Right, I've got a choice of colour coded knights to play as. There's Sir Godber, photographed while frolicking in a cornfield, Sir Richard, who looks lost, Sir Jeffrey, who still thinks it's funny to joke about his 'big weapon', and Santa Claus. The guy in the intro was wearing red, but I decided to go with the orange one because it's not Christmas... yet.
THE QUEST OF SIR RICHARD.
I'm presumably controlling the flickering helmet with the orange plume over in the top right corner. I've been given no instructions or goal, but the region I've started at is flashing so I might as well begin by checking this place out.
Well that apparently wasted a turn, and a few other helmets appeared on the map to carry on with their own quests. Presumably they even know where they're meant to be going.
There's nowhere else to go, I'm locked in on this one screen, but I'm free to walk around the entire ground area. It's not like a 2D fighting game, with both characters locked to a certain depth.
I'm assuming that pulling different directions on the joystick while pressing fire will trigger different moves, but I'm little too busy to test that out right now. I think I'll be sticking with this slow forward slash until the enemies give me a moment's peace.
One of the other helmets on the world map decided to pay me a visit, so I have a second fight this turn. Unfortunately this guy knows how to throw his daggers, so I'm screwed. Two lives lost in a single go.
Anyway, I shouldn't mock old Mr Math, as he's decided that the Force is strong with me, and that I am worthy of a gift to help me in my quest. So he threw down 15 quid for a new sword or whatever. Thanks Wizard Math!
This time I finally got to open the chest, and collected 21 gold, a Scroll of the Wyrm, and a snow globe. I really need to go find a shop so I can spend this cash, preferably before I run out of lives.
Okay, before I spend all my coin on swords and health potions, I should probably go see what Mythral the Mystic has to say.
The merchant has a decent selection of weapons and armour here, but besides the price there's no indication of how good any of it is. Still, it's not like there's anything else I can spend my cash on, (I'm a bit wary of asking too much too soon from my one-eyed mystic friend) so I'm going to buy the weird looking claymore for 25 gold.
Maybe I can get out of this with enough cash to buy the good armour!
I just realised that those are moon phases on the dice. Man, the people in this world are obsessed with the moon.
I've been finding it tricky to get my attacks to connect sometimes, because I have to be lined up horizontally with an enemy to hit it. And while I'm screwing around trying to adjust my position, it gives them a open invitation to perform a bit of amateur brain surgery.
Okay, it seems that I actually have eight moves available to me, each activated by holding a different direction on the joystick and pressing the fire button. There's a low thrust, a high slash, backwards stab, dagger throw... all kinds of attacks. Plus a dodge and a block. Shame I can't practice my defensive moves here though, as my training partner is basically a knight-shaped punching bag.
Well now I know what I'm doing, I have 100% confidence that on my next attempt I'll still get my ass handed to me on the first fight.
THE QUEST OF SIR JEFFREY.
Oh, and look, now I've got 5 hit points left. I have to carry on in the same broken state I finished the last fight in.
Sir Jeffrey didn't last long after this I'm sad to say. His quest led to failure at every turn, until he was put out of his misery with one good smack with a stick.
THE QUEST OF SIR GODBER.
The game can actually have up to four human players at once, each taking turns to move their helmet on the map. When played in single player the other knights are replaced with computer controlled black knights.
It might just be my imagination, but it seems like these guys can smell treasure, and if I've got any on me they swarm in around me the map and take turns beating me up for it.
THE QUEST OF SIR EDWARD.
To be fair though, I get the feeling that the problem here is my lack of skill, rather than the gameplay being broken. I wouldn't call the game slick, but it does seem fairly well made. I did sometimes find it awkward to pull off the right move I wanted though, and I doubt I'd get much out of the game even if I wasn't a complete failure of a knight. There's not much to it really, it takes what feels like forever to get back into the next fight, and the combat wasn't that appealing to me anyway.
I can believe there's a fun game in here if you've got the talent for it, but it's not for me.
Any opinions about Moonstone, my total failure to get anywhere in it, the site in general, or anything else halfway relevant? Feel free to leave a comment.