Study 23: Rygar/Argus no Senshi (NES/Famicom, Arcade)
Has it really been three months since I last did one of these? Man. I’d like to do them more often. We’ll try to get back into the swing of things over the summer, okay?
Anyway, let’s get onto the topic at hand. Argus no Senshi was one of Tecmo’s earliest games, seeing release in 1986. The company had just recently changed its name, formerly doing business as Tehkan. The origins of Tehkan were pretty far from gaming, as they supplied cleaning equipment to Japanese businesses in 1967. Two years later, the company switched gears and got into amusement equipment, which was a bigger success. Their first game was 1981′s Pleiads.
Argus no Senshi was a fairly straightforward action arcade title, starring hero Senshi (aka “warrior” in Japanese, according to Video Game Den). His claim to fame was slinging around a rather cool weapon, the Diskarmor, which is a boomerang-esque shield. With this mighty weapon, Senshi must defeat the evil Raiga and save the kingdom of Arigoru from his tyranny. I have the flyers for the arcade original at the end of the post, mainly because the Japanese one is quite violent. XD In localization the hero became Rygar, the villain Ligar, and little else changed from what I can tell.
In 1987 Argus no Senshi was ported to the Famicom. The game saw a significant change in style and design during this process. The arcade style of gameplay was tossed aside for a more Metroid-like structure (the comparison isn’t as derivative as you may think, since Metroid came out around the same time). Senshi still wields the Diskarmor, but he can pad its abilities with further tools that boost his defense and mobility options. It’s a fairly solid game, although it’s been way too long since I played it.
When Tecmo brought it to the U.S., very little seemingly changed! Let’s start with the most drastic alteration, which, naturally, is the box art:
The Famicom box is rather adorable, despite Raiga’s malice. Senshi is chibi-ifed, and the enemies are fairly cute, too. It also utilizes the most memorable part of Rygar to me, the sunset. Rather nice work.
America as usual can’t handle the anime, so Tecmo commissioned this for us to experience the fantastic Rygar. A graceful manly man this Rygar is, with a Diskarmor MADE OF FIRE and the ability to bound over sinking muppet rejects that were cast into the stone pits of doom. Mullet power, too! Seems a bit inspired by He-Man. :p The randomly suspended tree behind him that just suddenly ceases existence before it reaches the ground is a blemish. I like how the logo uses the sunset, though. I’ve seen worse!
Some screen comparisons, with Japan on the left and America on the right:
Very little changed here. The logo for Argus no Sensei looks nicer, I think. I like the Diskarmor behind it quite a bit. A two year gap between releases is the other thing I notice.
Beyond some color differences and changes to the text, Sensei/Rygar and the Guru here look unaltered.
Surprisingly, the biggest change to Rygar was that some of its music was redone for the American release! Compare the two:
Argus no Sensei was minimally cut or transformed on its overseas travels to become Rygar, which is always nice to see. The box art and the music were the key alterations. So while Sensei’s original chibi look was lost for a more He-Man style of fighter, at least the visual look of Argus no Senshi’s gameplay was left alone.
HG101 Article on Rygar: http://hardcoregaming101.net/rygar/rygar.htm
Box Vs. Box Spotlight on Rygar: http://boxvsbox.tumblr.com/post/23292003629/argus-no-senshi-vs-rygar-1986-this-was-my
Tiny Cartridge Article on Musical Differences between Rygar and Argus no Senshi: http://tinycartridge.com/post/947199653/argos-no-senshi-rygar-famicom-version-i-had-no
Video Game Den Article on Argus no Senshi: http://www.videogameden.com/fc.htm?arg
Join me after the jump for a bit more Argus no Sensei/Rygar comparisons! The Japanese arcade flyer art has some graphic violence, so if you’re not big on the decapitation of monsters, don’t march on! (more…)