Unsatisfying savegame function
If you play the game for the first time, you should watch the intro to get a clue of the story. After this (and every time you start the game), a wizard asks you three questions. This was meant to be a copy protection, but the developers turned it off when they decided to make this game freeware. So, no matter what you answer, you’ll always get full access to the game.
Maddog Williams is an inventor. He also owns an antique shop. As this story is medieval, we do not know how antique the items are that he sells. They look pretty contemporary. Anyway. He is about to bring a beer server to the pub, but then gets distracted, saving a princess from some evil sorcerers. This is where the adventure starts. He learns about Serak, the evil wizard and of course, goes on a quest to find his castle and defeat him. Pretty much King’s Quest like, and there are indeed, some references to the good old Sierra games which makes it even more fun to play. Oh yes, and you can die – often!
There are two endings to this game, a bad one and a good one. The good ending culminates in one of the most hilarious epilogues ever created for an adventure game. There was meant to be a sequel, but unfortunately, it has never been made which I utterly regret.
Since this is a very old game, you have to type in commands (look, take, use etc.) and you use the arrow keys to move along, much like in the early SQ, KQ and LSL games. F2 gets you into the help screen where all function keys are explained. Saving (with F4) is recommended in one directory only (for 15 saves) although there is a "change directory" option. The game crashed various times and couldn’t find the saved game when I tried to use this option.
This is an adventure game, but it also has some fighting and arcade scenes. Few, but still enough to give a plain adventurer like me a headache. Yet, once you understand the procedure, it’s not that difficult. Press F1 to start the fighting mode (you can enter the practice mode at nearly any time in the game and also try it on a pirate in the beginning once you left your house and walk one screen to the right). If you turn your back (!!!) on the enemy, you win a lot faster! After defeating your counterpart, press F1 again to get back into the normal walking mode.
And, as in every old game, there’s plenty of pixel hunting! If you already know the game, you’re through in about three hours, if you don’t, it might take you a lot longer!
Graphics and music:
16 colors and MIDI! What do you want from a 1991 game! But still, very nicely drawn with many details, and the midi music fits well into the game.
If you played any of the King’s Quest games, you shouldn’t have too much trouble solving the puzzles. Most of them are as logical as other puzzles in other adventure game, and if you survive the dragon flight, you nearly made it! You carry many items which you can use and combine.
I had tons of fun playing this game and recommend it to everybody who is in genuine old adventures. I give it 5 out of 5 points despite the saving function not working too well. Other than that, the game runs very smoothly in DOS-Box and brings you some hours of fun game play.
Review by: CataBina
Safe for all ages