Neutopia, PC Engine

Neutopia is a Zelda-like action adventure game developed by Hudson Soft and published for the PC Engine in Japan in 1989, and for the TurboGrafx-16 in North America in 1990. The game takes places in the land of Neutopia, where the evil demon Dirth has captured Princess Aurora and stolen eight medallions that are needed to maintain peace throughout the land. Your job – as the protagonist Jazeta – is to rescue the princess, retrieve the medallions, and defeat Dirth; saving Neutopia and its people.

Each of the eight medallions are hidden in crypts and guarded by a boss, which you of course have to beat to acquire them. The game is presented from an overhead perspective with the player controlling Jazeta, who can attack with his weapons and use items found throughout the game. He has a life meter, shown at the top of the screen, and can increase its length by acquiring medallions or by finding a monk who will boost it. When the life meter reaches zero the game will end as you only get one life. If Jezeta has a Book of Revival that will allow you to continue where the game ended, if you do die.

Jazeta can hold and use two separate items that are selected from his inventory. His main weapon is his sword, but he can also cast fireballs using a “fire rod”; can light up dark rooms using “moonbeam moss”; cross small gaps using the “rainbow drop”; get a boost of speed using the “falcon shoes”; refill his life meter with medicine; transform tougher enemies into weaker ones with magics rings; temporarily stop time with hourglasses, blow up walls with bombs, and warp back to the last place he gained a password at using wings.

Neutopia is an unapologetic clone of Nintendo‘s first Zelda, but it does have better graphics and sound and is a pleasing game to play overall. It’s what you might call a “decent clone”, and is arguably better than the first Zelda, but it doesn’t hold a candle to something like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A sequel, called Neutopia II, was released in 1991 in Japan and 1992 in North America.

More: Neutopia on Wikipedia

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