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Old 11-01-2018, 02:03 AM   #1
Kyle1988
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Default PC game: Arena (no, not that one)

There was a game I played on the PC in the mid 90's. I think it may have been free, because the graphics were poor for the time.

It's played on a map that's maybe 32x32 tiles or so. I believe they couldn't all be shown on the screen at the same time, so you could scroll. There are two players, and each one plays a wizard and starts in an opposite corner. The goal is to kill the other wizard. There's an option to use orbs, and your wizard's orb is just an invincible fortress that you can stay in to force a stalemate.

It's turn-based. On your turn you can pick from a list of spells that were predetermined at random as though drawn from a deck of cards. But you never get more spells, and when you use one you lose it like the way you forget spells in D&D. Most of the spells are creature summons. There are lots of creatures to pick from, and they vary in power. Each spell is either light or dark (possibly called something else like lawful or chaotic) and has a difficulty rating associated with it. Every time you cast a spell, you become more evil or good depending on the type of spell. Your chance of success has to do with the difficulty rating and your morality level. So if you're in the middle you should only attempt easy spells on either side. Casting a high-level good spell is likely to fail unless you have a high good rating, and casting a high-level evil spell is likely to fail unless you've gotten really evil. If you're evil and cast a good spell for example, you go towards the middle. So if you want to cast the really powerful evil dragon spell you want to plan ahead and cast all your evil spells in a row leading up to it, because casting good spells will work against your rating. If you try to summon the powerful dragon and fail, you've lost the spell and missed your chance forever.

There are trees on the map to maneuver around. There are also Mirkwood trees which kill your units if they stand next to them. I think there are spells that create trees. If you want to cast offensive spells instead of just summoning spells, you often have to move your wizard out of the safety of the orb.

I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure it was called Arena. Obviously there are many games called Arena so it doesn't turn up when I search that. I need some other identifier, like a developer name. It seems to have some things in common with Chaos: The Battle of the Wizards.
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Old 19-01-2018, 11:37 AM   #2
Smiling Spectre
10 GOSUB Abandonia
20 GOTO 10
 
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Well, you already mentioned Chaos, so, theoretically speaking, you could trace the links by yourself.

First source is This remakes list. Morkin 2 is most cited one, so it worth to check. But no, your game is not there.

Second source for most free/shareware games is cd.textfiles.com.

Checking by Google with "arena chaos site:cd.textfiles.com" query...

Found it. (Funny enough, it haven't word "chaos" and untraceable in results. I guessed, and hit.
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Old 20-01-2018, 03:29 AM   #3
Kyle1988
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Well done! I'll have to try it out in DOSBOX and get back to you.
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Old 20-01-2018, 04:01 PM   #4
Kyle1988
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All right, I played it, and it's exactly as I remember it! Thank you, and excellent work. Here's a screenshot.

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