Demon From The Darkside
By Compass
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #35

Demon from The Darkside

I like the title, the loading screen, and the intro tune, so lets have a look at the story behind this Quilled, Illustrated, Patched, Music Box'd, and Art Studio'd adventure, and, after all that, try and extract what sense we can.

Long ago, in the first age of the Ringmaster, a Falcon Staff fell into the hands of Drakon, the wizard of Valonia. Because he did not destroy it, Drakon was turned to the darkside of the ancient magics of old. With his new found strength, he sent forth an army of shadow demons which conquered the lands and armies of Valonia. It was now that Drakon began to walk among men, and, with the Golden Mask of Ratan would go unrecognized amongst them until it was too late. Their souls would be taken in the dead of night and used to feed the giant skull of evil which stood in the Hall of Rats.

Still with me...? Right then, I'll continue.

Ashmeard, the wizard of Drat, fought Drakon and seized the Golden Mask. Drakon, realising what had happened, let out an evil scream, leapt to his horse and rode into the cave of Illindel never to be seen again. A decade has passed since those evil times, but once more shadow demons walk the land and the dark force grows strong. Drakon is returning....

You play the part of Morrack, apprentice to the wizard Ashmeard. While Ashmeard stays In Oral to buy time and to fight against the shadow demons, your task is to find and kill Drakon, and to retrieve the Falcon Staff before the main army of demons cross the lake. Remember - Beware the raven.

So, it looks like your boss Ashmeard is staying right out of it while you, his apprentice, goes into this cave of Illindel to sort this Drakon chappie out. You begin at the entrance of a dark and shadowy cave, which must presumably be this cave of Illindel where you have to take on Drakon.

Just before entering the cave you are allowed one move to the northeast where you find yourself standing at the edge of a giant lake. Far in the distance across the lake you can see the large demon army of the storyline ranged against you. You can also see a red ruby and a dead body. Examining the ruby gives you no useful information, but as a rule the examine command in this adventure is very helpful, and indeed pivotal to your progress as seen here when you examine the body. Well, what do you know, ft's old Ashmeard's body with a demon arrow sticking out of his chest. Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't he your gaffer, the one who's ruminating over the lands predicament, supposedly safe and warm away from all the aggro. Looks like he got his comeuppance in the end anyway.

Demon From The Darkside is a very good "Quilled" adventure, sensibly priced. The look of the screens is most pleasing with good use of colour amongst its redesigned character set, and pictures which are atmospheric and imaginative. The game is available mail-order from Compass at 36 Globe Place, Norwich NR2 2SQ. Furthermore, if you are interested in a set of high quality, based and vamished scale lead miniatures which perfectly capture the characters in this very game a form will be sent with the game.


Difficulty: quite difficult in places
Graphics: reasonable and attractive
Presentation: good use of colour
Input facility: verb noun
Response: fast, Quill

Derek Brewster

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