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Alundra PAL boxart

Box art for the PAL version of Alundra.

Alundra
Developer(s) Matrix Software
Publisher(s) SCEI (JP)
Working Designs (NA)
Psygnosis (EU)
Director(s) Yasuhiro Ohori
Producer(s) Takahiro Kaneko
Hideaki Kikukawa
Akira Sato (executive)
Designer(s) Yoshitaka Tamaki (character)
Programmer(s) Motoki Himi (lead)[1]
Writer(s) Ichiro Tezuka
Composer(s) Kōhei Tanaka
Series Alundra
Platform(s) PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Release date(s) PlayStation
JP April 11, 1997[2]
NA December 31, 1997[2]
EU June 5, 1998[2]
PlayStation
JP October 10, 2007 (PSN)[2]
NA October 12, 2010 (PSN)[2]
EU August 15, 2012 (PSN)[2]
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player
This article is about the game. You may be looking for its protagonist.

Alundra (アランドラ Arandora), released in Europe as The Adventures of Alundra, is an action-adventure game / action role-playing game developed by Matrix Software for the Sony PlayStation and was released in 1997. It was published by Sony in Japan, Working Designs in North America, and Psygnosis in Europe.

The game's protagonist is a young man named Alundra, who learns that he has the power to enter people's dreams. He is shipwrecked on an island, near the village of Inoa, where locals have been suffering from recurring nightmares that sometimes cause death. With his dream walking ability, Alundra proceeds to try to help the locals. The narrative becomes gradually darker and more twisted as the game progresses, dealing with mature themes such as death, clinical depression,[3] fate, religion, and the essence of human existence.[4]

Upon release, Alundra earned unanimous critical acclaim as well as some initial commercial success. It was praised for its well-written story and characterization, smooth game mechanics and platforming, challenging gameplay and puzzles,[5] and expansive overworld exploration. However, it was criticized for its dated 2D sprite visuals, and suffered from a low production run, becoming obscure over time.[3] Retrospective reception has since been more positive towards its 2D art design,[5] and considers the game to be a classic of its genre.[5][4]

In recent years, Alundra has been made available as a downloadable game on the PSone Classics service for the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network.[6] A sequel entitled Alundra 2: A New Legend Begins, which had very little in common with the original Alundra, was released in 1999.

GameplayEdit

Yes alright. The gameplay includes a combination of top-down platforming, action-adventure, and RPG elements, quite similar to Zelda series. It is known for containing many extremely difficult puzzles, some of which cannot be accessed if the player progresses further in the game, making some items unattainable. It is also known for its dark storyline and music. A range of terrain and surfaces also add variety, from sand, which causes the player to move more slowly, to lava, which damages the player. Upgrades throughout the game can help the player to overcome many of these obstacles, encouraging exploration.

StoryEdit

Alundra, the protagonist and player character, is an elf from the clan of Elna, the Dreamwalkers. He is a silent protagonist. He set out for a place called Inoa because of a recurring dream in which a mysterious figure who calls Alundra "Releaser" tells him that he must save the villagers from the evil of Melzas. His ship is caught in a storm and he is later found washed ashore on an island, unconscious.

Alundra has drifted to a beach, where a man named Jess finds and rescues him. Jess carries Alundra to his house at the village of Inoa and lets him sleep in his guest room. In the village, Alundra discovers he is a Dreamwalker and helps the villagers get rid of the nightmares that have been possessing them. Since Alundra's arrival, bad things have started to happen in the village, with various villagers being murdered in their dreams. Some of the villagers eventually start blaming Alundra for what is happening.

PlotEdit

Many decades prior to the start of the game, humanity worshiped giant stone idols they had carved. The giants were brought to life by this prayer, but swiftly turned to war over this power. Nirude, one of the giants, watched as his brothers and sisters killed each other, and as the humans ceased to worship the blood thirsty gods.

Turning to a new image, the humans created a new god known as Melzas. Melzas used dreams and the minds of his worshipers to discover the source of his creation, and the fate of the giants. Fearing that the humans would do the same, he began to inflict great nightmares on those that wavered.

Using his powers, he began to manipulate the king of the region, having a great castle constructed for himself, and began ruling via proxy. Eventually the king realised what Melzas was doing, he ordered all idols to be destroyed, cutting Melzas from the source of his power. Weakened, but not destroyed, Melzas sent out his most skillful nightmare yet; within, people began to believe they had lost the power to create, and began to hate the king instead of the demon they worshiped.

The king ordered seven great beings and sages to come to him. Once they had gathered, the king's magicians sunk the castle into the lake on which it was built. Entrusting the seven Guardians with the seven Crests that held the seal, they were instructed to guard the lake and Crests, and keep watch for signs of Melzas return.

Some time later, one of the Guardians, a sage named Lars, foresees a young man destroying Melzas forever. Entering the man's dreams, Lars calls him to the capital, where he may prepare to destroy the false god.

As a ship, the Klark, approached its destination Alundra is contacted again by Lars, begging him to hurry. However, an entity revealed itself and threatened both Alundra and Lars. The entity claims the Lars and Alundra are both partaking in a fruitless quest, and tries to discourage Alundra.

Lars rebukes that the only reason it would come to dishearten them, would be that it fears that they may succeed. However, Lars's power seems to be fading, and Alundra is left with the entity promising that his quest would fail and he would perish.

Alundra awakes to find the Klark being tossed in a violent storm. As the crew scramble to keep the ship afloat, it is torn in half by the reef, and its passengers are thrown into the swell.

Alundra wakes to find himself in a soft, comfortable bed, with a middle aged man watching over him. The man, Jess, explains that he found him on the beach, and he has been resting here since. After climbing out of bed and exploring the blacksmith's workshop, Alundra ventures into the village of Inoa, and it quickly confronted by a girl with crimson eyes, claiming that she saw his arrival in her dreams.

Alundra soon learns for the other villagers that this is Sybill, and she, like many others in the village, are plagued by strange dreams and nightmares. Alundra finds Wendell, another of the villagers, is also suffering from these nightmares. His seem far worse; he has been bedridden for days and seems to be on the verge of death.

Giles, the apprentice of the village priest, Ronan, is frustrated that all his prayers have done nothing, and the scholar Septimus is called to assist. He shamefully admits that there is nothing more he can do, until he notices a mark on Alundra's forehead, and realizes Alundra is one of the last of the elfish clan of Elan; dreamwalkers.

Sending Alundra to recover a tome from his old master, Tarn, Manor, as he remains to ease Wendell's suffering. Alundra finds the house abandoned and overrun by Murgg. Inside, the entity from his dreams appears and warns Alundra to cease his meddling, but vanishes within any direct action.

After recovering the tome Septimus requested and returning to the village, Septimus advices Alundra in the use of his abilities. Using this power, Alundra ventures into Wendell's dream and destroys a giant slime creature which is the core of the nightmare. Shortly after, Wendell awakes and the villagers celebrate their new hero.

Mines and MurggEdit

Upon hearing of Alundra's power, Ronan invites Alundra to the sanctuary to give praise to the gods. After agreeing to pray and returning to the village, a sudden rumbling is felt and screams from the nearby mine.

Finding the mine collapsed, and only Olen outside, the villagers bring him to the mayor's house, where he whispers the word "Murgg" before falling unconscious. To discover the truth behind the incident, Alundra enters Olen's mind and watches as Olen relives the moments before the mine collapse. After Septimus calls Alundra out, and confirms it was the Murgg, Olen dies before them.

Saddened by Olen's passing, the villagers either return home or venture to the mine, to see if they can find any survivors. Alundra finds Jess hard at work at his forge creating a List of Alundra Items#Mining Bomb. Jess says that he can hear Olen demanding he make his weapons once more, and returns to the mine, to assess whether it is safe to venture inside or not.

Alundra, determined to find out what the Murgg are doing, takes the bombs and blasts his way inside. After venturing deep into the coal mine, Alundra finds each of the miners dead, and the Murgg king, Zazan, scolding his subjects for only managing to find two of the Crests, and failing to locate another within the mines.

Zazan leaves without noticing Alundra, who proceeds to destroy the last of the Murgg within the mine. Following the path the Murgg took, Alundra arrives at a giant tree filled with Murgg, at the base of which is the Murgg village. Unable to make any further progress, Alundra returns to Inoa to discover the Sybil has been searching for him.

The Lovers' NightmareEdit

When he visits her, he finds that she dreams while awake, and her dreams hold some form of prophetic power. Sybil shows her dreams to Alundra, using his power. Alundra sees Kline, the village hunter, become a werewolf like creature. Disturbed by these visions, Alundra returns home, where Jess requests he pay his respects to the dead miners.

While in the graveyard, Alundra hears Lars's voice calling him to a crypt in the rear of the graveyard. Within Alundra discovers the spirit of the sage and Guardian Lars. After passing the trials Lars had set for him, Lars is convinced the Alundra is the "Releaser", and tells him of Melzas, the entity that has been attempting to deter Alundra.

He tells him of the Guardians and crests, before presenting Alundra with his crest, and vanishing once and for all.

Upon returning to the village, Alundra learns that both Bonaire and Nadia have fallen to the nightmares. Nadia refuses to allow Alundra to enter her mind until Bonaire's nightmare is destroyed. As Alundra enters his dream, he finds him lovestruck by a woman named Sara.

After chasing them both through the twisted world of the nightmare, he corners her and defeats her. Though defeated, she swears vengeance by taking the one Bonaire loves most, though he does not realize his love for her yet. Alundra emerges from the dream, and Bonaire awaken just in time to hear the horrible news; Nadia's nightmare suddenly worsened and killed her.

The Newcomer, and the WerewolfEdit

The next morning, Alundra is confronted by Giles, who accuses Alundra of bringing death upon the village, but leaves before saying anything more. Hearing that the tide has greatly receded, Alundra ventures to the beach, where a previously unreachable cavern is reveled. Battling his way through the various creatures, Alundra eventually confronts and kills the Watcher in the Water, and meets another Guardian, Vul, who explains that Melzas is in control of Zazan, and through him, the Murgg.

He admits that the Murgg have already made it into the cavern and stolen the crest and Vul was charged to guard.

Returning from his mostly fruitless quest, Alundra learns that Myra suffers from the nightmares, and that a newcomer has already entered her dream. Alundra arrives in time to witness this new dreamwalker, Meia, rise from the dreamworld triumphant. She scolds Alundra, telling him that his methods are too reckless and ill-planed.

Septimus arrives and the two argue over the best way to deal with the nightmares, but in the end, the two part ways in disagreement.

Later that night, Alundra is awoken when Kline crashes through his roof with a bestial look in his eyes. Chasing him from the house, Alundra meets with Septimus, and the two attempt to corner Kline to no avail. Resolving to try again in the morning, after Kline returns home, they return to bed.

The next morning, they find that Meia has had a similar idea, and the villagers have already gathered. Meia emerges and claims that Kline's nightmare has taken too great a hold on his mind and soul, and that if it were destroyed, Kline would be destroyed with it. Undeterred, Alundra enters Kline's nightmare, and makes his way through the frozen wastelands that Kline's mind has become.

After finding and defeating the core of Kline's nightmare, he awakens to find Kline writhing in pain. After a minute Kline awakes, but quickly transforms into the werewolf completely. As it attacks Alundra, he is forced to kill him, and release him from his nightmare for good.

Life and DeathEdit

The next morning, Alundra hears about a swamp to the east of the village, and using the bow Jess created in memory of Kline he can now gain entrance. Fighting his way through the caverns filled with Lizard Men, Alundra eventually finds his way within the Lizard King's hall.

The Lizard King, Reptilious Maximus, challenges Alundra, but is defeated by the Releaser. Jeal, one of the Guardians, appears before Alundra and presents him with one of the crests. Leaving Alundra with a warning about Melzas's strength, Jeal fades into the nether world after opening a passage out of the cavern.

Upon returning to the village, Alundra learns that Giles has descended into the nightmares. Despite Meia claiming that he is too far gone to help, Alundra enters his dream. Within, Alundra discovers the same nightmare core that destroyed Kline's mind within Giles. Having arrived earlier than with Kline, Alundra manages to destroy the nightmare completely, emerging to find Giles alive and well.

Giles is deeply ashamed of his past actions towards Alundra, but Alundra is sent to tell everyone the good news. Arriving at the Magyscar shrine, Alundra tells everyone of Giles's improved health. After everyone else has left, Alundra discovers a flaw in the wall at the rear of the shrine.

Crumbling the wall, Alundra descends into the passage to the afterlife; Magyscar. Pushing deep into the twisting caves, Alundra come across a giant, metallic, centipede like creature. After battling it, he is called before the Guardian Uma. The Murgg have already stolen Uma's crest, for which she deeply apologizes. She explains that the land beyond the current chamber is only for those that have died, and as such she returns Alundra to Jess's house.

After exiting the building, Alundra is met by Septimus, who confesses his distrust of both Meia and Ronan. After Septimus leaves, Sybil appears to show Alundra her latest dream. Within Alundra sees Lutas dieing, inspiring Jess to create a holy sword; a weapon powerful enough to destroy Melzas. He also sees himself approaching a ruined castle on a lake. Within he confronts Melzas, but the vision fades before the epic battle begins.

Gods and DemonsEdit

Alundra and Septimus meet up at the sanctuary, in hope of discovering whatever Ronan is hiding. After breaking into the building, they begin their investigations. Finding many secret passages and hidden traps, their suspicions are strengthened. Eventually they discover a secret chamber beneath the alter, where Ronan himself in praying.

Behind him, a statue of Melzas stands tall and mighty. Ronan and Septimus argue for a short time, revealing that most of the villagers know of the illegal idol, and that Ronan believes the nightmares are the gods' punishment for humanity's disloyalty. Realizing that their arguments are wasted on the priest, Septimus leaves saying that a god without mercy is simply a demon.

The next morning, Alundra awakens to sounds of Jess working at the forge. After presenting Alundra with his latest creation, Septimus arrives to inform them that Sybil had been killed during the night. After the funeral, Septimus and Alundra decide to discover if Meia is truly friend or foe by entering her dream.

While Septimus distracts Myra, Alundra slips into Meia's dreamworld. Arriving in a stable dream for the first time, Alundra is met by child, who is in fact Meia at a younger age. Within, Alundra plays with the young girl as he slowly begins to learn her past via a series of flashbacks.

After seeing her mother brunt at the stake for her discoveries regarding the gods, her escape from the city where she lived, and eventually her arrival at the village of Inoa, he starts to sympathize with her. Meanwhile, she begins showing affection for him within the dream. Eventually Alundra leaves, believing he has discovered all he could, and leaves the house while Meia still sleeps.

Two Great FathersEdit

The next morning, Alundra is informative that Nava has summoned him to his beach side cabin. As he arrives, Meia appears, and mentions that Nava seems to have already chosen Alundra. Her tone seems to have changed; her arrogance and sense of superiority seems to have vanished.

Inside, Nava speaks to Alundra, explaining the the history of Melzas and the king, and reveals that the lake where Melzas is sealed is the lake north of the village. Entrusting Alundra with destroying Melzas, Nava gives Alundra his blessing and urges him to visit the giant stone statue high in the mountains.

A short cutscene shows a group of short, pick wielding people breaking open the entrance of a cave in the mountains. When Alundra arrives there, Meia has already arrive to inspect the cavern. Urging Alundra to take care and noting that the cavern probably leads to the mountain's summit, she departs for the village.

Traversing the cavern within, Alundra arrives at the statue at the peak. The dwarfs seem to live within it, and activate their defense systems at the site of the outsider. Pushing on, Alundra slowly makes his way to the head of the statue, to find that it is the body of the last of the giants; Nirude.

Nirude's spirit appears before Alundra and explains that while the dwarfs' prayers have let him live, he no longer has the strength to become a physical being, unlike Melzas. Challenging Alundra to a test of strength and courage, he is defeated and offers Alundra his crest. At that moment Zorgia, a servant of Melzas, swoops in and attacks Nirude.

In his weakened state, Nirude can not survive the attack, and begins to perish. Just as Zorgia turns to Alundra to kill him, the dwarfs appear. Zorgia retreats and the dwarfs accuse Alundra of destroying their god. Nirude using the last of his strength to clear Alundra's name, and allow all to leave his body safely. With their apologies, Alundra leaves them to mourn the passing of their god, and begin the search for a new home.

After returning to the village, Alundra meets with Lutas, who confines that he suspects Ronan had a hand in Sybil's death. He also recounts an event where Ronan saved his life. As Alundra leaves, he meets Meia outside, who agrees with Lutas suspecting Ronan's motives. Alundra mentions that he prayed at the sanctuary when he first arrived, which alarms Meia greatly.

She reveals that this would allow Melzas to see into Alundra's mind, which would explain why Sybil was killed; Melzas knew she was guiding him. It also explains why Ronan has been protecting Lutas; to prevent the forging of the Holy Sword. Agreeing that it is best to destroy the idol of Melzas, and thus cut off the connection, they leave the village and head towards the sanctuary.

Meeting Ronan there, Meia and he argue for a time. He reveals that the majority of the village know of the statue, and many have prayed before it knowingly. Meia claims the Ronan is a pawn in Melzas's plan, but this does not seem to phase him. Meia and Alundra agree they must protect the two most curial people still alive, besides themselves, in the war against Melzas. Meia agrees to guard Septimus, while Alundra watches over Jess, the forger of the sword.

Leaving and heading home, there he confines in Jess what has transpired, and shortly after goes to bed. Early the next morning, Alundra is awoken by Meia, who reveals that Jess was found dead in the cemetery. After Jess's funeral, and all the other villagers have payed their respects, Ronan declares that Alundra killed Jess the moment he entered his life, and the blame falls on him alone.

Returning home, Lutas gives Alundra a key to a chest Jess had kept locked at all times. Inside, Alundra finds a note addressed to him, written by Jess. Within, Jess reveals that he suspected Alundra was correct about Ronan's status in Melzas' plan, and went to the sanctuary to speak with Ronan and end it, with obvious results.

Elene, Elene, Elene and EleneEdit

The next morning, Gustav approaches Alundra and begs him to help his daughter; Elene. Elene has shown to suffer from multiple personality disorder, and now has fallen gravely ill. Arriving at Gustav's house, Alundra finds that Meia has already arrived and is attempting to cure the nightmare herself.

However, she soon reemerges, shamefully admitting that she can not defeat the nightmare alone, and requests Alundra's assistance. The two drift into the dream, and begin to traverse the nightmare twisted world. Inside, Meia behaves never different to how she has behaved outside. Soon they reach the nightmare itself, which is split into four parts; one containing Elene herself, and three others pretending to be her, creating her multiple personalities.

Pushing from one nightmare to the next, the two cooperate to destroy each nightmare in turn, and growing closer as they do so. Eventually they destroy the nightmares and free Elene herself. Emerging, Elene awakens without her other selves, and the villagers celebrate.

In the middle of the night Kisha, Giles's sister, wakes Alundra, telling him that Giles has fallen to the nightmares. At the house, Septimus and Meia have also gathered. Just as Alundra prepares to enter the dream, they hear the screech of the Murgg outside. With Septimus and Kisha barricading themselves upstairs and Meia watching over Giles, Alundra destroys the Murgg swiftly.

Venturing upstairs to calls Kisha and Septimus down, a scream is hear downstairs. They find that Giles has transformed into a werewolf and it lunges forward to attack Meia and Alundra. In the process he throws Kisha against a wall. Seeing what he has done, Giles regains control of his body. Despairing over what he has down, he reveals that he was the one that killed Sybil and Jess, and claims that Melzas forced him to.

Kisha awakens and speaks to Giles. Hearing his sister's voice, he returns to human form and dies as such, instead as a twisted servant of Melzas.

The next morning Alundra visits Kisha and Meia, who stayed with Kisha overnight. Meia hands Alundra a small gemstone, which she found on the bodies of one of the Murgg last night. Using this stone, Alundra gains access to the Murgg woods. Traversing the twisting paths of the forest, Alundra thwarts the Murgg's many traps and ambushes.

Eventually arriving at the Murgg village, Alundra is swiftly captured and imprisoned. However, it is quick and easy for his to escape the wood cell, and begins climbing the tree at the centre of the village.

In the top most branches, Alundra faces off with the Murgg king, Zazan. After a fierce battle, he emerges victorious and reclaims the two crests stolen by the Murgg.

Fire in the SkyEdit

After returning to the village, the ground begins to shake violently. Naomi claims that the mountain of Torla, a volcano in the far north, is erupting once again. Alundra decides to investigate, and thus ventures forth once more.

Alundra finds a tunnel leading into the mountain, and with the aid of several geysers, gains access. Battling his way through the fire and lava, Alundra eventually finds the sixth Guardian; the dragon Wilda.

Wilda challenges Alundra, who manages to freeze the great fire dragon. The spirit of Wilda presents Alundra with the sixth crest, and transports Alundra out of the mountain.

The next morning Alundra is awoken by Meia; one of the twins has been kidnapped. Bergus has been taken by the Murgg, leaving his brother, Nestus, behind. Septimus arrives with an interesting idea; as they are twins, their minds are linked. Therefore it is possible to enter one mind, and exit the other: They may use Nestus to locate Bergus.

Alundra enters their dreams, to find many Murgg within. Destroying these, he also locates a nightmare core, which has not had the chance to twist the twin's dreams yet. Destroying the nightmare, Alundra emerges from Bergus's dream inside one of the Murgg's cells. Behind them a statue of Melzas is located. Destroying it causes a small earthquake with opens the cell for them.

They return to the village to find it in flames; the Murgg lured them out of the village so they could destroy it. The surviving villagers gather in the mayor's manor to discus the events before them. Agreeing that the Murgg must now be taking orders directly from Melzas, they agree their only chance of survival is to help Alundra destroy Melzas once and for all.

Ronan however still supports Melzas, saying that his must be the punishment for turning from him. However, all the villagers are how convinced of what Alundra, Septimus, and Meia were saying, and what Sybil and Jess gave their lives for; Melzas is indeed a demon disguising itself as a god.

Angered, Ronan returns to the sanctuary, and the villages retire for the night.

Dedication to the CauseEdit

The next morning, Alundra decides to speak with Ronan and try and convince him of his mistake. However, Ronan seems to be fiercely devoted, and cries out to Melzas for the power to destroy Alundra. Melzas complies by transforming Ronan into a twisted towering creature. Obviously insane, Ronan prides himself with his new form, and launches an unrelenting assault against Alundra.

After a difficult fight, Alundra kills Ronan, just as the others enter and discover what has transpired. They decide it is best to wait within the sanctuary's basement; as it in the most fortified place that will shelter them. Destroying the statue within, they discuss the implications of all that has transpired.

They agree the only thing remaining that they can do, is assist Alundra in locating the seventh crest, and destroying Melzas once and for all.

Pooling their prayers into a single thought, they materialize the one thing Melzas has tried so hard to keep from being created; the Holy Sword. Taking up this weapon, and with Meia's final words before he departs, Alundra leaves to finish his quest. Just as Alundra leaves the sanctuary, he is approached by the enigmatic Cephas; the grave keeper of the village grave yard.

He reveals that he and Nava are the last of an ancient race of humans with incredible lifespans. He tells Alundra that the king appointed him to watch over the village and guide the Releaser when he arrived. He informs Alundra that Nava possess the final crest, and that it is time for it to fulfill its purpose.

Alundra enters Nava's cabin to find him missing, and a staircase leading to a labyrinth of tunnels. Slowly making his way through, and solving the many puzzles along the way, Alundra eventually emerges on an island far out at sea. Alundra finds Nava in a house on the far side of the island, who is greatly wounded.

With the last of his strength, Nava presents Alundra with the final crest, just before Zorgia crashes into the building. The two fight, with Alundra finally defeating Melzas's champion. Nava returns as a spirit, and uses his power to return Alundra to the mainland, urging him to go to the lake, and end this forever.

The Lake ShrineEdit

Alundra follows Nava's instructions, and find seven plinths scattered around the lake. Placing the crests in the correct position, the ground suddenly shakes, as the ruins of a once great castle emerge from the lake.

The shrine is heavily damaged, but at the same time, strangely preserved. Traversing the sorrowful and lonely grounds, Alundra eventually gains access to the Shrine proper. Venturing into the throne room, Alundra meets his Melzas face to face, for the first time. Rather than fighting Alundra, Melzas uses his power to cast Alundra out of the room, seal the door and stop time within the castle.

Alundra explores the silent, ancient halls, discovering two clock tower which have been dis-activated. Reactivating them causes time to move once more. Facing off against many powerful enemies, Alundra dispels the seal on the door, and makes his way inside to face Melzas.

Melzas still refuses to fight Alundra, and instead sets his most powerful minion on him. After destroying Melzas's dragon, Alundra faces the demon himself. After defeating his physical body, Alundra faces off against Melzas in his purest form; a great mental power. With both Melzas's mind destroyed, and body defeated, Alundra set fire to Melzas's body, destroying him completely and utterly.

As Melzas dies, the shrine collapses, leaving Alundra to flee the sinking castle. The ending sequence shows the rebuilding of the village, before Alundra and Meia leave to travel together. However, the memories of the past haunt them, and they eventually part ways. Alundra's eventual fate is left unknown.

CharactersEdit

Alundra characters

Artwork depicting characters from Alundra.

  • Alundra, the protagonist and player character, is an elf from the clan of Elna, the Dreamwalkers. He comes to Inoa because of a recurring dream in which a mysterious figure who calls Alundra "Releaser" tells him that he must save the villagers from the evil of Melzas. His ship is caught in a storm and he is later found washed ashore unconscious. After arriving, he starts being blamed by the townsfolk for all of the terrible happenings that occur. Alundra is a silent protagonist.
  • Meia is also part of the clan of Elna. She is also seeking to destroy Melzas. She has a troubled past that is eventually revealed during the course of the game.
  • Jess is the blacksmith in Inoa. After Alundra's ship is swept ashore and destroyed in a storm, Jess finds the unconscious Alundra and takes care of him for as long as he remains in Inoa. He is good-natured and always trusts Alundra, even when others do not.
  • Septimus is a scholar and a close friend of Alundra. He travelled to Inoa to help lift the curse that has afflicted it, but has met with little success. He helps Alundra discover many ancient and forgotten secrets of the world and his power of dreamwalking.

AntagonistsEdit

  • Ronan is the priest of the village's church, the Sanctuary. From Alundra's first arrival in Inoa, Ronan constantly acts to turn the villagers against him. He has a hidden agenda and secretly praying for Melzas when the church is locked.
  • Melzas is an ancient and powerful demon. Though he was imprisoned long ago by the Guardians of the Seal, he has returned and is terrorizing the villagers of Inoa. He is the primary villain of the storyline.
  • Zazan is the leader of a clan of white monkey-like creatures known as the Murgg. He is being commanded by Melzas to destroy Inoa and steal the seven crests.
  • Zorgia is a powerful demon and a servant of Melzas. He is vicious, cruel, sadistic, and utterly loyal to his master.

DevelopmentEdit

The game was developed by Matrix Software. Several of its employees were former employees of Climax Entertainment, the developer that created Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Dark Savior for the Sega Saturn, both which were similar action role-playing games.[7]

Alundra was published in North America by the now-defunct publisher Working Designs, which handled the game's localization. The original Japanese script, written by Ichiro Tezuka, was translated into English by Working Designs staff members Victor Ireland, Zach Meston and Akiko S. Peterson.[1] Zach Meston, who was also a contributing editor of PS Extreme magazine at the time, wrote an estimated 30% to 40% of the translation.[7]

CreditsEdit

  • Director: Yasuhiro Ohori
  • Producer: Takahiro Kaneko, Hideaki Kikukawa
  • Executive Producer: Akira Sato
  • Character Designer: Yoshitaka Tamaki
  • Lead Programmer: Motoki Himi[1]
  • Writer: Ichiro Tezuka
  • Composer: Kōhei Tanaka[8]

ReceptionEdit

Commercial ReceptionEdit

Alundra was well received upon release. The game had sold 143,114 copies in Japan by the end of 1997.[9] Following its North American release, Working Designs sold over 100,000 copies of the game in North America within a single month in early 1998.[3] This adds up to over 243,114 units sold, as of January 1998.

Despite an initial successful pressing, along with critical acclaim, the game suffered from a low production run and had "all but vanished" from North American stores, according to Gaming Bolt. With its low production run, dated 2D sprite visuals, and general perception as a Zelda derivative, the game eventually "receded into obscurity" over time, according to Gaming Bolt.[3]

Critical ReceptionEdit

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Average Score 87%
(21 reviews)
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 7 / 10[10]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 34.5 / 40[11]
Famitsu 31 / 40[12]
Game Informer 25.5 / 30[13][14]
GamePro Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg[15]
GameSpot 8.8 / 10[16]
IGN 8.5 / 10[17]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg[18]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 9 / 10[19]
PSM 4 / 5[20]
Gaming Age 90%[21]
Next Generation Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg[22]
NowGamer 8.6 / 10[23]
PlayStation Plus 91%[19]
PS Extreme 90%[7]
RPGamer 9 / 10[24]
Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg[25]
RPGFan 87%[26]
87%[27]
Thunderbolt 9 / 10[28]
Ultra Game Players 9 / 10[29]
Awards
Entity Award
Electronic Gaming Monthly Role-Playing Game of the Year (Runner-Up)[30]
GamePro Best Role-Playing Game (2nd Place)[31]
PlayStation Plus Winner[19]
Electronic Gaming Monthly Editor's Choice (Silver)[11]

Upon release, the game received unanimous critical applause.[3] It has an average aggregate score of 87% based on 21 reviews, making it one of the highest-rated PlayStation titles of 1997.

In January 1998, IGN stated, "Never have I been so tested and challenged since the old Genesis adventure title, LandStalker. And Climax has made Alundra twice as hard, twice as challenging, and twice as good as its LandStalker counterpart." The review further states that it has "a really cool story," as well as "some great music and graphics that totally suit the game," and concludes that "this game is awesome."[17] GameSpot praised the "finely drawn sprite-based graphics", "fitting" music, "tight" controls, "nicely balanced" gameplay, and "great" dungeons for there being "something new in just about every one of them". They praised the script as "maturely written", with a fitting "tone and feel", each character having a "distinct personality," and religion becoming "a major player" in the plot as "townspeople slowly begin to realize what's behind their suffering."[16] Electronic Gaming Monthly's four reviewers gave it ratings of 9, 9, 8 and 8.5 out of 10, adding up to 34.5 out of 40 overall (or 8.625 out of 10 average). They praised the "excellent" translation, the puzzles as "downright brilliant in design", and the action as "challenging and well-paced", concluding it to be a "solid" quest and "great game."[11] The 1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide described it as a "great RPG" that "plays a lot like" LandStalker.[32] Famitsu gave the game a generally positive score of 31 out of 40.[12]

GamePro gave it ratings of 3.5 for graphics, 4.5 for sound, and 4.5 for control, with an overall fun factor of 4.5 out of 5. They noted it is "reminiscent" of The Legend of Zelda's "real-time battles and nonstop exploration" but stated it "plays great" with challenging puzzles and "tight" controls enabling "you to run, jump, tackle enemies, and lift and throw items." While critical of the "less than inspired" graphics, they concluded its "off-the-hook action and challenging gameplay elevated it to must-have RPG status" and that "missing out may cause you to have nightmares."[15] Game Informer's three reviewers gave it ratings of 8.25, 8.75 and 8.5 out of 10, adding up to 25.5 out of 30 overall. They noted the "graphics won't wow you," but praised the "intriguing" story and "character dialog" as well as the exploration and puzzles.[13] Next Generation criticized the graphics as "a little weak" compared to "the recent RPG offering from Square," but praised the gameplay for "depth not ordinarily found in today's games" and the puzzles for requiring "a lot of thought, planning, and persistence". They stated the game is "a perfectly balanced mix of action, involvement, and evenly paced progression."[22]

PlayStation Magazine noted the "variety and range of tasks always keep gamers thinking and acting in a methodic fashion," a "challenge not found in most games." They described the "tone of the game" as "fairly serious," with an "interesting" story and character development, but stated the "real thrill" is the exploration of the "massive landscape." They criticized the "graphics and soundtrack" as "somewhat uninspired" but concluded its "strength lies in its incomparable gameplay and challenge" as the "real appeal."[20] PS Extreme reviewed the game despite a "conflict of interest" with their contributing editor Zach Meston being one of the game's translators. They criticized the "disappointing" graphics and similarities to Zelda, but praised Alundra for its "sheer amount of action/adventure gameplay", "dozens of increasingly tricky logic puzzles and studly monsters", "hefty amount of dialogue" with "just about every event" causing villagers "to say something different", and "serious" plot with "heavy religious overtones" and "a surprising amount of death" but with "some wonderful jokes" to "lighten the mood."[7]

Retrospective ReceptionEdit

In 2009, Destructoid}'s Conrad Zimmerman described Alundra as a "fresh and innovative" game and "one of the finest examples of action/RPG gaming", noting how it combined platforming elements and challenging puzzles with an innovative storyline revolving around entering people's dreams and dealing with mature themes. He particularly praised it for featuring "a plot the likes of which I had never seen before in the genre," the strong "writing and characterizations," and the "clever and challenging puzzles". He also praised the 2D graphics, noting that 3D "RPGs from the PlayStation generation have a terribly dated appearance" while "this still manages to look fantastic."[5] In regards to the PSN release, Platform Nation's Julian Montoya said the game "is very enjoyable and definitely worth playing" as well as stating it is a "long, fun, hard, mildly mature and full of personality adventure." He also notes that it is a "fondly remembered Action RPG", states the puzzles are "extremely" challenging, and praises the "engrossing story" for being "surprisingly mature and dark" while touching on "complex themes like fate, religion, death and the essence of human existence." He concluded that some "refer to it as a classic and I really believe it is."[4]

In 2010, Gaming Bolt's George Reith described it as one of the "Awesome Games That Time Forgot", stating that while it looked "more like Zelda than a lot of" Zelda games, it had "fiendish puzzles" and a more adult tone, combining a "bright visual aesthetic" with a darker story that is "filled with morbid themes" such as clinical depression and not "afraid to kill off the odd character hear and there," giving it "tension that other RPGs" lacked. He also praised the level design, with "well made" dungeons that require thinking "outside of the box", and the "dream walking" mechanic for giving the "levels a unique twist" based "upon the dreamer’s personality and traits," adding "variety to the game’s locales" and providing insight on the characters, but noted this was balanced by an expansive overworld "full of secrets and side-quests," with "an equal amount of dungeons both inside and outside" of dreams.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/196598-alundra/credit
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/196598-alundra/data
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 George Reith (2010-06-17). Awesome Games That Time Forgot: Alundra. Game Revolution. Retrieved on 2015-01-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Platform Nation's Alundra Review
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Zimmerman, Conrad (2009-03-20). An RPG Draws Near! Alundra. Destructoid. Retrieved on 30 January 2012.
  6. アランドラ. PlayStation.com(Japan). Sony (2007-10-10). Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-26.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Alex (February 1998). "Alundra". PS Extreme. http://web.archive.org/web/20041217165435/www.workingdesigns.com/games/playstation/alundra/reviews/index.html. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  8. http://vgmdb.net/album/201
  9. Video game software sales in 1997. Geimin.net (1997-12-28). Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved on 10 February 2012.
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20071011085143/computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=8181
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Alundra, Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 103 (February 1998), page 113
  12. 12.0 12.1 http://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=8717
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://web.archive.org/web/20041217163417fw_/www.workingdesigns.com/games/playstation/alundra/reviews/a-ginf.htm
  14. http://web.archive.org/web/19990913013009/www.gameinformer.com/cgi-bin/review.cgi?sys=psx&path=jan98&doc=alundra
  15. 15.0 15.1 https://web.archive.org/web/20071005051330/www.gamepro.com/sony/psx/games/reviews/177.shtml
  16. 16.0 16.1 Chris Johnston (January 8, 1998). The Adventures of Alundra Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on June 28, 2012.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Alundra - PlayStation review. IGN (January 9, 1998). Retrieved on June 28, 2012.
  18. Alundra. Game Rankings. Archived from the original on 25 December 2009. Retrieved on 2010-01-13.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 https://archive.org/stream/Computer_and_Video_Games_Issue_199_1998-06_EMAP_Images_GB#page/n26/mode/1up
  20. 20.0 20.1 http://web.archive.org/web/20041217165435/www.workingdesigns.com/games/playstation/alundra/reviews/index.html
  21. https://web.archive.org/web/20040926091840/www.gaming-age.com/reviews/archive/old_reviews/psx/alundra/
  22. 22.0 22.1 http://web.archive.org/web/20041112195656fw_/www.workingdesigns.com/games/playstation/alundra/reviews/a-nxtg.htm
  23. The Adventures of Alundra (April 24, 1988), NowGamer, Imagine Publishing
  24. Tidwell, Mikel. Alundra - Staff Review. RPGamer. Retrieved on 30 January 2012.
  25. http://www.rpgamer.com/games/alun/al/reviews/alstrev2.html
  26. Gann, Patrick (11/11/10). Alundra. RPGFan. Retrieved on 30 January 2012.
  27. http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/alundra/Alundra-2.html
  28. Terence Gage (September 28, 2007). The Adventures of Alundra - PSone review. Thunderbolt. Retrieved on June 28, 2012.
  29. "Alundra". Ultra Game Players. January 1998. http://web.archive.org/web/20041217165435/www.workingdesigns.com/games/playstation/alundra/reviews/index.html. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  30. Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 104, Editors' Choice Awards, pages 86-96
  31. GamePro, issue 118 (July 1998), pages 38-39
  32. Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide, p. 121

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