The era of the high-end PC exclusive may well be a thing of the past, but every once in a while a game comes along that is rather special, that can’t be played anywhere else and in the case of Sword and Fairy 7, by Softstar Technology in Beijing, we have an excellent role-playing game that piles on the high-end visual features, including ray tracing support – all courtesy of Unreal Engine 4. It’s a quality game and looking into it, I’ve unwittingly stumbled upon a sleeping giant of a games franchise. Sword and Fairy has spawned many games and live action adaptations, and this latest series entry is a high quality production that, curiously, has received very little editorial coverage. That changes today!
The story begins in 1995 when The Legend of Sword and Fairy was first released for MS-DOS, telling the tale of a luckless orphan in provincial China who sets off on an adventure to save his ailing aunt. Hailed as a pioneering game for Chinese development, its tragic story, mazes and turn-based battles struck gold, selling many millions of copies. So why didn’t it receive the same kind of profile as, say, Ultima or Final Fantasy? The reasons are legion, but importantly, The Legend of Sword and Fairy was never officially released with an English translation – and I’ve only managed to sample it via a translation patch released many years later.