Home of the Underdogs
About News FAQs Contact HOTU GoogleGroup Music Manuals
Category Applications Action Adventure Education Interactive Fiction Puzzle Role Playing Games Simulation Special Sport Strategy War

Support the EFF
Welcome How you can help
Browse Games
Welcome Random Pick
Welcome By Company
  Welcome By Theme  
Welcome By Alphabet
Welcome By Year
Welcome Title Search
Welcome Company Search
Welcome Designer Search
Welcome Freeware Titles
Welcome Collections
Welcome Discord
Welcome Twitter
Welcome Facebook
Welcome File Format Guide
Welcome Help: Non PC Games
Welcome Help: Win Games
Welcome Help: DOS Games
Welcome Recommended Links
Site History Site History
Legacy Legacy
Link to Us Link to Us
Credits Thanks & Credits
Abandonware Ring

Abandoned Places


Creative Commons License

Game #2838
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Neophyte: The Spirit Master    View all Top Dogs in this genre
RPG   Console-style

Rating: 7.15 (138 votes)

Neophyte: The Spirit Master box cover

Neophyte: The Spirit Master screenshot
In 1996, Alien Software released the first three episodes in the Neophyte universe, an RPG gameworld similar in style to anime RPGs commonly seen on console systems. The episodes, all released as shareware although they are complete games in their own right, quickly garnered a sizable cult following. It's safe to say that until Squaresoft ported its successful Final Fantasy series to the PC, there was never a better-looking, more faithful console-style RPG than Neophyte. Unfortunately, Alien Software disbanded, and the complete game (which would combine these freeware episodes, as well as additional ones, in a huge gameworld) was never released.

The Spirit Master is the third and final shareware episode of the Neophyte saga and is arguably the best: it is certainly the most impressive graphics-wise. This time, we are introduced to Neika Mantru, a young warrior with some unusual abilities. Neika has just turned 15, and so must undertake a "spirit quest" requiring her to explore the outside world beyond the secluded clan. At the same time Daru, Neika's father and clan healer, is troubled because he has seen in a vision that a great evil has returned to the world. He believes that his daughter is key to stopping this evil. So Neika must follow her spirit guide out of the forest and find those who can help her complete this Herculean task.

So begins the game. Along the way you will of course encounter monsters, magical items, and strange people who aren't hesitant to dispense free advice. As with the previous game in the trilogy, Koplio's Story, Spirit Master features breathtaking graphics that rival console RPGs. This time, however, the graphics are even more stunning: 2D graphics are used in overlapping layers, giving a great illusion of depth. As you wander around Neika's village, you will be amazed to see trees casting shadows on the ground, with rustling leaves and smooth-as-silk parallax scrolling. While the plot is not original, the writing is excellent, and a far cry beyond that awkward console RPGs grammar. The combat system is much more interesting than the first two games, because for the first time you have access to spells and special abilities.

Overall, Spirit Master is a rock-solid console-style RPG that provides a fitting end to the shareware trilogy that unfortunately never saw the light of day as a commercial release. Definitely the best anime-based RPG ever made for the PC until Squaresoft got into the fray with Final Fantasy VII. Two thumbs up, way up!

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Unknown
Developer: Alien Software
Publisher: Freeware
Year: 1999
Software Copyright: Alien Software
Theme: Anime, Fantasy, Shareware
None that we know of
System Requirements: Windows XP
Where to get it:
Related Links:  
If you like this game, try: Romancing Sa-Ga 3, Neophyte: Koplio's Story, Zelda Classic

© 1998 - 2024 Home of the Underdogs
Portions are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Please read our privacy policy.