|Release||July 15, 1994|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game, Platform game|
Mystic Towers is a video game created by Australian developer Animation F/X and published by Manaccom domestically and Apogee Software internationally. It stars Baron Baldric, an old wizard with a magic staff and an array of amusing mannerisms, who must quest through twelve towers and rid them of monsters. Mystic Towers is a sequel to Baron Baldric: A Grave Adventure, a platform game in which Baron Baldric battled an evil sorcerous ancestor. The earlier game, originally written for the Amiga and later ported to the PC, was published by Manaccom and not released outside of Australia.
Each tower consists of 45 rooms (5 floors with 9 rooms), 15 monsters, and 1 monster generator. In each tower, Baldric must defeat all the monsters, destroy the monster generator, and obtain the Large Red Tower Key that opens the main door at the start of the level.
Baron Baldric has a health bar showing his hit points, which decrease as Baron takes damage from monsters, is poisoned, or steps on traps. When his health meter runs out, Baldric loses a life. He begins with nine lives in reserve (One life in Practice Mode), but when these lives are gone, the game is over.
The food and drink bars show Baron's hunger and thirst, and they slowly decrease over the course of gameplay. Along his quest, Baldic must consume enough food and drink to avoid starvation and thirst. If at any time, one or more of these two bars run out, Baron Baldric will slowly lose life until food or drink is consumed, and neither meters are empty. As long as both the food and drink bars are not empty, Baldric's health slowly recharges (as long as he is not poisoned). Food can be found in a variety of places, and some monsters will drop them when killed. Drinks can be found in bottles and flasks, as well as in water fountains in towers. Note that some bottles contain wine, which will make Baron Baldric tipsy (characterized by spinning and hiccuping) for a short while.
Coins can be collected to purchase spells. The higher the floor of the tower in which a spell is purchased, the more powerful the spell generally is. Note that spell "vending machines" may break after a few uses.
Treasure can also be collected to increase the player's points. Every 10,000 points is worth an extra life; Baldric can have up to 9 lives in hand at once.
There a total of ten spells in the game. The first five are damage spells (Ice, Sulfur, Venom Cloud, Fireball and Lightning) for killing monsters and only the Ice has infinite ammo. Damage spells with greater power are rare and must be utilized strategically. The other five spells (Reveal, Heal, Teleport, Levitate, and Bomb) are utility spells each with a unique purpose. The Reveal spell lights up dark rooms, reveals hidden doors, treasure, and poison tiles. The Heal Spell restores Baldric's health and cures poison. Teleport can only be used on a teleport pad, which transports him to the floor indicated by the number on the pad. Levitate makes Baldric float one level above the floor and the spell can be cast many times to float even higher. Baron Baldric can return to the ground by jumping. Finally, Bomb can be cast only on a monster generator, as part of the criteria of completing the level. Although all the spells are collectible, only the damage spells are purchasable. Several monsters can cast spells, with seemingly no limits, the Venom Cloud having the ability to poison Baron Baldric, and Lightning being able to kill in two hits.
There are three types of powerups that Baron Baldric can collect in a tower. These are invisibility, meta-power and shields. These powerups only last a limited amount of time.
- Meta-power greatly boosts the power of Baron Baldric's currently equipped spell, allowing him to use weaker spells to defeat stronger enemies, or blow them away using the more powerful spells.
- Invisibility makes Baron Baldric invisible for a short duration. During this time, monsters will not attack Baron Baldric unless they run into him, and autofire rooms (rooms that senses the presence of Baldric and fire) will not activate. Of course, Baldric will still be able to activate traps and become poisoned.
- Shields make Baldric invulnerable to everything for a short duration. This means that monsters will not attack, and Baldric is immune to poison tiles, traps and fire. He can still be poisoned from drinking slime and killed from eating a poisonous mushroom (when not poisoned).
There are 30 unique monsters spanning the 12 levels, with 5 monster types occupying each tower. Note that each monster type will show up in 2 of the 12 towers. Monsters have a specific domain of rooms that they will wander around in, and will not leave that domain. A monster's domain is indicated by a portrait of a monster (and its life bar) in the upper right corner of the screen.
Generally, monsters attack by biting or clawing Baron Baldric, but some monsters are also capable of shooting projectiles, like ice shots, venom clouds, fireballs and lightnings. These projectiles are extremely harmful, and should be avoided at all costs, especially the venom cloud variant of shooting monsters, which are found in the higher level of the towers.
To defeat them, use any one of Baron Baldric's spells, lure them toward a Bomb Trap, or jump on top of them (if possible). However, keep in mind that monsters will have more health, and are generally more dangerous and more aggressive in the higher levels of a tower. Also, a monster may move faster when it is damaged enough, giving a would-player a hard time.
Below is a short description of each monster, and where they would appear:
Rimm Tower and Rimm Fortress
- Scarabite: A bug-like monster. Arguably the weakest monster in game. It attacks by biting.
- Jagurota: A weird monster with a crocodile-like head and a spinning, spiked body. Attacks by biting.
- Azurblast: A wheeled monster that fires fireballs (or in some cases, venom clouds) when damaged to a certain extent.
- Fungafly: A fungus-like flying monster. Attacks by biting.
- Dralek: A snake-like monster with a skirt for movement. Attacks by biting.
Tor Karad Keep and Tor Karad Castle
- Triworm: An one-eyed worm that moves by bumbling about. Attacks by clawing.
- Clawfoot: A mating between a pair of eyes and bird claws. Moves quickly and attacks by clawing.
- Shrimpion: A shrimp-like creature that attacks using ice spells, despite the lightning blast depicted in the preview page. Certain ones can fire venom clouds.
- Puffer: A bouncing creature that attacks by biting
- Flip-Flop: A creature that moves using a slab-like contraption. Attacks by licking and biting.
Nortscar Needle and Nortscar Spire
- Podhopper: A one-eyed monsters with two stilts extending from its sides. Attacks by clawing with its 'stilts'.
- Cobbla: A large snake. Attacks by biting.
- Sniper: A strange shelled creature that normally sticks close to the floor. However, it will raise itself up on four legs to attack with fireballs.
- Monobeak: A bird with an oversized foot. Attacks with its single clawed foot.
- Snapdragon: A small dragon-like creature. Attacks by biting.
Wolf's Fang and Wolf's Claw
- Ruddimp: An imp like monster with an oversized fork attached to its head. It moves quickly and fires venom clouds as a primary means of attack.
- Shillaya: A monster that looks similar to a leprechaun. Attacks by using its stick.
- Bagfly: A mating between a bag and a fly. Attacks by sucking on its target.
- Stinger: A jellyfish-like monster. Attacks with its tentacles.
- Leman: A big blob that resembles a lemon. It bounces around as it moves, and attacks by biting its target.
Ebonscarp and Ebonscarp II
- Crocojaw: A monster that lurks below the floor, with its eyes the only thing that is visible until it attacks. It's very easy to miss in a dark room. Attacks by coming to the surface and biting.
- Hothead: A head that floats around. It is quite easy to miss because of its small size. Attacks by licking its target with a tongue of flame.
- Rosie: A monster that resembles a young human girl. The evil Baron Lazarus met his end at the hands of one of these monsters. Despite appearances, it does not sound like a woman. It is capable of firing fireballs, as well as engaging in melee up close.
- Eggnog: A monster that looks like an egg with arms and legs. A pair of eyes glow from inside the eggshell.
- Skelefly: A bouncing skeleton with only one leg. Attacks by biting.
Marchwall Hold and MarchWall Fort
- Fire-Asp: A snake-like monster that is capable of firing fireballs from its mouth.
- Verdragon: The only melee monster in these two towers. It is capable of flying over obstacles though.
- Firebones: A fiery skeleton that is capable of firing fireballs from its eye sockets.
- Writwraith: A male apparition that is capable of firing lightning bolts as its primary means of attack. Very dangerous.
- Toxignat: Its small size makes it difficult to spot. It is especially dangerous because it's fast and powerful, with a powerful venom attack to boot. Approach these monsters with extreme caution.
Traps and damaging surfaces
Aside from monsters, the towers themselves are far from harmless. There are a variety of traps that the player should be aware off, so that they do not trigger them inadvertently. There are a few types of traps the play should be aware of:
- Bomb Traps drop bombs when Baron Baldric walks on top of a triggering floor tile. These bombs can take away a greater portion of the Baron's health, and will damage anything 1 tile around the trap tile, so don't trigger them by mistake! Bombs can be avoided if the player moves away in time, and can be used to kill monsters by a clever player. Bomb-dropping switches that drop bombs when pressed serve the same function, except they can be controlled by the player.
- Fireball Traps shoots fireballs when a floor button is depressed. Only Baron Baldric can trigger these. Fireballs hurt, so avoid triggering these traps, or avoid the fireballs. Of course, these traps can be used to kill monsters by lining the fireballs up with the monsters.
- Poison tiles are secret tiles that will poison Baron Baldric when he walks on them. Needless to say, avoid them at all costs. Watch out for floor tiles with a single green dot in the center, as they usually indicate a poison tile or a bomb trap. The reveal spell can reveal poison tiles. Where there is a skull drawn on the wall, there is a poison tile somewhere in the room.
- Pain Tiles are 3x3 tiles with a skull marked in the center. These tiles do not poison Baron Baldric, but will continually damage him as long as he stands on them. Avoid them, or quickly run across them to minimize the damage. The levitation spell allows Baron Baldric to move across them without taking damage.
Baron Baldric can become poisoned in a variety of ways, such as stepping on a poison tile, drinking slime, or getting hit by a venom cloud. Baron Baldric slowly loses health and the health bar flashes when Baron Baldric is poisoned, and he turns green. In order to cure poison, the player can use a heal spell, drink slime from outlets, or eat a mushroom (the only instance where eating a mushroom is beneficial. If Baron Baldric eats a mushroom when he's not poisoned, he will die instantly).
These helpful runes, carved into the walls of a particular room, can tell Baron Baldric what he should expect in the room.
- Skull Runes indicate the presence of poison tiles. Use the Reveal spell to reveal them.
- Eye Runes indicate something is hidden in this room. Use the Reveal spell to reveal the hidden object.
- Mystery Runes look somewhat like a fish symbol turned 90 degrees counterclockwise. They indicate that a spot in the wall is a secret doorway to an adjacent room. Experiment by trying to walk into walls to discover it.
Apprentice and Wizard towers
As the name implies, the game takes place inside of towers. There are 12 towers in the game. Each tower has an "Apprentice" version, which Baldric visits on the first half of his quest, and a "Wizard" version, which he visits on the second. Apprentice towers are significantly easier than Wizard towers. In Wizard towers, Baldric does not start with maps of each floor, the monsters are significantly stronger and faster, teleporters do not link in a ring but direct, the Red Tower Key is not in the starting room, and there are new classes of obstacles to overcome.