DescriptionThe year is 2227. The powerful DDT Corporation has sent a factory ship called the Toronto to harvest minerals and resources from Albion, a newly discovered world which is supposedly barren of life but rich in resources. The space pilot Tom Driscoll is sent to take some atmospheric readings on the planet, but crash lands after an apparently accidental systems failure of his shuttle. Upon recovering from the accident he is shocked to discover that Albion is in fact a rich, life-filled world inhabited by various races with their unique cultures. It then becomes his task to explore the strange new world, helps its inhabitants, and eventually find his way back to Toronto.
Albion is a party-based role-playing game and a spiritual successor to Amber games. It features two principal exploration modes, 3D and 2D. The first-person 3D mode, similar to that of The Elder Scrolls: Arena, is used for most towns and all dungeons. The 2D mode takes place in the overworld, in smaller locations, and inside buildings, and uses a top-down perspective similar to Ultima VII: The Black Gate. Mouse or keyboard can be used to navigate the protagonists and interact with the environment.
The player controls a party of up to six characters in the game, all of which can be recruited in various locations in the game world and join the protagonist for plot-related reasons. Each character has his or her own unique fighting styles, abilities, and in some cases magic spells. Experience points are acquired by defeating enemies or solving puzzles; in addition, the player receives a set amount of training points that can be used to raise the characters' skills (such as close or ranged combat, magic, etc.). Enemies can be encountered in both 3D and 2D areas; a battle initiates when the protagonist comes into contact with an enemy. Combat is turn-based and takes place on a 2D 6x6 square grid. Topic-based dialogue system is used to obtain information about the game world, receive assignments, and advance the plot.
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ControversyThere was originally some objection to the game due to the cat-like Iskai having no taboo against running around in their birthday suits. An early in-game cut-scene shown when Tom awakes was a particular sticking point, showing the (female) village healer - bare-chested except for a backpack strap.
InspirationLead Programmer Jurie Horneman about the game's inspiration:
Albion is not 100% copied from the Amiga RPG Ambermoon as claimed in another comment (which has since been deleted -- Ed.), but it is a sequel of sorts. We (the Albion team) were developing a sequel to Ambermoon when the company we were working for, Thalion Software, closed its doors. We subsequently moved to Blue Byte. The most logical choice was to do another game in the same style since we had the know-how. We started from scratch on the setting and storyline (which became a lot more coherent), but stuck to the same game format. Albion took two years to make. For various reasons it didn't become as popular as we would have liked, but in general the people who took the time to get into the game have enjoyed it. I still consider it to be the best game I've worked on.
ReferencesThere are some rather funny references at the beginning of the game, such as a character named "Inspector Snoopy Beagle" and "The Gates Peace Prize".
Additional information contributed by Dark-Star 1988 and Jurie Horneman
Related Web Sites
- Albion (Developer's game site. (archived))
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