About Maya the Bee: Garden Adventures
What is it?
You thought Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest was a beginner's RPG? You ain't seen nothing yet. Maya the Bee: Garden Adventures, a Game Boy Color game that was released in PAL territories only, is the ultimate introductory-level Action-RPG. Based on an old anime about a friendly little bee named Maya that was later popular in America and Europe, Maya the Bee: Garden Adventure is designed to give younger fans of Maya who aren't quite ready for a full-blown RPG an epic game of their own to play. Not only that, but this game, like many European games, has the choice of several different languages: German, English, French and Spanish, so children of many different nationalities can join in on the fun!
While overly simplistic by most of our standards, Maya the Bee can be picked up and enjoyed by young children, and can help them tackle such concepts as friendship, loyalty, bravery, obligation, deceit, animosity, espionage, gluttony, succor, otiosity and entomology. Who needs parental mentoring when kids can play with Maya all day long?
How do I play?
Game mechanics are simple. Maya, a friendly little bee who lives in a Bee Hive in the middle of Corn-Poppy Meadow, is on a quest to rescue her best friend, Willi, from a group of devious Hornets. She must do so by helping out her friends and neighbors in and around Corn-Poppy Meadow. Often, these characters will ask Maya for an item, which Maya must find. When Maya finds and touches an item, it goes into her inventory, which is located at the top of the screen. Maya is only allowed to have a single item in her inventory at a time. Items are used by talking to the character who needs it, or by going to the area it is to be used at (A door for a key, for example), and pressing 'A'. You'll always know if you can talk to a character or examine something or use an item somewhere, because the inventory icon will transform into a Question Mark. That's your cue to press 'A'!
Maya's HP is represented by a Honeycomb at the top of the screen. The Honeycomb has 6 segments. Every time she is hurt (whether by an enemy, spike, or pit), she loses a honeycomb piece, and is transported to the beginning of the screen. When this happens, any enemies that have been mobilized, or bosses that have been damaged will be revivified, so be careful! Luckily, there are pieces of Honeycomb scattered throughout the game, each of which will restore 1 HP to Maya when she grabs it.
Maya is able to engage enemies by pressing 'B' and throwing Pollen at them. The amount of Pollen she has is also indicated at the top of the screen. Hitting an enemy with Pollen immobilizes it until Maya is hit, or she leaves the screen. Immobilized enemies cannot damage Maya. Maya can restore her Pollen supplies by finding Pollen lying around. For each bundle of Pollen she finds, she gets three more shots, up to a maximum of 99.
Maya can also fly above the ground by holding 'A'. This uses up Nectar, the amount of which is indicated at the top of the screen. Nectar constantly drains while Maya is flying, so be careful. Flying allows Maya to avoid spikes, pits, water, and spiderwebs, as well as spikes. By finding Nectar, Maya regains three "Nectar Points".
A few tips please?
While Nectar, Pollen and Honeycombs are plentiful, they generally don't replenish themselves, so use them conservatively, as you CAN run out. The exceptions are the Pollen in the Thekla and Hornet Colonel screens and the Nectar in the Frog screen... these all replenish themselves infinitely. Also, if you get a Game Over and continue with a password, all Nectar, Pollen and Honeycombs across the game will return.
Enemies generally guard a small piece of land, and only attack if you get too close to them. Therefore, if you can avoid an enemy easily without using Pollen, you might as well. Otherwise, the best way to deal with enemies is to stay about a screen away from them, and hit them as they come into range.
Remember, flying is useful for more than just water and chasms. Prudent use of flying is also very helpful in spikey areas, like the Wasps' and Hornets' Nests, as well as the Spider Area.
If you get a game over, don't smash your Game Boy with a claw hammer in frustration. If you go to the password screen before turning the game off, the game will have the last password you earned already there, allowing you to easily resume your quest.
Finally, if you're over 5, have access to this shrine, and you still can't beat this game... then sorry, there's just no hope for you. Time to take up a new hobby.