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Landstalker – The Treasures of King Nole

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Released: 1993

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Publisher: Climax Entertainment

Developer: Climax Entertainment

Submitted by: Stuart McCord

Meet Nigel the elf, and his pint-sized companion Friday. They learn that King Nole’s mythical treasures may actually exist and embark on this huge and gorgeous-looking isometric adventure/RPG to find them. I was immediately hooked on this game back in the day and it remains a firm favourite of mine.

First off, if you like a good challenge this one definitely won’t disappoint. There’s enough relatively simple sections to get you used to the game and suitably addicted to how brilliantly it all looks and plays – but be warned that before long you’ve got one hell of a tough one on your hands here. You begin encountering pretty complex dungeons and the isometric viewpoint starts throwing up some very tricky platform sections, made worse by there being no shadows and so quite often a hard time judging whereabouts a moving platform actually is on the screen. The game does get increasingly frustrating and evil in that your mistimed jumps soon start plummeting you ever further back, to repeat lengthier and lengthier sections countless times until you’re there. Fantastic as this game is, patience is a must!

One thing that really appeals to me is the great characters and dialogue in this game. Friday and the ruthless antihero character who’s trying to beat you to the treasures are extremely well-written and it’s a pleasure to wander around and see what the various NPCs have to say, as so many of them ooze charm and personality and the game’s a right good laugh in places. As for Nigel, it’s a refreshing change from the usual clichéd hero types to play a character who’s basically just out to line his own pockets – if he happens to save a few towns from disaster, rid the world of some unpleasant monsters and rescue the odd hostage or princess along the way, so much the better! Like it.

There’s certainly many, many hours of brilliant-quality gameplay here, and a good sense of accomplishment to be had from seeing this one through to the end if you’ve got the patience. Not to be missed for fans of the genre.