The Faery Tale Adventure
This was probably my favorite Amiga game – it was for sure the one I spent the most time on.
At the time I found the Ultima series too geeky and Zelda too gamey. And I certainly wasn't interested in Dungeon Master or Wizardry – those I found as unappealing as paper and pen RPGs. Faery Tale, however, was a breath of fresh air to me. The directness of a single-scale, seamless world: 17 000 smoothly scrolling screens which invited you to stroll around in the landscape of your childhood’s fairy tales! The music, of course, helped to make the experience intoxicatingly immersive.
Graphically, too, it was way ahead. It made Ultima IV look boring and it made The Legend of Zelda look crude. I find it mostly resembles Ultima VII, which didn't arrive until 1992, but it is also similar to Chris Roberts’s C64 RPG Times of Lore from 1988 (that game engine might be even more impressive than Joiner's).
It is frustrating at times when you don't know where to go next – the breadcrumbs are very sparsely dispersed. I did manage to solve the game but I also remember that I had some help from a hint page in either Commodore User or Computer & Videogames. Some solutions struck me as far-fetched but I reasoned that they probably only seemed so because I had a pirated copy and hadn't read the manual.
As I didn't own the original I also didn't know that there was a map included. In a way I guess this was for the better as I probably enjoyed exploring and mapping the game more than I enjoyed playing it. I used the bird totems and meticulously transcribed each region to several A4 graph papers which I joined together to form one giant map. I also, of course, marked the positions of keys and other stuff I found. It was a real labor of love – I must have spent several weeks, perhaps months, to finish the map during summer break.
I recently found the map and made a scan available here. I remember that I completed the game before the map was complete, so I had to continue playing for quite a while to complete the map. But once you had the Swan, mapping was much faster.
Ola Hansson, January 2015