Eternal Eclipse Taoyarin
Dr Lancer-X 
Release Date
Requires MegaZeux 2.84 or newer.
Eternal Eclipse Taoyarin
Action RPG for MegaZeux. Explore the spacetime-distorted halls of the Eiziru Qilla to bring a an end to a curse that strikes the land every 100 years.

v1.02 fixes issues with bytecode loading causing the game to be unplayable in 2.84c.
Terryn  said:
Posted date unknown
NOTE: This review was written for version 1.0 and may be outdated.
Eternal Eclipse Taoyarin.

The name is actually a very good fit for the content of the game. Stuck in an ever-repeating loop of five days cycled over a hundred years, the player must unravel the cycle.

Taoyarin is a modernist take on traditional MZX gameplay. While retaining some similarities of the simple overhead gameplay of past MegaZeux games, Taoyarin is far more complex. Your weaponry is flashy and wonderfully varied, even with the most basic projectile. The enemy projectiles are (very) frequent, variegated, and often explode into tiny yet harmful fragments. The "true" goal is formed by bits and pieces ferreted out, rather than through abrupt shifts as the plot dictates. Naturally, a bit of in-joke and a few other blatant Lancer-X touches are thrown in, which are really the most traditional things about this game....

Taoyarin's gameplay is refreshingly deep. As alluded to before, the game runs on a five-day cycle. (One-way) passage to another area changes the day, and areas change depending on the day. Enemies are (usually) stronger the farther in the cycle one goes. After stepping out of day five, the player is thrown back into day one, with all of the previously acquired items but none of the previously acquired damage.

The goal of most enemies really isn't to kill, but to slowly wear the player down. Streams of projectiles take off bits and pieces of health in most cases, and suck up valuable magical reserves. While magical energy relives heartily when left dormant (around 30% zips back after a short rest) health is far less forgiving. Health does not come back unless less than 25% remains, and it takes its sweet time. Thankfully, damage levels are nuanced; having 0 HP does not necessarily equal dying, and lots of tiny attacks don't equal a lot of damage. Health-reviving "lifewebs" are the only easy fix, and they are somewhat scarce. The only other guaranteed ways to restore vitality are to 1) gain a level through killing enough creatures; 2) complete a five-day cycle. Using a lifeweb can be done even while you are DYING, so take advantage of this (and the ensuing invulnerability period).

The enemies themselves are varied, with weak enemies (the "snapdragon" fodder that is your first kill; the slimes), enemies meant to wear you down, annoying enemies (those "dragon liches" with the LOS attack and heal ray, RRR) and the powerhouses. The bosses, oddly enough, are not difficult, with the exception of the last one. As usual, the difficulty of a Lancer game is grossly exaggerated (though this is not saying the game isn't challenging, by any means). It goes without question that the game is well-programmed.

The game's layout is very tight (though with a tiny seam or two loose; I once got permanently stuck in the barrens, for example) and very thoughtfully laid-out. The levels intertwine intelligently, and the game progresses in satisfying chunks, if you're willing to take all of the opportunities to explore allowed. Single-minded determination to do what you've planned, even if you know what you're planning to do is a correct plan of action, might cost you extra time (it did for me, twice). Gameplay will take around 3-5 hours on first playthrough.

The presentation of the game is powerful. Lancer's used a handful of visual novel techniques, most notably for the game's opening sequence and most of the plaintive musical selection, but the rest of it is pure atmosphere. The game simply seeps isolation and passive dreariness more than any MZX game I've played, period. The game may use a single character for the player, but the vast majority of enemies and objects in the game are multi-character, and done fairly well (the enemies lack the tossed-together look of Meritous's, which is an improvement). The colors and effects can end up especially pretty - the Atrium is the best example. The sounds are quite serviceable. The plot is well-written and interesting (though the peppered usage of whited-out portions could confuse an unprepared player); the better ending's path is a nice diversion.

Unfortunately, there are some faults. 1) Do not load a save from the title screen; the title/mzx_speed quirk is in Taoyarin and the game will probably be too slow loaded this way. 2) Eternity, on first arrival, had broken enemies and I was unable to change my weapon. This was all fixed upon changing boards. 3) Some supplemental items can form in unobtainable places a small fraction of the time.

Despite its issues, there's no other score to give this. Full marks.
Koji  said:
Posted date unknown
NOTE: This review was written for version 1.0 and may be outdated.
This is lancers best and LAST work in mzx. It's the best mzx game I've ever seen. It has great gameplay and wonderful plot. I can't sing it's praises loud enough. The most remarkable thing is that the game was created in little over 2 months, however the game doesn't look it at all. It looks more expertly hand crafted that even the most prolific of mzx titles. Lancer's unorthodox level generation techniques utilizing specialized programmed tools helped to make several of the most complicated and larger levels really pays off. The games sound and music is also awesome and really pulls the player into the atmosphere of the game. I'd like to say you don't see many mzx games like this anymore but I really can't in good conscious say that they ever made games like this before. I believe this to be the very best serious mzx game ever crafted. I only wish there was another project from lancer to look forward too. Kudo's lancer, you magnificent bastard you've ruined us all. 5 stars just doesn't seem like enough.
Why-Fi  said:
Posted date unknown
NOTE: This review was written for version 1.0 and may be outdated.
Yeah, I agree with Koji. This is a wonderful game, excellent graphics (how did he get the Times New Roman and the Tahoma fonts for MZX???), a very interesting storyline and an awesome gameplay. Shame that Lancer-X banned himself some months ago. I guess 5 isn't enough, the DigiStaff really ought to put a special rank for these awesome MZX games. I wish I could make games as good as this one... :(