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Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom logo

Nun teilt auch Silmaril's Kendoria das tragische Schicksal so vieler Fantasy-Reiche im digitalen Rollenspiel-Universum: Kaum gehört ein Oberbösewicht endlich zum Alteisen, schon taucht der nächste auf...

Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom Diesmal sprudelt die Quelle allen Übels auf den vorgelagerten Inseln, von wo aus ein wohlorganisierter Rauschgiftung Kendorias brave Bürger zu verbotenen Vergnügungen verleitet. Doch keine Bange, dem wackeren Krieger Zubaran liegt das Wohl und Wehe seiner Mitbürger am tapferen Herzen, weshalb er kurzentschlossen aufs drogenverseuchte Eiland schippert, um den Dopedealern den Kampf anzusagen. Dort angekommen, sucht er sich erst mal in altbewährter Ishar-Manier aus gelegentlich in der Wildnis herumstehenden oder in Kneipen hockenden Kollegen einen schlagkräftigen Fünfer-Trupp zusammen – oder er bringt gleich das bewährte Team aus dem Vorgänger mit.

Ob man seine Anti-Drogen-Kampagne nun mit den alten Import-Recken oder mit frisch angeworbenen Kämpen startet, es wartet ein weites Betätigungsfeld. Die hirnlosen Gegner zum Niedermetzeln sind gegenüber dem ersten Teil der Saga weniger geworden, dafür entpuppen sich hier einige der Feinde als arg schwere Brocken, deren Zerbröselung zudem gelegentlich mit diverse Rätseln und Kleinaufträgen einhergeht – etwa bestimmte Gegenstände finden und passend verwenden, Juwelendiebe jagen und ähnliches. Auch am Handling haben die Spieldesigner nochmals gefeilt; so sind die fitzeligen Icons von einst passé, statt dessen darf die Maus in den Echtzeitkämpfen à la "Beholder" jetzt zielgenau in angenehm große Felder beißen. Auch der Umgang mit der Magie wurdefür Kampf-Hexer vereinfacht, während daneben nach wie vor beschaulich allerlei Zaubertränke gebraut werden können. Freilich nur, sofern man zuvor die nötigen Zutaten und einen Kessel aufgetrieben hat...

Das Spieling hat also ein paar Kilo zugelegt, dafür mußte allerdings die ehemals so opulente Optik auf die Schlankheitsfarm: Im Vergleich zum ersten Ishar bzw. zum wunderhübschen PC-Version des aktuellen Drogen-Dramas wirken die amiganischen 3D-Inseln samt ihren Dungeons, Städten und animierten Monstern doch etwas bläßlich, und der ungewohnt grobpixelige Himmel wird selbst durch eingebaute Tag/Nacht-Effekte nicht schöner. Andererseits ist der neue Abenteuerspielplatz halt auch sehr viel größer als der alte. Über den Sound kann man diesmal schon gar nicht meckern, denn nach der schummrigen Titelmelodie warten viele atmosphärische Stücke nebst noch mehr schicken Effekten im Spiel selbst.

Im Endeffekt hat diese "Drogerie" somit durchaus die gebotene Dosis an Spielspaß auf Lager, da beißt selbst der Anachronismus von nicht anerkennten Zweitfloppies keinen Faden ab. Und wer unbedingt mehr Farben sehen will, der hat bestimmt auch einen Turboamiga – und muß eben auf die angekündigte Spezialversion für seinen 1200er warten. (jn)

Amiga Joker, September 1993, p.30

Amiga Joker
1 MB

Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom logo CU Amiga Super Star

After defeating Krogh in Kendoria, you've gone on to bigger and better things. Tony Dillon warms up his sword arm once again.

Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom I shar is, without a doubt, one of my favourite adventure games of all time. There was something fresh and exciting about the idea of taking control of a bunch of individual characters rather than actually role-playing a single one. The clever use of psychology within the party, mixed with the wonderful graphics, made it one of the most original RPGs yet seen, so you can understand why my hand shot up faster and higher than anyone else's when our beloved Ed asked who would like to review it.

Since Ishar, the island itself has become a cultural and intellectual centre for the archipelago or Arborea (as first seen in Crystals Of Arborea). The people have become settled and the entire group of islands is as pleasant and fertile an environment as you could wish for. This kind of tranquil setting does not make for an exiting game, however, so enter the bad guy. An evil wizard has created a very powerful hallucinogenic drug, which he has used to poison the population of Arborea. The aim behind this is a simple one: rather than try to take the people by force, he can just twist their minds so that they accept him as ruler without question. Clever, huh?

Or at least it would be, but he obviously didn't reckon on you stepping into the breach. Take control of your party once more – your original Ishar crew, or start anew within the game, the choice is yours – and set out to vanquish the Wizard by working your way across the seven islands slaying beasts, rescuing people and living it up whenever possible.

Yes, you did read it correctly, there are seven islands for you to work across, and you can't move to the next one until you've solved all the puzzles for the one that you are currently standing upon – the reason for this being that the guards on the harbour won't let you board your boat until you have completed any tasks set. Bullies.

Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom Of course, the first thing you'll want to know are the differences between this and the original. The biggest change of all is the rearrangement of the control panel. At first glance you might not see much difference, but notice how the attack icons have moved to the right-hand side of the screen.

Although the benefits of this aren't immediately apparent, you soon notice the improvement when you enter combat and start rolling off atomic attacks at the enemy. With this new system, the speed of your attacks increase to such a point that you can get five complete hits in under a second!

The large compass has been removed from the screen and replaced with a small, unobtrusive indicator. In fact, the only large icons on screen are the ones you would most commonly use or that you would want to get in a hurry, such as the movement icons. Each character now has three or four sub-menus, depending on class, rather than the two employed originally. The first shows what they are carrying, the second shows their health statistics and the third opens up a character information screen, showing the various statistics for that character. The optional submenu, denoted by a red light, shows the collection of spells that a character can cast, if any.

The action menu has been reduced to five options: recruit, dismiss, murder, first aid/heal and map. The others, such as orientation, were dropped simply because they just weren't necessary. In the case of orientation, that has been superseded by the new improved map – something that will please anyone who has been playing Ishar for any length of time.

The biggest problem with Ishar was that it was too easy to get lost. Although the game had a map, it had no marker to show you where you where, so it was more or less useless. In situations where a character would tell you to head in a westerly direction to reach a town, you could walk for miles without finding what you were looking for. The new map shows you in detail where you have been, roughly where you are going and exactly where you are – a real boost for getting around. With this new system you can get back to n exact spot with no trouble at all – try doing it in Ishar!

Ishar 2 is a very cleverly scripted and designed game. The storyline unfolds beautifully as you walk through the game collecting information. Almost everything everyone tells you has value, even if it appears to mean nothing at the time, so it's worth making notes of what you hear. You begin knowing very little about what's happening, but before long you'll find yourself on the right track, free of frustration.

The psychology of the first game has really been explored in this package, and it works remarkably well. I felt that the individual characters in Ishar were a little underplayed, but they shine in this. As you hire your party, you really do need to note the characters you take on board, because a bad mix means poor team spirit, which can lead to all sorts of disasters. For example, at one stage I had an excellent thief who was a wizard with a dagger. Unfortunately, no-one in the party liked him. He got seriously hurt in combat, but no-one would perform first-aid on him, claiming they just hated him. As a result he died and I lost a good fighter. That taught me to be more careful.

The presentation is simply incredible. The graphics are among the most breathtaking seen on the Amiga – the view from the city gates over the harbour is awesome – and they have been massively upgraded since the original Ishar. To think this is just the 32 version! The impressive of height created when climbing the mountains is indescribable. These, mixed with the non-stop background of sound effects and music make this one of the most atmospheric adventures around.
Ishar 2 is a must buy. If you like adventures, you will happily remove your own limbs for this.

CU Amiga, July 1993, p.p.72-73

One of the selling points of Ishar was its immense size. Clocking in at a mammoth 160,000 views scattered over 40,000 locations, there was more than enough mapping to keep any adventurer happy. This time, however, Silmarils mean business, and have come up with a game with no less than 100,000 locations giving you a stupendously massive 400,000 different views, all built up from the same collage system of building blocks employed in the previous game. Whew!

At present, Ishar 2 is completely and fully compatible with the A1200, so if you like you can rush out and get it now. However, before too long an A1200 specific version will appear with the most stunning 256 colour graphics known to man. The only question is, can you wait that long?

As you've probably read, the game is broken up over seven huge islands now, rather than the single landmass of the original. Travelling between the islands is easy enough – just get on a boat. Before you can get a boat, though, you need to complete the island's puzzles, and merely finding them can be a struggle in itself. I'm willing to lay my cards on the table and reveal all, so here's the complete solution to the first island of Ishar 2.

You begin standing near a stone circle in the middle of the island. In front of you are three thugs attacking a young girl. You need to speak to her, but there is no way you can overpower the thugs alone – the large one is enough to keep a complete party occupied, believe me. So, instead of heading towards them, head north to the large village. There, find the pub to the west of the well and recruit some characters (there's a thief in the well, but your party won't like him). Now go to the shop on the other side of the town and stock up. If you have the money, buy a bow or two and plenty of arrows.

Return to the stone circle and kill the thugs. To kill the large guy, attack him at a distance with arrows to weaken him, and then step in. When he's dead, the girl will give you a pendant. Take it and head east into the forest.

Some large lizards will attack you, but these are easily dispensed. Continue east and you'll meet the giant lizard. Step back and attack him with arrows. Use as many as you can, then step in and pulverise him quickly – he's strong and will take a lot of hits. Once he's down, take the necklace he was wearing.

Now head for the harbour in the south-west corner and your way will be blocked by a beggar. Attack him and you'll be arrested and taken to the castle. Here the Lord of the Manor will tell you that his daughter's necklace was stolen. Give him the one you found and he will give you access to the boat. Now go back to the harbour, and you're away!

DAZE £29.99 (A1200 £32.99)
Surely the most incredible RPG ever! An astounding sequel!

Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom AGA logo  AGA   A1200 Speziell

Ishar 2 – Messengers of Doom AGA Die aus bis zu fünf Recken bestehende Party wird in diesem stimmungsvollen Fantasy-Rollenspiel von Silmarils per Maus durch die hübsch und detailreich gezeichnete Sumpf- und Wiesenwelt von Kendoria gesteuert, um einen Drogenring auszuheben, der das ganze Inselreich terrorisiert.

Helden, die den ersten Teil überlebt haben, können selbstverständlich übernommen werden; auch sie müssen sich dann in zahlreichen Kämpfen bewähren, die im typischen „Eye of the Beholder“-Stil (Echtzeit) ablaufen. Daneben spielt hier natürlich auch die Zauberei eine nicht ganz unwichtige Rolle.

Die Grafik bekam eine deutlich sichtbare Frischzellenkur verpaßt und besitzt jetzt echte VGA-Qualität. Da zudem sowohl die Maussteuerung als auch der Sound gleichermaßen prima sind, sollten geübte Abenteurer diesem komplett deutschen Edelrolli die geforderten 90 Goldstücke nicht verweigern. In Zahlen ausgedrückt bedeutet das: 75 Prozent.

Amiga Joker, December 1993, p.80