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Video Game / Faria

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Faria is a fantasy Action RPG for the Nintendo Entertainment System developed by Game Arts, best known for the Lunar and Grandia series. It was published in Japan in 1989 by Hi-Score Media Work and brought to the US in 1991 by Nexoft with The Foreign Subtitle A World of Mystery & Danger!.

Long ago, the Kingdom of Faria was saved by magical means from a cruel Wizard, and its security rested within the Legendary Sword and set of scrolls kept in royal hands for generations. But troubling signs have recently appeared, and the King's daughter has been kidnapped.

You play as a foreign warrior and hasten to his aid, but all is not what it seems.

This game contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Human: The princess has butterfly-like wings and a picture of her as a child depicts a caterpillar, and a couple of the kingdom's other NPCs have very minor insect-like features such as telescoping eyes, but this is never elaborated on.
  • Antepiece: The only way to proceed from the first room in Gelve Tower is to move the stone statue, which demonstrates the importance of moving every stone statue in a tower. (There are three more statues in Gelve Tower after this one, which apparently doesn't count since a NPC says that the tower has three statues.)
  • Blackout Basement: The game has dark mazelike caves where you need a flashlight running on limited battery power to see a small area around you, except when trapped in the constantly occurring Random Encounters.
  • Boss Corridor: All tower bosses but the final one lie on the top floor at the end of longish corridors, usually with one-way doors, running straight upward.
  • Broken Bridge: A guard won't let you cross the bridge to the second town without the king's permission, though that can be easily obtained. Later in the game, the broken bridge leading to Riria has to be repaired by using a Mysterious Seed (don't ask why).
  • Cap: The player character's level maxes out at 30, and hit points, ammo and magic stats are all capped at 250.
  • Chokepoint Geography: While the game mostly uses Broken Bridges, ocean crossings and unscalable cliffs to restrict travel between areas, the Second Cave somehow connects two widely separated continents, and the last town, which won't let you enter it until the endgame, blocks off the only way to the final area.
  • The Chosen One: Your player character is a warrior from a distant land whom an ancient prophecy identifies as the only one able to save the kingdom of Faria from the Evil Sorcerer.
  • Collapsing Lair: After you defeat the boss of a tower (invariably on the highest floor) and use the convenient exit located one screen up from it, the tower inexplicably crumbles to ruins.
  • Critical Annoyance: A klaxon plays every few seconds when you run low on health.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you get brought back to life where you last saved with half your gold. This isn't too painful, as getting killed can often be blamed on missing an item you should have already bought or losing your way in a Guide Dang It! maze.
  • Escape Rope: The Flash Ball gets you out of any tower or cave.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Big Bad is a nameless Wizard who was formerly a Sealed Evil in a Can. This Wizard has two horns, six arms, and a scarlet body, though he otherwise doesn't look much like a Big Red Devil. He magically disguises himself to obtain the King's scrolls that were used to subdue him long ago, and uses them to turn into a dragon. His evil magic is also responsible for transforming all men in the player character's kingdom into women.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Every tower in the game can be considered ominous, given how often townspeople mention that they're terrified of the monsters there. The tallest of the towers is the lair of the Final Boss.
  • Fake King: You rescue the Princess quite early on, but she seems less concerned about the danger posed by the Evil Wizard and more concerned with the location of the King's Scrolls. After the King mysteriously turns to stone, she completely bars you from entering the castle. It's not until you find and rescue the actual Princess that the guards will allow you back in.
  • Fireballs: Fireballs are stationary, invincible hazards that appear completely at random in some tower rooms.
  • First Town: The player begins in Ehdo, "the biggest town in the Kingdom of Faria."
  • Flip-Screen Scrolling: This is used in the tower areas.
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: The inhabitants of Ehdo get sick from feasting on poisoned caviar, and the player has to do a Fetch Quest to find the cure for them. This was all deliberately arranged by the Big Bad.
  • Frictionless Ice: Several of the towers have rooms covered with icy floors. You can get Jump Shoes that allow you to get around these without slipping, and you'll need them for the final tower, which mixes icy floors up with pitfalls.
  • Get on the Boat: Subverted. There are three boats in the game, and even though two of them open up new continents to the player, all of them travel fixed routes.
  • Gender Bender: The player character is female, but was male until being cursed by a wizard. The player doesn't find this out until defeating the wizard undoes the curse.
  • Ghost Butler: Doors in the towers will often slam shut as you pass through them, either to set you up for an Inescapable Ambush or just to enforce one-way movement.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Characters have super-deformed sprites that stay within size limits, but they are drawn with more normal proportions in dialogue windows.
  • Honest Axe: An NPC in Somusa tells the axe legend about the goddess in the nearby lake, into which you have to drop one of your arrows to get the golden arrow you need to defeat the next boss. The town doesn't take kindly to litterbugs, so if you throw anything that isn't an arrow into the lake, you'll get fined 100 gold pieces.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Some tower rooms have doors that slam shut until all the enemies are defeated.
  • Infallible Babble: Townspeople often drop accurate hints about things they should have no reason to be concerned about, like how many statues are in the nearest tower or what the boss's weakness is.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Muramasa, the second most powerful sword, is also by far the most expensive item in the game. However, if you grind out the money for it, it will take out any enemy in one shot, with the exception of the Final Boss, who takes three hits. It would qualify as the Infinity -1 Sword, since technically, the Legendary Sword is stronger, but since you only get that sword by beating the final boss, which then disables all random encounters and battles for the rest of the game, it doesn't count.
    • The Super Armor can't be purchased; for that, you have to find Zelos and be able to talk to his kind, but once you have it, you are almost invincible to everything but the final boss.
  • Invisible Monsters: Invisible enemies make Random Encounters annoying and towers treacherous long before you get the Magic Glasses that let you see them.
  • Joke Weapon: The Paper Sword, which you can buy from a special hidden shop, is less powerful than the cheaper of the two weapons you can buy in the First Town.
  • Knockback: Getting hit by enemies can make you slide quite a few yards backward.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: Every accessible land mass fits snugly within a rectangular world map, though this is All There in the Manual since you can only explore the world on foot.
  • Level in the Clouds: Once you get the Sky Shoes, you can go up to the Sky World, which consists almost entirely of walkable clouds and Random Encounters. There is no Edge Gravity when walking around up there.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: The game refills your HP when you gain a level.
  • Lizard Folk: The Lizard Men, whose language is practically unintelligible to anyone not using the Translation Machine from Teodoor.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: The last area before the final tower is a set of no less than thirty Magical Mystery Caves whose seventy-odd interconnected portals span several islands.
  • The Maze: The towers are very difficult to get around at best, with most of them being full of dead ends, one-way passages and confusingly numerous staircases. (The Phantom Tower makes up for its lack of all these with a homogeneous Wrap Around floor plan.) The caves (especially the first) are more classically mazelike, and the Random Encounters and lack of lighting don't make them easier to get around. There's even one of the overworld's landmasses (the one containing Shilf) arranged as a topographically ridiculous maze of isthmuses.
  • Money Spider: Just about any type of enemy has a chance of dropping a money bag.
  • The Night That Never Ends: The endgame has the Evil Sorcerer magically blocking the sun's light from reaching Faria, whose inhabitants are freezing.
  • Not Herself: A gardener in Teodoor says, "The princess hasn't been eating any of her favorite apples. I wonder if she is sick?" The reason why, of course, is that she's been replaced by the Big Bad in disguise.
  • No Woman's Land: The town of Beig will outright deny you from entering due to your main character being female. After you defeat the Wizard and break the curse that transformed you into a woman to prevent his prophesied defeat, you will be allowed to enter.
  • One-Word Title: The Place, as you're working to save the princess of the kingdom of Faria.
  • The Place: The One-Word Title is the name of the kingdom you're in service of.
  • Random Encounters: There are random encounters on the overworld and in caves, which put you in a single-screen battlefield with a bunch of enemies to fight off.
  • Regenerating Health: Your health will constantly but slowly regenerate in action sequences once you get the Ring.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the US version the player character is only called by a player-given name and represented by an androgynous Super-Deformed sprite, and the gender is not revealed until the king explains that he can't give her the Standard Hero Reward for having saved the princess (the fake one, that is). However, it turns out he's really a handsome prince under a curse. Averted in the Japanese version, since the box art clearly depicts a girl.
  • Save Point: There is an inn in each town where you can save the game.
  • Save the Princess: The first mission you receive is to rescue a princess from a tower. However, you can't marry her because you're a girl. Moreover, this princess is a fake, and you find the real princess in a later tower.
  • Scaled Up: After the Big Bad's first form is defeated, he uses the powers of the King's scrolls to transfer his soul into a dragon.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Long ago, when the Evil Sorcerer was defeated with the magical scrolls, the King had him entombed within the Legendary Sword. Unfortunately, on a dark and stormy night a few months before gameplay begins, the spell on the sword was lifted.
  • See-Thru Specs: The Mad Scientist's Magic Glasses allow you to see Invisible Monsters.
  • Shear Menace: The Scissors Monster, a boss which spawns flying scissors. Gold beats scissors.
  • Shop Fodder: Collecting jewels and selling them to the jeweler in Somusa is a good way to make money, since jewels, unlike useful items, can be sold for 90% of their regular purchase value.
  • Solid Clouds: The Sky World, a one-time overworld area, is full of them.
  • Sprint Shoes: There are three types of Hyperspeed items. All of them make you walk faster in battle; the difference between the types is how long they last. The permanent type are Permanently Missable.
  • Taken for Granite: The King gets turned into stone halfway through the game.
  • Trauma Inn: The hospitals in the towns will fully heal you for a price proportional to how many hit points you need to recover.
  • Warp Whistle: Wings let you travel back to any previously visited town.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: One of the player's first tasks is to walk into the King's castle and tell him you want to Save the Princess. The manual Hand Waves this by mentioning that the player is specifically responding to the King's summons. The one time you aren't allowed to just walk into the castle is when an impostor has seized control.