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Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny

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Description

The Northern lands of the realm of Arkania are in trouble. The orc tribes, previously scattered and unorganized, have been united under strong leadership and are planning a large-scale attack on human settlements. A sword known as Grimring, or the Blade of Destiny, is the only weapon powerful enough to defeat the orcish chief and his minions. However, the whereabouts of the sword are unknown, with only one treasure map torn into pieces providing a clear clue. Hetman Tronde Torbensson, the leader of Thorwal, hires a party of adventurers to find the map pieces, locate the sword, and stop the invasion of the orcs - all within two years.

Blade of Destiny is the first in the row of role-playing games based on the German pen-and-paper RPG system Das Schwarze Auge ("The Dark Eye"). The player generates a party of six characters divided into "archetypes", which combine characteristics of classes and fantasy races. Alongside seven "positive" attributes (such as strength, wisdom, etc.) commonly encountered in RPGs, each character also possesses "negative" attributes, which include various phobias as well as traits such as avarice or violent temper, all of which affect the character's behavior and reaction during the course of the game. In addition, each character has skills ranging from weapon proficiency to lying and knowledge of geography.

The game itself takes place in pseudo-3D environments. Towns and dungeons are explored by moving through those environments from first-person view. However, monsters do not appear within them and each hostile encounter takes the player to a separate isometric battle screen. Battles are turn-based and tactical, allowing navigation on the field as well as taking into account details such as the direction the combatants are facing, their current physical state, etc. Traveling between towns and other areas of interest is done on a 2D map. Characters eventually become hungry and tired, and can also get sick, so travel planning and provisions are essential.

Screenshots

Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny DOS You can walk through some green areas, but sooner or later the game will say you can't advance
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny Amiga You can travel by boat at the shipyard, if there are any in port.
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny DOS Camping in the wilderness, your party can search for valuable herbs.
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny Amiga The journal.

Alternate Titles

  • "天命之劍" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "DSA 1" -- Common German abbreviation
  • "Das Schwarze Auge: Die Schicksalsklinge" -- German title
  • "Das Schwarze Auge: Die Nordland-Trilogie Teil I - Die Schicksalsklinge" -- German CD-ROM release title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The Dawn of the best RPG-Series on PCs DOS BostonGeorge (309)

Critic Reviews

Amiga Format Amiga Sep, 1993 91 out of 100 91
PC Joker DOS Mar, 1992 90 out of 100 90
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Apr, 1994 10 out of 12 83
Power Play DOS Jul, 1992 78 out of 100 78
The One Amiga Sep, 1993 73 out of 100 73
Power Unlimited DOS Oct, 1993 7 out of 10 70
Datormagazin Amiga Aug, 1993 69 out of 100 69
Amiga Power Amiga Oct, 1993 67 out of 100 67
PC Player (Germany) DOS May, 1994 48 out of 100 48
Games Master Amiga Sep, 1993 32 out of 100 32

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Locked doors, keys and lockpicks 1 Alex Z (1273)
Apr 07, 2012

Trivia

Bugs

The first release of the game was bug-pestered. They didn't even get the copy protection right. Included was an annoying doc check from the manual and a large color map ("what town is north/south/east/west of that town"), but the manual was misprinted so some questions had the wrong answers. They included a correction sheet which made the protection even more stupid. In some cases, even correct answers to the map questions were accounted as wrong.

Guido the Druid

One of the pre-made characters, which are stored in the temple, is a druid called Guido. In an interview with Guido Henkel on crystals-dsa-foren.de in September 2007, he commented on the subject:

That's a relict, I believe. Of course we had all kinds of standard and test parties during the development and the testing phase of the game. Looks like the one or other character wasn't removed correctly.

Intro

It's an interesting fact that the Orcs in DSA are generally black instead of the usual green as seen in nearly every other fantasy product. But during the intro sequence they are shown also as standard orcs with green skin. That is due to the fact that the intro has been drawn by external graphic artists, who weren't familiar with the DSA world. And because changes would have been too expensive and too complex at that time, Attic used the already drawn intro.

Origin

The three founders of Attic Entertainment Hans-Jürgen Brändle, Jochen Hamma and Guido Henkel used to play the original P&P DSA years before they developed Blade of Destiny. However, only the later director of Attic Entertainment Brändle was a hardcore player in his youth and played in several groups.

Save Function

Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny featured an unusual save function. Anytime the player saved the game outside a temple, all characters lost one experience point (which is not much, but still noticeable in the Schwarzes Auge RPG system). Saving a lot would weaken their characters considerably. That was implemented by the developers on purpose to prevent people from using the save-mode as a cheating device and to immerse the player more into the game's world.

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1993 – #2 Best Game of 1992 (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 02/1993 – Best RPG of 1992 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by phlux and SimonG.

Related Web Sites

  • Arhu's Dreamworld (Contains a "Traveller's Guide" that includes a map of the game that shows locations of dungeons, lists of items, deities and their miracles, NPCs, shops and the amount of wares they offer, and a thorough record of all fifty-two towns you can visit.)
  • Blade of Destiny Walkthrough (Walkthrough on Games Over)
  • DSA - Die Nordlandtrilogie ( mostly german ) (The biggest German fan-page of the Realms of Arkania Trilogy. Contains just about everything you need to about the trilogy. Maps, items, bug lists, patches, tips and tips & tricks, etc... It probably is the most complete database about the trilogy on the web. Unfortunately the the site is in German, but there is some effort at the moment to translate the major parts into English. Already done are the maps. )
Contributed to by Patrick Bregger (124568), Xoleras (66127) and Alexander Schaefer (2318)