Nellistos has an online magazine about roguelikes aptly called Roguelikes that might be worth reading if you’re interested in the genre. It uses Flipboard, a magazine-like aggregator. Basically, he collects articles about roguelikes on his Flipboard. I found out about it because he included my earlier article on Fatal Labyrinth from June. I really should have mentioned this sooner!
While going through the games I hadn’t tried in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, I stumbled upon Fatal Labyrinth. It started with a corny story for a minute or so before the action started (and even that minute of story could be skipped). Despite showing its age (bad music; can’t go back one level in the menus, so you have to close the menu), it was a very enjoyable game. Not only are the levels randomly generated, but the items are described by colors with each color corresponding randomly to a specific spell. On one play, a blue cane might do blizzard damage; on the next, it might confuse the enemy.
I’ll admit that I used save states to determine what each color did so I wouldn’t waste any items. I never did manage to get the best armor or sword in the game in spite of fully clearing every level. There were are also a couple of interesting tricks I found on GameFAQs. Cursed weapons are very weak, and a curse removal item can remove the curse, allowing you to unequip the weapon. If you remove the curse before equipping the item, it’ll say it has zero power while actually being devastating to enemies. Similarly, if you equip two bows back and forth, your armor will decrease by three each time until rolling over to an ungodly amount of armor. I tried the tricks because I was curious but restored a save because it made me too powerful.
Food was an interesting in the mechanic. While your HP will slowly regenerate, your food value will slowly decrease. You don’t die when you reach zero, but you’ll begin to lose HP. This would lead me to think that I should collect all the food I find, but too much food causes the character to move slower, and if a certain amount of food is eaten, the character die on the spot. Overeating is the number two killer of knights, you know (just after dragons).
It’s been a while since I’ve played a fun roguelike. It reminded me of Azure Dreams, one of my favorite PlayStation games. After playing the game on and off for the past four days, I beat it last night.