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The Lords of Midnight

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Released: 1984

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Beyond

Developer: Mike Singleton

Submitted by: Geoff Neil

It snowed the Christmas I got The Lords of Midnight. It is already an atmospheric game but having it snow outside while I sat in my bedroom exploring an amazing snow filled world made it even more atmospheric.

Playing the game now still brings back those early memories. The 8 bit graphics still have a unique charm. The simplicity of the graphics only serves to ignite your imagination as you have to fill in the details. That is something that is lacking in the almost photographic realism of modern games.

If you’ve never played this game before then I’d highly recommend it as it. The interface takes some getting to grips with there are numerous keys. The 1-8 keys are used to select the direction your character looks in then there are keys to move in that direction, change to a different character, think and many more.

On mastery of the controls you have a huge world to explore with plains, forests and mountains. The locations have atmospheric names like “The plains of blood”, “The forest of Dreams” and the “The mountains of Death”. The are also Citadels and Keeps that sometimes host friendly armies.

You start with 4 characters and must recruit Lords and their armies to keep you defend the lands of the Free and the elf like Fey from Doomdark and his foul armies.

There is also a quest to destroy the “Ice Crown” the source of Doomdarks power. This must be undertaken by one character, Morkin, alone without the help of any armies. He can recruit help on his way though, such as “Farflame the Dragon Lord” the fastest and more powerful character in the game.

The follow-up Doomdark’s revenge was a disappointment for me, the location names aren’t as atmospheric and the AI is very clever but flawed. The original was far better and I’d love to see a modern update were Doomdark is much more cunning and difficult to defeat. If Mike Singelton ever writes an iPhone game along those lines I’ll be downloading it.