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Das schwarze Auge logo

Bisher liess sich die abenteuerliche Welt Aventuriens ja nur mit Papier und Bleistift bewaffnet durchstreifen, dank der wackeren Recken von Attic linst das Schwarze Auge nun auch vom Amiga-Monitor. Und dank des wackeren Jokers erfahrt Ihr brandexklusiv, wie ihm die Konvertierungs-Kur bekommen ist!

Das schwarze Auge Um Deutschlands beliebtestes Rollenspielsystem auf den Computer umzusetzen, hat Attic Software eng mit Fantasy Productions, den Designern der Originalvorlage, zusammengearbeitet – insgesamt wurde eine halbe Million Mark investiert. Ob sich der Aufwand gelohnt hat? Und wie, noch nie hielt sich ein Rollenspiel derart genau an seine Vorlage! Daher mag die Story auch dem einen oder anderen merkwürdig vertraut vorkommen: Allem Anschein nach sammeln sich die Orks nördlich der Stadt Thorwal, was sicher nichts Gutes zu bedeuten hat. Da keinerlei Chance besteht, jetzt noch schnell eine Armee aufzustellen, ruhen alle Hoffnungen auf dem sagenumwobenen Schwert „Grimring“; immerhin konnte dieser Säbel schon mal das Fürchten lehren. Die „Schicksalsklinge“ hat nur einen Fehler – keiner weiß so genau, wo sie sich derzeit befindet! Da gibt es zwar einen alten Lageplan, doch verteilen sich dessen 12 Fetzen auf ebensoviele Leute. Was fehlt, ist ein Helden-Sextett, das willens und fähig ist, das Mosaik durch Erfüllung der da mit verbundenen Kleinquests zusammenzusetzen...

Das schwarze Auge So eine Abenteurer-Truppe hält das Spiel fixfertig bereit, wer auf die Instant-Heroen zurückgreift, bringt sich allerdings um das Vergnügen einer ultrakomplexen Charaktererschaffung auf sage und schreibe elf Screens! Vom Krieger über Gaukler, Zwerge, Hexen und Druiden bis hin zu verschiedenen Elfen stehen insgesamt 12 Rassen bzw. Klassen zur Wahl. Alle haben sie sowohl positive wie auch negative Charaktereigenschaften und können über 50 verschiedene „Talente“ vorweisen oder zumindest erlernen. In der Praxis wirkt sich das so aus, dass man einem Krieger zur Not sicher das Fallenstellen und Fährtensuchen beibringen kann, aber bei exotischeren Beschäftigungen wie Tanzen oder musizieren wird er schon nicht mehr so willig mitspielen. Wie auch immer, am Ende bleibt ein Gruppen-Platz frei, er ist für einen rechnergesteuerten Non-Player Charakter bestimmt, den man während des Spiels aufnehmen kann.

Sobald das Team endgültig steht, wird das bequem zu bedienende Inventory (im Stil von „Dungeon Master“) noch anlässlich eines Stadtrundgang mit Waffen und Proviant gefüllt, dann kann das Abenteuer beginnen. Übrigens darf die Party jederzeit in beliebige Untergrüppchen aufgeteilt werden, sollten also Lustmolche in Euren Reihen sein, könnt Ihr sie vor Antritt der Reise noch zu einem kleinen Bordellbesuch schicken ja, selbst sowas gibt’s hier!

Das schwarze Auge Die Schnitzeljagd nach dem schicksalschwangern Küchenmesser führt die Party kreuz und quer über eine Landkarte, bei besonderen Vorkommnissen werden hübschen Zwischengrafiken mit witzigen Texten eingeblendet. Die Helden könnten beispielsweise auf einen Höhleneingang, ein verlassenes Gebäude, einen toten Kollegen oder eine eingestürzte Brücke stoßen. Ganz egal, ob man dann eine Fährte verfolgen, irgendetwas reparieren oder sich mit einem Haufen Zombis, Piraten, Wölfe etc. rumschlagen muss – stets geht es hochkomplex und nach allen Regeln der DSA-Künst zur Sache. So werden die Kämpfe in Runden abgewickelt, die Recken dürfen einzeln befehligt und positioniert werden, wobei Bewegungspunkte und zahllose Nah- und Fernkampftechniken (Schwert, Bogen...) im Spiel sind. Wegen der besseren Übersicht prügelt man sich auf einem eigenen Kampfscreenmit isometrischer 3D-Grafik, aufgrund der eisern durchgehaltenen Regeltreue sind die Gefechte jedoch ziemlich zeitraubend. Der Lohn der Mühe sind dann viele schöne Erfahrungspunkte, Beförderungen sind hier allerdings nur bis Level vier möglich (die Papier-Module reichen diesbezüglich ja schon bis Stufe 25).

Apropos Regeltreue: Auch beim Digi-DSA kann nahezu jeder zaubern – aber ob auch jeder mit jedem der 82 verfügbaren Spells zurechtkommt?! Wahrscheinlicher ist, dass sich so mancher Jung-Hexer mit seiner bescheidenen Zahl an Magie-Punkten erstmal selbst verzaubert, weil ihm ein Helden-Kollege in Weg steht! Oder weil er sich vorher nicht genügend konzentriert hat. Oder weil Goldmachen halt eher was für Profis ist. Oder...

Amiga Joker Hit Ihr seht also, das Game ist nicht nur sehr umfangreich (allen 52 Städte!), sondern auch irre komplex. Möglicherweise gar zu komplex? Eben nicht, dank zwei unterschiedlicher Schwierigkeitsgrade kommen auch Neulinge hier gut zurecht. Besonders, da für Bequemlichkeit in jeder Hinsicht gesorgt wurde: Eine jederzeit abbrechbare Quickfight-Option sorgt auf Wunsch für pflegeleichtes Kämpfen, in den Städten und mehrstöckigen Dungeons gibt’s Automapping. Unterhaltungen werden im Multiple Choice-Verfahren geführt, und dazu kommt die bis jetzt vielleicht genialste Rollenspiel-Steuerung überhaupt. Man kann das Schwarze Auge nämlich einerseits über automatisch mit der Situation wechselnde Icons (über 50) bedienen, andererseits genügt ein Druck auf die rechte Maustaste, und es erscheint ein Pop Up-Menü mit sämtlichen momentan verfügbaren Handlungsmöglichkeiten!

Grafik und Sound (Musik & Waffengeklirr) befinden sich auf ähnlich hohem Niveau. Wer Spirit of Adventure kennt, hat davon auch schon ein ungefähre Vorstellung. Außer dem Kampfscreen und der Reisekarte wird alles im gewohnten Rolli-3D gezeigt, und zwar wirklich, wirklich wunderschön. Nebenbei – an der tollen Optik war mit Sascha Jungnickel sogar eine Entdeckung der Joker-Galerie beteiligt.

Kurz und sehr gut, die Computer-Premiere des Schwarzen Auges ist wirklich rundum gelungen, bessere Rollenspiele kennt man allenfalls von einem Lord British. Wenn die geplante Fortsetzung nur halb so gut wird, kann man schon zufrieden sein!
(C. Borgmeier/od)

Amiga Joker, May 1992, p.p.12-13

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Das Schwarze Auge - ein Rollenspiel-Erlebnis wie noch keins zuvor!"

amiga joker
Das Schwarze Auge
Grafik: 84%
Sound: 76%
Handhabung: 94%
Spielidee: 89%
Dauerspaß: 92%
Preis/Leistung: 84%

Red. Urteil: 90%
Variabel
Preis: ca 109,- dm
Hersteller: Attic
Genre: Abenteuer

Spezialität: 1 MB erforderlich, vier Disks, Zweitlaufwerk wird unterstützt, HD-Installation möglich.



Blade of Destiny logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

Strapping on his mighty weapon, Jon Sloan steps into a world of beautiful warriors and brave women… or should that be the other way ‘round?

T Blade of Destiny he Amiga role-playing market is pretty tough to break into successfully. What with the amazing Eye of the Beholder series (Eye of the Beholder I & II) and, more recently, Legends of Valour, the standard of this genre has risen dramatically since its early days. There are quite a few hot games out there and RPGers are a choosy bunch.

Blade of Destiny Into this arena strides Blade of Destiny. Converted from Germany’s number one role-playing system, Das Schwarze Auge (literally, The Black Eye), Blade is the first of the Northern Territories Trilogy. Set in the Realms of Arkania it is filled with strange characters with even stranger names, like Sir Shaun of Crispy (I kid you not) and Alrik v. Angbar. It tells the tale of a famous sword lost in the lands of the Orcs and of a brave band of adventurers who set out to find it. Actually, it is a little more complex than that, but you get the idea.

WHAT A BIG ONE
The first thing that strikes you about Blade is the sheer size of the map of Arkania – there is over 184,000 square miles of territory and more than 80 towns to visit, not counting the numerous hidden dungeons! With a play area this size it would be an easy cop out for the programmers to restrict you to a linear progression. Amazingly that is not the case. Your hearty band is free to travel and do almost anything and need not follow a set route to achieving its ultimate goal. It is this freedom that makes Blade so wonderfully appealing. Your travels through the Realm will take you to many towns and villages looking for clues to the sword’s location. When visiting you are bound to come across intriguing tales of local monsters that no self-respecting adventurers should ignore. These sub-plots not only serve to prolong the main game but also give it an added level of realism. And realism is a theme carried through the whole game – you actually believe that this place could have existed.

Blade of Destiny It is an established standard for this genre that you should view the action in 3D from the first-person perspective and, in that respect, Blade is no different. Although this can be a graphically exciting means of playing it can also be very limiting. For instance, other than sticking the warriors at the front tactics are difficult to execute. Blade has recognised those faults and offers a second viewpoint when you get into battle.

In a fight situation the screen shifts to an isometric perspective very similar to that in The Immortal. Whilst Blade’s graphics are nowhere near as good as those in The Immortal, it is a brilliant way of organising battles. You can execute some high level tactics placing fighters, magicians and archers in appropriate positions. It is even possible to split the party into smaller groups and have your most perceptive characters scouting ahead for the many floor and ceiling traps that litter the dungeons.

ALTERED STATES
Blade of Destiny This changed view has allowed the graphics artists to have a field day, too, with every spell cast accompanied by an appropriate explosion effect and, considering there are over 70 spells to choose from, that is a helluva lot of animations. This spell system must be the most comprehensive ever with spells for just about every situation from turning solids to liquid to blinding opponents with a lightning flash. Physical combat has been developed well, too, with fighters given the choice to guard, parry and attack at one of three levels of commitment. That realism I was mentioning earlier comes into play here with players able to fumble attacks and weapons and armour prone to breaking right in the middle of a pitched battle with 10 Orcs. It is a pain when it happens but overall it is tremendous fun. On the subject of pain your characters not only sustain weapon damage, but they can also catch a disease or get infected wounds!

Blade of Destiny Before I explode from using too many superlatives I have got to tell you that Blade does have its flaws. The graphics are far below what we have come to expect from this type of game. Whilst the static screens are very detailed and colourful the 3D ones are not. Dungeons are especially difficult to negotiate as the walls are a nauseating shades of blue which serves to hide corners and doorways even when you are standing right next to them. Fortunately there is an auto map which clearly marks where you are and what is near. The towns, too, are very repetitive with whole areas empty of graphics – houses do not appear until you are about three squares away from them. The isometric sections are also quite poor with characters moving stiffly about. My final major moan concerns the combat itself, which, apart from it being difficult to target specific squares, is appallingly slow. Still, I guess these are the prices to be paid for the rest of the game’s size.

IN CONCLUSION…
It would be impossible for me to go into detail about every aspect of Blade - it really is too huge to do that adequately here. There are over 70 statistics and skill areas unique to each player. But it is safe to say that if you have ever played a computer-based RPG and felt frustrated that it did not do something that you know it should do then Blade will not frustrate you in the same way. There are limitations, after all it is governed by the coding and not by some Dungeon Master’s imagination, but it is the most comprehensive RPG ever to appear on your Amiga.

This may not have the graphical beauty of Legends of Valour or The Immortal, nor the intuitive control system of the Eye (Eye of the Beholder I & II) series, but if you can live with those failings then I can heartily recommend its purchase.

CU Amiga, August 1993, p.p.60-61, 63
CLASSY CHARACTERS
With 12 characters available chances are that you will find one close to your perfect image of what an adventure should be. It is a good idea, though, to go for a finely balanced team of six heroes. It is no good facing up to a 50-foot dragon with six pickpockets! Try to get an even mix of fighters, magicians, rogues and hunters. That way the team should be prepared for most eventualities.
Blade of Destiny: Jesters
Jesters are all-round characters with experience of both wilderness and town survival techniques.
Blade of Destiny: Barbarians
These guys are the barbarians in the game. Renowned for their love of drinking and fighting, they also make great sailors and explorers.
Blade of Destiny: Warriors
Masters of armed combat, warriors are useful in a fight. They are the only class able to handle the two-handed sword.
Blade of Destiny: Hunters
Missile weapons and tracking skills make Hunters great for fights on the road. You will never be short of food with one of these in the team.
Blade of Destiny: Rogues
In a town, Rogues come into their own. Whether it is for picking pockets or locks, they are a vital component in a balanced team.
Blade of Destiny: Dwarves
Pandering to stereotype, Dwarves are short, like fighting and drinking and are excellent underground.
Blade of Destiny: Witches
Masters of non-book magic, Witches are also skilled at evaluating humans and are very intuitive.
Blade of Destiny: Druids
Apart from controlling the forces of nature Druids are capable of summoning and controlling demons.
Blade of Destiny: Magicians
As scientists Magicians tend to learn all they know from books. Do not mess with one if he has got a wand though.
Blade of Destiny: Green Elves
More human than elven, the Green Elves are great with missiles and can often teach a magician a thing or two.
Blade of Destiny: Ice Elves
From northern Arkania these Ice Elves are masters of an unknown form of magic. They are also handy with missiles.
Blade of Destiny: Silvan Elves
Silvan elves are great with a bow and, being the most secluded of the races, are excellent survivors in the wilderness.

WELL EQUIPPED
No well dressed adventurer should even think about venturing out into the wilderness or deep into some dark dungeon without taking his weapon. That is not all either. In Blade, just like real life, if you plan to spend the night comfortably under the stars, it is wise to carry a bedroll, plus food, plus water, plus… well the list could be endless.
Having played a good range of RPGs over the years I think that it is safe to say that Blade offers you the largest choice of equipment and weapons ever. There are some weird and esoteric swords, a range of axes, plus rope ladders, shovels and some pretty nifty snow shoes.
What you eventually decide to take is entirely up to you, but there are a lot of factors to consider that do not normally make an appearance in other RPGs, including weather, terrain and wild animals.
Blade of Destiny isometric view

1. Character’s name, class, experience etc.
2. Backpack, you can carry up to 16 items.
3. Main statistics. You will find all the usual ones here plus some different ones like avarice, curiosity and necrophobia.
4. Name of currently selected item.
5. Character’s weight & height.
6. Secondary statistics. Here your attack and parry values and all important movement points are located.

ALTERNATIVE BUYS

The RPG market is awash with games, some good, some not so good, and some utter rubbish. Here is a brief guide to three alternatives to Blade.

LEGENDS OF VALOUR
Featuring texture mapped graphics for extra realism, this game is the benchmark for non-linear adventuring. Players start in a massive city and basically have to find their quest before embarking on it. An excellent, smooth scrolling adventure.

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER I & II
These games set the standards in recent times for what an involved RPG should be. Eye II was released early 1992 and is still keeping player perplexed. A very traditional game with players exploring dungeon-like environments, solving puzzles and doing battle with monsters.

THE IMMORTAL
if the isometric combat screens appeal to you then buy this game. It is the most graphically detailed isometric adventure yet and offers a lot of gameplay. More an arcade game than a true adventure, its fault lies in progress being strictly linear with instant death greeting a wrong move. The best thing is that it is out on budget.

HACK AND SLASH
It is inevitable, but no matter how hard you try to avoid it you will find yourself in a fight sooner or later.
Anyway, once battle has commenced you will be greeted with a screen like the one below. All combat is governed by movement points which vary from character to character. The amount you have varies according to what you are carrying, how strong you are and whether you have been surprised or not. It is a familiar means of sorting our fighting that all regular RPGers will be used to. It basically means that you can draw a weapon, move, decide to change weapons and attack providing you have enough points.
Blade of Destiny isometric view

1. Active character.
2. Combat area.
3. Active party member’s options. This is a generic box, so every option appears even if yo cannot perform that action. The numbers in brackets by each option indicate how many movement points that action will take.
4. Inactive party members and monsters. It can get a bit confusing here if you are being attacked by characters from the same class as your party members – all the graphics are very similar!
5. Active party member. This is indicated by the highlighted square he is standing on. His portrait also appears in the top left of the screen.

US GOLD £37.99
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UNITS 2-3, HOLFORD WAY, HOLFORD, BIRMINGHAM B6 7AX. TEL: 021 625 3366.
 
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OUT NOW
RPG
ATTIC
MOUSE, KEYBOARD
8
1
YES
1Mb

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY

70%
83%
98%
93%
Expensive and graphically uninspiring but, ultimately, this is an incredible game.
OVERALL: 86%