Although you, Hasrinaxx, played a vital part in expelling Acamantor over one hundred years ago, a scries of disturbing events lead you to the inevitable conclusion that he has returned and is once again trying to exert his evil powers over the land of Belorn. Your apprentice has been zombified and the villagers of Ishmar have also joined the ranks of the undead. A thunderclap makes you look up and there, in the sky, is an image of the Dark Mage himself. It seems to be mocking you and you vow there and then to use all your druidic powers to destroy this evil for ever.
Subtitled Druid II (although I have not come across the original on the Amiga). Enlightenment is a superior Gauntlet clone cum arcade adventure. The playing area is depicted in raised 3-D graphics rather than the usual top down view and the effect works well. The graphics arc excellent.
Your quest starts in the village of Ishmar. All around you, the undead villagers are rising from their graves to attack you although a quick blast of lightning from your fingers soon dispels them. You will need more than that weapon though if you are to succeed in your task. Your travels will take you through ten different lands - desert, swamps, snow and caverns among them, each with their own selection of monsters all hell-bent on your destruction. On top of that, you will also have to find a way to broach the five level castle of Acamantor himself. In order to hamper you even further, there are also Acamantor's demon princes, all of which need special magic to destroy them. Contact with any of these evil creatures depletes your constitution. This can be topped up when required with a Banquet spell, one of the more frequent spells to be found lying around.
Your method of survival relies very heavily on magic. Up to eight spells can be carried at any given time. You start off with five and there arc plenty of others scattered round the land to replenish those already cast. There are a total of 32 different spells to be used. Some arc defensive in nature, restoring your constitution or increasing your armour strength. Others will help you as you travel, opening locked gates, providing light in darkened areas or merely offering a minor clue. A third type is the offensive spell, destroying monsters or causing them to run from your path. There are two spells - the Horn of Baeon and Coin of Charon whose effects arc as yet unknown.
Help is also on hand in the form of summoned elementals. The four elements, air, earth, fire and water each have an elemental associated with them that can be called to help you providing, of course, that you have the appropriate spell to cast. The Wispe, Golem, Phoenix and Kraken can follow you about or be sent in a specific direction. They will serve you until their strength is depleted. Alternatively, a second player can take independent control. Each elemental has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Kraken will not fair particularly well in hot or dry areas. The strength of your elemental can be topped up from a distance although again, you will need the correct spell in your armoury.
The game plays very well although I did have problems with the high score table in so much as the program crashed every time I entered my name. As I so seldom attain a place on a high score table. I found this particularly galling!
There is some spectacular music and sound effects to go with excellent graphics although the speech is a bit iffy. Mention must be made of the manual though. It looks slick and professional and it is only when you start to read the introductory story that the fun starts. Leaving aside the spelling, grammatical and factual errors, (of which there are many) this piece of prose is undoubtedly the worst bit of writing that I have come across for some time.
It is so bad, it becomes extremely funny. The author obviously doesn't know what half the words that he has used mean. "Piercing stench" and "chants being spoken" are two examples that stick in the memory. Never have I seen such an apalling use of adjectives and adverbs and I must admit that I am surprised Firebird let it through. Their documentation is normally first class.
That apart though. Enlightenment is an excellent game and can be strongly recommended.
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