Plain as the third nose on your face, you're mutating.
Poor baby. So is everyone else in your party. Deal with it. Find ways to slow it down. The Fountain of Dreams - the water - it can cure you. Rejuvenate you. You must search for it. Kill for it. Because you are the endangered species.
Break the stronghold of one of the powerful factions of this tropical wasteland. Learn the Desoto family secrets, disarm their troops, then bring them down.
Pump the Voodoo lord for info. Get him what he wants or your screams may come true.
Mother Nature's mutants are a petting zoo compared to the trigger-fingered Killer Clowns.
~from the back of the box
Originally conceived as a direct sequel to the perennial classic Wasteland, Fountain of Dreams from Electronic Arts eventually went their own punk-inspired route when this 1990 RPG couldn't obtain the rights from Interplay (EA were the publisher). While not as well-remembered as the influential game that spawned it, this Florida-set adventure is nevertheless worth a playthrough, if you have the patience for it.
As an early 90s CRPG, Fountain of Dreams has a very high learning curve. Actions are hidden behind specific key presses rather than a navigatable menu, resulting in a playtime that has you looking at the keyboard as much as the screen. Your party members, of which there can be as many as 5, are selected via the function keys (F1-F5), and any actions they perform are situated on the number keys just below them. For example, in a fight, you press 'A' to attack, then '1' for the first enemy. Do this for all party members, then confirm with 'Y'.
All actions are programmed in this way. Want to heal yourself from a medic at a hospital? Highlight the party member with an F-key, then select the number that corresponds to the medicine you want. Be aware, this often costs a lot of money when outside of your home village and it may take a lot of healing to get you back to full health.
Then again, you may not make it to the hospital anyway. The game features random encounters, but the encounter rate hasn't been thought out so well. You can take a lot of damage from just one measly rat (if you're an unlucky wastelander like myself that is) only to take one step and be bombarded with some cultists or killer clowns. You'll be dead before you can even think about the nearest healer.
When you do die - and it'll likely be fairly often until you get the rhythm of the game after some hard-earned levelling up - you'll be unceremoniously booted out of the game back to DOS. Thankfully, the game autosaves at certain points, so there isn't as much backtracking as you might expect. It'll also boot up directly from this save, which is a blessing and a curse. It saves a lot of time having things et up this way, but the trade-off is that you can only have one saved game. On top of this, the only way to start anew is to re-install it all over again! I'm sure technology in 1990 could've solved this basic flaw, but even so, I've included the fresh save files as a zip in the package anyway - read the readme.txt for more info.
There is a very steep learning curve to overcome to get any enjoyment out of Fountain of Dreams. If you keep at it I'm sure there's a rewarding experience in there. It's certainly hinted at in my brief time with the game. If the idea of post-apocalyptic future set in the sunshine state sparks your interest, you should definitely give Fountain of Dreams a go.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Manual, Reference Card, Cluebook & Fresh Save Files included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 30.2 Mb. Install Size: 34.3 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Fountain of Dreams is © Electronic Arts
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me