A conversion of an old arcade game with updated graphics. Navigate 60 different mazes and uncover their mysteries while bopping the occasional slime on the head with your sword.
It's a rather popular game in Japan (at least on some level since they're STILL using characters from it like Lizardman in Soul Caliber and even using the story for new games such as Nightmare of Druaga)...have spotted this a while back and wondering what all the fuss was about, I decided to force myself to play the arcade version on Namco Museum. After having my nuts handed to me in a plastic bag multiple times, I decided to look some info up on the game. Turns out that half the game is 'hidden'...in other words, it's less about fighting and about solving the mystery of each floor. While you get no clues, you get the 'idea' of what they are looking for after you learn how to solve 2 or 3 floors. By solving the 'mystery', a chest with an item to help you along the way is revealed. In fact, you MUST find a lot of these chests or you'll be in the dog's den. Case in point, in floor 2's chest are the hyper boots which drastically speed you up. If you somehow move up a floor without this item, you might as well call it quits. But even just finding the item may not be enough. Some have uses which are quite cryptic, but become insanely obvious when activated, usually by accident the first time.
There's something addictive about the game where you just HAVE to know why a chest showed up one time and not another. The PC Engine version added a nice bit of flavor from its sequel (which is REALLY weird, but in a cool way) in the way the graphics are presented and the fact that Gil's hit points are actually seen. As well, the stats are a welcome addition, though they only help you so much, since later you must earn better weapons to even hurt certain enemies.
It's a VERY difficult game, but is one of the first action RPGs in the arcade (many people site Venture as the first, but you didn't really use the items you found). You either love it or hate it, which I've noticed that (in my experience) MANY people do not give old games they never played but get a chance to nowadays for whatever reason any chance at all and just stick to 'what they know'. I personally love it, even though its learning curve is steep and its RPG elements don't really make much for an 'RPG' nowadays with many games doing what it pioneered many times better. However, if you look at it from an arcade game perspective, and compare it to other games that were out during its release, you can't deny that it deserves some credit for being quite original.