North American cover art
|Designer(s)||Hitoshi Okuno, Toshiaki Takimoto|
|Platform(s)||Family Computer/NES, Virtual Console|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
Faxanadu(ファザナドゥFazanadu) is an action role-playing platform-adventure video game for the Family Computer (Famicom) and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The name was licensed by computer game developer Nihon Falcom ("Falcom") and was developed and released in Japan by Hudson Soft in 1987. Nintendo of America released the game in the United States in 1989 as a first-party title under license from Hudson Soft. Mattel distributed the game for Nintendo in PAL territories in 1990.
Action role-playing video games are a subgenre of role-playing video games. The games emphasize real-time combat where the player has direct control over the characters as opposed to turn or menu-based combat. These games often use action game combat systems similar to hack and slash or shooter games. Action role-playing games may also incorporate action-adventure games, which include a mission system and RPG mechanics, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) with real-time combat systems.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit home video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, also known as the Famicom for short, which launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched through test markets in New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, before being given a wide release in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by SK Hynix which then was known as Hyundai Electronics; the Comboy was released in 1989.
Faxanadu is a spin-off or side-story of Xanadu , which is the second installment of Falcom's long-running RPG series, Dragon Slayer . The title Faxanadu is a portmanteau formed from the names Famicom and Xanadu.
Dragon Slayer is a series of video games developed and published by Nihon Falcom. The first Dragon Slayer title is an early action role-playing game, released in 1984 for the NEC PC-88 computer system and ported by Square for the MSX. Designed by Yoshio Kiya, the game gave rise to a series of sequels, most of them created by Falcom, with the exception of Faxanadu by Hudson Soft. The Dragon Slayer series was historically significant, both as a founder of the Japanese role-playing game industry, and as the progenitor of the action role-playing game genre.
A portmanteau or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.
The game uses side-scrolling and platforming game-play, while employing role-playing elements with an expansive story and medieval setting.
The player-controlled protagonist of Faxanadu is an unidentified wanderer who returns home.He has no name, though the Japanese version allows the player to choose one. The game begins when he approaches Eolis, his hometown, after an absence to find it in disrepair and virtually abandoned. Worse still, the town is under attack by Dwarves. The Elven king explains that the Elf fountain water, their life source, has been stopped and all other remaining water has been poisoned and provides the protagonist with 1500 gold, the game's currency, to prepare for his journey to uncover the cause.
A protagonist is the leading character of a story.
As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Elves and Dwarves lived in harmony among the World tree until The Evil One emerged from a fallen meteorite. The Evil One then transformed the Dwarves into monsters against their will and set them against the Elves. The Dwarf King, Grieve, swallowed his magical sword before he was transformed, hiding it in his own body to prevent The Evil One from acquiring it. It is only with this sword that The Evil One can be destroyed.
An elf is a type of human-shaped supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves seem generally to have been thought of as beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them. However, the details of these beliefs have varied considerably over time and space, and have flourished in both pre-Christian and Christian cultures.
In Germanic mythology, a dwarf is a human-shaped entity that dwells in mountains and in the earth, and is variously associated with wisdom, smithing, mining, and crafting. Dwarfs are sometimes described as short and ugly, although some scholars have questioned whether this is a later development stemming from comical portrayals of the beings. Dwarfs continue to be depicted in modern popular culture in a variety of media.
The world tree is a motif present in several religions and mythologies, particularly Indo-European religions, Siberian religions, and Native American religions. The world tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the terrestrial world, and, through its roots, the underworld. It may also be strongly connected to the motif of the tree of life, but it is the source of wisdom of the ages.
His journey takes him to four overworld areas: The tree's buttress, the inside of the trunk, the tree's branches and finally the Dwarves' mountain stronghold.
An overworld is, in a broad sense, an area within a video game that interconnects all its levels or locations. They are mostly common in role-playing games, though this does not exclude other video game genres.
Faxanadu is a side scrolling action role playing game.
A side-scrolling game, side-scroller or 2D is a video game in which the gameplay action is viewed from a side-view camera angle, and the onscreen characters can generally only move to the left or right. These games make use of scrolling computer display technology. The move from single-screen or flip-screen graphics to scrolling graphics, during the golden age of video arcade games and during third-generation consoles, would prove to be a pivotal leap in game design, comparable to the move to 3D graphics during the fifth generation. Although side-scrolling games have been supplanted by 3D games, they continue to be produced, particularly for handheld devices or for digital-only releases.
Players guide the hero through a screen-by-screen series of fields, towns, and dungeons. The hero can walk, jump, and climb ladders – all typical characteristics of a platform game. Along the way, he may also purchase usable items with gold, equip and use bladed weapons against enemies, equip armor, and cast magic projectiles. In addition, he can access information regarding the game's events by speaking with townsfolk or by consulting other sources.
The limits of physical damage the hero can sustain from enemies is tracked by a life bar, and the magical power he can exert is tracked by a magic bar. These are listed on the top of the screen along with total experience, total gold, time (for items with a timed duration), and the currently held item.
When the hero defeats an enemy, it usually leaves behind gold or life-giving bread, and the hero gains a set amount of experience. Experience points help increase the hero's rank (see below). Occasionally, an enemy will also drop an item, some of which activate specific effects when touched and some of which can be stored for later use.
The game utilizes a password system. Passwords, or "mantras" as they are known in the game, can be obtained from church-dwelling Gurus. Gurus also bestow ranks to the hero when he meets certain experience totals; these determine the amounts of experience and gold a player will possess upon resuming a game via password.
Because of its use of statistics, reliance on story, thematic basis upon Medieval fantasy, and provision of interactive NPCs, many observers have classified Faxanadu as a role-playing video game.
The music was created by Jun Chikuma.
It was one of several NES games that took some inspiration from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link , which include Battle of Olympus and Moon Crystal .
The game's graphics are often brown, or sepia tone.
Faxanadu was released in Japan on for the Famicom on November 16, 1987.It was released in North America on August 1989 and was published by Nintendo. The November/December 1989 edition of Nintendo Power , Faxanadu debuted on the magazine's "Top 30" list at #6. It gradually fell from the list in subsequent issues.
The game world was featured in two Season 2 (1990–1991) episodes of the Nintendo-based, Saturday morning cartoon series, Captain N: The Game Master . They are "The Feud of Faxanadu" and "Germ Wars". The Elven King was named Melvis and looked and sounded like Elvis Presley for his first appearance; the voice was changed in the latter episode. The Dwarf King was not featured and was replaced by Queen Dwarfine.
The game was eventually released on Wii virtual console in 2010 and 2011.
The game has received critical acclaim. The game received a score of 29 out of 40 by Weekly Famitsu .IGN reviewed the game in 2011, after its Wii virtual console release, giving it a better score of 8.5 out of 10 and called it a hidden gem. IGN went on to call it a better action RPG than Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest .
Marcel van Duyn of Nintendo Life gave the game an 8 out of 10, saying that it is a surprisingly fun game and an absolutely essential purchase for those who like RPGs. However, he also criticized the password system for western audiences, but felt grateful the Virtual Console port eliminated that feature.Retro Gamer listed the game as the 16th best titles for the NES, saying it is a "forgotten gem" of the system. IGN listed the game as the 36th best NES title.
In an interview on Kotaku's Splitscreen podcast, Team Cherry cited Faxanadu as a major influence on their critically acclaimed game Hollow Knight .They stated that Faxanadu was the biggest of three major influences, with the other two being Zelda II and Metroid. They noted that that the map in Hollow Knight was an inverse take on the tree in Faxanadu.
The Legend of Zelda is a fantasy video game franchise created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments and re-releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The series' gameplay incorporates elements of action-adventure and action RPG games.
Mario Bros. is a platform game published and developed for arcades by Nintendo in 1983. It was created by Shigeru Miyamoto. It has been featured as a minigame in the Super Mario Advance series and numerous other games. Mario Bros. has been re-released for the Wii's, Nintendo 3DS's, and Wii U's Virtual Console services in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is a 1986 side-scrolling platform game developed and published by Nintendo as the first sequel to their 1985 bestseller Super Mario Bros. The games are similar in style and gameplay, apart from a steep increase in difficulty. Like the original, Mario or Luigi venture to rescue the Princess from Bowser. Unlike the original, the game has no two-player option and Luigi is differentiated from his twin plumber brother with reduced ground friction and increased jump height. The Lost Levels also introduces setbacks such as poison mushroom power-ups, counterproductive level warps, and mid-air wind gusts. The game has 32 levels across eight worlds, and five bonus worlds, each of which also has four levels.
The Legend of Zelda is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Set in the fantasy land of Hyrule, the plot centers on a boy named Link, the playable protagonist, who aims to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom in order to rescue Princess Zelda from the antagonist, Ganon. During the course of the game, the player navigates throughout the overworld and several dungeons, defeating enemies and uncovering secrets along the way.
River City Ransom, later released as Street Gangs in the PAL regions, is an open world action role-playing beat 'em up video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was developed by Technōs Japan and originally released in Japan on April 25, 1989. It is the third game in Technos' Kunio-kun series released for the console, preceded by Renegade and Super Dodge Ball. Like its predecessors, River City Ransom underwent great changes in its storyline and graphical presentation during its localization in order to make the game more palatable in the Western market. It was one of the first console games published by North American subsidiary American Technos.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing video game with platforming elements. The second installment in The Legend of Zelda series, it was developed and published by Nintendo for the Family Computer Disk System on January 14, 1987, less than a year after the original The Legend of Zelda was released and seven months before North America saw the release of the first Zelda title. The game was released in North America and the PAL region for the Nintendo Entertainment System in late 1988, almost two years after its initial release in Japan.
Pilotwings is a video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was originally released in Japan in December 1990, shortly after the launch of the Super Famicom in the country. It was also released as a launch title for the SNES in August 1991 in North America, with a European release following in 1992.
Balloon Fight is an action video game developed by Nintendo. The original arcade version was released for the Nintendo VS. System as Vs. Balloon Fight, and its Nintendo Entertainment System counterpart was internationally released in 1986. The gameplay is similar to the 1982 game Joust from Williams Electronics. The home Nintendo Entertainment System version was ported to the NEC PC-8801 in October 1985, the Sharp X1 in November 1985, the Game Boy Advance as Balloon Fight-e for the e-Reader in the United States on September 16, 2002, and as part of the Famicom Mini Series in Japan on May 21, 2004.
Clu Clu Land is an arcade and Nintendo Entertainment System game released in 1984 in Japan, later released in North America in 1985 as a Nintendo Entertainment System launch title, and in Europe in 1987. It was released for the Wii Virtual Console in North America in 2008 and in Europe and Japan in 2009, for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in Japan in 2013 and in North America and Europe in 2014, and for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013.
Excitebike is a motocross racing video game franchise made by Nintendo. It debuted as a game for the Famicom in Japan in 1984 and as a launch title for the NES in 1985. It is the first game of the Excite series, succeeded by its direct sequel Excitebike 64, its spiritual successors Excite Truck and Excitebots: Trick Racing, and the WiiWare title Excitebike: World Rally. 3D Classics: Excitebike, a 3D remake of the original game, was free for a limited time to promote the launch of the Nintendo eShop in June 2011.
Adventures of Lolo is a puzzle video game released in 1989 by HAL Corporation for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is based on the Japanese Eggerland video game series. It is a compilation of puzzles from previous Eggerland games and contains no original stages of its own. It was available on the Wii's and Wii U's Virtual Console in North America and in PAL regions, as well as on the Nintendo Switch Online's virtual Nintendo Entertainment System library.
Virtual Console, also abbreviated as VC, is a line of downloadable video games for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U home gaming consoles and the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console.
Dungeon Explorer is an action role-playing game released for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 in 1989. It is centered on the quest of several heroes to find the Ora Stone for the king of Oddesia. When the alien race that now rules the land invaded, the stone was hidden deep in the dungeons of the land by the King to keep it safe. Now, however, the king wants the players to recover the stone, which can bring life, light, and happiness, and to kill the alien king, Natas: King Satan. The heroes progress through several different dungeons and fight fearsome bosses such as Bullbeast and Grimrose, and finally recover the Ora stone. Upon giving it to the king, however, the king reveals himself as Natas and steals the stone. Additionally, a guard named Judas also betrays the heroes, but is defeated by them. The adventurers then chase and confront Natas, killing him and taking back the Ora stone and ushering in a time of peace.
The Classic Controller is a video game controller produced by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. While it later featured some compatibility with the Wii U console, the controller was ultimately succeeded by the Wii U Pro Controller. As of April 2014, Nintendo had discontinued production of both the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro.
The Japanese multinational consumer electronics company Nintendo has developed seven home video game consoles and multiple portable consoles for use with external media, as well as dedicated consoles and other hardware for their consoles. As of September 30, 2015, Nintendo has sold over 722.22 million hardware units.
Super Contra is a run and gun video game by Konami originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988.
Eastern role-playing video games (RPGs) are RPGs developed in East Asia. Most Eastern RPGs are Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs), developed in Japan. RPGs are also developed in South Korea and in China.
NES Remix is a compilation video game series for Wii U, developed by Nintendo and indieszero. The first game was simultaneously announced and released on December 18, 2013 on the Nintendo eShop following a Nintendo Direct presentation. A second game, NES Remix 2, was released on April 25, 2014. A retail edition consisting of both games, titled NES Remix Pack, was released on April 24, 2014 in Japan and December 5, 2014 in North America. Another title, Ultimate NES Remix for Nintendo 3DS, was released on November 7, 2014 in Europe, November 8, 2014 in Australia, December 5, 2014 in North America and August 27, 2015 in Japan.
Willow is a 1989 2D action role-playing game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is based on the 1988 film of the same name and is the second title Capcom released based on Willow that year, the second being an unrelated side scrolling arcade game. The version of Willow released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Famicom is an adventure game in the vein of The Legend of Zelda.