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Storm Master was released by French company Silmarils in far 1992. It’s basically a strategy-action mix with an adventure feeling and a fantasy environment: its originality lies in being one of the first games to combine these genres (featuring a semi-3D battle mode!).
You play the role of the Grand Magister, the benevolent tyrant of Eolia, a land whose economy, life and windsurfing is based on the huge amount of winds blowing hard the whole year. As a benevolent tyrant who doesn’t think of being murdered in the bathtub while reading Playboy as his cup of tea, you have to make your kingdom prosper and, obviously more important, put to fire and sword the nearby land of Sharkaania. At least that’s what you promised during last electoral campaign.
Eolia is a lovely island in the world of Urgaa, surrounded by the Sea of Goorza and characterized by vast planes, high mountains and immense forests. To the east is Sharkaania, a twin island with the same features. Eolia has an extension of 500 km², and counts a population of 50000 citizens. The capital of Eolia is Eolootil; the six main (not to mention, the only) cities are Voolgatil, Xhuultil, Djooltil, Ozgaatil, Wiirtil and the island city of Silmaatil. The national currency is the kaa and the year is divided in six months: Noor, Taaz, Duun, Yool, Hiig and Kaax. The ruler of the kingdom is the most enlightened Grand Magister, chosen by the Council of Seven.
Eolians people happen to hate Sharkaanians, lovingly returned: the grudge between the two countries is so ancient no one remembers it. A Sharkaanian can’t meet an Eolian without spitting in his left eye, and an Eolian won’t visit a Sharkaanian home unless it’s his intention to burn it down. There are, however, other nations in Urgaa who wish to trade with you and demand military aid.
The Council of Seven
The Council of Seven is composed by the seven (duh!) highest Eolia ministers, each one expert in a certain field. The Leonaardo is the minister of Science and Technique, responsible of education and war machines designing & construction. The Joker is the minister of Leisure and entertainment, the guy who keeps your people amused by managing circuses and fun fairs spread all over the kingdom. The High Constable is the minister of Commerce, whose job is taking care of economic trades with other kingdoms, stock exchange and tax collection. The Master Miller is the minister of Agriculture, responsible of wheat agriculture and breeding of the weird Eolians giant bees, the Sqizz, and of the Broomfs, fat, hairy and incredibly smelly cow-like creatures (therefore the saying “You’re a fat Broomf”). And yes, to be faithful to his name, he’s in charge of kingdom’s mills. :) The Ecclesiast is the highest religious authority: since the Eolian religion is devoted to Wind Gods, he summons winds and handles temples and masses (which are performed to gain winds). The rite of Mass is quite complicated, and will be described in the walkthrough. The Commander is the head of your armies: through him you have to organize your forces in order to beat the living hell out of Sharkaania. Recruiting, training and assaulting are his daily bread. The Inquisitor is the shady fellow in charge of Terror and Suspicion. He’s the Grand Magister’s eye on citizens’ thoughts, not to mention the boss of some quite skilled hired assassins. Through the services of this man you’ll be able to shorten the member number of Sharkaania’s Council of Seven a bit. ;) Two minor functionaries attend to the Council’s meetings: your personal counsellor Raagardo, whose job is to make a detailed report on your kingdom’s status, and the court scribe, who’ll save your game whenever you want.
The features I enjoyed the most were the designing and testing of battleships, as well as the Mass rite which is very tricky to complete in a decent way. The game may be quite difficult in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it you’ll surely enjoy. Air battles can be very fast-paced or eternal, depending on armies. Sound is the weak point: it’s quite poor, when not completely lacking. Plus, it’s quite hard to keep Eolians people happy, when these lazy bastards call you a “bloody dictator” just because you collect taxes every day!
This game’s overall very good, and I can’t but recommend it – two thumbs up!