Amstrad Computer User1st September 1989
Published in Amstrad Computer User #58
Times Of Lore
The Kingdom of Albereth is the outpost of the Elden people, whose homeland lies across the sea.
Born within this kingdom chaos now stirs the land. This is the Times Of Lore and consequently times of utter pandemonium with the mystic powers of old gradually fading away. The reason for this sudden mayhem in what once seemed to be a sleepy backwater is that the High King Valwyn has failed to return from the homelands of the Elden folk, where he had taken refuge to regain his strength following the Severn War.
With numerous, unethical brigands roaming the roads and the barbarians pressing hard on the kingdom, you have your work cut out to fulfil some unlikely missions in strange and distant places. As either a knight of unfailing courage or a Valkyrie, both strong and beautiful, or a barbarian of matchless might, you can help restore the land by retrieving various magical items from the clues given through the rumours. The rumours are obtained from small-talk conversations with guards, peasants. innkeepers and travellers.
Continuous travelling and fighting weakens you, as the candle on the screen indicates. It is therefore advisable to spend time recovering by taking a bed in an inn and stocking provisions. There is a variety of command options which allow you to talk, examine, drop, take, use and offer, as well as the constant ability to beat any opposition to pulp.
The game offers a vast amount of screen locations which adds to the interest, including transitions between town and country and a coastal scene to a desert environment.
A map is provided, with the package helping you to plan your outing in advance.
Once a decision has been made to ramble the country in search of treasure and magical items, a trip round the city is always recommended so that the player can collect potions and bags of gold and become accustomed to the surroundings. It is advisible to try the potions you pick up as they are invariably good for the strength, although the best way to recuperate is between the breezy walls of the local inn, safely tucked-up on homely bed springs.
The playing screen is divided into a viewing window where your character is always shown in the centre and a command screen which provides you with the options. The candle is also situated there and burns out slowly as the character loses strength through lack of food or general fatigue.
The graphics are good to a certain extent but become a little frustrating when at times it is difficult to differentiate between some of the characters, although the ghosts and slime stand out from the crowd. Perhaps with a little more familiarisation this problem could be eradicated.
Times Of Lore is a large game which can be saved in stages and with 1,300 screen locations promises to hold the attention of those with a mind for arcadelike, classic adventures.