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Deadly Towers is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was originally to be titled Hell's Bells to match with its Japanese title Masho (trans. "evil bell"), but executives at Nintendo of America insisted that the title be changed.
In the game, Prince Myer, on the eve of his coronation, is informed that a wizard named Rubas plans to overthrow Myer's kingdom by summoning an army of demons with seven magic bells. To ensure that his kingdom stays peaceful, Myer is charged with traveling to Rubas' castle, burning down the seven bells and destroying the bell tower, before ultimately confronting Rubas himself.
Even as one of the earliest NES titles, quite a few gamers have labeled it one of the worst games available for the system. One of the main points of criticism is its obtuse navigational structure, as to proceed through the game, you will sometimes find yourself entering rooms with no clearly marked entry or exit point. In addition, the rooms in some of the dungeons look the same, with only a difference in color palette setting them apart.
Deadly Towers uses the following tropes:
- Another Dimension: The "Parallel Zones", and inarguably the most annoying thing about the game. Just look at how big the very first one is.
- Anticlimax Boss: If you collect all the power-ups, Rubas goes down in about four seconds.
- Bottomless Pits: If you get knocked off a clearly-marked ledge by anything, you'll die instantly.
- Blob Monster: These often make an appearance.
- Diagonal Speed Boost: Played straight in the first place, but there is also an item (called the Hyper Shoes) that increases your move speed...but only if you're moving diagonally.
- Evil Sorcerer: Rubas.
- Gotta Catch Them All
- Guide Dang It: The lack of an in-game mapping system is incredibly cruel, especially since there are entrances that lead to other rooms in another part of the dungeon, some of which are invisible.
- Heart Container
- Isometric Projection
- Knockback: Oh yes.
- Let's Play: By Deceased Crab and Madamluna.
- Mercy Invincibility: It's there, but it's so short that it actually wears off BEFORE damage knockback. It's possible to get knocked around and chip-damaged to death by many a Goddamned Bats.
- Nintendo Hard
- One Sword At A Time
- Possible to avert with two powerups -- one that lets you throw a second sword after the first, and one that lets you throw two simultaneously.
- Opening Scroll: One of the longest ones in video game history.
- Respawning Enemies: When you enter and leave a room, the enemies will be right at the same positions they were when you first entered it. This can lead to an unfortunate situation in one instance when you can accidentally reenter a room on top of a dragon. And since there's no Mercy Invincibility...
- RPG Elements
- Speed Run: Tool-assisted and regular runs are available. Shockingly, both of these are improvements on previous runs.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Myer's main method of attack is to lob his sword at foes. However, he can't stab with it, which leaves him defenseless until the sword he's already thrown hits something. Even the manual says that "you have no confidence in this sword."
- Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: However, due to protagonist's Hyperspace Arsenal, lots of ludder coins can be carried around despite them being very large.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Kill the prisoners in the tower? You lose all your ludder.