The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey ranks among the most unique and imaginative fantasy novels ever created, so it is not surprising that a strategy game based on its world would be of the most unique games. First released for the Atari and Commodore 64, the game sold reasonably well, although it remains debatable whether Everlasting would have been more successful had they made an RPG out of the license rather than an action / strategy hybrid that it is.
Set on the planet Pern, the game centers around the periodic fall of a deadly rain of silver thread, presaged by the appearance of the Red Star. Pern's human population inhabits holds and Weyrs, strongholds in which commerce, industry, and dragon-raising take place. As the representative of an important Weyr, your twofold task is to win the confidence of the other holds and Weyrs through negotiation, and to defend the planet from the falling silver thread by riding dragons whose fiery breath burns it. You can choose a game with or without thread fighting, and select the game's speed and length. There are two stages of play: negotiating and thread fighting. In the negotiating stage, your task is to, well, negotiate with many different characters, each with a distinct personality. Negotiation is difficult because you can't foretell exactly how a Pernesian will react to your approaches; you might negotiate well, and still be denied the political alliance you seek. In the thread-fighting sequence, you battle silver threads from the back of your dragon. You fly in 3D in the first level, and 3D in levels 2 and 3. Learning to maneuver the dragon isn't easy, as you can only rotate a quarter of a turn at a time. However, once you get the hang of steering, flying your dragon is a breeze.
Overall, Dragonriders of Pern is a challenging game. You can assume different types of behavior when negotiating with Pernesians, so it's never the same game twice. Highly recommended!
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