So lovely, so peaceful… What could possibly go wrong?
Good evening, Leaguelettes! Tonight I’ve decided to continue my trend of horror-not-horror by discussing what is quite possibly my singular favorite title for the SEGA Saturn: Virtual Hydlide!
What makes this the perfect addition to my list is more the games atmosphere than anything else. You see– we open on the picturesque scene located above. But before long, things start to go down hill in the form of a certain seventy-foot tall elder-god lookin’ schmuck.
Varalys! That’s his name… Man it’s been years. Anyways– he shows up and blows the castle to pieces, steals the princess and forces you into a life of adventuring to save her sassy brtiches. Sounds a little run of the mill really, what’s so special about that? Again, I shall bring mention to the atmosphere. Varalys, my friends; is not scary. Personally, he kind of looks a little like someone infected Jimmy Smits with Porphyric Hemophilia, but whatever.
So thats twice I’ve cried ‘atmosphere’ and not explained myself. Whats so eerie about the mood? When the game opens, you’re met with this beautiful scene. And its ‘you’ and your girl the Princess and… noone else. Varalys shows up, does his thang– and you begin your quest, alone. No town… no NPC’s… Infact– the only other life you encounter are three faeries that grant you aid as you progress and thats all fine and good but– where the hell is everyone else?
Gameplay comes in the form of a rather large open-world environment. Every time you start a new game, you can generate a seed to randomize the terrain and location of the games dungeons/items. But again– its just you and everything that wants you dead. I’d compare it to a Darksouls of yester-year if not for the dated graphics making things even creepier.
At any rate, from start to finish Virtual Hydlide provides a pretty damn good RPG experience for its time. The eerie lonliness found in the way the world is presented to you truly adds a layer of ‘creep’ I enjoyed. Give a try yourself sometime. Or don’t, whatever! You’re not my real dad~
Make sure you come back tomorrow night for the final part in my series of childhood scarring titles: Remodeled Varmint!