Drakkhen logo

INFOGRAMES £29.99 * Mouse

I n another world and another time a strange island once appeared. This island is home to eight (or is it nine?) dragons that have returned after a long slumber to rid themselves of a very annoying thorn in their sides: mankind. Eventually the only course of action became clear: four adventurers would have to travel to the island and defeat the dragons in order to steal the magical stones set in their foreheads and thus ensure mankind will be free from the threat for once and for all.

You're going to be leading the party, so the first thing to do is decide just who should go and what their attributes should be. A fighter would be a good idea, so would be a magician, but how about a priest (or priestess)?

Once you think you've got the right mix you can worry about their strength levels and so on, which are generated randomly and range from one to twenty. This is just a simple process of deciding which number you're happy with for the particular attribute, then moving on to the next. The easy option, though, is to use the default team, which is made up of a person of each profession, but this does mean you won't be able to save the game as you're playing.

Moving during the game is divided into two major modes. The first is individual mode, where your characters are all on screen and by pointing and clicking with the mouse pointer one character can be directed about the screen (the character currently under control is highlighted to the left of the playing window). This is the main movement window whenever you're inside a building - handy for picking up objects that are found lying around - and for when you have to engage in combat.

The other movement mode is for travelling about the island and simply involves hitting the return key, at which point all the characters walk towards the front of the screen and fast movement around the lands can be achieved by using the cursor keys.


The sound effects are terrific and very atmospheric. The graphics are also very good and it's nice to see such a high level of attention to detail: for example, get a member of your party to take some armour out of his or her backpack and put it on and the picture at the side of the screen will show him or her wearing it, as will the sprite when in individual move mode. Inside buildings all the rooms are highly detailed and outside everything moves very swiftly when you're travelling around.


Should you decide not to bother creating a game save disk you'll spend hours trying to get through the game. Even when you do create a disk and 'cheat' by saving the game before entering a potentially difficult situation, you'll find the game takes a long time to play. Get involved with the game and it'll keep you busy for a long time...


This game takes work to get the most out of. The blend between adventure and action works but it's not brilliant. Shoot-'em-up fans and anyone not wishing to work at a game should steer clear, and even fans of the genre might find it's not the best of its type. Dungeon Master is still the best action/adventure to have appeared.

Drakkhen logo Amiga Joker Hit

Für uns Rollenspieler brechen endlich wieder goldene Zeiten an: Seit den Tagen von "Ultima", "Bard's Tale" und "Dungeon master" lassen wir ja lange auf dem Trockenen, aber jetzt ist die Durststrecke vorüber - heute können wir euch zwei absolute Super-Fantasygames präsentieren!

Fangen wir mit ein paar Gemeinsamkeiten an: Beide Spiele (Drakkhen & Legend of Faerghail) sind komplett in deutsch, beide verfügen über eine ungewöhnlich schöne Grafik und... beide nutzen leider nicht den vollen PAL-Screen aus! Aber nun zu unserer ersten Neu-vorstellung:

Irgendein dümmlicher Palading hat den letzten Drachen ermordet, und zusammen mit dem feuerspeienden Ungetier ist auch die Magie von unserer Welt verschwunden. Das ist vor allem deshalb tragisch, weil gerade jetzt eine Insel aufgetaucht ist, auf der die "Drakkhen", sprich die Drachenfürsten, herrschen. Und eben diese Insel breitet sich nun unaufhörtlich aus, um alles andere zu verschlingen. Also höchste Eisenbahn, um eine Gruppe von vier Getreuen zusammenzutrommeln und der Gefahr ins blutunterlaufene Auge zu blicken! Der Spieler selbst ist aus geweihtem Priesterstand, an seiner Seite kämpfen Krieger, Aufklärer (Waldläufer) und/oder ein Zauberer gegen das drohende Unheil (auch weibliche Recken sind herzlich willkommen - und hübsch anzusehen!). Eine Besonderheit bei Drakkhen ist, dass die Gruppe immer nur komplett erschaffen werden kann, Einzelpersonen lassen sich nicht abspeichern.

Geht's dann aber erst mal los, kommt man aus dem Staunen nicht mehr heraus - alles bisher Dagewesene wird in den Schatten gestellt! Da es keine Dungeons im eigentlichen Sinn gibt, sondern die Handlung sich auf der Oberfläche der Dracheninsel oder in normalen Räumen abspielt, wurde besonderer Wert auf die "Aussenaufhnahmen" gelegt: Der eindrucksvolle Sternenhimmel, das nahezu ruckelfreie 360 Grad Scrolling, und der Wechsel des Geschehens mit der Tageszeit können einen richtig ins Schwärmen bringen.

Dann die Animationen: Jedes Wesen, sei es nun freundlich oder (meistens) feindlich gesinnt, bewegt sich einfach makellos. Dazu gibt es erstklassigen Sound, sowohl hinsichtlich der Musik, als auch was die Geräusche angeht. Ich frage mich wirklich, wie die Jungs von "Infogrames" das alles auf zwei Disketten untergebrachthaben! Die Anforderungen an die Spieler sind teilweise ganz schön happig: bei diesem Game laugen die Kampfsequenzen nämlich in Echtzeit ab. Da heisst es kühlen Kopf bewahren oder öfters absaven und nachladen. Die Steuerung erfolgt auch hier wieder wahlweise per Maus oder Tastatur.

Ein kleiner Fehler ist uns bei "Drakkhen" aufgefallen: Bei der Charaktererschaffung werden die Werte von WID und INT vertauscht, aber ansonsten - absolute Spitzenklasse!

Beide Games leiten eine neue Generation von interaktiven Fantasy-Rollenspielen mit Supergrafik und hervorragendem Sound ein, wer ab jetzt ein solches Game veröffentlichen möchte, wird sich an diesem hohen Standard messen müssen! (wh)

Drakkhen logo


Welcome to Ye Olde Arcade adventure. As an example of the swords 'n' Sorcery style of game, Drakkhen looks nothing remarkable, a bunch of four 'adventurers' pop up on screen with names that not even the most spaced out Californian hippy would give to their sprogs. At least this time around the quest is vaguely in keeping with what the pundits are calling the ecological nineties; the elaborate and nicely produced booklet that comes as the statutory unasked-for extra to try and justify the thirty quid asking price tells the tale of the aforementioned Paladin.

Voluntarily undertaking a mission to slay the last of the great Drakkhens, the knight has at last managed to dispatch the legendary beast. Like anyone who so blatantly abuses an endangered species, he has now been quite rightly executed by the Emperor. All you have to do is to restore the 'magical balance' to the world, that the overzealous quester caused.

To move around the Archipelagos-like landscape, you change to GROUP mode which allows you to manoeuvre with the aid of a joystick. Every time you come to an encounter the mode goes automatically back to CHARACTER and the four characters pop up. The rest of the mechanics breaks no new ground there's character sheets, a choice of weapons and nine icons for a range of actions. Drakkhen looks to be aiming at quality rather than innovation, which is OK but unfortunately that brings us to the gameplay.

Try and get into the dungeon which you start in front of, and a shark leaps out of the surrounding moat and the there were three. Err off the path and splosh!, then there were two. Bump into a cross and a huge, indestructible hound's head appears and the rest of the party is Pedigree Chum. A bit of difficulty can often make for an interesting game challenge, but Drakkhen should have a lot going for it, but it has turned out as adventure by committee. Given a few weeks free with time to stumble forwarded inches at a time, Drakkhen might turn out to have hidden merits, but to find them you'd have to be the sort of compulsive adventurer who wouldn't be dissuaded by a bad review in the first place. Games like this have to be judged against the AD&D series and the comparison is not flattering.

Drakkhen logo

Infogrames/£34.99/Out Now

Amiga reviewPaul: It's strange, isn't it? Well, maybe not that strange but surely it's more usual for these RPG games to appear on the PC first and then wander onto the Amiga and ST about 300 years later. With Drakkhen it's been the other way round. How weird. Ah, but then this game is French which explains a lot.

Now to be completely honest RPG games are not really my bag. I prefer my bags to come from JS Sainsbury's and be full of goodies. However as these style of games go, Drakkhen is not lacking in goodies itself. The scenarios and basic characters are not exactly overpowering in their originality. However, the VGA/AD Lib version contains excellent graphics and a fairly satisfying soundtrack both above par for RPG, or any other game for that matter.

The control system, though a bit of a struggle at first, is quite straightforward and easy to use. One fairly effective option is the swop between group and individual control. If you choose individual control then all four of your characters will be visible strolling round the screen prying into things they shouldn't. Select group control and you see life through their eyes.

Although dangerous beyond your worst nightmares, Drakkhen does at least follow the course of the ST rather than the Amiga version. You don't get slaughtered in the first three seconds while still trying to work out how to go forwards. Why, in fact, the first time I played it lasted a whole minute. Stop

Drakkhen logo Zzap! Gold Medal Award

Infogrames, Amiga £29.99

While I was at the '89 PC Show (heavily disguised as a normal human being) I wandered over to Infogrames' stand to have a chat with one of their PR people, Christelle. Apparently she was telling me all about Drakkhen (Infogrames' first major RPG release and the first of their Drakkhen range) but I can't remember anything she said... if you've ever seen Christelle you'll appreciate why my mind went more of a blank than usual. Luckily she gave me a press release covering most of what she'd told me about Drakkhen.

If you're into Dungeon And Dragons, the name Gary Gygax may well be familiar to you as he invented it! More recently he helped create the scenario for Drakkhen...

Long, long ago, the world was created for a powerful race of dragons. The balance of life depended on their wellbeing: should the dragons be wiped out, chaos would reign and the relatively peaceful life of men would come to an end; the drakkhen (scaly, 'orrible 'umanoids) would emerge to rule.

One day a particularly stupid paladin (knightly champion) found and challenged the last of the dragons. After a long and difficult struggle, he managed to slay it. With its last breath the winged beast screamed the words that heralded the end of man. From that moment the fate of mankind was sealed. Magic no longer existed; the day of the drakkhen dawned.

The last hope for mankind (there had to be one) lies with a group of four adventurers sent by their emperor to a strange island (the only place where magic still exists). There they must find a cure for the plague before the human race is no more. You control the four as they seek eight dragon rulers, attempt to collect their jewels, and use them to summon the primordial dragon in an effort to gain his pardon for the stupid actions of the paladin.

To undertake this seemingly impossible task you may either use the characters provided or create your own (you can only save your game position if you've made a charakter disk, so it's recommended).

Traditionally, you may choose to be male or female and then a magician, priest, fighter or scout. You're allowed three attempts to roll the highest possible numbers to allocate character's strength, intelligence, dexterity and so on. Once you're happy with your party it's time to stop faffing about and get on and save your race.

The island you're sent to is made up of four zones: a marsh, desert, plain, and snowscape. Each zone features two places, in each of which resides a drakkhen ruler, either male or female., good or evil, who own the jewels you so desperately need. Actual gameplay features two main modes, group and character. In group mode a first-person perspective is utilised to portray your party's journey across the landscape.

Character mode displays your party members on-screen and allows you to contorl them individually as they explore their surroundings, glean information from other characters or objects, and collect items. This mode is automatically selected when indoors or in a combat situation. Combat takes two forms: group attack, where all party members set upon a foe en masse, or individual attack, where the chosen character enters the fray alone.

Adversaries - of which there are over 150 different types - are mostly brilliant, featuring good animation and excellent FX (although the pack of rats is a bit naff). Indoors lurk drakkhen guards (some armed to their teeth) to test your combat skills to their limit. Also inside are hunchbacked slave-humanoids. You may attack them if you wish - however, not only wil you regret this move (they're well 'ard) but by not greeting them in a friendly manner you could miss out on some vital information.

Outside are creatures only seen in your darkest nightmares. More often than seems fair at first your peaceful walkabouts are interrupted by going into character mode - warning you of an impending confrontation. Then a dark spot on the ground grows and grows to become the shadow of some dreaded creature. Suddenly, hurtling down from the skies a huge screen-sized dragon appears to turn your party into a pile of sorry cinders. And this guy's only one of many massive monsters just waiting to end your quest. It's a good job you saved your position before the attack(?).

The outdoor attacks seem random, although they occur less frequently when your party stays on roads and doesn't travel at night.

Control of your party (both individually and as a group) is easy, made so by the neat screen layout. Split into four main sections, the central window displays either your first-person view or party members and their immediate surroundings. Other panels show messages, individual party members - and their health, current spell/weapon selected - and an action-icon window. A combination of keys, mouse and joystick may be used to save the world.

Although combat plays a large part in Drakkhen, it is no ordinary hack 'n' slay RPG; thought has to go into which of your party should be armed with what, which spell should be used, and who should be fought and who talked to. The island is fairly large and a map is a necessity (although it's easy to lose direction). Good eyesight is also required as some objects are very well hidden.

Drakkhen is really though: just when you think you're getting somewhere down comes some big, scary swine to show you who's boss. But it has a strange addiction, no matter how many times you die you just have to keep going back for more. Perhaps it's the incredibly atmospheric sounds or the amazing creatures you get pulverised by. Or maybe it's the wonderfully smooth (and fast) way you explore the island in group mode. Whatever it is, I found I couldn't stop playing: all I wanted to do was get a little bit further than last time, just to see what's waiting around the corner.
In short, Drakkhen is the best game I've played in a long time. Brilliant!