Review by TheSAMMIES

"One of the best jokes in gaming"

Big warning. Fantasia is a game with photographs of actual real life women being naked and showing you their naughty parts. If you are too young to play games with such themes or are offended by such adult content, then you should not play this game.

Qix and porn have met many times throughout the history of gaming. The simple and addictive gameplay combined with the novelty of photos of naked models is a combination practically designed to suck the quarters out of hapless teenage boy's pockets. Are you horny (or stupid) enough to push credits to see the boobies and female genitals? The things people would put up with before online porn…

There is a huge catch! Fantasia is a game with a mean streak. It lures you into thinking that you can see pictures of naked women, but there's also a good chance that you can see pictures of horror instead. Like a siren, singing her evil song to attract sailors, they will crash your metaphorical hormone fueled ships, or in this case money, into the sharp and deadly rocks, and ultimately die as fools. You may be familiar with the game Miss World Nude '96, which has a similar premise or having the girl shift into a disgusting horror monster while trying to uncover her image. It was somewhat of an internet phenomenon when it was covered by various video game journalists in the early 2000s. Miss World Nude '96 is actually the third game in the Fantasia series. This one started it all.

Presentation- The sprite work is actually pretty good. Enemies are varied and have huge, well drawn, and fully animated sprites. The screen can even get cluttered with them at times, so much that it can be hard to tell what exactly is going on. All of the animation is very detailed and considering when Fantasia came out, look amazing. This fun atmosphere of working to destroy disgusting monsters is ruined not by the sound.

Fantasia is a game you will want to play with the sound off, especially if there are other people in the room. There are a lot of voice clips, and all of them are supposedly being said by the girl that you are trying to uncover. Really, it's all the same voice actor. She makes “sexy” grunting sounds when you uncover pieces. She goes “Oh god!” and “Come on!” when you trigger certain events. All of it sounds like it was ripped straight from the audio of an old porn movie, like she's having sex right there in front of you. It's also very loud and gets obnoxious after a while.

Gameplay- Fantasia is essentially a pornographic Qix clone, but with a twist so clever and diabolical that it actually makes the porn element of the game not look tacked on. In fact, the game's whole premise simply would not work without photos of nude women. The playing field always has a huge flashing silhouette of the girl you're trying to uncover. There are also blocks in the way to make cutting more complicated. You also have a bar at the top of the screen. If it's in the blue, then the picture is going to be a naked women. If it's in the red, then the picture will be some kind of disgusting horror monster or a scary fire-breathing dragon.

Cutting out parts of the scenery that is not flashing, stuff like scenery and background, will make the bar go up, into the blue. Cutting out flashing pieces makes it go down toward the red. The catch is that cutting out very small portions will not count toward this, so the trick is to alternate between small areas of the flashing parts and huge areas of the parts that aren't flashing. If you mess up, the game will show a message called “turning” and the picture will turn. You can turn back through the same means, though. Just cut out the scenery instead of the flashing part. If you complete the level and the picture shows a monster, then you have failed the level and must do it over again.

The whole premise is completely genius. Usually when games combine Qix and porn, the porn element is merely tacked on. Fantasia uses it as a lure. It tricks you into the illusion that you will pay quarters to see naked woman photographs, but the game is very hard and will probably result in more horror monsters than naked women. In a way, it punishes the player for an over eagerness to see nudity and if you're squeamish, may trick you into not wanting to even think about sex for a while. As cruel as it sounds, Fantasia pulls off its game design perfectly and something must be said about a game that sets out a goal and goes above and beyond to achieve it. As creepy as Fantasia can be, there is a certain genius to its ways, certain magnificence to its use of juxtaposition and trickery.

Cool Fact- Fantasia's makers are huge fans of the Hellraiser movie series. Cenobites appear in every game in the series.

Also Try- Gals Panic is just like Fantasia, but with anime girls and no horror. Youjuu Club on the X68000 is even more disgusting than the “turning” pictures by making you work toward tentacle rape instead of the possibility of Pinhead. If you just want Qix with naked cartoon girls there's Perestroika Girls and Tokimeki Cherry Box.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/05/13, Updated 12/03/13

Game Release: Fantasia (JP, 12/31/94)

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