C64 Review of Lords Of Midnight, The from Issue 1

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


This game, released last year on the Spectrum, was heralded as the first 'epic' game -- its size, complexity and originality certainly earn that title.

The program is a combination of adventure and war game. It is set in the land of Midnight, which offers no less than 4,000 locations in each of which you can see the 'view' in any of eight directions.

It is this innovative 'landscaping' feature and the highly original gameplay -- you control several independent characters -- which give the game its unique feel.

At the start of the quest there are four characters under your command, and as you explore you can recruit others. The action revolves around two main characters: Luxor and his son Morkin -- they must eliminate the power of the evil Doomdark who is trying to control Midnight through his overpowering ice-fear and massive armies.

There are two ways to defeat Doomdark -- Luxor can command the armies of the free to victory by seizing the Citadel of Ushgarak, or Morkin can destroy the source of Doomdark's power, the Ice crown at the Tower of Doom. The first is akin to a war game and the second more of an adventure.

You are defeated with the death of both Luxor and Morkin. However, the death of only one will still allow the other to try and complete his task.

When controlling the characters, you have four main choices as to what to do. You can VIEW the landscape surrounding you in eight compass directions, MOVE towards any of these unless something blocks your path, THINK -- allows you to examine your character's state in more detail -- or CHOOSE from a range of actions which varies according to your situation.

Usually the latter involves seeking information, recruiting men, hiding, or going into battle. The land is littered with mountains, citadels, forests, towers, keeps, and ten other types of features. At each of these you may find information, men or shelter, or even a more hostile reception.

Movement around Midnight is regulated by the passing of the days with your characters unable to move at night when Doomdark's forces are at large. Your progress is also affected by the terrain and the creatures that may block your path.

Other handy controls allow you to save the game, or even print a record of your progress. Because of the number of characters to control and the size of the land, these are much needed functions for very long games.

There is no sound but the graphics are exceptional with a marvellous animated loading sequence and the amazing panoramic views of Midnight as you play. BW.

Monster map of Midnight

The map printed here (which is NOT supplied with the game) shows you the whole of the land of Midnight.

The citadels and keeps are where you will find Lords to recruit with their men, while towers, henges, lakes and liths may provide information or powers. Shelter and hiding places can be found at most of the other man-made locations, although some conceal dangers.

The mountain ranges across the middle serve as a natural barrier between good and evil, with you in the south, while the areas of plain, notably Blood and Kor, serve as obvious battlegrounds.

This map doesn't provide all the answers for which you seek, but mustering the forces of the Free should now be within your grasp.

The Map was supplied by H J Douglas from Belfast, and the second half is on pages 98/99.

The text of this review was taken with Dimitris Kiminas' permission from the Gamebase64 site, where a fully htmlized version of it exists.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Dimitris

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 97%

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John - 6 Sep 2006
Played these on my C64 and thanks to a cable, some freeware, my good 'ol C64 and 1541 floppy and 100 brand new 5.25" floppy disks bought of ebay for 3!!!, was able to transfer aD64 emulator file to a floppy! Did the same with Revenge. Then proceeded to put about 50 hours of gameplay into both of them!

And that was all of 6 months ago! So yes, LOM and DR both definitely stnad the test of time!!! :)

Rating : 98%
Dave - 2 Jun 2006
Lord Of Midnight totally captivated me in my late school years. I remember a long dark winter being hunched over my spectrum living the game. very fond memories and very happy that the game has stood the test of time. Well done guys :-)

Rating : 100%
Xed - 30 Dec 2005
Played and re-played more even than Doomdark's Revenge (mostly due to the speed loader admittedly).

A fantastic game that still stands the test of time.

The Utarg of Utarg: "I didn't ask what he was doing; who is he?"

Rating : 95%
Mart - 9 Oct 2005
This is one of the few games from the 80's that holds up as well today as it did back then.

Atmosphere in abundance is the main reason.

I never completed the army conquest, but DoomDark can be defeated by certain objects and characters being used in a certain way which if learn of them, makes the struggle much easier to win.

Rating : 96%
MarkW - 12 Dec 2004
Got to agree with you Alex,nothing has quite given me that same buzz

Rating : 100%
Alex73m - 5 Dec 2004
The best game i ever played in my life.

Rating : 100%
neilb - 17 May 2004
I've been playing this for almost 20 years and I still haven't finished it yet!

The fact that you can effectively play this game in two or three different ways really sets it apart - especially when you consider its age.

The graphics don't look too shabby even today either.

Still a great game.

Rating : 95%
Julian Rignall
The Spectrum classic comes to the 64 with no noticeable differences, making me rather disappointed. I thought perhaps with the 64's vastly superior graphics capabilities, Beyond would have improved on the original pictures. Even so, this still is a classic adventure + strategy game, and will have 64 owners up until the dawn chorus.
Gary Penn
This adventure strategy game certainly lives up to its 'epic' billing. The 32,000, or so, panoramic views are very impressive a high standard of graphics and a strong atmosphere are maintained throughout. The lack of sound hardly detracts at all. Recruiting an army to aid the destruction of the ice crown is tough, and because of this, lasting interest is high. A must for adventurers and strategists alike.
Bob Wade
This is truly an epic game which will rivet you to your keyboard through many long nights of play. The graphics are superb and the size and detail of the playing area stunning. Although you-know-what owners got it first, it is still a brilliant, indeed superior game on the 64. The combination of adventure and war game has been classically achieved, and we can look forward with eagerness to the rest of the trilogy.
Marvellous booklet, facilities and text, plus a tremendous loading screen.

Introduces a unique game-playing format.

No animation, but endless terrific panoramic screens.

The game's atmosphere and uniqueness make it very compelling.


A vast land to explore, an immense amount to do.

Worth it if ever a game was.