Adian no Tsue

At first glance Adian no Tsue may appear to be a shameless clone of The Legend of Zelda, but further examination proves it’s actually an educational game in a junky, loose fitting Zelda disguise.

Adian no Tsue

Japanese Title: アディアンの杖
English Translation: Staff of Adian
English Release: none

Release Date: December 12, 1986
Publisher: Sunsoft
Developer: ASK Kodansha Co. Ltd
Genre: Action Adventure / Educational
Product Code: SSD-ADA
Disk Format: Double-sided
Notable Credits: none

An educational game in action-adventure clothing, Adian no Tsue is an interesting title. Appealing to parental nature, the game takes everything that made Zelda great just 8 months earlier and strips it away adding instead a  seemingly tacked-on arithmetic equation solving element.

Your heroic avatar moves from room to room, screen by screen much like in The Legend of Zelda and slaying all of the monsters in a given room reveals a math equation with each of the four walls representing a different answer. Slashing the wall with the correct answer reveals doors and bells. A wrong answers send a wave of monsters back into the room. The bells serve as the bedrock of the in-game economy and can be traded at the store for useful items.

Inside the big box

The math equations are simple enough, but if you get stumped you can push select for a hint. The game itself came in a large plastic clam shell case designed to look like a book. Also included was a 158 manga instruction book detailing the game’s story.

Adian no Tsue looks an awful lot like The Legend of Zelda, but the combination of not-quite-right control and imprecise hit detection end the similarities at the cosmetic level. Adian no Tsue succeeds, just barely, because it is such an oddball title; a kind-of educational game with bright colourful artwork and just enough meat to make worth a little bit of your time.