Druid II: Enlightenment (Firebird) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

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Druid II: Enlightenment
By Firebird
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #48

Druid II: Enlightenment

Druid is back with a bang. This sequel offers a huge improvement on the original Gauntlet clone. Remember the original seven spells - how brilliant they were - the Golem, the Fire Spell, the Invisibility Spell - well now, get this - Druid II features no less than 25 spells.

I won't attempt to list them all - save to say that several of them are totally new like Recharge, Armour and Teleport - all pretty self explanatory but pretty special t'boot.

The background graphics are ever sharper and more detailed than Druid I - which in turn were better than the graphics in any of the Gauntlet clones and, dare I say, the official version from US Gold.

The reason for the return of the cloaked hero - once described by a very important Firebird person as looking like a 'blue Santa' (draw your own conclusions) is all due to the evil Mage. Apparently this so and so has turned the once peaceful land of Belorn into a hell and its inhabitants into the living, walking dead.

Only you, the wizard Hasrinaxx can right this wrong.

Your task is to journey the ten lands of Belorn and destroy all the demons by firing at them constantly and casting Deathlight or Deathland spells.

When one of these demons starts to die, its colour will start to change and a few more shots should finish it off - but be careful to dodge its continuous stream of fireballs.

Mapping is essential in this version as it was in the original. Watch CU's Play to Win column for help here - though I must say I am thoroughly enjoying mapping it all by myself.

This is an excellent game - certainly one of the best arcade adventures I've played. It is a timely reminder of the fact that all good designers borrow each other's ideas and then improve on them.

That is how computer games have improved over the last few years anyway, as far as I can see. The Enlightenment: Druid II (I think Firebird have been watching too much Rambo) points the way in which the Gauntlet type of game can develop.

What makes it special is the increased sophistication of the challenge added by all of the extra spells - whilst retaining the essential explore and blast nature of the coin-op game on which Druid has been based.

The game comes with a thorough instruction booklet - listing all of the new spells and telling the story of Hasrinaxx the Druid. A spellbindingly excellent game and - from a company that also markets cheapos - a reminder of the home truth - "you get what you pay for". I, for one, would have no hesitation over handing out a tenner for this game.

Eugene Lacey

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