Valentine's Day. I hate it. All that prancing around
in frilly shirts with boxes of lizard giblets tied up
in gnome skins, trying to woo yer average bile-faced
she-troll through her stomach. What about my
flipping stomach, that's what I want to know. It's been
upset ever since I swigged that second bottle of slime,
imported from Spain by Uncle Ripperbile. Must have been
something fresh in it. Bleah! What do I care about blinking
she-trolls -- stick them headfirst in a trough of rotting
cabbage, that's the way to bring them round.
I want is the quiet life, pulling the wings off my pet
flies, throwing up where I want to . . . oh yeah, and
playing the odd computer game. Just to make me even
more depressed, we haven't even had a proper text adventure
in. I expect we'll have an earthquake next -- either
that or billy-goats will become extinct. Just my luck.
Still, your average homicidal troll can have a lot of
throat-slashing fun with a couple of RPGs -- especially
ones as gory as these. Fab.
that's it. I'm off to club a couple of goats.
a cosmopolitan sort of troll, I've met quite a few monsters
in my time -- dragons, orcs (phwoar! do they stink),
gnomes, Maff Evans, serpents, you know the sort of thing.
A real society bloke, me. Still, I've got to hand it
to you -- I've never met anything as disgusting as a
Screaming Nug, a Brain Spate or a Bowel Root. Bleuch!
meet a lot of these sort of creatures when you're the
only peasant on the planet Bantross brave enough to
save the world. Oh yeah, that's your mission: that nefarious,
nasty, boil-ridden wicked person, Baron Taragas, has
found Blacksilver (magic with the power to destroy)
and is planning to use it against the cute, gorgeous,
wonderful, beautiful princess Aylea, guardian of peace.
Trust those spoilsports at Epyx not to let you fight
for the Baron -- no, they have to go and force you to
play for the icky, goody-two-shoes Princess instead.
I ask you. Yeuch!
up to you to stop the baron -- I can't help you now...
things first: you've got to look for Aylea's brother
and hand over the token she left you in a dream. Off
you go then through an overhead view landscape (Ultima-style),
pulping monsters and visiting castles, 3D dungeons (eventually)
and towns. If you've got the dosh you can get rid of
most of it at equipment stores, magic stalls and gambling
shops (phwoar!). Sometimes you can even get into a bit
of extra money by working for a villager for a day,
but you've got to be careful not to make enemies. Collaborate
with prisoners or fail to pay your debts and -- kaput!
possible actions are always displayed on the screen:
if you pick speaking or fighting options, you've got
several further choices still. Not as involved as some
of the Ultima games, but still pretty deep.
can't be nasty in a place like this -- worse luck!
a wagon-full of puzzles as well, with plenty to get
you thinking right from the word go. If you ever make
it to the dungeons, it'll take longer than yer average
gnome feast before you leave!
(except for the dead atmospheric dungeons) aren't mega-spectacular,
and neither is the sound (well, is it ever in an RPG?),
but boy, does the gameplay make up for it. I'm still
convinced that nothing quite beats the Ultima
series, but with loads of puzzles, a really huge environment
explore and plenty of different monsters, you'd be stark,
staring mad if you didn't sell your grandmother, trade
in your Valentine or stick your brother in a bucket
of slime to give this a go.
low-down is this: if you want something to really take
your mind off those damp, depressing billy-goat-less
nights, singing miserable songs about lizards to yourself,
or if you're just after a dead cool game, get hold of
a copy of this -- it's a lot better than a poke in the
eye with a pointed stick.