Genre: RPG Developer: New World Computing Publisher: Electronic Arts Players: 1 Released: 1991
In a land called Holm there once lived three brothers who all wanted to follow in their father’s footsteps and become a great war hero. Julian, the oldest and bravest; Peter, The middle brother, and the luckiest of the three; and Kevin, who was kind and gentle. One day an evil necromancer stole a talisman that protected the town from evil demons and was believed to have great power. Their father went to war to find this necromancer and was fatally wounded in battle with him. His dying wish was for his sons to seek revenge.
A port of the popular Amiga game, Faery Tale Adventure is single-player only. As you begin your journey to find the necromancer, you will be using the oldest brother Julian. Faery Tale uses some typical RPG elements, like GP and experience, but they’ve changed the names. For example, experience is called bravery. Bravery points are rewarded every time you defeat a foe and when you accumulate a high number of bravery points you are practically invincible. Another important statistic is luck. If you have high number of luck points a fairy will come and save your life. When a fairy aids you, five points are lost and you start at the place where you last saved your game. Kindness points grant you the ability to talk to animals like the sea turtle or wizards who are often found along the road. With a low number of kindness points many folks won’t talk to you, so you’ll need to beef them up by giving money to people, like beggars. You lose points by killing beggars, wizards, or ranchers. Ranchers are pretty much like wise men, and they give information for free. Wise Men give even better information than ranchers and do so free of charge. Regardless, it’s smart to give some money after receiving the information to raise your kind points. As for the beggars, they beg for alms. Give them at least two pieces of gold and they will give you info, which is good for boosting your kindness rating, at least. You can also give town people gold but they will just say thank you and give you no new info.
Once you get the sword there is a little chance of you losing battle since it’s practically the best weapon in the game. You don’t get any magic in the game, unless you want to count the magic wand. There are some cool items but they are no substitute for real magic. Items are useful and make traveling a lot easier. The bird’s eye, for example, gives you a nice view of the map, and the blue stone can teleport you to certain areas in Holm. The red stone is best used at night because it creates artificial sunlight. Screw torches!
Over all, the visuals are decent. The usual 3/4 over head view was put to good use here, All three brothers look different from one another and they were quite distinguishable from their surroundings as they made their way across the land. The enemies were also done well, like the skeletons and wraiths, for instance. The backgrounds are nice too and I especially like the forest, graveyards, and towns. The sprite size of the characters are adequate, although the colors used are a little plainer than I would have liked. They do the job well enough and pretty good for an RPG from this particular era. Some of the enemies look a little goofy, and there aren’t really any bosses. How an RPG can lack bosses is beyond me but such is life, I guess.
The music in Faery Tale Adventure brings back some memories. The opening theme was really loud and it reminded me of the old NES Midi’s. I was disappointed that there were only three separate themes, one for morning and mid day, one for early morning and evening, and one for night time. The sound effects are pretty good, such as the slashing of your sword and the sound of bow and arrows cutting the air.
Though it lacks a save feature, there is a password function. You don’t have to necessarily write down the password immediately, as you can go to the load screen and start from the last point from which you saved. This almost guarantees that you will not run out of luck points too soon. However, the difficulty level in Faery Tale is high enough to ensure that it will take at least twenty-thirty hours to complete (with an instruction manual). The password system is long and involved (ever play King’s Bounty?), so break out that note pad! If you don’t have this game with the instruction manual I highly advise that you find one as it has a mini walk through. Without it you might get lost very quickly. You can follow the road, which sometimes leads to important places, but a lot of the time it just leads to one of the shops. Try not to lose either of the two stronger siblings (Julian and Peter) though. If you do, you might as well kiss the game goodbye because only an expert can beat it with Kevin, as he isn’t brave or lucky at all from the start and raising his stats is a monster pain.
Faery Tale Adventure in my opinion was a very good game; not as good as the Phantasy Star series or a lot of other Genesis RPG’s, but still capable of providing hours of challenge and exploration. You get to do some pretty cool things in this game like ride a turtle and a golden goose (which can fly). Once you get that golden goose this game gets mega fun, and traveling from place to place is a snap. This is a game that I still play even to this day just for the adventure and nostalgia. Though some mazes may be very long and hard to figure out its worth it to reach the other side or to finally get the item you need. Even after you beat it there are a quite a few small tasks which, while not mandatory, are worth checking out. If you like a good long and involved game, dust off your Genesis and take a trip to the land of Holm.
SCORE: 9 out of 10