Yendorian Tales: Book I

aka: Yendor 1
Moby ID: 11050

Description

The island nation of Yendor is having problems. Monsters plague the land and various nobles are on the brink of war. This has to be dealt with quickly by a brave adventurer of some sort, and in fact the Society of Wizards is willing to aid one in ridding Yendor's problems. The wizards have their own agenda as well, they need to recover the stolen orb of the wizard, Zamora.

Yendorian Tales Book I is an overhead view fantasy role-playing game. The player can create and control a party of up to six characters belonging to a variety of classes. Interaction with the NPCs is performed by typing in conversation themes, similarly to Ultima games. Combat takes place on separate screens; the player-controlled party and the opponents move on the battle screen in a turn-based fashion.

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

Programming
Video Driver Design
Story Outline
Art Design and Layout
Documentation
Clue Book
Original Game Design
Conversations
Playability Testing

Reviews

Players

Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 1 ratings)

Yendorian Tales: Book 1 is a great game that, unfortunately, few people have played.

The Good
In the computing world today, putting together a commercial game is an enormous undertaking. Most games take millions of dollars and the support of major corporations to produce. Smaller developers have no way of competing with the big boys. This was not, however, always the case. In the late eighties and early 90’s, the big boys weren’t so big. Computer gaming was not the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today. Smaller companies struggled alongside better known developers and created some truly impressive games. Unfortunately, the majority of these games are now forgotten, having not been promoted properly in their time. One such title, released by a small company called Smithware in 1994, was so well made that it could have been a RPG classic if it had ever made it into a major retail outlet. This game is Yendorian Tales: Book 1.

Yendorian Tales takes place in the fictional island of Yendor, where magic is commonplace. The isle has run into trouble recently, as the monsters of the land are multiplying at an astounding rate. Wizards have created an artifact to wipe out the monsters once and for all, but it is stolen by an unknown individual. It is up to you, the adventurer, to recover this artifact.

To accomplish this task, the game allows you to create a six member party with participants selected from a wide variety of character classes, ranging from miner, to rogue, to cleric. Each class has different strengths and abilities. Rogues tend to be more agile, while clerics tend to be more intelligent, and so on. Once a party is created, they can be equipped with a startling variety of weapons and armor, all of which can be upgraded magically as the game progresses.

Combat in the game is turn based, taking place in a separate combat screen where characters are free to maneuver. Here the player is free to use any number of tactics to dispatch his enemy, from using magic, to swords, to firebombs and other grenade type weapons. Strategy can play a vital role, as the various party members are placed in a manner which uses natural obstacles to maximum effect. Fighting in the game is entertaining, and is one of its strengths.

The world of Yendor itself is large and well-populated, with hundreds of individuals to interact with. The towns in the game are large and realistic. Avoiding the trap many such games fall into, with towns consisting entirely of a weapons shop and an inn, cities in Yendor have many varied buildings, and make it truly seem like they could be places where people would want to live.

Taking a top-down perspective, the game is reminiscent of Ultima, and, while not as sharp as most of the games of that series, this title certainly comes close in terms of size and scope. The game’s graphics are nothing special, but they can easily be ignored as one is taken into the game.



The Bad
My only major complaints are with the game’s audio. Unfortunately, there simply isn’t any. No music, no sound effects, no nothing. A nice musical score would have contributed greatly to the game as a whole, and it is sorely missed. The addition of even rudimentary sound effects would have been appreciated as well.

The Bottom Line
Yendorian Tales: Book 1 is a great game that, unfortunately, too few people have played. This can be remedied. Go to the author’s website, www.swgames.com, and download the demo today. The game will not run in windows XP, but the use of a utility such as DOS BOX will solve this problem.

I give it four out of five stars.

DOS · by Alexander Flynn (3) · 2004

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  • Download Yendorian Tales!
    Free, legal download of the shareware versions of the Yendorian Tales games from their developers.

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  • MobyGames ID: 11050
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Shoddyan.

Additional contributors: Pseudo_Intellectual.

Game added November 19, 2003. Last modified February 22, 2023.