I knuckled down and played a ton of this game. I remember it being more difficult, but I guess the first time I played it was about 26-odd years ago. I find that with this game, like many others, it is difficult to show in a screenshot just how entertaining the game is.

Thanks random slave trader. This person gives you a Red Jewel and represents the one place in the game where the normal rules do not apply – the single “hidden passage” in the game is required to be traversed in order to get here. I get the impression, that the Red Jewels are kind of a form of DRM (or something) since someone armed with the manual (which had the locations) should be able to find them all. Regardless, I don’t know if I am 100% in agreement with the slave trader’s statement, but I understand the sentiment.
Here is a great example of what I meant by noting that screenshots don’t do this game justice. Here is a floating island-ship-thing that has the Nazca Lines in the background and clouds in the foreground, both on separate parallax layers, it looks really fantastic.
Here is the “underside” of the same location as above. It is a cool feature and adds a new dimension in puzzles and puzzle solving. I haven’t mentioned it, but the main character has multiple forms, each of which has unique abilities, which also play in with the puzzle solving aspect. A lot of the puzzles are tricky, but none of them are frustrating to the point of requiring a guide, it is a nice sweet-spot in-between casually solvable and annoying.
Yet another shot from the island, every enemy explodes when it dies, I guess to avoid the blood that Nintendo feared in the 1990’s. Anyway, I managed to catch this single frame in the explosion that looks like a screaming in pain skull. Hardcore.
There is a lot that is not fully explained in this game and a lot of inter-character relationships evolve quickly. I really like that aspect, it is totally absent in a lot of contemporary games that seem to require everything be explained specifically. This game lets the player assume or imagine a lot of the things that fill in the blanks and cracks that exist between what the game explains explicitly. This spring in the basement of an underwater palace (another cool-looking location with another great parallax) is mysterious, and remains so, despite having to interact with it – sometimes that air of mystery can really add to the atmosphere of a game.
Spooky.
This lady has spent several weeks drifting at sea with nothing to eat but raw fish, and then several more weeks in a giant trans-oceanic tunnel with nothing to eat but cave fungus. I totally understand this desire.
Amazingly cool subterranean village. Again, the use of layers here is phenomenal. I had totally forgotten about this area and it was a real treat to “rediscover” it on this playthrough.
Another screenshot of some aesthetics that I appreciate.
This is an in-game artist’s self portrait. I am not certain, but I would be willing to bet good, solid, money that this is actually the likeness of someone that was involved with the production of the game.

I have no idea if I am staying on schedule, but there should be another post soon.

Recently, I read some other blogs and playthroughs that deal with this game. My intention is not to go too deep, sometimes what you think is the most important thing is the most unimportant.