DOS - 1990
Also available on: Commodore 64
Description of Fire King
Fire King is a clone of the arcade classic Gauntlet. The game can best be described as an action/rpg hybrid, one of the first arcade games offering cooperative play and up to 4 players it was a sure hit and in the following years the market was flooded by clones on various platforms.
Fire King is a sequel to Demon Stalker, offering a great deal of enhancements compared to it's predecessor and even compared to Gauntlet itself, but is limited to 2 players. The game continued where its predecessor left off, allowing the players to explore a gigantic 3D continent spanning a range of diverse locales, from enchanted forests to deserts and dungeons. The game required the player to solve the devious puzzles and intricate mysteries which hold the key to the Fire Kings' domain, and destroy the Death Beast.
You can choose between 6 different characters, each with different abilities in the following areas: Magic, Armor or Strength. Magic make the spells you cast stronger, killing more enemies, Armor makes you take less damage and Strength makes it easier to kill the swam of enemies. You will also pick up spells and other helpful stuff, the death spell being a favorite of mine, always good to have in a tight situation.
Though the game is an action shooter in a fantasy setting, Microforte has put in some puzzles that you'll need to solve to get though the game, and some on occasional amusing stories to make the game more interesting. Fire King is recommendable for the inexperienced player and you'll double the fun by playing it with a friend. But be prepared the ememies are coming in drowes and you will have learn this lesson very quickly, you can't kill them all, trying to do this will result in a premature death :)
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
The Pilgrim 2019-10-28 4 points DOS version
A fine sequel to Demon Stalkers, Fire King substitutes the linear advancement of Demon Stalkers for an open explorable world map. Because of that, you may feel a bit "lost" in the beggining due to the amount of exploration options.
Demon Stalkers devoted some levels to "teach" the players the different mechanics of the game. Fire King doesn't. Because of this, I reccomend to play Demon Stalkers first, as the designers of this game seem to assume you have. Some puzzles aren't intuitive unless you have already faced the situation in Demon Stalkers.
There is a guide to the first quest in the game manual, and I recommend to follow it for new players. The game also comes with a handy map of the region that you should check. And the Oracle's Wheel is not only used for copy protection, it's also needed to solve some riddles. So if you have lost those materials, I recommend you to look for them in the net. They are available for download somewere.
Speaking of riddles, get a pencil and paper and take note of all names you are given. Most of them will eventually be the answer to a riddle. Take note of clues also. And do it fast, the text scrolls do not last for long.
A main difference from Demon Stalkers is that you now have a shop where you can expend gold on purchasing items (so, chests filled with Gold and Jewels are no longer useless). Keys are dirty cheap, and there are no dervishes in this game. Some monsters can still steal, but those are few and easily killed. Nowere in the game is there a situation designed to have monsters mug you of all your stuff, like was customary in Demon Stalkers. I recomend you to never leave town without a stout supply of keys, death spells, and boots of wall and water walking.
Another difference with Demon Stalkers is that the Magic attribute is not totally worthless. It now governs the duration of magical effects. With no magic attribute, magic efects will last like 5 seconds, while with a full magic attribute they will last for minutes. It's a noticeable effect.
You can chose 6 different initial characters. The decission ffects the initial attributes you begin with, and also the maximum they will reach, because you can only raise your initial attributes by 8 with Relics. The big blonde guy starts as an 0-6-0, and will reach 8-14-8, while Emily begins as a 6-0-0 and becomes a 14-8-8. Sally is probably the best character for begginers. As a 0-3-3 that becomes a 8-11-11, she has very decent attack and armor, and while her magic will be weak at first, it will get decent after you find a few wands.
An important advice: Make backups of your save, by copying the whole LEVELS directory. The save-game feature looks buggy, and often if you reload after killed, items in rooms you visited between saving and getting killed will have vanished as if you had taken them. That can totally block your game if the vanished items are jewels or mirrors. So always back up, at least after finishing a quest, and, as the game advances and quest become longer, backup also at the middle.
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Commodore 64 Version
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