Gothik (Firebird) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Firebird
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #56


Take one good druid, a village, two Vikings and an evil overlord. Put them together, whisk vigorously and cook on a low heat for twenty minutes and you get the plot to Gothik.

Meander through the boring stuff (long ago, peaceful land, blah blah blah), and it turns out that a powerful and incredibly evil overlord has enslaved the village of Belron. The only defence for the villagers was in the form of the minor league druid Hasrinaxx. But the wimpy natives, scared by the overlord, laid down their arms and surrendered. Poor old Hasrinaxx is stuffed and ends up having body trapped by a spell, divided into six parts and secreted in a large castle. That's where you come in.

You then enter the first level of the first tower. This looks like Gauntlet with flu - green and lifeless. Instead of doors you find huge 'wads' of bracken blocking your path. If you get far enough you will come face to face with sixteen different types of monster. The monster types are grouped into two main categories, the ones with arms and the ones without. The ones with arms fire lightning bolts at you and tend to be rather violent. The other type fire homing bombs at you.

To get past the bracken you can use firestorms which burns all bracken within a set range. Or you can use a fireball. Fireballs are the most powerful of your armoury. You can adjust their power, but when they are at maximum strength they cause two thirds of the screen. At the epicentre, the fireball can kill a monster or blow down a section of wall, further out it weakens the monsters and burns all the bracken it touches.

As well as the fireballs, you have lightning bolts. You can fire as many as fifteen of these in a salvo and they continue to ricochet around the maze for quite a while. Both these spells drain your magic power, but this can be topped up by collecting chalices. If you run out of magic power, or just think economically, you can use the traditional bow and arrows.

You can collect magic charms which deplete your energy rapidly but are very useful. There's also a ring of invisibility, and a chameleon cloak which makes you look like an inanimate object to dumb creatures. Better still are Medusa's head, a Grim Reaper and a doppelganger mask.

What Gothik boasts most of all has to be the potions - 32, all told. Some of the potions are standard (heal, extra magic, etc) while other potions destroy all the walls on the level, fill all vacant on-screen spaces with bracken or create friendly clones of you every time a creature dies.

At the end of a castle tower, there is the troll guardian. He is set at the end of a single screen mini-maze. As you start to move towards the troll he wakes up and starts chasing after you. When you reach the troll he combusts into thin air and you receive one of Hasrinaxx's bits.

Gothik has a lot more to offer than can be gleaned from a first impression. Well worth a look.

Mark Patterson

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