|Designer(s)||Brian Raffel, Steve Raffel, Ben Gokey, Rick Johnson, Kevin Schilder|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
Black Crypt is a role-playing video game. It was Raven Software's debut title, and was published for the Commodore Amiga by Electronic Arts in 1992. Its 3D realtime style is similar to FTL Games' popular Dungeon Master, where the player leads a party of four heroes through a large dungeon to ultimately confront and defeat a powerful enemy.
Black Crypt was originally conceived by Brian Raffel and Steve Raffel in the late 1980s as a non-electrical game set for pen-and-paper role-playing games, although work began in April 1990 to eventually turn their idea into a video game.
The player is given the task of creating four heroes to traverse the twenty-eight levels of the "Tomb of the Four Heroes" to defeat the evil Estoroth Paingiver. Estoroth, a powerful cleric, had been banished to a black crypt for committing unspeakable acts, but the guilds of the country of Astera believe Estoroth is attempting to unseal his crypt and send the four heroes to seal him away for good.
Unlike Dungeon Master, Black Crypt does not have pre-generated characters to select as possible heroes. When starting a new game the player must first create and name their four heroes, who are of set class (fighter, cleric, magic user and druid), as well as set their starting attributes (see inset).
While most games of this type did not include maps of the dungeon (meaning players often mapped them out themselves on paper) the magic user has access to a spell called "Wizard Sight" which automatically maps the heroes movement and can be viewed in-game while the spell is active. Black Crypt also features 'bosses' on several levels, the first of which is actually within twenty spaces of the start location.
Black Crypt was available on the Amiga, and came on three 880k disks (excluding a game-save disk, used if not installed on a hard drive). The graphics mode used was called Extra Half-Bright, which allowed for a user defined palette of thirty-two colours, as well as an additional thirty-two colours which were half the brightness of the chosen palette, allowing for the games gloomy atmosphere.
In 1998, Raven Software programmer Rick Johnson released the first two levels of Black Crypt for the PC as freeware.
Black Crypt was well received, but did not attain critical acclaim.