upon a time, a Tarmalonian shepherd enjoyed the quiet
life. He breezed through the days without a care in
the world, and any life beyond this was nothing but
rumour and hearsay. But, like all good things, it came
to an end. One dark day, surrounding wildlife became
disturbingly quiet. A figure lay beside the road, a
leather scroll gripped tightly in his hand and a golden
bracelet adorned on his wrist. The shepherd discovered
this body and, seeing that he was unobserved, stripped
it of all its possessions. However, he paid for his
vision of a tall, magnificent building appeared in front
of him, its huge columns glistening in the sun as they
soared skyward. Transfixed, he walked toward the arched
entrance and entered -- the adventure had begun.
-- just one of many pictures to be found
within the Gallery
player takes the role of the shepherd, and starts with
15 points for each of his stats. The inside of the mysterious
building consists of a series of long torchlit passages.
This place of mystery is the Galactic Museum, depicted
on-screen in first person 3D -- it's from here that
information can be gleaned and access gained to locations
and objects in the outside world of Tarmalon.
did the shepherd know that when he took the leather
scroll and bracelet, he automatically became the next
in a long line of adventurers whose quest is to destroy
the Wizard's Compendium. This mysterious compendium
is in fact the actual scroll that was picked up.
around the museum reveals exhibits which provide help
in the quest, although they require the correct coins
to be inserted before they're activated. The shepherd
begins the quest with two Jade coins, and others such
as Amethyst, Topaz or Sapphire are to be found as the
entering the village of Thornberry the scene
changes to an overhead view of your exploratory efforts
outside the museum, the main display area changes to
depict a flat aerial view of the shepherd and the current
surroundings. There are 12 towns and 24 dungeons and
castles dotted about the map. Travel isn't straightforward,
as climbing equipment is required to navigate mountainous
regions and floating vessels to traverse water. Ensuring
sufficient food is carried to sustain the character
through the journey is also important -- one unit is
consumed per day.
with the many inhabitants of the wilderness is frequent
-- with options allowing the shepherd to choose to fight,
run away or even attempt to converse with some of the
more friendly creatures. There are 32 breeds of monster,
24 of which are non-travelling and can be found only
in particular kinds of terrain. Should fighting be chosen,
a carried implement is used to attack and defend. If
any of the six available magic spells are carried, they
can also be used to help influence the outcome of the
skirmish. Successfully defeating a monster automatically
adds whatever gold they carry to the shepherd's own
a graphic depiction of a town, castle, dungeon or museum
is crossed, an option to enter is presented. Towns are
full of business and service outlets which include banks,
where hard-earned gold is withdrawn or deposited, lending
shops, foodstores, a general store and House of Healing.
Gambling houses are also present in the form of Blackjack
or Flip Flop tables where money may be won or lost.
Be warned however, winning too much results in a raid
by the town guards!
the buildings and choosing the speak option commences
dealings with the particular merchant present. Selecting
the fight option here usually results in the merchant's
demise and the place is left open to pilferage. However,
if those nefarious actions are discovered, the town
guards attack. If the shepherd isn't killed or thrown
in jail, he can try to bribe his way out.
dungeons and castles are where the most dangerous activity
takes place. Deeper in these dark places lies the toughest
of challenges, but the greatest of the rewards. The
screen display inside a castle is shown by a similar
bird's-eye view to the towns and wilderness, while the
dungeons are comparable to the 3D museum. Twelve types
of monsters prowl the dungeons, each one stronger than
the last. Therefore, a great deal of preparation is
needed before the lower levels should be attempted.
museum itself can only be re-entered if the correct
combination is typed in. An access code wheel is supplied
with the game packaging which enables the player to
line up particular names and numbers generated by the
museum to reveal the correct code -- that's if the shepherd
gets back . . .