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Released: 1983

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Hewson

Developer: Steve Turner

Submitted by: Ian Marks

It seems that in days of yore there was always an evil dark lord. Middle Earth had Sauron, Midnight had Doomdark and Avalon had one too (although I’ve forgotten his name). Never mind about that though, the dark lord in Avalon was going to destroy the world… unless an astral projection of a wizard stopped him. He’d be ok though, because that’d never happen… right.

Wrong. This was a job for Maroc the wizard, and he projected himself into Avalon, so that he floated along whilst looking like he was sitting in cross-legged yoga position. Oh and he also carried a big stick.

I remember playing Avalon for ages and ages, being thrilled with the gameplay, in awe of the graphics and entranced by the mystic atmosphere it created. I also remember not having a bloody clue what I was supposed to do in the game.

There were spells you could cast, although these seemed quite complicated, requiring a menu system to be called up. In truth I never got the hang of spell casting either. It really did not matter in the end though, because it was just such a brilliant immersive game, that just gliding along opening doors and meeting Wraiths and Goblins was enough to keep me going for hours. There was a sequel too, which was similar, but even more complicated.

In the end I’m sure that Maroc defeated the evil dark lord, and the world was saved. Not in my Spectr(um)al world though. If left to me I’d have just pootled about a bit, opened a few chests and doors, spoken to some elves for a few hours, and then left the world to crumble whilst I loaded up Jet Set Willy instead.

As to whatever happened to all those dark lords that there used to be hanging around… I’m not sure. But I’m always a bit suspicious of Tory Prime Ministers, tall northern gameshow hosts and teenage idiot pop stars… get practicing your astral projection now, the end of world might just be coming, and this time just having a chat with hobgoblins might not be enough.