Upon exiting Forest City, the whole of Fairy Land is available to you to explore. It's not terribly big, and can be explored in relatively little time. There are only three low level monsters that you will encounter initially, no matter where you roam.
It's important to understand how the map of Fairy Land is similar, and disimilar, to other traditional RPGs. Like most other games, walking off one side of the map warps you to the other side of the map. For example, if you walk off the bottom side of the map above, you will appear at the top. However, Hydlide 3 does one very unusual trick. While the map can be broken up into an 8×8 grid, Fairy Land is actually composed of only 63 tiles. What this means is that if you travel in a straight line, you will end up in a different row or column of the world even as you wrap around. This fact doesn't have a substantial impact on gameplay, but it does alter the way you view the world map.
Features of Fairy Land
Here's a list of highlights around the world which are indicated on the map above.
- A - Forest City: This is where you begin the game, and where you will be returning to frequently throughout the game, to rest at the Inn, shop for supplies, and raise your level at the Holy Temple.
- B - Havel Tower: The citizens of Havel Tower are quite curious about this tower, and the elevator it contains. It will be one of your first destinations outside of Forest City.
- C - Cemetery: To the naked eye, the Cemetery doesn't stand out for any particular reason. However, a curious adventurer can find some amazing things, as well as some traps, by closely examining some of the gravestones.
- D - Water Temple: The Water Temple sits on an otherwise inaccessible island. If you walk below the entrance, you will hear someone requesting that you show some ID.
- E - Cracked Earth: This mysterious crack in the ground only seems to offer death to anyone who gets too close. But later in the game, you may hear legends of people who have jumped in and experienced what lies below.
- F - Pillar Lake: Within this large body of water, you can see three pillars rising from the surface. Are they connected to ruins which are forever lost, or will you find some way to reveal what they hide below?
- G - Dimensional Gate: It's said that this gate can send you to another dimension. But the way to access it has been lost for some time. You'll need to rediscover that method to succeed.
If you enter the Dimensional Gate before you have the proper item, you'll be transported to a set of small islands, each of which have a teleportation square which sends you on to somewhere else. The only way out of the loop is to walk around the teleportation tile found north of Pillar Lake, and exit to the west.
Not far from Havel Tower lies a treasure chest. If you travel north from the tower until you hit the river, and walk west, it will come into view. Examine this chest to discover the Money Changer, an item which can reduce the weight of all your coins to the lowest weight possible for the amount you carry. While not vital, you may find that this item can make the difference between swiftly traveling from place to place and moving at a snails pace because you are too overloaded.
Before you go very far, it's important to strengthen up your character to better handle the dangers beyond.
Until you get much farther in the game, you will only encounter three types of enemies in the fields of Fairy Land: Cannibals, Minor Slimes, and Tree Spirits. Minor Slimes look distinct, but Cannibals and Tree Spirits look similar. Cannibals remain stationary and are more yellow in color.
If you take time to observe them, you will notice that Cannibals and Minor Slimes will spontaneously attack you, but Tree Spirits will leave you alone unless you attack them. This signifies that Tree Spirits are "good" monsters, and killing them will lower your Mind Force stat. Make sure you focus your attacks solely on Minor Slimes and Cannibals.
These two monsters will teach you most of what you need to know about combat in Hydlide 3. When attacking Minor Slimes, you should observe what direction they are traveling in, and attack them from behind or from the sides to avoid getting struck. While Cannibals are immobile, they fire projectiles at you. These projectiles initially fire in four directions, but their path curves through the air, resulting in eight different directions that they can fly. The safest place to attack Cannibals from is either below and to the left, or below and to the right. When you stand half a body length below them, their projectiles can't hit you.
You will most likely try starting the game with a knife or a sling. If you follow the advice above, you will be able to defeat a good number of monsters before you take too much damage, or get too tired to continue. After defeating enough Cannibals, you are very likely to obtain a club from one of them. They suddenly appear in your inventory. If you happen to notice your character slowing down, check to see if you don't have an abundance of clubs, and sell or throw away the ones you don't need.
Ideally, you should return to the Forest City and enter the Holy Temple to raise your level as soon as you reach the required number of experience points. There's only one exception to this statement. If you are a Cleric, you enjoy a 50% boost to the number of experience points you earn until you reach level 5. Once you pass level 5, the boost ends and you go back to earning the regular number of experience points. Before you advance yourself to level 5, it would be a good idea to earn as many experience points as necessary to learn all six spells available, which is a total of 2275 experience points. You can earn this amount much faster under the effects of the boost than you can without it.
If you are looking for more monsters to fight, but you only seem to encounter Tree Spirits, walk two screens away and then return to see if the monsters occupying the screen has changed. The game remembers the composition of the last screen you left in case you happen to return to it, so you must pass two screens in order to make the game "forget" about a screen.
Once you reach level 5, you are in a pretty good state to begin wandering around the world, looking for more clues to help you on your quest to save the world.