Release Date: April 1989
Genre: Multi-Genre, Action-Adventure & Scrolling Shooter
Number of Players: Single Player
ERSB Rating: N/A
I remember when I was younger my friend and I always sat in his basement and wasted the afternoons away playing our NES games. Between us we had nearly 100 or so, entirely to many for two kids to play all day. We had our favorites of course and several we couldn't ever get passed the first few stages. One of those games was The Guardian Legend. This was the first multi-genre game that I had played and wow was it an adventure. From the action-adventure dungeon crawling to the top down shooter that sports some great weapon choices. One of the more interesting facts about the Guardian that I will talk about more later, is that the Guardian is actually a girl humanoid. A girl robot has to attract you to this game from the snap of the cartridge into the system. It is a blast to play and even in this Next-Gen world, we can fall back in time to of one of the best multi-genre games ever made.
The story of Guardian Legend is pretty simple. You take control of a female humanoid who is the guardian of Earth. You, as the guardian of Earth, must take control of a spaceship planet type thing that is coming towards the earth. Your mission is to destroy this thing, called Naju, before it gets to Earth. Sounds exciting easy enough right? Think again. You get messages throughout the game giving some hints on what to do next but it is pretty self explanatory for the most part.
As the guardian of earth you can be in one of two different forms, depending on what part of the game you are in. Either part, you have a life bar that decreases as you get hit by your enemy. Little blue balls pop-up in the map called Power-Chips that allow you to replenish your health, give you a different type of gun and also giving you tips of what to do. Speaking of guns you have a primary weapon that has unlimited ammo. You also have a secondary weapon that use the Power-Chips you can collect, which are also used to upgraded yourself at a few shops. They also can provide check points and give passwords to resume your game later.
Splitting the game up into its two genres can be a fun way to take a look at the game and what makes it a fun and interesting game. The first part of the game to talk about is the maze or labyrinth as it is sometimes called. This is the action-adventure part of your journey through Guardian Legend. The object of the maze is to find the power ups so you can in turn destroy Naju. This consists of small rooms that you can enter through doors or portals.
The second part of the game is the Scrolling shooter part of the dungeon. Getting through the stage simply means to survive by shooting the various enemies that fly at you, since you are now in spaceship form, unlike the maze part where you are in your robot form. Once you get to the end of the dungeon you will fight a boss that for the most part is a lot stronger than the enemies in the stage.
The music in Guardian Legend is for the most part fairly similar to most NES games. The beginning screen kind of gives you the space, sci-fi feel and that sticks with you through the first stage of shooting. The guns remind me of every other NES or Arcade game out during the late 80s early 90s. For the most part, it doesn't strike me as a game you will remember for the sound and music. According to several websites, the sound track has been covered by one video game music cover band, The Advantage.
Guardian Legend was actually a sequel to a MSX game called Guardic only released in Japan in 1986
Guardian Legend uses the Longest Password key of possible for a NES game, 32 characters.
Guardian Legends' graphics were so powerful a computer in 1992 would not run it without a expensive graphics card.
Guardian Legend hit Nintendo Powers charts at #9
Guardian Legend has a bug that lets you recharge your health to full nearly instantly.
In today's "Next-Gen" standards, the Guardian Legend would probably fail on an epic level. However, throwing two different genres into one game is rarely done with as much success as was done here. The game throws you for a loop if your not expecting it. The first time I played it was in my best friends basement and I really had a hard time figuring out what to do. Shoot Shoot Shoot, then walk around ? I was confused, until I was older and found that it was truly a fun game to play. I have it in my collection proudly, complete with box in mint shape. I highly encourage you all to give it a try. Thanks for your time in reading!