Want to spenf a couple of weekends running, slicing, and shooting your way across someone else's landscape? Check out Faery Tale Adventure from Electronic Arts. E.A. and New World Computing teamed up to convert the old Microlllusions personal computer game of the same name into an exciting blend of real-time hacking and slashing with RPG-style adventure.
Holm Sweet Holm
The land of Holm... peaceful, idyllic, and generally a nice place until the Evil Necromancer absconds with the talisman. Three brothers vow to get it back to restore peace and tranquility to their homeland (Holm-land?). You play one of the brothers as you journey through eight multi-level quests broken down into smaller challenges in 50 different locations including islands, castles, lava-filled plains, a dragon's cave maze, a tomb maze, and, most difficult of all, the Grim-wood Maze.
ProTip: Julian is the best brother.
Might Makes Right
You orchestrate the action via a nicely-drawn, 3/4 overhead view with neat, colorful graphics. To track down the Necromancer you'll use an icon-based menu system and a dialog box to do typical RPG stuff, such as chatting with characters and exploring various buildings. You must also recruit a turtle to take you across seas and a swan to fly you around.
Leave the swan on the outskirts of the Plain of Grief before attempting the Citadel of Doom.
But you'd best be ready for heavy duty button punching versus skeletons, wraiths, snakes, ogres, big hairy spiders, and goblin bowmen. The major baddies include a dragon, a witch, a dream knight, and, of course, the extra-Evil Necromancer.
You start out with a lousy, little dagger, but soon you'll soon find a mace, a dirk, a bow and arrows, a sword, and last, but best, a wand that shoots blue fire. Magical items include blue necklaces (for teleportation), glass vials (for Vitality), and bird totems (displays a map). Tangible intangibles that are critical to your survival are Bravery, Kindness, and Luck points.
Visit the Sorceress when you're low on Luck. She'll give you 5 Luck points (which equal one Life), until you're maxed.
Stock up on inventory items by repeating this move. When you find something you need, grab it and then save and restore your game.
Low on keys? Save the game before you use one, open a door, and then restore the game. You'll keep the key and the door stays open!
You can ignore the "Julian is starving" message when you have over 100 Vitality points.
It's 3 a.m. Do You Know Where the Necromancer Is?
Let's get the complaints out of the way first. The music is nice but the game's so long, it gets on your nerves. Other than that, negotiating the deadly Grimwood maze requires a major hike, but then you have to retrace your steps to get out. Why?
Okay, complaints over. This game is a ton of fun. It'll keep you up late, real late. Then you'll wake up bleary-eyed and play some more. (Good thing there's a password feature.) The final scene is a gas, a real "reversal of fortune". Try it, you'll like it, but play your own music.
Faery Tale Adventure DownloadsFaery Tale Adventure download
- Manufacturer: Electronic Arts
- Version: Sega Genesis
Now that the folks at Electronic Arts have established themselves among the premier third-party developers for the Genesis, they have become a little more adventurous in deciding which of their popular computer titles should be adapted to the cartridge format. The Faery Tale Adventure is based on the role-playing fantasy developed by New World Computing Inc., an EA affiliate.
The plot concerns itself with a medieval fortune-hunter named Julian, who lives in the land of Holm with his two brothers. The game is made up of eight quests, which range from a simple "rescue the talisman" mission to a cataclysmic showdown with the Evil Necromancer. There's a lot of exploring to be done here - Holm is a big place, and the seemingly nonlinear game structure adds up to many hours of wayfaring. All the action takes place in real time, and the passage of time is nicely marked by the amount of daylight that Julian has to work with.
Unfortunately, the game's icon-based menu-selection system causes a number of problems right from the start. Specifically, the control pad response is a bit sluggish when you're trying to highlight different items in the menu box. You can tap a direction on the pad and take your finger off the button before the on-screen pointer actually moves! Granted, we're only talking about a fraction of a second here, but the delay usually triggers a subconscious reaction to hold the button down longer than necessary, which moves the pointer farther than you had intended. A flaw like this one is particularly frustrating in a game that requires you to struggle with the interface several times per minute.
Then there's the password option that allows you to save a game in progress. This sucker consists of no less than 36 characters, one of the longest I've ever seen. I realize that a battery backup would probably have increased the retail price, and I appreciate the cost-cutting - but there has to be a better way to do this!
Though these weaknesses have sandbagged The Faery Tale Adventure and threaten to drag it down into the RPG graveyard, this cartridge has certain qualities that suggest the presence of a video-game masterpiece lurking just around the corner, or at least the skeleton of one. Take a look at what happens when you don't have a green jewel to light your way when the sun goes down - Holm can get pretty spooky after dark. If it's true that the Genesis can only display 64 colors simultaneously, then they've picked the right ones; it really feels like nighttime. The game's music is equally atmospheric, and it would have been even more effective if the tunes had taken advantage of the Genesis' stereo capabilities.
One night, after playing the game for several hours, I decided to steer Julian back to the safety of the village of Tambry and let him get some rest like I was about to do. It was well past midnight in the game (and in the real world), so I led the brave wanderer into one of the buildings and walked him over to the bed.
"Julian is not sleepy", the information window politely informed me.
"Too bad", I retorted, "Chris is sleepy". I hadn't stayed up this late since I tackled Crystalis is on the NES.
"Julian ate an apple", quipped the game, and I began the long and laborious process of writing the password down. This Julian guy obviously had a mind of his own and fully intended to continue his quest even as I switched the TV off.
I didn't sleep much that night - I kept hearing, in my head, the ominous theme that The Faery Tale Adventure plays every time your character is about to be attacked. This sinister melody haunted me for hours, preying upon my imagination the way good music should.
I remember thinking, any game that keeps me up for half the night and gets me to speak out loud to my TV set can't be all bad.
- Theme: RPG
- Players: 1
- Difficulty: Hard
The enchanted land have been struck by an evil that has plagued the lands. Cast as a brave fighter, you must rid the land of the demonic presence so that your people can live in peace!
Your main goal in The Faery Tale Adventure is to defeat the Evil Necromancer and retrieve the Talisman. Unfortunately, 8 major quests must be completed first, and each quest has several smaller missions each. Combat takes place in real-time, face-to-face. As if monsters weren't bad enough, you must avoid falling in water and other natural hazards! A quest should last for 40 or 50 hours.
Fighting Masters may be something like Hulk Hogan goes galactic. The game stars 12 intergalactic wrestling champions. You choose an ET grappler, warp to an alien battleground, and then you bust heads or whatever. Each fighter has over 30 different moves -- if you can figure out what limbs you're supposed to move. Are the space cases in this game bizarre? YES! But the action looks top notch.