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Beyond Software
Mike Singleton
Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

Other Links

Robin Candy
Chris Bourne

Difficulty: 8
Atmosphere: 10
Vocabulary: NIA
Debugging: 10
Overall: 10

As this is strictly speaking not an adventure it is reviewed in this section because it owes much of its success to the arcade players that bought it. Only one person is re-reviewing it due to Ben Stone's loathing of any game that may require limited intelligence.

The Lords of Midnight was heralded by many as THE game for the Spectrum because of its totally new approach to gaming. The lavish booklet details the events leading up to the game and sets the scenario for what you are to expect from the game.

The story behind the game is that the evil witch king Doomdark prepares to capture and enslave all of Midnight. As Luxor the Moonprince you ride out from the tower of the moon With a few companions to try and thwart his efforts.

The game begins at the dawn of the winter solstice outside the tower of the moon. With Luxor, chieftain of the free lands of Midnight, are Rorthron the Wise, Corleth the Fey and your own son Morkin. From the tower of the moon you must guide your four initial characters around Midnight to muster an army to overthrow the evil Doomdark. Luxor can recruit from the Lords of the Free, Fey and Utarg. Not all will rally to your banner and many need a special character such as Luxor present before they will join forces.

Probably the most striking feature of the game is the panoramic views of which there are 32,000. The Lords of Midnight used a new programming technique appropriately called 'Landscaping'. You view the game through the eyes of the character you are controlling and as you move about distant features get bigger until you eventually arrive at them.

Doomdark may be destroyed in two ways. First by finding the Ice Crown from which Doomdark's weapon, the ice fear, emanates. The ice fear saps your warriors' strength and, as Doomdark's men capture citadel after citadel the ice fear gets stronger. If the ice fear gets strong enough your men will refuse to go into battle and may even join Doomdark against you. The other way to defeat Doomdark is by capturing his home citadel of Ushgarak. This is the harder of the victories to obtain and requires recruitment of many lords.

Doomdark wins by first killing Morkin and Luxor, or by killing Morkin and capturing the citadel of Xajorkith, the base citadel of the free. As long as Morkin is alive the game will continue.

When Lords of Midnight was first released I thought it would be a bore, it wasn't until I had played it to death that I realised it was probably the best thing that ever happened to the Spectrum. What makes the game so good is the atmosphere created in the booklet. Even when you have finally completed the game it is still very addictive because you want to explore the land of Midnight. Another novel feature of the game is that you can have more than one person playing the game at a time, which makes LOM as a proper role playing game. The best way to sum up LOM is if you haven't bought it yet go out and buy it now! Oh just a foot note to those of you who like comparing Spectrum games against CBM games, the Spectrum version is a lot faster and in my opinion better.

RC (Rob) Midnight is still a hit!!