Written by  :  woods01 (163)
Written on  :  Mar 01, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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An excellent and often forgotten start to this long running series.

The Good

This was the first RPG I ever played. It had a 1st person perspective with, great for the time (Commodore 64 version at least), graphics that were quite a step up when compared to the already old RPG series like Ultima and Wizardry.

The game let you make a party of 6 characters who set out to find the secret of the Inner Sanctum. Character stats, races and classes are your typical D&D stuff. Each class did have a role and need in the game although you could experiment by leaving out some classes in your party.

Combat was a simple text affair. It was quite fast and efficent and best of all apart from the preset encounters, all the battles would try to match your party's strength so the battles remaind competive.

The most notalable thing about this game is that it is HUGE. There were dozens of wilderness areas to explore, 5 towns and 5 castles. That is not counting the dozens of dungeons for you to find and explore. Each area had unique encounters and quests for you to do. You could win the game and still not have run into all there was to find and do. Also the game is a rare RPG with a non-violent ending to it, not that you won't do a lot of fighting to get to the ending though.

The Bad

Its is easy to loose track of the plot. Dungeons would reset after you left them, this meant you could battle the "boss" creatures again and again to get easy experience points but it felt as if you accomplished nothing when you returned to an area you previously cleaned. Random encounters in the towns are annoying. Shouldn't towns be safe for humans? You can only save in the Inns in the 5 towns, which was inconvient. No automap, be prepared to map A LOT.

The Bottom Line

This is an excllent old school RPG, still worth playing today, as the interface is quite good despite the aging graphics and sound. I'd reccomend finding the hint book to ease the amount of hand mapping you have to do.