Aethra’s Chronicles was supposed to be the first game of a three part sequel. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd parts were never released.
As any shareware, the graphics of the game are under standards, which is not a big factor when you consider the playability and the depth that this game offers.
The Aethra’s Chronicles is the only game ever made based on the Role-Master system, a pencil&paper game similar to AD&D but based on percentage instead of dice. Note that the publisher of the Role-Master system have closed their doors, which provides to Aethra’s Chronicles a double taste of nostalgia.
The plot of the game is quite cliche (a newborn prince has been kidnapped and you must find by who and why) and some bogs are quite annoying (like quests completion when you haven’t completed it) but the originality of the game system help to forgive such things quite easily.
You make two main characters (a hero and his friend) and two henchmen at the beginning of the game. Henchmen are part of your party but they are very less powerful than your hero and his friend.
Be warned : the combats are hard, be prepared to die often before learning the basic tactics to survive in fights. It can be frustrating for the casual RPGer.
The game offers over a hundred different creatures to fight, from wild animals to Red Dragons. Like in almost all RPGs, as your characters progress in the quest, you will face stronger monsters. Combats are though from the beginning to the end : a good tactic and a good strategy according to the strengths and weakness of your party and of the monsters you are facing is required.
This game cannot be recommanded for the casual RPGer for many reasons but can be enjoyed by the hardcore RPGers who are looking for something different. Aethra’s Chronicles is the best shareware RPG ever made IMO. The work of Michael Lawrence is simply incredible and the Role-Master system is very well implemented. Its a game that deserve to be more known by RPGers.
- Designed by: Michael W. Lawrence
Size: 1560kb (6 min on 56k dial-up)