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Wonderland Online Closed Beta Preview #2 (Page 2)

Updated Fri, Apr 18, 2008 by Ralsu

Quests
Silek arrived in a town in the next zone to the south. He was battered, and I suspect his duster was splattered with chunks of gummy fruit. I saw dozens more tents here. And players buzzed about from the hut-houses inhabited by the non-player characters (NPCs). I followed my most recent adventurous inkling and entered a hut at random. Inside, three bandits accosted a young girl and an elderly woman. A prompt appeared on my screen, asking me to choose to interfere or to walk away from the scene.

Some scenes in Wonderland Online get their own full-screen art, much like an anime movie.


I was low on hit points, but I couldn't stand by and let the owners of the house I'd just wandered into be robbed. Battle began with Silek versus two bandits and their leader. I could not afford to take many hits, so I unleashed everything left of my spell points and one-hit each of the bandits. Then I wore down the leader. I had just learned that even "safe" areas in WL could provide adventure.

I would go on to pick up quests from the village chief, who sent his daughter with me to search for a scroll of some sort. In the field in the zone to the south, I ran into the bandits from before and rescued a young maiden who was lying unconscious near a tree.

The maiden joined my team, replacing the chief's daughter. I later discovered that I could switch between the girls any time I wanted. This opened up a new depth to my game play, as one character seemed to rely on magic while the other was more proficient at melee combat. I could instantly see the greater ramifications for higher levels.

Lost in Translation
After wandering around a bit, I was low on health and returned to the town. I had been steadily looting bits and pieces of my enemies. Inspecting them in my inventory revealed that each restored some amount of hit points and/or spell points. I ate some chocolate and some bits of starfish or something and went back to the hut with the old lady and the young girl. Now the old lady had taken ill. I helped her, and she rewarded me by sending her granddaughter with me. She told me, "Xaolan asked me to lood after Xaolan. Now help me do it." Yes, lood. I was charged with looding after Xaolan. It sounded somewhat kinky, so I went for it.

This wasn't the only poor translation I encountered, sadly. When the old woman had thanked me for saving her from the bandits, she'd commented that I did not "look like local person." I know the phrase technically needs just an article ("a") to make sense, but it'd be an awkward euphemism even then.

The award for most confusion translation of the night came when I played around with the social panel. At one point, I got the following message, reproduced here letter for letter as it appeared on my screen:
check your information again,

The translation of Wonderland Online has its flaws.

systme will offer you a gift,
you should make sure there is a
available case.

I have passed that phrase around to several people to see if anyone could figure out what was going on. The best guess so far has come from our own Shayalyn, who thought I was getting a message that my inventory was full. In truth, I had entered my date of birth and was being warned to be sure I had the correct information before the game awarded me with a graphical treat.

Parting Thoughts
Translations problems aside--and they were disappointing, indeed--Wonderland Online was a fun experience for me. I could tell that the game tucks plenty of things to do into every little corner. I had not even scratched the surface of the item and crafting system, and being able to trade out party members implies a certain amount of strategy to be enjoyed as the game progresses.

I didn't really experience any bugs on my way to level 5. I eventually wandered into the cave to retrieve the scroll for the chief and learned that the game may have random battles, too. It was hard to tell because I could see some enemies on screen but would go into battle without being near them. I logged out of the game with a distinct impression that WL invites players to have fun and just explore. At the end of the day, that's almost everything a free-to-play game should be. I just ponder whether English-speaking readers would be willing to overlook the shoddy translation.

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