M.O.: Mechanical menace
Known crimes: Invasion of XEXYZ; Kidnapping of vital dignitaries; Murder and destruction; Assorted environmental crimes
First Appearance: XEXYZ (Hudson, NES, 1990)
Nature of demise: Fortress destroyed by a small fighter

Profile by Jeremy Signor? | March 15, 2011

It’s hard not to see GORUZA’s attack on XEXYZ as a commentary on the industrialization of the modern age. After all, mechanical castles attaching natural settings and displacing the natives isn’t exactly subtle imagery.

It’s not exactly rare, either. The struggle between technology and magic or technology and nature has been used many times before. Here, the lines are blurred a bit, as the good guys have access to technology themselves, using it seemingly in harmony with nature. Avatar this is not.

But all that really matters is the fact that GORUZA’s agents are all big, bad, and ready to kill the hero Apollo with pattern-based attacks. While some resemble the same kinds of sea creatures you’d see in a Darius game, all of them bore a resemblance to some kind of animal, almost mocking the natural world GORUZA was bent on ruling over.

And then there was GORUZA’s ultimate personification, a strange creature that looks like a dragon with a monkey’s head. Of course, the final battle with the fortress itself is where GORUZA meets his end. However, unlike many magic vs. technology stories, here a fusion of the two is what wins the day, a metaphor far more palatable than those stories that bang the “Technology is evil!” drum.

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