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.