The Adventures of Alundra, or just plain Alundra was one of my first “retro” purchases for my then-newly acquired Playstation 1 and it remains one of my most memorable and exciting experiences on the console. Alundra is a rare type of game – an early 2D Playstation 1 game, it closely resembles A Link to the Past with a dose of Final Fantasy. The top-notch localisation of Alundra’s eerie story combined with well-done Zelda-inspired puzzles and mechanics makes for a rewarding adventure. Alundra must’ve seemed an anomaly back in 1997, a throwback game completely out of step with the 3D revolution. The 3D era was just starting and Sony were among 3D’s biggest champions, and here was a 2D game on a Sony platform long before 2D games were old enough to the point they became “cool” again. Returning to it in 2014 though Alundra is a beautiful 2D game, with graphics similar to the best looking late-era Super Nintendo RPGs, such as Tales of Phantasia, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI.
Unlike Alien Hominid (see my previous post), Alundra is not a carbon copy of its biggest influence, Zelda. It borrows much, but it does so selectively, and it adds its own character and charm to create a very different experience with similar mechanics. In particular, its high difficulty, long length and intriguing story distinguish it from the Zelda series. Continue reading