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[Video] Risky Woods (Part 1/4)


BlackKnight

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riskywoods-0.jpg

 

Published by Electronic Arts back in the day, Risky Woods for the Mega Drive was a port of the previously released Amiga and DOS versions. Several elements were stripped away while new mechanics were introduced but the game was ultimately a fun side-scrolling action game, although a fiendishly difficult one.

 

The story was the run of the mill fare likely conceived by the poor soul assigned to author the instruction manual. Essentially you were a warrior named Rohan who needed to cross the countryside and free monks imprisoned in stone. What was just a semblance of a real plot was likely due to names of places and enemies, amongst other things, being inexplicably removed from the Mega Drive version. Every third stage was a boss stage, but the monsters you came up against were really inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. All that the game really required was that you moved left to right, killing everything in sight. In that way it was like a hundred other platformers from the mid-nineties.

 

riskywoods-1.jpg

 

What set Risky Woods apart was its upgradeable weapon and gatekeeper systems. Keys were picked up over the course of a level and occasionally used to get passed menacing-looking 'gatekeeper' demons. These ugly SOBs would knock out a sequence of up, down, left and right commands, tasking the player to repeat the order. If successful, they got out of the road and dropped a bunch of weapons that the player could choose from. Consecutively picking the same weapon would increase its effectiveness, and by far the smartest way to get through the game was to decide on a single weapon and stick with it. Most were extremely reminiscent of the Castlevania weapons- the knife and axe in particular were almost exact duplicates. Unusually, the method for getting weapons was vastly different in the original games - there were no gatekeepers at all and coins collected were used at shops to purchase things - they were not simply handed out.

 

riskywoods-2.jpg

 

Risky Woods is a very hard game to be sure. However one stupid addition to the Mega Drive port makes it the easiest walk in the park you'll ever take. Since coins and shops were removed, the spoils dropped by enemies were changed to 'armour links'. Collect 33, and gain silver armour which cuts damage taken in half. Get 67 or more and gain gold armour, armour which - you guessed it - makes you nigh invulnerable. Hits at this point only make you drop 1 link at a time. The reality of the situation is that you can never realistically die. Pity.

 

Stage 1

I decided to do a complete run through of the game. Here are the first 3 stages, culminating in the boss fight with Zabrus, the dragon, although since he is unnamed in the Mega Drive port, he might as well be any old monster.

 

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Stage 2

Here you can see the effects of wearing the silver armour. As if it didn't make things easy enough, when I pick up the gold armour, there is really nothing to stop me.

 

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Stage 3 [boss]

Zabrus stands no chance against a gold armour-wearing opponent, but just to make things quick I made sure I used the boomerang through the first 3 stages. Really the boomerang is the best weapon against any boss, but I was just dumb enough to experiment against some of the later ones. As you'll see...

 

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Again, check my YouTube Channel for more videos and the rest of my Risky Woods run.

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