Fairy Knights is a traditional roleplaying game with puzzle-based combat. The kingdom of Vadelle is cursed by a Devil that prevents rain over the land, which has turned much of the kingdom into desert.
Every 10 years, a magician performs a rite that seals away the Devil into slumber, preventing the Devil’s minions from overrunning the kingdom.
You play as a boy named Kai, a magician training to perform the rite this year. Such magicians are called compliers, because they have the ability to comply with the Mana Stones. You have been trained by your grandfather, who is the Grand Complier, the leader of the compiler.
For the rite, you must travel around the kingdom to gather the Mana Stones. The Mana Stones will give you the power to seal away the Devil for another 10 years. On your journey, you will meet several companions that will assist you.
Although the game plays like a traditional RPG, the combat involves a puzzle grid. You are presented with tiles that illustrate mana lines. You must rotate the tiles to join the lines together. If you play the puzzle poorly, your character will only perform weak attacks on enemies.
If you play the puzzle cleverly, your character can perform mighty combos that will crush enemies. For an RPG that lasts more than 20 hours, it might be expected that the puzzle grid would become repetitive, but as you collect Mana Stones, you gain magic attacks that can be exploited with the grid.
Scheme well, and you can score magic combos! Furthermore, combat experience causes you to level up, preparing you for mightier foes. The leveling system doesn’t require much grinding; you will only see a little grinding.
As you travel around the world, you will meet new friends and foes. The majority of the adventure is finding the Mana Stones, each of which is in a temple, guarded by a fairy. Some fairies will assist you more than others.
The story has twists, where a foe will decide to become your friend instead, as well as a friend who decides to betray you. There are different factions, such as the royal family, which is primarily interested in defeating the Devil, but is distrustful of the compliers.
The compliers seem to be benevolent, but then one of them becomes seduced by power. The progression is linear; you can’t alter the course of the game. However, the plot remains interesting as characters choose sides, and gain abilities.
The graphics are cute, as characters scurry along like cartoons on paper. Even the foes act bubbly sometimes. The music is splendid, with boss themes, and area themes.
Friendship overcomes adversity
The motif of the game is that friendship is strong enough to overcome all obstacles. There are many touching moments where your friends make sacrifices to help you. Though you will face dastardly enemies, if you believe in yourself, you can find the strength to win.
You can use money to buy mightier equipment, or even upgrade your existing equipment at the Shop.
Fairy Knights is not a perfect game. I encountered a script glitch that forced me to replay a forest level unnecessarily, but it was merely an extra 5 minutes. Some players will find the puzzle combat monotonous and repetitive after a while, but if you hang in there for the Mana Stones, then magic attacks will spice it up. The gameplay is a bit simplistic for people that like complicated systems.