The Movie Shoppe is where we rented games from. In a town with one stop light and churches the only establishments outnumbering bars, there weren’t many of us with big game collections. 10 games would have been a wide selection and even then we ended up sharing a lot of them. Hence the Movie Shoppe; I worked for my grandpa’s pocket change and more often than not it would be the $2 and whatever I needed to ride my bike the three miles there and back to pick out a game, preferably early on a Friday so I could have two whole nights with it. We would eat dinner, watch the movie we had rented and after my parents went to bed we would scramble to get the game started.
I found Rygar because it always seemed like I would get there too late and all the good games were rented out already. Mario 3, any Zelda, SNES Mario, to name of few of the games I played way late. The benefit though was that I ended up playing a lot of games I otherwise wouldn’t have. Rygar is one of those games I think about from time to time as something I never felt done with. I didn’t beat too many games as a kid because I was so young, it was like I could grasp it, and even find most secrets and solve the puzzles, but the actual mechanics, the physics of it was challenging at first. Later I remember being really good at MKII on the SNES, but that was long after Rygar.
Today I committed to two hours to see what I would remember. I haven’t done any reading or research about the game so my initial impression was that it was a Tecmo platformer like Ninja Gaiden, arcade controls, rubber bandy physics. That this game is more akin to an open world RPG was exciting, I was actually only going to play for a half hour or so, thinking I would catch up to my 7 year old self in no time.
It was when I paused the game for the first time that I saw RPG elements. I finished playing but then I hit up Google to read a little of how the game was set up, and I tried to find information on the specific dev responsible for key elements. So when I read about the frequent death and a complete restart for unfocused play, I realized why I never got too far into it. Same reason I never got to far into Metroid, they are super frustrating in the beginning at low health and a fair amount of enemies. Playing the NES cart seems to give me an edge, when the screen gets crowded it bogs way down and flickers, looks horrible but it gives you a second to think.
At first roaming the world I let myself just check things out. That’s why I didn’t see the RPG of it at first, but I also found the instruction book online which confirmed everything. This game is a prestige title that is difficult to beat and has played a role in games history since the arcade version was originally released in Japan.