Once there were no Amigas or Atari STs and in that bygone era was born an adventure program called The Temple of Apshai. It followed the general idea of Dungeons and Dragons, with lots of monsters to meet in battle and treasure to be found. TTA has stood the test of time with conversions for almost all computers, and faster gameplay. On the disc you also get the two additional adventures that followed, Upper Reaches of Apshai and the Curse of Ra. The Temple of Apshai Trilogy is produced by Epyx and is distributed in the UK by US Gold.
The 80 page manual covers all the basic rules, together with a room by room description of the locations. The screen display simply depicts a series of rooms and corridors. It is not necessary to read the descriptions but it helps set the scene. You will also need to refer to the manual to check out the treasures - some are worthless.
You can start from scratch, with your character given a random 1 to 18 for six basic attributes: Intelligence, intuition, ego, strength, constitution and dexterity, together with a number of silver pieces. You can enter a previously saved character from disc or enter the including the Amiga. Thankfully this interpretation has superior graphics attributes of a character from an earlier game. You can restore a previous game saved at any point within Apshai.
A status screen shows wounds and fatigue. Wounds may be healed by using healing salves or elixirs, the former being purchased from the innkeeper. The latter can be found within Apshai. Fatigue may be relived by moving more slowly or resting. The heavier your equipment or treasure, the more fatigued you become. Having beaten the innkeeper down in price - pay the asking price and you will end up with very little equipment - and purchased a sword, armour, shield, bow, some arrows ready to enter Apshai. You have the choice of which realm to explore and at what level.
Each realm has four levels. Dungeons and Dragons followers will find levels 1 to 2 are appropriate to third level, and the lower levels to fourth and sixth level characters. A number of commands are available and the mouse can be used for movement and direction. Single key commands from the keyboard also allow you to move forward from one to nine feet, turn left or right, attack, thrust or parry and fire a normal or magic arrow.
There are special commands, such as examining a wall for secret doors, opening doors, searching for traps, picking up treasures, listening for monsters, talking to monsters, healing with salves or elixirs, checking the and a few healing salves, you are inventory of your treasures or saving the game or character for future use.
Most levels of each realm have 50 to 60 rooms, so there is plenty to explore. Some monsters are tied to particular locations, but others wander around looking for the odd meal. The innkeeper will pay you for any treasure you have collected so you have a chance to add to or improve your equipment. Remember that heavy weapons and armour affect your movement and energy output. There is a little more to Apshai than straightforward monster bashing, but nowhere near the depth of puzzles and quests to be found in more modern offerings such as Ultima and Bard's Tale.
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