Author Topic: REVIEW: The Quest for Arkana (by Merlin)  (Read 832 times)

Offline Olivier Leroux

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REVIEW: The Quest for Arkana (by Merlin)
« on: January 30, 2009, 05:58:53 PM »
The Quest for Arkana
by James "Merlin" Upp

Reviewed by Susan McKinney

This was a fantastic, original concept module. The plot is straightforward, BUT, the designer includes 2 (TWO) methods for the party to accomplish this goal. There are also some minor side plots that are very well-laid out. Some of the quests can be solved with diplomacy not just combat, major plus here. The only error I saw was Tomas.

Tomas is never mentioned by name until you meet him. My party addressed him by name, but we had never been told the name. This did not detract from the adventure however. Nice use of hacks and music. The text font was interesting but hard on the eyes after a while. Looking forward to the next installment! :)

Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: REVIEW: The Quest for Arkana (by Merlin)
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 07:39:14 AM »
The Quest for Arkana
by Merlin

Reviewed by Dan Crawford


To begin with, I recommend this module - especially if you are in the mood
for a quick FRUA fix.  This game took me about 1 hour to solve, so don't
count on a huge time investment.  And for as far as it goes, The Quest for
Arkana is a nice little adventure.

The plot is a bit on the simplistic side, and unfortunately, not detailed
enough for us to truly understand what is going on.  The party is hired by
a local wizards guild to confront a witch named Arkana who owes the town a
large sum of money.  It seems that Arkana was bank-rolled by the wizards to
conduct research on some high-tech magical teleportation stuff.  Well,
Arkana hasn't paid up, and the guild wants it's cash.  That's where the
party comes in.  The plot is a little weak here, because we are told in the
readme file that orcs are invading, merchants are no longer bringing
foodstuffs and weapons, and times are bleak.  We never find out why this
is.

Besides a weak plot, The Quest for Arkana also has a few technical glitches
of which the gamer should be aware.  There are a few misspellings, and some
"do event only once" flags that are not working.  These are minor.  The
biggest error happens to be a fatal one.  When the party finally arrives at
Arkana's castle, they are unable to get inside. The reason: the author
mislabeled the zone that transfers the party into the castle.  The player
will have to manually edit the overland map to allow progression from this
moment.  After that, the game runs smoothly.

Quest For Arkana has it's problems, but it also has many good things.  For
one, the overland map is a very nice, three dimensional view.  As cool as
the overland map is, regrettably, there is not much to do there.  There are
a few towns to explore, but that's about it.

Other nice touches in this module include some wonderful new backdrops
(especially the dwarven mountains), walls (again, the mountains are
fantastic), fonts and a new frame (designed by me :))

There are also some neat new monsters in this game with excellent new
combat icons.  The new art is especially endearing to this game.  Some
great new small pics and a new sprite stand out.

The author does a decent job with puzzles and events as well as some good
dialog scenes.  It is those scenes that help to beef up the plot a little
as the game goes on.

Overall, The Quest for Arkana is a good beginner's module.  Or, if you have
an hour or so to kill, you might want to send your favorite characters
through it.  Also, since it's heavily hacked, it is a cool way to show off
some of the improvements to the FRUA gaming engine.  If you can forgive the
weakness of the plot, you should have fun with this one.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 08:16:41 AM by Olivier Leroux »

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: The Quest for Arkana (by Merlin)
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 06:35:50 PM »
Very nice little module. I transfered in some characters with about 10,000 XP and they finished with about 15,000 XP.

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's not time to change the road you're on.
So I suggest taking the path that leads to the halfling scout, and let the Orcs have Dwarf meat back on the menu. The halfling scout path is more interesting and you get a very nice item.

I didn't have any problems entering Arkana's Castle, so I guess the module has been updated since the previous review. I did run into two encounters where I could have used "mouth stones" but I've no idea where I was supposed to find them. Looking briefly in the editor I saw there was a cave near the starting town, but nothing happned when entering that square, so I probably missed something somewhere else on the overland map.

Too bad there was no sequel.