[[OnlyOneName Amy]] is an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent from London with a penchant for FantasyLiterature. One day, while left at home alone, she is surprised by a [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive sound coming from the attic]], where she finds a casket with a [[WarpWhistle stone tablet]] inside that suddenly transports her to a [[AnotherDimension colorful magical landscape]] populated by [[FairyCompanion faeries]], [[OurElvesAreBetter elves]], [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent goblins]], [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarves]], and [[FantasyKitchenSink the rest of the fantastic creatures]]. She is greeted by [[MrExposition a goblin named Rafi]], an adventurer extraordinaire, who managed to cross the barrier between his native [[TitleDrop ZanZarah]] ([[NotInKansasAnymore where Amy has just landed]]) and Amy's own [[RealLife Earth]]. He wasn't driven by scientific interest, though. [=ZanZarah=] is in grave peril: [[DarkIsEvil Dark Elves]] roam the landscape, wild fairies attack travellers, contact between settlements is lost due to unnatural obstructions, while the [[GuardianOfTheMultiverse White Druid]], who is supposed to protect the lands from evil, is helpless. But the legends also speak of a [[TheChosenOne saviour]] who will be [[SummonEverymanHero summoned from Earth]] to become the greatest Fairy Duelist of all times and to SaveBothWorlds... for whatever is afflicting one world will inevitably echo in the other.

''[=ZanZarah=]: The Hidden Portal'' is an ActionAdventure game with ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''-style [[GottaCatchThemAll fairy training/duelling]], RPGElements, and a cookie cutter plot probably ripped off from ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney''. Despite all that, it features [[SceneryPorn beautiful visuals]], Awesome/{{music}}, funny pseudo-languages, original fairy designs, [[RuleOfFun solid and entertaining gameplay]] (once you [[GuideDangIt figure out how]] to ''shoot''[[note]]To shoot a spell while controlling a fairy, you need to hold down the left mouse button for it to accumulate some charge. Don't hold it for too long, though. It backfires.[[/note]]).

The game was developed by the German studio Funatics Development and released by THQ in 2002. They also tried to release an ExpansionPack, ''[=ZanZarah=]: The Lost Village'', but it was CutShort.

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!! The game provides examples of following tropes:

* ActionAdventure: The Fairy Duels are definitely action. Amy's quest apart from that is a simple adventure. Guess that makes it...
* {{AFGNCAAP}}: Amy, despite being given a distinctive appearance and a nominal voice, expresses zero personality, thus being the [[{{AFGNCAAP}} classical stand-in for the player]].
* AmplifierArtifact: Elemental cards are a case of this, pumping up the powers of your active fairy of the respective element. Stone fairies are given the ability to move boulders, fire fairies prevent you from getting roasted alive while strolling alongside flowing lava, etc.
* AnotherDimension: [=ZanZarah=] to Earth. Earth to [=ZanZarah=]. [[spoiler:They were the same thing in the past.]]
* BagOfHolding: The fairy bag you get at the beginning of the game is described as a useful invention capable of containing numerous items without any weight or size gain.
* BottomlessPits: Falling off a Fairy Duel arena results in the involved fairy's instant death. Also, falling off a cliff is one of the few ways to kill Amy herself (apart from [[QuicksandSucks sinking into the swamp]] and [[KillItWithFire roasting her alive]]). However, as long as there is a bottom, Amy doesn't [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou take any visible damage from falling down ridiculous heights]].
** NonLethalBottomlessPits: There is a way to abuse the game's CheckPoint system with this: if you don't want to jump all the way back after completing a jumping puzzle, you can just save your game and leap down into the abyss, only to respawn at the entrance to the location. The only penalty you get for that is that all switches you may have activated there will be reset.
* BrokenBridge: Various natural obstacles keep the player from advancing to certain areas, probably most notably a boulder blocking the way that you come across in your very first location after leaving London. These can gradually be removed as the game progresses.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive
* CamelCase: The title of the game is properly spelled with capital Zs.
* CardsOfPower: Over the course of the game, you discover elemental magic cards which grant the fairies of their respective element some additional and very useful powers.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Averted, as Amy can't really walk near lava unless you got the Fire Card for your fire fairy.
* TheChosenOne: Amy, according to ancient prophecies.
* DarkIsEvil: The Dark Elves. No justification is given, [[ForTheEvulz they just are]].
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: There are 12 elements in the game that the fairies can belong to, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
* EscapeBattleTechnique: The game had the garlic extract that scares away any attacking wild faeries but you have to buy it beforehand and it only works in the short time between being attacked and the FightWoosh. During a fairy duel, making your way to the miniature sun at the center of the area allows you to escape random encounters (but not boss battles). In a particular bit of cruelty, the wild fairies can use it, too, if they are losing badly, robbing you of the XP you earned in blood (that is, fairy hit points).
* ExpansionPack: The unreleased add-on ''The Lost Village''. Most fans never even learn it was in development.
* FairyCompanion: The whole game revolves around training them. Additionally, one constantly accompanies Amy during her travels.
** Many of the female (humanoid looking) fairies are particularly FairySexy, especially the Nature Fairies.
* FantasyKitchenSink
* GottaCatchThemAll: There are 77 fairy species in the game, all with unique appearance, attributes, and spell preferences. Capturing or otherwise obtaining all of them without cheating is [[SelfImposedChallenge quite a feat, but not necessary to win the game]].
* GuardianOfTheMultiverse: The White Druid and also, the Guardian, though the latter's function is more like guarding [=ZanZarah=] from Earth's humans.
* HeroicMime: Amy talks ''very'' little (mainly in the opening video plus a few triumphant exclamations upon victory), even in dialogue.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Gameplay example: if you let a spell charge up for too long (indicated by the screen starting to flash) without unloading it into the enemy, it hits ''you'' instead. While at low levels, your main concern is losing half of your hit points that way, at high levels, spells with nasty side effects are introduced, which also apply to you...
* JumpedAtTheCall: Amy.
* LevelsTakeFlight: The Cloud Realm is situated on giant platforms hovering a few kilometers over the north-eastern lands.
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler:The White Druid]]
* ALightInTheDistance: The fairy lights in the swamp level.
* MagicalUnderpinningsOfReality
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:The true perpetrator of most woes that befell [=ZanZarah=] is the White Druid himself.]]
* MookBouncer: The wild Psi fairies. Luckily, they only live in a single cave up in the mountains.
* MrExposition: Rafi at first, but the [[TheOwlKnowingOne Owls]] are actually a much better example, as the sole purpose of them being scattered all across [=ZanZarah=] is to provide advice to Amy.
* OnlyOneName: Amy is just... Amy.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Amy.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Enough said. They are based in the [[BeneathTheEarth underground city]] of Monagham, and their language slightly resembles [[GratuitousGerman German]].
* OurElvesAreBetter: The Elves in [=ZanZarah=] are a peaceful, nature-loving homebirds who rarely venture outside Endeva and Tiralin. Their language sounds a bit like [[GratuitousFrench French]].
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: The Goblins in [=ZanZarah=] are restless travellers, ''de jure'' based in the swamp town of Dunmore. They are not evil but the closest Amy has to TheRival is a goblin. Their language is especially funny.
* PhantomZone: The Fairy Duel Arenas are pocket dimensions with increasingly bizarre architectures. While the low-level arenas look like rather reasonable RuinsForRuinsSake, high-level arenas may look like a giant stone corkscrew or a number of random stone slabs just floating in the sea of nothing.
* RealLife: By contrast to the colorful world of [=ZanZarah=], Amy's apartment in London is DeliberatelyMonochrome, although the fairies (all captured fairies that are not on her primary strike team hang out in London) color it up a little. Given that London is completely irrelevant to the game's plot, you probably won't be using the Rune of Return a lot (except to change the faries in your party).
* RPGElements: All fairies gain XP and level up through combat, can be equipped with increasingly powerful offensive/defensive spells, lose and gain mana/HP. There is also something like the PlayerParty, namely, Amy's five chosen fairies that follow her into battles (although only one can be fielded and directly controlled by the player at a time). For a cherry tapping, you can give your favorite fairies unique names.
* RuleOfFun: The gameplay is very simple and incredibly complex at the same time. You won't believe how fun the Fairy Duels are until you win a few.
* SaveBothWorlds: By completing the main quest [[spoiler:Amy not only rids [=ZanZarah=] of evil taint but also brings magic back into the real world, which is implied to save it from dullness]].
* SceneryPorn: The screenshots of the game, ''especially'' the Cloud Ream, look like they've been taken from a landscape art exhibition.
* SummonEverymanHero: Amy is not exactly summoned to, but rather lured into [=ZanZarah=] by Rafi.
* SwampsAreEvil: The Great Swamp around Dunmore is a rather grim and difficult area for one of the early stages of the game. Still, the native goblins are pretty nice people.
* TakingYouWithMe: One of the best ways to deal with multiple attacking Nature fairies is to field your Psi StoneWall with ''lots'' of hit points and full damage reflection spell. The Psi are weak against Nature, so he gets killed pretty quickly... but since he has massive health and Nature fairies usually don't, he takes from two to four with him via damage reflection. He doesn't get XP (unless you are agile enough to withdraw him just in the nick of time) but hey, it's a cruel world.
* ThirdPersonSeductress: Averted with Amy, who, despite being a female controlled from third-person view, wears a conservative (or rather, practical for long travel) clothing and leaves all the ass-kicking to her fairies (who are controlled from first-person perspective, anyway).
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: Subverted, as the teleportation rune to London is found in the first house in Endeva.
* WarpWhistle: The {{teleportation}} runes enable instant travel to certain fixed locations (which not necessarily the same as places where you find them) from anywhere else.
* WideOpenSandbox: The game world is basically this, though you have to advance the main plot to access more areas. However, there is not time limit and you can wholeheartedly devote yourself to exploration, fairy gathering, and training the moment you leave Endeva for the first time.
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