Syd of Valis Dissection and Review (Page 2)
by Polly

Thanks to a supery-dupery cutscene, we get a new suit to play dress-up with! What's this one do? Well, it's basically an improvement to every stat, so there's no reason you should be sticking to anything else at this point. Unfortunately, this does include the Speed stat as well, but it's only rated at 15, which is right on par with the first Valis suit we got earlier. Just get used to pulling back those jumps and feeling like you're sliding on ice the whole time. Shit, the last time I had to adjust how I play a game in this manner was fucking Tomb Raider...

Stage 4: Mt. Go Fucking Fuck Your-fucking-self

I'm guessing you might be able to tell where this is going... We are in for one amazingly FUN ride, and by FUN I mean "NOT FUCKING FUN IN THE LEAST JUST STOP PLAYING THE GAME RIGHT NOW!" You can, I can't! I have to fucking write about it. You have a way out, please just turn off the console if you're playing now. ALT+F4 the emulator. Throw that cartridge out into the ocean and just fucking forget about it! Why would you do this to yourself? It never ends! Even if I hate you, just please, don't do this to yourself.

The three Acts that make up this stage feature some of the most bullshit moments in gaming, I think I may have ever encountered over the years. The entire stage isn't really the focus, it's just some very specific bits. There's just so much dicking over the player at certain that its ridiculous. Infuriating! It's not challenging, it's not fun, it's just bullshit. There's no other way to describe it.

The first Act starts out decent enough. As decent as it can be considering I'm playing Syd of Valis, anyway. You're at the base of a mountain, working your way to the right as usual. There's also a lot of vertical height to the stage providing you with a lot of very useful power-ups and another 1-up. I don't think I need to tell you by now just how much you need this item, so stick to the top gathering all the hearts and taking pot shots at all the airborne enemies in the stage. Don't try using the kneel trick to speed up these encounters, as you'll drop yourself down to the higher populated areas and suffer unneeded damage. We're going to need every fucking HP we can get for this upcoming boss fight.

Well, this fight starts out braindead enough. Just, stand where I'm standing and keep firing the 3-Way Beam to deal with this big fella. After 20 or so hits, the suit of armor will disappear and we're left with...










GOD DAMN what a fucking cheap-ass, bullshit enemy type. The god damn room's too small so you have VERY little room to work with, the fucker will NOT stay off you. Your only best bet is to continue running and double jumping around the screen continuously firing the homing beam and utilizing the kneel glitch when you can to get more shots off before he's rammed himself in one of Yuko's ears and out the other. They saw tremendous "fuck the player over" potential with this kind of enemy in the last stage, and they're making full use of it again in this one too. I can't wait to see the Stage 5 version. I'm sure there is one! If there's not, I'll be fucking surprised. And happy.

If you're lucky enough to win this stupid fight (and you shouldn't be, because you are not playing this game anyway), instead of a new weapon or suit, this time we LEVEL UP!

With this level up, the only real difference is that our projectiles get larger and make a more annoying sound effect when fired. They're also a bit more powerful now, especially that dinky peashooter weapon you started out with. You'll also notice that your stats in the sub-menu go all haywire. I don't think any of them make a damn bit of sense, and now that I look at it, the Defensive power is actually your Attack power because it's the one that changes when I switch weapons. Who knows?

The second Act is another one of my favorites. Wanna know why?

Yeah, that's right. C'mere, you fucking lovely little five-pointed beauty, you! Fuck the second Act! Fuck most of the third Act! I'm on motherfuckin' cruise control and you bitches can kiss my ass. I just run and keep on runnin' through the entirety of the second Act and my invincibility remains intact for the first half of the third, where I meet the first of two bosses for the stage.

This guy's kind of a walk in the park if you manage to get to him with your invincibility in tact. As soon as he appears he fires a bullshit laser shot at Yuko which is instant damage that I doubt you can even avoid because it just appears when he does and you can't move yet. Par for the fucking course for this game, I guess.

As you can see in both pics up there, which represent both phases of the fight, I don't have to move from this center position at all while kneeling in order to defeat this guy. Just equip Homing shot and hold fire. You may have to re-adjust yourself if he gets some kind of fluke lucky hit (which will be followed by 3-4 cheap hits while you get re-situated). Another stupid and cheap boss down without too much trouble, but if you take too many hits here, you won't have to worry, becuase thankfully, you get replenished after the fight.

But, we get another level up for our efforts, pushing us up to Level 3! Our projectiles get even bigger and more powerful, and as far as I can tell, that peashooter we started the game with is the best damage-dealer we have now and we will be using it!

This is the mighty Hizen. He challenges Yuko to a fight and tells her that she should be honored that he's fighting her. Not one to be outdone in a verbal brawl, Yuko snaps back that NO, it is in fact HE who should be glad she SHE is fighting HIM. Ohhhhhhh, gettin' fucking serious now!

This boss is a son of a bitch, mostly because you have to survive three fucking phases of inconsistent and cheap combat.

For his first attack, Hizen takes a cue from one of my favorites, Top Man, and is happy to just spin, spin, spin toward Yuko. You can double-jump over this attack with SOME consistency, but it largely depends on the distance between you and him. Of course the only way you can hurt him is by shooting him in the head (with your LV3 powered Peashooter) so you'll probably end up taking hits to simply deal damage to the asshole as he gets close. He'll burrow underground in this phase as well pop up under Yuko, so be prepared.

His second form is kind of ridiculous, mostly because I had to find the "secret spot" on the ground to kneel and not get hurt. Otherwise, this fight's already over as the attacks he has in this form are just retarded and too fast to dodge. The reason this "secret spot" is such bullshit, is because it defies rules set by other enemies in the game. For some stupidfuck reason, Hizen can NOT hit Yuko when she's kneeling in the middle of the screen, even when his sprite is CLEARLY touching her.

Yes, I know what it looks like, but let's just be mature here.

Seriously, I could sit here for hours and he'd never even touch me. Hey, why not have another pointless video to prove it?

Hizen's last form is what looks to be a reject from an early Contra game. Or maybe he was in one of those earlier Contra games and couldn't get work anywhere else and had to take a role here. Kinda like 8 Easy Bits! This little fucker can be quite annoying, mostly because he's so erratic. Staying to one side of the screen and double-jumping up to shoot at him is the best shot you have. You'll also have to dodge or destroy the VERY FAST projectiles he spits out. It's another one of those fights that seems to just be left up to luck in order to win, because there's no telling when the boss is going to move toward Yuko.

Also, that little kneeling in the middle trick doesn't work anymore, even though the boss' sprite comes into contact with Yuko at the same height. You now suffer damage for it. For no reason. Fun times!

And you're in for a treat if you don't manage to win! Because failing to win any of the five phases of boss combat in this stage means you get reset back to the start (with an enemy standing right on top of you that has about an 80% chance of doing instant 2 points of damage. Great design there fellas.) What a cocking load of dickshit. It took me every bit of an hour to figure out how to beat Hizen, god knows how much of that was just trying to fucking get back to him.

Oh, that is it, bitch. I fucking ripped you from this shitty game, and I can fucking throw your spritey little ass back into videogame land any-fuck-where I please.

Have. Fun.

You were warned, bitch. You. Were. Warned.

Stage 5: From A Great Height

Here we are, the last stage of the game. Fucking finally.

The final stage of the game is a rather short and straightforward affair. That's really because you have no control as to how fast you progress through it. It's an auto-scroller, which has you riding an elevator up two shafts for the first two Acts. Typically, when you enter the final boss' hideout, at this point of the game, they'll be throwing everything at you "including the kitchen sink." In no case has this been more true than Syd of Valis' final stage. During the ride up, you'll be constantly bombarded with fucking rocks, shiny rocks, alligator heads (whaaaaat?) and fucking CONTACT LENSES. They're my favorite kind of annoying bullshit enemies, that all seem to home in on you to do damage. The rock-types even split into four pieces like my good ol' buddies, the blimp fuckers from Stage 2.

Causing some added frustration in this stage is, YOU GUESSED IT, movement area. The elevator is up the screen a good way vertically, and you can fall off the sides of the elevator. How about some more inconsistency? Falling off the side of the elevator actually costs you a life now. For the WHOLE FUCKING GAME, falling off ledges cost you 1HP and the game would bounce you out of the hole, but now, holes are now deadly. If you're moving and take a hit, enemies seem to push you MUCH farther now than they ever have before as well. Gee, I'm betting they totally rewrote the rules of the game specifically for this stage! I love you too, developers. You fucks.

One can manage to eek by in this stage by abusing the 3-Way Beam. It covers a good portion of the area and the kneel glitch can be put to maximum effect here. If you manage to hit Act 2 and find yourself low on health, say fuck it and just drop off the elevator. You WILL NOT survive the coming boss fight. Just lose the life and get your health back and start Act 2 all over.

Bullshitty boss time! Kinda like the first boss of the game, this boss just hangs out in a top corner of the screen and fires at you. It can also dive at you to do damage and attempt to knock you off the elevator for the one-hit kill.

Fucking hell... Why is it that so many bosses in this fucking game have that bullshit dive move that's almost fucking impossible to dodge and they can almost always get caught in a loop where they'll just use it endlessly? It's one of the most bullshit moves I've ever seen in a game. Hell, a lot of old-school games tend to have annooying cheaty moves used at least once, but this game has one specific bullshit move that MANY bosses use. Were the programmers that fucking lazy that they couldn't think of anything else for the bosses to do? Shit, I might not even be so pissed if it was a different bullshit unavoidable move. At least I'd be seeing something different! SHIT!

Here we are, folks. The final showdown with Megas. We've fought so hard, and come so far, but in the end does it even matter? I think we all already know the answer, but I'll play ball anyway. It's my job.

Megas has two forms and both are kinda stupidly easy to defeat. The first form is just a huge bust of Megas that floats above you, stops and fires two beams down at the ground, which then shoot horizontally to both sides of the screen. Obviously, the place you wanna be when this attack goes off is right under Megas. Pixel-fucking-perfect under Megas. You'll probably take a lot of bullshit hits from the stupid beams, because of Yuko's stupid fucking hitbox. Just try as best as you can to get under him and DO NOT MOVE ONE PIXEL until the beams are off the screen. During this time you should be continually firing up with your 3-Way Beam to hit Megas while he's above you and moving away. It won't take long to wear this form down.

His second form is content to just hang out on the right side of the screen and throw shit at Yuko. One of them is a two ring set of fireballs that move slowly to the left. These can be easily avoided by being exactly where I am in the pic and you should be holding down the fire button, with the 3-Way Beam still equipped. The second attack you can see coming a mile away and can dodge from the same position that I'm in. You'll see him charge the attack and then throw a big purple ball of goo at Yuko. Just double-jump over it and continue your assault until the Emperor of Darkness finally falls.

Don't worry, you're not alone. It makes absolutely no fucking sense to me either.

The funny isn't over, either. After that completely incomprehensible story ending we come to find that...

Nobody called out to the translators on their way out of the office the day before this game went gold, "HEY, WE STILL NEED SOME STUFF DONE HERE, GUYS!"

What you're seeing there aren't screenshots from the Japanese version of the game. No, my friend, these are from the North American version of the game, I can assure you. At this point, after wrecking the translation as much as they had already, the translator(s) simply said fuck it to translating the credits and the simple "THE END" screen. Oh, and they didn't bother with the Game Over screen either:

Thanks guys! Least I got to use my growing knowledge of Moon Runes for something!

I seriously can't recommend Syd of Valis to anybody. It's nothing but an excercise in frustration. Budding game developers would do good to check it out if only to understand how to NOT approach game making. This game tries to skid by the finish line on style alone. Its cutesy look is no doubt charming, but unable to redeem it in any fashion.

I feel it's also important to mention that prior to reviewing this game, I actually went out and bought a copy from a friend for $10. Don't ask me WHY he fucking had it, he just did. Didn't have any packaging or anything, but I figured it'd be a nice placeholder until I could find a nice and fully-packaged version. GOD DAMN my need to have EVERYTHING in a series...

Isn't it cute?

To be honest, when I bought it, I had every intention of just smashing the living shit out of it, because that's just how much this game pissed me off. But, I guess a little bit of the charm managed to cool my hot head, and in the end I said, "You'll live another day, Syd of Valis. You'll live another day.

Next: Hot n' Horny Elf Chick! That's all I really care about.


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