|The obligatory 'pile everything up to reach the treasure' puzzle.|
Fairlight was one of the first and one of the best of the isometric perspective games that started appearing in the wake of Ultimate’s filmation series. It was a 1985 release for the Sinclair Spectrum and came out in 1986 on the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC. I don’t remember much about the game though I do remember falling to my death within sight of the Book of Light. Apart from some of the rooms the only other thing I really remember are the pygmy type guards which when killed leave behind their helmets. They regenerate when you leave the room but the helmets can be picked up and disposed of in a safe area. The Spectrum really struggled when there were around a dozen of these guards wandering around on the same screen.
There is a lot of waffle in the instruction booklet about the history of the
. All you
really need to know is that you play a character called Isvar tasked with
finding the Book of Light in Castle Avars and returning it to a wizard. land
To this end you have to explore the castle while avoiding or killing enemies. The enemies variously range from whirlwinds and bubbles to monks and man-eating plants. A lot of the enemies can’t be killed while combat just involves hitting the attack key. You start off with 99 health points and lose some if falling too far or coming into contact with the enemies. Food and drink can be found which replenish 10 health points at a time. A discovery I made this time is that if a whirlwind touches an item it permanently disappears – this is a good way of getting rid of the guard helms.
There are many items to be found and the puzzles mainly involve discovering their uses. You have 5 inventory slots in which to carry items but, unusually for the time, each item had a given weight so the heavier the item the less you could carry.
|The Commodore 64 version looked and sounded good but played too slow. On the right is one of the less garish Amstrad CPC screenshots.|
It’s not difficult to distinguish the best version but they all have issues. My vote goes for the Spectrum version. It has the best graphics in my opinion though they are monochromatic. During the game it plays a tune that can get annoying after a while and you don’t get choice of effects or the music. The tune cuts out between screens too which makes it more annoying. The Commodore 64 has the best sound and a choice of playing the tune, footstep sounds or silence during the game. The graphics are virtually the same as Fairlight on the Spectrum though the game plays at a much slower pace. Although the Amstrad version runs at a fair lick the footstep sounds would soon drive me mad (there is no way to play music in game). It also has the same bizarre colour choices (only more so) that afflict Ultimates isometric CPC games. The Amstrad can display yellow and red so why have dark blue torch flames? Weird.
|The caves contains a hidden door that leads to the Book of Light|