Magical moments in a cult adventure

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Travel into an alternative reality with Dave Eriksson

LEVEL Nine has an enviable reputation for adventure games. Early examples were text only, but with the passing of time they have made a smooth transition to additional graphics. One early adventure was The Lords of Time, later came Red Moon and The Price of Magik.

Level Nine, now teamed up with Mandarin Software, has re-released these three titles as Time and Magik. All have the improved graphics, parser and operating system found in their recent games.

Lords of Time is a hunt through nine time periods, from before the dawn of man to the far future. Nine artifacts must be found and placed in the Cauldron of Time to defeat the purposes of the evil timelords. There are puzzles galore and the plot is both ingenious and spiced with its own special brand of humour. A must for any true adventurer.

Red Moon is all about magik. In the past the moon was crimson and the source of all great magiks. When the moon faded to the grey we know today, magic waned. To counter this loss, a host of magicians created the Red Moon Crystal. From the Moon Tower of Baskalos it shone out over the land, maintaining an island of magik. Then the great crystal was stolen.

You play a magician who must recover this fabulous gem and restore hope to the world. Unpleasant creatures are waiting for you, and fighting with bare hands is not the answer. Weapons and armour must be found at the earliest opportunity.

Magik is vital to success. To use spells, enter a command of the type CAST ZAP. Spells are only successful if you have the object that is the focus for that particular spell. CAST ZAP requires a jewelled dagger and you cannot cast a spell if you have iron on or near you.

The Price of Magik is a sequel to Red Moon. Nearly all the action takes place in the House of the Red Moon where you must find and defeat the evil sorcerer Myglar. There are no treasures to find and no score is given. Score is recognised, but the response is only your present sanity level and apparent age.

You must learn, and find a use for, the spells that enable you to neutralise Myglar's powers. Casting spells follows the principles found in Red Moon. A weapon and armour could prove useful, but killing creatures you meed may release their ghosts, which bodes ill for future encounters. Some creatures may be controlled using magik.

Comprehensive clue sheets are available and they do not encourage cheating. Clues point you in the right direction but do not give definitive answers.

All three adventures are classics and provide a good challenge, full of humour and clever puzzles.