Faxanadu (1987)

Faxanadu (1987) featured image

Faxanadu (ファザナドゥ, Fazanadu) is an action role-playing platform-adventure video game for the Family Computer (Famicom) and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The name was licensed by computer game developer Nihon Falcom ("Falcom") and was developed and released in Japan by Hudson Soft in 1987. In 1989, Nintendo of America released the game in the United States as a first-party title under license from Hudson Soft. Nintendo also released the game to the European market in 1990.

Faxanadu is a spin-off or side-story of Xanadu, which is the second installment of Falcom's long-running RPG series, Dragon Slayer. The title Faxanadu is a portmanteau formed from the names Famicom and Xanadu.

The game follows the story of an unnamed traveler who returns to his home town, which is part of a massive inhabited tree, only to find it ruined and abandoned because the tree's water source has stopped and is tasked with finding out the cause and saving the tree.


The game uses typical sidecrolling and platforming gameplay. However, the game also employs various elements that classify it as a role-playing video game including its expansive story and medieval setting.

Visuals and other features

Along with that, the game has graphics that were unique compared to other games at the time. The game was relatively unknown and fell below the radar of many gamers at the time of its release. In spite of this, Faxanadu received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with reviewers calling it better than The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania and was eventually released on Wii virtual console in 2010 and 2011.

Release Date

Nov 17, 1987



Play Time

6 hours

Games in Series



Everyone: Mild Fantasy Violence, Use of Tobacco

Interesting Facts

  • Faxanadu is a spin-off or side-story of Xanadu.
  • The title Faxanadu is a portmanteau formed from the names Famicom and Xanadu.
  • The game uses side-scrolling and platforming game-play, while employing role-playing elements with an expansive story and medieval setting.
  • The player-controlled protagonist of Faxanadu is an unnamed wanderer who returns home.
  • The game begins when he approaches Eolis, his hometown, after an absence to find it in disrepair and virtually abandoned.
  • His journey takes him to four overworld areas: The tree’s buttress, the inside of the trunk, the tree’s branches and finally the Dwarves’ mountain stronghold.
  • Faxanadu is a side scrolling action role playing game, sometimes classified as a metroidvania.
  • The game utilizes a password system. Passwords, or “mantras” as they are known in the game, can be obtained from church-dwelling Gurus.

Cheats support


Family/Child Friendly


Number of maps




Protagonist sex


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