Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure
Welcome to Twinsun, a world balanced between two suns, with an equatorial band of barrier mountains; a world under the iron rule of the maniacal Dr Funfrock; a world that you must save from impending crisis. Welcome to Relentless, a cartoonish world populated with intriguing characters.
You are Twinsen, a young male Quetch who has begun having mystical dreams about the forbidden Legend of Sendell, a mythical goddess who embodies truth, virtue and integrity. Talk of her has been outlawed by Dr Funfrock and his clone armies, thus you begin the game imprisoned in the asylum.
Escape young Twinsen or your life, and the world you love, may be lost!
Relentless is one of those games that fall into the category of action adventure. It is an adventure game as you must use objects on others and fulfil a grand quest, and an action game in that you must overcome most of your enemies by killing them in combat of one sort or another.
The game takes a moderate stance on combat as gore and 'in-your-face' violence is not the way it's done. It uses a combat system very similar to that used in the Alone in the Dark series. You can throw a magic ball at your enemies, which simply causes them to vanish. In fact, all vanquished enemies simply disappear into the ether. You may also fight with your magic sword, or use your fists to 'persuade' adversaries to let you be.
Much of the game, however, involves dodging bullets and avoiding nasties, though you are never in possession of a gun yourself. You have only your muscle and your magic to work with. On your travels you must find various items which you will need to figure out how to use in order to progress in the game, and there is a large, and I mean large, amount of character interaction. You must talk to the wise men as well as gain the favour of the townspeople, before you ultimately conquer the rather unpleasant Dr Funfrock.
On the topic of interaction, the game interface is easy to use, and controlling Twinsen as he adventures is a fairly simple matter. There are very few disappointments in this otherwise enthralling story apart from the annoying sequences where you must leap over chasms or water onto thin columns whilst dodging gunfire. Also, I must admit, it would be a pleasant change if the hero's girlfriend wasn't portrayed as a giggling ninny.
My only other gripe is the save game system. The game saves on its own at various stages of the story, whenever you change scene. However, you may also copy save games (typically the current game) to other names, thus allowing you to save at other stages of the quest. The mechanics for this are a little sparsely explained in the manual, and took me a while to figure out. Basically, just remember which game you are playing, and the current game is always the one you restored last, not the one you saved last.
This is a game that will appeal to adventure gamers who don't mind a fair amount of fighting and who can manage to grit their teeth through the highly annoying leap-fall-die sequences. In fact anyone who plays it will be rewarded with a challenging quest and a satisfying feeling of success at many stages of the game.
Graphically and audibly stunning, Relentless is definitely worth a look.
Copyright © Adrian Carmody 1995.
All rights reserved.
486/25 (486/66 recommended), 4MB RAM (8MB recommended), CD-ROM.