Front cover of Beyond Oasis (North American version)
|Series||The Story of Thor|
|Platform(s)||Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
|Release||Sega Mega Drive/Genesis:
Beyond Oasis, known in Japan as The Story of Thor: Hikari wo Tsugu Mono (ストーリー オブ トア 〜光を継ぐ者〜 "The Story of Thor: Heir of the Light") and in Europe as The Story of Thor: A Successor of The Light, is a 1994 action role-playing video game developed by Ancient and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis console. The game was later re-released to the Wii's Virtual Console on March 19, 2007 in North America, and April 5 the same year in Europe. The game was also included in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection/Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; in the European version of the latter, it is entitled The Story of Thor. In 2017, the game was ported to iOS and Android as part of SEGA's SEGA Forever service.
The player takes the role of Prince Ali, who has discovered a buried gold "armlet" which once belonged to a wizard who waged a long war against the evil wielder of a silver armlet. The silver armlet was used to create chaos and destruction, while the gold armlet had the power to summon four spirits: the water spirit, "Dytto"; the fire spirit, "Efreet"; the shadow spirit, "Shade"; and the plant spirit, "Bow". Ali travels the land of Oasis, gradually acquiring the ability to summon all these spirits, in an attempt to stop the person who has discovered the ancient silver armlet and is once again using it for evil.
The game has action adventure elements similar to The Legend of Zelda series. The player controls Prince Ali and takes him across the maps to fulfill his quest. Along the way the player picks up special items to restore health and magic, special weapons to help defeat enemies, and four magic spirits found in shrines to aid Prince Ali's mission.
Prince Ali's default weapon is his knife, which can perform special attacks and has unlimited usage. Also during the course of the game the player can equip Prince Ali with special weapons such as swords, crossbows, and bombs. Some crossbows (and a sword) can ignite their targets on fire. However, unlike the knife, these weapons do not have unlimited usage and will break after a set number of uses.
Each of the magic spirits acquired in the game has a number of spells that can attack enemies, restore health, or unlock hidden areas. Each spirit is summoned by the Light Ball (A Button) and is sent away by tapping A, B, and C at the same time or when the magic meter runs out. Each spirit's power can be increased by picking up gems that correspond to the color of the spirit: Blue for Dytto, Red for Efreet, Black for Shade, and Green for Bow.
Game Informer gave the game a "very good" score of 8.75/10. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 38/50 (7.6/10 average), praising the vast game world and strong plot twists. A reviewer for Next Generation contended that the combination of RPG and action elements results in a game which is average on both fronts. He added that, "The use of magic, whether it be the fireball or meteor storm; a user-friendly interface; and an ever-ready map put Beyond Oasis beyond others of its type. But ultimately, poor fighting and an uninspired storyline leave this title looking more like a mirage." GamePro commented that the game "is definitely not for hardcore RPGers" due to its small game world, limited challenge, and greater emphasis on hack-n-slash combat and puzzle solving than on RPG elements, but would be a good game for players new to the RPG genre. They praised the "intriguing" gameplay and the 3D feel of the graphics.
IGN gave the Virtual Console re-release an 8/10, calling it "very stylish," and expressing "surprise" that despite a lack of polish in certain areas, its "unique" mechanics "deserve to be mentioned alongside such classics as Secret of Mana."
- Computer & Video Games, issue 160 (March 1995), pages 78-80
- "Review Crew: Beyond Oasis". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (68): 36. March 1995.
- GameFan, volume 3, issue 3 (March 1995), pages 18 & 38-41
- "Ultimate Review Archive." Game Informer. Issue 100. August, 2001. Page 55. Original review published March 1995.
- GamesMaster, issue 27 (March 1995), pages 54-55
- Thomas, Lucas (March 21, 2007). "Beyond Oasis Review". IGN.
- "Beyond Oasis". Next Generation. Imagine Media (4): 94. April 1995.
- GameFan, volume 4, issue 1, pages 104-106
- "Beyond Oasis". GamePro. IDG (70): 103. May 1995.