Review by odino
The Tower of Frustration
The story is quite simple. Gilgamesh needs to rescue Ki from Druaga's tower. One starts on floor 1, and each floor has enemies plus one key that will open up the door to the next floor. Each floor also contains a treasure chest that will pop up when a certain criteria is met. This can range from a simple "kill three slimes" to sometimes really obscure. And there are many secrets and traps awaiting in...THE TOWER OF DRUAGA.
At first it looks quite bad, but over time you get better with power ups and getting used to it. If the game wouldn't be so brutal in the difficulty. The controls are quite bad an the enemies are overwhelming in evil attack forms. If you collect enough items, which you have to find out painstakingly cruel ways (i.e. die 1,000 times), the latter parts of the game actually become bearable. The problem is, that missing just one item might screw up the rest of the floors. Can you imagine getting through the later stages without the winged boots? It would be impossible. Then again, I assume it would be so impossible that one needs to restart and do it "properly". Each floor does have a chest, finding out is like a puzzle. Unfortunately with so little lives it is only possible to solve them by dying and replaying the early levels over and over again. Frustration alone will make many players give up on this at the early stages.
Not too shabby, and for 1985 there isn't much to complain about. The items look good, the maze a little basic but this was even in the arcades and a game isn't defined by its graphics, right? Well some enemies might have been designed better than just give them extra colors (i.e. Dragon Quest syndrome) but even the dragon looks good for the 80s, and in 2D.
Repetitive, sorry to say. 60 floors of the same tune isn't fun. It's ok for that early in the games' evolutions but it could at least have a little diversity.
A classic, and no wonder it has been re-released over and over again, as well as spawned several sequels. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good as one would think a 'classic' should be. If you get really into it then perhaps you will enjoy hacking through this, but it would be very hardcore. Hopefully by using a walkthrough it will ease the pain of finding treasure and improving Gilgamesh so he can make it up the tower and rescue his precious Ki. As a final note, the NES also got a sort of prequel to this game, called "The Quest of Ki", also released in Japan only.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
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