In 1989, my grandfather kindled my passion for gaming when he pulled out an old Atari 2600. Back then, it was only a 10 year old machine. Although a few advancements had been made in the industry (Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis) it was still very much relevant.
So there I sat; awestruck, and faced with new, exciting adventures that I could have never dreamed of. Neither of us could have guessed that the tiny little spark of interest in video games would quickly grow into a full blown fire. Or that it would continue to burn strong into adulthood and beyond.
The first game I got hooked on was Pitfall. I mean HOOKED. I practically destroyed my cartridge from constant play. It was deceivingly difficult, and walked the thin line between fun and frustrating. There have honestly been few games since that have captivated me in the same way. A few of the Zelda series, and some of the Mario franchise fall into that category. Then came Rogue Legacy.
Rogue Legacy is a careful balance of new school wacky and old school hack and slash. You play as a knight, fighting your way through the castle to secure your own fame and glory… Then you die. Misfortune is the fortune you leave behind. Death is your legacy. Because you are unable to respawn, your son (or daughter) is doomed to follow in your footsteps. They use what little you gold you gave them to buy better gear and pay Charon for entry into the cursed hall.
Each of your scions has randomly selected traits and abilities that can help, or hinder… It’s up to the player to choose how to efficiently use them. For example, Lady Sandra has a majestic flowing beard and beefy arms, but she also has IBS, vertigo, and is afraid of chickens. She was spiked to death in a nearly impossible room, surrounded by a cloud of fart. Her nephew Lord Byron was tall, dark, and handsome, but suffered from early onset dementia. He also had tunnel vision. He was blown to bits by a giant eyeball that he thought was a maiden in distress.
Three… Four genetically deficient generations go by and you realize you are addicted. Another hour of gameplay and you’ve killed off almost two dozen of your progeny.
Every death births a new castle to explore and conquer… A new, procedurally generated, rogue-like dungeon with the sole purpose of mowing down any defective knight that is thrown at it. I’m told the average player can beat the game in 20 hours. Rogue Legacy has been on PC for two years, and I have yet to beat it. To be honest, I’m not sure I want this strange, crazy, sometimes farty journey to end.