Demon's Winter

Moby ID: 986

Description official descriptions

The land of Ymros was first encountered in Shard of Spring, and it returns in this follow up, which is viewed from above, but has a game-world 32 times the size of its predecessor. Your characters can include Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Trolls, each with different skills as well as generated and varying statistics, and one of 10 different character classes - Barbarian, Wizard and Scholar for Example. You will need to choose the right balance of these for your mission, which involves tracking down Malifon and gain revenge on the damage he has done to Ymros.

Combat takes place via close-quarters combat and spell-casting, depending on the character's abilities. Towns can be visited to buy weapons, and you can return to your camp to worship one of the various Gods and receive their gifts such as resurrection and protection. It has also a 'skill/item' menu in which items can be used on other items to solve problems.

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Critics

Average score: 62% (based on 4 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 37 ratings with 2 reviews)

Often overlooked, interesting engine, good for beginers.

The Good
This is an often overlooked crpg, which is a bit of a shame. It has a fairly interesting engine underneath. Demon's Winter is a sequel to another older SSI rpg, Shard of Spring. If you have played Shard of Spring, then some landmarks will be familiar, as the game is set in the same land, just futher forward in time.

You create a party of six adventurers with the sole purpose of stopping Malifon from bringing Eternal Winter to the land.

The system is skill based, you have your shamanism skills, priesthood, kungfu, different thieving skills, etc. Quite a large variety. New skills can be learned at various Colleges you find dotted around the landscape.

The magic system is based on Fire Runes, Wind Runes, Earth, Spirit Runes, etc. Each rune set has 7 or so spells of various types. I found I relied more on hack n slash than magic in the game, so maybe it is a tad unbalanced in that regard. Magic spells cost magic points.

Like the early Ultima's (I'd rate this game somewhere between Ultima II and Ultima III), you can travel around the continent, but that soon becomes too small and you require a ship to visit the other lands.

One thing I liked is you can have your character with the most charisma, haggle with merchants. You have to be careful tho, if you haggle too much they get insulted and remove that particular item from sale. It is safe to haggle about two or three times at the most per item.

Combat is of the Pool of Radiance style, only cut-down.

There are a few large scale graphics throughout the game like the Ice Dragon, Malifon and a few other pictures which break the monotony up a bit.

There isnt a lot of side quests in this game but a lot to do in the overall quest. Each dungeon has many things that need to be done, solving riddles, passwords, using items. This is what made the game interesting. You might find a room with a book case, where if you move it, you find a passage behind it. Dungeons are loose collections of coridoors and rooms, most rooms have descriptions, something which I have not come across in any other RPG.

[mild spoiler]
In the starter dungeon, if you find a key, you can open a lab rat cage in one room, where you notice the rat run through the wall to the west, ergo, you might want to check out the west wall.

Its all the little things like this that add up.

Despite all the bad things I pointed out below, I still enjoyed playing this game quite a bit.

**The Bad**
The EGA graphics are not all that flash for EGA standard. A bit bland but functional. Icons lack detail.

Too short and a bit linear. No side quests, just have your majour goal.

For a game released in 1988, it was largely overlooked due to the fact that there was much better game systems around. Had it been released, say, 1 or 2 years earlier, it would have garnered a bigger audience.

Its top down all the way, from overland travel to dungeon traversal.

Sound, blips and beeps. Abysmal.

Probably the _wost_ offender is the 'hard to map' dungeon which you find branching off in the first dungeon you visit. When you walk into this area, the walls are on all sides of you so you cant see which directions alleyways branch off at. With each 'step' your character takes the feet of the icon change very slightly, and you have to watch closely to map this to know if you have take a step or have just run into a wall... Needless to say, I have not mapped all this dungeon, and I know there is another hidden part in here I have not found yet...

**The Bottom Line**
A fine beginners rpg, well worth a look if you can get past the graphics and into the system itself.

DOS · by Yakumo (430) · 2001

smashing old-school adventure!

The Good
There are a variety of character classes and a multitude of different spells & abilities! There were a good range of monsters to fight in a large selection of dungeons. You have the option of haggling merchants in towns to get a lower price on weapons & equipment but over haggling will offend the merchant thus removing that item for sale (only haggle a couple of times on each item) Some different character races includes Trolls (which helpfully regenerate lost hit-points), Elves, Dwarfs & Humans of course. Some different character classes include Sorcerers (which can summon beasts to fight for you), Priests (which are good at healing wounded party members),Paladins, Barbarians, Rouges and many other types of adventurer as well (I cant remember all the class types because I played DEMON'S WINTER on a Commodore 64 over 10 years ago!)

The Bad
This was a challenging game (at least for a teenager playing on a Commodore 64) but it still kept me interested. It could probably have done with some better sound effects because even the old school Commodore 64 had a reasonable sound chip for its day. The graphics were mediocre (only 16 colors available in total on the Commodore 64) and you sometimes had to use your imagination a bit to picture what your characters & monsters looked like!

The Bottom Line
A strategic Role-playing game consisting of a party of adventurers undertaking various sub-quests to recover the broken fragments of a mythical & magical crystal staff which are strewn all over the landscape. Relatively similar game style to other SSI games of the day (like AD&D Curse of the Azure Bonds & Pool of Radiance etc) Don't expect too much in terms of sound effects or graphics (remember it was made in 1988) But overall a quaint, nice little adventure requiring minimalistic instruction to play. Enjoy this classic for what it was & try not to compare it with multi gigabyte requiring games of today!

Commodore 64 · by Timothy Palmer (4) · 2006

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The game was written in compiled basic.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Yakumo.

Windows, Linux, Macintosh added by Plok. Apple II added by JRK. Commodore 64 added by Rebound Boy. Amiga added by Dietmar Uschkoreit. Atari ST added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 7, 2000. Last modified January 21, 2024.