(The Adventures of) Alundra is a Playstation One game released in 1997 (1998 in Europe) and it is undeniably a Zelda clone through and through. It was developed by Matrix Software and published by Working Designs in North America, and Psygnosis in Europe. Matrix Software has been stuck as a co-developer for various things since 2007 (most notably, Square Enix for Final Fantasy spin-offs and DS ports). Working Designs closed down completely in 2005, and its president went on to found Gaijinworks shortly thereafter. Psygnosis was bought by Sony Entertainment in 1993 (before this game even came out) but was renamed Sony Computer Entertainment Studio Liverpool in 1999, where they're stuck making racing games until the end of time.
But enough about the companies behind the non-Japanese versions of this. As I said above, Alundra is an undeniable Zelda clone. It's pretty shameless about it too. In spite of this, it manages to actually be better than any Zelda game (in my completely biased opinion; this is probably my favourite game bar none). It's a 2D action RPG that is pretty damn amazing at what it does; balls hard puzzles, exceptional dungeons and a completely stellar soundtrack (I can only think of a whole two tracks which are awful). The plot is pretty much given to you in the entirety in the very first actual cutscene but it does have a few more things beyond that (which are somewhat predictable at this point in time).
The game comes with a two-sided map as well as a mini-hint book which contains a walkthrough for the early parts of the game (upto the end of the first dungeon). The map has a world map on one side, and a map of the most important area on the other. The map wasn't actually as useful as it sounds however, since it was this annoying reddy-orange colour, or at least the European copy was. Large chunks of it were also unviewable because it had this obnoxious fog style graphic obscuring some of the more interesting outside areas. It also only labelled a few locations, all of which you find near the very beginning of the game.
As for how I'll be handling this, it'll be mainly screenshots but with videos for the dungeons, certain cutscenes etc. I'll also be doing sequence breaks insofar as it's possible to, so that I get everything at the earliest possible opportunity. I've played the game enough to know of a few of these that were presumably intentional (one of which is available almost immediately that I can't find any other documentation of). The only thing I will intentionally skip over acquiring as soon as I can, is the best sword in the game. The reasons for this are two-fold; it's partially because of the requirements and partially because it prevents me from getting at least two other weapons.
Also known as part of the backstory. Taken verbatim from the manual.
Once, long ago, the peaceful people of Inoa served the gods by means of idols. One day, Righteous King Snow decreed that all idol worship must cease, and all images used for worship must be destroyed. The King saw to it that those that openly defied him were burned alive at the stake. Thus began the darkest chapter in the domain of mortals.
In this dark time, the nights were not peaceful either, for the people found themselves haunted by disturbing dreams. Fortunately, a tribe of people were found to possess the ability to tread in the subconscious of these souls. Unfortunately, fearig that their powers would be misunderstood, the members of this mythical tribe of Elna remained hidden.
Once the terrifying dreams started, the people of Inoa wished that they still had their idols. They found supplication to the gods to be difficult without physical images to aid them, and they needed the aid of the gods now more than ever. Broken, and seemingly alone, the groaning masses suffered greatly.
As if their trials were not great enough, the good people of Inoa have now been greatly disturbed by unexplainable events happening around the village. The priest of the Sanctuary was quick to point out that the gods were exacting their vengeance upon mortals for their lack of faith. Alas, it was to get far worse before it was to get better...
Table of Contents
- Update 01: A New Beginning
- Update 02: The State of Inoa
- Update 03: His Tarnished Manor
- Update 04: Dream Stalkers Choose Noise
- Update 05: Hourglass of Death and Rebirth
- Update 06: Buried Alive
- Update 07: Slumber Bomber
- Update 08: A Desert Toll With No Icy Demons
- Update 09: Determined To Never Return Here The Rest Of The Despair Desert Gets Finished At Once
- Update 10: Littorally A Cave?
- Update 11: Now Your Nightmare Comes To Life
- Update 12: The Hall of the Lizard King
- Update 13: Trail Blayzer
- Update 14: Alpha and Omega?
- Update 15: Wheel of Misfortune
- Update 16: Journey to the Black King
- Update 17: ...
- Update 18: Meia Culpa
- Update 19: A Collection of Ice and Fire
- Update 20: The Stone Giant; The Real Watcher in the Water
- Update 21: The Priest, The Demon, The Initiative
- Update 22: The Sign of the... Five?
- Update 23: The True King of the Jungle
- Update 24: God Slayer
- Update 25: The Gemini Dance of Flames
- Update 26: Ronan's Conviction
- Update 27: The Diamond and the Holy Sword
- Update 28: Ultimate Power
- Update 29: Last Armageddon
- Update 30: Supplementary to Excess
The descriptions of characters are taken mainly from the manual, aside from when that would actually be a spoiler insofar as has been seen thus far or isn't possible.
Alundra is, of course, the main protagonist of the game and is of the silent variety. It can be presumed that he speaks in some manner, but the player doesn't find out what he says verbatim as it is conveyed via NPCs. All he has to help him on his quest is a Dagger and his own skill at using it. There might be more to this boy than meets the eye, however... He is gifted with the ability to dreamwalk. Alundra is able to enter people's dreams and actually change the outcome. In one of his own dreams, Alundra was instructed to journey to the village of Inoa. Is he ready for the nightmare that awaits him there? Has killed one of three Melzas' henchmen (Zazan). Then proceeded to kill Wilda the sixth crest guardian, and self-proclaimed God of Destruction. Then he killed Ronan in self-defence. Not long after THAT, he killed Zorgia in front of Nava who died immediately after due to injuries caused by Zorgia. Became a god in his own right upon acquiring the Spirit Wand from Merrick.
Legend tells of an alien that came from beyond the stars in order to feed off the people's spiritual energy. However, seven guardians confined him and sealed him away in the lake north of Inoa. Many have come to believe this one to be Melzas...
Jess is the local swordsmith in Inoa. He's a very caring person who sees a lot of his own deceased son in Alundra. He helped Alundra upon his arrival to Torla, and his fatherly nature moves him to help Alundra as best as he can. He made a Mining Bomb for Alundra to use, purely because the four people working in the coal mine died. Well, three at the time. Later, he made an IRON FLAIL for Alundra to use following the death of Nadia for some reason. Later still, he made a Hunter's Bow for Alundra following the death of Kline. After that, he made the Power Glove following Sybill's murder. Was killed by Ronan shortly thereafter.
Zorgia is Melzas' right-hand thug. He is ready to do anything that his master commands. This philosophical agent of darkness hopes that one day Melzas will reward him by allowing him to rule this world. In his very first appearance, he killed Nirude effortlessly and nearly fought with Alundra. He retreated, however, when Miming and the other followers of Nirude arrived.
Septimus has been researching dreams and nightmares, ever since he came to Inoa. He hopes that one day his research can be used to save these people from their raging id. As is, however, he feels that he is unable to do so and thus he requests Alundra's help in the matter. Notable for managing to survive throughout the entire game, and not shutting the fuck up whenever he's in a scene.
Meia is also of the Tribe of Elna. However, she feels that Alundra uses his power quite carelessly, without regard for the consequences. Trusting no one fully, but herself, Meia appears headstrong and distant, but harbours a heartbreaking secret... Her father died in an unexplained accident, allegedly because he was athiest. She saw her mother be burned at the stake whilst sort of crucified for researching the gods a tad too much. Had to then flee her home over fear of her own life. All because her community, and her mother, worshipped Melzas... Notable for being one main character NPC (of two!) to survive through the entire game.
Ronan is the local priest of Inoa and resides in the Sanctuary. As the only priest in the village, he tries to impart his teachings to the local villagers. Since the king has ordered the destruction of their idols, Ronan is concerned that the villagers will abandon the gods. Has a strangely familiar statue hidden under the Sanctuary. Despite outright breaking the law, no one apart from Septimus, Meia or Alundra actually cares... or so Ronan claims. He blames the nightmares on the anger of the gods for abandoning them. Appears to have murdered Sybill for some reason... Then killed Jess after being confronted by him. Tried to kill Alundra by transforming into a "hideous thing" but failed and died.
Sybill has the ability to see eerily portend future events with uncanny accuracy when she dreams. Needless to say, she frightens a lot of the other villagers. Predicted that Kline would transform into a werewolf and that Bergus would be possessed by Murgg as he slept. The validity of the latter half of these predictions are not yet certain. Kline DID transform into a werewolf, before Alundra attempted to save him only for Kline to end having to be "put down"... She then prophesises, Lutas dying, Jess making the Holy Sword because of this and Melzas seemingly winning... Was seemingly murdered by Ronan shortly thereafter... Her prediction of the Holy Sword's craftsmanship did not come to be. Her prediction of one of the twins being kidnapped by the Murgg did come to pass... long after she had died.
Giles became extremely religious when a thing happened in his past. He now works very closely with Chancellor Ronan in the Sanctuary, and lives with his long-suffering sister, Kisha. Unlike the other villagers, he believed that it was the gods doing that the first known victim of the nightmares survived. He did a complete 180 in how he felt about Alundra for seemingly no reason at one point. He believes that Alundra is both a demon in disguise and the cause of their troubles despite their history long preceeding his arrival. Once Alundra risked his life to save Giles', he was unsure how to feel... He quickly decided to be an ungrateful prick, however, and still hates Alundra for... some reason. Appears to be slowly losing his mind as things turn from bad to worse. Died upon being possessed by Melzas' nightmare for the second time. He transformed into a wolfman, attacked his sister, struggled with his humanity - or lackthereof - and died in the midst of an existential crisis.
Oh and for those who are curious, no, there isn't a wrestling mini-game. Expect many other obscure references like this. Also shitty puns.
NPC Death Count: 21 not including all those that died on the Klark, but including antagonists