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Written by  :  travis m (4)
Written on  :  Nov 07, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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A classic role-playing game

The Good

This game was great in that it actually had a decent plot weaved in with the usual dungeon crawling element, compared to the current drivel in most modern role-playing games. For the time, the graphics were excellent and the music, although not of the highest quality, certainly wasn't bad. The number of NPC's in this game far outweigh the number in any other role-playing game I've ever played, and they all have a wealth of character. (My experience is only with computer games, I know nothing of console games) The levels, although all indoors, typically have subtle differences to them that makes it feel like you're somewhere totally different, and not just the same dungeon. It also has several puzzles, unseen in many modern "hack-and-slash" rpg's, although many of them could have been left out due to their pedantic nature. Still, a greater percentage of puzzles were worthwhile rather than not. The user interface was well done, although annoying in that you had to "drag" the inventory up to cover most of the screen. The method of using hand motions to cast spells was ingenious, and in a way showed a deeper aspect of magic rather than just "picking" a spell to cast.

The Bad

The game is very long, and it especially shows near the end (Although the ending itself is very well done). This is in part due to the puzzles, which can be somewhat pedantic and sometimes extremely time-consuming. (I still haven't managed to work my way through the sewer section of the dungeon; anyone who does should either be awarded a prize or be shot. Either way, they have way too much time on their hands). There is also little balance amongst the areas of magic and weaponry; enchantment and polearms are virtually worthless, and magic is mostly only used for healing purposes and opening doors as it is.

The Bottom Line

If you have the means to get this old DOS game and the means to get it working (and make sure you have the manual, otherwise you can't play), I'd say go for it. Unless you have very little patience, you will probably enjoy this epic game. It shows you the world of computer rpg's before masses of people of lesser intellect infiltrated the market and shifted the economic demand towards games like Diablo. I might recommend you find some hints online for some of the more boring puzzles and mazes, allowing you to advance much more quickly and enjoy the other aspects of the game more thoroughly.