Written by  :  eamonman (8)
Written on  :  Aug 27, 2004
Platform  :  Atari ST
Rating  :  4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars

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First 'free-form' job-type RPG I played

The Good

- One of the first truly free form experience gaining systems; You practiced attack spells to gain wizard experience, wielded weapons for fighter experience, and throwing stuff (anything) for ninja experience. I remember having fun throwing all my extra items in front of me, as I progressed down the dungeon halls, gaining ninja experience.

- Free form spell casting. You had to choose spell components (syllables) to build your spells. Now, you didn't have to blindly figure spells out (although for one you sort of have to), as you find scrolls that do provide instructions for casting new spells. However, you could have figured them out yourself and cast it before you found the spell scroll.

- Creepy atmosphere; I hated(liked I suppose) the fact that you'd be carefully inching your way around the dungeon, and then spot in the distance some very very bad monsters. Oh @#[email protected]! If you weren't prepared for them, you had to escape back to the stairs up to the upper floor. Also, the silence (which I suppose isn't really a feature but it works) while traversing the dungeon halls was fairly off-putting. -

The Bad

- strict saving: If I remember right, you didn't have multiple saves as you do now. Like Sundog (another great FTL game), once you entered the game, you basically eased your save point. You could only save your progress by exiting the game. If you died, that was it; you would reappear at the entrance.

The Bottom Line

First off, I believe that this was the first great RPG I had played. I recall playing some early version of Ultima on the Apple II, but I didn't really get into it. (Eamon games were fun, but mainly for the hacking/programming/design side.) Anyways, Dungeon Master is a 1st person perspective game, where you are a guiding spirit, controlling up to 4 champions that you would choose for your quest down into the dungeon. You have to progress down the levels, solving puzzles and defeating monsters until you reach the end and defeat the dark lord. This game was one of the first 1st person RPGs, and so the immersivity of the game was good for its time. It was also a real time game; your stamina would drop if you threw too much; your food and water meters would drop over time as well. You couldn't take a look at your inventory unless you were sure you were safe, otherwise, you'd hear the groans of your party members suddenly being attacked. All in all it was a great game for it's time. I would tell you to run out and get it, but it isn't 1987 anymore.