Hydlide has become a legend. It is listed with some of the most recognized games ever made like Fester’s Quest, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Shaq Fu. This is the list of the worst games of all time. Is Hydlide really that bad? I took one for the team and investigated first hand.

This is more story than the entire game.

My Journey with Jim:

One of the major tricks with playing old games is that they no longer have the instructions. I booted up the game and anticipated that the game would slowly introduce me to the mechanics. Instead, I found myself dropped in the over world. Slowly, I familiarized myself with movement and the map.

Wait! I am 15 seconds into this game and is that music already repeating? You got to be kidding me. It’s so short, and playing over and over. The music is tainting Indiana Jones for ever. Leave Indy alone! This is what makes serial killers. Maybe I should warn my family. All Hydlide and no play makes TB go crazy!


This begins the decent into madness.

Now it is time to try and attack.  I’m dead. Well, I probably pushed the wrong button. Let me try that again. Nope, still dead. Ok, time to check the internet for the instructions. Oh hell no! This game you just run into the enemy!?! No attack? Seriously with all memory they are saving by having no animation you’d think they could have given me better music.

I killed something, but I am hurt now. How to heal? Oh I just stand there…and wait. And wait. And wait. To level up I had to grind. Now normally I think of grinding and I enjoy it as an RPG gamer. I loved it in FF games, Chrono, Golden Sun, Pokemon, you name it. This game though made it into an amazingly long and painful process. It is the closest a game has ever been to simulating banging your head against a wall. That’s going to be Hydlide 2! Sadly, there were sequels and they used the same horrible combat. Yeah, I could not believe it either.

NES games were not known for their great stories. Mario is a perfect example of how simple the stories could be. Princess is kidnapped. Save her. She is in another Castle. Hydlide uses the same formula. Princess kidnapped. However, you are just show this by a dragon shooting fire at a girl, who promptly explodes in to fairies. So that’s how fairies are made! Poor Tinkerbell.

The one saving grace, here comes the pun,  is that you can save the game. Unfortunately, this has to be done so often because of the horrible battle system that at some point you will save instead of load and screw yourself. If your controller does not become lodged in the TV at this moment then you must be a saint.


Unless your goal is to become a serial killer by exploding princesses into fairies then skip this game. Run. Do not look back. It earns its notoriety for being a horrible game. A better quest would be to find all the copies of Hydlide and destroy them. Just make sure to play Jim’s death music for every copy you kill!