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It was on this dark winter night that the four conspirators were caught and the fate of the people of Balkhane sealed forever. The ever vigilant Mecubarz unleashed a wrath so terrible that it sundered the planet into four lands, those of Ice, Mist, Water and Fire. Also, to ensure the continued fate of the doomed people the four conspirators were transformed into demigods to rule, one per land, over the damnation and terror of the people of Balkhane. Before leaving this spoiled paradise, the Mecubarz left four jewels, one for each of the conspirators. The Ice Demon claimed the Emerald, and rules over an eternal winter in the Frozen Lands. The Diamond went to the Snake Beast to rule over the Lands of Mists. The Wetlands were to be ruled by a horrible Medusa, keeper of the Sapphire. And the fiery Ruby would be kept deep in the Land of Shadows. Ismael, having disappeared completely and thus escaping the wrath of the Mecubarz, was never to be seen again.
It is through this world that you, as Quickthorpe, must travel and collect the four jewels to restore the world to equilibrium. In his journeys, his sticky fingers will collect quite a few items into what appear to be bottomless pockets, notwithstanding his protests to the contrary. He'll also be prepared to do anything to get ahead, including taking candy from a baby. Quickthorpe will also do a fair measure of talking to the people he meets. He has 48 different people to meet and each of them has something to say. Just don't let his sharp tongue get him into too much trouble. Also, his mind tends to lead him into rather bawdy thoughts. After all, there's not much else to do in a village that's caught in an eternal winter and it will be up to you to decide if he should actually say or do anything to act on those "less wholesome" thoughts. Just try getting back into the village before you've finished your quest and you'll understand what I mean. Certain tasks will need to be accomplished before Quickthorpe can move on to another land and they do need to be done in a, more or less, sequential order. Just be sure that he interacts with everyone he meets and listen carefully as there are often clues hidden in what people are saying to Quickthorpe.
The SVGA graphics for this game are truly reminiscent of the fairy tales and fables from childhood. Rich in detail and beautiful rich colors each scene is a pleasure to examine. This game is almost like playing in a full-length classic animated movie. The main character was designed and animated by a former Disney animator. From the grand overviews of each land to the individual object closeups, everything is perfectly detailed in these hand-drawn graphics.
Full spoken dialogue accompanies each of the 48 different people that Quickthorpe will meet, and each one is a fully developed character in his own right. The sound effects are also well matched from the burbling of the steams and waterways to the echoes, bubbles and burbles in the Wetlands. The one surprising thing is that there is no ambient background music and that it really doesn't need to be there. The Fable captures you mind in so many other ways that you never even miss it.
As far as playing the game, nothing could be easier. If you can point and click, you've got this game mastered. As with most games of this type, the cursor changes to let you know what you can do next. The only difference would have to be the sheer number of things that are possible in this game. Both mouse buttons have been used to provide the widest possible range of options for any given situation. Right clicking toggles the options and left clicking puts the desired action into effect. Written cues at the bottom of the screen help keep track of what the next action is, so the player always knows what is going to happen next. Well, most of the time. That's where the special humor of this game becomes evident. A dry British humor pervades everything, from the bungling bureaucracy in the Shadow Lands to the Grim Reaper who can't stand the heat.
The puzzles are sometimes complex but they are fair. Clues are sometimes subtle, sometimes like being hit by a bus. If a player is really stuck, a hints hotline is available for "a little nudge or a blatant giveaway". See below for the telephone number. Tech support is also available in case problems arise, though installation should be a breeze for both DOS and Windows 95 users. Both versions come with the game and install automatically, depending on the system.
Written by Glenn Soucy
Click here for screen shots.
Web site: Telstar Electronic Studios
P.O. BOX 245,
Ogdenburg, NY 13669.
|Technical Support:||315-393-6644 Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm EST|
|Game hints:||315-393-6633 Monday to Friday 4:00pm - 8:00pm EST|
Web site: Sirtech Software
Internet support: Sirtech Software Technical Support
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