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The Astyanax, known in Japan as The Lord of King (ザ・ロード・オブ・キング?), is a side-scrolling platform arcade game released by Jaleco in 1989. A version for the Nintendo Entertainment System was also released in Japan on December 21, 1989 and in North America on March 1990.
The arcade version centers around a warrior named "Roche" who pulls the mystical "Fire Axe" from a stone and fights his way to Castle Algerine to fight the evil wizard "Algos". After he is defeated, the hero enters the alien realm of the wizard's dark god, who also must be destroyed.
The NES version of the story revolves around a sixteen-year old high school student at Greenview High known as Astyanax. He has dreams every night about a princess calling for help. One day while walking to school he is summoned to the mythical realm of Remlia by a pixie named Cutie. He is directed to rescue Princess Rosebud, but first he must fight off hordes of monsters set loose by the evil wizard Blackhorn. He must rescue the princess in order to return to the real world.
Astyanax is a side-scrolling platform game. The controls are fairly simple: the A Button makes Astyanax jump, the B Button will attack with an axe called Bash, and a combination of up and attack will perform a special magic attack. The game also contains a few role-playing elements, such as weapons upgrades. It had a unique feature (for the time) of a bar that grows between attacks; the length of the bar determines how much damage Astyanax will do with his next attack. If one attacks rapidly, one's hits will do little damage, much unlike most games where a rapid succession of hits would all be equally damaging. A very similar system would be used in Secret of Mana some years later.
Most of the sprites are unusually large and detailed for a mid-generation NES game, although this results in slowdown, flicker, and some questionable hit detection. The hit detection, object size and game physics make falling in pits a particularly high risk if hit when jumping.
The levels are both vertically and horizontally scrolling (but never a combination). Their structures are simple 16x16 blocks, which allowed an editor called "AstyEd" to be used with emulation to make mods of the game. The same general gameplay was used for the arcade version, though without the weapons upgrades.
- The Astyanax at the Killer List of Videogames
- The Astyanax at Arcade History
- The Lord of King at Jaleco (Japanese)
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