I first played Alundra way back during the actual PS1 era, back when it was just the Playstation. As a fan of top down action adventure games, such as Zelda, Secret of Evermore, among others, I was excited to play this new franchise. I remember enjoying this game immensely. So when I had the opportunity to buy it again as a PS1 classic, I did so without question.
Even though I have played it before, I was pleasantly surprised to still enjoy it. The game is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it for anyone that is a fan of these types of games.
Alundra is a game about the title character as he embarks on an adventure to save a village from a vengeful god named Melzas. Alundra saves these people by entering the nightmares forced upon them by Melzas and freeing them from the evil influence within. The game touches on this topic in a surprisingly dark way as many of the villagers die in horrific manners throughout the game.
While playing the game, Alundra gets a variety of weapons, spells and equipment to help him save the world. However, there are a few cases of equipment with solitary purposes, but most will help you advance and find many hidden secrets.
Graphically, the game holds up very well. Much like many other 2d sprite based games, the art is great. The art fits the themes and story elements of the game. Even though the colors are washed out and devoid of “brightness”, it doesn’t feel bland. The colors and tone of the graphics bring the world to life.
The game is also full of some very touching moments as you are forced to watch new friend after new friend die in horrible fashion. Despite this, you still make a major impact on the lives of the survivors. The change in the hearts of many doubters in your ability culminates in one of the most touching, yet unintentionally hilarious scenes I have ever seen in a game.
During the end battle, the surviving villagers have gathered to dream and pray for the safety and strength of Alundra. During this moment, one of the villagers wakes and says that they “heard” Alundra. The villagers then argue a bit about whether anyone actually heard him but all eventually agree that they do hear his voice. What makes this moment unintentionally hilarious? Alundra is a silent protagonist. All throughout the game, he says not one word as people talk around him and about him but never actually with him. Never once does he speak a word, but all the sudden people can “hear” him.
Anyway, Alundra is developed by Matrix Software who deserves some tremendous props for designing and developing this great game. Also worthy of praise is Working Designs who provided the localization and US publishing. Both companies did a wonderful job on this game. It really is a shame that Working Designs is now defunct. I could see them bring a lot of games to the US that otherwise wouldn’t make it.
After playing this game again and reading the manual, I learned of a new game that looks like fun. Working Designs took up the job of localizing Alundra because it reminded them of a game they loved on the Genesis called Land Stalker. The protagonist of Landstalker and Alundra almost look like twins even though the games are completely unrelated.
If you own a PS3, you should certainly buy Alundra. For $5.99 it is a great deal. It certainly beats paying over $30 to get a PS1 copy of the game.
Hmm.. These retrospectives has me wondering.. Has Legend of Legaia been rereleased on the PSN like other classics? That is an non-FF RPG that has stuck with me for years now. The game is kinda like if Jim Henson and HR Giger had a baby, and it was adopted and raised by Akitoshi Kawazu. It’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t get enough attention.
I remember that game fondly. It is also one of my brother’s top favorite RPGs. I loved the combo system that allowed you to build and discover combos at your leisure without forcing you to remember complicated button presses or deal with quick time events.
I never beat that one and wouldn’t mind playing it to completion.
Sadly, it is not available as a PS1 classic. So physical copy or bust there.
If you hack a PSP (not hard to do), you can play pretty much any PS1 game on it, so if you still have the originals, you can in principle load them onto your PSP and play them that way. I did this a while back with all of my PS1 games, so I don’t have to dig them out whenever I want to play them; I just load them onto my PSP.
I don’t believe PS1 discs have any DRM on them, but if they do, this might unfortunately be illegal in the US. Not that you’d get charged for doing it with your own games, most likely, but that is the letter of the law, as I understand it.
It is something that I have considered doing. I need a larger memory card in order to do it. Mine is only a 4gig card and it doesn’t even fit all my legally owned PS1 classic games.
ePSXe is also an alternative, both for PC and for Android phones now. What I love about the ePSXe emulator, particularly the PC version, is that you can run the games straight from the disc. No need to mess with ripping or downloading files from sites.
There were many a times back right before the PS2 released, of me renting a PS2 game, like Legend of Legaia, and Lunar Star Story, and just playing it on my laptop. Even my old Dell Inspiron with Windows ME could handle running many PS1 games thanks to ePSXe.