Archon II: Adept
|Archon II: Adept|
|Developer(s)||Free Fall Associates|
Paul Reiche III
Archon II: Adept is a 1984 action-strategy video game developed by Free Fall Associates' Jon Freeman, Paul Reiche III and Anne Westfall, and published by Electronic Arts for various platforms. Adept is a hybrid of a tactical board game and action. It's not based around a chess motif, as the original Archon: The Light and the Dark is, but maintains the concept of good vs. evil, one on one combat, magic and power points.
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Like its predecessor, Archon: The Light and the Dark, Adept is a struggle between two opposing sides (led by the followers of the Master of Order and of the Mistress of Chaos) that takes place on a game board, complete with playing pieces, but instead of capturing pieces enter a battle screen and duel to the death.
The board is a rectangle with four roughly concentric bands, corresponding to the four elements of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. Two non-elemental squares along the vertical center are "Void." Two decorative citadel squares pad the horizontal center. Each player starts with four wizards called "Adepts" that can cast spells, in particular a summoning spell used to bring the other pieces into play.
"Order" (yellow) and "Chaos" (blue) alternate turns. On a turn, a player must either move a piece or use an Adept to cast a spell. Summoned pieces can move any distance in their element, or move one square out of their element. Adepts teleport anywhere. Pieces may not enter occupied squares except as an attempt to capture an opponent's piece. Capture attempts are resolved immediately and the defeated piece is removed from the board. The turn then ends.
The game's sole resource is magical energy, used for spellcasting, paying a per-turn upkeep cost for each summoned piece, and the Adepts' teleportation. It's gained by having friendly pieces occupying squares with power points. Four power points are on the outer edges of one element at a time, moving inwards after every pair of turns. Two power points with lower income rates are on the Void squares.
The starting side can be chosen or randomized. The side that goes second receives more magical energy.
Battles take place as in Archon, but with the element on which they occur affecting the playfield:
- Earth - Rocky barriers that cannot be shot or moved through.
- Air - Obstacles slow movement and deflect shots in random directions.
- Water - Patches of water slow down shots and movement. Water elementals move faster in water.
- Fire - Patches of fire cause damage to pieces. Fire elementals are immune.
- Void - No features.
Injuries persist, including the gorgon's speed loss.
There are two types of pieces summonable by an Adept: elementals and demons. Creatures can be summoned by an adept and must be placed in the element occupied by the summoning adept. A summoned creature can move freely within an element (though it may not pass a foe) or move to a different element.
The selection of available elementals depends on the summoning side:
|Earth||Giant - hurls rocks at opponent||Behemoth - punches opponents|
|Water||Kraken - wave attack, excellent at close range, dissipates across distance||Siren - "sings" to drain opponent's life, but is immobile during attack|
|Air||Thunderbird - shoots very fast "thunderbolts"||Ifrit - very fast missile attack|
|Fire||Salamander - spits fire||Firebird - explodes in a fireball|
The same demon selection is available to both Order and Chaos.
- Juggernaut - Uses itself as a missile to attack opponent.
- Wraith - Attacks by forming a draining cloud around itself and any hits to the opponent add life to the wraith. Invisible except when attacking (or playing against computer opponent).
- Gorgon - Shoots a gaze attack which reduces the speed of the opponent, cumulatively. Once it cannot move, it dies.
- Chimera - Each attack cycles through three weapons: missile attack fireball, missile attack poison gas, and a melee-like stinger.
Both Order and Chaos Adepts are very fast at moving and attacking. An Adept has the ability to cast a ball of fire/magic at the opponent. While the projectile does almost the maximum damage to the opponent and the adept's magic recharges quickly, as an added feature the player has the ability to control the direction of the ball while in flight by holding down the fire button (unfortunately, this also stops the player from moving, à la the Siren's attack). A skilled player could slow the ball's speed, then let go of the fire button to move their player to dodge an incoming attack and then re-engage the magic ball and send it toward their attacker.
Spellcasting costs magic points in varying amounts, depending on the spell (e.g., summoning a demon requires more magic than summoning an elemental). Heal is the only spell which can affect Adepts.
- Summon - Summons a demon or elemental.
- Heal - Heals a portion of a given piece's damage. Also cures the Gorgon's speed drain.
- Weaken - Weakens a creature.
- Imprison - Prevents a creature from moving.
- Release - Releases a creature from imprisonment.
- Banish - Completely removes a creature from the board.
- Apocalypse - Triggers a battle that determines the outcome of the game. The fortresses uproot, transform into luminous Adepts and attack each other in Void. The Adepts' attributes are determined by the summoned creatures, remaining magic and surviving Adepts on their side.
The game is decided in one of five ways:
- A player occupies all six power points and wins.
- A player runs out of pieces, magic or is otherwise unable to take a turn, and loses.
- Apocalypse is triggered and conducted.
- The computer concedes to a human opponent. This typically only happens when the computer lacks the energy to summon new pieces for several turns and is down to a single Adept.
- A player loses his last Adept. "The masters intervene" and Apocalypse is triggered.
II Computing stated that the Apple II version of Archon II "is even more challenging than its predecessor, and features exciting innovations", and concluded "it's good to see a sequel to a successful game that is not as good as the first but extends the boundaries of the game's system". Reviewing the Amiga version, Computer Gaming World "recommend both Archon and Adept" for those interested in a challenging strategy games.
- "Archon II: Adept". IGN.
- Shapiro, Neil (Oct–Nov 1985). "Of Jewels and Ghouls and Butterflies and Strategies of War". II Computing. pp. 24–26. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Wagner, Roy (November 1986). "Amiga Preferences". Computer Gaming World. p. 38.