I first played Amagon
as a weekend rental in 1989 and found the game to be rather difficult.
-as Amagon, getting hit by anything or falling offscreen costs a life
-the novice will waste ammo and quickly run out
-variable-height jump takes some getting used to
-continues aren't available until Zone 4 (7 levels in)
seemed so hard that it didn't get much play that weekend; I'd rented several other games and mostly played the ones with easier learning curves.
The next year I saw Amagon
selling for ~$10 and bought it, along with two other games. In a repeat of what happened over that rental weekend, I rapidly became frustrated with Amagon
, put it aside, and played through the other two games instead.
It took a substantial effort, through a considerable amount of preparation
, to overcome my negative mindset and convince myself that it was even *possible* to beat Amagon
, but finally I believed again that it could be done (the first step toward beating any game) and with renewed determination set off on the path to victory; there was no turning back now.
After playing persistently for many hours I started to make some progress. Although skill is important, Amagon
isn't so much a game that you get good at
as it is a game that you get used to
. And I was certainly used to recovering lost ground by the time I got to Zone 4 and the ability to continue. From there my NES stayed on constantly and I fervently hoped that there was no power outage. Even with continues the gameplay remains tough, but by now I had the rhythm down and made good time in cutting through the remaining six levels. Having been trounced so thoroughly twice before, completing it was a fine moment to add to my video gaming résumé.
For some time I thought that Amagon
must have previously been an arcade game, such is its demoralizing level of difficulty, but the NES version is all we've got.
"Be Prepared For Your Mission!"
I bought Shingen the Ruler
(NES) for $2 at a secondhand store in the late 1990s, no instruction book. First-time players should expect to spend most of the game scrolling through numbers and moving troops across large battlefields at about 5 squares per round. My initial attempts ended in punishing defeat after a small number of turns. I remember thinking, "I must be the only person in the world playing this game right now." But in spite of the slow pace, I began to have fun playing Shingen
and eventually developed a workable strategy that took me to victory. Having no instructions added an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging game. Good times.
"Just lookin' out of the window, watchin' the asphalt grow."