The Quest for Arkana
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
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.