No, not The Eidolon. Elidon. Does that mean you haven’t heard of it? Then read on…
Elidon puts you in an unusual position as a gamer, in that it places you in the role of a faerie. Spring has arrived in the woods and in celebration, the Faerie Queen will be crowned. Unfortunately for you, a forest Queen does not wear a tiara of gold; instead, a garland of flowers must be placed on her head and as it’s still in the early days of Spring, you haven’t got any. It’s unfortunate for you, because you’re the one who has to fly off and gather them.
Naturally, it’s not that simple. Because Spring has only just sprung, the flowers you need are not yet in bloom. You must therefore journey through the land of Elidon to find the potions that will make these flowers blossom, then create a garland fit for a Queen. That all sounds very straightforward, doesn’t it?
Because this is a computer game, though, it isn’t straightforward at all. Well, there has to be some challenge to it, doesn’t there? Elidon is a large place and the flowers and potions you need are scattered far and wide. Much exploring will be necessary if your Queen is to be crowned. Oh, did I mention that’s happening tonight? I didn’t? Sorry…
Seven flowers are required to create the Queen’s garland, which means you need to find the seven potions hidden in the woods and use them on the appropriate flowers. You’d think there would be a Royal repository or something, where these potions would be stored. That would save a bit of a job.
The woods are home to all kinds of flora and fauna, all of which can act as an annoyance to the faerie. Creatures float around the place, and contact with them causes the faerie to lose health. Plants and platforms are not harmful, but they do knock the faerie out of the air if she’s flying. If she’s not, she can walk right past them without obstruction.
This is a proper, old-fashioned arcade adventure. There were loads of games like this back in the Eighties, but few of them looked quite as lovely as this. Graphically, it’s as nice as any similar game I can think of. It’s a bit basic to play, as were most games of this genre, basically boiling down to exploring all the rooms, finding the odd few that have an item you need, picking it up and using it in the right place.
Still, it’s the kind of game where much of the joy comes from the exploration. If you’re a mapper, you’ll love it. For me, just covering as much of the map as possible gives me a strange kind of joy, much as it always has. It doesn’t really matter that I don’t always know what I’m doing, or that some of the game elements become annoying the more you play.
The faerie herself is a joy to control, once you get the hang of it, and floating and flying around the map just feels like a nice thing to do. It’s a bit empty as far as the game itself goes… all you can really do is fly and collect objects. If that doesn’t bother you, though, then it offers a different enough experience to other similar games to make it well worth a bit of your time.
Incidentally, the programmer of Elidon only wrote one other game on the Commodore 64: The Young Ones. What the hell happened there?