Magic is a key element in many video games, but it usually only appears in small doses. For instance, you might be able to toss some fireballs, summon a demon to do your dirty work, or possibly change into some weird creature. But in Magician from Taxan magic completely dominates the game. You can do everything from flying to heaving boulders to waking the dead in this challenging and fun role-play adventure.
In this horizontally-scrolling, one-player game you become Paul, a young apprentice magician, who is on a journey to learn the secrets of spell-casting from the ancient masters. An evil wizard named Abadon decides to sow his oats in the peaceful Merlwood by unleashing a host of savage beasts to ravage the land. You have to make your way through eight deadly levels to Abadon's castle and defeat him by finding the four vials of earth, air, fire, and water and combining them to create the Ultimate Potion.
From Fireballs to Death Rings
Mastering the spells is the key to success. There are five classes of spells -- Physical, Venom, Fire, Power, and Miscellaneous -- 34 spells in all. You have to compose your spells, which is a little game unto itself. You build spells by combining runes, which you find along the way, to form spell names. You also have to discover spell names by talking with characters or by buying scrolls in shops. Once you know a spell's name, you can enter it into your book at any time, provided you have enough magic power called mana. The catch is that you lose mana when you build or cast a spell. But don't fret, because mana increases automatically as you gain experience.
Most spells are weapons, and you can regulate their power, up to level 4. The Backpack screen lists all your spells and also keeps an inventory of objects you find and stats on food, water, health, mana, and shields.
A Mystical Scavenger Hunt
There are 31 objects as well as spells, potions, and scrolls hidden everywhere in Magician. Use the Reveal spell to find them. Search any place that looks like it might hide an object. Also, check out every fallen creature. In addition to helpful objects, you might find gold, food, water, and even treasure chests.
Check each creature and character that you beat for objects, food or water, and gold. Stand over the fallen character and press Down.
Search the tree to find the dragon's egg and a scroll.
You can enter buildings and search areas for objects. In the first two levels, there are a few guilds (bars) where you can listen for tips, shops with scrolls and food, and other residences. Check each and every door.
Use the Reveal spell to uncover a secret door in this castle. Inside is a merchant with some things you may need.
Go into the well to find a chest Take everything from the chest and then use a power two Fly spell to get back out of the well.
Warriors and Pythonoplants
Magician is practically overrun with characters and monsters. An important thing to remember is to try to talk to all characters, unless they attack you. They offer key information and important items as well.
Magician is a real monster zoo. The Pythonoplant at the end of the second level is a particularly nasty bugger, but the other creatures such as the Fantomoids, Mazaratty, Bonejabs, and a Manubat are also lethal.
Talk to the peaceful warriors. They give you 500 gold pieces just because they're sick of all that "macho warrior stuff."
Defeat the warrior at the end of the first level with the Ven spell. Shoot at him from off the screen and listen for him to drop dead.
Use the Lightning spell to defeat the Pythonoplant at the end of Level 2. After defeating him, immediately cast a power four Featherlike spell, walk to the chest that the Pythonoplant drops, unlock it, and walk back to the safe ground. The Featherlike spell gives you just enough time.
You have to leap carefully in order to get past the Fantomoids without landing in the lake. Use mostly power two and four Jump spells, and use the Staff of Power to kill the Fantomoids.
Magician is a complex but enjoyable game that will keep you busy for days. The game allows you to save four games with as many as 15 save positions within a game. This feature makes it easy to get to the tough parts without having to play the game all over again.
The variety of spells enables you to do practically anything and endows the game with an extraordinary creative flair. Part of the fun is messing with them to see what they do. (I never found out what that dragon's egg was good for!)
If you want to add some magic to your life, try Magician.