The great magician, Shadox, survived the terrors of Solstice for the NES. As the son of Shadox, your destiny is complex. One of Shadox's protégées, Sonia, has succumbed to the pull of darkness. Now she plans to use the magic she has learned to become an evil empress. Only you can pull the world back to the light, from Solstice to Equinox.
Let There Be Light
Solstice for the NES was one of those relatively unknown games that delighted those who discovered it. With Equinox, a superb SNES sequel, Sony continues to beef up their lineup of increasingly excellent video games.
Equinox blends elements of action/adventure, role play, and puzzle gaming into an entertaining and time-consuming masterpiece. This one-player adventure roams across the face of the world through seven very different Kingdoms. Above ground, you look at the action from a classic overhead role-play view. Each Kingdom's features include the local flora and fauna, usually of the Werebat and Troll variety. The landscapes are dotted with villages that serve as the entrances to the underground Dungeons. You can rotate your view 360 degrees, and zoom away from the island in order to get an overall perspective on your circumstances.
As you traverse each Kingdom, you have several choices: battle any Werebat or Troll that crosses your path, leap into the nearest Dungeon, or play your Harp. If you defeat a Troll or a Werebat, you earn extra life or magic potions.
ProTip: Whenever you're low on Life or Magic Potions, you can return to Galadonia. In this Kingdom, it's easy to destroy a Troll for Life power, and it only takes one shot to nail a Werebat and earn a Potion.
Leap into a Dungeon, and the action really begins. As you descend to the world beneath the ground, you find yourself in a series of interconnected rooms, which you view from a 3/4 overhead-view. The crisp, bright colors combine with a 3D look to make you feel as if you're really exploring a strange and magical underground realm, and you are. Haunting music sends an appropriately eerie chill down your spine.
After you've beaten five Guardians, you regain the five strings of your Harp. Then, you can proceed to the stone crosses on the surface of the Kingdoms and use the Harp to teleport to other locations.
Each Kingdom's Dungeons hold special items that you need to build up your strength and magic power. To clear a Dungeon, you have to explore all of its rooms and gather 12 Tokens and other treasures. You find the Tokens everywhere: sometimes in plain sight and sometimes only revealed when you destroy the Dungeons' denizens.
- Stuck? Try pushing every brick or other obstacle in sight. Often moveable obstacles are the key to the puzzle. Don't forget to search for hidden doors, too!
The Dungeons of each Kingdom are different, but all are littered with mind- boggling obstacles, including deadly sharp spikes, bricks (visible, invisible, and moveable), moving gates (visible and invisible), and scads of demon creatures. The creatures, which range from the fairly innocuous Ghosts to the extremely crafty Blobs, range in color from green to white. Although the early rooms are easy to navigate, they become more and more complicated. As the game advances, it requires mucho brain cells, along with more than a little agility, to discover ways to unlock the Dungeon's complex secrets.
- Green demons of any kind are always the easiest to destroy. For example, when you enter Ton's Dungeon with the marching wall of Knights, head to the right side of the screen and destroy the green Knight first. Once you've given him his marching orders, you can pick off the others at your leisure.
I Put a Spell On You
Eight weapons of differing strength and speed, as well as eight magic spells, are also hidden in the Dungeons. Once you've earned a weapon or a spell, you can access a role-play style menu screen and swap between items. This interface and the rest of the game's controls are accurate and easy to learn.
Keys and Apples are also strewn throughout the Dungeons. The differently colored Keys open corresponding doors of the same color, but only once. The Apples replenish your life.
Once you've successfully explored a Kingdom's Dungeons (no easy task -- the first Dungeon has 16 rooms and a later Dungeon has 100), one final challenge prevents you from heading to the next Kingdom. Deep within each Dungeon lies a Guardian monster. It's not too difficult to figure out how to destroy these Guardian beasties, but they only have to hit you once to destroy you. Then, you have to start from scratch.
After you've explored the seven Kingdoms, destroyed the seven Guardians, and are fully armed with weapons and spells, journey to Death Island for the final showdown with Sonia. Beginners and those who hate suspense beware: Equinox is one of those tough games that you're gonna have to return to again and again in order to advance. Even advanced gamers will find it takes days to complete. Fortunately, Equinox has endless continues and a battery backup that enables you to save up to four games in progress.
- If you're near the exit to a Dungeon when you clear a particularly difficult room, return to the entrance and save your game. You won't have to repeat the difficult room if you die.
- You can't defeat anything without a weapon. When your game begins, search immediately for the knife. Go to the village with four chimneys and take the southwest exit out of the main room.
- To defeat Bonehead (the first Guardian) stand between these two pillars. He can't harm you when you're between the pillars, but the Ghosts can.
Heart and Solstice
Equinox works because it takes the best of several different types of games and rolls them into one highly original adventure. There are great puzzles to solve; cool creatures to shoot; big, bad bosses; and more than enough challenge for even expert adventurers. Don't wait until the next equinox to check it out.
- Manufacturer: Sony Imagesoft
- # of players: 1
- Difficulty: Hard
- Available: March 1994
- No. of Levels: 8
- Theme: Adventure
It's about time! The game that we've been previewing for the past three years is finally going to hit the store shelves. Enter the sequel to Solstice, where you must traverse eight dungeons to free your father, Shadax, from his apprentice Sonya, who only sought out Shadax's magic for her own vile purposes.
The game is composed of eight continents. Below each continent lies a network of labyrinths where you must collect the 12 tokens from each to summon the boss of that continent and collect the harp strings to find your father.
- Available: December 1991
An Adventure Without Equal
One of the latest developments from Sony for the Super Famicom is the radical sequel to Solstice. This game takes a whole new approach to the action though. The entire playfield is rotated and scaled around the main character. You will have to figure out puzzles and survive traps as you venture through forest, deserts, and others dangerous places. The effect that is used to scroll the playfield has to be seen to be believed. Objects in the playfield will rotate around your character and will even spin 360 degrees! You will have to cross dangerous bridges and climb through mountainous areas before reaching your final goal. There are already plans to bring this cart out in the U.S. under the title Equinox.
The son of Shadax, the grand hero of Sony's hit action/role-play, has taken on a heroic role in his own adventure, Equinox. From a 3/4 overhead perspective, you guide Shadax's son through a multitude of mazes and battles. Manned with a variety of weapons, such as Fireballs, the task at hand is to fend off the countless gruesome creatures and find Shadax before he's destroyed by an evil woman. If she isn't stopped, she will follow through with her plan to use Shadax's sacred magic and wreak havoc across the land.
This single player game of action mixed with puzzles leads us to Shadax a wizard hero from Solstice is taken prisoner by his former student Sonia, now it’s up to Shadax’s son Glendaal to save his father from this evil sorceress, he is the only person whose wizardry is tough enough to destroy her. To get to this sorceress you must conquer eight levels and several rooms of difficult platforms of jumping and block moving to get to the Icy castle of Sonia. In each of the rooms, you must gather twelve blue tokens that allow you to call upon the many bosses of each level; you must beat these bosses to continue on your quest. To assist you along the way you are able to pick up various spells, and armory, also you will find colored keys, gates and various block-maneuvering puzzles. While on your journey to annihilate Sonia you have several ways to enter through an over world map, when you pass through you have several encounters with gallivanting creatures that are in great numbers within the different levels. This game was released in 1994 and was developed by Software Creations and Published by Sony Imagesoft.