All is not right in the medieval fantasy land of Farr. That shouldn't be too surprising as events have had eight years to fester since the original Faery Tale Adventure was released in 1989. The release of Halls of the Dead in 1997 makes this a sequel of sorts with a great deal of enhancements, improvements and upgrading of gameplay in nearly all aspects.
The game is a role-playing adventure viewed from an isometric point of view. Three brothers, Julian, Kevin and Phillip, are embattled citizens of Farr who are trying to eradicate an evil menace that is squeezing the town from all sides. If not stopped, it will end the peaceful and tranquil existence of the kingdom.
You control the actions of the three brothers either singularly or as a group. When they are banded, you direct the middle brother's (in the party display) movements and the others will follow. Simply changing their positions in the party will dictate which brother you control.
The game begins at the center of the city of Padavis in the region known as Wildevarr which is the geographical center of the continent Farr. Evil and exploration lies in all directions and you'll need to visit the entire realm (a huge world), talking with non-player characters, finding weapons and magic spells (both equally important), ferreting out and slaying monsters, tracking down special items and engaging in combat, mental and physical.
In true role-playing fashion, advancement of your characters (the brothers) in Halls of the Dead comes with training and experience, with more effective weapons, magic and abilities increasing as the game progresses. Although combat is real-time in concept, the game pauses when it's your turn (cast a spell, change a weapons, etc.) to move, thus creating a semi-turn-based setup. Game options include a toggle for automatic weapon selection (the game will equip the brothers with the best choice for the situation, if one of them has it) and an "auto-drag" (weapon) feature to simplify combat.
The game's manual includes a short beginner's guide for those not familiar with RPGs and a separate 38-page booklet describing Spells and Monsters is also provided. In addition to Wildevarr, there are nine other diverse regions to explore, ranging from frozen wastelands to a subterranean Underworld. Vast numbers of ruins, monsters, artifacts and exotic beings await the intrepid traveler in the land of Farr. Your help is needed -- are you up to it?
Faery Tale Adventure II is the sequel to MicroIllusions' classic RPG. The three brothers, introduced in the first game, have been teleported to a foreign country where they have to save the local people from evil powers spreading in the once peaceful lands. The graphics resemble those in Ultima VIII: Pagan and the gaming world is large.
You can't call this game the actually volume two as this game is a new attempt to make a better version of the old classic roleplay game with almost the same name which is Faery Tale 1: Adventure. There are of course many improvements compared with Faery Tale 1. The graphics are much better while the sound is better as well. And of course it has to be that when this version is so much newer.
The big difference with these two versions is that you can control all three brothers at the same time or you can just decide to split all three brothers up and explore different places at the same time.
One of the most underrated RPGs of all time, Halls of the Dead is the excellent sequel to The Faery Tale Adventure, classic RPG and MicroIllusions' best-known game. This time, the three brothers from the first game Julian, Phillip and Kevin are teleported to a foreign country, where they are (naturally) tasked with saving the region from evil powers that are sapping the once peaceful lands (Magic Candle II, anyone?).
Halls of The Dead builds upon its predecessor's best-loved feature: a huge, dynamic, densely populated world where you can always find something to do and gentle townsfolk to talk to. Similar to the first game, Halls of The Dead is a "light" RPG in a sense that it focuses much more on storytelling and adventure-style quests than on building characters' stats to a godlike level. The interface and graphics are similar to the isometric view of Ultima 8, but less elegant: a full quarter of the screen is taken up by character and action panel at all times, but this does make simple tasks like equipping your characters and casting spells much easier. In contrast to the single-player game of Faery Tale Adventure 1, you can now control all three brothers at once while they roam the lands. Similar to the Magic Candle games, you can control each brother separately, via the "banding" command. For example, you can have two of the brothers in the far west, and the remaining one in the east. "Centering" controls which one is in the center of the view. The other brothers will follow the centered character unless they are not banded. The spellcasting interface is a little cumbersome and takes some getting used to, but it is not annoying once you get used to it.
With a huge world to explore, hundreds of subquests, and numerous NPCs who always have interesting tales or useful advice to tell, Halls of The Dead is an outstanding introductory-level RPG that will keep you occupy for months. A truly vast gameworld and four different endings will guarantee that you will always see something new in your subsequent travels in the lands of Farr after finishing the game once. Die-hard RPGers will probably dislike the game's superficial handling of stats and simplistic combat options, but newcomers and anyone who likes a good story will find this easy-to-moderate old game a pleasant surprise.
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