Last night I received an email from GOG.com, a website that sells remastered old video games at incredibly low prices. In said email, I had a pleasant surprise: The game Lords of Magic was on sale for $1.79. This morning, I indulged myself, bought it, and started playing. It was then that I remembered that I loved this game.
This was one of those old video games that I played in my childhood that still holds up really well to replaying. The game takes place in the fantasy world of Urak, a very intricately detailed world using dozens of the classic stereotypical fantasy ideas in quite interesting ways. There are eight "Faiths" that define the cultures in the world: Life, Death, Order, Chaos, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. You play as an adventurer who is gaining treasure and amassing fame with a band of your followers, and throughout the course of the game, you can gain the fealty of many different Faiths in your quest to stop the spread of darkness by the Lord of Death, Balkoth. You have the option to begin play in any of the Faiths, except for Death--you have to unlock that opportunity by defeating Balkoth in the endgame.
I've had a lot of fun with this game. It's a strange mix of real-time and turn-based strategy that wasn't seen a whole lot in the '90's. You travel around the world, going to different caves, mines, and ruins in a turn-based mode and zooming into a real-time strategy battle mode to fight various monsters and armies that you'll encounter along the way. The main goal of the game is to defeat Death, but the milestones along the way are clearing out the various Great Temples of the Faiths, and thereby getting them to swear fealty to you.
There are lots of different units and magical abilities for you to play around with, and you'll need a lot of troops and some good strategy to defeat Balkoth. I've never actually beaten the game, unfortunately, but getting it again after not having played it in years might give me the motivation.
One of the things I like the most about this game, though, is the attention to detail. The flavor text, the voiceovers, and all of the rest of the extra stuff in the game gives you the feeling of a living, breathing world that is really quite interesting. And the game manual has some awesome entries on the history, culture, and religions of the world. I've rarely had as much fun reading through a video game manual as I used to have reading the Lords of Magic manual.
If you want to check out the game for yourself, it's still on sale for around fifty more hours, last I checked, from the posting of this entry. Here's the link on GOG.
Thanks for reading!