Monday, September 6, 2010

Geekwood: Rygar

Rygar and I first met way back when I was still unaware that I was going to grow up into a happy bisexual man. At that time, being the geek I also am, videogames were a huge part of my life.  Console gaming was on the rise and the Nintendo Entertainment System was gaining ground with its wide selection of games.    I loved the games back then.  There was a certain kind of joy in seeing enemies plummet to their doom in Balloon Fight.  There was a spine-tingling excitement in shoot out the lights in Elevator Action.  One game which stood out for me was a game about a shirtless hero in red pants who used a shield as his weapon.  The game was called Rygar and unlike most games, it was not content to merely be a side-scrolling adventure.  While lacking an actual battery or save game system to make it easier to beat, the game had enough elements such as role playing game elements, upgradeable weapons and interesting bosses  to keep me playing on it for hours each day.

Simple title screens.   I miss those.
It wasn't til after I became more aware of my sexuality and the release of the long delayed sequel on the Playstation 2 that I realized how hot Rygar actually was.  And in many ways, that was the theme of Rygar's failures:  Coming too late.
 I wonder if Rygar inspired me to like Bara stuff?  Hmmm!
Rygar's lack of a save game system caused it to suffer in many ways, the least of which was having gamers who thought the game was way too hard.     Many would opt to leave their units on through many nights with the hope of finishing the game.   Most however would instead have their mothers complain about them wasting electricity or have them shutting off the unit thinking it wasn't being used.  The save game function came too late.
Working that Tiara!
And I love the photoshop disaster on the tree behind him.
Rygar's signature weapon was a unique weapon even for its time.   Nowadays, the idea of a shield used as a weapon thanks to a flexible chain seems commonplace, with games like Ragnarok Online and even more evidently God of War having stolen the idea and made it seemingly their own.  But Rygar came first with the ability of throwing the shield at the enemy, usually in rapid successive throws, until the enemy was brought down.    I recall how annoyed I was to overhear some gamer in a shop once remark that Rygar "copied" God of War.   We geeks can feel quite elitist at times, I admit.
Oh Rygar.  At least you're still proudly in red.
Rygar's arrival on the Playstation 2 system came too late too.  The game was released way after the success of the God of War franchise and instead looked like a sad copy rather than the return of the original adventurer.  The game too arrived at the market at a time when most were already considering the jump to the newer consoles such as the Playstation 3 and the Wii.
Hmm... not working the Tiara as well now.
Lastly, the look of the character shifted away from its signature look and sadly fell towards a more anime looking style.  While admittedly the original look seemed strange, with our hero in red pants with a Tiara on his head, the Playstation 2 look attempted to give him a more Greek appearance while maintaining the red thematic touch.  The latest look on the Wii however reminds me more of some Korean MMO than our Diskarmor weilding hunk.
Not that much a fan of the new look.
But it is a nice modernization to it, I guess.

Ultimately, Rygar deserves some love and this blog is giving him that spotlight even for just this brief moment in time.  While you may have traded your long dark locks for a shock of white fire, and you've given up on your proud red outfit for something more bipolar in nature, I will at least give you bonus points for choosing to share a tad more skin, a new interest in body art, and that hint of a soul patch that makes you look dirty in just the right way.
Okay, NOW a fan of the new look.
Sighs.   Thank god for hot cosplayers.
Rygar rates an epic three throbbingly thrown Diskarmors.


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