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 Final Fantasy Kingdom

transylvania pc cover transylvania pc logo
 flag 9-30-1982  flag 9-30-1982 PC
 flag 9-30-1982  flag 9-30-1982

Game Map

transylvania pc screenshotIn the darkness of night, Princess Sabrina was kidnapped by a vampire. Taken to his castle, she was placed under a deep sleep. At dawn she will die. The king sends you to find his daughter, and bring her back home safely. This is a task that you may never return from. All manners of peril reside in this evil forest. Do you have what it takes to survive the horror and bring Princess Sabrina back safely?

transylvania pc screenshotIn 1982, long before there was ever a Nintendo, but after the loss of the video game market, computer games were the thing. These were mostly text games, that relied on your input commands to get through the game. Though text format was popular, there was an increasing desire for something to give the feeling of being in a game. Along came games like Transylvania and Oregon Trail. These games were immensely popular. Not only were they fun to play, but it brought in aspects of descision making, thinking, reading, and other various aspects that interested schools. You were playing a game yes, but the students were forced to think and read what to do next. And this is where the game came into my being in 1985.
While the NES was just barely beginning to appear in the USA, we were given a game in class that we could play during free time, or recess. This was Transylvania. For me, coming from a home that still had a working Atari that I got to watch my dad play, this was certainly something I was able to get into. But how different it was.
graphically, people today would find this game beyond disapointment. They are even behind that of the Nintendo which was looming in the very near future. but those people are obviously not one to recognize what superb graphics these were. Each frame of the game was hand drawn to fit the game. Though it originally had a limited color pallette, the scenes had depth, dimension, and gave a sense of being in a truly forboding place. The ability to accomplish the feeling you get playing this game is enough to garner praise for the graphics of Transylvania.
transylvania pc screenshotAnd when it comes to characters, these are some top notch characters. Many a frights came from encountering the wolf and or the vampire. You dreaded running into them, and the hair stood on the back of your neck. It was simply brilliant how they could accomplish this type of feeling and realism with the simple graphics they had.
Story is very non existant in the game. The basic plot is you need to save Princess Sabrina before sunrise. If you cannot do this, she will die. With that piece of information, you set on your quest. It goes into nothing more than reading text and solving puzzles. Oddly enough this does not detour anyone from the game. People literally would sit all recess and try and figure out what to do over and over. (Remember strategy guides were almost 3 years away). And it was exciting when you solved the puzzles, and were able to discover more things.
And there was certainly challenge and a half with this game. if you have not played it, and do not know what to do, it can be a massive challenge to the point of frustration to some. There are many different things to do, and many ways you can fail. There are 2 ways of dying. And there is little hints here and there that you have to discover. being a game that could be done from start to finish by a pro Transylvania gamer in 10 minutes or less, this game has some of the best challenge out there for new comers. transylvania pc screenshotAnd especially for the PC games of the early 80's.
There was no score or sound effects for our version of the game that I can remember. So there was no musical scoring or anything else to help set the mood in the game. it was done completely by sight alone. Dare one of the game companies to try that now. They would ultimately fail.

Above and beyond anything else, this game was fantastic. It is the first game I ever got to really play back in 1985. Here it is now almost 30 years, (At the time of writing this) and I still love playing this game. It has a special place in my gaming heart as a reminder of the discovery of the video game world. It also introduced me to puzzle games, which I love. It lended the rise of my liking of the horror genre, which was brought full swing with the release of Castlevania. This is where video game playing for me began all those years ago. And so it holds a very special honor in Final Fantasy Kingdom as the first game I ever got to play.