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Rygar arcade game flyer.png
North American arcade flyer
Composer(s)Michiharu Hasuya (NES)
Platform(s)Arcade, X68000, C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, NES, Master System, Lynx, Mobile, Virtual Console, PlayStation 4, Amiga
May 20, 1986
  • Arcade
    • JP: April 28, 1994
    • JP: April 17, 1987
    • EU: March 30, 1990
    Master System
    Virtual Console
    • JP: September 8, 2009
    • PAL: September 11, 2009
    • NA: October 19, 2009[4]
    Arcade Archives
    • JP: May 15, 2014
    • NA: August 19, 2014
Mode(s)1-2 players alternating terms

Rygar is a side-scrolling platform game created by Tecmo in 1986 and originally released for arcades in Japan as Argos no Senshi (アルゴスの戦士, Arugosu no Senshi, lit. Warrior of Argus).[5] The player assumes the role of a "Legendary Warrior", battling through a hostile landscape. The main feature of gameplay is the use of a weapon called the "Diskarmor", a shield with a long chain attached to it.[6]

A remake, Rygar: The Legendary Adventure, was released in 2002. As of June 2007, Rygar and its remake sold a combined 1.5 million copies worldwide.[7]


The arcade game begins with the following introduction:

4.5 billion years have passed since Earth's creation. Many dominators have ruled in all their glory, but time was their greatest enemy and it defeated their reign. And now a new dominator's reign begins...

In the arcade version's story, the year 19XX sees the rise of dread creatures, not seen since before the Common Era, led by Ligar. Dominating the world, Ligar and his forces oppress humanity. The only thing that preserves humanity's will to survive is a prophecy that Ligar's rule will be opposed by the return of a long-dead warrior of Argos. That warrior does return to the world of the living, and he alone can save humanity.[8]

Information gleaned from console manuals reveals that the evil being Ligar has taken over the land of Argool, and Rygar, a dead warrior who has risen from his grave, must use his Diskarmor to stop him. In console versions clues and limited dialogue are given in the form of large, sage-like men encountered in green stone temples throughout the game.[6]

In the Japanese original, references to "Ligar" and "Rygar" are one and the same because the Roman syllables "Li" and "Ry" come from the same Japanese character, リ. In this version, the hero is only referred to as "The Legendary Warrior", while both "Rygar" and "Ligar" refer to the main villain.


The game was ported to the X68000, Commodore 64, Master System (Japan only, and renamed Argus no Juujiken (アルゴスの十字剣)), ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and the Atari Lynx. The 8-bit versions were produced by Probe Software. In the Atari Lynx version some rounds are different, and there are only 23 rounds.

Rygar is included in a compilation of games called Tecmo Classic Arcade for the Xbox. The arcade version was re-released on the Wii Virtual Console.

Related Famicom/NES game[edit]

Rygar, released in Japan as Warrior of Argus: Extreme Great Charge (アルゴスの戦士 はちゃめちゃ大進撃, Arugosu no Senshi: Hachamecha Daishingeki) is a fantasy-themed action-adventure platform game with action RPG elements developed by Tecmo for the Nintendo Famicom.[9] It was released on April 14, 1987, in Japan and later that year in the United States for the NES. A European release came in 1990.

The player sends the title character through a number of fantastic settings with the ultimate goal of defeating the evil King Ligar in order to restore peace to the realm of Argool[10] (Argus in the Japanese version). To accomplish this goal, the Warrior must visit five Indora gods who present him with essential items needed for completion of the game. Each of the Indora gods is located in a different realm, and is almost always guarded by a boss. The player can choose the order in which some stages are played, but since certain items are required to reach new areas, choices are somewhat limited. After playing through the five major realms of the game, he must journey to King Ligar's flying castle for the final confrontation.

The main character, his weapon, and many of the enemies remain the same, but the gameplay is quite different. While the arcade version is more of a standard side-scrolling action title, the NES's Rygar is an open-ended action-adventure game like Metroid (see Metroidvania), which was also released at the time. At the beginning of the game, Rygar has access to some of the worlds, but as the game progresses, new areas open up as the result of finding items such as the grappling hook, crossbow, and wind pulley, which lets him cross previously impassable obstacles. The NES version of Rygar was also more of an action role-playing game with a nonlinear open world map in Garloz.[11] It was particularly notable for its permanent power-up mechanic, which at the time blurred the line between the power-ups used in action-adventures and the experience points used in RPGs.[9]

This version of Rygar did not allow for game saves as it lacked a password feature and the cartridge did not contain a battery. It did however have unlimited continues.

The American NES version replaced some of the soundtracks from its Famicom counterpart but is otherwise graphically identical, save for the title screen and language. The music for both the NES or Famicom versions was composed by Michiharu Hasuya who would later reuse one of Rygar's tracks on the title screen of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Bug in the PAL Version[edit]

The PAL version of the NES game contains a computer error which inadvertently increased (substantially) the difficulty in the final portions of the game, particularly in beating the final boss. The PAL version limited the player's tone and last stats to 1023 points instead of 4095, which meant that there was less maximum life and noticeably less damage to enemies.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Rygar on their July 1, 1986 issue as being the sixth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[16] It became Japan's seventh highest-grossing table arcade game during the latter half of 1986.[17]

Rygar received positive reviews. Allgame editor Michael W. Dean said of the NES version that "(the) game features excellent control and pacing, the freedom of nonlinear level design, good graphics, a fabulous soundtrack, and one of the coolest weapons that any videogame hero has ever wielded".[12] Peter Tieryas commended the game for its expansive world and non-linear gameplay relative to the standard for video games at the time of its release. In contrast, he lamented the lack of passwords or game saves available, though the game did feature unlimited continues.[6]


STart said of the Lynx version that the "simple game" was only recommended to "jump-and-shoot arcade enthusiasts".[18] CVG Magazine reviewed the Lynx version in their March 1991 issue calling the game "dull" and only giving 46 out of 100.[13] Julian Boardman of Raze Magazine reviewed the game in their April 1991 issue and liked "some superb backgrounds" the "wide variety of gruesome monsters" with "enough depth for most gamesters". He also noted the game lacked a certain amount of challenge, giving a final score of 81%.[15]

Robert A. Jung review was published to IGN, in his final verdict he wrote; "Rygar for the Lynx is a "typical" game, neither extremely outstanding nor truly disappointing. While fans of the arcade game will find slight differences, it's close enough to be familiar (especially since the only other adaptation was a vastly different game for the Nintendo). Though there are only 23 levels, the lack of a level skip and game continues means this is an average-difficulty endurance contest which will take some time to finish." Giving a final score of 7 out of 10.[14]


In 2002, a remake titled Rygar: The Legendary Adventure was released by Tecmo for PlayStation 2.[19] It features a transition to 3-D graphics and portions of the environment are destructible. It was released to generally positive reviews. On May 11, 2007, a Wii port was announced at Tecmo's "Nite Out 07" event,[20] eventually released on January 28, 2009 in North America.

An unofficial port of Rygar was released for Amiga AGA machines in 2019. [21]


  1. ^ Akagi, Masumi (October 13, 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971–2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971–2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. p. 138. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ "Rygar (Registration Number PA0000288801)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Rygar Review". Nintendo Times. 10 July 1987.
  4. ^ "Discover New LostWinds, Numerous Domo Games and a True Arcade Classic". Nintendo of America. 19 October 2009. Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  5. ^ "Rygar". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 6 Oct 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Peter Tieryas, Rygar Is A Non-Linear 8-Bit Masterpiece. Kotaku, May 20, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2021.
  7. ^ "TECMO Corporate Profile (as of June 2007)" (PDF). Tecmo. August 23, 2007. p. 12. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  8. ^ "Retro Game Museum". Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b Adams, Roe R. (November 1990), "Westward Ho! (Toward Japan, That Is): An Overview of the Evolution of CRPGs on Dedicated Game Machines", Computer Gaming World, no. 76, pp. 83–84, While America has been concentrating on yet another Wizardry, Ultima, or Might & Magic, each bigger and more complex than the one before it, the Japanese have slowly carved out a completely new niche in the realm of CRPG. The first CRPG entries were Rygar and Deadly Towers on the NES. These differed considerably from the "action adventure" games that had drawn quite a following on the machines beforehand. Action adventures were basically arcade games done in a fantasy setting such as Castlevania, Trojan, and Wizards & Warriors. The new CRPGs had some of the trappings of regular CRPGs. The character could get stronger over time and gain extras which were not merely a result of a short-term "Power-Up." There were specific items that could be acquired which boosted fighting or defense on a permanent basis. Primitive stores were introduced with the concept that a player could buy something to aid him on his journey.
  10. ^ Tecmo, ed. (1987). Rygar Instructions. Tecmo. p. 8.
  11. ^ Peter Tieryas (20 May 2020). "Rygar Is A Non-Linear 8-Bit Masterpiece". Kotaku.
  12. ^ a b Dean, Michael W. "Rygar - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Bytesize Atari Lynx". No. 112. CVG Magazine. March 1991. p. 71. Retrieved 28 March 2018. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  14. ^ a b Robert A. Jung (6 July 1999). "An above average arcade conversion for Atari Lynx". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  15. ^ a b Julian Boardman (April 1991). "Rygar". Raze Magazine. p. 46. Retrieved 17 August 2018 – via archive.org.
  16. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 287. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 July 1986. p. 25.
  17. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: '86 下半期" [Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: Second Half '86] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 300. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 January 1987. p. 16.
  18. ^ Walnum, Clayton (February–March 1991). "Four More for the Lynx Collection". STart.
  19. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (September 5, 2002). "Hands-on Rygar: The Legendary Adventure". IGN. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Live from Tecmo's Nite Out 07". 11 May 2007.
  21. ^ "Rygar AGA - Tecmo's Arcade game as an Amiga conversion is finally here!". Retrieved 2021-11-08.

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