game Kizoku

Title Screen

With the help of other retro gamers online, I have finally rediscovered this childhood memory... And I'd like to share it with you. :) As was commonly observed in the pioneering age of video games, Guardic Gaiden featured an ambitious system: one that is a mix of a vertical-scrolling shooter and a Zelda-style action game. And the result is a success... (of course! ^_^) By exploring both the X and Y axis, The Guardian Legend created a much more richer fantasy world and more engrossing gameplay than a lot of other carts in its time.

I want that monitorAnd here comes the story. A gigantic entity is approaching the Earth. It appears to be a planet where an advanced alien species had inhabited, but is now all but overtaken by an evil life form, plotting to collide it with the Earth and wreck havoc. In response, the Earth has developed its own ultimate fighting unit, a cyborg girl capable of transforming into a fighter plane. (space flight OK ;) And now she is on the mission of saving mankind...

A GIRL!!! DID YOU HEAR THAT!? A GIRL!!!!!! TvT

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is why I remembered this game so well and even ventured out to find out what it was that left such a warm impression in me. I love girls, dammit, I love girls that transform into mecha even more... ;) But hey, let's get back to topic. Yes I'm totally biased now, but this game itself is all the same, very worthy of mentioning.

The Surface of Naju
One of those Bosses (actually, a review)

Its system is well balanced between upgrades and difficulties, and robust enough to encourage replay. Despite a few bugs, the gameplay is always very smooth and intuitive, as is with all great games; just having two buttons doesn't mean it won't kick ass.

The game is simple. The heroine first must explore the maze on the surface of this planet "Naju" in a Zelda-style map, defeating enemies and mini-bosses and collecting upgrades along the way, as well as searching for the entrance to one of a dozen or so "Corridors". When a corridor entrance is found, she transforms into the fighter mode - it's Animated! (the highlight of the game) - and the game is now a vertical scroller shooting game, where a boss will greet you at the end of it. Beating all the bosses in all the corridors is not simple feat, however, especially important are the numerous upgrades to firepower and shield (critters in the latter part are what you call TOUGH STAIN!), as well as specialized weapons that sometimes are crucial in fighting particular bosses.

This is where you might get either very excited or very disappointed! Vertical-scrolling shooter is not everyone's cup of tea... But to me (by no means a good STG gamer) it's still manageable; quicksaves on Nesticle helps... :) On the other hand, if you're a 2D-shooter retro fanatics, this game rovides a special password that allows you to only play the corridor parts (shooting parts), skipping the adventure part. Comparatively, the shooting part is also placed more emphasis in the whole gaming experience.

The music score is wonderful. For such a primitive sound engine, such simple melodies can be so effective. T_T There seems to be a little StarWars influence on this game. The grand, epic feel of the main music must be inspired by it (but they are entirely original melodies, mind you), and the girl's first specialized weapon is a beam saber, but in practice it works more like progressive knife... :) The corridors being relatively on the high-speed life-and-death side also reminds me of the Death Star. And one good thing about this shooter is that there's no 'walls' you can bump into and cause instant death, one of the reasons why I can still beat the game... :)

Pause ScreenThis shot is from my game save... near the end, though. :)

For more comprehensive information, check out The Guardian Legend Shrine (not my site) which contains everything you ever needed to know about the game. (psst! you can also get the rom there)

 

Ray Chien. March 11, 2003



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