Written by  :  Mirrorshades2k (282)
Written on  :  Feb 15, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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An outstanding RPG... will keep you playing for hours on end.

The Good

This game has one of the most non-linear storylines around -- great for an RPG. You are free to wander the world, cities, dungeons, caves, and elemental planes... solving minor quests as you gradually learn more about the main plot. Character development is stunning, magic is handled well, there are scores of interesting items and weapons, and there are a host of NPC hirelings who you can have journey with your party.

Characters have an assortment of skills available. Some assist just the character, while others benefit the entire party. Auto-mapping is a skill that can be learned; if you like this feature, have a character learn the Cartography skill. If you don't, then don't. Normally I'm not a huge fan, but it's worth having maps in this game. Trust me.

I also like that your characters can gain levels to their hearts' content. The maximum level is 255, created only by the programming limitations of the day. You can still train and add hit points over level 255, but 255 is the maximum that can be displayed.

The Bad

A few things. First, the sounds leave much to be desired (particularly the tune that plays after you kill a monster in combat -- it quickly gets old). Thankfully, they can be turned off.

Another gripe I have is that you can only save your game at an Inn in one of the cities. While not unusual for games of the time, it makes it frustrating to make one wrong move deep in a dungeon, and have to then restore your game and begin the entire dungeon again.

And finally, the puzzle at the end is needlessly confusing. I won't say too much about it, but I solved it and I could not figure out exactly how to type in my solution. Add to this a real-time "countdown", and I was quite despondent (especially since the final puzzle requires you to hack 'n slash your way through a particularly nasty dungeon to get to it).

The Bottom Line

Great overall. The interface will take a bit of getting used to, but I guarantee it will be worthwhile. There are enough cities, castles, dungeons, quests, and items to keep you playing for a long time.