Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger
No matter how many times would-be video role-play game heroes conquer the nameless villain in the nameless land who kidnapped the nameless princess, another really mean guy comes along and repeats the process! Faria by ASCII Entertainment (formerly Nexoft) is one of those RPG games that's just like déjà vu all over again.
Ultima with an Attitude
Faria mixes the role-playing game style of Dragon Warrior and Ultima with the action-oriented scenes of The Legend of Zelda. The great swordswoman (insert your name here) is drafted to rock 'n sock a sinister sorcerer known simply as the Wizard, who's scoped out the kingdom of Faria for his next conquest.
If Faria's graphics look familiar, it's because they are. In the countryside, towns, and caves, you survey the surrounding terrain from the traditional bird's-eye view, but when one or more of the Wizard's warriors pulls a surprise ambush, you battle it out in an angled overhead perspective straight from Zelda.
The caves are extra tough because you only get a tiny ring of illumination provided by a рее-wee flashlight.
When you first start off, don't trod the dim paths of the forest - you'll be massacred for sure. Try it later when you've pumped up your powers.
Your peepers can't interpret the magic spectrum, so until you obtain an appropriate set of lenses, certain magicians will remain invisible. Compensate by tracking them down at the source of their mystic bolts.
Like most fantasy adventures, you'll have to query villagers for the real scoop on this shady Wizard character and solve mini-tasks enroute to your ultimate goal. Naturally, building up your character's levels and skills is essential to advancing the crusade. An estimated 40 hours of playing time means saving with the battery backup frequently.
After rescuing the princess the first time (hint, hint), the king is very grateful and he throws a party in your honor, but the caviar he serves poisons all the villagers. The antidote you need is across the sea, but before the ship's captain will grant you passage, you must first speak to the proprietor of the Hospital in Ehdo.
In addition to boosting your maximum hit points and other vital stats, level-ups completely restore your health. Plan accordingly and don't use medicine if you're about to raise your level.
Don't leave town without them: swords, bows, shields, armor, magic, and spells. Also, loads of neat-o items are on sale everywhere. You eventually need all this gear plus unique treasures which aren't available in any stores. The Adventurer's Guide included with the game does an excellent job of clueing you in to the best purchase selections and where to find them.
- If two types of one product are for sale (such as a Dirk and an Iron Sword), save up for the more expensive one. ?
- When you set off for a tower, remember to bring a Flash Ball and a set of Wings so you can zip home instantly in case of trouble.
Towers of Power
In Faria's towers, you'll shake bones with all sorts of creatures, not to mention some truly devious tricks and traps. These labyrinths are rougher than an experimental rat maze, so sketch a map as you progress. The alternative is to fork out $3 for Nexoft's special-order hint poster.
You can wipe out some denizens of the towers over and over again to build up monde experience and bucks.
Try pushing on all the walls to open secret passages. If you're making a map (and you should be), mark which walls you've tried so you don't bump into them a second time.
Half-sized narrow pathways look walkable, but if you stride them you'll slip through the cracks and plunge down a floor.
In rooms where fire blazes block the exits, wait for the patches to disintegrate before heading for the high ground. Barge through and you'll surely be scorched for heavy damage.
Take the slippery tiles one step at a time or you'll careen out of control.
There's a big, nasty something-or-other holding the princess hostage in Gelve Tower. Crank out a shower of arrows when combat begins and finish the deed with your sable.
Where possible, hide behind the barricades and hack at the monsters from your safe spot
To beat the silver scissor-thingy boss in Broww Tower, you need a gold rock. Look for it in the First Cave (location D on the world map inside the manual).
Another Role, Another Play
Originally released seven years ago in Japan (the American NES didn't even exist then), Faria shows its age when compared to more evolved "quester" games such as Final Fantasy. For example, the buildings aren't labeled, which can be a pain in the chain mail if you just want to buy a spell refill but can't recall where to find the Magic Shop. Also, there's no way to adjust the message speed, so some dialogues drag on forever.
Let's face it, folks, there are bunches of great fantasy titles out there, so a new entry needs a special twist or innovation to earn a name for itself. Faria offers neither, but its strength is an involving journey that keeps your pencil busy and your fingers numb. That may be enough for dedicated role gamers, particularly those itching for a Zelda-ish spin off. If you're into old-time RPG, you'll fare well with Faria.
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- Manufacturer: Nexoft
- Machine: Nintendo
- Theme: RPG
- Difficulty: Average
- Number of Players: 1
Beware, the Prophecy!
The Kingdom is under a terrible curse and it is up to you to save the people and the Princess. The Evil Wizard Zill kidnapped the princess and you are the only warrior brave enough to save her.
To add insult to injury, a spell was cast upon you that has transformed you into a woman.
Start the quest by visiting the king and getting his blessing. He will give you a pass to get to other parts of the land.
You can defend yourself by conventional means by sword or by powerful magic that has to be refilled. It is up to you to save the princess and the land of Faria.
- Visit the King to get instructions.
- Arm yourself as soon as possible.
- The magic ball is necessary to win.
- The pass is necessary to get past the guard.
- Magic is very useful during battle.