After the defeat of the Aurak Draconian Myrtani at the end of Champions of Krynn, the first game of SSI’s AD&D Dragonlance Saga, a shadowy figure, lurking in the distance, offered the characters the promise of a future challenge. That figure was the Death Knight Lord Soth, who can probably be best described as the Darth Vader of Dragonlance. The events in Death Knights of Krynn take place a year after the end of Champions of Krynn. A feast is held at Gargath Outpost to honor the victory at the Battle of Kernen and the death of Sir Karl Gaardsen. This is the moment were Evil strikes, in the form of Sir Karl, now an undead Death Knight, too, riding on the back of a terrible Death Dragon. He tosses down some weapons, which he claims to have taken from Knights he killed. Skeleton Warriors on Nightmares, black horses from Hell, descend on the assembled guests as Sir Karl takes of and Maya, the Silver Dragon and his former lover, pursues him. But this is only the beginning. As the party travels through Solamnia to find a way to stop Lord Soth, they also discover that Evil lurks everywhere and corrupts the good folk of the land from within. Multiple side quests await the characters which yield more experience points and treasure. Most of the creatures are undead, so the parties clerics will be in demand more than ever, but, on the bright side, the only Draconians the characters have to face are Sivaks, who can be disposed easily. The battles found throughout the game are challenging and exciting as enemies will sometimes attack from two or more sides.
Northern Solamnia, the setting of the game.
Characters can be transferred from Champions of Krynn, which is highly recommended, or new ones can be created which start at level 8. For character races, the player can choose from among Hill or Mountain Dwarf, Qualinasti or Silvanesti Elf, Half–elf, Human, and Kender. Classes available are: Cleric, Fighter, Knight, Mage, Paladin, Ranger, and Thief. Clerics must choose one of the good or neutral gods as their own and Mages have to choose to be either from the White Robes (good) or Red Robes (neutral). A Cleric’s special abilities and spells are affected by the god he chooses and not all Mage spells are available to all robes. Knights start as Knights of the Crown, but can later become Knights of the Sword or even Knights of the Rose. The latter ones can also cast Cleric spells, but need more experience points to advance a level. The maximum level for every class in the game is 14, except for Thieves who can advance to level 18. Some non–human races might not be able to advance all the way to level 14. The evil gods and the Black Robe Mages are not available to characters, as those are reserved for the enemies.
Lord Soth, the characters arch-nemesis.
The game is played in a First Person perspective. A small window in the upper left part of the display, shows the surroundings of the party in a 3D perspective. The combat system has not been changed since Champions of Krynn and still features the same isometric view of the battlefield. A difficulty setting allows adjusting the opponents’ hit points from 50% to 200% of their normal value.
Death Knights of Krynn comes on 3 double sided disks and requires one additional disk for each saved game the player wants to keep. The password of the copy protection is, as with Champions of Krynn, taken from the Adventurer’s Journal or the Rule Book. The C128 and multiple disk drives are not supported.
The Dragonlance Saga ends here for C64 users, as the last part, Dark Queen of Krynn, was never published for this machine.
|GRAPHICS - 9/10|
|The graphics are very good and do not need to hide behind the Amiga or, much less, the EGA graphics.|
|SOUND - 4/10|
|The music is better than in Champions of Krynn but the sound effects have not changed since Pool of Radiance and there aren’t that many.|
|PLAYABILITY - 9/10|
|The game can be played with the joystick and/or keyboard. The commands are not difficult and easy to learn. Anyone who played the previous part will feel at home immediately. Disk swapping and loading times are still annoying and more save slots per disk would have been great.|
|OVERALL - 9/10|
|The plot is very exciting and will keep the player chained to the computer for a long time. Even if the game was solved, it can be played again and again.|