Play Willow Online
Release year: 1989 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Capcom
Willow is an epic action role-playing game (RPG) developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1989. This game is based on the 1988 film of the same name and follows its plot.
Games tied with movies are almost always a disaster. This was the expectation from game critics when Willow video game was released for NES. Boy, were they surprised. Willow was an achievement for a game developed for an 8-bit console and it astounded the gaming public.
There’s not much developers can do, given the limitations of NES on the graphics department, but whatever is available to them, they have used to the fullest extent when they created Willow. The intro alone is quite a stunner. There may be noticeable palette swapping but overall, in-game graphics is very good. Characters are well-animated and there is very little lag. The protagonist may be small, but he packs a mean swing. The enemies range from small to big-ass and they’re all drawn beautifully.
Your character starts weak when you first play the game, so swinging the sword is difficult but as you progress, you’ll notice it swinging faster. You can either do a full swing of the sword which has a shorter range but protects you from attacks or a directed stab which has a longer reach but makes the other sides vulnerable. Getting new swords may mean more damage to the enemies but the tradeoff can be slower swings because of the sword’s weight. You also get an array of magic spells that can help you in your tasks.
Music can make or break a good game so Capcom was careful in integrating tunes into Willow for the NES, and they were successful. You can easily distinguish between different levels and situations by the music playing, given the scenario. It ranges from soothing to creepy, all matching the environment it’s playing on.
Willow is one of those games that left a mark in the 8-bit gaming era. Though it might feel dated now, it’s still worth playing and replaying.