Untrashed № 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. Global (almost) RPG on Game Boy Advance

Untrashed № 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. RPG (Dungeon Crawler) for GBA


Genre: First-person RPG (Dungeon Crawler)

Number of players: 1

Developer: Sabarasa Entertainment

Publisher: Graffiti Entertainment

Release date:

  USA: 4 December 2006

Russian translation: Studio "Вектор"

MSRP: $ 29.99

Game length: 15-25 hours (the author of the article passed in 27. Full walkthrough)


Note: This text was written in 2011 for the then gaining momentum magazine MobiTree. I threw it into the blog so that the text would not go to waste. This text was a translation of this article. The review is written according to the Russian version of the game!


Untrashed # 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. RPG (Dungeon Crawler) for GBA, TristamKs Lair, image, screenshot 1

Mazes of Fate is a first-person RPG game (Dungeon Crawler). Initially, we have a choice of three classic characters (classes): Dumar (Warrior), Katya (Thief) and Neveral (Mage). If you bored about the standard classes, then you can create your character yourself. We are given three portraits of the hero to choose from (the same portraits as the characters offered by default). Next, we are asked to distribute the points of characteristics.


After the distribution of points, we cannot change the value of the characteristics during the game (only by amulets, rings and other magical jewelry). The values ​​of the characteristics chosen by us determine how well our character will fight, endure damage or use magic. After that, we are asked to distribute skill points. Skills, in turn, are divided into corresponding categories: combat, physical, magic and thieves. The entire set of skills at the beginning of the game is not given to us (the powerful school of magic «Daim» at the beginning of the game is not available, for example). We can get additional skills only from the appropriate masters.  


The most interesting skill category is thief. It contains skills related to picking locks, bargaining, communication and the ability to find hidden walls. The last two determine how comfortable you will be passing the game. Have not upgraded the "search" skill - go and blindly look for a way out of the dungeon, toching every wall. If you have not pumped up "communication", you will not be able to take this character as a partner. And partners are a useful thing! It is extremely problematic to complete the game without them, if only because your character can’t equally good at swinging a sword and in thief’s skills. So you can't be a hero alone.

Untrashed # 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. RPG (Dungeon Crawler) for GBA, TristamKs Lair, image, screenshot 2

And it will be where to glorify. The developers from Sabarasa Entertainment have created for us a rather large global map, twelve cities with different architecture and about fifty different dungeons. Also, for gamers, game makers prepared an interesting story, which, of course, does not pretend to be innovative, but serves as an excellent background for everything that happens behind it. 


In general, we are involved in the twists and turns of the plot even before we actually started playing. After the logos of the developer and the publisher, we see graphic cutscene, from which we learn that since ancient times people lived, prayed to their gods, and they helped people in all their endeavors for this. But over time, people forgot about the gods and began to worship powerful magicians. The gods, of course, did not like this, and they took their blessing from people. As a result, the rivers dried up, and troubles came to the land of Akhil and the kingdom of Karsh, in which all events take place. People thought that “final hour” came to them, but then the hero Harlak appeared, who "showed people the way of redemption." And everything would be fine if it were not for the «evil netherlings», who stole the stone of redemption among the people, after which people had nothing to do but fall into despondency again. And sure, who if not you should have to deal with all problems of this world.


The first thing that catches your eye in the first minutes of the game is the graphics. After three years in development, Mazes of Fate acquired their own style and charm. It's hard to find such beautiful graphics on the Game Boy Advance. That landscapes on the global map, that local animals - everything is drawn with the same diligence. One gets the impression that every feature in the game has its place. The local NPCs are also great. Their images turned out to be very contrasting and capacious. In this game you will not find any character similar to another. We don't have to go far for examples. The innkeeper Tuna, whom we will meet at the beginning of the game, is a well-fed cunning businessman who wants to sell us his drinks for information by any means. The eternally secretive librarian, the spirits in the temple - all have a certain visual identity. In this regard, the developers have tried their best.

Untrashed # 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. RPG (Dungeon Crawler) for GBA, TristamKs Lair, image, screenshot 2

The only major drawback to the graphics is the dungeons. Since we will spend 80-90% if time in them, they should look almost perfect. But they don't. Throughout the entire dungeon, the same textures lie. There are a minimum of decorations. Because of this, the multi-tiered casemates turn into a monotonous mess ... Only battles with the local inhabitants and places are quite entertaining moment which keep you from turning game. If the monotony of the dungeons is half the trouble, then the animation of the enemies in the game obviously let us down ... Three or four frames are clearly not enough for a high-quality display of the behavior of a particular monster. Because of this, all good-quality portrayal of the local beast is canceled out by a clumsy implementation.


Playing Mazes of Fate is rather unusual in terms of the fact that the gameplay is organized differently than in modern RPGs, especially for a person who is very far from dungeon crawlers. Here's an example: you appeared on the global map, walk around the city. It seems that we have seen all this in other isometric RPGs. We went into the house and a portrait of an NPC and a small dialogue window immediately appear. Otherwise than we are used to seeing, isn't it? Further more. We have the first quest - to help the old lady clear the basement of rats. We go to the old woman's house and say that we have come to help. After that, we find ourselves in the basement and already see from the eyes of the character.


This location is the first of many dungeons that the player is destined to see. This basement consists of only three rooms, two corridors, one lever, one door and a couple of decorations, but don't despair. Further on, the dungeons will consist of dozens of various intricacies of these elements. And the time for passing such levels will vary from 5 minutes to 4 hours! By the way, they won't let us walk around the dungeons calmly. In addition to fighting monsters, we will have to solve various logic puzzles. We will have to press the levers in a certain order, look for a pattern in the work of the portals, decipher the meaning of the inscriptions on the walls. As for the combat system, it is more like a turn-based one, but the menu in which we choose the type of action is more suitable for quick battles, which makes the gameplay more dynamic. The battles themselves take place in real time, and with the help of the menu, we can quickly select the method of killing the enemy.

Untrashed # 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. RPG (Dungeon Crawler) for GBA, TristamKs Lair, image, screenshot 3


The atmosphere of the game is also added by the soundtrack, which, of course, is worse than in other games on GBA, but, nevertheless, fits perfectly into the style and general dynamics of what is happening. Each type of location has its own separate melody. But there could be more sounds. It's just that sometimes it's not clear whether this or that character is alive, or is it just a wooden idol.


Bugs in Mazes of Fate and other delights of life


Bugs became a rather unpleasant surprise in the game. No, this is not an error of dump (dump is an electronic copy of the contents of the cartridge). This problem was discovered by users of the original Game Boy Advance who bought this game. List of bugs I found:

  • Zarka City - Arcanum Lodge of Knowledge is not available
  • El Passo passage - magic shop unavailable
  • Endless quest (cheat). The city of Rulm, the task is to take the weapon to the village of Tur. Reward 200 CZK. We passed the quest, received a reward. We return to Rulm and take the same quest. The tasks can be completed endlessly.
  • Trade skill bug. The skill should only reduce the cost of items in the store, and it also reduces the price of the items you sell, although it should, on the contrary, raise it. As a result, the skill pumped to 40 resets the price of the elite chain mail you sell from 4000 to 3 crowns. And the price of the weakest potion you buy drops from 100 to 1 kroons. As you can see, the exchange is not in our favor.
  • Item bug (cheat). Some items give an addition to skills. The result of using such items is better explained with an example, We have a magic hat that adds +3 to the meditation skill (responsible for the rate of mana recovery). By default, the skill is 12. We put the hat on the character, and the skill has increased to 15. Removed the item. The skill value remains at 15. Repeat and increase the value to 18. Repeat ad infinitum. This cheat does not work with all items.

Untrashed # 0.5 - Mazes of Fate. RPG (Dungeon Crawler) for GBA, TristamKs Lair, image, screenshot 4

Verdict: An interesting project that will help beginners understand how old-school games looked like (D&D, Wizardy), and old-school players to remember the past.



+ good rendering of the game environment

+ interesting plot

+ riddles

+ dialogues

+ old school game



- horrible animations of enemies

- bugs

- quickly annoying battles

Final Score: 8.0

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