Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 13 of 17.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly totally get the point of Messhof’s Nidhogg, where two warriors sword fight their way for the glory of being gobbled by the purple wyrm Nidhogg. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • Joel describes Nidhogg as “Stab, stab, jump, jump, throw sword, pick up sword.”
  • Although playable as a title called Raging Hadron after it was commissioned for No Quarter in 2010, it took four years before Nidhogg was released commercially. Like Joust, it was a game that only surfaced in exhibitions which lent it some mystique.
  • Messhof on Twitter.
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The series theme is the delightful “Adventures in your sleep” by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra.

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4 thoughts on “Side by Side: Nidhogg

  1. I spent years waiting for the opportunity to play Nidhogg. Once it was eventually released I picked up a copy. So I’ve played it against AI opponents, but I’ve yet to play versus another human being – which seems to me the entire point.

    From my very limited experience I completely agree with Gregg’s point about the fluidity of play.

  2. I haven’t played it since recording this with Gregg. I’m not sure my children are up for this just yet and playing the AI doesn’t really interest me. I’m pretty sure Nidhogg’s time is coming, though…

    Maybe I can convince my wife to get involved.

  3. I’ve seen friends playing this, and seen various screenshots, but this is actually the first time I’ve seen Nidhogg in action. It looks like terrific fun, particularly if the controls work in the way Gregg described. The idea of swapping physical progress back and forth is quite clever, and probably increases the longevity of the maps.

    The games that cause you to hurt yourself with laughter are few and far between. If Nidhogg causes that, it’d be the best endorsement yet of a game that’s drawn a lot of acclaim.

  4. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s some meta play involved with player position and particularly the height of your sword to deter divekicks, lunges, rolls and for knocking the enemy’s sword out their hands.

    This isn’t immediately apparent when you first play but as you get better at reading your opponent and understanding the four maps, you start to realise that there’s a lot of depth and subtlety to the game beyond dashing, rolling, jumping and skewering — providing you and your opponent can keep pace with each other, that is.

    How exciting and tense the games are is pretty much determined by how evenly skilled either player is because, as I mention in the video, the game’s a power struggle and the more it can shift to and fro, the better!

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