Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul
Description official descriptions
There is trouble in the land of Gipath. Legends tell of a Chosen One that will come and save its inhabitants. However, they didn't think he'd appear as a mere boy with blond hair and grey pantaloons... This boy, whose name is Zak, finds himself dazed and confused in the middle of some ruins. Without any idea who or where he is, he must travel between three islands in search of his identity, with plenty of tasks to accomplish.
Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul is a fantasy role-playing game with real-time combat and stealth elements. The player-controlled party can support up to three people, which are for the most part fixed for scripting reasons. The gameplay focuses on outwitting the enemies by crawling or sneaking to backstab and surprise them, or pickpocketing a valuable item from an unsuspecting victim. Magic is also prominently featured, as many of the enemies are best met with a fire bolt or a lightning strike at long range. The gallery of enemies varies from orcs, wizards and skeletons to mighty dragons, lizards and cyclops.
This game also features blueprints which allow players to create their own armor, weapons and other accessories, provided they possess the required materials. There are several types of materials with various characteristics. The player is responsible for equipping every character in the party with items gained from travels and combat.
- Проклятые земли - Russian spelling
Credits (Windows version)
131 People (111 developers, 20 thanks) · View all
|Game Design (Концепция и дизайн игры)|
|Executive Producer (Продюсер)||
|Project Manager (Руководитель проекта)||
|Lead Programmer (Ведущий программист)||
|3D Engine Programmer (Программирование ядра 3D графики)|
|Interface Programming (Программирование интерфейса)|
|Sound Programming (Программирование звука)||
|Game System Programming (Программирование игрового ядра)|
|A.I. Programming (Программирование искусственного интеллекта)||
|Network Programming (Программирование сетевой игры)|
|Script Programming (Программирование скриптовых функций)||
|Special Effects Programming (Программирование специальных эффектов)|
|Editor and Tools Programming (Программирование редактора уровней и инструментария)|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 80% (based on 38 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 2 reviews)
Thought no individual element of the game can be said to be truly original, it does manage to grab all the good bits from most RPGs and bundle them all in a package that is likely to make you think "Wow. How come I've never heard of this game before? I should leave my cave more often..."
The 3D engine is very nice. The texturing is well done and the modelling and animations are superb, both for your characters as well as the enemies. The options are there to zoom really close in, and far out, and particle effects are galore as the spells get cast (although, unlike lots of games, they don't really seem to slow the game down at all).
The background music is really well done, and non intrusive, whilst also making you think "Why's the music gone all dramatic?!?! What did I do? ARGH! HELP!". Also the sound effects are nicely selected, and non repetitive. There's the expected change in footstep sound as you walk over different terrains, but a nice array added for opponents (right up to the screen-shuddering slow thumps of huge trolls and ogres). Also, combat sounds are appropriate based on your characters. As you play through the game you get used to the "thud crash bang clonk thud thud smash" of leather-armoured bone-weaponed combat, but after I upgraded my armour on the second landscape I was rewarded with a "thud crash bang CLANG! clonk thud...", and I sat up in my seat and thought "What the...? Hey! He hit my new metal body armour! HAHAHA! I'm wearing metal, fool! Come and get some!" ... or something like that.
Run, walk, creep and crawl: All your characters can move in these four different ways. Crawl about and you can sneak your way past guards, just a few meters from you. Creep around, and you just might be able to sneak into the stronghold, pickpocket your objective item, and sneak out without having to resort to combat. The option is yours.
Plot: You're never left wondering where you should be going, or who you should be talking to, as can be the case in certain RPGs...
Stamina: It's used for when you want to run. Run too much and your character slows down to a walk (usually complaining at you that he's not a racehorse), and you have to rest a while for your stamina to recuperate. However, stamina is also used for casting spells. So, try and run your magician to the nearby combat and by the time he gets there he will be useless. Or if you do get him there and he casts spells lots, don't expect him to be able to run away if trouble happens. I know this sounds like a bad thing, but I found it quite innovative, and it does mean you have to strategize a lot more, which I love!
Spell and item construction: There's about 20 or so spell types in game, but as you progress you create yourself modified versions of these by applying runes to them (where a rune may extend the spell's duration,e ffect, range, etc. etc., or even reduce it's spell casting cost). A similar system is applied to item construction. The shops you go to sell pre-made items. However, they also sell item 'blueprints'. These blueprints give you a rough idea of how good the item is. So, for example, you might have a blueprint claiming it will form a 'leather coat' and that you need 8 pieces of leather to make it. So, after adventuring a bit, you manage to kill of a bunch of pigs. Scavenging their corpses you end up with armfuls of pig leather, which you head back to town, combine with the blueprint and "voila", a tough leather coat. The nice thing is the blueprints only state the "kind" of material they need (e.g. leather), but many "types" of these materials exist. Also, you can deconstruct armour (or weapons) in a similar way, and even imbue them with any spell you like. And in doing so it changes its game appearance. So, you might find an okay looking iron sword out on your tavels - it looks a bit brown and a bit rusty. So, you take it back to town, deconstruct it, sell of the iron, use the blueprint with some steel you found, whack in a lightning bolt spell, and "kaching" one large amount of construction money later you have one glowing shiny mean-looking steel sword, ready to blast anyone that comes nearby. It is easy to spend as much time trying out spell and item combinations in the shops as it is adventuring...
The changing scenery: As you advance through the game, you will progress from one island to another, ditching party members and old alliances as you go. Each island has a different look and feel to it (from forests, to snow, to desert), as well as a whole new array of creatures. Plus, expect to be stripped down to the bare minimums more than once. Again, it stops you feeling like you can deal with what's coming up as it's only going to be a little different from what you're currently doing. Many times through the game, when I was confident of my combative superiority over the local populace, was I placed in a situation where I had my characters crawling around on their bellies, seriously hoping no-one would see them...
Chats with characters are more than just text and voice-acting. Each chat is accompanied by a cinematic close zoom-in to the people concerned, with camera changes as the characters chatter. Simple, but effective. And, even when zoomed in more than can be achieved through normal camera management, the characters still look well designed and textured.
Hot-key heaven: Other than actual moving about the landscape (which, understandibly, requires mouse clicks) everything in game can be accessed via hot-keys (weapons, spells, characters, posture, moveemnt style, camera, window-pop-ups, etc.). It's wonderful in an RPG.
No need to worry about managing your equipment: Most RPGs have you standing around after a battle, wondering whether to ditch that scroll you found, or leave this new magic helmet, simply because you haven't got enough 'slots' in your backpack to carry both. In Evil Islands, everything gets picked up. Your encumbrance only applies to the armour and weaponry you are equipped with - everything else goes into a mystical wormhole, which can be accessed freely once you leave the playing area, or are back in town.
Your equipment isn't indestructable: Your equipment needs repairs to keep it working. And the more expensive the equipment, the more expensive the repair. Plus: you need to do the repairing for you. This can be quite harrowing when you find yourself on a new island with your main objective being "get out of whatever trouble you're in, and find the local town". More the once I've been juggling between half broken pieces of armour, trying to keep Zak an effective combateer, when there's a shatter, an "Oh no, I liked that armour..." and there he is, standing without any body armour in the middle of a snowstorm with nothing to show for the now-completely-destroyed dead-expensive magically imbued breastplate you sunk half your wealth into. Whilst it can be devestating, again it adds another management and strategy side to things, which is great! Realism? We love it!
This looks like a long list, I know, but I just go o.t.t. in my reviews, that's all. The negatives are miniscule compared to the positives...
Stamina: Although the creatures have it, they never expend it through any of their actions. This means they can cast spells non-stop whilst you can't, plus there's absolutely no way of running away from an opponent as you will run out of stamina whilst he doesn't.
Difficulty levels: "Normal" and "Novice"?? These should really be called "Insanely Hard" and "Normal" - switch to Novice. Trust me.
The voice actor for the main character (Zak) wasn't really that great. Incredulity, arrogance and shock seemed to be the actor's main 'emotions' when reading out most the script. Plus there's the little "Let's go there" comments you get when clicking for the characters to move on the map. They're all quite cute and non-invasive, except for one of Zak's - a simple "Yes". You wouldn't believe such a voice sample could really be messed up, but it sounds as if the actor was going through puberty at the time, as his voice audibly 'breaks' half way through the sample, leaving you cringing at controlling such a character.
Plot predictability: You wake up within amnesia, so sayeth the plot. However, once you make your way back from the second island, it's pretty obvious where the plot is going to go, and who you are. And everyone you meet will be shocked when the truth is finally revealed at the game's end. Doh! How wise are these great magicians meant to be, again...?
The multiplayer game is a LOT of fun... but only if you download the Nival-approved multiplayer patch (released end of August, 2001) - without that you will be left floundering in the early stages of the game. Beyond the absolutely awful equipment, you start needing 1000 coins or more to buy/upgrade a single piece of armour/weaponry for your character. This is fine - this is the way singleplayer worked, too. However, you go on an easy quest, taking you about 45 minutes to complete with some friends, and you end up (after repairs) with a grand total of about 50-100 coins. At this rate, it'd take you half a day's constant play just to replace one piece of your armour. And the character has 7 pieces! And weapons! And spells! DAYS of play would be needed just to upgrade you to the second-worst equipment in the game... sigh Fortunately, this has been fixed, as I say, by a mod.
On the penultimate landscape, the game did start to chug quite badly (although it cleared up for the final 'battle'). The save-game files, although only slightly over 1 Mb in size, were taking about a minute and a half to load in. And whilst on the landscape itself, a simple adjustment of the camera could cause a 3-second lockup whilst the hard drive grinded. Probably not a major problem if you have 256Mb or more in your computer, though...
The final battle, and its leadup. All through the game, you've saved up money, buying and upgrading armour a piece at a time as you get the money. So, in expectation of a big final battle, you save up lots of money, only to find that your companion on said battle will furnish you out with top-of-the-line everything totally free. It's quite nice to see, but does leave you with a feeling of "Oh, I just wasted my time getting enough money for something good, didn't I...?". As for the final battle itself: Admittedly I died the first time I tried the battle. That's normally the way for me in games - I equip myself as best as I can, but not knowing what will be coming up, and no battle experience to work on for that encounter, I ended up dying. Fair enough. However, whilst going through the brief reload process I thought "I wonder if that will work..." ("that" being something I've added here as a "Tip & Trick"), jumped back into the final battle for the second time, hit one key on the keyboard, point&clicked, and then watched as no further interaction was required for the game to be completed. Urgh. That was disappointing. I was into the final movie clip before I'd even realised that my plan had worked!
The Bottom Line
If you're into RPGs, pick up a copy. At its, undoubtedly, cheap price, you can pick up an enjoyable game and still have cash left over for some doritos, some beers, 10d6, a beginner's guide to monster-slaying and questing, as well as a suit of Hard Leather Gipath Armour and a Lightning Bolt imbued Steel Spear.... okay, maybe not the armour and the spear.....
Windows · by Kic'N (4246) · 2001
As usual, I’ll start with the game mechanics and say that what impressed me the most in this game was the crafting system. It was very fun to play around with, pretty complex but at the same time rather easy to understand. Back when I played it, which was already four or five years after its release, I started giving it as an example of how a crafting system built into a game should be like, even though of course it also had its flaws. Unfortunately, I have found myself doing the same thing a few times even more recently, because I can’t think of a newer game that’s better in that aspect, so do let me know if you know of one…
The combat also works quite well for the most part. It’s nice to see that hurting an enemy’s arms or legs has the effect you’d expect it to have on their attack or movement speed, that a properly chosen and timed spell can completely alter the fate of battle, or that a solid blow to the head or a good backstab can take down even powerful enemies right away. Of course, the enemies can also do all those things to you, so you need to be very careful every step of the way, especially since here you won’t see enemies standing around while you damage them, as it happens even in some really new games, but any who notice you will immediately react and also alert all those who are in sight or hearing range to come to their aid.
The character development is flexible enough to allow you to respond to the challenges the game throws at you, at least if you play on “novice”, because it uses a system I’m very fond of and unfortunately rarely see: Instead of gaining levels and skill points, you directly spend the experience you earn to improve your characters, and the amount of available experience is pretty much the only thing limiting your options, without things such as class or specialization forcing you to stick to a certain path, though of course you’ll need to focus on just a few skills if you want to become really good at them, especially since gaining a rank in a skill doubles the cost of all the others.
I could also say that the inventory management, or more exactly the lack of it, is another great help, considering how many things you’ll be picking up and, in fact, how many things you’ll need to pick up and carry around if you want to craft really good equipment and advance in the game. That’s because only the weight of your actual equipment matters, while everything else you have in inventory is constantly treated as if stored elsewhere, somewhat like it is in Gothic.
As a side note, considering when it was released, I should really mention that this game looked absolutely stunning. It wasn’t just the quality of the art, but also the style chosen, which appeared to fit just right with the atmosphere. You have to take into account that we’re talking about a game that’s about a decade old, so it had to make do with the hardware capabilities of the time, and that it did wonderfully, making all the different areas you’ll end up exploring come to life as well as could be expected, and sometimes even better than that.
I said the crafting system wasn't perfect, and it wasn't, but even those flaws I mentioned had less to do with the system itself and more with the available components. Especially towards the end of the game, when you gain access to materials like mithril and meteorite, you should be able to craft some really powerful magical equipment, assuming you have an equally powerful magic user in your party. Such equipment could perhaps require some special blueprints, as long as you had a way to obtain them, but you don’t really have that option. You can find ways to put some pretty useful spells on certain pieces of equipment, but none of it can hold really complex ones and in fact there aren’t all that many basic spells to begin with.
Which leads me to another complaint, though this is probably more a matter of preference: While you wouldn’t manage to get through the game without magic, it often has a support role, physical prowess being more important. Needless to say, that didn’t go too well with me, seeing as I enjoy playing magic users almost exclusively. I think I eventually managed to turn Zak into a pretty powerful magic user who could still hold his own in combat up to a point, but it took a whole lot of effort and he still died way too quickly if the enemies took a real interest in him.
Then again, your characters dying very often and very quickly is something you’ll really get used to during this game, because the difficulty is quite punishing. And that’s on “novice”, because there’s basically no way to play the game on “normal”. They really should have called the difficulty settings “hard” and “impossible”, because the enemies you’ll end up facing are usually at least a match for your party members, and often even stronger, and there usually are far more of them than there are of you. In addition, on the “normal” difficulty level the amount of experience you receive for killing a certain type of enemy decreases the more enemies of that type you kill, so not only are the enemies more powerful but you’ll also be far weaker than you’d be if playing on “novice”, which means that soon enough you’ll bump into enemies who’ll crush you like a bug without you being able to even scratch them.
The realistic reactions of enemies, while certainly very welcome, make sneaking around, which is something you’ll often find yourself doing, extremely difficult and at times completely impossible, especially since you can’t run away from enemies. Fortunately, there is a spell called “Fireworks” that, if used right, will usually just draw a single enemy to a location of your choice, so you’ll be able to take care of them. But if that fails you’re in real trouble, because your stamina runs out extremely quickly while your enemies never tire… I would have appreciated the realism to be added in that area as well!
Unfortunately, while it's a good thing that inventory management is not required, it's a very bad thing that it's not even possible. Breaking my earlier comparison with Gothic, in Evil Islands you can’t access your inventory unless you’re at a shop! So if you just found something interesting that you’d like to use or if your equipment is close to being destroyed, you need to rush back to a shop to do so. And sometimes there’s no shop for you to rush back to…
Yet the one bad part of this game that really made a lasting negative impression on me wasn’t the difficulty. The problem was the story, or more exactly the end of it. There were some pretty nice moments in between, but the main story left a lot to be desired and if you didn’t figure out the “big surprise” saved for the end of the game about halfway through it there must be something seriously wrong with your reasoning abilities. Not to mention that the final fight itself is a major disappointment, as is what happens just before it…
The Bottom Line
I’m writing this review about a game I played some five years ago, if not more, so the details are understandably far less clear than they should be. Yet the simple fact that I thought to review it and still remember enough to be able to do so after all this time should tell you something of the kind of impression it left on me. Admittedly, the bad story is part of that lasting impression, but the good far outweighs the bad and there’s at least one particular good part of this game, namely the crafting system, that I’d like to see implemented in a similar or better fashion in many more others. But that unfortunately seems less and less likely, considering the direction the gaming industry is speeding into…
However, as always, I tend to focus on the negative, making the games I review seem noticeably worse than I actually think they are… You may read what I wrote above and say this is probably not something you’d want to play, but if you enjoy RPGs I really think you should, assuming it would somehow still work with newer operating systems and drivers. In short, I could say that I see it as a great crafting system and a good character development system packed in a rather pretty but also really challenging game that was probably ahead of its time, so if any of that seems interesting to you, why not try tracking it down?
Windows · by Cavalary (11411) · 2010
Rage of Mages
This game could have been called "Rage of Mages 3". In gameplay principles, its a direct continuation of the developers' strategic role-playing series, Rage of Mages, moving to a 3D engine.
German voice acting
In the German version of the game, the protagonist Kiran is voiced by Norman Matt, who is also the German voice of Guybrush Threepwood in "The Curse of Monkey Island", "Escape from Monkey Island" and "Tales of Monkey Island".
- PC Player (Germany)
- Issue 01/2001 - The Vodka Award
Related Sites +
- MobyGames ID: 4093
- GOG.com: evil_islands
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Kartanym.
Game added May 15th, 2001. Last modified August 29th, 2023.