This sequel to the glorious Pools of Darkness saga pits our heroes against the Dark Empress in a fight to the finish! General Laurlanthalasa has sent a cryptic message to our heroes imploring them to make haste to the illustrious city of Palanthras. This final showdown promises to be a tough one!
To insure that it is a battle to remember. Strategic Simulations (SSI) have thrown in everything (including the kitchen sink) imaginable. Harder challenges, more monsters and more treachery face the Champions of Krynn in this antiquated role playing system. From the start, you'll notice that the basic elements of role play such as character species and range of skills have changed very little. There is still the usual mix of human and non-human characters to choose from, and the ability scores are still calculated in the same predictable manner. Combat mode is still activated in like form. One exception is the thief's "backstab" attack mode (try it you'll like it!).
It is extremely advisable that you transfer your older and experienced characters over from previous adventures. As in the other sagas, there is a pre-chosen team of heroes awaiting your selection. This pre-seiected group is already equipped with weaponry, as well as being experienced in spellcasting. Bear in mind that there is no substitute for experience, especially in battle! Should you prefer, you may load only one character from the Death Knights of Krynn and choose the ADD CHARACTER TO PARTY option.
In this saga the monsters you meet are the survivors and veterans of the War of the Lance and not a group of girls scouts (although I've met some tough girl scouts in my time). You'll definitely need top level fighters and mages because the monsters that you meet are the toughest and the best. The screen is set in typical role-playing 3D/area, wilderness and combat modes. You can choose either keyboard or mouse control. However, when you are not in a dungeon you can also switch to a maze window and steer your party via an arrow. In the middle of the screen you can see a compass which always shows you in which direction you are heading. As usual, there is plenty of information on the character, his hit points, stamina, inventory, abilities etc. Don't forget to ready your fighters with all the goodies they can carry when they are fighting. You can switch between weapons during the battle, as well. For magic casters or spell weavers, there are additional problems. The magic of Krynn operates in spheres with different levels of magic users only able to manipulate them. For example, one magician may be able to cast a spell, but another magician may not. Additionally, the Three Moons of Krynn govern the powers of magic. Each moon has a different cycle (Waning, waxing, etc.) which affects different groups of spell-casters. The phases of the three moons are shown under the point of view window, heed its advice and choose your magic-users wisely. Both clerics and some magic-users can cast preparatory spells such as bless or strength just before entering a battle to protect or strengthen characters.
Spells should be memorised and rememorised at every opportunity. Memorising a spell takes 15 minutes of play time per level, plus a preparation period based on the level of the spell. Scrolls may be joined into bundles, with ten scrolls being the maximum. Although this aspect is desirable, it is advisable that you consider rearranging the order of the scrolls. To rememorize spells in Camp, the selected REST option will activate the process. It is also prudent to SAVE, especially after tough battles. The booklet advises that you consider saving at least two separate saved games at all times and alternate between them. This technique will allow you go back to your latest defeat or downfall and try a different strategy.
Naturally, there is booty to be collected from fallen foes, and magic treasures to be collected along the way. BEWARE! Not all magical objects are beneficial, some are cursed and could cause great harm to your band of warriors if activated before being checked out. To accomplish this, simply use the remove curse spell before the item can be used. Some magic items can only be used by certain levels or classes of magic-users. All in all, the atmosphere surrounding our heroes is very intense. The scenery is also varied, you can even go to an underwater continent. There are also several smaller sub-missions for you to accomplish, these alone should ensure weeks of playing fun. Should the game prove to be a little too much for the uninitiated, SSI make a wonderful clue book complete with detailed maps, lists of magical treasures and their hidden locations. Although the graphics are literally more of the same old stuff, this is quickly offset by the intensity of the action. Monsters of all shapes and sizes are constantly on your doorstep. With the destiny of Krynn at stake, would you expect any less?
A game from the authors of the Dragonlance chronicles. It's a reading, walking, acting role playing game, where you can meet most of the heroes of the Dragonlance.
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