This is an older game that is basically Windows XP compatible, but may need some tweaking depending on your graphics and sound cards (or chipsets). I'm not going to write a review, per se -- because Becky wrote a wonderful review of the game here years ago, and I couldn't say it better.
Here's a link to her review, for details of the game: http://www.gameboomers.com/reviews/Ff/Faustbybecky.htm
I decided to write about this game to discuss what I call Seeds of Brilliance
. I think this game had all the makings of a brilliant, timeless adventure game -- but the seeds were allowed to die on the vine. I can't help thinking about what could have been, if only the writers and creators of this game had invested more time and effort in it. (*Money???)
The plot and storylines are wonderful and creative. It's about the battle between Good and Evil personified -- yet doesn't have an ounce of preachiness or religion in it. If anything, it's raunchy and inappropriate for children. But what a concept! Why, oh why, didn't they make it as great as it could have been? *roll eyes*
Each storyline draws you in, as you learn about a character who was targeted by Mephisto (agent of the Devil) to make a deal to sell his or her soul. If you've ever watched the T.V. show Medium
, then you'll have a concept of how things happen in this game. You touch something... and a flashback is triggered. You pick up an object, and a cutscene plays. Then suddenly, you (your character) find yourself having a (relatively) present-day conversation or argument with Mephisto. You're whisked from one place to another, without warning. But it's okay. If you hadn't finished whatever you were supposed to do, you wouldn't budge.
The letdown is... you never do learn the whole story about the characters. You learn enough to give you insight, pieces of the puzzle, and solid theories. You learn enough to care about how that story ends. But you don't actually get to see and experience a resolution to any of the seven souls' stories. Only your own story, as Marcellus Faust, reaches resolution by the end of the game.
If the story writing and computer code writing had matched the quality of the voice-over acting -- this game might have been on the list of top 10 adventure games of all time. But it was not to be.
The technical end of this game's creation and production was a disaster. There are more bugs and glitches in this game than I ever imagined were possible. They didn't even bother with basic Spell Check, as they translated from one language to another (French being the original language).
The game takes place in a surreal, abandoned amusement park. When you open the in-game map, you see the title Dremland Amusemet Park
. (*Dreamland Amusement Park)
During an in-game Poker game, you see the words YOU LOOSE
My personal favorite glitch... You go into a bathroom, and there's a vanity table with a drawer. You click on and around them, sensing that something might be inside the drawer that you need. But you see nothing. No hotspot, not even a flicker of life. You continue exploring the bathroom, and (like any devoted adventure gamer) -- you pixel-hunt everything. Lo and behold, you get a hotspot on a completely blank wall -- which has no outlines or bumps or anything whatsoever to make you suspect there's a hidden compartment. So you click on it. Out pops a perfectly square picture of the vanity table and drawer that's across the room... and there's a hotspot on the drawer. You open the drawer and find an inventory item... as the chunk of vanity and drawer protrude from the wall - ridiculously out-of-place. You click to make the drawer go back in... and the whole magical "pixel square" of vanity table returns to the blank wall -- leaving no trace of itself behind.
I must add that at least one walkthrough writer didn't experience this phenomenon, because he displayed the screenshot of the vanity, with the drawer opening where it actually was on the screen. I guess there were multiple versions of this game released, and not all were buggy.
Same scene... I tried to leave the way I came in, through a fabric curtain. But there was no hotspot. No how, no way.
I refused to panic. I pixel-hunted until I found the exit hotspot over a solid bookshelf...
Yes, I walked through a wall and ended up right outside that fabric curtain.
I browsed the game files on my computer and on the disks. (*long story...) Anyway, I noticed that the dialogue files (mostly captions/subtitles) were written in multiple languages. That was an ambitious task, I'll admit. But as I checked them out, I noticed that most of the dialogue had partial translations -- and many languages were left blank for most of the game's dialogue. Hmmm... why bother to go multi-language, if you can't be bothered to translate all
the words (spelled right or not) into those other languages??? I feel sorry for the Greek gamers who bought this game.
One of the walkthrough writers had some fun with the dates in this game. From episode to episode, you're taken to different time periods in the past. The basic time period is from around the 1920's through 1960. Since all seven characters live and work together in the same amusement park, their individual stories are related to each other (though not as thoroughly as they could have been, as already mentioned). Well... this walkthrough writer actually mapped out the timeline for the episodes in the game, and pointed out numerous events that couldn't possibly have happened when they happened in the storyline. For instance, two sisters... one is murdered at a certain point in time; but years later, she's alive and well and performing with her sister. *doh*
I didn't notice all the inconsistent dates, but I'm mentioning it to further demonstrate my point: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul could have been, and should have been, a spectacularly popular game. If only those who'd created it had given it the attention, time, and investment it deserved.
I wouldn't sell my soul to Mephisto for it -- but I do wish that some bright and innovative game company would grab this jewel from the dusty flea market bin and polish it up and heal its code wounds and re-release it one day.