Mean Machines

Faery Tale Adventure

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Machine: Sega Genesis

Published in Mean Machines #10

Faery Tale Adventure

Once upon a time, when everyone was happy and commuting had yet to be invented, there was a clever young lad called Julian who lived with his two brothers in the land of Holm. Life for them and their countrymen was peaceful until, just when it looked like things couldn't get any better, bad fortune struck the land.

Crops failed and Holm was invaded by hordes of ugly monsters from the Seventh Level of Hell. Back in Julian's home town, the town elders decided that only a magical talisman could save the land from the invaders - but the talisman had been stolen! Julian, being the bravest and most handsome young fellah-me-lad in the neighbourhood, volunteered to set out to recover the item and free his land from menace. And his brothers vowed that if Julian couldn't find it, they would take up their swords and complete the quest.

This adventure game casts the player as Julian (and if he dies on the quest, as his brothers) as he travels through the land, fighting monsters and seeking treasure on the road to the talisman. Folks he meets on the way provide information and, if Julian has enough money, the chance to pick up weapons, provisions and spells so that he stands a chance of surviving longer than ten minutes!

Bits 'N Bobs

The Faery Tale Adventure

Julian starts off carrying only a dagger, but later gets the chance to grab a load of goodies. Extra weapons, in the shape of bows, maces, and dirks give him additional fighting power, and glass vials revive lost vitality after a punch up.

Green jewels provide light in gloomy, wet passages. Gold rings halt time for a short while, so Julian can rush over and kill any monsters in his vicinity without getting hurt himself. Other fab items to look out for include Blue stones for teleporting and Crystal Orbs for finding secret doors

Monster Mash

A change of music signals the approach of a monster so let's have a peek at a selection!

The Faery Tale Adventure

1. Skeleton These are the weediest creatures in the game, but watch out if they're in groups! They often carry useful items which they drop when killed.

2. Wraiths These cause Julian a few hassles early in the game, but once he's a bit tougher they are cream puffs. Try to grab their treasure just before they vanish.

3. Bowmen These give Julian grief no matter how strong he has become. Close on them quickly and kill them before they release too many arrows.

Vital Statistics

The Faery Tale Adventure

Julian keeps track of his abilities through the narration scroll which displays his last action, as well as four main scores, Bravery (attack strength), Luck (determines the likelihood of being resurrected), Kindness (shows how willing other characters are to talk) and Vitality (basically, health - if this reaches zero, it's bye-bye, matey).


I've been changing my poor opinion of console RPGs recently because of games like Sword Of Vermilion and King's Bounty. This is a large step in the wrong direction though.

Its graphical style is very similar to SOV, but the gameplay is much more limited. There are loads of things to do and the land is huge but I didn't find the overall situation particularly enthralling - in fact, it didn't interest me at all.

The Faery Tale Adventure

So the whole game left me uninvolved and rather bored, and although this is technically great game I just can't recommend it personally. Try Might And Magic II if you fancy a Megadrive RPG or adventure this month. I think that's a lot more challenging.


As I recall, the Amiga version of this created quite a stir a few years back, but how standards have changed since then! If you've played Sword Of Vermillion you'll know how good a Megadrive role-playing game can be, and Faery Tale Adventure isn't half as much fun to play.

The scenery graphics aren't bad, although they're a bit too jolly to create any atmosphere of imminent danger, but the tiny character sprites mince around looking appalingly weedy. Graphical discrepancies wouldn't be so bad if there was enough gameplay to keep you distracted, but there isn't, and you're never given a firm idea about what you should do next.

The Faery Tale Adventure

Talking to the characters is pretty pointless because they rarely have anything informative to say and the combat section is, frankly, feeble. If you want a really good RPG spend the £40 on Sword Of Vermillion, which is a much better game all round.


Presentation 70%
The brief scene-setting sequence is pleasant, but the 36-rune save game system is far too long-winded.

Graphics 69%
The game is displayed in a sort of semi-3D view which has weedy monster sprites wandering around it.

The Faery Tale Adventure

Sound 74%
The nice soundtracks are probably the game's best feature, although the effects are poor.

Playability 60%
At first, the hero seems to die every twenty seconds, making this a very difficult game to get into.

Lastability 70%
This adventure is huge, so in the unlikely event that you're willing to persevere it could last for weeks.

Overall 61%
A dull role-playing game which won't convert non-adventurers to the cause, especially not at this price.