Part 1Oh yes, my fellow Hudson fans, the time has come for Dungeon Explorer to be released upon the world -- for real this time, not on a console that only myself and about 10 other people (7 of them Japanese) actually owned. That's right. Sometime in the coming weeks, Nintendo and Hudson will release this classic dungeon crawler on the Virtual Console. And it will be worth it.
From the first screen, you know this game is going to rock. ((( Stereo ))) fades onto the screen and suddenly we're part of gaming history -- fuck monaural audio. Fuck it. Dungeon Explorer is the goddamn future to everyone living in 1987.
If you don't do anything for a while, the story starts to scroll up telling us of the plight of this great nation, Oddesia.
Apparently, in Oddesia, everyone worships a stone. And not because the stone was especially smooth or was worth anything, but because whoever held the stone automatically became the supreme overlord.
This is no ordinary stone.
This is the ORA stone, passed down from generation to generation of dickheaded tyrants in order to rule over everyone in sight. Apparently, this was all great until a bunch of similarly dickheaded aliens came to Oddesia to steal the stone. Luckily, the good king of the country hid it away so only he could have the power.
Oops, too bad, the aliens don't need the fucking rock. Everyone becomes slaves and starts doing evil just because they can.
And this is where we come in.
We're the elite team of badasses that are going to kick this alien scum back to whatever their savage democracy so once again, our monarch can oppress as much as he goddamn wants. <>
There are more than five of us, but since only five people can play at the same time here, only five actually made the effort to climb the plateau of the strategically placed cliff overlooking the whole kingdom. The rest are roasting marshmallows.
Suddenly, we're at the bar. This is where all adventures start, apparently; yes, a journey of one thousand miles begins with a single shot. This is our character -- the Fighter. Likely, I'll change my mind later on and switch to a different one, but for now he's the best we've got. He's strong, he's handsome and he's got a Hell of a way with the dancing girls.
Oh, did I mention he carries an infinite number of knives?
Don't you mess with a man who can throw three knives a second.
Well, we've been called in by the king who, for some fucked up reason, the aliens decided not to conquer. We never said they were smart aliens, they're just aliens. Isn't that enough?
At any rate, he's where we find out where to go first. Adventurers on consignment don't like to make their own decisions.
Onward to the castle!
: Hey I have an appointment with the king.
: You don't have any weapons on you, do you?!
: Damn right you don't. You don't want to answer to us, mister.
: You're doing a wonderful job.
Best. Throneroom. Ever.
The single couch in the far right really ties the room together, don't you think? There's absolutely no reason for it to be there either, since from the looks of it, the king hasn't gotten out of his throne in years. Not only is he fat, he's obscenely fat. Throughout his entire speech telling you about how he got the power of the ORA stone, he repeats the same animation gasping for breath like a divinely appointed fish.
: You... must *gasp* find *gasp* the--
: The ORA stone. I got it.
: ORA stone. Without... the ORA *gasp* stone--
: All hope is lost, I know, I know, I'm a professional adventurer for Christ's sake. When do I get paid?
: Your first task *gasp* is to *cough* find and destroy the Bullbeast
: Because, hey, I don't really need money. Just give me one of those dancing girls back in the bar and we're square.
: He's in the South. Go now, I'm... exhausted.
His guards give us some magic and we're on our way.
And so we wander south towards what used to be the creepy old underground stables. In fact, a lot of this kingdom is built underground. Then again, when you don't model your kingdom after a series of dungeons, who the fuck would you get to explore it? VV
So far just your standard adventurer fare. I'll explore the dungeon, kill this stupid bull thing and be on my wa--
HOLY FUCKING SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT
RUN AWAY YOU BLUE-ARMOURED SON OF A BITCH, THAT THING IS GLOWING. THERE'S NO WAY YOU HAVE ANY WAY OF KILLING SOMETHING MADE OF ENERG--
Oh right. Kill the son of a bitch with one shot and go down those stairs placed inexplicably in the middle of a grove to greet our very first dungeon.
Judas, eh? Well, you seem trustworthy.
I guess I should find that bull thing everyone's talking about. Seems like you know where he is, Judas, so will you show me and save me a lot of time?
: Uhh, Judas, do you mind moving this rock? Judas? Um, Judas?
: Hey that's cool, nevermind brah, I'll just... I'll catch you later.
I go deeper into the dungeon and suddenly more and more monsters start showing up. I don't know what most of them are supposed to be, but they come out of giant clitorises, so fuck that shit.
Apparently these walls are made of hay or some similar substance. For hay, it sure is strong, though. Especially considering my knives go right through those cracked rocks up there, you'd think hay would be really simple to just tear through. But no, I'm an old fashioned adventurer and I have to do things the long way. The honourable way.
Down a lot more stairs and through a lot more enemies, this dungeon gets really repetitive. We find a few items, but since stats in the game are pretty pointless other than your hitpoints, it's really just a matter of picking stuff up that looks badass. Kill, kill, kill. Stab, stab, stab. Blue fighter needs health badly. Kill, kill, kill.
I am unstoppable. This dungeon and everything in it is officially my bitch. Not even hubris can stop me now -- do you hear that, you fucking pussy Gods? That's right, I'm bending you over the hay bales as we speak and reaming your giant assholes with knives. Let's see you do something about it!
Hey, Bullbeast, did anyone ever tell you that you fight like an ox? Slow and stupid and without any balls.
Also when you die you leave glowing jewels that change colour and level me up and your corpse disapp-- ok the analogy kind of died. My point is, you're a jerk.
There, I did what the King wanted. Maybe now Judas will talk to me like a normal person instead of ignoring me like a stupid goth.
Oh, thanks for waiting, you piece of shit.
I'm going to go tell the King what a crappy contact you are and then kick some more demon alien ass. But first...