Hear ye, hear ye! Should ye need a D&D game on your Nintendo that doth not sucketh as much as its brethren, gaze thine eyes upon Hillsfar, an RPG dungeon-crawler for all the land!
Start by creating your own character (the game also pretends that you can “import” characters from different saves, but you’re playing an NES, not a computer), get on your horse and ride to Hillsfar. The game is a mix of minigames, quests, and exploring, and while not all of these elements work, the laid-back feel is a blessing compared to the other uptight D&D titles.
In fact, one of Hillsfar‘s biggest selling points is the sheer amount of dialogue choices. Walk into a tavern and you have seven options for what you can do/say while you’re there. Buy the comely waitress a drink, brag about your exploits, and don’t be surprised if she advances on you. Fighting is ludicrous, though. The enemy’s jerky movements make it difficult to know when you’re supposed to hit them. Riding a horse – something you do often – also causes the NES framerate palpitations.
If Hillsfar had been ported to the SNES (which it could have, given the 1993 release date), the game would have looked and played better. Still, given the NES’ limitations, Hillsfar‘s quality is surprising.
Hillsfar‘s NES port was released to die in the late hour of 1993. Strange, considering that the DOS, Amiga, C64, and Atari ST versions all came out in 1989, and the Famicom port and PC88/98 versions released in 1991. Perhaps FCI just wasn’t sure whether they wanted to port a D&D game that most D&D fans didn’t like to a console that was headed towards the grave? But they did it anyway, and NES owners had one more game to… enjoy?
PUBLISHER: FCI DEVELOPER: Westwood (port by Marionette)
GENRE: RPG RELEASE DATE: 03/21/91 – (JP), 02/1993 – (US)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Amiga, C64, DOS, PC88, PC98, Atari ST