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Preview:Fool’s Quest

Marionline gave me the opportunity to check out their upcoming game, Fool’s Quest. While the content I played was short and incomplete, it has me interested nonetheless. I only previewed a “tech” demo, so to speak, but I was hoping for a bit more polish regardless.

You begin the game as a Marina, who appears to be a Jester (or fool) from the medieval time period. We all know that the medieval era is used frequently in JRPGs, but I haven’t seen very many games that star a court Jester. I really like the idea behind this, but it is hard to say exactly how things will turn out given the current content.

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It’s hard to say what the game will actually be about as the demo doesn’t really give you a whole lot of details.The title would have you think that it will be about the “All Seeing Eye”, which apparently is a magical device that the King uses on the town to see your every move. Unfortunately given the current content, all you find out is that there are some in the first town, but not much information is given beyond that.

The graphics are pretty basic and are without a doubt original. I think that is something we can all appreciate. I only have two concerns with them thus far, one of them being the walkabout animations. I hope that in the full version that npcs and heros alike actually have walking animations. As it stands right now, they all “slide” across the ground without moving their legs at all. It looks kind of creepy, to be completely honest.

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The other thing that stuck out to me was how you can search for hidden items, but you don’t really know where to search. I don’t mean that it should be easier, what I’m saying is that I think searchable places should look more realistic. Perhaps have areas where there are boxes and crates that would intice loot-hungry people to search them. In its current state, you randomly search through a sea of trees that all look the same.

I liked the tutorial via signs on the first map. I think it’s important to cover the basics of the game even if most people who will play it will already be familiar with the OHRRPGCE. The only real issue I had with it was the grammatical issues, which appear to be a demo-wide trend at this point. Most of the dialogue is worded a bit awkwardly, and it almost makes you think that English might be the author’s second language. If that’s the case, then I commend them for doing the job that they did here. Regardless, I would suggest either looking over the dialogue again before release or have someone else look at it, because many improvements can be made.

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I can’t say much about the combat given the current content, but I do like the skill-set style for the main character. Being a Fool, he learns abilities like juggling, and can even tell jokes that affect combat in a certain way. I think the combat is moving in the right direction, but again, there is very little to see here at this time. It will be interesting to see where the author goes from here.

The music seems to fit just fine for now and I didn’t recognize any of the tracks. I thought some of the sound effect choices were a bit strange, but nothing was really that bad.

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There were some issues with things not working properly, but I think that is due to lack of completion and not necessarily oversight by the author. The Illusion book you can find doesn’t teach you anything, but can be sold for a pretty penny. Perhaps it isn’t supposed to teach you anything at all, but I figured it would be greyed out on the menu if that was the case.

One townsfolk tells you that you should talk to people twice, but that is a bit misleading. In order to progress the story, you sometimes have to walk around talking to people until you find the right person to move it forward, but most people don’t really say anything different if you talk to them again. I’m guessing that this will be more complete in the full version though.

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Given the current length of content, there isn’t really a whole lot to judge yet. I’m a sucker for medieval settings though and I really like the fact that the author is taking a fresh “Fool’s” perspective on things. It will be very interesting to see how things turn out in the full version, though I feel that the game still needs a lot of work to become great. Regardless, I’m looking forward to playing future versions of Fool’s Quest.