January 05, 2012

[Game 011] Glory of Heracles: Labors of the Divine Hero (NES - 1987)

Translation by DvD & aishsha

Even though we're well into 1988, the Glory of Heracles has interrupted our normal broadcasted progression and gave us another '87 title to run through.  As new translations become available for titles in which the initial release date has already been passed, the protocol is to insert the title immediately into the next game slot.  Hopefully the releases will be infrequent — I don't need another hundred fucking games to do.  That being said, I am glad that this game in particular did get translated.  The two sequels that follow it are already translated and it's compulsive to do a game series in the original order.

In GoH:LotDH, the mighty Heracles is tasked with rescuing Aphrodite who was captured by Hades and taken into the Underworld.  You're going to be taking on the Gods themselves, Heracles, so here's a few golds and absolutely no weapons and armour.  By the way, you're in Athens.  K, I'm outtie 5000.  PEACE!

After beating up a few tree stumps and some squidy things WITH HIS OWN BARE HANDS, Heracles manages to afford some basic protections and a sword.  Athens is a decent sized town with a lot of folk and a lot of information about many different things.  None of which has anything to do with Aphrodite but let's just go with the flow, Heracles.  Opting to listen to the rumours about strong monsters in the north, Heracles heads south and finds a narrow path through the otherwise impassable mountains.  This pass is guarded though.

Holy oipho, this guy's tough.

After clumsily missing his initial attack, Heracles is quickly put to sleep by the Iron Boar who then proceeds to kick the shit out of him for a good six rounds until Herc dies a most undignified death.  Nice effort, Heracles.  Are you sure you're a demigod?  We'll just wait here whilst you handle several batches of easier foes.  Mmmm hmmmm mmmmm, hey remember that show The Mighty Hercules?  We only had PeasantVision™ growing up so it was the only thing on for early Saturday cartoons.  My favourite characters are Daedalus and the shape-shifting Otis.  Always been partial to shape-shifting characters.  I remember playing a shape-shifter in some Batman RPG decades ago.  I think he could change into a battle car or into a gun to be used by another character, like Megatron.  Hey, how does Megatron shrink down when he trans... oh, here's Heracles now.  You're at level 5 now and sleep spells don't affect you near as much?  Cool beans, aboot time you woke up and started taking this seriously.

Making his way to the nearby town of Pella, Heracles gets a few upgrades and a little more information.  In order to get the Gold Horn from the escape-friendly Golden Hind, Heracles must talk to Ares, god of war.

Not what I was expecting (disappointed).

Ares has a nice little place up by the lake apparently, so it's just a matter of finding it and hoping he doesn't destroy Heracles on sight.  You've never done anything to tick off Ares, have you Herc?  Oh...  well, maybe he's forgotten.

Now strong enough to face the northern creatures of Athens, Heracles finds two more towns, Selene and Hebe.  Nothing too special about either place specifically but what is interesting is the way the all the towns are handled on the overall map.  Usually, a town takes up a single tile on an overworld map and then, upon entering, goes to a new screen with the "map" of the town.  Here, the towns are seamlessly integrated into the whole map.  A large city takes up an appropriately large amount of space.  This sense of scale is a pleasant touch and adds a little to the realism.  It's unlikely that Heracles will miss any settlements this way.  The only downside of the towns is that they are terribly ugly and the colours disturb.

Also, citizens like to cockblock
access to the inn.

The search for Ares is on.  I don't know why Heracles needs this golden horn so badly but I do know he must access the Heavenly Realm at some point so perhaps this horn plays a part in getting there.  Only one man and one man alone can possibly complete this quest.  That man has ♫ softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs; ♪ virtue in his heart, fire in every part of the ♪ MIGHTYYYY HERCULEEEEEEEEES! ♫