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Release year: 1989 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Jaleco
The Astyanax (NES)
The Astyanax (AKA The Lord of King – ザ・ロード・オブ・キング in Japan) is a 2D side-scrolling adventure platform video game developed and published by Jaleco for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1989.
Game collectors are out there searching for sweet finds to add to their library — Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, The Legendary Axe, Space Invaders, and of course, who would forget The Astyanax? It was a hack-and-slash 8-bit platform on NES that made it to the hall of fame.
Unlike the arcade version, the NES version only allows single-player mode. Its gameplay shares similar elements with those of The Legendary Axe. It also shares similar aspects with those of Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden — both of which are well-known titles on NES. Its platform and controls are similar to those of Castlevania, and its presentation is quite similar to that of Ninja Gaiden, which uses cut scenes to help explain its story.
The game follows a simple story: A legendary hero by the name The Astyanax is called and transported to another world by Cutie, a talking fairy, to rescue the Princess Rosebud from the evil Thorndog and Blackhorn. No one but Princess Rosebud can help the hero return to his world so he marches onward in his rescue mission, equipped with his magical axe, fighting all sorts of evil forces and bosses that stand in his path. Quite unoriginal, to be honest, but it gets the job done.
There are 12 stages to finish the game, with story cut scenes in every two. The progression is quite uncomplicated so with appropriate skills and upgrades, it’s really not difficult to move from one level to the next. Throughout the game, you acquire health power-ups, weapon upgrades, and power and speed refills — all of which influence the power of your attacks. Similarly, combat is pretty easy.
By NES standards, this game’s graphics is extremely detailed. The stages are pretty detailed but you see the pattern repeating itself over time. The enemies appear large and the bosses are towering monsters. The game’s audio sounds great as well.
Although this game combines the aspects of such polished titles, it also suffers from certain flaws. The game slows down when the screen is full and the levels become challenging. But despite these drawbacks, The Astyanax is still worthy of praise.
The Astyanax game has been ported to Arcade, and Nintendo NES (this version).