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|Developer(s)||Zero Hour Software|
|Publisher(s)||Core Design Ltd.|
|Designer(s)||Mark K. Jones|
|Programmer(s)||Paul A. Hodgson
Andrew J. Buchanan
|Artist(s)||Mark K. Jones
Darkmere - The Nightmare's Begun is an action-adventure game developed by Zero Hour Software and published by Core Design in 1993. Core Design went on to publish a less-well received sequel to Darkmere in 1994 called Dragonstone, on Amiga and Amiga CD32.
Long ago the great dragon Enywas killed villagers and burned down their farms every night. One day an elf named Gildorn left his people to slaughter the dragon with an enchanted sword crafted by the mage Malthar. After his difficult encounter, Gildorn was made kind of the village and found himself a wife Berengaria. Gildorn's happiness was short lived. One day his wife left and all he found in his search was a child she had given birth to and Gildorn named him Ebyrn. Gildorn had been neglecting his duties to protect the kingdom in search of his lost wife. As a result, the kingdom suffered a fate worse than the Enywas' attack. A plague of orcs, brigands and dragons swarmed the kingdom followed by a cloud of darkness called the "Darkmere". Villagers were now constantly killed or taken away and no one was safe wherever they went. Finally in his dying days, Gildorn entrusts Prince Ebryn with his old enchanted sword and an elven crystal and requests him to seek help from Malthar then find and destroy the source of this evil.
The player takes the role of Prince Ebryn. The game is divided into three locations which is the unnamed village, the forests beyond and the dark caverns. Progressing through the locations requires the player to solve quests and tasks. The player can move in four directions through multiple roads, paths and rooms. The player can interact with objects and perform actions with menus for picking up items, identifying items, examining, talking to people and using items. In combat the playing needs to time slash attacks with the sword to kill enemies and avoid taking damage. If all Ebryn's health is lost, the game is over.
Darkmere was almost universally praised for the quality of its graphics, artwork and animation, despite some original animation frames having been cut from the released game due to memory and floppy disk space limitations. The atmosphere of the game, with its dark and gloomy levels was also seen as a highlight.
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