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Updated November 20, 2004

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Elysian Fields
(Hyperdimension Software)

"A Battlefield where Orbs Divide Hell from the Universe"

According to legend, the Wyvern Orbs have the power to open the gateway between Hell and Earth. To prevent this catastrophe, the Centurians and Zeda made a pact to rid the world of the Orbs by tossing them into the Lake of Promise.

But fourteen centuries have passed that pact, and ever since the Centurians have made an alliance with the Demons. A war ensued; the people of Zeda managed to obtain only one of the Wyvern Orbs. You begin your adventure at the end of a critical battle. The last Wyvern Orb is already on its way to the Centurians.

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The graphics for Elysian Fields look like they were thrown together using lines, draws, and circles. I felt like I was using a pumped-up Commodore 64 while I was walking through the pointy and under-detailed backgrounds.

While a lot of worlds were drawn, there really isn't anything impressive to look at in terms of graphical design. In fact, the choice of color (even when considering that this game is in EGA) is blinding. I can't stand the puky green grass (shown above)... it hurts the eyes.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
This game would have benefitted badly with a "sound/no sound option", as sound is the ultimate weak point of Elysian Fields. If the poor graphics don't repel you from this game, it is very likely that the horrendous PC sound effects will do so. While there are plenty of sounds, HyperDimension got trigger happy with the sound frequencies. A lot of the sounds, especially the victory screech you hear when you win a battle, is incredibly painful. It hurts the ears.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
This game works very much in the Final Fantasy I formula. You travel from town to town, solving mysteries and gaining experience. With each new town you purchase new weapons, armor, and items. Then there are a series of dungeons you have to surpass. Occasionally, people join your party and the story takes a turn or two.

While these elements usually make for standard gameplay, the control of Elysian Fields is poor. Instead of having text commands, the menu icons used in Elysian Fields  are clumsy and non-descriptive, getting in the way of battles and even purchasing items. The status screen in particular is mind-boggling, even with the Help Option. Ultimately, these silly menus hurt gameplay. It also hurts the mind. 

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
Elysian Field's high point. Although the demos need much to be desired, the story's somewhat hellish plot does develop nicely.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
(Very Poor) A delightful game should be appealing to the senses, but Elysian Fields seems to miss on all counts. Sadly, there was not effort put into compensating what could have been some great gameplay elements with at least something tolerable to the eyes and ears. Instead, the often non-sensical sepcial effects and rapid flashing gets annoying quickly and gets in the way of the Replay value, let alone the Play Value. Simply put, Elysian Fields is too in your face with the sounds and the bright red lights.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
Elysian Fields is not that hard, since it is a linear game with a straightforward plot and an equally un-quizzical path. The only challenging element is the patience you need to afford the weapons during the latter part of the game. This, I suppose, can pose as a challenge since the color choices for this game can make your eyes hurt if you play for more than thirty minutes. Then again, it is not challenging to make a game difficult to stand, it merely makes a game annoying to play.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
When I heard all the hype surrounding this game, I was assuming to find a game that was in the calibur of Final Fantasy II and Lufia combined. I was sorely depressed by the many shortcomings of this game. This is a shame, but the bells and whistles of EF overshadow the gameplay hidden underneath this RPG. There's a fault that rings throughout the entire experience that takes away from the gameplay: too many sequences showcase the power of HyperDimension's programming routines instead of the beauty of the game itself.
Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 3 hours Final Rating: 7/35

To download Elysian Fields (384KB), click here.
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wTo play Elysian Fields, unzip the file and run "ELYSIAN.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Hyperdimension Software
Homepage URL
Final Rating
7 out of 35 points

The Highs: A long, involved QBRPG with many plot twists and surprises.
The Lows: Psychotic use of sound effects and light shows seem worthy of afflicting seizures and/or headaches, with the latter guaranteed.

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