Morning's Wrath


Genre:   Role Playing Game

Developer & Publisher:    Ethereal Darkness Interactive

Released:  December 2005

PC Requirements:   Windows® 98/2000/XP, 950 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 200 MB virtual memory, 4x CD-ROM, 300 MB free hard disk space 64 MB DirectX® 8.0 compatible video card DirectX® compatible sound card



by nickie


Around the Christmas holidays, it seems most fitting to think of Christmas in years past, those special memories that are priceless and we store away to remember when we are older. I can see them so clearly, as if they were yesterday – throwing that silver tinsel in great gobs on the tree, and hoping my mother wouldn’t notice I hadn’t placed each strand individually as instructed; hiding with my brother behind the tree to make faces at each other about the shiny polyester shirt he had received from some well-meaning relative; and oh, so many little magical moments that stay with me these many years.

Just as dear are the memories of games I played long ago when gaming was new to me, and a vast universe was opened up for my playing pleasure. Those games didn’t have the explosive graphics and game play like the games of today, but they were innovative for their time, and in any case, thoroughly enjoyed by me. I cherish those moments when I first found the Quest for Glory series, and embarked on a magical journey into the realm of fantasy Role Playing Games (RPGs).

If you scoff at the games of yesteryear, then read no further my friend, for I am going to tell you about another trip into nostalgia. I’m going to tell you about a little charmer called Morning’s Wrath.

It’s definitely a bleak day for Princess Morning. Her parents have been killed by an evil invading force, her fiancé has betrayed her, this long gown just does not lend itself to fighting and the fate of these good and gentle people of her kingdom now rests solidly on her shoulders.

Morning is a plucky lass, and hesitates not a minute. She dons the armor of a long dead ancestor, dispatches the fiancé by sword, and discovers a hidden magical well that promises untold power that will save her kingdom.  The well lies in wait as if alive. It has been a long time since its magical powers were accessed, and its goodness has been tainted by evil. Morning must seek out artifacts to sacrifice to the well to remove the evil taint, and to imbue her with awesome power. There’s a puzzle that must be solved before each artifact can be obtained, and there are artifacts aplenty scattered throughout the now invaded castle, and in the realm of the spirit world. As each artifact is obtained and dropped into the gaping maw of the well, a magical scroll is produced, enabling Morning to mix and match some tough spells to foist on her opponents. Morning grows stronger, and so too does the power of the well.

There’s no pretense at making this a game of today with all the bells and whistles. As I’ve said before, this is a trip into nostalgia, and the looks of the game are reminiscent of Quest for Glory. It’s simple, third person point and click. You click on your opponent with a left click to battle him with a sword, and you right click on him to cast a spell. As you defeat your opponents, you are given points to divide into various statistics as you see fit to build your character, Princess Morning. You have an emblem to click on to display your inventory, and another to click which displays various spell components that you can choose to make up your casting spell. You can save from any point in the game. A minor suggestion here would be to either have a good memory or number your games, as they are saved alphabetically rather than sequentially.

As you begin the game, your character is very weak, and you may need to do some back and forthing between the besieged castle and the spirit realm to find some weak characters to kill, but the experience points come quickly. As you make your way through opponents, you will encounter puzzles to solve in order to obtain the artifacts you need. There are twenty-two of these puzzles, although it is not necessary to solve all of them to complete the game. The puzzles are logic or inventory based, and most will seem familiar to adventure game players, but may be a new experience for those who do not play that genre. As such, the game appears to fit the mostly vacant sub-genre of the adventure RPG.

The game is on one disc, and it is not necessary for it to be in the computer drive once the game is installed.

The more I played the game, the more I liked it. It isn’t a long game, lasting perhaps 12 hours, but it was an enjoyable time. The graphics are basic, but the colors and lines are sharp and clean-cut. The only gripe I have graphics wise were the mazes, not because of any difficulty in knowing where you should go, but because it was difficult to move the character with the collapsing walls as you moved. I couldn’t see which direction she was facing, and would have to click, click, click until I could bring her to the end of a passage way. On the other hand, the graphics were amusing when a strong spell was cast on weaker opponents that marched at you in a bunch – unleash a powerful spell, and they fell back with their legs upward as they were vanquished.

The musical score is outstanding and memorable, and far above what you usually encounter in an independent game such as this one. The orchestral sounds change as you enter various locations, heightening the mood most deliciously. The ambient sounds were clever as well, especially the death cries from the defeated – I especially enjoyed those!

Other minor aggravations were that you cannot make your character run, and that I felt the prologue was a bit too long and tedious. But once you’re into game play, the opponents are varied and interesting, and there is loot to be discovered around every corner. I enjoyed the helpful spirits and their strange riddles. A map might have been a nice addition, for I found it easy to become turned around in the spirit realm when first beginning, as quite a few buildings look alike.

The ending is satisfying and perhaps leaves the door open for a sequel. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

Three years in the making, this group of developers has made an exciting beginning. Their love for the genre shines through the game with sparkle and great charm. It is no easy feat to make an RPG, but they have made a game that RPGers should have. It’s not without flaws, but it is astonishingly good for a first effort, and certainly fills that void when you want to take a trip into nostalgia. In addition they man a website that is very gracious in answering any questions or concerns. Death by chocolate I say – and you’ll have to play this game to see why.



design copyright © 2005 GameBoomers Group

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