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Based upon the stories of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Legend Entertainment made a game entitled Death Gate.
Magic is based upon possibilities. The possibility always exists that reality IS a certain way. Imagine that a stone wall blocks your path. There is a possibility that a door exists in that wall. A wizard bends this possibility into reality until the door appears. All spells work that way.
The Sartans were a race of powerful magicians who lived many millennia ago. They feared the race of Patryn, for the Patryn were also capable of using magic.
In fear that the Patryn would grow stronger than themselves, the Sartans gathered and broke the world seal into five pieces, causing the world to explode. The game's introduction sets the scene:
"2000 years ago, the Sartan council sundered the world into five realms. One of them was a nightmarish prison called the Labyrinth, and into it was banished the entire Patryn race - your ancestors. This is a place you've always called home, and all you ever wanted was to escape. Your name is Haplo and you are a Patryn."
The story begins after Lord Xar helps you escape from the Labyrinth. You find yourself in the nexus, from where you need to explore other realms.
The Death Gate is a portal. It connects the five realms. With a good ship and the right magic, anyone can cross the Death Gate from one realm to any other.
And that is exactly what you need to do. Throughout your travels you will meet some other races (dwarves, elves, a dragon who is the embodiment of good, etc). On the way you will need to learn new magic by either reading about it in books or seeing it used in action.
You weave magic by connecting magic runes. This is important to know because you will need to make at least one spell on your own. Otherwise you just click on a spell and the runes will get arranged in the right way. Every spell you learn will appear on the spell list.
The game's graphics are absolutely astounding! The game was made in 640X480 resolution with VESA compatible graphics (unfortunately the game archive you are able to download is only in 320X240 resolution with VGA graphics). There are some animated cut-scenes in the game, yet in this version many of them will be replaced by the title screen. Most of the game is shown in static screens with some animation. It’s more like going through an interactive book with nice pictures than playing an adrenaline-pumping computer game. Yet that’s exactly what I (and I guess most adventure fans) like about such games.
The soundtrack is simply superb! It never becomes annoying and it gives the game that magic touch. It’s a simple music score with a Renaissance feel to it. The game also includes speech, which really gives an additional depth to the characters (again the speech is not supported, yet you will hear the enchanting AdLib sound).
The game's interface is simple enough to understand. Once you click on an object you wish to interact with, a set of options will appear. You can also choose any other option from the list on the left side. To use magic, click on the red star icon next to the inventory. This will bring up the spellcasting menu. You can click on spells to see the list of spells you already learned, or you can try connecting the runes above. After clicking 'cast' you will be given an option to cast that spell on something or someone (even yourself). To move you can click on that part of the screen or (easier) click on the green arrow of the compass.
Every time you do something that will help you get further, you will be awarded some points (you’ll see in brackets how many points you were awarded for a certain action). There is no real purpose to these points, though. Just remember to talk to everybody and to pick up everything that isn’t nailed down (or if it is, try to un-nail it first). Because everything you are able to pick up you will need (no matter how unlikely it may seem: just how are a slice of bread and a jar of marmalade able to help you get to the sacred resting place of Sartan?).
The game isn’t too difficult, so I guess even an inexperienced adventurer will be able to finish it, but some parts will require a bit of cranial activity (but if you're really stuck you can always use the walkthrough I wrote). Do save at least every now and again. Although there aren’t any really dangerous parts, you can get caught or killed (especially once you’re nearing the end of the game). Now, enough talk. It’s time to cross the Death Gate.
This game must be run from the D:\DGATE directory, so extract your archive to D:\. There is no sound when running in Windows XP, so I recommend VDMSound or, of course, DOSBox.