Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom is the sequel to the very cool RPG, Ishar, and is the second in the trilogy. This version has a much-improved interface, enhanced gaming and sound effects. In the first game, the action took place around one island; but in Ishar 2, you sail back and forth between a dozen islands. Ishar 3 was developed in 1994 by Silmarils and begins where the second game leaves off. The Ishar series of games was Silmarils' most successful ever. For their day, all three games had terrific 3D graphics, a vast gamimg world, and an intriguing array of human and non-human personalities with useful skills and qualities which the gamer could utilize to win his, or her, quest.
You play Zubaran, the current ruler of Ishar, and you must travel across many lands to find an evil Lord called Shandar who plans to take over the world. When you find Shandar, he and his fiendish plans must be destroyed. This is the main object of the game. At the beginning you are alone and broke, so you must recruit a party of another four men and/or women to help you. There is also the option of importing saved characters or teams from Ishar 1. I suggest you import your original team (if you have one), because they could get you through this VERY hard game much easier. Ishar 2 was also the first where you could recruit pet animals as party members.
You and your team will need to travel across plains, mountains and visit many islands to be successful in stopping Shandar's evil scheme of world domination. The sheer size of the game and number of map locations/graphics are awesome. (For those who are statistically minded, it has been claimed that Ishar 2 has 100,000 different locations and 400,000 different views.) The graphics in the game are top notch and set the mood perfectly. Upon the mountains there is even a graphic for accurate height. Real time is portrayed through the graphics and a time indicator that resides at the top of the interface. The current time affects game play and decision-making as some things can only be done at certain times.
The fighting scenes are the hardest part of the game. (If Maikel thought Ishar 3 was hard, he should try this.) The monsters are much stronger than you, which isn't good. At least the interface is easy to navigate: all you do is click the action button to make a list of actions pop up. You can choose between five options: recruit, dismiss, murder, first aid/heal and map. You can then select what you want your character to do. Unfortunately, you have no direct control over the character; you can only select commands for him. Sometimes he and the team members will vote against an action you've selected. For example, I decided to dismiss one of the dodgier members of my team, so I selected the "dismiss" action. However, the rest of the team voted to allow this member to stay. And stay he did, but against my better judgment. He eventually robbed us blind. But what could you expect from a human thief with a low intelligence rating and little team spirit?
The music in the game is not very good, and you may turn your speaker off. (N.B.: In Windows 98, turning on the sound option caused the game to freeze, so DOS is the preferred OS if you want to hear the music and sound effects.) Hitting the "del" key at the beginning of the game will give you access to the setup screen where you can choose video and sound options.
All in all, the excellent Ishar series is one trilogy of games that should be played time and time again. Download quickly!
Mad-E-Fact even provided the copy protection codes for the whole trilogy.
Part of the Ishar Trilogy
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