The Story of Thor

Also known as "Beyond Oasis" in the United States and Canada, "The Story of Thor" is a rather massive 24 Meg role playing game. Starting out with a rather spectacular introduction sequence with animation and terrific sound, you can easily see where the 24 Meg went.

Thor is set in a world where, centuries ago, two powerful sorcerors fought each other with magic armlets - a golden one which is used to control four spirits, and a silver one which is used for creating chaos, destruction and giving out parking tickets. You, as Prince Ali, start the game with finding the golden armlet, and you're looking to find the silver armlet as well, so you can kill, maim and fuck over the world at large - or not. If any of y'all can name an RPG where you play the evil character, please let me know, I'm getting tired of being the hero all the damn time.

The first part of your quest is the search for the four spirits that the armlet can control - a water spirit (can become a tornado bouncing around the screen, or put out fires), fire spirit (automatically kicks ass for you, fireballs), shadow spirit (can grab items and transport you) and a plant spirit (bite enemies, poison attack) - once you find one, you can utilise its powers for your own benefit. Each can be summoned from areas related to what they are, eg you can summon the water spirit from a lake.

Game mechanic wise, it's an action RPG, not exactly a million miles away from Zelda - wander around areas, attack the monsters before they attack you, solve puzzles (eg which positions should the levers be in to open that door), all the usual you'd expect. "Story of Thor", however, is a terrific example of the genre - great graphics and sound, a well balanced difficulty level, not too complex for my taste (eg there isn't a money system, you just pick up what you need as you go). Perhaps one fault of the game is the way any extra weapons beyond your starting dagger have limited uses, but while I've been playing it, there's always been a weapon or two around to pick up when you need it. What did I say about "well balanced"? If anything, it's more action than RPG - if you like a taste of role playing type gear without all the boring parts, you're in for fun with this game.

"Story of Thor" had a sequel on Saturn as well, which I had years back, not realizing it was a sequel to this. Having played the MegaDrive game for a few hours now, I wish I'd known about it earlier. Definitely recommended.

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