Chris Wild did a superb job on unofficial PC conversions of Lord of Midnight and its sequel Doomdark's Revenge, Mike Singleton's epic RPGs first released for the Spectrum and Commodore 64. Like Mike Singleton's later and more complex Midwinterseries, RPG and strategy elements are combined with a truly epic fantasy story. The AI in this game is quite amazing for its time: you can raise armies, send NPCs out on separate tasks, and see the detailed world from multiple viewpoints, all in real-time. |
It is the innovative ?landscaping? feature and the highly original gameplay - you control several independent characters - which give the game its unique feel. At the start of the quest, there are four characters under your command, and as you explore you can recruit others. The action revolves around two main characters: Luxor and his son Morkin - they must eliminate the power of the evil Doomdark who is trying to control Midnight through his overpowering ice-fear and massive armies.
There are two ways to defeat Doomdark: Luxor can command the armies of the free to victory by seizing the Citadel of Ushgarak, or Morkin can destroy the source of Doomdark?s power, the Ice crown at the Tower of Doom. The first is akin to a war game and the second more of an adventure-- both equally excellent. When controlling the characters you have four main choices as to what to do: you can VIEW the landscape surrounding you in eight compass directions; MOVE towards any of these unless something blocks your path; THINK - allows you to examine your character?s state in more detail; or CHOOSE from a range of actions which varies according to your situation. Usually the latter involves seeking information, recruiting men, hiding or going into battle. The land is littered with mountains, citadels, forests, towers, keeps and ten other types of feature. At each of these you may find information, men or shelter, or even a more hostile reception.
With great graphics for their time, complex and satisfying gameplay, and vast gameworld, these are true classics of truly epic proportions. Make no mistake, these are very long games that will take you weeks, if not months, to finish. Definitely must-plays for all fans of RPGs and fantasy strategy-- see for yourself why these games are considered by most to be the best Spectrum games ever made. Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs