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Chaos Strikes Back logo

Publisher: FTL/Mirrorsoft Price: £25.99
Gameplay

If you liked Dungeon Master, you'll love this. It's generally more of the same, only harder. If you're after value for money Chaos Strikes Back offers hours of frantic gameplay.

Sound

With stereo sound effects and sampled noises, Chaos Strikes Back sounds almost as good as it looks.

Graphics

As with Dungeon Master, FTL have included incredible attention to detail. The scenery may look the same, but the monsters are terrific. All in all, a first-class presentation.

Chaos Strikes Back H aving negotiated the dark and dismal passages that ran under Mount Anaias your party finally discovered the resting place of the Power Gem. Fusing it together with the Firestaff, they had a weapon with which to destroy Chaos. Ascending to the Dark Lord's chamber, the champions confronted the Evil One. Using the Firestaff to full effect, they put paid to Chaos and his evil schemes once and for all. A banquet of honour was held in gratitude for the heroes' great deeds. The meek townsfolk of Viborg called for a holiday of rejoicing – all was well with the world. However as the age of Chaos drew to an end mysterious rumblings were heard deep within the bowels of Mount Anaias. It seemed that Lord Chaos had foreseen his defeat and faked his death. Now the unreasoning mind of the Dark Lord had started to plan a hideous revenge against those who had defeated him. If the world would not yield to his mighty powers, he would destroy it. Thirteen moons after their victory feast the champions attended the Grey Lord's castle. Met at the gate by their master's apprentice, Theron, the party were told the devastating news. Chaos had appeared in a vision and revealed his plans.
As the Dark Lord put them into action he drew on the Grey Lord's life force. It seemed that Chaos had constructed a new lair and in it built a Ful Ya pit from which he mined Corbum.
The Dark Lord had placed the ore in a death square surrounded by pits and traps. The champions needed no help in being reminded of the ore's mana-sapping qualities.
It was obvious that Chaos's intentions were to break free of the Grey Lord and rule under a veil of death and despair. The world's only hope lay with the champions. Could they penetrate into Chaos's lair and dispote of the Corbum before the Grey Lord and Chaos become separated for good?

Chaos Strikes Back After months of speculation, Chaos Strikes Back has finally arrived. Unfortunately, as is the case with Dungeon Master, Amiga 500 owners won't be able to participate as the game will only operate in one meg or more. It comes on a games disk with a second providing a brief storyline, a character editor and a hint oracle.
Players can use either a party transferred from Dungeon Master or venture into Chaos's prison and free an alternative four heroes. Once a fully party has been assembled they are ready to enter the Dark Lord's chambers.

Chaos Strikes Back features some of the monsters found in Dungeon Master plus a whole range of new meanies.
The heroes start with no weapons – the first skirmishes have to be survived with the use of magic alone. Seasoned explorers will soon find an area known as "supplies for the quick". It is here that you'll be able to equip your team for the terrors that lie ahead.

There are four distinct routes to the Death Pillar and the Corbum ore, each designed to test your heroes' skills. These are Ku, the way of the fighter, Dain, the way of the wizard, Ros, the way of the ninja, and Neta, the way of the priest. At the end of each test lies the Death Pilar from which your party must collect the Corbum ore. Only when the champions have collected all four pieces of ore will they finally meet Chaos. However, if you think that's all there is to it, be warned! Chaos isn't about to make the same mistake twice, and this time has fortified his lair with some of the meanest nasties going. It will take an experienced and determined adventurer to dipose of the Corbum ore and foil Chaos's plans.

Amiga Computing, Issue 35, April 1991, p.p.52-53



Chaos Strikes Back logo

MIRRORSOFT * £24.99 Mouse
Chaos Strikes Back T his game continues the roleplaying adventure that took computer gaming by storm in 1988. Once more, four heroic characters have to confront the Lord of Chaos. Their journey takes them to a multi-dimensional arrangement of rooms and corridors festooned with tricks, traps and monsters. There is none of the order of the original game as you rarely know where you are how much you've done. The only measure is how many of the four lumps of corbum you've successfully hurled into a vortex. The corbum is the key to Chaos' power. Without it him and his hideous dungeon are destroyed. Not surprisingly, you don't get to shift vast quantities of corbum around frequently. The key is to surviving, and finishing the game, is to save your game and not give up.

Point and kill
The method which you control the proceedings is one of the best of its kind. There's a window into the game and there are empty spaces for objects. You can pick up or drop an object by clicking on it with the pointer. You have a wide field of vision and your choice of actions, exercised by more clicking, is vast and learning how to play Chaos is half the fun.
The interwoven puzzles, physical problems and the ingenuousness needed to solve them is impressive. But it is the showcase model fantasy world they are set in, and which was first explored in DM, that takes hold of people first. But since the release of Chaos Strikes Back on the ST a year ago, rumour about the work the team would be putting into the Amiga version, particularly with regard to graphics and sound effects, had been enthusiastic.
For the sound effects to achieve maximum psychological damage, they should be played loud, on headphones, in stereo, with all the lights off. There's a phasing effect when you turn around so try and do this frequently, whether or not there's danger in doing so. Dying will sound fantastic. Expect the distant and unaccountable sounds of doors opening and closing, of monsters breathing and slithering. When you approach a dragon, you'll hear its heart-beat rising menacingly out of the background signal before you see it.

The colour of chaos
Improvements haven't been made in the graphics. In every respect, the graphics capabilities of the Amiga have not been exploited. Perhaps Dungeon Master's praised game system was too intricate to tamper with starting from scratch again. The graphics are marvelous regardless, considering what they get up to. But over the last year a lot of graphic marvels have emerged on the Amiga that will dilute their impact.
Where treats have been thrown in, they've been welcome; the scroll which contains a magical short-range map, animated by some dynamic palette work. This may have been included at the expense of one of the red herrings from the ST version. But that's what makes Chaos Strikes Back a great game. Everybody who claims to have finished it has left something undone.
Sean Masterson

Amiga Format, Issue 21, April 1991, p.62

VERDICT
  • One of the most puzzling, challenging and rewarding role-playing adventures available.
  • Very easy to use interface. There are usually several ways of doing something.
  • Sound effects have rarely been as slimey as this.
  • Shame the graphics weren't improved. The screen update is slow.
  • It already looks a little long in the tooth.
89%


Chaos Strikes Back logo

Rollenspieler sind ja von Haus aus Spezialisten für verzweifelte Situationen – aber dass wir sooo lange auf die Erweiterungsdisk für "Dungeon Master" warten mussten, war schon eine besonders schwierige Prüfung!

Chaos Strikes Back Wer da glaubt, der teuflische Lord Chaos sei bereits endgültig besiegt, der irrt gewältig: Während alle Welt ihn längst für tot und begraben hielt, hat der alte Ordnungshasser einen Super-Dungeon zusammengezimmert, in dem er jetzt geduldig auf die nächste Abenteuergruppe wartet. Ausserdem sind in diesem labyrintischen Verliessystem vier Kristalle versteckt, die magische Energie speichern können und dem chaotischen Lord zur Weltherrschaft verhelfen sollen. Womit die zu lösende Aufgabe auch schon klar sein dürfte; Die Kristalle müssen gefunden und zerstört werden, anschliessend geht's dann unserem finsteren Adligen (nochmals) an den Kragen. Soweit so vielsprechend, was hat sich nun „spieltechnisch" alles verändert?

Amiga Joker Hit Zunächst einmal findet mal in der Box jetzt doppelt soviele Disketten wie ehedems nämlich stolze zwei. Auf Disk Nr. 1 ist das eigentliche Game, auf Disk Nr. 2 befinden sich ausser einer Trickfilmsequenz mit dem „geschichtlichen Hintergrund" des Spiels noch zwei interessante Hilfsprogramme: Eines davon ermöglicht es, die Konterfeis der Recken nach belieben abzuändern, ausserdem können über dieses Menü auch die altgedienten Haudegen aus „Dungeon Master" übernommen werden (wobei sie allerdings sämtliche Besitztümer verlieren). Desweiteren gibt's hier ein Orakel, das die momentane Spielsituation analysiert und Tips zu den Rätseln und Monstern gibt, mit denen man sich gerade herumärgert.

Wer nicht mit seinen alten Charakteren weitermachen will, kann sich im örtlichen Gefängnis mit frischen Helden eindecken. Davon gibt es 22 Stück, von Untoten bis zu Minotaurus ist alles vertreten, was viel Punkte und Erfahrung hat. Und beides wird auch dringend benötigt, denn die (teilweise völlig neuen) Monster sind stärker und gemeiner denn je. Ebenso die Rätsel – für einige dieser Kopfnüsse braucht man schon einen riesigen Nussknacker! Damit man seine Aufmerksamkeit voll und ganz den Problemen rund um die Schergen des Bösen widmen kann, findet mann bereits nach den ersten paar Schritten eine Dungeon-Karte, auf der auch alle Spezialfelder eingetragen sind (Geheimtüren allerdings nicht). Ansonsten ist sowohl grafisch/soundmässig, als auch hinsichtlich der (Maus-) Steuerung alles beim Alten geblieben. Was im Prinzip nicht weiter verwunderlich ist, schliesslich handelt es sich bei Chaos Strikes Back nur um eine Erweiterungsdisk, zudem war ja schon „Dungeon Master" ziemlich perfekt –was hätte man also noch gross verbessern sollen?
Auf alle Fälle ist jetzt wieder genügend Stoff für mitternächtliche Exkursionen vorhanden, alte Chaos-Veteranen werden ganz sicher begeistert sein! Neueinsteigern sei zunächst allerdings eingehendes Training mit dem Urprogramm empfohlen…(wh)

Amiga Joker, February 1991, p.49

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Chaos Strikes Back – das Beste, was einem Dungeon Master Fan passieren kann!"

Amiga Joker
Chaos Strikes Back
Grafik: 79%
Sound: 73%
Handhabung: 83%
Spielidee: 80%
Dauerspass: 94%
Preis/Leistung: 85%

Red. Urteil: 87%
Für Experten
Preis: ca 79,- DM
Hersteller: FTL
Bezug: Leisuresoft

Spezialität: Relativ lange Ladezeiten, nur ein Spielstand pro Disk, englische Anleitung.



Chaos Strikes Back logo  CU Screen Star

Chaos Strikes Back A t long last it's here – the sequel to one of the greatest computer games ever made. Dungeon Master, released in 1988, has probably been the cause of more sales of upgrades than any other application or game, as it requires one meg to run (so does Chaos, therefore make sure you've got the RAM before buying).
Set over a year after the destruction of Lord Chaos, the heroes have relaxed, safe (the fools) in the knowledge that the Evil One has been eliminated. However Chaos had only been vanquished temporarily, and was busy planning his perverse revenge deep in Mount Anaias, collecting four chunks of Corbum and secreting them in his new complex of fiendish traps and puzzles, and then gathering hordes of bizarre and lethal monsters to populate it. The heroes decide to take up the challenge, and venture forth again to defeat Lord Chaos.

This is a stand-alone RPG, and doesn't need Dungeon Master to run – it's not a data disk as was originally planned. That granted, unless you've played DM for weeks on end there's little chance of surviving for more than a couple of minutes. The game doesn't forgive; it starts the party (who've been stripped of all their possessions) in a pitch-black room, surrounded by poisonous worms. And that's the easy part. The pregenerated characters don't really cut the mustard, so in effect you'll need a party that's beaten DM and contains a couple of Master-level wizards at least.
As well as the game disk, CSB comes with a utility disk that adds a great deal to the playability. It includes an introductory sequence showing Chaos creating his domain, and is a masterpiece of atmosphere – watch it before playing the game to help set the scene. The second function of the utility disk is to view and edit characters. Either Chaos or Dungeon Master characters can be used, and is a great aid to those who've finished DM so long ago they've forgotten their characters' capabilities.
The four party members can be called up for viewing, showing their statistics and levels. The portraits can be edited and even redrawn – embellishing your characters with silly details is good for a laugh. If copies of game saves are made, this function allows the player to restart the dungeon at an earlier place or right at the beginning if you've made a complete cock up.

The final feature of the utility disk is the hint oracle. This reads a saved-game disk, works out your location, and provides hints and clues to allow rebooting (CSB has DM's notoriously long loading time). This feature luckily does not lend itself to abuse. And the game itself? Well, think of Dungeon Master and double it. Set over ten huge levels, it is no easy task to complete it, and the immense difficulty of the game prevents rushing through it. The monsters are a mixture of old and new, the additions including Munchers, which are three-headed flying poisonous creatures and Hellhounds, fire breathing mutts that attack more than postmen. The puzzles too have been made more involved, allaying fears of repetition from the original.

When Chaos was first released on the ST over a year ago, it received some flak for being little more than an expansion module – and therefore a con at the price. While there is some truth in this claim, the depth of playability and incredible atmosphere (the blood-curdling screams are still there) make the criticism rather redundant. After all, nobody accuses Lamborhini of producing yet another racing car, do they? Overall this is gameplay of the highest order, and the graphics and sound, while hardly braking new ground, suit the game perfectly. So a big hurrah to FTL for making the game and a big boo-hiss to the same for taking so long with the Amiga version!
Matt Regan

CU Amiga, February 1991, p.p.66-67

DUNGEON DELVING
It's the little extras that make this game such a joy to play. For example, when selecting champions in the prison it's possible to find a master-level ninja in a secret room; however he's guarded by a host of rock monsters! Other nasty surprises include the room containing a magnificent sword. Grabbing it has the unfortunate effects of releasing half a dozen Death Knights, and so it's bye bye to the party (the trick is to dispose of the Knights in their alcoves one by one). Another section, behind an easily-chopped wooden door, contains mummies. No problem, you cry, mummies are a cinch. Not when there are an infinite number of them, they're not! This game is not for wimps.

FTL/MIRROROFT £24.95
Great sequel – brilliant for Role Playing gamers
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
83%
80%
90%
92%
OVERALL 90%



Chaos Strikes Back logo  Zero Hero

Amiga review Paul: Although this sequel to Dungeon Master is technically a stand alone game, those who haven't grappled long and hard with the original would be ill advised to get involved. Firstly because the instructions are less than helpful and (a tad cynically?) frequently advise you to refer to the Dungeon Master instructions.

Secondly, and more importantly, this game is so tough that novices are unlikely to get beyond the front door. Take the first room for example: about seven square feet of concrete, 90 squat, thick, oily snaky things looking like Dougal with teeth, lots of doors, no keys, no clothes, no objects, no weapons. No bloody hope. Unless you boot up the second 'cunning' disk which, alongside providing a build-a-character kit, has a magical, mystical Oracle. This Norris McWhirter of the fantasy world gives you infuriatingly 'cryptic' clues and prophecies, that add the 'myst' to mystical fantasy. In all, a jolly outing for the Amiga into Hobbit land, with only the clearer sound distinguishing it from the ST version.

Zero, Issue 18, April 1991, p.67
GRAPHICS 85

SOUND 80

ADDICTIVENESS 90

EXECUTION 80

OVERALL
92