Personal Computer News4th August 1983
Published in Personal Computer News #022
Out With A Ring
Out With A Ring
Riddle - what sort of a game is set in a many-levelled underground realm, with treasures to be collected and mysterious ring to be found, and orcs and balrogs to be battled with, and wizards and traders to be bargained with?
The answer is Moria. An adventure game this isn't, even though it has all the trappings of any classic adventure you care to name. Exactly what it is... well, judge for yourself.
You have been dumped in the Mines of Moria, and you have to find a way out. That in itself may not seem like such a bad thing, since the mines are the former hangout of Durin and the Dwarves of Lord of the Rings and are riddled with gold and jewels.
But there's always a catch - you can't get out of the mines without finding Durin's Ring, and to find it you have to explore dozens and dozens of rooms which may or may not contain monsters. You can either fight or run away, but either way you're going to run out of strength sooner or later. And when you do, or you are too badly wounded by taking on an orc or troll, then it's curtains.
The graphics and sounds are nothing special. You start out in one of the game's umpteen levels. You can move north, south and so on, or up and down if you stumble on a staircase.
Each room is a plain blue square until you enter it. Then it either turns white, to show that there is nothing inside, or it clears to reveal... gold, or a pearl, or an emerald, or a ruby, or a wizard, or a trader, or...
You may find you have stumbled on the Warp, which whisks you to a random room.
There are also doors from time to time, which you have to open by using up some of your strength, or your money, or a spell, which you buy from a wizard.
Once you have miscalculated, running low on strength or high on wounds from battles, your best bet is to find some treasure and take it to a trader, who will sell you extra strength.
I never found the ring, and that was after exploring most of the 36 rooms on each of seven levels. Played cautiously, this game could keep you going for hours. And it makes a change from the usual style of adventure.