Long ago the world was terrorisd by Ahriman, the Wizard of Darkness. Ahriman was finally defeated by a hero called Jamseed and sealed away using three rings given to him by the Wizard of Light. Although stripped of his power, Ahriman sent his servant, Snake King Zahhark to attack the kingdom of Shanadar which was founded by Jamseed. Jamseed was defeated and the world was once again plunged into an age of darkness. After 1,000 years a new hero called Fallidoon appeared and defeated Zahhark bringing about a new age of peace. When these events were all but forgotten, the evil Empire of Eflaat rose up and once again Shanadar is threatened….
We seek out Kohle and use the spell Varyu to stop him using the magical powers of the sword. He is still a strong enemy but was easily beaten. With Imperial reinforcements on their way we hop on a ship and set sail for Mahamood.
- I pick up my second party member, Saleem, when we stop off at an island to collect some fresh water. Saleem is the captains son. The captain gives us some money to buy water, but when we return to the ship it has been boarded by Ahriman’s elite troops. They kill the captain and take the ship and the princess leaving us stranded on the island. It is here the Genie gains the Raag spell which can teleport us between known locations. This avoids cramming in an overworld map onto the Game Gear cartridge. It also shows your progress as the destinations grow.
- The Genie starts with three spells but more are collected by reading inscriptions on walls. One gripe is the nonsensical names given to the spells which means you have to refer to the manual. Not ideal when gaming on the go.
- Our fourth party member is Agmar the thief. We find him in a prison cell after falling through a trap door in a dungeon. Fortunately the Genie has the Kshasla spell at this point which can get us through the locked door.
- Apart from the normal combat moves each character has a their own special ability. The Prince can use ‘Run‘ to escape fights and the Genie can cast magic. Saleem can use ‘Dance’ in which he attacks all enemies but causes less damage than targeting a single one. Agmar can use his turn to ‘Hide’. On his next turn he can use ‘Assault’ to cause more damage to an enemy.
- There are many useful items that can be found during the course of the adventure. Most are described in the manual and throughout the game, but there are few that have to experimented with to find their use. You inventory seems unlimited with the amount of different items you can carry, but you are only able to hold up to 9 items of each type.
- There is decent music playing constantly during the game. Sound effects are limited to a few bleeps and a couple of undecipherable speech samples.
- One plot point I didn’t like (and I seem to remember something similar happening in Final Fantasy II) is that once you gather all the quest items – rings in this case – one of Ahriman’s generals simply takes them off you without you putting up a fight. He proceeds to burn them, releasing Ahriman.
|…and neither does Ahriman.|
Despite being a relatively simple JRPG, I really enjoyed Defenders of Oasis. It’s not a game that requires lots of grinding – I did a bit to get better weapons but character stats are limited to 99 points so you can’t go on levelling forever. The economy is also good – once you have the best weapons and armour there are still silks and gilding to buy for the genie at several thousand dinars a pop. The graphics are well drawn and colourful. I played the game in bite-size chunks (as a mobile game would normally be). It doesn’t have a huge overworld so travelling between towns is accomplished using the Raag spell. This is good as a lot of JRPGs over stay their welcome by being unnecessarily long with random combats becoming a chore. The Arabian theme also made a nice change from the usual fantasy settings.