User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

The Ancient Art of War (Macintosh)

The Ancient Art of War Macintosh Title screen.

MISSING COVER

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Trivia

Archers

Probably an unintentional bug, but Archers by default can only kill other blokes via ranged combat and are completely useless in melee combat. However, Archers can kill enemies in "melee" combat. At least, unintentionally.

If you send (march) your archers backward and forward in combat, sometimes (and rarely) the enemies may die when they bump into each other. This works even more so if your Archers have "good/high condition" compared to the enemies. Apparently the Archers can clobber them with the bows...

Characters

  • ATHENA is worshipped for her wisdom as well as her warrior skills.
  • ALEXANDER THE GREAT keeps good food lines but weak when not on the plains.
  • GERONIMO uses hit and run tactics but doesn't like to be caught in the open.
  • CRAZY IVAN isn't a great leader but he has a good sense of humor.
  • CAESAR is a tactical genius but does not always protect his conquests.
  • GENGHIS KHAN and SUBOTAI use surprise and speed to become nearly invincible.
  • NAPOLEON BONAPARTE makes precise plans but can underestimate his enemy.
  • SUN TZU understands every aspect of war and uses it to his own advantage.

Development

Game Designers Dave and Barry Murray, Olympia, WA (from the 1988 Broderbund Software catalog):
We wanted to do a war game based on real tactics and strategies. So we did a ton of research and found Sun Tzu's book. It was written 2500 years ago -- Genghis Khan and Napoleon studied it. Usually, people think the way to win is to destroy the enemy. Not so. Actually, the winning strategy is to get the enemy in a position to surrender. We worked 16 and 17 hours a day out in the woods in Washington...but it's all paid off. We get phone calls and letters every day from players. They're incredibly loyal and involved.

MCGA version

An MCGA version of Ancient Art of War was released sometime around 1987 or 1988. I have played this version, and it appears to have 16 colors, but with a custom MCGA palette.

Origin

The game is based on the The Art of War (Bingfa or Ping Fa in Chinese), the first military treatise ever, written by ancient Chinese warrior philosopher Sun Zi (Sun Tzu) in nearly 5th century B.C. The quotes from it, as well as Sun Tzu himself, appear during gameplay.

Information also contributed by Indra was here, PCGamer77 and POMAH

Contributed by Trixter (8734) on Mar 01, 1999. [revised by : Patrick Bregger (115642)]. -- edit trivia