Yeah, but you’re no Gandalf.
DEVELOPER: Eurocom Entertainment Software
RELEASE DATE: February 1991
Every step you take in Magician feels like it could be your last. Should you cast the wrong spell in the wrong area, stop playing the game for more than five seconds, or even talk to a person who doesn’t like your face, you’re dead. And if you didn’t save beforehand, you have to start at the beginning. The latter sounds like a no-brainer, but you only have fifteen saves for the entire game. Conserving your saves is essential, but if you’ve never played the game, you might not know where the best place is to save. Since Magician is long and incredibly challenging, it goes without saying that, if you want to battle Abadon, the evil wizard who needs a good thrashing, an FAQ/old Nintendo Power is required.
So what’s the thrust of Magician? The controls, mostly. Get the hang of the controls, mixing and matching spells, and you might have a shot at getting out of the first town. To talk to people, you have to press ‘Up’ when they pass by. ‘A’ is for casting spells, ‘B’ is for using items, and to select a certain spell or item, you have to press ‘Select’ to scroll through it on your menu. Sounds easy enough, but the configuration takes some getting used to. It’s also not fun trying to navigate between a lightning spell and a shield spell while fighting a particularly difficult enemy.
Magician is unique, in that it combines the feel of a point-and-click adventure with an RPG. Talking to people, buying a ton of food (you have to keep an eye on your food and water, and if you get dehydrated or starve, you die – different from the health meter), using the correct item at the correct place, all gives a point-and-click feel, while casting spells and walking around towns reek of an ancient Western computer RPG. I admire Magician for its unique approach, but while I don’t like to be coddled in my games, I’m also not a masochist. To me, the difficulty of Magician doesn’t outweigh the reward one would get by beating it all the way through. If you like your games served with a side of crotch-crunch, then Magician has you covered.
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6 replies on “#389 – Magician”
Crotch-crunch? That is hilarious.
I have yet to read a favorable review of an RPG by you. That said, RPGs are much better on computers in general.
Edit: By RPG I mean the kind with a lot of reading, pointing, and clicking…especially pointing and clicking. This type of game isn't everyone's cup of tea, but even for those who enjoy them such as myself, they're probably much more enjoyable with a keyboard and mouse handy.
NES ports of computer RPGS are usually pretty bad. The only exceptions I can think of are Wizardry I and II and Ultima: Quest of the Avatar
I'm glad to see you didn't hate this game, lol! I like it, but I know it's solid C material. But I'm a little disappointed you didn't mention the music. It's very…uh…busy. I think it's good, in a “Man, this would make an awesome Rush song” sort of way, but since it's an 8-bit NES and not a prog rock band, I don't know what to make of it.
I saw a review and initial walkthrough of this game in a Nintendo Power magazine and became curious. I could never play the game. Now, if I ever get the chance, I'l try to be aware of it.