This version of Hydlide differs from its predecessors in that it employs a more active battle system. Early versions of Hydlide used the collision based combat similar to that of early Ys games. This game requires players to press a button to attack, like the early games in the Legend of Zelda series. Weapons must make contact with an enemy in order to deal damage.
In addition to melee weapons like clubs and swords, there are missile weapons like slings and bows. Each melee weapon has a different reach, and each missile weapon has a different range. The same is true for monsters and their attacks. Understanding both your own reach and your enemy's is essential for survival.
One aspect of battle which is unusual, is the notion of "good" monsters and "evil" monsters. Evil monsters will attack you on sight weather you have attacked them or not. Killing evil monsters increases your Mind Force stat. Good monsters do not attack you unless you attack them first. Killing good monsters quickly decreases your Mind Force. It is important to observe a new monster when you first encounter it, and determine if it's good or evil.
In order to execute more action than simply moving around an attacking, you must bring up the menu window. On many computers, this is done with. On consoles, it is one of the action buttons.
- Look Here
- Use this command when you want to examine something in the location where you are standing. It can be used to discover items at your feet, or to open a treasure chest. Often times, you may hear a chime when you walk over a space that contains a useful item, so listen closely. On the Genesis/Mega Drive, this action is performed with the button, and it can be used to dodge enemy projectiles as well.
- Use Magic
- Select this command when you want to cast one of the spells you have learned. You must have enough MP available to cast the spell. Upon casting it, your MP is reduced accordingly.
- Use Item
- This command serves a couple of purposes. First, select it to use a consumable item such as a potion or a ration of food. Second, you can use it to equip (and then subsequently unequip) a piece of armor or a weapon. Other items can also be equipped in a similar fashion. Lastly, it can be used to throw away an item in your inventory, in order to lighten how much you carry. You can throw away one instance of an item, or every instance of that item in your possession.
- Know Self (Status)
- Use this command to check the state of your character. It will bring up a list of your character's attributes (which are all explained in Gameplay). Note that while it shows stats like your attack and defense power, any effects from magic spells are not displayed. You can also see your characters condition, how much money you possess, the weight you can carry and your current load. Statuses are as follows:
- Normal: Your character is safe, with no abnormality.
- Danger: Your character is dangerously low on health and close to dying.
- Poison: Until the poison is removed, you will gradually lose health over time. You can use an item, cast a spell, or sleep at an inn to reverse this state.
- Hungry: If you do not have food to eat, your character will become hungry, and you will gradually lose health over time. If you possess food, you will automatically consume it when you are about to become hungry.
- Sleepy: If you stay up for too long without getting any rest at an Inn, you will eventually become tired. If you do, your physical strength drops and you will do far less damage to monsters until you rest.
- Other Functions
- This is a sub-menu where you can alter aspects of how the game plays. It contains the following commands:
- Change Display
- On computer games, you can change whether the game is displayed in English, Japanese, or a mixture of the two. With the mixture, all menus are in English, but the dialog is in Japanese. Japanese is displayed as a mix of kanji and kana characters. This setting is not saved and needs to be restored with every play.
- Speed change
- Use this to change the speed of the game. Note that on console versions, this option is a part of the main menu. This changes the pace at which the game runs, and the rate at which characters and monsters update. Note, however, that some bosses are unaffected by this setting, which means you can use it to make certain battles easier or harder.
- Game end
- Terminate the game. Execution stops and you return to the title screen where you can select the same or a different character to play. All progress since the last time you stayed at an inn is lost.
This is a rather controversial aspect of the game which many players either love or hate. All items in the game have weight, including even currencies. The limit to how much your character can carry is determined by his or her strength. If you begin to carry items beyond your carry limit, the speed at which your character can move is crippled. If you carry too much, you will be unable to move.
In addition to the weight limit, you also have a handle limit, which indicates the maximum weight of the weapon that your arm can swing. If you attempt to use a weapon that is heavier than that handle limit, your attack effectiveness will diminish and you will do less damage than the weapon is capable of. The handle limit, like your carry limit increases with your physical strength.
For this reason, it's important to be conscious of the weight of the items that you buy. Don't buy more than your character can carry, and don't buy weapons that are too heavy for you to use. It's also a good idea to leave yourself with a little less weight so that you can also carry items that you obtain from treasure chests and defeated monsters. If you carry items right at your weight limit, you will slow down as soon as you collect anything else. Be prepared to throw many items away, particularly those which are joke items or otherwise useless.
This system is especially difficult to deal with early on in the game when your character is weak and can't carry much. You have to manage the weight of your inventory much more carefully. Note that even money has weight, and for this reason, it's very useful to obtain the "Money Change" item as quickly as possible. This item converts the amount of currency into the small amount possible. Every ten 10 pieces are turned into 100 pieces, and every ten 100 pieces are turned into 1000 pieces, reducing the overall weight of your money. Later on in the game, you will gain access to a bank where you can deposit money to further reduce your carrying load without losing money.
Items weight is measured in grams.
- The weight that can be held is calculated as follows: Current Strength × 140
- The weight of the weapon you can handle is calculated as follows: Current Strength × 42 + 500
Concept of time
This version of Hydlide also includes the concept of time. Time flows in this game over a 24 hour cycle, with each minute lasting for a "game tick." By default a tick is a little less than a second, but you can change the rate at which the game ticks by changing the game speed.
As time changes, the colors of the world will change as time shifts from day to dusk, from dusk to evening, from evening to dawn, and from dawn to daytime again. At night, shops become unavailable, and citizens of each town return to their homes. Therefore, shopping and information gathering can only be done with it is light out.
Additionally, over time, your character will become hungry. If you do not acquire food and remain hungry, your health will steadily decrease, and you can potentially starve to death. Furthermore, if you do not get any sleep at in Inn for a substantial amount of time, you become sleepy and your physical strength weakens. It is dangerous to wander around while you are hungry or sleepy, and you should seek to correct these states as quickly as possible.
Fairy Land runs on a 24 hour clock. Dawn starts at 5, and day begins at 7. Sunset will occur at 18, and by 20, it will be nighttime. To avoid hunger, players should eat every 6 hours. If you stay at an Inn and wake up at 7, you will need to eat at 13, and 19. You will need to eat again at 1 if you are still awake at night, and again at 7 if you stay up the entire time. Provided you have food in your inventory, you will automatically consume it without having to open the menu and choosing to use food.
Whenever you need sleep, return to an Inn and pay 1000 coins to stay at an Inn. It is possible to buy camping gear if you want to rest away from an Inn, but it is prohibitively expensive, and very heavy to carry around, so it's not a practical solution. Sleeping will instantly restore you health and magic points. You will wake up at 7 fully restored, and you won't require food for 6 hours.
You can stay awake for 16 hours before you start to feel tired. Given that you start losing health, and monsters are tougher at night, you should consider sleeping at an Inn sooner. While you normally need to eat at 13 and 19, if you stay at an Inn before either time, you won't need to eat those meals.
There are moments when the clock stops. For example, when you enter a store, time does not advance. Time also stops whenever you bring up the menu, thereby pausing the game. Although there is the concept of time, there's no concept of aging. Regardless of how many days pass, your character's stats will never atrophy because of age.
- Ordered life
- Time is a big feature of this game. Your physical condition and situation will change with the passage of time. If you do not eat or sleep, your character will not function properly. Make sure you carry enough food, and sleep when it gets dark.
- Suitable equipment
- Your character has a limit to the weight he or she can carry. Even if a weapon is powerful, you cannot fully master it if it is too heavy for you to carry. Since you have a limited capacity, make sure you are stocking up on equipment that is appropriate for your current level of strength.
- Observe your level increase
- There is some randomness involved in how much your stats increase when you level up at the holy temple. As a result, you can save your game before you go in, level up your character, and if the stat gain is not substantial enough, exit the game and load your save back to try again. In particular, you should watch your hit points, strength and attack power. Make sure these increase as high as possible before you continue.
- Talk to villagers frequently
- Due to this being a very early RPG, the game does not provide you much information through story or narrative. All of your hints are derived from communicating with villagers. Every time you reach a new town, save your game, and then take as much time as necessary to speak to everyone that you can find. Some hints will be direct, while others are a bit more vague. But make a note of every one of them, and then exit and load your game to start over when you saved. Continue to talk to villagers after key events occur, or bosses are defeated, as they will reveal more secrets to you as you progress through the game.
- Search for secrets
- Hints from villagers may only point you in the right direction, and they may not tell you everything that you're looking for. There are many hidden secrets through the game, including items that you must find, traps that you must avoid, and most importantly: secret walls which you can pass through. Sometimes these secrets are merely shortcuts, while other times their discovery is vital to the completion of the game. If you feel like you are stuck, search every wall and look for a passage you may not have noticed before.