Good and logical puzzles
Sequel has never been released
Right at the start of the intro you get the impression that you landed in King’s Quest 3, but the plot is soon revealed: An evil wizard named Archidamus steals the six Eternal Spheres from King Demetrius’ realm, the land of Valeria. It’s the old revenge thing. Archidamus had been banned by Demetrius for killing his only daughter, and now is back, not for good, but for evil. The king calls for his only wizard left, Artemedoris, who claims that his powers have weakened. And his old friend and colleague Cicero is dead. Yet, there is hope: Caitlyn, Cicero’s granddaughter, an 18-year-old girl who looks a bit like Tawni in Leisure Suit Larry 3, is the one to save Valeria. As she has no idea of her magical powers, Artemedoris tells her about her grandfather who left her a spellbook. She has to find and activate it and after some more preparations she starts her quest to search for the six stolen Eternal Spheres.
There are three different areas Caitlyn has to explore after leaving Valania: Darkmist Woods, Oberon Land of the Elves, and Tamora.You access Darkmist with two useful spells and during your journey you will collect more. You can cast these spells at any screen, but of course they will only do the right job on the right item, person or animal. Strangly enough: There are two animals you can talk to, all the rest refuses to converse with you. Of course, as in all adventure games, you meet both helpful and cumbersome characters. In some scenes you can even admire Caitlyn wearing a bikini!
The story is well written, the dialogs are fun, and there are also some funny side characters like Leontes. Too bad that this clumsy admirer of our heroine only shows up at the beginning of the game. All in all, it gives you a King’s Questy feel, and at some point there’s even a trace of "The Longest Journey", when science meets magic…
Unfortunately, the game ends after you collected the second Eternal Sphere and found the exit to the next scene. A sequel is being announced in the last screen, but this has never been made which I regret a lot.
The interface is exactly like the very old AGI and SCI Sierra games, plus this one has a debug function. I stumbled over it right at the beginning and ran it, so I can’t tell you what happens if you don’t use it. But I would assume that you get some more glitches than what is mentioned below.
You interact via text parser (look, take, use etc. – BTW, the game does NOT recognize "look around"), control the character with the arrow keys and access the menu with ESC. The F-keys also work, like e.g. F1 for help, F3 to repeat the last text line, F4 for inventory access, F5/F7 to save and restore game.
The English (grammar, vocabulary and spelling) is a bit strange at times, but you always understand what the author wanted to express.
You should read all the dialogs carefully, most of them contain a lot of hints. Big plus: You have to hit Enter to close a dialog box which gives you as much time as you like to read it.
This game has a clock (as KQ3 did), but I could not make out any difference whether turned on or off. You can be relaxed even if you turn the clock option on, as far as I know, you cannot die if you stand around too long. But if you want to play it safe, pause the game when you have something else to do.
If you play this game for the first time and without a walkthrough, it should keep you busy for about 5 hours – very nice for a rainy Sunday!
Oh, and before I forget: You can die in this game, so better save early, save often. You can make different directories and have nine saving slots in each although one directory should do.
Graphics and music
The graphics are AGI 16 colors and give you the retro feeling. As for the music, let some of your favorite CD/MP3 run along, and you’ll be just fine.
You have to solve a good amount of puzzles in this game which are not really too difficult but still make you spend some time to think about what to do next. Of course, your main task is to use the right spell at the right place, but you should also explore every screen to sometimes find useful things and give inventory items so someone else to receive a reward.
A fun game despite the bugs. If you enjoy the old Sierra games and aren’t much of a score freak (because you will never get any points), you will probably like "Caitlyn’s Destiny". I would give the game 4 points despite the bugs, but the open end with no sequel in sight makes me leave it at 3 points.
This game runs well in DOSBox, but it has some bugs and glitches which obviously have never been fixed since its release in 2004:
You will never get points – it will always be "Score: 0 of 0"
I couldn’t get the sound to run, no matter which options I tried in DOSBox. This doesn’t seem to be a loss because I read that there wasn’t much sound anyway beside some annoying squeaky noise coming from the PC speakers.
If you press F4 and select an item to see with Enter, nothing happens. You can see the inventory items by using the text parser – e.g. "Look gold". This does not apply for the spellbook, though. Each time you select it in the inventory and hit Enter, you get to see the STRENGTH spell, but cannot cast it until the end of part 3. No other spell will be ever shown in the spellbook, but they all appear in the inventory.
The walking speed decreases dramatically when you are in your house, in the fog area and some other places. After exiting, you can switch the speed back from normal to fast.
Sometimes it’s hard to control Caitlyn. There are screens where e.g. she refuses to walk under a tree or over a root, so you have to move her around, in other scenes she seems to walk in the air (without having cast FLOAT) and even on water.
If you try to go upstairs in Artemedoris’ house, you will be told that you shouldn’t go there uninvited – and are stuck. There’s no other chance to get out there than to close the game.
If you place the gems on the monolith in Darkmist before having collected them all, they disappear. This might be a graphic problem only, but I didn’t want to spend the time to really find out. So best is to collect all five gems first and then place them on the monolith one after the other.
There might be more which I haven’t noticed.
All this doesn’t really matter as you can complete the game without any problem, saving/restoring the game always works, and it is plenty of fun.
Review by: CataBina
Safe for all ages