Fairlight is a land of mystery and magic with a castle that holds as many secrets as Castle Rathbone. It's also the new game from The Edge - Simon Forman has come under its spell.
Things haven't been too rosy recently in the land of Fairlight - war, murder, plague, famine. You know the sort of thing! Well, now you've got the chance to do something about it. Imprisoned in the Castle Avars is the magician whose Book of Light can make the sun shine once more - and guess who the task of freeing him has fallen too? Got it in one, so you can stop sloping off. After all, you might miss out on the best arcade adventure of the year - maybe the game of the year!
Fairlight is a true adventure, not just one in name. There are eighty-odd locations, a mystery to solve and hidden objects to uncover and use. But it all takes place in stunning 3D graphics. Here are caves and courtyard, dungeons and drawbridges, towers and secret rooms - all pieces of a jigsaw that'll fit together to form a perfect castle.
You'll soon suss out that the magician you've got to rescue is holed up in one of the towers. It's getting up there that's the problem - your path's blocked by a monk-like ghoul who will not budge. So, it's off round the castle, exploring all the rooms, finding keys to the locked doors, collecting crowns and books and bags of gold. But you're not the only one wandering within the walls - beware the soldiers, trolls, magic bubbles and monks, all of them out to do you a mischief.
The atmosphere of the medieval castle is captured by the programmer, Bo Jangeborg using his Worldmaker Technique. This has added an extra dimension of realism to the game that you won't have come across before. You'll find that objects weigh differently just like in real life. When you move an object, leave and then return to a room, it doesn't reset but stays just where you put it. And best of all you can pick up all the objects you find and use them in any of the other rooms.
Different from the Ultimate megagames, huh? Alien 8 and Knight lore are more puzzle games - each room poses a problem that you've got to overcome. Fairlight is one big problem - but you'll have one helluva time trying to solve it!
Welcome to the loading screen for Fairlight. If you study it very closely it'll help you fill in the gaps in your own map. And have no illusions, you'll have to draw a map if you're to get anywhere in the game. Just to spur you on in those moments after midnight when you know there's only one more room to go, if only you could find the key. The Edge has come up with a wizard idea for a compo. So, here's the scam - the first ten YS readers to send in a complete map of Fairlight will receive free membership of the Edge Connection. You'll get a free T-shirt, Fairlight poster and the offer of discounts off all future Edge games, including Fairlight II, the follow-up. And tucked away at the bottom of the jiffy bag will be a free copy of The Artist, the graphics package that got such a rave review in YS 15. And if you look at the title screen, you can see why - it was created using The Artist. Not surprising really, 'cos both programs were written by the same programmer. Bo Janeborg!
If you thought the soldiers were stoopid, just try the trolls. It's a doddle getting them to bash their heads (and other parts of their anatomy)up against brick walls... or tables... or... Just make sure you put an object between you and the troll and watch him get stuck!Isn't that? Nah, it can't be. Surely not. WEll, it certainly looks like our 'ol friend Tony 'Slim' Samuels! Rumours that the trolls were based on him nust be unfounded. Mustn't they?You start out with your life force at 99 but the land of Fairlight is a dangerous place so expect it to drop fast. Eating the bread and chicken you find, or drinking from the jugs is one way of getting your strength back - but they're only worth ten points each.Fighting can be great fun but it can also be dangerous. That's why you must make sure you're properly lined up with you opponent before you start the swordplay.Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away into their helmets - so, don't try treading on them or using them to jump on 'cos they're still as dangerous as ever. And if you leave a room and return to it, up pops your adversary as though nothing had happened.It's all too easy to walk into the bubbles and whirlwinds - as soon as you enter a room wait a while and watch to see the patterns they follow. That way you can safely work your way round them.Your big physical advantage over all the other nasties in the castle is that you can jump and they can't. So, you can duck out of their way by leaping onto tables and stools and doing an Errol Flynn from up there.Feeling suicidal? Try crossing one of the two drawbridges. The monks who stand guard will have you ove rthe edge and into the chasm before you have time to say Aaaargh! And that means game over for you. The only easy way to stop their tricks is to use an hourglass.
Remember the well in JSWII? Well, there's one here as well. And this one's just as nasty - if not as wet! The bad news if the bubble at the bottom waiting to blow you away - and the worse news is there's no way out once you've burst it. Your only hope is to use the scroll that'll magically transport you to the courtyard. Now kick yourself for leaving it behind!Never leave objects you've collected in a room with a whirlwind. All it take is one touch and whoosh, the object vanishes.You're still not built like Geoff Capes, y'know! There's a limit to the number of objects you can carry - and that's five. Course, if one of the objects happens to be a barrel or a bag of gold, you'll find it impossible to pick up much else because of the extra weight.Sometimes you'll find it impossible to drop an object just where you want it 'cos the way's blocked. Tackle the problem by dumping your chosen object as close to where you need it than a quick shove'll put it into position.You can only pick up objects that are directly in front of you. Line yourself up and then it's knees bend for the quick snatch.If your life force is really on its last knockings, there's only one way of bringing it back to full strength - y drinking the liquid in the small stoppered bottles. Use them wisely, though - we've only tracked down a couple in the whole castle.The day of the triffids has arrived. The killer daffodils in the courtyard aren't just decorative but deadly. Tread very gingerly around them - if they snap out, you can expect a great deal of damage.You'll find most of the keys you need close to the doors they unlock - but it's not always the case. The key at the top of the tower unlocks a door on the far side of the castle.There has to be a limit to the number of soldiers you can squeeze into one room. So far, we've manage eight with no difficulty by killing them and then transporting their helmets to another room. Let us know if you beat that.
The only safe way of walking round a room with a monk in, is to use an hour glass. Immediately, time stands still and you can search to you heart's content - but make sure you don't leave the room 'cos as soon as you return the clock's started again.Don't expect to just walk into a room and see all its secrets straight off. Some like the cross concealed beneath the throne will take a fair bit of searching for.Nobody's gonna push you around, eh? That's what you think! The soldiers and trolls may be a pushover but the monks have the strength of two - and you can't even make a stab at killing them. As soon as you've come into contact with them, you'll be lucky to escape with you life.Money, money, money, that's all they ever think about these soldiers - mercenary devils! If you want to take on the guards off your tail, try dropping a bag of gold. It doesn't always work but in most cases it should buy you some time.Some objects are sneakily tucked away where you can't bend down and reach 'em, all is not lost. Slide the lighter objects through and they'll shove what you're after in front of them.How d'you find the secret rooms (Isn't that a secret? Ed). One way is to look closely at the title screen and see if there are any rooms shown that don't appear on your map. Now check 'em out by walking into walls. You'll soon be rewarded by finding the hidden doors.Bubbles are the ultimate deterrent - or at least they're the only objects which reset to their original positions when you leave a room. Yep, just like in the Ultimate games.Having trouble with one of the guards? Here's a tip that works if the room's got two exits. Enter and draw him towards you - just as he's about to do you a nasty with his spear, turn tail and leg it out of there. Now it's just a question of nipping round to the other entrance and dashing in while he's occupied on the far side of the room.Some objects are there for all the world to see- but they're well out of your reach. Don't give up even if you can't get your mitts on them by jumping. Start stacking barrels and then use the stools to leap on top of those.One very nice touch is that you can pick up a soldier's helmet and transport if to another room where he can cause less bother. There's no way you're going to be able to search a room fully with a member of the military dogging your every step.