The latest release from The Edge puts you in a very
large Ultimate-style Dungeons and Dragons arcade adventure.
You step into the shoes of Drinn, a sorcerer's apprentice,
who is facing the trials of the Loremaster in his Castle
of Illusions. The idea is to find the Prime Elemental,
naturally not the easiest of tasks, so you can expect
to meet many foes, traps and puzzles.
game is presented in a similar way to Ultimate's Knight
Lore and Staff of Karnath -- your man is
viewed from a fly-on-the-wall position, showing him
in his surroundings. The castle rooms scroll about you
as you walk around them, but when you enter a new room
the screen flicks to the next location.
you start the game you have several types of specialized
commands in the form of actions and spells under your
control and they are selected from the keyboard. These
can be used both to repel denizens and gain information.
Other spells can be retrieved from the chests that are
found in certain rooms. The basic commands are hold
it, heal, fireball, sword,
tell tale, and find it. Fireball
and Hold it spells are best used on the foes
which patrol the corridors and rooms. Fireball
completely destroys them (although it usually takes
more than one shot and hold it stops them in
their tracks so they can't attack you. If they do attack
you then you start to lose energy. This is shown in
the format of a counter that starts at 99 and ticks
down to a terminal zero. If your energy does get a little
low then you can use a heal spell that takes
your energy back to a healthy 99.
it reveals the location of any hidden chest when
used in a room. The only trouble is that this spell
has to be used with discretion since find its
are very limited in number. Tell tale spells
are used to gain clues to help you in the game. If you
use a tell tale then an informative (if somewhat
cryptic) clue will pop up in a box at the bottom of
as well as being an apprentice, is also a warrior and
therefore can engage in battle with any foe he meets.
To do this either get a fireball spell or the
sword action. To use a fireball spell
effectively, you have to be pointing directly at the
foe. To shoot the foe just press fire button and a fireball
will be lobbed at it. Usually it takes two fireballs
to kill a denizen. The sword action is slightly
different to all the others. Once you've selected the
sword mode, you have to go up to the foe, press
fire button and wiggle the joystick in Decathlon
fashion. It needs several hits to kill a foe and all
the time you are anywhere near any enemy then your energy
goes down, whether you're in sword mode or not. Therefore
you have to be pretty swift in disposing of your challenger.
When you fight, your hits and wounds totals
come into action. These totals are shown numerically
at the bottom of the screen. To succeed in combat you
have to gain a certain amount of 'hits' before your
opponent inflicts enough wounds to kill you.
are other specialised spells which can be picked up
when you search one of the many chests littered about
the castle. These have to be used in certain situations
and on the correct things (heads on walls or a minotaur
for example). If they aren't, then the spell is wasted
and you'll almost definitely have to start again.
are heaps of rooms in the castle and even more problems
to solve, many involving a backwards and forwards shuttle
between rooms to collect the correct spells or to open
new doors to allow you access to them.
music during the game is not just a nice cosmetic feature
but has a purpose. When you enter a room you can tell
what sort of foe dwells within and (with a little practice)
how to deal with it.