Posted by: Ben | February 3, 2010

Man vs Genre: Dunzhin (Warriors of Ras Volume 1)

The Facts

Written by Randall Don Masteller, and published by Screenplay in 1982. First in a trilogy of four, with increasingly desperate spellings (it was followed by Kaiv, Wylde and, erm, Ziggurat). My pet theory is that Dungeons & Dragons rights holder TSR might have been engaging in Tim Langdell-style trademark trolling (no pun intended) with regard to the word “Dungeon”, since Temple of Apshai was also known as “Dunjonquest”. Anyway, this is the 1983 C64 port.

The Cover

A very early example of a Western RPG influenced by an Eastern art style, the titular Warrior of Ras giving us the supermodel pout on the cover has long flowing blond hair, baby smooth skin and exceptionally well defined cheekbones, not to mention a fetching asymmetric top. So I’m sure he won’t mind me giving him a girl’s name. Technically it’s the name of a mostly imaginary mince-based dish but you have to admit it does have a feminine sort of ring to it. It’s fair to say that the androgyny factor was toned down in the artwork of the three subsequent games in the series.

The Lore

In quest of treasure you descend deeper and deeper into the dungeon.

And that’s the plot.

Character Building

Hi! My name is Keema Korma VIII, Warrior of Ras! (Ras being the name of a fantasy world that contains dungeons).

The Game

According to a message at the bottom of the screen I have been tasked with finding the Fiery Scarab of Qucaw. To be honest I’m not sure they’ve picked the right person, because I have a history of being killed quite early on by monsters in dungeon-based quest games. In this case I meet several characters who don’t seem to want to fight (skeletons, ghouls and fighters) and trip over a hidden trip wire. The first barney I do get into is with a skeleton, who kills me with a single blow to the chest.

Total play time: 5 minutes

Verdict: I haven’t the slightest idea whether I enjoyed that or not.

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