The Guardian Legend

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The Guardian Legend
Developer(s) Compile
Publisher(s) Irem (Japan)
Brøderbund (North America)
Nintendo (Europe)
Designer(s) Masamitsu "Moo" Niitani (director)
Jemini Hirono (program and effect)
Pochi Nakamori (map maker)
Janus Teramoto (graphics)
Wao Isee (password)
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date(s) JP February 8, 1988
NA April 1989
EU 1990
Genre(s) Action-adventure game, Shooting game
Mode(s) One player
Media Game cartridge
Input methods Controller or joystick

The Guardian Legend (ガーディック外伝 Guardic Gaiden?) is a video game made by Compile in 1988. It is played on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The player controls a half-person half-robot woman set to destroy a large alien moon before it gets to Earth. To do this, the player activates ten devices within the moon. Like Metroid, the game stars a female as the character.

The Guardian Legend got mixed reviews from Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Power. People liked the game for how it looked, sounded, and felt. Other people did not like the game because the play was the same. It also had a very long password. The game was not well-known at first, but it is more known now. It is an example of a game where players do different things.

Plot[change | change source]

In The Guardian Legend, the player controls the female guardian of Earth, a "robot transformer"; the Japanese version of the game calls her "Miria".[1] The player is to destroy the alien moon Naju before it gets to Earth.[2][3] The player needs to turn on the moon's self-destruct device and escape the moon before it gets to Earth.[4] Five alien tribes who try to control the moon stand in the way of the player.[5] To help players along, messages left by a person help guide them in finding the safety switches to turn on the self-destruct device. These messages also help players get to some other rooms.[3][6]

Gameplay[change | change source]

The player controls the Guardian in human form while walking on Naju's surface, called the "Labyrinth". When in Naju, the Guardian turns into a spaceship in which the player can move around.[7] The Guardian has a life meter that drops when hit by alien attacks. Players can pick up items to help fill the Guardian's life meter again. If the life meter runs out, then the Guardian dies, ending the game.[8] The player can shoot at aliens with different types of weapons by pressing buttons on the gamepad. Players get different and better weapons during play.

Round, colored creatures in the game named "Landers" appear in the game to help players. Landers can help fill the Guardian's life meter and increase the number of times players can fire weapons.[9] Blue Landers may sell weapons to players. They also give out passwords. Passwords let players stop the game and come back to it later.

The player goes through the Labyrinth and find entrances to the Dungeon.[7] The ten safety devices are located in the Dungeon. The Labyrinth is made up of many rooms that are as big as the screen.[10] Players can look at a map to see where they are at. This map can be looked at while the game is paused.[11] Players can either walk from one room to another, or they can go to another room through a "warp panel".[12] Some of these warp panels require the right key to go through. Many rooms contain aliens. Other rooms contain clues, shops, passwords, and entrances to the Dungeon.[8]

The Dungeon contains areas in which the Guardian flies through as a spaceship. The Dungeon has many aliens to destroy.[13] At the end of an area in the Dungeon, there is a boss, a very strong alien that must be destroyed. After destroying the boss, the Guardian flies out of the Dungeon and back into the Labyrinth. The player then gets a power-up. The player may also receive a key for a warp panel.[8] Some entrances to the Dungeon are already open. Other entrances need a certain task completed before going in. Clues in the Labyrinth tell players how to get into these entrances.[14]

History[change | change source]

The Guardian Legend was made for the Famicom and came out in 1988 in Japan. It came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1989 and in Europe in 1990. The people who created the game were the same who created Guardic, Zanac, and Puyo Puyo.

Reviewers liked the game for its multiple features. Some have compared the game to other Nintendo games like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid.[15] Mike Engler, who made Retro Game Challenge, said that "The Guardian Legend is one of the best games ever released".[16] The game was nominated by Nintendo Power magazine in 1989 for "Best Graphics & Sound", "Best Play Control", and "Best Overall" but did not win any of them.[17] Some of the music of the game were remixed.[18][19]

References[change | change source]

  1. (in Japanese) Guardic Gaiden Instruction Manual, p. 9. "'System D.P.' (nickname Miria), female warrior built with extraterrestrial know-how. This mission is hers alone. (「システムD.P.」(愛称ミリア)地球外のノウホウで造られた女性戦士。彼女自身がこのプロジェクトなのだ。?)"
  2. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, p. 3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Compile. The Guardian Legend. Brøderbund. Nintendo Entertainment System, (vNES-GD-USA). (April 1989) “Dialog box: This star "NAJU" was our home, but we were invaded by evil life-forms. Everyone except me was killed.”
  4. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, pp. 3, 6.
  5. (in Japanese) Guardic Gaiden Instruction Manual, p. 13. "5 tribes are warring over territory on this planet. (この惑星では5つの種族がなわばり争いをしているのだ。?)"
  6. Compile. The Guardian Legend. Brøderbund. Nintendo Entertainment System, (vNES-GD-USA). (April 1989) “Dialog box: I am going to try to activate the self-destruct device. If I fail, I would like you to do this task so this cannot happen to any other race. [...] I hope this message will not be read by anyone...it will mean that I have failed.”
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, p. 10.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, p. 7.
  9. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, pp. 6, 10–13.
  10. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, p. 4.
  11. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, p. 9.
  12. Compile. The Guardian Legend. Brøderbund. Nintendo Entertainment System, (vNES-GD-USA). (April 1989) “Dialog box: All the rooms leading to the corridors are locked, so use the "warp panel" to get into the room. To use the "warp panel", blast through the cover. You will also need the key for the panel.”
  13. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, pp. 7, 10.
  14. The Guardian Legend Instruction Manual, p. 6.
  15. "Classic GI". Game Informer 179: 114. March 2008.
  16. Szczepaniak, John (2009-02-12). "Interview: On Localizing Retro Game Challenge". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=22179. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  17. "Nintendo Power Awards '89". Nintendo Power 12: 26–29. May–June 1990.
  18. Amjadali, Samantha (2002-03-31). "Computer Game Composers". Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia): p. 80.
  19. Theakston, Rob. "Elf Titled - Overview". Allmusic. All Media Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r815690. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  • The Guardian Legend instruction manual. USA: Brøderbund. 1988. ISBN 978-1-55790-312-9. NES-GD-USA.
  • (in Japanese) Guardic Gaiden instruction manual (ガーディック外伝 取扱説明書 Gādikku Gaiden toriatsukai setsumei sho?). Hakusan, Ishikawa, Japan: Irem. 1988-01-29. IF 08.

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