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SPELLBINDER

 

 

Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only

 

Game Type          : Arcade; Monochrome Dungeon Maze Game

Authors            : Dan Shirron & Etan Shirron

Standalone Release(s)   : 1987: SPELLBINDER, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

                    1990: SPELLBINDER, Superior/Blue Ribbon, £2.99

Compilation Release(s) : 1988: PLAY IT AGAIM SAM 4, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

Stated compatibility    : Electron

Actual compatibility    : Electron

Supplier            : SUPERIOR/ACORNSOFT, 3 Manor Drive, Scawby, Brigg, NORTH

                    LINCOLNSHIRE DN20 9AX

Disc compatibility     : Unknown

 

 

Instructions

The Scenario

At the end of the thirteenth century, there lived in the land of Lorraine ten wise and powerful Magelords. Each of them had studied sorcery and enchantment from childhood days, and each knew how to evoke potent speels capable of causing metamorphosis and devastation.

 

Your Mission

You play the role of one such Magelord named Eldon The Spellbinder. Your task is to find the evil Zorn, who has deserted the Magelord brotherhood and fled to the Castle of Lorraine. Then, by collecting the correct ingredients, you must mix the Ultimate Spell, cast it at Zorn and banish him for good.

 

The Castle of Lorraine

You must work your way through the many rooms comprising the castle's two floors, three citadels, catacomb and dungeon. To move between levels, you must locate a teleport or use the portals. Your route through the castle is complicated due to secret passages, one-way doors and doors that will appear only after specific tasks have been performed.

 

The Creatures of the Castle

The creatures guard the castle from trespassers. When a creature touches you, it takes a certain percentage of your energy dependent upon its strength and your shielding. Without shielding, the percentage (for each type of creature) is:

 

WATCHER ...................................... 2%

BLACKWITCH ................................... 3%

CYCLOPS GUARD ................................ 4%

WINGED SKULL ................................. 5%

FOREST HAG ................................... 6%

ZOMBIE ....................................... 7%

DEATHMONK .................................... 8%

 

The Magic Ingredients

Magelords have extrensive knowledge about magical ingredients and their use in spells. Some of the important ingredients are:-

 

BURNED ASHES : The first and most common ingredient. This ingredient is created in some villages by buring the bark of the Red Oak Tree. It is used in spells that will cause effects on other beings: for example, Freezing spells.

 

SULPHUR : This profane ingredient is found as a yellow powder. The villagers around the castle use it in a simple way to cure wounds. The Magelords use it to restore strength and for Healing spells.

 

TOAD'S LEGS : This pungent-smelling ingredient is created by taking and drying the legs of the Giant Green Toad. Some of the villagers use it in soups and exquisite delicacies. The Magelords use it for Freezing spells.

 

DRIED ROOTS : This ingredient is not so common nowadays since it is produced from the roots of the Nightshade, once abundant, but now rare indeed. It is used in spells that will work upon the spellbinder, such as healing and Shielding spells.

 

Use of Spells

The magical spells are created by mixing an effective recipe. All novice Magelords are taught these three extremely useful spells:-

 

HEAL : Casting this spell will raise your strength by 10%. Ingredients: Sulphur and Dried Roots.

 

FREEZE : This spell is used against creatures. It cools their blood and thereby slows them down. The spell will cease its effectiveness once you have left the room in which it was cast. Ingredients: Toad's Legs and Burned Ashes.

 

AIRSHIELD : A spell which will protect you from the creatures in the castle. It causes the air around you to swirl rapidly thus making the creatures' hits 50% less effective. Ingredients: Wine and Burned Ashes.

 

You can't kill creatures by regular spells, but the FREEZE and AIRSHIELD spells will help you to avoid their bad effects.

 

When wandering through the castle, you may find hints or clues about creating more effective or totally new spells. If you come across new ingredients or recipes, always make a note of them - you never know when they might come in useful!

 

The Icon System

At the bottom of the game screen, you will see the Icon System. There are six icons that may be selected:-

 

[   Arrow   ]  MOVE  -  This icon is automatically selected at the start of each

[   Icon    ]  new game. You can move left, right, forwards and backwards. After selecting other icons, you should resume movement by choosing this icon.

 

[   Eye     ]  LOOK/SEARCH OBJECT  -  When standing next to an object, this

[   Icon    ]  function will search it for other objects, clues or special uses.

 

[   Potion  ]  CHECK INVENTORY  -  When chosen, you are first shown your Strength

[   Icon    ]  Percentage. Other items are displayed each time you press the Forward Movement key (the "?" key).

 

[   Bowl    ]  MIX A SPELL  -  You must first have an appropriate recipe. Scroll

[   Icon    ]  down the list of ingredients by pressing the Forward Movement (the "?" key.). To select an ingredient to be used for the spell, press the Selection Key (the RETURN key). After you have chosen the required ingredients one at a time in the specified order, you should then scroll down the list to the END marker and press the Selection Key. The ingredients will then be mixed together.

 

[     O     ]  CAST A SPELL  -  Scroll down the list and choose the spell by

[     +     ]  pressing the Selection Key (the RETURN key).

 

[   Hands   ]  USE AN ITEM  -  Scroll down the list and choose the item you wish to

[   Icon    ]  use by pressing the Selection Key (the RETURN key).

 

Game Controls

The movement keys are user-definable. However, you will not be able to choose the function keys, <ESCAPE>, <CTRL> or <SHIFT> because these keys have a constant usage.

 

The following keys are suggested:

Z - Left,   X - Right,   * - Backwards,   ? - Forwards,   <RETURN> - Selection key

 

BBC MICRO                                            ELECTRON

f0 ................ Select MOVEMENT icon .................. 1

f1 ................ Select LOOK/SEARCH icon ............... 2

f2 ................ Select INVENTORY icon ................. 3

f3 ................ Select MIX SPELL icon ................. 4

f4 ................ Select CAST SPELL icon ................ 5

f5 ................ Select USE ITEM icon .................. 6

f6 ................ SOUND ON/OFF control .................. 7

f7 ................ PAUSE ON/OFF control .................. 8

           SHIFT and ESCAPE .. Commit suicide ......... SHIFT and ESCAPE

 

 

Instructions' Source   : PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 4 (Superior/Acornsoft) Inner Inlay

 

Review (Electron User) - "Bewitching Adventure"

In true adventuring tradition, SPELLBINDER asks you to take the role of a powerful and wise Magelord entrusted with the awesome task of banishing the evil Zorn. In order to do this, you must search the foreboding Castle of Lorraine, find Zorn and then by mixing the ultimate spell, despatch him to the wilderness forever.

 

Released in the aftermath of a glut of arcade/adventure hybrids, SPELLBINDER must offer than the usual range of features, particularly with its relatively high price tag. This it does, mainly through its icon system, its size, its graphical detail and spell-collecting and casting procedures.

 

Playing SPELLBINDER is not difficult. The character moves freely around each room, though you do have to be accurate when guiding him through one of the many doors.

 

Control is aided by a well thought out icon system complementing the four definable keys. These icons, selected by function keys, enable you to mix and cast spells, examine and use items to be found in the adventure, and keep tabs on what items you have in your possession.

 

SPELLBINDER's graphics are not outstanding. However, the program designers have put some though into littering the stone-walled castle with the sort of medieval accoutrements you would expect to see in a place like this.

 

Heraldic shields and gargoyles adorn the walls and you find suits of armour, wooden barrels and sturdy chests dotted around the place, all adding atmosphere to the proceedings.

 

What is more impressive than the detailed graphics, is the sheer number of rooms comprising the two floors, three citadels, catacomb and dungeon.

 

One-way doors, secret passages and teleports all confuse the explorer but I found the colour coding of the various parts of the castle (the game is in two-colour, high resolution Mode 4) most helpful in creating a game map.

 

What makes this more than a mapping and avoiding the monsters affair, are the weird and wonderful spells you are called on to cast. First however you must find the ingredients for each spell - items like burnt oak leaves, toad legs and sulphur are all essential components of the common spells.

 

The instruction leaflet details some spells, but it is up to you to obtain the rest. Speaking to the stone dwarves, browsing through the bookshelves and similar ruses will all help glean the necessary information.

 

The game sticks to some quite strict adventuring rules - it is more a problem-solving graphical puzzle than a key-bashing exercise of dexterity.

 

The spell element, which you must master if you aspire to solve SPELLBINDER, is far from easy. It is this aspect of the game, coupled with the thought put into much of the design which marks it out as better than most of the other, similar offerings.

 

Sound ........................... 7

Graphics ........................ 8

Playability ..................... 8

Value for money ................. 7

Overall ......................... 8

 

Clive Gifford, ELECTRON USER 3. 3 (Jan 1988)