ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal is an action-adventure video game by the German company Funatics Development, released in 2002 by the publisher THQ. An expansion was in development in 2002, but was later cancelled. The game involves travels and combats in a magical world loosely associated with our own world.
ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal features a detailed fantasy world called ZanZarah. The Shadow Realm is a place of great evil in the depths of ZanZarah, even deeper than the lava caves of the dwarves. There are a few entrances into it: one is in the pixie-hunter Lucius' cellar where he keeps captured pixies. Another is in the catacombs beneath Tiralin. But the main entrance leading to the shadow realm is hidden deep in the southeastern swamps of ZanZarah.
Long ago, our world and ZanZarah were one. Magical creatures like fairies, elves, dwarves, and goblins lived in peace with humans for a long time; and magic was an important part of our world. But then came the dark times, the times of inquisition and a great magic purge. The magical creatures had to flee from our world to save themselves, and the human Druids, the last wielders of white magic, helped them by creating a world suitable for their existence and closing the way there for the human race.
For centuries, the two worlds were separated and prospering. The creatures of ZanZarah sometimes visited their former home but generally preferred to stay in the new one. For humans, the way to ZanZarah was forever sealed by a mysterious machine called the Guardian. However, as time passed, the magic world became more and more a prison rather than a paradise for the magic folk. It became harder to cross the border between the worlds, even for the inhabitants of ZanZarah. Wild fairies started attacking the travelers for no apparent reason. Strange creatures calling themselves dark elves appeared on the roads. And the White Druid, the last of the mighty creators of ZanZarah, seemed helpless against them.
Not only ZanZarah is affected by this strange plague. The ancient, and by that time half-forgotten, world of humans also suffered from a loss of something very important—magic. A prophecy as old as ZanZarah itself tells that when the time comes, a savior will come from the world of humans to restore the balance between the two universes and peace will once again reign between the magic folk and humans. Until then, however, fairies, elves, dwarves, and goblins have to wait and hope.
The game follows the story of Amy, a young girl from London who on her eighteenth birthday receives the strangest present in her life—a magic rune—from an even stranger creature, a goblin who appears out of nowhere and disappears without saying anything. The rune is one of the teleportation runes that the inhabitants of the magic parallel world ZanZarah employ to travel across their lands.
Upon her arrival in ZanZarah, Amy discovers that she is the one the ancient prophecy tells of, and that it is her destiny to become the greatest fairy trainer of all time, and to save both her world and ZanZarah from impending destruction. Of course, to accomplish that she must undertake a long journey; but being an inquisitive and optimistic person, Amy readily accepts her destiny. After all, this world of ZanZarah looks so much more beautiful and safe than hers.
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2002-07-01
· Publisher: THQ