Dark Ages (1991 video game)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2014)|
|Artist(s)||Allen H. Blum III|
Dark Ages was distributed as shareware. It consists of three episodes, with only the first episode playable in the shareware version. The episodes are:
- Prince of Destiny
- The Undead Kingdom
- Dungeons of Doom
The player controls the prince and heir to the land’s greatest kingdom (referred to as the Great Kingdom). When the prince was a child, Garth, a power hungry wizard of immense power and greed, killed his father and took the throne. Rather than kill the prince he sent him to be raised by peasants, but even Garth’s evil magic could not foresee his mistake, since the very peasant he delivered him to was once the Kingdom’s greatest hero, and as the prince grew he was taught the ways of a master fighter. One of the things he learned well was how to use magic as a weapon.
In the years after Garth’s conquest, the kingdom had fallen into ruin and despair, with no hope of returning to the times of happiness and prosperity. Garth ruled with an iron fist and terrorized the population with undead creatures.
The player's quest is to find Garth and rescue the Kingdom from the Dark Ages it’s trapped in. The difficult journey takes the player through badlands, castles, dungeons, caves, forests and finally to the Great Kingdom itself, with Garth’s army of undead creatures attacking at every turn.
The final episode ends with a confrontation between the prince and Garth. After killing Garth, the prince's destiny is fulfilled, having freed the kingdom from the Dark Ages of fear and tyranny. The prince assumes his rightful place as the peaceful King and Leader of the Kingdom. The Great Kingdom is once again free to prosper and grow without fear.
Dark Ages is a side scrolling game where the player's alter ego, the prince, can move sideways, jump and shoot. Game play involves killing and avoiding enemies and jumping over obstacles. Progression to the next level often involves a hidden door, revealed by one of several Wise Men type characters after retrieving an item for them. The items include a key, a shield, and an apple.
The player can use magic to fight the prince's enemies, starting out with a simple energy bolt and slowly gaining access to more destructive spells as the game progresses. There are three spells in the game: a blue bolt that flies straight forward, a boomerang that flies forward then returns allowing enemies to be hit twice, and a magic beam with a shorter range but can kill most enemies in one hit and can be fired in rapid succession.