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Dragontorc (1985)      

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Hewson Consultants Ltd
Adventure / Graphical

Audio cassette
Advertisement, Game Manual
Won an Amtix Accolade in Issue 1, Nov 1985
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Amstrad CPC
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

An Amtix Accolade

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Issue 1 (Nov 1985) (Amtix)   15th Jun 2016 03:22
Hewson Consultants. £7.95 cass Author: Steve Turner Conversion: Keith Prosser
Many, many years ago there was a king called Bran. This king was the mightiest in the land and his realm stretched from shore to shore. Knowing that one day he would die. Bran summoned all the lords of lore to his side where he bade them to forge the Dragontorc of Avalon' so that his weak son would be able to rule the land.
When Bran finally died the Dragontorc was given to his son but the lad was ineffective and unable to wield the power the tore granted to him. Soon he became a tyrant king, his mind
foverned by the mighty tore, he supreme lorelord saw how treacherous the king had become and called upon the other lorelords to bring him from the Orient the crystal of Antithought. Creeping into the King's bedroom, the Lorelords used the crystal of Antithought to help them steal the tore and as
they were doing this, the king awoke and grasped the tore. A nearby warrior drew his blade and separated the hand of the king from his arm. Amidst the alarm the tore fell down. Having held the tore, the king's hand lit up the gloom and then crawled without its body from the room.
The Dragontorc could never be unmade but it was divided into five magic crowns and one was given to each of the five realms and the Lorelords swore that the tore must never again be made one.
Many years passed since the tore was split and peace prevail-ed in that time. Maroc, an apprentice lorelord, was one night sitting near a fire when a giddy sensation came over him. Travelling deep into a nearby forest, he came across a tree stump from which, it seemed.
magic was emanating. Digging deep amoung the leaves, Maroc's hand struck metal, not cold metal but warm vibrating steel. Withdrawing his hand from the stump, he gazed upon the seal of Merlyn, last of the lorelords. guardian of the Dragon heir. Gazing deep into the emblem, a power passed through his shaking arm and he heard the voice of Merlyn, Maroc was told of the evil deeds of Morag Shapeshifter of the north and her quest to unite the five crowns to reforge the tore. The last words of Merlyn were, 'Seek the Ley rod'. Suddenly he slumped to the ground and, as he recovered, he wondered what lay before him.
Dragontorc is played in a totally 3D world. Each location is different (there are over 200) and each one is drawn as a 3D 'room'. To play the game you must guide Maroc through the land and solve the various puz-zles. To do this you must first collect spells and objects. As progress by solving prob-s, your status as a lorelord goes up along with your per-centage of game completed. There are eight levels each representing a certain area of England or Wales. Each of the levels has its own problems along with their own approach-es to the puzzles. Solving a prob-lem requires certain objects or spells and once one problem is solved quite often you are given an object or clue that helps to solve a further problem.
Manipulating objects is done using the joystick or keyboard— a panel at the base of the screen shows spells you have in your possession, and these may be scrolled for selection — just select the Servant spell (you are given this at the start of the game) and move the little sprite about to collect objects which may be stored by Maroc or to take objects from Maroc to be deposited elsewhere. White you are using this spell you do not have any control over the central character, who remains still, but turns to watch the action.
Each level is inhabited by var-ious unpleasant creatures such as dwarves or demons. These can be destroyed and any objects they may be carrying taken by using the appropriate spell. Should any of the creat-ures, or anything they fire, touch
Kou then your energy is drained.
it is all used up then Maroc is transported (minus objects) back to the start location of that level.
Dragontorc is unique because it uses a process called 'Sensory Animation'. What that refers to is that the way other characters/ creatures in the game treat you depends on how you treat them. In particular the elves can be be-friended by giving them gifts and they will give you objects in return. In fact you must become allies with the elves because they are necessary for the final assault on Morag's citadel.
Control keys:
A/Z Up/Down;
oblique/backlash Left/Right;
Spc to fire. The keys are also definable.

There are very few really good arcade adventures on the Amstrad besides Sorcery, its follow up and Dun Darach. So it was a pleasure to hear that a cult Spectrum arcade adventure had been converted for the Amstrad. And it's a very good conversion too, making full use of the Amstrad's graphics capabilities and get-ting rid of the infamous Spec-trum colour clash. The many problems in the game make it excellent value for money be-cause it could take you several months to complete it. The main drawback with Dragon-torc is that it can take a while to get into. Controlling Maroc and selecting the spells is not easy at first but with a bit of practice changing to the servant and
other spells becomes quite natural. The control system, in fact, is quite simple and changes can be done quickly because all the actions and movements needed to play the game are done using a joystick or just five keys. To date Dragontorc is one of the best arcade/adventures around and is certainly worth buying.
SThis is a really strange sort of game and one that didn't initially impress me when I first clapped eyes on it. Once I'd sat down and actually started playing the game prop-erly I really got into it and started to solve some of the rather ingenious little problems. The graphics may not strike you as being particularly super-doops (in fact sun shades could be recommended for those with sensitive eyes) but what really counts is thegame, and there's a very good one hiding behind the rather gaudy exterior.
Steve Turner, the author of Dragontorc has been developing action 3D games for a long time (on the Spectrum), but with Avalon, to which this is a follow up, he moved into the realms of adven-ture with great success. Both games come nearest yet to a text-style adventure that does not require text input and is played exclusively with joystick-driven graphics. The result is clever, compelling and addic-tive. You do have to be pretty nifty with a joystick in tight situ-ations when beset by dangers, but Maroc is moved easily enough, and the 3D. whether indoors or out. works in your favour. / think the Amstrad version is a touch over-colourful compared to its Spectrum counterpart, but this hardly detracts from the brilliant ingenuity of the story. Dragon-torc is going to keep you awake at nights — so be warned....

Presentation 89%
Comes complete with detailed instructions and in a nice box. Options for selecting keyboard or joystick.

Graphics 91%
Colourful, detailed 3D graphics.

Sound 73%
Nice tune at the beginning of the game but other than that it is restricted to spot FX.

Playability 85%
A bit hard to get into but it is fun just mapping the game.

Addictive Qualities 92%
If you can get past the initial frustration then you should be hooked for quite a while.

Value for Money 93%
Plenty there to get your teeth into and £7.95 is below the average game price.

Overall 91%
A wonderful game with plenty of things to do. Could keep you up into the early hours of the morning just trying to solve ONE more puzzle.

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HelpRead the fab review of this game yet? If you haven't then go and read it now and drool over those ratings. For any of you that have already bought this game (and if you haven't why not?) here are a couple of advanced tips from the Hewson Consultants' supremo himself Andrew Hewson to get people start-ed in the game. Over the next few months I will be revealing the solution to the game bit by bit so if the problems are just to hard to solve then watch this space. You must befriend the Elves if you want to have a hope of completing the game. On the first level find a Bow and Arrow and using the Servant spell give it to one of the elves, you should receive a Sickle (or Scythe if you prefer) in return. With the sickle cut down the herb in one of the locations, this should give you an Energise spell. Under a slab in the first level there should be a jewel, trade this with an elf to get a message which gives a clue to what you have to do later on in the game. Also on the first level there is a missile spell in the pool this is useful In the lost vaults. Take the message to the other stone slab on the first level using the servant spell and this should open up a passage-way down to tne next level, the Lost Vaults. To get out of the Lost Vaults you must col-lect the letters X, I and T place these on top of the let-ter E so as to spell EXIT and that takes you to another level.
HelpContinuing on from last month's tips here are a couple more if you are still stumped. Thanks go to Andrew Hewson for his generosity. Presuming that you have Eot out of the Vaults of ocris and are now in Weir-dhenge; use the Leyrod spell to reveal leycubes in the henge. These cubes take you to different locations in the game. Follow the route of the yellow cube: this should take you to the area of the blasted forest. Now use the leyrod in the henge of this area and again take the route via the yellow cube which will take you to Webwood. Make sure you have got Merlyn's seal when in this area. Hopefully ever-yone's now in Webwood. First of all find the stick — should a spider bite you then it is possible to stop the energy drain by using the heal spell (found in the Vaults of Locris). Move the stone with the stick and take the axe which ties beneath. Use Merlyn's seat to move the flagstone, go down the hole. You should now be in Merlyn's cave. Read the message that is in a chest, which can be unlocked using Merlyn's seal. Leave the message scroll and the half moon (this was obtained from Locris). Use the servant on the table in the adjacent room and take the milk and the Warrior gem. Go down the exit and axe the stump. Find a log and put the milk near it to reveal a hedgehog, take this. Go back to the axed stump and use the hedgehog on it to reveal a key. With the key and Merlyn's seal go back down into Merlyn's cave and unlock the locked door with the key. Open the chest inside that room with Mer-lyn's seal to find Halgor's seal. Take this and the half-moon and proceed to Hal-gor's sanctuary.
No trivia on file for this title.


This title was first added on 4th August 2011
This title was most recently updated on 15th June 2016

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