Release Date: September 1987
Developer: Lenar, IREM
Genre: Action RPG
My favorite genre of game is probably the RPG. And I really enjoy a good action RPG. I originally felt that Deadly Towers was not a good action RPG. It infuriated me very quickly and made me decide to throw it in the trash. Then I decided I would just use a walkthrough so I could experience the game. Thank you TVotava0077 on GameFAQs, without you this wouldn’t have been possible.
You are Prince Myer and you’re tasked with going to the northern mountain and destroying seven magical bells so the evil king of the devils Rubas can’t take over the prince’s kingdom. He heads to the mountain equipped with only a crappy sword that he throws at a snail’s pace with the A Button. It does terrible damage and if you miss, you have to wait for it to fly off the screen before you can attack again. Myer is just so weak to begin with, even after you get the beginning armor. Finding the ultimate armor pieces allows you to actually live for more than a couple hits, which is a Godsend.
This game has a lot of flaws in its gameplay. Getting hit knocks Myer in the opposite direction of which he is walking, or down if he’s standing still. This creates the most infuriating moments in the early game, when you get knocked off the ledges and die. When you die, you start at the beginning without your items and money. The slow moving single sword opens you up to attacks when you miss, and you will miss. Once you get in the dungeons, you might stumble into a room where you take unavoidable damage, which can lead to your quick demise. Enemies take a ridiculous number of hits to destroy, until you get the best sword. If you stick with it and follow instructions, it’s kind of fun.
You have to find your way to the Sacred Flame and the seven bell towers. Hidden on the maps are invisible entrances to dungeons, which you then have to navigate to find shops and the exit. When climbing the towers there are also hidden entrances to parallel worlds and hidden rooms. These hide the best equipment in the game, so heading straight for them is ideal.
At the top of each tower is a boss battle. These are relatively easy with the simple tactics of heading to the lower left corner and shooting at the boss. Only the Centipede boss requires different tactics, as it crawls all around the screen. After killing the boss you receive one of the bells that must be destroyed in the Sacred Flame. When you burn a bell, you get your hit points restored, which can be a nice surprise.
There are a lot of items that you can buy or find. You can find circle hearts on the ground that will increase your total hit points. If you get the early ones and die, you can recollect them until you reach the maximum hit points. Drinks replenish hit points. Necklaces give you temporary invincibility. Scrolls teleport you to different places on the map. And other items that I didn’t use do other things as well.
Once you burn all of the bells, you head back to the beginning map of the game and into a newly opened door. You have to kill a dragon, which acts like the centipede boss. Twin bear heads, which share hit points. Then Rubas himself. The first time I got to Rubas, he killed me immediately, but then I used my Blue Necklace and sworded him to oblivion. After beating Rubas, you are rewarded with a significant ending, which is not something you usually see in the NES era.
The graphics are pretty good. Sprites are big, enemies are fairly detailed, the colors of items in shops are weird, though.
The music is pretty good. The sound effects aren’t obnoxious.
Prince Myer is way too weak for most of the game, the swords move too slowly until you can find some gloves. The design is horrible if you go into the game blind.
This game is so incredibly difficult to get into that the normal player won’t find the exit of the first dungeon assuming they find their way to it in the first place.
Fun Factor: 2.0
In the end, I found myself kind of enjoying myself, but only because I was reading where to go and what to do.
Overall Grade: 2.2
Deadly Towers earns a C+. Overall, I’ll say that this game wouldn’t have been something I would have stuck with back in the day. I was so frustrated before I opened the walkthrough, but then I was able to enjoy Deadly Towers for what it was.