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The Thor Trilogy

Moby ID: 14276

Description

You find yourself trapped deep within Thor's domain. Your mission is to locate three missing items that are scattered throughout the place. The missing items are the Female-item, the Heart-item and the Male-item.

The player controls a smiley face through an ASCII-based world. There are many enemies in that world that you have to shoot during your adventure. And you can collect other items like potions, food, coins, shields and keys to sustain your existence .

One of the game's features is the freedom of movement: you are allowed to reenter any level. You may find yourself going back up a level from a newly discovered location, and winding up in a completely new area.

The trilogy is divided into three episodes, the first of which was originally available as shareware and the subsequent ones upon the payment of a registration fee (all now available as freeware):

  • 1 - Caves of Thor,
  • 2 - Realm of Thor, and
  • 3 - Thor's Revenge.

Screenshots

Credits (DOS version)

6 People

Programmer
Map Layout
Demo Layout
Music

Reviews

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)

With a bit of time on their hands, anyone can make ASCII graphics impressive

The Good
Every game released from Apogee Software – from Beyond the Titanic to the Kroz games – was programmed by only one person at the company, Scott Miller, who was also its founder. This one-person development team was no longer applicable when Todd Replogle joined him, and one of the first projects he created was The Thor Trilogy, an action/exploration game that consists of three volumes, each containing the word “Thor” in the title.

Upon running separate executables for the game (i.e.: CAVES.EXE, REALM.EXE, REVENGE.EXE), the user is greeted with a menu similar to the one in Mean Streets, where they can view certain information such as story/instructions and ordering information. The game actually begins when the first option is picked. The attract mode that follows has the protagonist follows a stream of water while the user is notified of any enemies and objects that are unique to each volume.

Regardless of which one you are playing, the object is the same: search numerous caverns for three valuable items – which are the Male-Item, Female-Item, and the Heart-Item. Each of these items are guarded by the "Thor Beasts" that need to be destroyed to access the item. They operate similar to the enemy generators in the game, but ten times worse,

Along the way, the protagonist will run into enemies that drain their health if not dealt with, and items that will aid the player are scattered throughout each cavern. Even if enemies are not killing you, your health slowly depletes, Gauntlet-style. You are equipped with a pistol that fires infinite shots, and this will kill most of the enemies in just one shot. If the number of enemies are too much for you, you can press [A] to kill most of them, if you have any potions left. Caverns can be re-entered anytime, allowing you to double-check if there are any items still in there or whether there are more areas you need to explore.

The user interface for the game consists of a rectangle with a white border, reserved for the action. On either side of this rectangle are statistics that tell you your health, potions, the cavern that you are in, and whether you have a shield and rebound. There are not much keys that you have to learn. The four arrow keys or the numeric keypad move you in the respective direction. The keypad is extremely useful for making diagonal directions easy, making them ideal in situations where you are surrounded by hazards, and the only free space is adjacent to you. You can save the game anytime. When you continue with the game later, you are taken to the exact point where you saved it, not just at the start of each cavern.

Graphics are made with the ASCII character set, and they are a lot similar to the Kroz games. Every sprite is much bigger, making them stand out. Replogle has added some trickery to the game, especially with the lava and water. He designed the lava in such a way that it looks as if it is bubbling, not just pulsating. The water consists of triangles that are turned sideways and change into different shades of blue, to give the impression of a water stream which you can actually enter! These two effects are quite impressive. You also can tell whether you are about to enter the Thor Beast, one of the chambers are lit up. In regards to the interface, I like how the letter of each cavern is made up of asterisks, not just typed in.

The music for the game is composed of various pieces of classical music, which changes depending on the setting. The only one that I recognize out of all of them is Flight of the Bumblebee, which is heard in the attract mode, and it is also heard when you encounter the Thor Beast. Sound effects are the Kroz standard. You don’t hear the sound effects by default, but they can be enabled by pressing [S]. Press the same key again and the music comes back on. For your sanity, both music and sound cannot play at the same time. When you have found the three items, you are taken to a screen where the game once again tells you that there are three volumes and how to order them. I was not expecting another classical piece to play.

The Thor Trilogy was one of the games to use “The Apogee Model”, in which the first volume was free to play and share, but you are required to send a small fee to Apogee to get the next volumes and some extras, which in Thor’s case is a free game, hint sheet, and secret codes that you can only use once per game. (If you attempt to use the code to get more items when you restore any saved game, that game will be overwritten.)

The Bad
You can’t restore the game anytime you want. Leaving the game and then coming back just to restore one is tedious. Also, there is no satisfying ending to each of the volumes.

The Bottom Line
The Thor Trilogy is an excellent game from Apogee, this time developed by someone other than Scott Miller. Think Kroz with much bigger graphics and deeper exploration. New to Apogee games is the inclusion of background music that can be turned off anytime. The save game feature is useful, given that you can take a break from it and then restore the game to find out that you ended up at the exact point where you saved.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43086) · 2019

Trivia

You could buy the source code of this game for $195.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Frenkel.

Game added August 11, 2004. Last modified November 29, 2023.