Empire III: Armageddon
Michael B. Williams
Requirements: Apple II-series computer with at least 48K RAM and a disk drive.
Empire III: Armageddon is the final chapter in the Empire trilogy. When you assume the role of a character in this world, you find the once-thriving civilization created in World Builders and advanced in Interstellar Sharks decayed by rebellion, poverty, and the corrupt ruling body. Along with several underground rebel groups, you must overtake the Pyramid and eliminate the Empress.
As in many fantasy role-playing games, your character's attributes and characteristics are determined by the roll of the die. Your success in everything you do depends on your strengths and weaknesses and how well you use them. For example, a high charisma can help you get lower prices on some items, while strength and dexterity will aid you most during battle. Everything but your native class and your name are chosen by chance, including your gender.
During battle, you and your opponent occupy opposite sides of the screen. You determine your attack by such commands as stab, hit, kick, or fire. The battle ends when one of you is killed or gives up. Any wounds received may be healed at the hospital in the city (for a fee, of course).
Armageddon is realistic: Periodically, you must eat and drink to sustain life. Time passes according to where you are and how you move (more time elapses when traversing the wilderness than the city, for example). As your character ages, his abilities and strength weaken, though his intelligence probably increases.
One criticism of Armageddon is that the game moves extremely slowly. The display routines appear to be written in BASIC and are painstakingly slow. Disk access is excessive. Another criticism, though common to many games of this type (such as Wizardry), is that, after hours of developing a character, one mistake can wipe him out. Since there is no reincarnation in Armageddon (and no commercial reincarnation programs as exist for Wizardry), one is forced to restart the game from the very beginning.
Despite these drawbacks, Empire III: Armageddon is a well thought-out, extremely complex graphic adventure. It will take a lot of time to complete, and will also command much of your patience. Empire III: Armageddon nicely ties up the Empire trilogy with a superb challenge for gamers.
Empire III: Armageddon
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