Theron’s Quest is a modified version of the incredible Dungeon Master, released for the PC Engine in Japan in 1992 and the TurboGrafx-16 in North America in 1993.
Chaos Strikes Back is to RPGs what The Empire Strikes Back is to movie sequels… It is simply one of the best – and toughest – real-time role-players ever made. Dungeon Master was incredible, but the sequel, Chaos Strikes Back, is just another dimension.
The designers at FTL Games outdid themselves in terms of puzzles, atmosphere and level designs. Chaos Strikes Back is so complex, however, that at times it risks disappearing up its own back bottom… What I mean by that is: sometimes a game can be so difficult that it becomes uninteresting to play. It depends on your threshold.
You’re also thrown in at the deep end in Chaos Strikes Back. A room, full of flesh-eating worms, and no obvious exit… Just don’t panic. There’s no need to, because CSB gives you fairly high level characters to start with, so you can fight back immediately (when you find a weapon).
Chaos Strikes Back is infamous for its difficulty, but don’t let this game intimidate you. Give it some back. It is beatable, and also very satisfying to play. Much like its stellar predecessor.
This is a very effective Japanese conversion of the great US, 16-bit classic, Dungeon Master, by FTL Games and Software Heaven.
The conversion was handled by JVC Interactive and was first released in Japan in 1992, before being translated and released in North America and Europe later.
Dungeon Master‘s classic first-person, dungeon-crawling gameplay is intact and well and living inside the Super Nintendo, I’m happy to report. The atmospheric sound effects are just as good – if not better – than the original, and the game doesn’t suffer too much from its translation to gamepad from mouse and keys. It’s still very playable.
The graphics have been re-drawn a bit in places. Some of the monsters have been re-coloured too, although it doesn’t marr things too badly.
Overall: Dungeon Master on the SNES is a great achievement, and is well worth playing all the way through.
This is the one: Dungeon Master – the Atari ST original. One of the best games ever made, and probably my favourite game of all time…
Developed by FTL Games and released in 1987, Dungeon Master redefined what Role-Playing Games were – and video games in general – by combining real-time gameplay with a perfect balance of simplicity and complexity. Dungeon Master is easy to play, but difficult to master, and the atmosphere created by the graphics and sound effects is still quite brilliant, even now, some 30 years after release.
As a ‘dungeon crawler’, Dungeon Master is a non-stop roller-coaster ride through waves upon waves of killer monsters. The fact that you rarely get the chance to rest (the monsters follow you, some can open doors, and others will run away when they are threatened), is testament to the game’s amazing design.
Dungeon Master was ported to many other platforms, and some might argue that the PC DOS version is the best, but I’m sticking with the original ST version. It was the biggest selling game on the system by far (probably something to do with the game’s innovative copy protection, as much as the game’s quality), and showed that the Atari ST was more than capable of hosting killer apps.
The sequel to the mighty Dungeon Master is a great game in its own right. First released by Interplay in 1995.
Dungeon Master II: The Legend of Skullkeep is somewhat different, but still feels like the familiar Dungeon Master. It has the same spell system, and the same look and feel. And is just as devious, challenging and addictive to play as its predecessor.
Dungeon Master II has a mix of indoor and outdoor locations, and – unlike the first game, this is not all about going down ever-deeper dungeons. You spend most of your time outdoors, the truth be told. And are rarely ever left in peace by the monsters (just like in the first game).
Dungeon Master II: The Legend of Skullkeep is a cult classic. Not quite loved enough to be well known, but more than good enough to be played and appreciated.
Although the mighty Dungeon Master did come out on the Atari ST first, its best incarnation can be found on the PC, in MS-DOS. It runs beautifully in DOS Box and still plays like a dream. Or, rather: a nightmare! Few games will ever make you sweat like the mighty Dungeon Master!
I’ve picked this version of Dungeon Master to show first, because it features some nice extended graphics, which are unique and don’t get shown very often.
The Japanese home computer the Sharp X68000 had high resolution colour graphics and therefore the developers had more screen space to fill. Thus, the fancy borders and wider entrance tunnel in this version. Otherwise: this X68000 Dungeon Master is pretty much identical to the Atari ST original, barring the Japanese text.
Before they made the classic Dungeon Master, FTL (or Software Heaven as they are sometimes known) made the classic Oids – a challenging 16-bit gravity game shooter on the Atari ST.
Again: Oids is one of those games that doesn’t look like much at first glance. At least not until you see it moving. The fast/smooth scrolling of the landscape, and excellent feel of the craft inertia makes Oids something of jewel in the crown of the gravity game genre.