Magic Carpet (video game)
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DOS cover art for Magic Carpet
May 6, 1994
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, god game|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Magic Carpet is an animated video game released in 1994 by Bullfrog Productions. A revised edition, Magic Carpet Plus, included the Hidden Worlds expansion pack, adding twenty-five levels and a winter-themed tile set. The sequel, Magic Carpet 2, was released in 1995.
The game is played from the perspective of a wizard on a magic carpet flying over water, mountains, and other landscapes. The wizard destroys monsters and rival sorcerers which are controlled by the computer, and collects "manna", which is gathered by hot air balloons and stored in the player's own castle.
The story is told in cut-scenes depicting pages of a book being flipped. According to the back story, manna was discovered and although it initially had beneficial uses, the quest for it led to the destruction of the lands. Many corrupt wizards began turning to manna for their own nefarious purposes, eventually leading to a war between them. The battling wizards began using destructive spells and summoning deadly monsters, which often turned against them. One wizard hoped to end everything with an all-powerful spell, but instead left the worlds shattered. Only the wizard's apprentice survived, and it became his goal is to restore the worlds to equilibrium.
Greater amounts of manna stored in the castle allow the player to cast more powerful spells. As the player expands the castle, it spawns additional manna-collecting balloons and armed guards that defend it against attacks by enemy wizards. Besides storing manna, the player's castle also serves as a home base for him where he cannot be killed and can regain health and manna.
Victory is attained by storing the necessary percentage of the total manna in the current level (or "world"), restoring it to "equilibrium". The total manna level in a given world is fixed (unless expanded by cheat codes), though it must be acquired by killing enemy wizards and monsters. Often, a necessary proportion of manna can only be released by defeating a high-level wizard or powerful monster.
The magic carpet can be piloted in 3 dimensions, similar to a helicopter, although the player cannot roll like an airplane, and it is impossible to crash.
Magic Carpet has 24 spells that cover many categories. In multiplayer mode, there is no completely dominant spell, which results in several tactical dilemmas. For instance, a meteor can often kill weakened wizards with a single hit, unless the target wizard has a rebound spell cast. Exotic spells such as teleport allows the player to escape back to his castle, recharge his health and manna, then quickly return whence he came. The exotic spell skeleton army creates undead archer minions for either attacking enemy castles or wreaking havoc in civilian towns. Terrain-altering spells such as crater, volcano, and earthquake allows the player to use the land for attack or defense.
Magic Carpet Plus replaced the rarely used flamewall with the guided meteor (specifically for multi-player duels, as opposed to the regular general-purpose meteor).
The game has a wide variety of monsters.
Krakens pose a deadly threat in the bodies of water in which they dwell; they use the Duel spell to prevent wizards from escaping. Krakens can hold wizards within range of the Kraken's lightning bolts.
Genies cannot directly harm the player's health; however, their Steal Manna spell will drain the player's manna. Genies are not only relentless in their pursuit but, if sufficiently wounded, they can teleport away to heal themselves.
Griffins are usually passive monsters, but when attacked, the entire pack will retaliate and will carry a grudge against the player for the rest of the level .
Crabs can "consume" loose manna and by doing so gradually grow in size, gaining the use of powerful spells. Sufficiently large crabs can lay eggs to start this process all over again. As manna in each level is fixed, the consumed manna can only be released by killing the crab.
Wyverns are considered the most dangerous of the monsters, due to their flight, rapid fireball breath weapon, and large number of hit points; they are one of the few monsters to actively attack both castles and towns.
There are 7 computer-controlled wizards to be found along the journey:
- Vodor - Red
- Gryshnak - Purple
- Mahmoud - Blue
- Syed - Green
- Raschid - Pink
- Alhabbal - Orange
- Scheherazade - Black
The player character is called Zanzamar by default, and his flags are a white color.
|This section may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (January 2013)|
Magic Carpet uses a real-time 3D-graphics engine. It includes features such as:
- Dynamically lighted, gouraud shaded, changeable ("morphable") landscape
- Dynamic music
- Distance fog
- Transparency effects, such as the transparent HUD, water, and the Possess Manna spell when cast.
- A particle system, used for manna balls, flocks of vultures and other creatures.
- Player viewpoint control using the mouse
Magic Carpet features an optional stereographic mode, for which a set of 3-D red/blue glasses came in the box; the game also supported many virtual reality headsets that were available at the time. It was also the first game to be advertised as being optimized for the new Intel Pentium and the "Intel Inside" Pentium logo was shown if the game detected such a processor.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2013)|
The system requirements were rather high for the time; a 486 was the minimum requirement and the Pentium was heavily recommended for smooth gameplay and full graphics detail; many gamers still had 386 processors at the time and as a result the game did not sell well..
The PlayStation version is a port of the original game that retains many of the PC version's spells. The map and some of the monster and enemy wizard graphics are slightly different. As in the PC game, the player can only save the game at the end of the level, although levels don't often take a long time to finish. In this port, enemy wizards have a health-bar over their heads, so the player can see when they are close to death.
This version does not feature a multiplayer mode, but it does contain the Hidden Worlds expansion as a reward for finishing the game in "Normal" mode.
As with the original PC version, this port was not particularly successful commercially.