Iron Lord

Moby ID: 14405
Amiga Specs
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Iron Lord is a strategy game with action and light adventure elements, set in the Middle Ages and featuring hand-drawn graphics. After returning from journeys far away, you find your ancestral castle in ruins and hear rumors that a huge army is marching towards your land. Your only hope is to raise an army and fight back, but after your long absence, you are an unknown heir to the land. To raise the army you need to win the respect of the people, by traveling through your land and accomplishing tasks, winning competitions, and finally gathering enough men to fight the army.

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Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 17 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 1 reviews)

A peculiar gaming experience, but a special childhood memory!

The Good
The epic atmosphere!

The Bad
Don't make me do this, can't you see I'm nicknamed after this game?! :-P

The Bottom Line
All is well in the Green Country until Zolphar, the long gone brother of the king, returns. Through the use of dark magic he assassinates king Tibor. Immediately after, he summons innumerable legions of hell’s abominations that rapidly overwhelm the castle. The stalwart Malthom, the captain of the guard, rescues the king’s baby son and flees the castle. They are the only survivors of Zolphar’s onslaught. They find shelter in the heart of a great forest where they meet an old sage. He reveals them the prophecy: Only a person with the same blood can defeat Zolphar. Malthom dedicates his life in preparing the royal son for that moment. After years of training the young lord is in every way ready to seek his revenge.

In this action-adventure we take the role of the prince. Our goal is to overthrow our sinister uncle, not an easy task. First of all, we will have to make great achievements of strength and skill to impress the people of the land and win their admiration. After we earn their respect, we will try to persuade them to unite under our banner against the evil lord. When the uprising begins we must defeat Zolphar’s hordes on the battlefield. Finally, we will pursue the remaining unholy creatures in the caverns of hell.

The graphics are composed of mostly static but pretty images. There are also a few nice pieces of music and some sound effects playing here and there. Naturally, the game is totally outdated in the technical sector. But this will not be our main concern during playing.

We start the game from our deserted and collapsing castle. This is the only place where we can save and load our game. From here, we will declare war when the time is right. At every location we arrive, we move around and explore through a small window in the upper right corner of the screen. There, we see our character and the rest of the area from above. Below we receive a description of the surroundings. There are six locations to visit, not all within the castle’s reach. To get to the remote ones we have to make a stop in places between. Every time we leave from a location to travel to another, we risk crossing blades with one of our uncle’s assassins. The battle is shown from a first person perspective. We can strike from several directions but we should also parry the enemy’s hits.

In our travels we will meet several characters, each one with a different mentality and views. We should work to solve quarrels, end disputes and convince them to help. Beyond discussing with them, we have the option to buy items and offer tokens. Finally, there is the ‘examine’ option that reveals the current stance of the people we meet, towards us.

Three competing activities are essential to our mission. First is the archery contest. There are three rounds to pass to win the trophy. Informed about the wind’s intensity and direction we determine the power, the vertical and horizontal angle of our arrow throws. Depending on the hit’s proximity to the center of each target, we receive the appropriate point reward. The best scores for every target are added together, if the sum reaches the one the round requirement we proceed to next.

Second, is the mindless arm wrestling contest. We will encounter nine champions, everyone more powerful than the one before. Intense effort is needed here as we have to press the space bar repetitively, and extremely fast until we exhaust our adversary’s endurance.

Last is the dice game, where we strive for the winning roll of seven. We should play cautiously and systematically, in order to cover our occasional financial expenses, and withdraw before our luck abandons us.

“Iron Lord” is really a short game in terms of the actions needed to end it. Now, the game length depends on how fast we will reach the desired results from the above three procedures. It is all about the practice we do and the luck we have. There are no demanding puzzles to get us stuck, everything that we will have to carry out is straightforwardly indicated and obvious.

Undoubtedly, the best part of the game is the strategy sequence, where the two armies clash. With our gathered forces we go forth against the ten enemy regiments. The battle is resolved in turns. We plan our units’ maneuvers and attacks according to their current fighting skill. Marching and skirmishes decrease this characteristic. Rations appear from time to time on the battlefield, it is greatly important that we reach them on time to strengthen our men.

After our armies triumph in battle, we venture in the six mazes of the labyrinth. Controlling the prince from above we explore the dungeons trying to find the keys that unlock the doors to the next levels. Our vitality is continuously absorbed, so we need to pick up all energy stars we find in order to stay alive. Between every two levels we face dangerous monsters. We cast bolts against them with our magic sword, while avoiding contact with acid. Every time we die we start over from the first level. Needless to say, this is by far the most difficult, and obnoxious, part of the game and definitely one of the most difficult arcade sequences ever. Nerves of steel and vast amounts of patience are necessary here.

One "tour" around the world of “Iron Lord” is recommended. Knowing the above though, further involvement with the game is up to you to decide. Note that a slow-down utility is needed for playing the game at a reasonable pace.

DOS · by Iron Lord (40) · 2016

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Related Sites +

  • The Iron Lord FAQ
    Answers general as well as historical and gameplay questions, provides some hints. Written mainly for the Acorn Archimedes version, but interesting for other platforms as well.

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  • MobyGames ID: 14405
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Gazoot.

Acorn 32-bit added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: General Error.

Game added August 15, 2004. Last modified March 15, 2024.