“The Dark Heart of Uukrul” was created by Ian Boswell and Martin Buis. Four adventurers are sent by the Western Council to defeat Uukrul, a great evil that once defeated the Ancients. Once thought to have been destroyed itself, this evil may have invaded the Western Lands. The last party that was sent by the council was lead by Mara, and it has been 18 months since that party have sent word. The council assumes the worst. Now new adventurers must infiltrate the underground city of Eriosthe, continue to the eastern end of Eriosthe, the heart of Uukrul’s stronghold, and destroy the evil once and for all.

“The Dark Heart of Uukrul” is a first-person perspective, turned-based role-playing game (RPG), where you take control of a party of four specifically-classed adventurers: a fighter, a paladin, a priest, and a magician. You may use a pre-generated party or you can create an entirely new party.

The adventure takes place in the immense underground city of Eriosthe, which consists of twisting caverns and dangerous monsters. Your adventurers may, however, take refuge in sanctuaries – safe havens created by the Ancients to provide safe resting, to provide storage for items, and to give access to teleportation portals. When you characters are sufficiently experienced, they will automatically be leveled-up here. Sanctuaries also act as progress indicators, as areas accessed after each sanctuary introduce stronger monsters and tougher puzzles. These safe havens may only be accessed after answering the puzzle by consulting the soul amulets.

Aside from sanctuaries, the only other gathering place for your adventurers is the marketplace. The marketplace is the only area in the whole of Eriosthe which provides services such as: a shop to purchase and sell weapons, items and food; a forge to repair weapons; a hospice to heal wounds and cure diseases; a mausoleum where dead characters can be resurrected or laid to rest (removing dead members); a guild to meet and replace (if needed) dead companions with new recruits; and a teleportation portal, which links to other portals (such as those in sanctuaries) and other areas. The marketplace also links to temples and the Magic Circle, which allows priest and magician characters to advance (by obtaining rings of power). There are also rumors that a sage provides services in identifying objects somewhere deeper in the eastern tunnels…

Adventuring in Eriosthe consists of exploring its caverns and defeating randomly encountered (or pre-set) monsters. An auto-map feature is also available, as well as a directional compass to help guide the way. Certain encounters, such as puzzles, may prompt the player to choose various options when handling a situation. Each choice has a different possible outcome. Turn-based combat occurs automatically when the party meets opponents while adventuring (indicated by a sudden picture of the opponent). Fighters and paladins take the offensive role, while priests and magicians (usually) take the support role of casting spells, summoning elementals, and invoking the gods. If your characters survive combat, they may uncover money and items.

The Dark Heart of Uukrul has no sound or music. (From: http://www.mobygames.com/game/apple2/dark-heart-of-uukrul)

Back of Box – DOS: You four–a warrior, a magician, a priest and a paladin–your tiny band of four must somehow vanquish the evil Uukrul. For he and his depraved followers hold the once-lovely city of Eriosthe in dark dominion. And until he is destroyed, the entire land lies helplessly at his mercy. More than merely vicious, Uukrul is literally heartless. To free his body from the material plane, he has actually detached his soul-and hidden his heart deep in the mountain city’s maze-like passages. But where is his heart, and how is it protected? What are the heart-shaped keys that lie hidden in the far reaches of Eriosthe? And how can you defeat him when you at last capture his dark heart? In your quest,you’ll be armed with magic, prayers, spells and weapons…but you’ll need courage and quick wits as well. For you’ll be challenged at every step of the way by baffling puzzles and packs of savage monsters…until finally you must face Uukrul himself!

Lengthy reviews and interviews are available at:
* http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/dark-heart-of-uukrul-final-rating_17.html
* http://crpgrevisited.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/dark-heart-of-uukrul-revisited.html

* http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=8320

Walkthrough: http://au.ign.com/faqs/2002/dark-heart-of-uukrul-walkthroughfaq-374791

Version Information

“The Dark Heart of Uukrul” was released by Broderbund in 1989 for Apple II, and for DOS/PC in 1990. Ian Boswell programmed the Apple II version and Mark Butler and Jean-Francois Pirus programmed the PC version.

Graphics for both versions are by Ian Boswell, Leila Joslyn, Martin Buis, Maureen Gilhooly and Markus Schlichting.

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