Atari Lynx Review: Rygar on Lynx Lounge
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By Brian Thomas Barnhart |
Hey what is up everybody, welcome back to the Lynx Lounge! We’ve got another great arcade game on the way, and that is the 1986 hit from Tecmo, Rygar. You wan’t to talk about a great arcade port? Well, let’s talk about the one for the one and only Atari Lynx. I mean that’s why we’re here, right? We’re talking about the Lynx.
Let’s talk about a great arcade port. Rygar. You know you want to play it, let’s boot it up. Boom, here we go!
When Rygar hit the scene, I only knew Rygar from the NES. It was sort of like a weird role playing / action-adventure hybrid kind of a game. It was very glitchy, very buggy. But it was a new game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, so a lot of people had it. I did not know that it originated as an arcade game!
One night, my family and I went to Round Table Pizza and they had a cocktail cabinet set up with Rygar. Right next to it was another arcade cabinet, Rastan! Two awesome barbarian games battling monsters.
One was much easier than the other, which is why I played Rygar much more than Rastan. Everybody that’s played Rastan knows that that game is a beast! But it’s awesome, just as well. But Rygar was cool because I had no idea that it was an arcade game before it was an NES game.
So what kind of game is Rygar? It’s basically a “run-and-gun” kind of a game, or rather a “run-and-throw-your-shiledy-thing at people” kind of a game. He has sort of like a shield/yo-yo weapon. It’s cool! Bust some heads, that’s for sure. But you run from left to right and you clear the level. And we all know that heroes run right, right? I mean, that’s the rule!
You start at one side of the level, you work your way across, smashing up monsters, jumping on their heads, jumping over pits and collecting treasures!
“YOU are the hero who would be known by a mysterious birthmark – the Mark of the Wizard. This mark would allow the hero to open the magic chests strewn throughout the land and use the magic weapons hidden within.”
– Atari Lynx Rygar Manual
So you gotta find the chest, you gotta get the treasures, and you gotta bust some monsters up.
Now there’re special weapons that you can get along the way. There’s your classic “Double Points”, obviously you get, well, double points. There’s a “Star Weapon” and it allows Rygar to shoot stars in the air. “Sun Weapon” makes your weapon bigger and longer for quicker more accurate shooting. And you have “Tiger Power” which gives Rygar the ability to destroy evil beings by jumping on them. Because that’s what the Tigers are known for, is jumping on top of people’s heads, and destroying them.
“The best arcade port of Rygar wasn’t on the NES, it was on Atari Lynx. Of the Rygar ports available at the time, Lynx is the most like the arcade game. Better than Sega Master System. Way better than NES. Rygar shined on the Lynx.”
– DeLorean Silhouette
You’ve got a “Jump” button and you’ve got a “Fire” button. Let’s talk about the controls for a second. This control scheme, and the way this game controls on the Atari Lynx is absolutely perfect. It’s like butter. It’s so responsive. It just works. It’s one of those games where it just works really, really well, and it’s very fun and addicting to play. Because once you get past the first stage, you get a little break, you take a breather, and then you’re right back there and you’re doing it again. And then you’re taking a break, and then you’re back at it again. And it just keeps going and going, and it’s so fun to play!
Let’s talk about the graphics. The graphics are great. They’re very close to the arcade, they don’t look anything like the NES version. They’re not glitchy, they’re solid, and it’s a joy to look at. Lots of different cool landscapes, you have the sunset in the background. I mean it’s a really, really lush, beautiful looking game.
“In 1989 when the Lynx came out, it was dynamite. Color. 16-Bits. Sounded amazing. Expensive, that was the problem.”
– Brian Thomas Barnhart, Lynx Lounge
The sound is amazing too. Very good sound, you have this driving soundtrack, sort of like jungle drums. It really makes you move, really makes you want to keep going. It sounds great. The sound effects are great too. There are really good, deep, bassy explosions when you hit the bad guys.
Now, the only thing… I have one complaint. Just one. I only have one complaint. There is a very high pitched, like “ba-TING!” noise that, I don’t know if it’s just my old ears, or if it’s the speaker itself on the Lynx, but it starts to get very grating and I would find myself turning the volume down. Like I said, I don’t know if it’s just the speakers.
Interesting, if we listen to it on the footage that I captured I wonder if that translates at all. Take a listen for yourself. Is it annoying? I dunno, I guess that’s for you to decide. For me, that’s a little annoying. But anyway, that’s my one complaint. I only have one complaint for the game!
So, in closing, is this a game that you need to pick up for your Atari Lynx? Absolutely. If you are out and about, or if you are on eBay or Craigslist or wherever you are, definitely look for this. Rygar is a great, great game. It’s almost a perfect arcade port. It’s beautiful to look at. And it’s very, very fun and addicting to play. I highly recommend that you get ahold of this bad boy right here.
Hey, thanks for tuning in and checking out the Lynx Lounge! If you like this I’ve got other shows, I’ve got The Jag Bar, where we look at Atari Jaguar games. I’ve have the 7800 Avenue show that we just started where we take a look at Atari 2600 and 7800 games and accessories, and of course the show that you’re looking at right now, Lynx Lounge! Almost forgot the name of it for a second there. It is the Lynx Lounge, don’t forget that.
Anyway, see you guys next time. Cheers!
Rygar was programmed at Atari by Lou Haehn. Music by Doug Hubbard.
Brian Thomas Barnhart is a classic gaming aficionado, retro pop culture connoisseur, and a Senior Fellow at Atari I/O. He is host of The Jag Bar, Lynx Lounge, 7800 Avenue, and the Atari I/O After Hours Podcast. Brian is a Moderator in the Atari I/O Forums under the name btbfilms76. You can follow him on Instagram and at his YouTube channel.
model # PA 2043