Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Game 7: Faxanadu (NES) - Introduction

Game 7

Title: Faxanadu
Year: 1989 (1987 JP)
Platform: NES
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action-RPG
Exploration - Side-scrolling (light platforming)
Combat - Real-time




Faxanadu is another game I enjoyed immensely as a child. It reminded me of Legacy of the Wizard, but the exploration was a bit more manageable for that time. Even so, I don't think I managed to beat this one on my own. I recall a sword with three points and one of the early bosses, but hardly anything in between.

The name Faxanadu comes from a game named Xanadu, the second game in the Dragon Slayer series. Combining Fa (from Famicom) and Xanadu, they released their creation as Faxanadu. I don't see any similarities beyond the name; I can only imagine the Dragon Slayer series was popular for the time, so using the name might have increased sales.
Apparently we're back to using passwords
The main character is an unnamed hero who returns home after adventuring; however, not all is well with his home town. He takes it upon himself to discover why his town is now on the verge of destruction. To do this, the hero must venture into the "World Tree and overthrow the Evil One that lives in the Evil Place." I don't think someone tried very hard with the story.

Taking a look through the manual has refreshed a bit of my memory, and hopefully this is a quick jaunt through an old classic. I actually started playing through these games hoping for more turn-based games. Miracle Warriors is coming up shortly though, so I have that to look forward to. Enough chit-chat for now, on to the game.
Let's wander on

21 comments:

  1. I remember playing it so much as a child that I had dreams about it at nights. Considering the overall style of the game, it wasn't pleasant dreams at all...

    One of my all-time favorites on the NES, though.

    Excellent game, I look forward for your playthrough!

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  2. I'd never heard of this game, until seeing it mentioned in some fashion on CRPG Addict's blog. The name conjured images of Olivia Newton John on roller-skates, using a fax machine. Hahaha!

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    1. Every time I search for Xanadu I run across this. I actually thought it was supposed to be more like faux-xanadu, but I guess I was wrong. Hope you enjoy learning about the game, I remember it being pretty fun.

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  3. The hero must venture into the "World Tree and overthrow the Evil One that lives in the Evil Place."

    Did they have a writer's strike in 1987?

    Another game I've never heard of. Looks interesting...

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    1. I'm glad it's not an Evil World Tree.

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    2. I bet it was better in Japanese; Apparently they spent about a day translating them to English back then, sometimes less.

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  4. It's funny how many different people's histories with games are. I mean, I remember playing most of these games as a kid.

    I've always played both PC and console games, I guess. I was always really a part of both worlds. Even while I argued about SNES vs. Genesis, I was loving Civilization on the PC.

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    1. Most of my gaming was on the consoles until my dad got an IBM in the 90s and moved on from his Apple II. Then we kids got to enjoy the Apple II/GS more than before. Still, we stuck to consoles most of the time.

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    2. My parents got an Apple IIe before I can even remember. We had some interesting little games on it, but, perhaps more interestingly, my dad used to make little games for us. Trivia games, hang-man types, etc. I even learned a little bit of programming for it as well, despite being about 5-6 years old at the time. He even made this ambitious space fighter game, that sort of seemed like an early version of Tie Fighter. Unfortunately, he lost most of his coding in a power outage, and that pretty much ended that project.

      In any case, he got a couple of PCs a few years later from his work. That's when things really kicked into overdrive. One of the PCs came with Windows 3.1 -and- Doom pre-installed. The other came with Civilization, The Incredible Machine, King's Quest IV, and all kinds of other classics pre-installed. Up until this point, my heavy gaming was NES based. I played some light games on the Apple IIe, but nothing hardcore. That changed abruptly with these PCs.

      Within a few years, I was playing Tie Fighter, then Warcraft, then Warcraft 2, then Diablo and Fallout, then Starcraft. Even as I continued to enjoy consoles (NES, then Genesis, then N64, in addition to emulation), I was also unavoidably a PC gamer. Starcraft was probably my most anticipated release when it came out, and I played that game religiously for 3 or 4 years of my life. Hell, I didn't get a PS2 until right before the PS3 came out because, well, all of my gaming time went into the PC. I've tried to turn back the clock, as I have a bunch of Wii and PS3 games now. However, I hardly ever play them....

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    3. I'm fairly sure that the PS2 has the largest library of CRPGs of any console. How much quality is there is really up to the individual, but if you're looking into turning back the clock I'd start there. The PS1 had its fair share as well.

      I remember playing "Basic" on the Apple II. The most I ever made in it was an animal guessing game, but lost interest while trying to learn about hi-res and lo-res graphics on the Apple IIGS.

      I probably would have been more into PC gaming if I had my own computer.

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    4. Funnily enough, due to the recent Clan of the Gray Wolf review, I finally bought Dragon Quest VIII. It was only 9 bucks at a local used media store, so I bit.

      I also played FFX, FFX-2, and FF12. I hated 12; X-2 had a good variant of the jobs system but an incredibly obnoxious.. EVERYTHING ELSE; but I actually loved X. Sue me. X is probably my favorite FF after 7. I loathe 8 (2, 8, and 12 are my bottom 3), and I hated 9's art style.

      I own a few others, but I haven't really played them. I haven't played much of JRPGs in year, honestly. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are both AWESOME. Half Minute Hero is an absolute gem. It's tragic that the sequel probably won't make it here. Tactics Ogre for the PSP is a phenomenal update. Other than that, all my recent RPGs have been Computer RPGs.

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    5. Oh, and I have Valkyria Chronicles. I've owned it for probably close to two years, but I still haven't touched it. God knows I'll fall in love if and when I finally play the damn thing....

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    6. Well it sounds like you have your plate full, and I'm not sure what you liked about the games, but there are a lot of games I could suggest. I'll just name two that probably don't get enough mention: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PS1) and Okage: Shadow King (PS2). Both aren't really mainstream games, but I like quirky different games. The charm, humor, and presentation mix well in both games, and they're just a couple of the many games I'm eagerly anticipating to play again once I get there.

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    7. To clarify, I meant that FF X was my favorite FF -released- after FF7. It's not my favorite FF besides 7. Hell, 7 isn't even my favorite FF. 6 is. Followed by 4, 7, or Tactics. I'm tempted to give second place to Tactics, as it has a better story -and- better gameplay than 4 or 7, but I digress....

      Yeah, I'll definitely check those out. For the PSOne, I have quite a collection: Chrono Cross, FF 7-9, FF Tactics, FF Anthology, Tales of Destiny II (Tales of Eternia, not the -actual- ToD2), Valkyrie Profile, Suikoden 2 (my most valuable game.. I also beat the first one), Xenogears, Legend of Mana, Vagrant Story, and Star Ocean Second Story. Believe it or not, I've actually beaten most of these games. Good stuff.
      For the PS2, I have: FF X, X-2, and 12, BG Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath, Odin Sphere, Okami, Rogue Galaxy, Star Ocean Until the End of Time (maybe this is 4 or something?), Kingdom Hearts, Dirge of Cerberus (not really an RPG I guess...), Shadow of the Colossus, Suikoden 3, Dark Cloud, and, most recently, DQ 8.
      However, I have only played a small fraction of these: the FFs, Champions of Norrath, a bit of Okami, a bit of Kingdom Hearts, etc.

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    8. Most of the RPGs I have played are 16-bit era, however. The golden age of JRPGs, as it were.

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    9. Sounds like a good collection. Star Ocean: Until the End of Time is the third game. If you're interested in that series, then you might be interested to know that the fourth game is on the PS3: Star Ocean: The Last Hope International. Hopefully in a few years I'll have played through some of the other games like Grandia and Wild Arms; the first I've heard is good, and the second series I've only played through the first game (I recommend this one if you can bare the graphics).

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    10. I actually haven't played either of those. My friend LOVED Grandia 2. It basically made him into an RPG fan.

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  5. One of my favorite aspects of Faxanadu is that it's quite possibly the first game to have any amount of paper-dolling, though your dude does not get pants until late into the game (except in the Japanese version, where he clearly has them at the start).

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    1. I've noticed this, and it's definitely getting some points here for it. The lack of pants was disturbing when, but I only noticed it after getting the Full Plate.

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  6. Isn't this game somehow related to Legacy of the Wizard? I recall that Faxanadu and Legacy of the Wizard, plus a third game I can't remember, all occur within the same "world".

    I played a little Faxanadu last year, when I thought I'd run through all 227 of my (actual) NES games. I got pretty far, but lost interest. Good luck with it!

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    1. I believe they're all under the Dragon Slayer series umbrella. I don't know much of the series though, so it's quite possible that it's considered the same world. All evidence I can see puts the game under a different development team though, and only the name ties it into the series.

      That's quite a task. How long did you give yourself to get through them all? I remember hearing about someone who played all NES games over the course of 72 hours or something like that. This meant he played each one for about 5 minutes, but it sounded interesting. Also, that's quite a collection. If I was playing this casually, I'd probably put it down for now due to missing a ring that opens up the next door. Stay tuned for a post soon.

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