Virtual Hydlide


Virtual Hydlide is the best RPG made with a golf game engine.



he even walks like a golfer

riding a horse

invisible horse


Also I loved Stunt Race FX, and I played the PAL one that ran even slower than the NTSC versions. It just felt fun to play despite the low framerate. Or in spite of, if you’re meaux.


SRFX is a fantastic game!


let me just clarify, i just spent a shitload of money on a new PC with a nice graphics card. i’m not immune to wanting higher framerates, and i’ve raged at horrible ports and jittery visuals many times. i just think high framerate = always better is non-axiomatic and should, in fact, be questioned and interrogated


This explains a lot


The original Star Fox’s framerate ranged anywhere between 5 and 20 fps depending on the complexity of the scene, which due to the nature of the game directly correlated with the intensity of the action. On one level, this results in a sort of naturally occurring bullet time. The moment-to-moment pacing and flow of the game is meticulously crafted around this, so playing at a consistent 20 fps imposes a significant handicap on the player. Recrafting the game to work at a higher, more consistent framerate is by no means impossible – just uneconomical.

On another level, the peaks, valleys, and swings of the framerate create palpable changes in mood. The framerate is lowest during big explosions (those large textures are expensive!), which gives them a good sense of meatiness. The framerate is highest when nothing is onscreen (duh). This usually happens after clearing a wave of enemies, and the smoothness provides a good sense of catharsis. The best examples of this are when you exit the exploding cruisers in the Space Armada, since the starfield outside provides the clearest sense of motion.

IIRC some of Star Fox 64’s rereleases suffered a bit because they didn’t have the slowdown caused by the boss death explosions. Very disappointing imo.

Anyhow, I’m here to stan for the OG Star Fox any time you need me.


Interesting. I’m a huge fan of explosion slowdown (Bangai-O DS for life) to emphasize the moment – the sense that the force is too strong and reality itself is beginning to break down is a good spice. Slowdown normally isn’t terribly distracting but the level Star Fox exhibits really messes with my sense of reality and ability to fly the ship by gauging feel.

We’re into another territory here: games that slow down vs those that drop frames. Decoupling framerate from motion is a better architectural decision in almost all respects but at low framerates the game becomes more difficult to play, rather than giving the player a temporary slowdown powerup in exchange for the game’s troubles. Most console games know their hardware and scenario well enough that the choice doesn’t make a huge difference next to target framerate, though; it has more bearing on other platforms and future expandability.


Keeping a close eye on this thread. Haven’t played the game, but I kind of adore the original Hydlide and this game looks like the hotter end of a hot mess. All ambition and no sense or ability to make it all work together. Which is my kind of jam. I’d rather a nightmare production that has something to say, or earns some emotions from me, than something that was always gonna work and is just kind of there.

This game looks so adorable for what it thinks it can do and what it guesses is the right way to go about it, and the disturbing picture it paints in the process… I really want to play this. It looks like playable outsider art.


Phantasy Star doesn’t dick around and just starts its swords and sorcery in a town with a spaceport.


But it’s not. Hydlide is a really good game.

Weird controls, that take a while to get used to, and this one infuriating music track, but otherwise it’s so charming. And you can see all the influence it had.


By the by Saturn emulation on Retroarch is progressed well enough that Virtual Hydlide looks and runs great.


It isn’t so weird. WIzardry, Ultima and M&M were made by big nerds who were nerd enough to like both Dungeons & Dragons and Star Trek. They each approached it differently, though.

Garriott just threw together whatever struck his fancy for the first three Ultimas, without regards for plot. So there’s tie fighters in Ultima 1 just because he liked Star Wars, just like Ultima 2 is a Time Bandits ripoff. Once he started having a more cohesive approach with ultima 4+ the sci-fi elements basically disappeared, reduced to a wing commander nod in U7.

In the Might & Magic games the sci-fi is instead the recurring third act twist, and an important part of the lore, that the fantasy worlds in which the games take place are the product of a sci-fi civilization.

In Wizardry the sci-fi isn’t even a thing until the 6th game and is that game’s very final twist (and not in all endings), and for the next two game it’s just part of the world from the beginning. And unlike M&M it isn’t hi-tech hidden behind fantasy, instead it’s some kind of spelljammer-style fantasy tech mix. In M&M a world is eventually reshaped by activating matter generators. In Wizardry it’s done by writing with a magic pen in a magic book.


Now that technology is so advanced I can’t stand looking at anything that I could be looking at faster.


ooh in that case can i talk about how i think the ‘final hit’ in Smash Ultimate is a callback to when you’d land a big hit in SSB64 and the whole game would hang for a frame? i always preferred playing in consoles without the expansion pack for that reason


From a broader point of view, the fantasy/sf divide has never been fixed and they basically always overlapped. Even Tolkien hints that Middle Earth is the prehistory of, well, our Earth. The calcification of the Tolkien-heavy fantasy mishmash into hard genre (Dragonlancification) didn’t happen til probably the 80s. Which of course is when these games were being made, but still. The pulp tradition was still alive and well.


Ooh, I didn’t even know. Hit pause is a beautiful thing


Even if it started in the 80s it took some time to really set, since we got Masters of the Universe as a shining mass marketed example of the overlap.


and good 'ol Krull


Thought Conan was a big part of that.