- : Use the direction pad to direct Jim in any one of the four cardinal directions. Jim can not move diagonally. Jim can continue to move in any direction until he is blocked by a barrier like a stone, big tree, or wall, or by a monster.
- : The A button serves two main purposes. When the A button is not held down, Jim is in Defend mode. He can attack, but very weakly, and he takes less damage when hit by an enemy. As soon as the A button is pressed, Jim enters Attack mode. In this mode, he does a lot of damage to enemies, but he will receive a lot of damage in return if attacked. Jim returns to Defend mode as soon as the A button is released. Pressing the A button also allows Jim to examine objects and enter underground dungeons.
- : Press the B button to cycle through all of Jim's available spells. Spells will only highlight when Jim currently has enough Magic power to execute those spells. If Jim does not have enough power for even the first spell, Turn, no spells will highlight.
- +: Once a spell is highlight, press both buttons together to cast the spell. Since pressing B alone cycles the chosen spell, it is better to hold A down first and then press B.
- : Press Start to pause the action. Press it once again to resume the game.
- : Press Select to open the Mode Window. When this Window is open, the up and down buttons can be used to select a menu item. A, B, and Select are all used to activate choices on the menu. There is no cancel button. The menu automatically closes after certain selections have been made.
This is Jim, the character that you control. Jim can roam around his world, and throughout the dungeons in four directions. He can choose between being in a defensive mode or in an offensive attack mode. When in defense mode, he deals little damage to the enemies, but he also receives little damage from them. In attack mode, he will strike the enemies as hard as he can, but at the risk of receiving a lot more damage of retaliating enemies. Enemies can only attack Jim if they are facing him, so Jim is safest when he attacks enemies from behind. If the enemy Jim fought was challenging, Jim's experience meter will rise a little. When he fills the meter out, he increases in level. Jim can learn to cast five different spells. He must have enough magic power in order to select spells and cast those spells.
Ann is the princess that you must rescue. The demon Varalys cast a spell on her that transformed her body into three separate fairies. Unless Jim can find the fairies and defeat Varalys, the spell will never be broken, and the kingdom will remain under Varalys' dark rule.
The three fairies each contain a third of the essence of Princess Ann. They have been hidden throughout the land. Two have been placed inside of trees, while a third is in the possession of a powerful wizard who can create multiple copies of himself. The fairies must be collected in order to gain access to Varalys' keep, which is guarded by a large dragon.
Varalys is a demon that appeared one day and wreaked havoc on the peaceful kingdom of Hydlide. A spell was cast on him and he was banished to another dimension. The seal was kept in place thanks to a spell cast on three jewels. But when one of the jewels was stolen, the spell was broken and the seal was released. Varalys returned to Hydlide and extracted revenge on the kingdom by cursing the Princess and breaking her body up into three fairies. Now he plots and plans in his island keep. Very little time remains before he can secure his tyrannical grip on the kingdom. Jim must hurry and find a way to defeat him before it is too late.
Note: Every meter is broken up into ten 10% segments. Each 10% segment is four pixels wide.'
This meter indicates your health. The meter is filled to you current amount of hit points and the line drawn to the right indicates the maximum health at your current level. You begin the game with 10% maximum health, and your maximum increases by 10% every time you fill your experience meter. You automatically regenerate hit points when you stand still on certain terrains.
This meter indicates your current strength. It can never decrease. You begin the game with 10% strength, and your strength increases by 10% every time you fill your experience meter. The Sword item will increase the meter by another 10%.
This meter indicates your current accumulation of experience points. As you kill certain monsters, this meter will begin to fill up, provided you are fighting a monster strong enough to grant you experience. For example, slimes will give you experience for killing them until you reach the third level of experience, and then they no longer give you experience points. Every time you fill the experience meter to 100%, you rise to the next experience level and the meter resets to 0.
This meter indicates your current magic power. The meter is filled to you current amount of magic power and the line drawn to the right indicates the maximum magic at your current level. You begin the game with 10% maximum magic, and your maximum increases by 10% every time you fill your experience meter. You automatically regenerate magic power at all times.
In this window, you will see the image of the monster you are fighting, the name of that monster, and the amount of hit point is currently has. If you defeat the monster, this information will disappear. If you attack or get attacked by a different monster, the information will be updated for the new monster.
Jim is capable of casting five different spells. In order, they are: Turn, Fire, Ice, Wave, and Flash. If you have enough magic power, you can highlight different spells with the B button. After you press both the A and B buttons to cast a spell, the highlight will be removed from that spell.
Information about items that you've obtained or objects you've examined appear in this window below the list of spells. The information will appear briefly and resume displaying the title of the game.
This box will alternate between displaying "DEFEND" and "ATTACK" according to when you press and release the A button. When A is released and you are in Defend mode, it will display DEFEND. When you press and hold A and are in Attack mode, it will display ATTACK.
Select Item to see which items you have collected so far. After you view the items, the Mode Window will close.
If you choose Save, you will be asked to select YES or NO. If you select YES, you will perform a quick save. If you select NO, you will exit the Mode Window.
Important Note: Hydlide can not save games permanently. If you turn off the power or reset the system, you will lose your save. Make sure you record the password before ending your play session. Additionally, since there is no cancel button in the game, you must choose NO if you selected Save by accident and do not wish to save. Pressing any button on YES will save the game.
If you choose Load, you will be asked to select YES or NO. If you select YES, you will load the most recent quick save that you performed. If you select NO, you will exit the Mode Window. To resume a quick-save game after you die, simply begin a new game, and choose Load once you start.
Important Note: Since there is no cancel button in the game, you must choose NO if you selected Load by accident and do not wish to revert to a previous quick save. Pressing any button on YES will load the game.
Select Password to view the code that will allow you to resume your game at your current level with your current inventory after you power down or reset your system. After you view the Password, the Mode Window will close.
Hydlide allows you to choose to play the game at two different speeds: Normal and High-Speed. High-Speed plays at approximately twice the speed as Normal speed. While this can speed up the time it takes to play the game, it can also reduce the accuracy of your input, causing you to travel to far, or react too slowly to an attack. After you select your speed, the Mode Window will close.
Select Game to make no choice from the Mode Window and return to the game.