Hydra title screen shot.

Starting off on a large island, the player must find, enter, and make their way through three dungeons before facing a hydra boss in hopes of defeating it and the game.

The game was developed by scgrn and was released in 2016, which, being a part of the PICO-8 medium, can be played on various platforms.


At the beginning of a new game, the player starts off on an island and they must walk around the countryside until they find a dungeon entrance, then enter it.

Although the content of all dungeons are randomly generated with each new game, each dungeon has two save areas that the player can continue their game with if they want to go back to it later, along with areas that will state that the dungeon was cleared, even if there are still rooms that the player has not yet encountered.

Inside each dungeon are various enemies, which the player can attack with their sword. Each enemy will take a few hits until they are killed; meanwhile, if they or their projectiles make contact with the player’s character, that will cause damage to the player (as shown on the player’s strength meter at bottom left of screen). If the player takes enough damage then the game will end, although the player has unlimited continues. Some enemies, upon being slain, will leave behind some “life essence that could be absorbed” by the player, which will partially heal them. Green creatures appear in all dungeons, evil mages appear in the second and third dungeons, and a hydra boss appears during the third dungeon only.

A compass is also included at the top part of the screen, along with a map at the bottom right corner, showing the layout of the current dungeon the player is in.


  • Start game–x or z key
  • Move character–arrow keys
  • Attack–x key
  • Strafe–z key
  • Pause game–p or Enter key
  • Open passageway to hydra (third dungeon)–face each statue


In regards to one of the final rooms of the game where the player must interact with two statues, the game’s programmer was asked on the Hydra page of the official Pico-8 web site if the statues were lit up by a torch or if some other mechanism was used (like water hydraulics) in order to gain access to the hydra boss. The reply was “I have no idea what the statues are about. That's completely open to interpretation!”