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|Dungeon Master is a masterpiece and an evolution for the RPG genre, with incredible atmosphere and gameplay. It was initially developed and published by FTL Games for the Atari ST in 1987 and later ported to a variety of systems like the Amiga (1988), Apple IIGS (1989), DOS (1992), SNES (1991), X68000 (1990), PC-98 (1990), and FM Towns (1989).|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
In his desire to gain the Power Crystal, the Grey Lord unleashes the power of Chaos inside his dungeon. Only by recovering the Firestaff from the dungeon's depths can anyone hope to fight the freed evil force. Many champions accepted the challenge, perished and were sealed in mirror tombs (!) within the dungeon. You are now given the opportunity to enter the dungeon and resurrect four of the champions to form a fighting force in one final attempt to win! The dungeon is split into 15 levels, each one fraught with dangers and hazards.The game screen is divided into three main areas: Information about your champions is shown at the top, the menus for controlling the game are shown on the right, and the large area at the left side shows either your view of the dungeon or the inventory of a particular champion. First thing is to select a leader for your team. The leader is your direct link to the dungeon. He can pick up everything your party finds (such as pouches for carrying extra objects, quivers for your arrows, torches, backpacks, clothes, armor etc) open and close doors or do other direct actions (such as moving objects, moving levers to activate gates etc) into the dungeon. It is important to pay attention to how your champions are positioned. The teammates using swords or other weapons (say crossbows), must be adjacent to threats they are attacking or their attacks will never succeed! Your members should have their weapons ready before being surprised by hostiles (that vary from mummies, skeletons, giant rats etc), and this can be achieved only if a weapon is placed in the action hand (icon) of the character. Be noted that every member of your party can also die from thirst or starvation or even by poison, so be careful to pick up bottles and food but first check them before use! Each teammate has his own abilities whilst there is a three-type bar chart that shows health, stamina and manna at any time. When empty handed and no weapon at your disposal, there is an action menu for each of your members, offering the following actions: Punch, Kick or War Cry! More on that, every member of the dungeon party can learn to cast magical spells of limited amount depending on the available manna. To cast a spell, you must first select which member should cast it. Then there is a menu that indicates symbols that represent the basic magic syllables of a spell. Each symbol recited drains the manna level of the spellcaster too! Once a spell is formed, pressing the button will cast it forth. It is very handy to compile an accurate map of your surroundings and maps can help you locate areas of the dungeon you haven't yet explored or avoiding visiting areas you've already been.Dungeon Master is very addictive back then and the game itself has well over 200 hours of playing time. The game is tagged as the greatest computer role playing game ever and, the truth is, it didn't disappointed nobody back then.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The Apple IIGS version is technically identical to the original Atari ST and runs with 16 colors on screen. The majority of the 3D corridors are identically (but beautifully) drawn whilst the various traps, doors and monsters found in the dungeon are displayed in great, animated detail within the main window. Note that the Amiga and MS DOS versions are identical in colors and details, but run a bit faster compared to the IIGS and (the original) Atari ST versions! The game's sound is also great, offering some creepy sound effects (some of them sampled) but cannot compare to the Amiga port that has plenty of stereo sampled sound effects at all times.
|CPU: 16bit WDC 65C816 running at 2.8 MHz|
MEMORY: 256 KB to 1MB RAM built-in, expandable to 8MB, 128 to 256 KB ROM built-in.
GRAPHICS: 12bit RGB palette (4096 colours) supporting 320x200 with 16, 256 colors, 640x200 with 2, 64 colors
SOUND: Ensoniq 5503 Digital Oscillator Chip, 8-bit audio resolution, 64 kB dedicated sound RAM, 32 separate channel (software paired them into 16 stereo voices)
|12bit RGB 4096-colours palette (16 on screen and up to 256)|
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