魔石堡（Stonekeep）总是给我一种 1980 年代冒险电影的感觉，像是《魔幻迷宫（Labyrinth）》和《大魔域（The Neverending Story）》，主要原因是这个游戏非常电影化。年少天真的主角德雷克（Drake）被扔进一个幻想世界中与魔法怪兽战斗，有一些奇怪但忠诚的伙伴与他同行，一起对抗大反派（Big Baddie）并拯救世界。可惜游戏内没有合成器流行音乐（synth-pop）当做配乐，不然一定会成为历史上的经典作品。
Stonekeep always makes me think of the adventure films of the 1980s like Labyrinth and The Neverending Story, mostly due to how filmlike the game is. Drake, the young naive protagonist, is thrust into a fantasy world to battle magical beasts, joined by strange but loyal companions as he strives to confront the Big Baddie and save the day. Shame the game didn't sport a synth-pop soundtrack or it would be an all-time classic.
与那些 1980 年代的冒险电影类似，《魔石堡》并不是里程碑式的作品，然而它的内在魅力和怀旧色彩都值得我们怀恋。
The FMV intro tells of a castle named Stonekeep that is attacked by a great evil. Only Drake survives and, as he returns years later to learn what happened, he is set on an epic quest to save a pantheon of gods from peril. Nothing new there really, except everything in Stonekeep is about immersion. Video replaces pixels, voice acting replaces text and even the game's interface is justified as being magical artefacts.
Speaking of magic, the game's magic system is quite ingenious. Basic rune-like symbols represent different spells, but they can also be mixed with other symbols to get neat upgrades, leading to a remarkably flexible system. By comparison the combat system is just “whack things with it to get better at it”-variety, which gets the job done.
But Stonekeep's strength doesn't lie in its graphics or game design, but in the characters you meet. Stout dwarves, cowardly greenskins, creepy undead and singing fairies are part of a wide cast of characters with actual personalities that stick with you long after you've stopped playing (especially the fairies). All of this gives Stonekeep a somewhat light-humoured atmosphere that still holds up today.
If this game has a flaw, then it is the fact that beneath all that sparkle is just a simple grid-based dungeon crawler, which feels restrictive and out of style with the graphics. Another low point is the uneven flow of the second half of the game, where exposition is either dumped on the player in large amounts, or scattered about so scarcely that it takes effort to even find it, leaving players wondering where they are or what they're supposed to be doing.
Like those child-like adventure films of the 1980s, Stonekeep is no outstanding milestone, but its innate charm and the rosy tint of nostalgia help make it a fondly cherished game nevertheless.
1 译者注：原文用的是 greenskins，应该指的就是兽人。