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ZOOM AD&D Dark Sun 2:
Wake of the Ravager

This product is included in the AD&D Masterpiece Collection

Strategic Simulations, Inc.

Game

Suitable for all audiences

Ratings:

3 stars from Electronic Entertainment

The World of Dark Sun

A world sucked dry by vampiric defilers, torn and scarred by power-hungry mages, burnt and seared by a sun gone slightly nova: a world known simply as Athas. Athas is bad -real bad. You've heard of Death Valley? You've heard of the Sahara? They've got nothing on Athas. You see, Death Valley and the Shara end. They stop, eventually. They run into jungles or forests or even oceans. But not Athas. Athas never stops. It has no oceans. And you're stuck in the middle of it.

Athas, the world of Dark Sun, has a dark and ominous history. Once a world of lush vegetation, thriving with life and prosperous with trade, Athas fell to the whims of its mages. In their lust for power, these mages found ways to tap the planet's vitality to add to their own, unconcerned that the effects on their environment were devastating. As a result, Athas now labors under the oppressive heat of a crimson sun, with seabeds full of silt instead of water. Almost all mines have tapped out, so metal is extremely rare - and very valuable. Scarcer still are any sources of water.

Athas: an ecological nightmare.

On Athas, there are no rainforests.

On Athas, there is no ozone layer.

On Athas, even the monsters weep. For Athas is a dead planet. This once-vibrant ball of water and greener has been raped by mages careless of their surroundings and turned into a dry, desiccated husk, groaning on toward its final demise. Welcome, adventures.

The creatures of Athas, twisted by the free use of magic, were forced to adapt to the harsh conditions. New monsters continue to emerge from the deep desert to plague those humans who survived. And survive they have, though under grim conditions. The only stable communities are rigidly controlled city-states. These are ruled without exception by vicious, seldom-seen sorcerer-kings - the last remnants of the mages who destroyed Athas. These kings aspire to godhood, ruling through religious organizations headed by their templar minions. Their rule is uniformly harsh and capricious, and vast numbers of people are enslaved. Only the strongest, physically or magically, can feel any measure of safety.

To make matters worse, incredibly powerful mages slowly transform into dragons as they increase their strength. These creatures are often solitary, venturing into inhabited areas only rarely. Yet when they do they often have a reason, for advances through the stages of transformation are often accompanied by mass destruction. One such transformation was recently attempted in Tyr by the former king, Kalak.

Wake of the Ravager takes place in and around the city-state of Tyr, ruled by Kalak's successor, the mysteriously absent King Tithian.

Requirements:

4 MB RAM, an uncompressed hard drive with a minimum of 30 MB free, MS-DOS 6.2, 620KB of Low Memory, VGA graphics and a color monitor, a 100% Microsoft Compatible Mouse (or a Logitech Compatible Mouse), Microsoft Mouse driver version 8.10 and above, or Logitech Mouse driver Version 6.00 and above, CD-ROM driver MSCDEX Version 2.2, CD-ROM drive access time of 350 milliseconds, data transfer rate of 150 kilobytes.

DOS games do not work on Windows XP, of course, and we do not offer technical support for DOS games running on Windows XP. However, if you really want to run games like this on your fast new Windows XP machine you should try using DOSBox. The DOSBox OpenSource DOS emulator is an excellent piece of work which we can highly recommend. It isn't possible for us to guarantee that it will work well for you, however, especially on newer graphic-intensive DOS games. On older DOS games, like Civilization, for example, it runs well on any machine capable of running Windows XP.

To start with, you will need to download the Win32 Installer using this link: http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/download.php?main=1

The README file included with DOSBox will tell you what you need to know. If you find it a bit too technical, just click on The Newbie's Pictoral Guide to DOSBox on the following page: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewforum.php?f=39

We find that it is best to create a separate shortcut for each DOSBox game. That makes starting the game easier and also makes full screen mode easier to deal with.

Reviews:

Electronic Entertainment, January 1995

This massive, plot-rich sequel is based on TSR's (creator of the original Dungeons and Dragons) Dark Sun series of books and paper-based role-playing games. The new game adapts TSR's tried-and-true rules and game-play, rich history, and combat-and-magic system to create an engrossing adventure that has a flair rarely seen in computer games. Wake of the Ravager plays the way a good book reads, with complex character development and plenty of conflict and mystery to keep the story moving."

"Wake of the Ravager offers two modes of play. During combat you see each opponent and adventurer; while adventuring you see only the lead character. You can also set the difficulty level of the games's turn-based combat system depending upon your skill and preference. And you can choose from more than 200 spells, which add colors and sounds to the onscreen action."

"The CD version delivers great speech, sound effects, and music, but this makes it very complicated to load the game. That's because Wake of the Ravager requires you to load the CD-ROM drivers in order to play. Still, if you can get past the technical challenges, you'll discover a pilot- and combat-filled game with enough style to satisfy even the most demanding role player."

Computer Gaming World, December 1994

"Newly-created characters come into the game at 7th level, or 6th if they have more than one class. As is the norm for an AD&D product, you can modify a character's stats and hit points to your liking at creation time. Given the opposition in this game, doing so is highly recommended. For those who played Shattered Lands and kept a save game or two, you can transfer your Shattered Lands characters over to Ravager."

"One of the nicer features is that, in several situations, you don't have to fight a big battle if you can find an alternate solution. For instance, early on, the Alliance asks your party to find out what the Templars are up to, and there are two ways to do this. The hard way is to find the Templars and start a fight (a very tough one, too). The easy way requires a little stealth, and you end up having to fight only one person instead of ten or twelve."

"Ravager is not without merit. Some of the individual adventures (the Verini murder mystery and the mine killings, in particular) are interesting."



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