Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
An effective - if sometimes weak - plan view helps you move around, which is supported by some excellent ‘point of view’ graphics when entering locations or confronting monsters. Brilliantly realistic lighting and perspective effects inside dungeons, caves and mazes, with first-rate animation on monsters make for some extremely atmospheric adventuring!
The tunes alter subtly according to mood, with clever use of fades. This is boosted by some realistic spot effects
A neat blend of individual and team-leading skills is called for. A real challenge for adventurers and strategists, with three separate planets to get to grips with, as well as space itself
The controls become second nature very quickly, then it’s easy to image you’re there! There's very little tedious wandering around - lots of action! It's a little slow at the start, though: you need to keep scuttling for a rest each time you kill a monster until you have enough money to buy better weaponry.
‘Prepare to match wits with the very best of the Sega Master!’ the inlay says. And they could well be right. An excellent entertainment - once you’ve teamed up with Odin, Noah and Myau and built up some strength, it’s like controlling an interactive movie. Brilliant? Yes it is.
Space this time, and why not? It's Century 342, Alis is the female hero, and she has to hack and slay her way across a three-planet solar system in a quest to overthrow a tyrant king.
King Lassic was a jolly old soul until he fell in with a bunch of magicians from another galaxy. Now he’s been promised immortality and the planets in the Algol system are becoming very unpleasant places to live on indeed. Weird monsters stalks the badlands outside human settlements; Robot Cops patrol the cities, mercilessly putting down any opposition to the King and his advisors; perhaps worst of all - the dead are rising again.
Many have already died on the quest to unthrone King Lassie -and the line of resistance terminates with Alis, a gutsy girl on whose shoulders the fate of Algol now rests.
An introductory cartoon-style sequence sets the scene, then Alis ventures forth with very little to protect her. Lots of money is needed to buy essential items, and three companions need to be found and rendered available to join the quest if it is to succeed. The only way Alis has of improving her lot is to go out into the badlands and kill monsters.
Two basic viewpoints are offering during play: a top-down plan view that shows Alis (and her companions) moving around on the ground; and a first-person perspective view that is called up during combat, or whenever the adventurers enter a building. All functions are controlled via menus in windows which pop onto the the screen - pressing either button calls up the initial command menu, the direction controller scrolls through menu choices. Press Button 2 to confirm a command or Button 1 to cancel.
When a monster is encountered, all members of the party have to stand and fight together, or they must run away as a team. Combat is decided on the basis of hit points - when a hero or a monster runs out of ‘em, then death ensues - and naturally, the more armour and weaponry the good guys are using the better their chances. Every time a monster expires, the team earns experience points, and a treasure chest appears on the ground. Opening the chest always reveals Mesetas - the local currency - but can sometimes set off a booby trap which adds a further ‘hit’ on the adventurers.
The overhead view of Alis as she sets about exploring the landscape.
The underground dungeons feature amazingly smooth moving graphics.
As experience points are added up, the characters advance through Levels - the higher a level a character has reached, the more powerful he or she becomes, both in terms of the number of hits that can be taken, and in terms of offensive and defensive strength. And as play progresses, characters learn how to cast magic spells - useful for a variety of purposes, including healing one another after battles.
A group inventory is carried, into which treasure and purchases are automatically put. A host of useful items, apart from weapons and armour can be found or bought from traders in settlements on the three planets. Via the multi-window menu system, items may be dropped, used or assigned for the use individual in the party.