Sylvan Tale is an action role-playing game released for the Game Gear on January 27, 1995, exclusively in Japan. Sylvan Tale was developed and published by Sega, and follows a young boy named Zetts on a quest to save the land of Sylvalant. The game is similar in style to other handheld action role-playing games, notably The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons.
A fan translation of Sylvan Tale into English was released by ROM hacking team Aeon Genesis (known for their translations of games such as Shin Megami Tensei and Star Fox 2) on September 8, 2001.
The plot of Sylvan Tale follows Zetts. At the start of the game, Zetts discovers a magical tree that transports him to another land, where he must recover the six Droplets (magical shards from another world). After collecting the six Droplets, as well as two magical "Prisms," he faces off against Moa, an evil wizard whose intentions included murdering Zetts' mother (Queen of Sylvalant), calling Zetts' mother a whore, and taking over the world.
Sylvan Tale is a fairly conventional top-down action role-playing game. The player controls Zetts, who starts the game with a simplistic sword attack. Zetts is able to attack enemies with Button 2, and pull and push objects with Button 1 (e.g. boulders or stone blocks to activate buttons). Zetts can also interact with the environment, use equipped items (e.g. magic "life powder" to regrow fallen trees), or talk to non-player characters to progress the story.
The game has a total of eight "main" dungeons, each containing another Droplet. Most of these dungeons also house a boss, which are sometimes aided the usage of that dungeon's ability or item. There are several different types of items collected: "slabs" or "tablets" containing new abilities, regular items, or healing/health upgrading items. Each tablet gives Zetts a new ability that is selectable in the pause screen, all of which can be used outside of dungeons as well. Items include objects such as flowers (which can be used to cheer up non-player characters), a compass (to guide Zetts through a maze), and a lamp (to light up dark dungeons).
- Turtle Armor - The first slab that can be obtained in the game, the Turtle Armor gives Zetts the ability to shield himself from oncoming attacks, and also to use some fire traps to launch himself into the air. The upgraded version gives Zetts a dash ability, which helps to avoid spike traps, break down barriers, and attack enemies.
- Mole Suit - The mole tablet gives Zetts the ability to break down rock barriers as a mole. The upgraded version of the Mole Suit also allows Zetts to dig underground at certain marked spots.
- Merman Formula - Once obtained, Zetts automatically transforms into a merman when leaping into the water. This simply allows him to swim in the water, and has a simplistic trident attack for swimming enemies. The upgraded version gives Zetts a diving ability.
- Mouse Spell - The fastest transformation of all the tablets, the mouse slab allows Zetts to move incredibly quickly, and access small doors. As a mouse, Zetts has a very weak attack, and with the upgrade Zetts is able to manipulate magnetic balls in some dungeons.
- Bird Feathers - A hidden ability, this gives Zetts the power of flight. There is no attack nor upgraded version for this ability, but it does allow Zetts to completely forgo fighting enemies, dodging obstacles, etc. It also is a way to avoid one of the game's eight labyrinths.
- Lamp - The lamp lights up dark dungeons automatically when equipped, giving the player a small, circular view.
- Flowers - The flowers are given to the player by Feeta, a young girl tending to a garden by the Jungle Labyrinth. They cheer up non-player characters in the game, helping Zetts to gain the Mouse Spell.
- Compass - The compass is essential to completing the Jungle Labyrinth, guiding Zetts through a maze by pointing which direction is the correct way to go.
- Hourglass - The hourglass briefly freezes time (for five seconds) when the player steps on a corresponding button with the item equipped.
- Verda/Flora Rift Keys - The "Rift Keys" allow Zetts to traverse between the game's three worlds: Verda, Flora, and Sylva. This is done by accessing a teleportation panel inside each world's Great Tree.
- Life/Purifying Powder - The Life Powder (and its upgraded version) allow Zetts to heal fallen trees and purify poisoned water.
- Amulet - The amulet is given to Zetts by Queen Rui (later revealed to be his mother). It allows him to open up the pathway to the final dungeon.
- Fruit - Fruit is used as a healing item/health upgrade in the game. Apples, cherries, and grapes all heal Zetts to varying amounts, while oranges increase Zetts' total health capacity.
- Flame Labyrinth
- Ann's Labyrinth
- Lake Labyrinth
- Jungle Labyrinth
- Waterfall Labyrinth
- Desert Labyrinth
- Swamp Labyrinth
- Gol's Labyrinth