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Video Game / Faery: Legends of Avalon

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Faery: Legends of Avalon is a Fantasy RPG by Spiders. It was their first solo game, being released in 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows. The game is available on Steam, and a free demo can be found in the PlayStation Store.

Faeries were once closely connected to the mortal world, but now find themselves being forgotten, and the places they inhabit are beset by problems. The customizable player character is a faery who is woken by the king of the faeries to do something about it. This involves traveling to several different mythical locations (a giant tree, a ghost ship, and a city of djinn) and solving problems afflicting them.

As is fitting for faeries, players move around each map by flying — the levels are as spread out vertically as they are horizontally. There's free movement during exploration, while for combat, there's a turn-based system similar to that often found in Eastern RPGs.

Faery: Legends of Avalon contains examples of :

  • Amnesiac Hero: A downplayed version — you remember quite a bit, but not how you came to be frozen in a crystal. This is probably intentional on Oberon's part, since although he needs to wake you now, he's also the one who froze you against your will in the first place.
  • Ancient Egypt: The bits of the City of Mirages which aren't from "Arabian Nights" Days are from this. Notably, there are mummies, a sphinx, and a giant scarab beetle (with the entire city actually being on the back of the latter).
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: One of the three worlds you get sent to is partly based on Middle Eastern mythology (with Ancient Egypt making up the remainder). It's populated by genies, peris, and so forth — some of whom were the inspiration for various human stories and myths, although they don't necessarily live up to the tales.
  • Character Customization: Players can select between male and female characters, and can change that character's name and appearance. During the course of the game, they have the opportunity of changing the customising their character further, since certain upgrades effect appearance as well as gameplay. Some changes are relatively minor, like getting tattoos, but others involve growing horns, antennae, extra wings, or tails.
  • Flying Dutchman: One of the realms that players are sent to is the actual ship on which the human legends of the Flying Dutchman are based. It is, of course, a literal ghost ship, but is currently immobile for reasons that players have to discover. (They involve a mutiny, a sea monster, and mermaids.)
  • Green Aesop: The Yggdrasil sections of the game involve some tsk-tsking about human indifference to the environment — although some of the problems there were actually caused by Oberon, not humans.
  • Human Popsicle: Well, faery popsicle. The start of the game sees the player character woken from a long time asleep in a magic crystal. Oberon says that this was their choice, but the player character can't remember why. In fact, the stasis was involuntary, being a means for Oberon to get rid of an increasingly troublesome subject.
  • Lilliputians: Faeries, including the player character, are less than a foot tall. This can cause problems — for example, a small bird can be a formidable opponent. On the other hand, it also lets you fly through gaps that would be too small for human-sized people, such as the portholes of a ship.
  • The Magic Goes Away: The faery lands are past their glory days, and are becoming increasingly forgotten by humans. This weakens them.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Faeries come in various shapes and sizes. The player character is small by human standards, but there are faeries who are even smaller. Their wings and other attributes vary, but are generally insect-derived (dragonflies, butterflies, etc). They can also be a variety of colours — your own character can be particularly striking, if you use the character creator.
  • Relationship Values: For some characters — mostly joinable ones — saying certain things will cause you to gain or lose approval with them. Usually, you gain approval by picking nice conversation options, although Amareta likes it when you snark at her. If characters like you enough, they'll present you with gifts of equipment.
  • That's No Moon: The City of Mirages is built on the back of a giant scarab beetle, which is constantly crossing a vast desert. Some of the citizens consider the scarab beetle to be divine, and pray to it. Others just consider it to simply a magical being like themselves, only much larger. The city encounters a problem, however, when the scarab beetle decides to start digging.
  • Turn-Based Combat: Combat may involve multiple characters on each side, with each one taking a turn to perform actions. Depending on level, combatants may be given a slate of several successive actions to take on the same turn (which cannot be changed once committed to). Attacks are divided into physical and magical; other options are to use healing magic, to use potions, or to hang back from the fight to take less damage. Some actions have a Cooldown (or perhaps more accurately a warm-up, since you have to wait for the action to become available before you can first use it).
  • Urban Segregation: The City of Mirages is sharply divided into upper and lower districts — literally, since one is built on the back of a giant, perpetually moving scarab beetle and the other is suspended by ropes underneath it, creating a fantasy version of a Layered Metropolis. The upper city is rich and snobbish; the lower city is poor and resentful. Sorting out the tensions (by going to the lower city and either solving people's problems or beating them up) is one of the player's jobs.
  • Video Game Flight: During normal exploration, this is the only mode of movement — the player character simply flies in the direction the camera is pointing. However, there's no movement during the Turn-Based Combat system, although player characters are still always hovering.
  • World Tree: One of the realms that players get sent to is Yggdrasil, the tree from Norse mythology. It's a pretty big tree by faery standards, but it's not really a world-tree — either it has been built up in human retellings, or it is diminished from those days as a result of fading magic (or both).