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Game info


DeveloperZero Hour Software
PublisherCore Design
Reviewed byndial
Darkmere: The Nightmare's Begun, is a 3D isometric RPG-adventure game released only for the Commodore Amiga computers, and best compared with titles like Cadaver. It's probably the most detailed, isometric title ever to emerge for this genre on the Amiga back then!
You play the part of prince Ebryn on a quest to discover the dark secrets of the Curse of Darkmere put upon your fathers Kingdom, trying to uncover the mysterious curse of the Darkmere and avenge the people of the village. You will have a real world to explore with many characters to interact with. These you must question to find out information to complete your quest. Some will stand in your way whilst others will help you. But most will want something in return. You dying father has given you the powerful sword with which he destroyed the mighty Dragon, but its powers can and must be increased. Your blade will glow when evil is near and thus be used as an early warning of danger. If you kill an evil character (such as Orcs) with the sword then your energy will be increased as the blade draws power from its victim. If however a good character is killed then your energy will be decreased as the sword will draw its power for you.
During your quest, you will have a real world to explore with many characters to interact with. These you must question to find out information to complete your quest. Some will stand in your way whilst others will help you. But most will want something in return. Character interaction is extremely simple to grasp, and the menu system which helps you negotiate your character though a seemingly endless environment, is the essence of simplicity to use. To access the Menu\Inventory press the Enter key or hold down the fire button for a short period of time.
In general, Darkmere is a pretty classy adventure-RPG titles, contained in a huge playing area, has interesting and very moody graphics, and contains objectives and puzzles that will hold your attention for a good while. Unfortunately, a map feature is missing, so be prepared to draw one yourself...

The graphics are extremely well suited and are cleverly crafted to give a very atmospheric feel. Even on the A500 they're drawn in 32-color mode and the detail and animation is just superb! Each level is brimming with detail (e.g. lights that illuminate the paths flicker in the half-light as a breeze passes), and landscapes are nicely detailed with massed of graphical objects to examine, search and interact with. The animation of all the characters within the game is extremely well executed too. Each character is fairly large and move and fight smoothly. As you journey around the many varied locations you'll encounter many little extra animations that, although unrelated to the plot, add that extra dimension of realism (e.g. rats and rabbits hop by).
Sound is atmospheric too. It offers a nicely-composed medieval-style introductory theme, while there are lots of sampled sound effects along with several ambient sounds at the back, which work nicely to the game's atmosphere.
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Gameplay sample
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+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
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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