Alundra – the game in which hardly anyone survives

I just finished playing Alundra again, a Zelda-like classic released on PSX in 1997. It’s a pretty fun game, developed in a very similar way Landstalker on Megadrive was (I just read it was the same development team) The main difference with Zelda is that you can jump (!) and it actually makes the game a lot more fun in my opinion. Yet the main difference with the Zelda series isthat Alundra is a very noir, rather tortured and a lot more grown-up than Zelda altogether. I’ll compile the death toll at the end of this post to prevent spoilers for those who have not played the game.

Alundra_d

The game has grown old in a very nice way, the graphics are still easy on the eye, the gameplay has always been tricky at times but still makes fun and the story is still one of the most thought through I’ve played. The only aspect that looks really wrinkly now is the animation at beginning and closing of the game. They were pretty kick-ass back then and I’m sure I’d loved to see Alundra, the Anime Series, but it now looks rather cheap.

The strongest point of Alundra is the character development of the NPCs. Unlike most RPGs, you only get to see one village and you very soon bind a strong tie with each and every character. It’s a shame we do not get a picture for each character and that some of them are bad pallet swaps (Meade/Lutas or Sierra/Thyea) but all in all they are very lovable characters.

They could have done with some more in-depth personality but you can still guess a lot  from their lines in the games. It’s a real pleasure to talk to everyone after each event to read the new dialogues. Now having played the game in French, I must say the translation could have done with some revising. Many translation have gender issues (referring to the character as male instead of female or the other way around) and the level of slang is quite funny at times – it does not always sound very modern or even consistent, but it’s quite charming in the end.

Inoa_Village

The Village of Iona – click on it to see where the inhabitants reside

So to the list of the characters (the ones who die are marked with a star)

  • Septimus
  • Beaumont
  • Thyea
  • Talis
  • Sierra*
  • Sybill*
  • Wendell*
  • Meade*
  • Rumi
  • Bergus
  • Nestus
  • Giles*
  • Kisha
  • Ronan*
  • Jess*
  • Alundra
  • Yuri
  • Naomi
  • Lutas
  • Fein
  • Yustel
  • Elene*
  • Gustav
  • Bonaire*
  • Phyneas*
  • Nadia*
  • Myra*
  • Meia
  • Kline*
  • Nava*
  • Olen*
  • Jaylen*
  • Zane*
  • Lyman*
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About John Barré

English & German into French translator. Interested in languages, literature, video games, localisation & translation - among many other topics.
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