Your Sinclair1st July 1987
Published in Your Sinclair #19
MAD's Magic Knight completed his task in the future. Now he's on his way home to face his worst enemy... himself! Strombringer's the result - Phil South referees!
Returning home from the Starship USS Pisces in the 25th Century, Magic Knight finds that his quiet village of Cornhamp-On-Marsh has been conquered by the Off-White Knight, also known as The Stormbringer. It may be a coincidence, but this evil knight bears a striking resemblance to Magic Knight... which is hardly surprising, 'cos they're two halves of the same person! Off-White is the evil side of Magic Knight's own personality. Somehow, these two guys have got to get together...
This is the fourth 'Windimation' arcade adventure from Mastertronic Added Dimension Games (MAD), the previous three being Finders Keepers, Spellbound and Knight Tyme. The format in Stomtbringer is almost identical to its forerunners, but the punks are much more tricky - the game was specially mitten with the 128K/+2 machines in mind. The map is huge, with 64 rooms, 64 objects, 16 characters and a range of disguises for Magic Knight to wear to help him blag his way into Off-White's Castle.
You begin the game by materialising beside a mighty sword embedded in a slab of concrete. Could this be a clue? Well, it could be, but I don't think it is. Nice graphic though. Innit? As in the previous games, you must wander through the adventure picking up objects and manipulating them to the best advantage, using the pull-down menus activated by pressing Fire. You must also convene with, and try to pinch objects from, the various non-player characters - the game can't be finished without their help, as they carry many crucial objects in their fluffy little pockets.
For example, you have to find a newspaper advert so that you can find out which disguise you must use as you take on the appearance of the job applicant! To get this, you have to find some kind of currency, and buy the paper from the right character. This is the sort of problem you face in Stormbringer, and that one was just a minor one! Wait till you get around to the problem of killing the 20 foot tall Grunter The Bearwolf, who guards the case. Then the word complex takes on a whole new meaning.
The way to merge with your other half is to first stun him with something. and then, provided you have enough magic power, cast a Dimension Merge spell. This is very tricky, mostly because at first its hard to move anywhere in the game before your energy runs out. But you'll soon work out how to stop this happening (the key lies with one of the characters you'll meet). But careful (spot the clue), you might not see the wood for the trees. (Ho ho).
Stormbringer is a first class game, and far from being 'just another one' in the Magic Knight series. It could very possibly be the best one! The problems are quite hard, but then that only makes the solving of them all the more satisfying. The game features the same cheeky graphics as before, with a bit of 'tweaking' here and there - well, that's what David Jones tells me, anyway. So if you want a graphic arcade adventure with a bit of bite, then shell out three quid for Stormbringer... it's absolutely fabulous value for money!