ROM Computer Magazine Archive ROM MAGAZINE ISSUE 7 — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1984 / PAGE 58

by Tim Reekie

Ultima III
    We came, We saw, We kicked its Exodus. After much sweat and toil, we kicked, scratched, gouged and fought our way to Exodus, steadied ourselves for a rough, tough drag-em-out fight and were disappointed by the simplicity of the extermination of our dreaded foe. In any case, as instructed, we are 'reporting our feat'.
    I'll keep this update short and sweet. If you haven't yet solved Sosaria, the following hints may be helpful. There are only two main objectives that must be obtained. I'm assuming that you are twenty-fifth level or better so that you have 2550 Hit Points. Any extra Levels are merely icing. Therefore, what must be increased is the Intelligence and Wisdom of your Wizards and Clerics, respectively, and the Strength and Dexterity of your fighters etc. This is easily done once you have found the best route down with a handful of keys. You must also find the castle of Exodus (obviously!). This is also easily found (easy for me to say, right!?). If you have not yet found it, you may get there two different ways, one of which is through the Moons. I highly recommend finding the Exotics before you go there, though, as you will find that inside the castle, fighting anyone without them is effectively useless. Wizard and Clerics should also have 80 or more magic Points (for the upper level 'Multi-Kill' spells). It is not Exodus that will sap your strength, but the trip to same.
    As hinted at by many local yokels (of Sosaria) a rap with the Time Lord could be considered Time well spent! However, finding old T.L. could prove to be a bit of a chore. Ask around (casual like!). Usually stationary people in corners and far-away places have the most fascinating <word>s to tell. To avoid making an ash out of yourself, it's left to right, right? Too right!
    If you aren't thouroughly confused by my ridiculous riddles, perhaps you too may become a hero to thousands of Sosarian children. Good Luck! (You'll need it!)
    (P.S. "We" are Terry Slevin, Tim Ruscheinsky and myself with an absolute overkill score of 750,000 moves (give or take) Hey!, give us a break: It takes time to become super-sleuths!


    Shards and Shells; Pern has transversed the galaxies and is now orbiting my disk drive. Unfortunately, the Red Star has tagged along and is again menacing the people and dragons of Pern (not to mention playing havoc with my disk drive).
    As any Anne McCaffrey fan knows, the Red Star erratically orbits Pern and every 200/400 turns, which is called an interval/Long Interval, it passes close to Pern and rains Thread on these hapless souls. This may not seem too terrible an ordeal to us Earthlings, who can cope with thread. However, this is no ordinary thread: this Thread eats away any organic substances (that is, everything except stone and metal). To make a long story short, Pern has beasts (called dragons) that are capable of flaming Thread and turning it into harmless ash.
    If this is too complicated for you, then you would be well advised to read a couple of Anne McCaffrey's books before playing this game (Or at least read the prologue, which is generously supplied with the rules, before entering into the realm of Pern.
    A (presumably Long) Interval has just passed and you (from 1 to 4 players) are a Weyrleader. Most Holds now openly doubt the existence of Thread and you, along with the other Weyrleaders are pledged to protect Pern in spite of herself. There are 16 major holds, 8 major craft halls and 6 Weyrs (at least two of which will be controlled by the computer).In a specified number of `Turns' (240 days), you must emerge the winner by 'out-allying' your opponents. This is the task you must face as you begin your orbit around your disk drive.
    There are two main themes in this game. The first of these is the Intrigue part of the game. This is what you do during the year and the point of this intrigue is to make as many alliances as possible.

Dragon Riders of Pern

    Usually, you will only try to make alliances with those people who are your three strongest supporters. How do we get strong supporters? you ask.
    There are a number of ways, it seems. Giving the prospective ally fire lizard eggs(miniature dragons), inviting them to weddings or hatchings among other things. However, read the Description of the character, which is inside of the computer and can change with your actions, before doing anything. If the prospective ally hates fire-lizards, then giving him eggs will do more damage than harm! etc. After you have allied yourself with a Hold, you must protect it during Thread-fall or you will likely lose it.
    This brings us to the Second Phase of the game: Thread Fighting. Here you go head-to-head with Thread, in an excellent graphics screen. With a dragon you control with a joystick, you must sear the Thread before it hits the ground (or maybe more importantly, you). Having dragons dying depletes your Weyr's dragons and also gives the Thread more of a chance to hit the ground which not only kills vegetation, but also your supporter's confidence too (word travels quickly on Pern).
    Results of each player's attempts at Threadfall, including the computer's, are displayed after each player has fought Thread. The Intrigue phase of the game is then repeated, starting at Day 1 of the next Turn.
    By the First Egg, this game is a must for anyone who has travelled through Pern via the Dragon-Tale books of Anne McCaffrey. Dragonriders of Pern takes you there and puts you in a position to control it. Another excellent game from Epyx.

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