Copyright: © 1993 Sierra Online
Genre: Role playing games

Role playing games

Review 1:
Zeliard is, at first appearance, a standard early game. It has blocky
graphics, grating music, and the manual that comes supplied with the
boxed version is little more than a folded piece of cardboard. However,
once you've skipped past the ntroduction (princess stands on balcony,
princess is turned to stone by evil demon, random heroic knight is sent
to slay the demon and find a way to cure the princess) and into the game
proper, you'll find that Zeliard offers dungeon hacking and slashing to
the point where you'll want to stay awake to fight the next boss. Zeliard
is primarily an action game. The roleplaying element is small--your hero,
Duke Garland, has a health bar, a weapon, and a shield, nothing else.
Your experience points are not displayed but you can gain in power by
visiting various Sages after slaying moderate amounts of the slobbering
dead. The controls are simple. Left and right movement, jumping and
ducking, various stabs and swings with your sword. There's a limited
selection of spells which are, effectively, your ranged attack. However,
Zeliard has a range of NPCs it uses to flesh out the story, and give your
dark foe some personality. It seems that there are many towns spread
throughout the caverns and across the mountains, and each has been
tainted by the foul demon, who has posted monsters of a large and
unfriendly sort to act as a guardian and reap havoc. Each guardian has a
magic crystal. Garland needs to collect all these crystals to win the
game and save the girl. The range of monsters is diverse. The levels are
exotic and numerous, divided into seperate caverns and filled with traps
and pitfalls. There are plenty of puzzles, magical artifacts (boots and
cloaks) that perform different effects, potions and items hiddens in
walls and mini-quests to complete. You can collect gold from chests and
gain almas, glowing crystal balls, by slaying monsters; these almas are
converted into gold at different exchange rates by the various towns.
You'll eventually be able to afford better swords for added damage,
better shields for protection, and magical items to boost your skills.
For such an old game, Zeliard boasts great atmosphere. Standing outside
the boss doors, you can hear the thumping and clamour of the hideous
leviathan inside. The bosses are varied, from giant leaping crabs, to
dragons, to gigantic blobs of ooze. Each is difficult and there is a real
sense of achievement from having beaten them. Zeliard is not an easy
game! Defeating it takes quick reflexes, a good memory, and the ability
to perservere. As a hack and slash treat to challenge your senses there
are few games finer. The download for Zeliard is easily worth it, and
even if you don't like the game, stick with it. Once you've killed the
first boss and gained your first spell, you might want to keep playing,
just to see what happens next.

Review 2:

Amidst the flurry of imported games that resulted from Sierra's deal with
Japanese publisher Gamearts are Sorcerian and Zeliard, two quirky
action/RPG titles with strong "console" feel. Definitely "light" games in
that there is few statistics (although characters do gain levels), and
the arcade-style platform action may not be every RPGer's cup of tea.
Still, interesting plots, spells, and lots of "secrets" make these games
above average despite chunky graphics. Although both games are RPG with
heavy arcade elements, Sorcerian has a stronger RPG flavor because you
get to control a four-character party, comprising the traditional retinue
of priest, fighter, and wizard, each of whom have access to unique
weapons and/or spells. Zeliard, on the other hand, is a solo-player RPG
with much less emphasis on character development than nonstop platform

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