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Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal (Windows)

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Description

Amy's 18th birthday set in motion the start of a series of adventures. An unknown stranger enters her London house, leaving behind a curious casket in her attic. In it, she discovers a magical rune that teleports her to a magical land created by fairies: Zanzarah. In Zanzarah, the unknown stranger reveals himself a goblin. The goblin requests help from Amy, who he believes is the prophesied Fairy Master whose duty it is to save Zanzarah, as the land is now ravaged by wild fairies, pixies, and shadow elves. Amy, now a stranger in a strange land with the help and advise from the local elves, dwarves, owls, and goblins, must attempt to become a Fairy Master by obtaining and training fairies, dueling and defeating wild fairies and their masters along the way. To ultimately fulfill her destiny to save Zanzarah!

In Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal, play the role of Amy and help her become a Fairy Master. To do this, the player must obtain and train a fairy. With the help of the local inhabitants of Zanzarah, Amy will explore the land in third-person perspective in search for different types of fairies to defeat and capture, while helping the people of Zanzarah along the way.

Fairy Combat
When Amy obtains her first fairy, she will have to train it and make it stronger to face the various wild fairies that constantly attack travelers. Fairy combat, which may be considered the primary gameplay element of this game, either occurs when Amy is attacked by a wild fairy or enters into a duel with when challenged by other Fairy Masters. Combat occurs is first-person perspective, where the player directly controls the movement of a selected fairy. In combat, the fairy may fly (jump) and attack with spells. When a fairy is weakened enough and the player obtains a magical sphere, the player may opt to capture the fairy. Depending on the element of a fairy, some fairies may be stronger or weaker when facing an opposing element. For example, a Water fairy will sustain additional damage and suffer less damage from Fire fairies, but are weaker when facing of Air fairies.

Winning an encounter or duel may randomly reward the player with fairy coins (used to purchase various beneficial items) or a dropped item. Fairies that have entered and survived combat will also gain experience and may level up, obtaining new spell levels as well as stronger attributes. A player may only carry five fairies at a time, all of which may be summoned and switched at will during combat. Additional captured or obtained fairies will be sent to Amy's London house.

Fairy Character Sheet
Role-playing character development only occurs with fairies. Fairies have several attributes such as Hit Points, Mana Points, Jump Ability, etc. Fairies attack in combat using spells. Spells come in two variations: offensive spells and passive spells. Offensive spells are used to attack the opponent while passive spells are automatically active. Spells may be purchased and equipped to fairies. As fairies come in different types and elements, only specific spells may be assigned to a specific type of fairy. For example, nature spells may only be used by Nature Fairies. Additionally, fairies have spells levels and will have to gain experience in order to equip more powerful spells.

In total, there are 77 fairies the player may capture and level-up, consisting of the following elemental types: Air, Water, Fire, Stone, Energy, Psi, Chaos, Metal, Darkness, and Light. Additionally, certain fairies when reaching a particular level may evolve to a stronger type of fairy if the player wishes to do so. Other fairies may evolve to a stronger type of fairy by combining the fairy with specific items.

Screenshots

Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal Windows Inventory menu. Slim pickings
Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal Windows Many inhabitants of Zanzarah provide Amy with valuable information and act as a plot guide. Forest Owls in particular informs Amy of immediate challenges that Amy must soon solve.
Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal Windows Intro movie, Amy hears a noise.
Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal Windows Main menu

Alternate Titles

  • "赞扎克: 隐藏之门" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Zanzarah: В поисках затерянной страны" -- Russian spelling
  • "Zanzarah: La légende des deux mondes " -- French title
  • "Zanzarah: Das Verborgene Portal" -- German title

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The Press Says

WomenGamers.com Mar 15, 2003 9.5 out of 10 95
Just Adventure Jan 23, 2003 A- 91
Withingames May 09, 2002 4 out of 5 80
Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks Sep, 2002 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Chronicles Nov 08, 2002 7.8 out of 10 78
GameSpot Jan 08, 2003 7.6 out of 10 76
GameStar (Germany) May, 2002 75 out of 100 75
PC Games (Germany) May 14, 2002 74 out of 100 74
Joystick (French) Jul, 2002 66 out of 100 66
JeuxVideoPC.com Mar 22, 2006 10 out of 20 50

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Trivia

Shortly after the game was released in Germany, an expansion pack was announced, and even some music made for it. The idea was dropped after Zanzarah sold very poorly all over the world.

Related Web Sites

JenG (212) added Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal (Windows) on Aug 17, 2002