Fray in Magical Adventure
|Fray in Magical Adventure|
|Release date(s)||1990, 1991, 1994|
|Genre(s)||Run and gun, Action, Adventure|
Fray in Magical Adventure is a spinoff sidestory or "gaiden" game in a fantasy role-playing video game series called Xak developed and published by the Japanese software developer MicroCabin. Even though it is directly connected to the more serious Xak series storyline, Fray has a less serious tone and light-hearted comedic approach to telling the story. It was originally released for the MSX2 Japanese computer system. Eventually other versions were developed for the MSX turbo R, NEC PC-9801, NEC PC-Engine, and Sega Game Gear. As of current date only one version of Fray in Magical Adventure has been unofficially translated into English, the MSX2 version, by Oasis.
An extended version of Fray in Magical Adventure was released with the MSX2 version for the MSX turbo R. This version, commonly referred to as Fray Turbo R, had voice acting and an alternate opening animation sequence. Another enhanced remake for the NEC PC-Engine called Fray CD was later released by Micro Cabin.
Setting and story
Fray In Magical Adventure features a typical high fantasy setting. According to the game world's legends, a great war was fought between the benevolent but weakening ancient gods and a demon race, which led to the collapse and eventual mortality of the gods. After this 'War of Sealing', the gods divided the world into three parts: Xak, the world of humans, Oceanity, the world of faeries, and Zekisis, the world of demons. The demon world of Zekisis was tightly sealed from the other two worlds as to prevent reentry of the warmongering demon race. Some demons were left behind in Xak, however, and others managed to discover a separate means to enter Xak from Zekisis anyway. This ancient history is displayed in the introduction of Xak II.
The story of Fray takes place between the events of Xak and during the events of Xak II. During Xak, Fray was not able to use magic and was more or less a helpless girl that was rescued by the hero of the Xak series, Latok Kart. After being rescued, Fray becomes romantically interested in Latok and decides that if she could become useful to Latok and aid him in his quests, perhaps Latok will be interested in her romantically in return. Starting from the very end of Xak, Fray goes attends a magical university for three years to learn how to become a full fledged sorceress. Upon her graduation Fray travels to Latok's home town of Fearless to find Latok. However, upon arriving Fray learns that Latok has decided to journey on ahead of her to the region of Banuwa to start a new quest (Xak II). Fray decides to not give up on finding Latok and decides to set out on an adventure all on her own as she heads for Banuwa village. The course of the game takes Fray to several places along the way including various villages, an ancient ruins, a lake, at the center of a volcano and a floating fortress.
Fray is a classic run and gun overhead shooter, in that the game proceeds by the player fighting through a preset overhead view map shooting opposing monsters, jumping over obstacles, and locating powerups and Gold, the game's currency, along the way. At the end of each stage the player will fight a boss and enter a town or safe haven where the player can purchase new equipment, hit points and the option to save their progress. Fray advances in power through the items that she can equip such as different rods and shields.
Combat is in real-time. The player's character walks around on automatic vertically scrolling game map as well as the monster characters. Fray has an attack and defense rating, and can switch between different projectile weapon styles as well as use special attacks and healing items. This combat/movement system requires some manual dexterity, as Fray must navigate and plan attack strategies against hordes of monster enemies and jump over and onto various platforms and obstacles.