Black Crypt

Title           Black Crypt
Game Type       RPG
Publisher       Electronic Arts (Written by Raven Software)
Players         1
Compatibility   All
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Chris Sterne (

Black Crypt is a first-person perspective 3D dungeon exploration game
similar to the "Dungeon Master" and "Eye of the Beholder" series.  You
play the leader of a group with three other characters, whose goal is to
locate Estoroth Paingiver, a powerful cleric, and seal him within another
dimension.  Although banished twenty-two years ago in his Black Crypt
dungeon, Estoroth has been gaining strength since then, threatening the
country of Astera again.

The game consists of 28 dungeon levels.  Some levels are small, while
others are about 900 square areas in size.  The party of characters move
through the dungeon one game square at at time, in one of four directions,
causing a first-person 3D view of the dungeon passages to be updated.
Battles with monsters and manipulation of dungeon objects all occur
within the dungeon view.  Although the dungeon environments are less
varied than those in "Dungeon Master II", they are quite well drawn.
The underwater levels were an interesting idea, presenting a challenge
to exploration.

Various monster minions roam the dungeon.  Some only inflict physical
damage, while others can poison or disease characters.  One level
contained some creatures that were not aggressive, which was a refreshing
discovery!  Most monsters were easier to handle than those in the
"Dungeon Master II" game, but since I preferred to map the game area
rather than do battle, I was not disappointed.

Food and water are important for maintaining health, and must be found
when characters become hungry or thirsty.  Otherwise, characters will
eventually die.  Since I like to spend time mapping dungeon exploration
games, I found this requirement too awkward at the beginning.  Pausing
the game removes the dungeon view, which is not desirable when trying to
draw a map.  Eventually, I "cheated" by locating and editing the
food/water levels in the saved game file.

Magic spells are also useful during your quest.  They are learned by
finding spell books, but some spells require a minimum experience level
before use.  The spell-casting interface is easier to use than the one in
the "Dungeon Master" series.  Each character capable of casting a spell
can "memorize" up to five complete spells, which is useful in battle
against certain strong monsters.

Some puzzles in the game were a challenge. Secret floor switches may
cause walls or pillars to move somewhere, the only indication being a
grating sound.  The movement of some obstructions may also be delayed
and/or sequenced. A few puzzles require information found in the user
manual, which serves as a type of game copy-protection.

Black Crypt was produced by Raven Software, and distributed by Electronic
Arts.  The game comes on three floppy disks, can be installed on to a
hard, drive, and works with many Amiga models (A500, A600, A1200, A4000).
I played the game on an expanded Amiga 1200, and found it necessary to
change a few system settings before the game would run properly:

  - Turn off Mode Promotion in IControl preferences.
  - Select a Low-Res mouse pointer in Pointer preferences.
  - Run NoFastMem in Workbench:System drawer.

Black Crypt will be enjoyed by those who prefer basic dungeon exploration
games, like the original "Dungeon Master" game.

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