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It's another place and another time. A land of mystery and adventure, good and evil, lies before you. A land you must travel from end to the other, for you have a quest to perform. And the very future of your country is at stake.

The scenario for Iron Lord relies on one of those very detailed histories that will either set your pulse racing with the enchantment of it all, or bore you to death. You are the heir to the throne of this incredible land, but have been away participating in crusades for a while. Annoyingly, however, when you return you find that your Uncle Zolphar, the King's brother, has taken over, and is ruling the land with an evil and heavy hand.

You are naturally appalled that this travesty should have occurred, so you've decide to stir the populace into rebellion, thus enabling you to take your rightful place, and also dishing out a good hiding to your old Unc. It is a time of fear and turmoil.

Your base during the game is in the ruins of your ancestors'castle. One tower stands intact, and it is here that you make your strategic decisions. You must leave it, though, to ride around the kingdom proving to your people that you are fit to lead them into open revolt. To show your true mettle, you must complete several tasks. These can be attempted in any order, depending on where you wish to ride first.

The biggest test is the archery competition taking place in a nearby village. You have several rounds in which to hit a target getting progressively further away. Your best shot of four is the only one that counts, so you can correct after each shot until you're on the bullseye.

You adjust the direction, elevation and strength of each shot, taking the wind speed and direction into account. It isn't easy. If you get through each round, though, you gain enormous respect and prestige; this is what it's all about.

In another village you will find a games-house full of people playing dice, arm-wrestling and drinking heavily. It's another chance to prove yourself a man. If you take part in the arm wrestling, you must waggle the joystick very quickly and smoothly to overpower your opponent. Beat rune opponents consecutively and more prestige is heaped upon you.

You might then decide to move to the gaming table. You can play a game of chance, betting on the outcome of dice-rolling. If you are persistent and lucky you can double your stash of pieces of gold. This money is needed when interacting with other characters, of which there are many. When you enter a building you meet the people inside. You can have conversations with them, buy things from fhem or even give things to them. These other

characters are the key to the game. You must find out what is going on in the kingdom, and also persuade them to join you in your fight against the naughty Zolphar.

However, we could only get our hands on an early hot-off-the-presses French version of the game, so we can't be, er, too exact about the conversations. However, as you select the phrases you wish to speak this wasn't too much of a problem - Ubi-Soft has wisely steered clear of text inputting, choosing instead a multiple-choice interface.

That's not to say, of course, that you'll find all the characters in the game are as chatty and amenable as you are. Some, like the gorgeous, pouting etc barmaid in the games house, just don't succumb to flattery, and couldn't care less about the war for supremacy. Others are actually on old Zolly's side, causing you to make a swift exit.

Gradually, as you travel round between the locations on your trusty black steed, doing good and wronging rights, you build up a following. But the enemy are active, and an assassin could spring upon you as you leave the safety ot a village. You must parry his sword strikes until you grab the chance to skewer him viciously. If you lose a fight, it's game over, so it pays to be ready.

There are many sub-plots for you to discover. Some require distinctly lateral thinking and the help of other characters. But nurture your acolytes, plying them with gifts and weapons, and they'll form a whole army to back you up.

Having gained the support of the plebs, you must return to the castle and mass your troops. The scene shifts to a battle map, upon which you move your forces. This stage is a fairly simple strategy game which wouldn't really stand up on its own, but is fine as an advanced section in the game. If your armies achieve success here, there is an arcade section to complete. It takes place in Zolphar's labyrinth, which has six levels infested by acid-bearing monsters which must be killed if you are to progress further. Like the battle, this should really be seen as a bonus rather an arcade game in its own right.

Iron Lord is a really big game, using all four sides of two disks. There is a deal of disk swapping to put up with during play, but it is all quite quick, and is certainly is worth it.

The graphics are simply breathtaking. Many of them are static, but they look like illustrations in a children's book, the whole land bathed in a russet glow, enhancing the fairy-tale atmosphere of the game. And there are plenty of graphics, too. All the characters are displayed with wonderful artistry and detail, and their eyes and mouths move beautifully as they speak. Many of the locations are shown with the same attention to detail, and an overall map of the land is viewed during every journey. (A little horse and rider are seen galloping furiously along the winding lanes, and a close-up picture of you on your steed is seen as well. The animation is magnificent.)

Sound is well up to the usual very high French standard. Vaguely medieval, very evocative tunes play at certain points, and action sequences, such as the dice-throwing and archery have spot effects. Although the music adds to the fun, you can switch it off -useful if you've been playing for hours and it's starting to grate.

As Iron Lord is such an epic game, you can save and reload your position. Unfortunately, to do this you must return to your castle and access the save menu there. But then this does stop those irritating "save?" messages from clogging up other menus and phases.

Control is entirely by joystick. Icons and pointers are used extensively, and these work as well as with a real mouse. The displays, excellent graphics notwithstanding, are very smooth and well-finished. Each screen scrolls neatly away, with new screens sliding into place as they're called up. For the level of detail, it all works very quickly and puts a great many other games to shame.

The quest you are sent on is varied enough to avoid repetition of certain tasks, but all the aspects seem 'right' in the context of the storyline; the gambling and archery sequences also fit in nicely. Iron Lord, simply, has amazing style.

However, the quest idea either appeals to you or it doesn't. There have been many 'travelling round and saving the kingdom' type games, and Iron Lord itself isn't new, having been around on other machines for a long time. Nevertheless, it stands head and shoulders above the others in the genre. It is fun to play, and wonderful to look at. There is enough here to satisfy the most demanding adventurer, but the game is never dense or impenetrable.

Inevitably you pay a high price for such a big game, but you can lose yourself in Iron Lord for hours, and love every minute of it.

Brave Sir James 'Iron-Britches'Leach, AA

IRON LORD [Ironlord]

Graphismes et programmation: Laurent SOEN
Musiques: Gregory CLEMENT
Version Originale: Ivan JACOT , Orou MAMA , Franck Sauer

★ YEAR: 1990


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» UBI  Soft-Le  Maitre  des  Ames-Profession  Detective-EXIT-L  anneau  de  Zengara-Gabrielle-Hurlements-La  Chose  de  Grotemburg-Peur  sur  Amityville-IronlordDATE: 2014-03-30
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» Iron  Lord    (2022-04-27)    (PARADOS-Enhanced  1024K  Edition)    FRENCH    CHANY-NPSDATE: 2022-04-28
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» Iron  Lord    FRENCHDATE: 2020-05-23
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» Iron  Lord    (Release  DISC-1990)    FRENCHDATE: 2016-09-06
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» Iron  Lord    (Release  DISK-1990)    FRENCHDATE: 2019-11-22
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Notice d'utilisation:
» Iron  Lord    FRENCHDATE: 2011-07-25
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NOTE: 25 pages/PDFlib v1.5

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.