Visit Atarimax Store


Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by: atarimax.com
[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]


Article #3 (29 is last):
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.16-32bit.reviews
From: aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Marc A. Lombardo)
Subject: Drakkhen/Games/Commercial
Posted-By: xx004 (aa400 - Marc A. Lombardo)
Reply-To: aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Marc A. Lombardo)
Date: Sun May  5 13:41:33 1991

Drakkhen
AIM Magazine March 1991
Written by Scott Sorg


Drakkhen is a fantasy fole playing game by Infogames.  The genre 
has seen some excellent games (Dungeon Master, Phantasie, 
Bloodwych), and here's another game destined for greatness.

The graphics are slick and fairly smooth.  The sun travels across 
the sky every day, and the sky changes colors from the oranges of 
sunrise and sunset to the purples of night.  The scenario is 
original and very good, and the interface is easy to work with.


BACKGROUND

The scenario of the game is that the father, who created all, 
created the drakkhen in his own image.  He also created the great 
dragons to rule over the drakkhen.  It was the great dragons, who 
in their desire to create, brought forth man upon the earth.  Many 
millennium later, the last great dragon on earth has been killed 
by a misguided Paladin.  This act fulfills a prophecy that signals 
the end of mankind and the re-emergence of the drakkhen.  The 
death of the great dragon brings the end to magic in the world.

All the Kings of the world gather to discuss the ramifications of 
a world without magic.  They discovered, from the crew of a royal 
flagship, that an island had come into being; home of the 
drakkhen.

The island would soon grow to encompass the entire world.  They 
also learned of the Ninth Tear, a faction of the drakkhen 
sympathtic to humans.  A human priest had stayed behind on the 
island with members of the Ninth Tear faction.

Your King has chosen you and three companions to go to the island 
of the drakkhen.  You must find the priest and solve the mystery 
of the Ninth Tear.  Do this and the world will be saved, fail and 
die with the knowledge you have allowed the destruction of 
mankind.


INSTRUCTION MANUAL

The instruction manual is not the worst one I've seen, but it's 
definitely not the best.  The characteristics (str,dex,etc.) most 
important for a particular class (fighter, scout, priest, 
magician) aren't even mentioned.

One very important thing was also left out of the manual.  The 
manual doesn't tell you how to cast spells outside of a combat 
situation.  The manual gives you enought information to get 
started in the game but that's about it.  It doesn't include any 
(none, zip, nada) hints in terms of strategy.  The manual doesn't 
even tell you really where to start.


GAME PLAY

You can play with preselected characters, you can't save the game 
this way, bt you can get the feel of the controls and wander 
around a bit to see what's what.  you start the game without your 
armor and weapons.

During the game there are basically two modes of operation, group 
mode and character mode.  Group mode shows first person view (like 
Dungeon Master).  This mode cannot be used indoors.  Character 
mode is a third person view, whereyou can see all of your 
characters and command them individually.  Outdoors you can toggle 
between group and character modes by hitting return.  Encountering 
a creature will also automatically take you from group to 
character mode.

One of the interesting features of the game is that the movement 
is not the standard front, back, turn left and turn right.  The 
movement is more like that in a flight simulator.  You can rotate 
left or right 360 degrees, so you can lost your sense of direction 
easily.  You can, however, regain your sense of direction by 
waiting until sunrise to find East.  Around most castles and 
buildings there are directional arrows pointing each compass 
direction.  Also at each crossroad there is an arrow indicating 
North.

There are also roads from plce to place which (if mapped) allow 
you to consistently find a particular place (castle, temple, 
weaponsmith).  But woe to you who wander off the road with out 
having mapped the roads in the general area.

Getting to the temple to be healed is something you'll need to be 
able to do consistently.  After some mapping has been done, you 
can cut across country fairly easily to shorten your travel time 
(lots of big creepy crawlies at night) which has advantages.  
Bottom line: if you are going into a new area, map it before you 
go wandering off into the wilderness 'cause it's a big island, and 
it doesn't pay not to know what road you've just come across.

As you are traveling along in group mode, you may find ourself 
suddenly changing to character mode.  This means that a monster is 
on its way.

If your combat icon is on, your characters will automatically 
attack.  Not all monsters encountered outside are aggressive, 
there's an old man who appears in various locations to give you 
directions to a nearby taven, temple or weaponsmith.

Character modes is used in all combat situations and inside 
castles and dungeons.  The character mode is very similar to 
graphic adventure games like King's Quest series but the graphics 
themselves are much better.  There are no real mazes, just 
directly connected rooms.  Mapping is still useful but not as 
mandatory as outside.

Each castle is inhabited by one of the eight drakkhen princes, and 
each castle has a mystery to be solved.  The castle in sight when 
the game starts is the castle to start with.  If you play it right 
you will receive clues on where to visit next.  One last note - 
don't be too kill happy.  You may lost some information.  On the 
other hand, don't be unprepared for trouble or you'll be toast.


BOTTOM LINE

Except for the oversights in the manual, this is an excellent role 
playing game.  The puzzles so far have been challenging but not 
quite impossible.  Clues ten to be easy to find but hard to 
decipher.  At first it's hard to keep your characters alive, but 
better weapons and armor are easily found.



-- 
Marc A. Lombardo           User Address:aa400@cleveland.freenet.edu   ~ ~ ~
/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/--/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-   ~ ~ ~
Atari ST, MIDI, Music                                                ~~ ~ ~~
                                                                   ~~   ~   ~~





Visit Atarimax Store