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August 2, 2011

The Faery Tale Adventure - An old gem

Back in 1989 I remember how I could play The Farey Tale Adventure at my friends place for hours without really knowing what to do or what the quest was about. I loved the atmosphere and the music. For all years that had passed since then I still catch myself whistling the old tunes from now and then.



I never completed the game. I remember that I had a saved game that I got very, very far with but when I would to a backup of the save game disc I accidently erased my save game and never restarted after that.

I tried out the PC version of Faery Tale but the music was horrible and the graphics far worse than in the Amiga version so I opted to setup WinUAE to begin playing.

The game was developed by Microillusions in 1987 for the Amiga platform by David Joiner (also known as Talin). The music was very atmospheric and shifted depending on the day and if you where in combat or not. The day and night cycles of the game was quite new for that time and was handled well. The world was enourmous with 17.000 screens on only one disc and without any significant loading times. Sure the game was huge but there was a lot of walking through those screens. Still you could go anywhere in the large world and the hope was always to found something very special and that kept me exploring and the hours went past. I think I played this game for 100 hours or so before giving up after my saved game was destroyed.

The story is carried out by three brothers, Julian, Phillip and Kevin. All with their own strengths and weaknesses. Julian is the brave one, the true fighter. Philip is more lucky and clever and Kevin is the kindest of them.

Phillip the second brother

When the game is starting your father - which happens to be a men-at-arms for the village - asks you to find the Talisman. Only then will you be able to defeat the evil which has plagued this part of the world.

Sure, I started out with Julian and explored my home village. There was quite a few magic items hidden in the different houses so I gathered everything I could.

Searching the huts could often reveal hidden items

Then I left the village. I had no idea where to go. I turned south and was very soon attacked by some skeletons. I fought them and got some new weapons. There are only four weapons of the game. A sword, mace, dirk and bow. I don´t know if mace is better against skeletons or not. Or the swords against the Wraiths which happens to be quite difficult to defeat in the beginning.

When you defeat your enemies you increase your brave attribute which is a measure of your fighting ability. You get better and better the more enemies you defeat and hopefully they will not be as much of a problem as now in the beginning. I think I died at least 5 times before I reaced the first village down south. Unfortunately I had no keys to enter any houses and so I looked at the map and saw there should be some watch tower in the southeast.
Finally at tthe watchtower I was surprised by rogues






I figured I would go investigate that. It took me at least 10 och 15 deaths and reloads and a lot of screen to reach the watchtower. While there I tried every single key I´ve found so far but none of them worked.

Dissappointed I head back to my homevillage. I was about to starve and was also quite sleepy.

It was just as long and boring trip back because of the enless fights in which I died. But it was a little bit easier because my brave had risen somewhat.

The problem I found with this game is the lack of a proper handcontroll or joystick. With the mouse you could only navigate by pressing left mouse button on the arrows in the navigational panel. To fight you had to press the right button. That was very hard in battle to both change direction and fight at the same time. So most of the time I let the enemies come to me. That worked ok, unless I met bowmen which was very difficult to take out. The other way to control your character is to use the numeric keypad but the reaction is sometimes a little slow and when you change direction there could often be a irritating delay of half a second before the character moved. That means that continuous movement was not always possible and in combats it is very important.

I actually got quite frustrated about the improper way to navigate and so tired of it. Since this game is about running from one part of the screen to the next with countless of fights this would really drain my patience. So unfortunately, though I love this game, I have to abandon it. It has to be played on the Amiga directly. I still recommend this game though if you have the time and patience to learn to control the character perfectly.

Since I only played this for around 6 hours or so it is not enough to properly review the game so I will move on.

7 comments:

  1. I don't remember the controls being that awkward, but I remember the fantastic music and graphics on the Amiga version.
    The game was very unbalanced, I think. When starting out you could hardly survive anything, but after a few levels you were invincible to normal enemies. I found that entering the graveyard and shooting enemies through the fence was the safest way to gain levels.
    The game was rather empty, though, and I despite it's apperant openness you had to do things in sequence. I screwed up my game when I collected some of the gold objects out of order.

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  2. I played this on the Amiga in 1989 with a joystick and it was a real joy. Or ? Now when I think about it I am not sure it was with a joystick.

    Anyway, trying to play it in WinUAE with the numeric keypad to choose fight direction and mouse made the battles quite awkward.

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  3. I had to chuckle reading your review. I tried to play this last December, and despite everyone telling me how good it was, I couldn't take it after a few postings. The constant walking and fighting was just boring.

    I honestly don't think it was the joystick that made you like it. You were just young and CRPGs were young.

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  4. Don´t destroy my illusions :-)
    I suppose it is better to remember the good old times than trying to revive them.

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  5. having just found your site I have to add something about this game. I remember Computer Gaming World - The Geek Gaming magazine of the 1980s and early 1990s did a review of this game and they liked it. The part I don't think they realized was that the game disc was not copy protected. You needed to find the words on the outer rim of the map to get through the copy protection. So what did CGW do in the review. Print a copy of the map in the review which allowed anyone who wanted to, to copy the disc and have the copy protection available. True, the game hasn't aged well, but I remember loving the game for the same reasons, the music and graphics. And yes, fighting the skeleton through the fence in the graveyard would boost your fighting skill in no time :D

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  6. Nice to read about this old game on amiga. I also loved this game for the music and graphics but what I struggled with the monsters and my brothers were killed all the time. I have not played it in mote than 20 years or so bu I still remember the "slow" music changing when a monster appeared.
    Thanks for a very nice blog; found it as I am playing Wizardry 7 at the moment.

    (Också gammal amiga spelare från Stockholm)

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