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Master of Magic, The (1985)      

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Mastertronic Ltd
Adventure / RPG
David Darling, Richard Darling
Audio cassette
UK (£1.99)

Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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Your Reviews

SPaul (Unknown)   23rd Mar 2013 10:24
"Proof that games that one thing about a game can be it's saving grace."

The story of Master of Magic is simple: You are some random shlub who happened to explore a cave one afternoon. Why you were exploring the cave in the first place is a bit hazy, but then there wouldn't be a game if you didn't, now would it? As it is, you are exploring around when you see a big pool of water that has strange ripples in it. Examining closer, a hand reaches out and pulls you under the surface. You don't drown, as this is no ordinary pool, but the entrance to another world. The hand that pulled you in belongs to Thelric, a wizard of known repute who is in a bit of a lurch. Recently, his Amulet of Immortality was stolen away from him by the evil Minotaur, which is not keeping Thelric vigorous and youthful anymore. Without it, he will soon age very rapidly and die. He is asking you, the rube, to go get the amulet back for him, and it's not exactly an offer you can refuse; for if you don't return it to him, he will never return you to your own world. Reluctantly, you set out in the small, damp fantasy world, hoping you can survive the orcs and vampires long enough to get the amulet and return home.
At least Thelric gave you a fighting chance. Before you leave, he teaches you a few spells which may or may not aid you on your way, including area effect fireballs, magic missiles that cause massive damage to a single foe, and even a protective magical barrier.

The top of the screen is relatively uninteresting graphics-wise. In the upper-left corner, you see a yellow dot that represents you, situated on a grayish map that changes according to your line of site in an approximate 20 foot radius. The map changes as you move the yellow dot around corners and throughout the dungeons. In the upper right is a rather unimpressive scroll which details your actions while moving around, such as ''You attack the skeleton with your mace. You hit.''
The bottom of the screen remains empty for most of your quest, but when an object other than yourself appears on the map, be it door, item or monster, it is shown in a zoom-in view of the object. These graphics are really pretty good, and warrant the high graphics rating.

Control is simple...move the joystick around to move your character. For other actions, such as pick up, attack, examine, wear, etc., you only need click the fire button while not moving. This also serves to pause the game, giving you time to keep that wretched spider from eating you while you drink your last healing potion. Otherwise, there's not much else to worry about...move, click, move, click. Casting spells is as easy as selecting the name and the name of the target.

There are no sound effects in this game. That's not why this gets a ten rating. It has one song that plays for about six minutes before repeating...luckily it's one of the best composed songs ever for the C64. It was composed by C64 musician Ron Hubbard, and while I am unfamiliar with any other work of his, the song is truly fantastic. If this game had no music, I'd say bump down the overall rating to about 5. The soundtrack is THAT good, honestly. The song, a sort of dark sounding number, is more effective even when repeated than if the game had a wide range of happy, heart-lifting numbers in it. I actually think this song would lose effectiveness if not kept in the primitive yet cool-sounding C64 sound setup.

I recommend getting this game particularly for its music, since it adds so much depth to what is really just a simple, short RPG with no experience points. I managed to beat this game after only playing 20 minutes, but I could still listen to that soundtrack all day.

NOTE TO PARENTS AND SUCH: This game contains a dark, scary world with a moody soundtrack, but is otherwise okay for children. There are weapons and dead monsters appear with the word ''Dead'' written over them, but there is no visible gore or violence in the game.

Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/01, Updated 03/01/01

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This title was first added on 18th August 2007
This title was most recently updated on 2nd May 2015

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