Black Magic (video game)

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Black Magic
Black Magic Coverart.png
Cover art
Developer(s) Datasoft
Publisher(s) Datasoft
Designer(s) Peter Ward[1]
Platform(s) Apple II (original)
Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
Release 1987
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single player

Black Magic is a multi-directional scrolling action-adventure game written for the Apple II by Peter Ward and published by Datasoft in 1987. Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC versions were also released.


The evil wizard Zahgrim has turned the good wizard Aganar to stone, removed his six eyes, and placed them in different locations across the land so they may view the destruction being reaped. The player's objective is to find the six eyeballs scattered across the land which are needed to pass the Blind Statue. Once the eyes are placed back in the Blind Statue's empty sockets, a message appears explaining how to end Zahgrim's rule over the land once and for all. It is achieved by entering his castle, a wicked and difficult maze of traps and monsters.

Every 4000 points, a new rank is awarded. There are four ranks: apprentice, wizard, sorcerer, necromancer.

The gameplay involves moving through a large, side-view scrolling world, collecting items, shooting arrows at enemies, and casting spells. The world scrolls both vertically and horizontally, and most areas within it do not have to be visited in a fixed order. Resources are limited. You are always on the verge of running out of food, and arrows are also in short supply. When one of the statue's eyes is collected, new types of monsters appear in the world making travel more difficult. This makes the game play differently depending on the order the eyes are collected.

Spells provide alternate approaches to problems. You can turn yourself invisible, for example, so monsters can't hurt you. Or you can freeze water so the creatures in it cannot move. New spells are unlocked with each rank.

A large bird can carry you to a different part of the world, similar to the bat in Adventure for the Atari 2600. Shooting the bird with an arrow makes it go away temporarily.


The game was reviewed in 1987 in Dragon #124 by Hartley and Patricia Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers stated the "Certainly, this is one of the better games in the current crop of arcade/adventure games, as the tasks required to complete the quest are quite varied."[2]


  1. ^ "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers". 
  2. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia (August 1987). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (124): 92–96. 

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