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syvalion is a 1988 taito maze shooter starring a gigantic, golden, robotic fire-breathing dragon. somewhat like the traditional "snake game", much of the challenge in syvalion is in maneuvering your long draconic body around moving hazards and materializing enemies. points are awarded based on both speed and how much damage you've taken, so moving both quickly and cautiously is crucial. your dragon breathes a flame that deflects bullets and destroys those enemies not protected by an invincible blue glow, but it fizzles with continuous use and needs to be allowed to recharge (moving while recharging accelerates the process).

but probably the most exciting thing about the game is that (unless you choose the basic, fixed game) the mazes your syvalion navigates are randomly-generated, making the game a kind of shooter roguelike. since stages are assembled from a variety of wicked setpieces and then populated with randomly-appearing hordes of enemies, the stages manage to be quite tight and rather challenging. even the bosses are psuedo-randomly constructed from various movement and firing patterns.

the movie is of a random game played on the european snes port, which has possibly the most endearing japlish ever penned. wacky syntax combined with the script's own hilarious self-awareness creates some of the most memorable text to ever appear in a home videogame. take, for example, the following, one of the game's many coaching, contextual game over messages:




refresh for another - php provided by the incomparable alice lee.



   1/03/2007