Willow Pattern Adventure is a translation of
the famous Chinese legend of the Willow Pattern to the
64. For those ignorant to the ways of ancient Chinese
culture, you'll probably feel even more so when you
learn that you have probably seen a pictorial representation
of this myth many a time. You know those pretty blue
Chinese plates? Well, looking closely should leave you
staring into the past and entangled in the story of
two estranged lovers manacled to a life of woe (aaah
so). The beautiful princess Koong-Shee is being forced
to marry the merchant Ta Jin by her wilful father, Li
Chi. Sadly she loves a clerk, Chang, who is well below
her status and not fitting for the hand of a princess.
His only hope is to force his way into the mandarin's
palace and elope with the princess (eat your heart out
Mills and Boon).
trouble is the Mandarin's castle is heavily guarded
by skilled fighters of all ranks and sizes (ooh). Being
the penniless clerk that he is, Chang can't afford expensive
deadly weapons such as those possessed by the palace
guards. His only option is to rely upon stumbling across
the odd stray weapon, often found lying around the palace.
With a quick flick of the fire button, Chang can now
destroy the sword-throwing Samurai warriors (yay).
game takes place among the graceful gardens of the Mandarin,
Li Chi. To rescue and elope with the princess, Chang
must complete the many tasks set before him by collecting
and using certain objects. The gardens themselves are
laid out in the style of a maze, bordered by various
flora and fauna. Chang is moved around the different
screens with the aid of a joystick. Fire unleashes any
weapons in his possession.
screenshot was not in the original review]
in places of maximum inconvenience are the Katana-wielding
Samurai who are set on barring the way of any trespasser.
If Chang gets within striking distance of said nasty,
then a rather hefty sword comes flying his way. If he
doesn't move a bit sharpish though, the life counter
takes a turn for the worse. There are a few handy swords
to be found about the maze and if one is collected it
can be used to dispose of any vile Samurai.
some choice spots around the garden are bridges that
span one of the rivers. For some reason Chang must not
cross the bridges, so he is forced to use the stepping
stones beneath them. On top of each bridge three giants
hang their arms over the side. This makes crossing the
river awkward, so Chang has to jump between the stepping
stones in time to avoid the dangling limbs. To complete
the adventure it is necessary for Chang to gain a key
to free the princess. The pair then have to hotfoot
it back to a waiting boat with the princess' angry father
hot in pursuit.
is accompanied throughout his quest by a typically oriental
musical score that speeds up when in possession of a