Cedric And The Lost Sceptre, as its full title stands, is an action adventure game mixed with several pure adventure game elements, that offers great gameplay and impressive visuals and sound. The game comes from an Austrian devs team (Alcatraz Entertainment Software) which had so far been known mainly through the Amiga demo scene. The game was released only for the Commodore Amiga computers (including CD32).
STORY / GAMEPLAY The story is about the Magic Sceptre of King Laudon IV that suddenly disappeared over night! The hero, named Cedric, must seek and return the Sceptre, but his mission is not a wwalk in the park as he has to go through several levels of mutated lifeforms and deadly traps. Along his way he may need to find objects that can be used to progress and with the right decisions will set his destiny to the promise in bringing back to his King the precious object. The game is not a classic 8-way scrolling action adventure, but also offers some pure adventure gameplay elements. For example, your character has an inventory through which he can interact with objects or other people. If you press the space bar (or hit the second fire button in case you have a two button joystick) then you can no longer control Cedric directly. Instead you find yourself in the status panel at the bottom of the screen. Here, by using the joystick you can select objects and actions (look at, pick up, speak with or use an object). This mode is useful when you wish to use one of the numerous objects scattered around the levels or combine one object with an other. Such objects will become visible when Cedric passes near them! When interacting with a character the commands interface is build up with a selection of possible statements at the inventory panel. There are several foes to cope with (mutant worms, flying dragons, armed skeletons etc) and many deadly traps to avoid. A collision with any of these will easily decrease your energy bar. Fortunately there are energy pills to help and some other bonuses (such as coins) that will be needed in the course of the game. The game has 11 huge levels in a dangerous hunt for the missing sceptre! While Cedric is not one of the Amiga's greatest games, it is well designed, atmospheric, fun and challenging and deserves to be saved from the obscurity of its minimalist original launch. If you like adventure games that demand more from your reactions or platform games that require more from your brain, then Cedric is the game for you.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Although the backdrops and different landscapes are well designed and animated, the sprites look and feel a bit bulky. They are well animated but poorly designed. The game's graphics are very good and colorful (with around 100 colors per screen!) but stylistically they look rather outdated for an 1995 game. The levels vary from islands to castles and forests, each with its own (brilliant) details like rivers of lava, icy mountains and more. On level 8, Cedric will fly at the back of a (giant) eagle, and the game will turn into a 2D arcade-shooter, with smooth parallax scrolling and fast action. Actually, there is nothing to shoot here rather than just avoid incoming foes or hitting on rocks). Soundwise, the game is average, with some nicely composed tunes but no in-game sound effects(!)
In-game music sample:
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs