Avalon (DOS)

Avalon DOS Title screen (over did it with the lens flare I think)


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Written by  :  jlebel (2211)
Written on  :  Mar 18, 2009
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Freeware console-style RPG that is worth a look.

The Good

Avalon is an old-school RPG released as freeware. You play the role of Mace, the hero who must aid his struggling village, a people stranded on an alien world after the destruction of Earth. Like in Dragon Warrior, you must fight alone, no party management concerns exist in this game.

The game has simple, clean graphics that appear to be original. This project is the author's first game and it's a fairly decent effort considering it was written from scratch (using Pascal). The game is simple and easy enough to get into; controls are basic, arrows to move, enter for action, everything else happens automatically when you walk into an object.

Like any other RPG there are plenty of random encounters which in this game are represented by moving sprites that can be avoided like in Dark Sun. The fights are balanced and fair, you can escape easily, and I also appreciate that the monster statistics are displayed (Power, Defense, and HP).

Many of the standard RPG features you expect are present; towns to explore, NPC's to gather information from, stores to purchase items, save/restore system, inventory items, and quests to solve. Much of this is simplified, but implemented with clean, intuitive menus -- so there is no need to be concerned about a lack of documentation.

The MiG team also composed their own music for Avalon using a MIDI composer called MiG Tracker Pro, also their own creation.

The Bad

While playing the game I encountered a few design quirks that weren't really surprising, but still a bit annoying. When I started a new game my first thought was to explore the town a bit then immediately head out and get into some fights to check out the battle system. After walking around in some forest area I encountered a chest, but I couldn't open it. Fine, maybe a key is needed. Two minutes later I found a necklace on the ground but couldn't pick it up. As it turns out the object couldn't be picked up until the quest was activated by speaking to an NPC who is requesting it to be found. I don't think I've been unable to pick up items in any other game unless there was an encumbrance or item count limitation.

This game plays something like Dragon Warrior; to lengthen the game, many battles are required to get enough money in order to upgrade your equipment, so that you can venture safely into the next area. If you're familiar with a variety of Nintendo RPG's you know this formula, and even though it's somewhat expected the approach still seems tedious.

The Bottom Line

For a freeware RPG written in 1998, Avalon is a fine game with very few problems. What I like is that everything was written from scratch with original graphics, and has a clean look and feel to it. Recommended if you're searching for a free RPG that won't take long to complete.