GSQ6: Time of the dreamwatch

Wow, reading about Alundra fills me with some serious nostalgia. This game came out at a weird, brief, but very memorable part of my life in which I had just graduated from college but hadn’t found a job. I was living in a tiny apartment behind someone’s house, a horrible little place where squirrels copulated in the ceiling, slugs would emerge from beneath the rotting floorboards in the bathroom to leave silvery trails along the carpet, and roaches would wake me up by crawling across my bare shoulder. There was even one day when hundreds of huge black flies appeared between my front and screen doors only to die en masse the next morning. It was awful.

But the games I played were great! Final Fantasy VII blew my mind, Final Fantasy Tactics bent my mind, Herc’s Adventure charmed me, Suikoden embraced me warmly… and Alundra was completely fun. And free! I won my copy in some kind of IGN contest, and since it took several months for them to disburse the prize, Jay Boor (now a PR flack for Konami) threw in a free PlayStation by way of apology. (He also included a disgusting package of MRE beef stew, which makes his generosity something of a wash.) Ah, the days of the Internet bubble.

Anyway, I love Alundra, and not just for nostalgia’s sake. It’s a really well-made game, perfectly channeling A Link to the Past but putting its own very distinct spin on the formula. Working Designs gave it a great translation (the odd, ill-fitting Bonaire aside), and the packaging was a thing of wonder. The game recently hit PSN for six bucks, so I strongly encourage all right-thinking humans to grab it. Incidentally, Alundra’s creators Matrix still do a fine job of re-channeling the spirit of classic gaming with games like 4 Heroes of Light, so props to them for that.

7 thoughts on “GSQ6: Time of the dreamwatch

  1. Reading things like this makes me so angry at myself that I got an N64 instead of a Playstation when I was a kid.

  2. I’m currently playing through this for the first time, yet still being overwhelmed with nostalgia, I guess for the era in general. Not to sound too get-off-my-lawn-y, but they just don’t make ’em like they used to.

  3. Why didn’t you just open the screen door so the flies would escape? Or were there so many gathering on the door that you were concerned they would attack like in one of the 1970’s ecological horror flicks? Having seen so many of those damned things on TV years ago makes me naturally suspicious of otherwise harmless animals.

    • Man, believe me, I let them out several times. And I used bug spray to kill dozens of them several times, too. But all day long, more kept showing up. I’d go out for a little while and come back to find their numbers replenished. Then, the next day — not a one, aside from the corpses I’d sprayed. Weirdest damn thing I’d ever seen. Like something out of the bible. Apparently it happened to a few other people I knew, too.

  4. Alundra is easily one of my favorite Zeldalikes. It’s darker and edgier, but in the right ways. I still remember the pained animations of that first villager you see die. Really effective spritework there.

  5. I must have been stuck on this game’s puzzles for months, and this was before I had the internet or any sort of guide for the game. I don’t think I ever even beat it, puzzles were so tricky. Between this game and Wild Arms I must have spent a year wandering in circles trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do. Where were the walkthroughs when I needed them!

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