Everlight: Of Magic & Power

Posted by Erik-André Vik Mamen.
First posted on 15 March 2010. Last updated on 19 March 2010.
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Everlight: Of Magic & Power
During daytime, the town of Tallen is peaceful.
Everlight: Of Magic & Power
At nighttime, the town of Tallen turns more sinister.
Everlight: Of Magic & Power
Melvin the Magician, not Simon the Sorcerer!
Everlight: Of Magic & Power
Yikes! Stop the self groping!
Everlight: Of Magic & Power
The map shows the layout of the small town of Tallen.

Everlight: Of Magic & Power is a classic point-and-click adventure game from German developer Silver Style Entertainment. Much like Simon the Sorcerer: Chaos Happens (also developed by Silver Style Entertainment), the game is set in a medieval magical realm. Interestingly, the English title for the game omits the elfin reference that is present in the original German title (Everlight: Elfen an die Macht!). Despite the omission, the game's story tackles many of the fantasy themes that are classical of the adventure genre. This is by no means an outdated adaptation, however; Everlight: Of Magic & Power is a contemporary adventure in its core, albeit with a few significant shortcomings.

You play Melvin, a young boy who just happens to drop by a candle shop to escape from the pouring rain. He finds it strange that someone is able to make a living by simply selling candles. The proprietor at the shop, Mr. Teeth, tells him that these are not ordinary candles but are magic candles. Melvin is skeptical, that is, until the bucktoothed proprietor demonstrates his magical power by making fire with a simple snap of his fingers. He then asks if Melvin likes to learn to become a magician himself. Even though Melvin is not totally sure of this fanciful offer, he accepts.

Soon, Melvin finds himself in another world. It is the town of Tallen, where magic is common and fairy tale beings are for real. There, he encounters a little flying elf named Fiona. She bears more than a passing resemblance to Tinker Bell from Peter Pan and becomes Melvin's spiritual guide. Fiona helps Melvin with his tasks but also nags him for his naiveté. Either way, Melvin is stuck with Fiona, and she follows him wherever he goes.

For Melvin to become a magician, Fiona explains that he must first conquer his own fears. The first fear is the Fear of Failure, in which Melvin has to prove his worth to the local town council. This turns out to be a challenge, as Melvin quickly discovers that a curse has fallen on Tallen which he must help to free. Apparently, during each night, the inhabitants of the cursed town will change to different personalities not of themselves and begin to act somewhat crazy; by next morning, however, they have all forgotten what they have done in the previous night. The curse affects everyone in Tallen, except for visitors like Melvin (naturally).

Fans of Simon the Sorcerer may instantly recognize that the backstory for Everlight: Of Magic & Power shares a few common traits with the backstory for the original Simon the Sorcerer from Adventure Soft. This is not a surprise, as the developer has likely chosen to borrow some ideas from that game. However, the magical world in Everlight: Of Magic & Power is more bound to its own, rather than the constant parody as it is in Simon the Sorcerer. Still, there are a few passing references to popular pop culture. Even though King Arthur does not appear in the game, his name is referenced by the storyline a few times. There is also a game character named Alfred Tripplestein, the inventor of a time machine, who is an obvious reference to Albert Einstein ("Ein" means "one" in German).

The game is divided into 5 chapters, named after the 5 fears (Failure, Loneliness, Disappointment, Fear Itself, Death) that Melvin must learn to conquer. The chapters run seamlessly into each other, and some of the tasks are not bound to a specific chapter. Of course, all of these tasks have to be solved at some point in order for the game to progress.

The entire game is set in the small town of Tallen. Some locations are not available to be explored at the start, but the locations that have been explored can be accessed more or less throughout the rest of the game. The game also features a map mode where Melvin can move instantly between the different open areas in town. This saves from any unnecessary backtracking, even though the area is not very large.

Since a big part of the challenge in this game is to investigate the curse, you have to visit different areas of the town not only during daytime but also at nighttime. You can instantly switch between daytime and nighttime mode just by clicking on a button in the inventory screen located at the lower part of the screen. However, it does not mean that a day has passed each time you switch. As long as you stay in the same chapter, the pace of events by which they transpire in the game remains identical from day to day (and night to night). In other words, if a character says it will take a few days to complete a task, you cannot cheat and speed up this task by rapidly switching between day and night a few times!

While most of the town is unchanged from chapter to chapter, a few characters will move to other locations and new items will appear. You can access tips from Fiona anytime you are stuck. She also takes notes in the form of a quest diary to document your progress of the game, including a list of all ongoing as well as completed tasks. For most tasks, Fiona can offer up to 3 tips in the multi-level help. When the game starts, you can choose the level of difficulty that will determine how many tips are allotted for the entire game. When the game finishes, Fiona comments on how well Melvin has done depending on how many tips you have used up.

The interface uses only 2 cursors: a cursor for look and a cursor for other actions such as use, talk, or pick up. The inventory pops up automatically when the cursor is moved to the lower edge of the screen. The dialog tree used by the game is rather simple. For most times, it is not possible to repeat a dialog. Fortunately, Fiona keeps good notes of all important details from such conversations.

There are no mini-games. All the puzzles are inventory based, where you have to combine items, use them, or give them away in exchange for others. You will also need to speak to the right characters at the right time. Several of the tasks you need to do are consequences of earlier actions which you have taken. As an example, there is a statue that you have to get from a certain character to give to another. Later in the game, that character wants the statue back before agreeing to help you further. Procuring this item back will again have consequences for a future task. It is not possible to complete this string of tasks in a different order to avoid these conflicts. Even though the game is not strictly linear, most of the tasks are self-contained within specific chapters.

The graphics are a combination of beautifully pre-rendered 2D background scenes and 3D character models. Most of the backdrops are static, though a few are lightly animated (such as a pond or animals). The game only supports a fixed resolution of 1024x768 pixels. The music is lively and fits well to the fairy tale theme. Unfortunately, the music selection is sparse and gets tired quickly.

The dialogs have both voiceovers and subtitles. The quality of the voiceovers is not very impressive. Many of the more emotional scenes lack a certain depth in their delivery. The laughs sound especially at times very unnatural. In some dialogs, the subtitles do not match the voiceovers. In the most extreme case, the subtitled text is totally different from the spoken words.

Although Everlight: Of Magic & Power is far from being innovative, it is still a mildly entertaining adventure. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of this game is dealing with the seemingly endless string of mundane tasks which you need to do as favors for other characters. Everlight: Of Magic & Power is a title that can be recommended for diehard fans of classic adventures. For fans seeking more contemporary adaptation, however, there are much better examples of the genre than this title.

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