On an unrelated note, I decided to try playing Spellshard again and soon came to a stunning revelation:
Every single serious Nathan Karr game [s]that isn't about vore[/s] is just the first chapter of Spellshard.
EDIT: upon reading a bit of an older thread, these 'serious games' may in fact just be Spellshard fangames. My point is made even stronger.
This revelation makes the direct comparison of these two games' revival items possible. Luckily for us, they're both called Archeus, and are at a similar price point. This makes comparing how many battles (starting from the very beginning of the game) are needed in order to afford one very easy.
So I started a new game in Spellshard and noted down how much money each battle in the forest gave me:
Next, I did the same in AAA:
See that asterisk? That was three spell scrolls dropping, each selling for $50, in a single battle. For reference, the most expensive item in the starting town costs $300. For further reference, the most expensive item I could find to buy costs $2000; hopefully that's meant as a joke.
As it turns out, a direct comparison cannot be done here because of that outlier. Get lucky, and you'll be good for money from the get-go. Don't get those drops, and it'll take you multiple battles just to afford the inn again, much less get something that can revive you in that endless final dungeon. And remember, Spellshard is the one where things have got so bad that it's been smacked back to the bronze age! That should be the one with the worse economy!
One last point. In Spellshard, you get given 500GP to outfit yourself and generally keep yourself going while you start out. In AAA, you get $32. That's not even enough to get two healing items!