I briefly wrote about Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth as one of my games of the year. I have enjoyed playing it so much that it’s been the only game I’ve been playing since I bought it the last week of December. I am in just in love with this game and had a blast playing this gem. In fact, I successfully got my boyfriend to play this game and he’s been enjoying it as much as I am. I can’t really think of any game I had this much fun with in a while and also made me want to revisit the ova (original video animation) again. It was something that I haven’t seen in ages.
Record of Lodoss War was the first VHS box set I bought back in the ’90s. I only knew about it from reading either a review or read a brief blurb on Animerica magazine. I bought it at Suncoast on a Friday night which had me up sitting in my parent’s basement watching the series until the next day. I couldn’t put it down until I finished the last episode at 8a.m. I was mesmerized from the opening song along with the characters and plot. I credit this series for getting me into tabletop role-playing games such as Vampire The Masquerade and D&D.
I want to give some background on Record of Lodoss OVA. The OVA tells the beginning of the free knight of Lodoss, Parn, who sets off on a journey to follow in his father’s footsteps of becoming a great knight and hero. Along the way, his party grows to include Slayn, Ghim, Deedlit, Etoh, and Woodchuck. Along the way, Parn meets his idol Kashue, the king of the city of Flame who greatly inspires Parn. The ragtag heroes get involve in a mess of fighting monsters, dragons, and saving princesses. Parn and company later discover the true enemy behind all the war and destruction that occur in Lodoss Karla, the Gray Witch, who exists by using the bodies of other people and manipulates anyone in order to carry on her belief that good and evil must be kept in balance, and as long as power does not gather in one place, but remains scattered, it is all the better for Lodoss. Towards the end of the series, Parn goes to rescue Deedlit from the clutches of the wicked Marmo sorcerer Wagnard, who wants to use her elf’s power of eternal life in order to resurrect Kardis, the goddess of destruction.
The game starts out with Deedlit waking up in abandoned ruins unsure of how she got there and where she is. She dashes into Parn who urges her to follow him deeper into the unknown without any understanding of what’s happening. As Deedlit treks deeper into Labyrinth she meets familiar faces such as her companions and old foes such as Karla the Grey Witch. Deedlit is tasked with trying to uncover the mysteries surrounding the labyrinth and survive while uncovering the reason why she’s here.
Combat is similar to Castlevania. The only learning curve, for me, was using the bow. It’s very easy to use in standard combat or even with defusing certain traps to advance. My issue wascombining flying with using the bow. I only had to combine the two with certain traps in order to proceed further into the labyrinth. I had great difficulty trying to figure out how to proceed until I practiced flying with the bow in order to make it across. It was a lot of trial and error, but I did it.
Deedlit can use various weapons to strike foes like daggers, axes, and swords. All weapons have pros and cons depending on your playing style. Like most RPGs, some weapons do have a higher attack paired with a slower speed. I really enjoyed experimenting with the different weapons to see what I wanted to use. A good portion didn’t really match my gaming style like the heavier weaponry. I mostly stuck with the lighter rapiers which suited my style for gameplay.
Deedlit can use various magic or summons that you’ll locate throughout the labyrinth besides what you start with. A lot of the magic is required for advancement throughout the labyrinth where Deedlit will use it automatically or the player will have to depending on the situation. I found that some of the magic didn’t work with my style of gameplay and I mostly just used three to four spells/summons throughout the game. I didn’t have much of a learning curve with the magic/summons as I did with the bow.
Bosses are characters from the Lodoss universe including the Lady of Pharis which was a complete surprise. I do wish that Wagnard made an appearance as a boss. He was the primary end boss in the OVA and I felt that he would have been such a great adaption to the game as second to the last boss. All the bosses had attack patterns that took me a few tries, especially with Shooting Star, to figure out how to defeat them. It wasn’t always obvious what I needed to do. A lot of the issues I had were that the patterns took some time for me to take notice of, especially with the bosses later on in the game. I did watch some YouTube tutorials that did help me with taking notes as I watched. Some of my issues were my level was too low for that boss. Once I gained a few levels, purchased much-needed potions, upgraded weapons, and got new spells, I would be all ready to rock or roll on the bosses.
I really didn’t have much criticism of this game. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing it. I mentioned, I had leaning curves with the bosses, weapons, and magic. But the learning curve didn’t ruin my enjoyment; although, it caused some frustration until I figured it out. I do think that the game could have been longer, but that’s just me. I just didn’t want this game to end. It was a lot of fun and made me hanker for more in the Lodoss lore. I really loved how they made Deedlit this ass kicking heroine and made her shine. It was a breath of fresh air and made me see her in a whole new light compared to the damsel in distress that was her role in the OVA.
I’m not the best at these types of games, but I had a lot of fun. It was a lot of trial and error to see what works, what doesn’t and to understand the patterns of bosses and enemies. It was a lot of work that paid off for an enjoyable experience tied with a wonderful story. I may not want to run to the next game of this genre, but I would be more inclined toward trying it. What I took from this game was how lasting grief is. Grief is not a one size fits all from person to person. Grief is this ever-changing emotion that never truly goes away. I fully embraced Deedlit’s journey as my own with losing my dad. It still isn’t easy to not have him in my life, but like Deedlit the memories I have in my heart are keeping him alive with me and allowing me to say farewell. This game is the perfect blend of action, nostalgia and a great way to spend a weekend. I highly recommend it and maybe you’ll want to take a trip to see why they call Lodoss the cursed isle.