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Updated November 20, 2004

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The Secret of Cooey
(Darkness Ethereal)

"A fast-paced battle with some old-school gameplay"

Deep within the Coo Forest, there are three castles containing some of the most powerful weapons the world has ever seen. Your job as Cooey is to use the power of these treasures or to battle with wits alone against powerful and cunning bosses. Succeed and the Wind Spirit will regain her powers. Fail and every living being (including you and your friends) will be posessed by an unknown evil.

To win, you will have to master the elements of fire, ice, and lightning. Battle your way through the dungeons and discover the power of each castle's untamed treasure; but be careful, because each castle is guarded by a powerful and cunning boss!

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Unless you've grown up on Commander Keen and Duke Nukem, you're probably not going to appreciate the old-school EGA style graphics in Secret of Cooey. While the game itself is quite innovative the various levels are drawn very similarly, except in terms of color.
Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
There aren't any sound effects here, but Cooey does compensate by borrowing some tunes from some PSX Square RPGs to give the Secret of Cooey an old-school arcade feel. In particular, if you're familiar with Xenogears then your familiarity with Cooey's music should come as no surprise.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
This is where Cooey reminds me a lot of Nintendo 64's first RPG, Quest 64. Instead of relying on stores and gold, Cooey uses a single town that branches into its multiple worlds. Cooey has to beat each world, return to town, then converse with the characters to find out how the story develops. Then he goes on to the next adventure. 

Battles in Secret of Cooey are turn-based, and you can do anything from fight to casting spells. Items are collected as Cooey traverses through each castle and everyone of them proves useful though they aren't necessary to beating the game. All in all, this game combines a lot of interesting concepts and I found the experience to be unique. 

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
A game that plays like an adventurous Final Fantasy with a treasure hunt twist. The story is linear and will only develop if you do some hacking and slashing. The way the bosses and elements are split up are obviously inspired by Final Fantasy, but this mini-game's charm is in its finish. A great ending rewards your journey.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Thanks to an elegant keyboard interface, Cooey is a short and sweet adventure with enough variety to play quite a few times over. There is very little annoyance factor in this game, whether you're battling creatures or travelling to new places. Some of the color choices were a let-down and the enemy battle music does get repetitive when you start gathering experience. These are all limitations of EGA and music capabilities but that's all corrected in the sequel to this game anyway. Besides, I never felt such joy storming through so many castles, stealing the booty, and beating up the guardians who lurk inside.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
The room layout in this game was not meant to hurt your head. Secret of Cooey aims to be a "mini-RPG" of sorts. The mazes aren't huge, the treasures aren't very hidden, and the enemies progress from difficult to ridiculously easy. The aspect of this game is more to enjoy the combat and enjoy the scenery. But don't let down your guard, as the boss will be your real challenge.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
(Very Good)
Near-perfect. I liked the combat interface and the control was excellent. The game really gives you the opportunity to play and have fun as your explore Coo Forest. Speaking of Coo Forest, that brings me to my down point. I discovered the long and painful way that looking in Coo Forest's bright green grass too long can take its toll on your eyes.
Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 30 min Final Rating: 19/35

To download Secret of Cooey (159KB), click here.
wTo play Secret of Cooey, unzip the file, then run "START.BAT".

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Darkness Ethereal
Homepage URL
Final Rating
19 out of 35 points

The Highs: An addictive play experience, that can be enjoyed regardless of skill level from beginning to end. One of the best of veteran Darkness Ethereal's games.
The Lows: Some old-school graphics are nauseating compared to the high-end graphics of today.

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