SEGA Master System - 1987
Description of Zillion
Sean Carlisle commented:
This was the single best video game ever created. Back in those days, anime was rare, Robotech and Voltron on the TeeVees and that was about it. Then this game came out and not only put anime within my grasp, but a really well thought out and intelligent game that I puzzled over for weeks on end. This was the first time I obsessed over completing a game over and over faster and more perfect every time. Like Robotech, there was something different about this game, a depth not found in the usual schlock dished out to us every Saturday morning or in all the other games.
I lost the instruction book to it because I carried it with me everywhere I went, marveling over the art work and imitating it in my drawings. Of course I lost it and was so unhappy about it that I called 1-800-USA-SEGA and told them of my plight. The cute sounding girl operator asked for my address and told me SEGA would replace the instruction book at no cost. A week or two later I got a huge envelope in the mail. Upon first look they had xeroxed the entire thing, I pulled off the Zillion cover page and there was a freaking map of the labyrinth (I had already made my own of course, using graph paper, but this was a highly detailed thing of beauty, completely unexpected). BUT as I pulled off the next page, and next page, and every page after that, it turned out to be instructions for Sega Golf. So somebody f*up, and some other kid somewhere who thought they were getting Sega golf instructions got sci-fi space fantasy instructions instead. While Lamented the loss of the artwork from the original instructions, the inclusion of that map was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Not that I needed it mind you, could beat that game blind folded at that point, but it was a thing of beauty nonetheless.
Long live JJ, Champ< Apple, Amy, and Oompa Loompa!
Comments and reviews
blahblah 2019-01-05 0 point
Had this growing up. It's the kind of game that tries your patience, because there's a set order you need to go through things.
Most rooms have a passcode you need to enter into a computer, so you're busting open pillar thingies to get the symbols for the passcode... yes, symbols... so it's not just "memorize 4 numbers real fast". You have to come up with pneumonics for the symbols. EG: one of the symbols look like a pair of eye glasses to me, so I called it "specs" (spectacles).
Working your way around the room can be tricky due to enemies and traps.
But, the biggest aggravation.. your gun's power level dictates where you can and can't go. Because certain enemies and pillar thingies can only be obliterated by leveling up your gun.
So, there will be rooms you need to back-track to once you have an upgraded gun in order to destroy a pillar thingy you couldn't before and get a clue or item from it.
You can also backtrack all the way to your ship.. and you'll need to, because you have several team members. One is "joe average". One is a female that jumps higher. And a third is just "beefcake mcgee" that can take more damage but can't jump as high (so he basically is useless). They all get upgraded guns when one of them does, so all that really matters is using the high-jumping girl when needed. The rest of the time you use joe avg, since he's quick and can take some damage.
There will be moments when you feel lost in the game, but if you give it a bit of time you'll stumble across a room or pillar thingy that you over-looked and it'll open up a route. It's just that it can be hard to back-track.
The maze is color-coded, so you can sort of tell where you are by the color of the room. But, it's still a maze.
The ending (like Metroid) has a time-bomb going off, so you're racing the clock to rush back through the maze to get to the surface and to your ship. That can be hair-raising, but by the time you get to that point in the game chances are high you've already memorized the entire stinking labyrinth. So, not too big of a deal.
Overall, it's not a bad game, but I wouldn't rank it up as one of my all time favorites either. It's just one of those games you play as a kid, because you've already beaten all your other games and this thing is still staring at you, undefeated. So, I slogged through it and got pretty good at it, and it's a decent game. Just frustrating at times. Mostly because memorizing the passcodes in each room got old fast. Metroid is more popular because it's pure exploration... not "run around the room looking for stuff to unlock the door... now do that again in teh next room."
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