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SummaryThe same Kroz formula, but with many surprises
The GoodTemple of Kroz is the second game in “The Super Kroz Trilogy” by Apogee Software, the company who would eventually deliver us hits such as Wolfenstein 3-D, Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure, and Alien Carnage. It was Apogee’s first major release that was quite successful. If you haven’t played the previous four Kroz games yet, your objective is to search a series of dungeons for a variable item, while dealing with a variety of nasties. You start off your quest with a few items and can obtain more on the way.
The game was released before Apogee embraced the CGA standard. Everything on the screen is represented in ASCII graphics, including terrain, hazards, monsters, and items. I found it easy to know which was which, given that Temple gives you hints when you bump into them for the first time. Basically, monsters are a mix of accented characters, whips are represented as upside-down candy canes, gems look like diamonds, and teleports are up arrows.
The original Kroz Trilogy is just you running around, killing monsters, and unlocking doors to reach the exit, while collecting as many items as you can. In Temple of Kroz, there are several new features that make the game harder, most notably invisible traps that cause monsters to appear and stationary walls to move, monster generators, and statues that deprive you of your gems when you are in their vicinity. These traps are also used to release magic in the chamber, that can help or hinder you. From my experience, the whip is used to overcome most of these.
Before the game starts, players select whether they have a color or monochrome card, and whether they have a fast or slow PC. Temple of Kroz is designed to run on all systems, regardless of what CPU they have or what speed it runs at. This means that the game can be run on an original IBM PC without any problems.
Controlling the protagonist is easily done using the keypad. You can also use the four normal arrow keys as well, but these won’t let you perform any diagonal moves, which allow you to move to an adjacent space, avoiding hazards such as lava and pits. Actions are performed by pressing the appropriate keys listed next to the main screen. One good thing about Temple of Kroz is the ability to save and restore; you can take a break and come back to the level you left off at.
Since Temple of Kroz is an early Apogee game, there is no background music. Sound effects are only played through the PC Speaker. I like the “beaming down” sound when you press a letter on the main menu, the same when you are falling down a pit.
This game can be played over and over again, mainly because it includes a high score chart. It can even be used to “score attack” where you keep trying to beat your previous score. You may have not gotten each letter of the word KROZ or have gotten all the items that award you with the most points.
The BadEvery second level, the whole chamber is filled with monsters and you have to make your way to the exit. Sometimes, it is difficult to know where you are, especially when you teleport yourself out of trouble. Also, the confirmation to save and restore your game is annoying.