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Dun Darach

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Released: 1985

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Gargoyle

Developer: Gargoyle Games

Submitted by: Ian Marks

Dun Darach is the sequel to Tir Na Nog, and follows a similar theme. Celtic people with unpronounceable names are on a quest to return something to someone, and they have to do this by locating a mystical thing and taking it to a mystical person who tells them where to find somewhere else….

Never mind about that though, no-one understood it… if you thought Tir Na Nog was complicated, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Dun Darach was almost impossible to comprehend or finish. I remember reading the solution and seeing the complete map in Crash, and I still didn’t understand what I had to do.

It didn’t matter though… there was a whole town to explore. Unlike Tir Na Nog there were streets with names and shops you could go into. You could buy medicine from the apothecary, you could gamble your life savings away in the casino. Or you could spend your time following the attractive long haired short skirted Celtic ladies that wandered the streets. Not that I ever stalked them… oh no… they were always pleased to see me, saying ‘Good Evening’ whenever our paths crossed. As a graphic though they were superb, as was every single graphic in Dun Darach.

Cuchulainn still walked with a Mick Jaggerish swagger, but this time there were no monkeys to deal with. Worse than that though there were pickpockets. Just walking past a bloke on the street could mean that he’d nicked one of your treasured items or money. A clever idea, but in practice quite an annoying one, as it meant you lost items you really needed or had spent ages trying to find.

As with most games of it’s type, I never finished it. I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who had… they must be a genius, with the patience of a saint, and a lot of time on their hands.

Like it’s older brother Tir Na Nog there was fun to be had just exploring and meeting all the weird and wonderful residents. In my opinion though it’s not as good a game. The novelty of the graphics wasn’t there, we’d seen it before. It was like Alien 8 was to Knight Lore… a great, great game, but the jaw dropping shock of the new had passed.