Dark Legions

Moby ID: 1350
DOS Specs

Description official description

SSI's Dark Legions is a strategy/action game similar to Archon and its remake Archon Ultra.

An action/strategy game, in Dark Legions you will pitch your forces against that of a computer or human foe in a game board. When two pieces collide, they will be transfered to another board on which they will fight for survival. In the beginning of the game you will buy your forces with a predefined number of credits, and be able to purchase any of the 16 characters along with various kinds of traps and even rings to upgrade your creatures.

In Dark Legions, the balance of power in the dark realm of Tahr Carog is broken. One of the two twin power orbs is lost, and the realm is in chaos. As the holder of one of the orbs, you must combat your opponent - the holder of the second power orb - until one of you loses his orb, and the other prevails. The holder of the two orbs will be granted immense power and immortality, so make sure you select and utilize your forces wisely.


  • Легионы тьмы - Russian spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

48 People (41 developers, 7 thanks) · View all



Average score: 78% (based on 13 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 3 reviews)

A near-perfect game, and one of my all-time favorites.

The Good
Dark Legions is the one and only game to ever beat Archon Ultra in its genre. It is perfect in almost every respect, and there are very few things I can think of that I'd like changed.

So what's so damn good about Dark Legions?

  • A very well-developed strategy section, which adds a great deal of complexity and strategic thought over the somewhat limited battlefield of Archon Ultra. Dark Legions adds trees, rocks, water and even "void" to the game map, enabling some units to pass, other units to manipulate the surrounding area, and the rest of the units will have to go around the obstacles.
  • A really good plot, although it does not really manifest in the game (but a game of this genre can't really include a plot).
  • Excellent all-around graphics, with reasonably smooth animations and extremely well-drawn 2D landscapes, sprites and characters. The battlefield graphics are great as well.
  • Great music (when there is any) and surprisingly good sound effects adds a great deal to the atmosphere of the game.
  • Excellent two-player battle system, with good controls and good response. Also a fair level of diversity between battlegrounds.
  • Great user interface, starting with the menusystem through the strategy section and the game customization menus.
  • The orbs are way cool, and the Phantom is one of the coolest characters in a game to date. You also gotta love them traps, and no game of this genre allows character upgrades (especially not rings). And the demons are just so cute!...

The Bad
There are a few things I would probably change in Dark Legions, starting with the lack of diversity in the music. Don't get me wrong - the music in Dark Legions is great, but there simply isn't enough of it. One background tune for the strategy section and another for combat, and that's not nearly enough as the same two tunes will get to you after a very short time.
Also problematic is the low resolution for the strategy section - I wish there was a way to see more of the playfield at once. But I guess it's OK for such an early game.

The Bottom Line
A terribly good game, almost perfect in every respect and certainly unique. Heartily recommended.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000

The ultimate combination of strategy, tactics, and fast reflexes.

The Good
This game is the peak of what started with games like Star Control and Archon. You will have to plan, think, and fight better then your opponent if are to stand a chance.

Since you can change the map, type and number of units, each and every game will be different. You can try different strategies to see which one work better, or just build a strong army and try to hack your enemy to small bloody bits. But this game is not chess, nor is it Doom. Sometimes the best thought strategy was defeated because the other side's pesky little Thief got your Seer, And the strongest army was useless because the enemy's orb holder is a Phantom you can't see. So you had to plan carefully and fight with all might, or you'll simply lose.

The graphics in the game are some of the most amazing I have ever seen, certainly the top notch 2D animations, when compared to others at that time. The music and sound also complement the game, each character threatening before attacking, saying things like "You shall know pain" or "Taste the bite of cold steel!". Varied sound effects complement the game, adding atmosphere in the form of thunders on the game map, or realism in the form of explosions, crashes and bone crunching blows.

A unique feature of the game is that it was designed from the start as a multi-player (well, two player) game, allowing modem play, IPX network play or simple "two people on the same keyboard" play. Although today people might scoff at that sort of thing, back in 1994 it was less common for a game, especially for an action game, to be designed as a two-player game. Some games had multi-player capabilities, but this game is one of the firsts to be built around the notion.

All in all, although Dark Legions wasn't a groundbreaking game such as Archon or Star Control, it was, and in some ways still is, the peak of evolution in the strategy-action genre.

The Bad
The music is of great quality, but a larger variety of it would improve the game. Some of the maps are so big that completing a game may take days, but I think this is more of a plus - after all, you don't have to use them, and some people like to play days.

However the biggest problem with the game is that I can't play properly anymore on today's fast computers. The game was designed, and runs very well, on a 486. The battles work fine on newer computers, but on anything faster then a Pentium, the strategy map runs so fast you can't see what is going on so the game becomes unplayable. I'd excuse it, but I have seen Alley Cat work on a Pentium II on Windows 2000, so there is no excuse. All Dark Legions programmers had to do was to put in an option to include vertical retrace checking. Its 6 lines of Assembly code, which would have made the game playable on newer machines.

The Bottom Line
Dark Legions kept you on your toes, and your brains on high gears. If you find strategy games tend to bore you after a while, and are disappointed from the repetitive nature of fighting games - this game was made for you.

DOS · by Mickey Gabel (332) · 2000

Simple chess-like fun with an RPG flavor.

The Good
This is an extremely easy game to pick up with an intuitive interface. The graphics are simple but effective and the animations are entertaining. All-in-all a neat concept and a fun way to kill a few hours without straining your brain too much.

The Bad
The combat screen when pieces move onto an enemies space is a little too arcade-ish for me.

The Bottom Line
"Role playing capture the flag" pretty much sums this one up. Throw your throng of creatures at the enemy in the attempt to find the "flag" (in this case an orb) while keeping yours from being captured. Simply put, a really fun game.

DOS · by Paul Kostrzewa (13) · 2005



According to the manual, some of the artists who worked on the game also work as artists in Heavy Metal, and animated series such as Beetlejuice.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #6 Top Sleeper Of All Time

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Windows added by Plok.

Additional contributors: Mickey Gabel, Patrick Bregger, Zhuzha.

Game added April 18th, 2000. Last modified September 8th, 2023.