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About the product
- The player controls a female character through overworlds, towns, towers and caves throughout most of the game. A male character is played near the end.
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Product Shown in Pictures. Game Cartridge Only. Cleaned, Tested and Working. Label is in Great Condition. Cartridge Is in nice condition but will show some wear, including discoloration, tearing, writing, or other cosmetic issues. 100% Guaranteed Authentic.
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This game is slightly above-average at best, and mediocre or slightly bad at its worse.
It is a hybrid Japanese-style RPG: top-down world (e.g. Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy) with a action-oriented, top-down combat system (e.g. Legend of Zelda). Unfortunately, it results in an unwieldy mishmash that does not create an overall satisfying product. The top-down world allows the player to visit towns, caves, towers and harbors. Also, there are a few secret locations in the forests. On the way to these locations, a player will run into MANY random encounters. In over three decades of gaming, I have rarely had as many random encounters as found in Faria. Once the player enters the combat field, the orientation switches and zooms down on the heroine and her enemies. The early part of the game is brutal: enemies hit hard and fast. Upgraded weapons and armor do very little to even the playing field. Early in the game, invisible enemies can be fought, which results in the player either running away or stabbing aimlessly to hit the target(s). Unfortunately, running from battle in this game may result in a player losing gold, experience, items or even expensive equipment. Thus, the player will die; A LOT. Dying results in the player being reset to the last save point, located in some towns, with half of the gold being lost. The beginning of the game is a lot of grinding and dying to build up enough levels to survive common encounters. Eventually, the heroine will acquire spells, more powerful weapons and items to aid in her quest. Afterwards, the combat becomes more enjoyable, and is the best part of the game. Even still, it is not fleshed out enough. The number of 'upgrades' the heroine gets are too few and not interesting enough to really make the game a winner.
The top-down exploration view seems to be tacked on just to get from place-to-place, and it never really feels like it belongs in this game. The developers should have ditched this view for a more Zelda-like approach (moving from screen-to-screen on a large world-map all in the action / combat view). The combat could have been fleshed out further, and the game is more visually appealing in the combat view. The most confusing is having exploration view in the caves, and combat view in the towers. Simply, the game design is inconsistent.
Exploring caves and towers in this game can be summed up in one word: FRUSTRATING. The caves require a 'light' and 'battery' from a town's item shop. The light allows very limited illumination and viewing distance, which results in the player running in circles. In addition, the battery can and does run out. Once this happens, the player is out of luck. The heroine is forced to find her way in complete darkness to the stairs back to the surface or die. Multiple batteries should be purchased and stacked to ensure survival. The layouts are confusing and there is no way to map one's progress. Each tower is a maze full of rooms that look the exact same, empty rooms and trap rooms. The heroine cannot acquire a map and has no way to mark places she has been inside of the dungeon. Each cavern or tower must be mapped out by hand like old dungeon crawlers from the 80s (Might & Magic, Wizardry series for PC). If a player chooses to leave a dungeon, then all 'switches' (the player pushes statues as switches) reset to the default position and must be done again. In addition, one of the most brutal mazes in the game is the very first dungeon, which can be further discouraging for new players. In the end, I was able to solve half the mazes on my own, but I had to look up the solutions to the other half.
The story of the game is alright for its time period and is not memorable. There is a significant plot twist that was interesting, but I will not give it away. As mentioned, the graphics of the game are pretty in the combat / action-oriented view. The music is...HORRENDOUS. It one of the worst videogame soundtracks ever. About halfway through the game, I had to put it on MUTE because most of the music is on an eight to ten second loop that is bound to pound a player's skull, down the spine into his or her toes. The worst music comes in the towers, which is horrible because even with the maze solutions take a while to beat. The controls are adequate and fairly tight. A late game 'upgrade' can make them unwieldy, but is almost necessary to acquire.
Overall, a single play through of this game is alright, but I will never play it again. I would not recommend this as a first RPG title for a new NES player because of its steep learning curve, overall difficulty through first half of the game and horrible music. I give it three stars because there were some parts that I enjoyed, and I did want to finish the game. There are quite a few worse RPGs than this on the system (i.e. Dungeon Magic). Better options include The Dragon Warrior series, Final Fantasy series, The Legend of Zelda series, Crystalis, and Faxanadu. Also, there are a number of solid, Japanese-only and fans-translated Famicom RPGs available.