Epics of Distant Realm
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5  |  Not 'Epic', But Definitely a Bit 'Distant'
Darryl B. , 4/1/2010 12:06:49 AM
Epics of Distant Realm title screen...whatever tha - fatmanepicstitlescreen.jpg Here's a game that, even though it doesn't require you to memorize a bunch of moves, uses 40 keys on your keyboard to play and/or has confusing gameplay, doesn't really make a lot of sense.

I mean, lets start with the title: isn't there a few words missing there? Shouldn't it be like "Epic Battles (or Adventures) Of A Distant Realm"?  What the heck does it mean?  Granted, you have a choice of selecting either playing in English or what appears to be Turkish, which I'd think that whoever came up with the title wasn't totally fluent in English, but the in-game dialog isn't bad though.

Then once the game starts, you get a cinematic intro telling of how you wash up on a beach with no memory.  A kindly old man takes you in, which, once you get familiar with the quaint little village and a lack of technology that's available for battles, makes you wonder why he has no idea what a thing known as an "airport" is, yet the place has a spaceship that could be available later for you to try to return to Earth.

Say what?  Mixing battles from ancient times along with a futuristic spaceship (while skipping over trains, automobiles and planes in the process) certainly makes for Epic Holes of Distant Plot indeed in this turn-based RPG.

So of course the old man leaves you some money (as per RPG usual) and bids you farewell as he goes to fight evil.  You're then free to explore the countryside as you wish, which of course you need to arm yourself in the village before fighting.  There's also a bulletin board that tells of how a cave entrance has been discovered (which will appear on your map) where evil lies, which you must defeat 20 caves' worth of vile evil before you can do battle against an evil empress the old man told you about.  So apparently it's not only The Right Thing To Do to not only take a total stranger into your house, but to also give him money AND wave any kind of immunity for breaking the laws of murder as well.  Gee, great place, bring on the hookers and booze next!

Before hitting the caves though, it might be a good idea just to select certain areas of the countryside for things; just pick a spot and press the mouse button to take you there.  Sometimes there won't be anything around, other times you'll find bags of money, food (to replenish energy), a creature to fight (it's the same one every time) and treasure chests, although some of them you won't be able to unlock, even if you're increasing your ability to do so as you go along.  

Epics of Distant Realm shot of a nice door which h - fatmanepicscaveentrance.jpg

Yes, you get to raise abilities with experience, which you'll gain whenever you defeat evil creatures in a melee.  Entering a cave (which is inconspicuously marked by a very ornate door, which for some reason looks better than most of the front doors to our houses in real life) will pit you against several monsters, always ending with the same boss (who looks just like the one in the countryside, although it makes you wonder how it can be apparently sunburned when it lives in a dark cave), but in between fights you always will find a bag of either money and/or food; great!  How convenient!  I guess they're strategically placed there to lure you deeper into danger! Uh, no, once you enter a cave, you can't get out unless you partake in all the battles; you must either win them all or die in order to be released.

Once your experience starts getting raised enough, you'll have a chance to increase certain abilities, so make sure to use those experience points wisely.  Always make sure you have a bit of food with you too to raise your strength back up in between fights, and it's a bit comical to hear you wolf down your food, which magically raises your strength, yet it's not like you ever get fatigued or bloated from eating a bunch of magic apples and such.  What an odd land!  Very "distant" indeed!

Unfortunately this game doesn't exactly have a lot of variety in it, as you keep on fighting the same creatures over and over again.  At one point in the game the cave denizens will suddenly have their health/hit points increased a bit, which means it'll take longer to kill them, and that raises your changes of getting killed during a melee quite a bit, which you'll lose some stats if you die and you'll start over again in the old man's house (nice that no one will enter the caves to help you fight, yet they'll retrieve your body though so you can go back to killing everybody again).

And as per usual, the game makes little sense: even if you fight and kill the empress after clearing 20 caves, you'll be informed that she made a clone army of herself, so you have even MORE crap to deal with then.

Um, say what?  After you defeat her, the castle that houses the spaceship's force field goes down, so you can enter and blast off and end the game there.  However, if you choose to keep on fighting the empress' clones...well, I don't know if there's a second ending to this game, as I killed clone after clone after clone after freakin' clone over and over and didn't know when it would ever end, so I eventually just gave up.  Odd...

At least the controls work perfectly (nothing to go wrong there, in a turn-based game), the graphics are fairly ok for an online game, and I would say the music is good, but then, as someone commented about this on the site I played it on, they alleged part of the music was stolen from another game (tsk tsk, copyright infringement y' know!).  So that doesn't really count.

This is one of those kinds of games where you "zone out" for a while, playing in a trance, even though it isn't one of the greatest ones out there.  I've played a lot worse, like Pac-Man clones that didn't add anything to the original whatsoever, but I guess they were still able to get sold to online sites anyway because they needed content.  At least it's simple to play and all, it just needs a bit more depth and variety.

Because being "epic" indeed would've been fairly nice. 5/10


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