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Moraff's Games

Tal, 2001-07-08

The three different Moraffs Games are shareware games that were made by Steve Moraff. The first game was Moraff`s Revenge. It was published in 1988, soon followed by Moraffs Dungeon in 1990 and Moraff's World in 1991. Although all three games are somewhat fun to play, you should only choose to play one of the better two (Moraff's World or Moraff's Dungeon) because all three games are so similar that you would quickly get bored should you start to play another Moraff game. 

Plot and structure:

You just wander through the dungeon corridors untill you have killed enough monsters to advance some levels then go up to the town, because the inns there are the only places where you actually can gain new levels. In the town you can also visit a temple (recommended if you are poisoned or deseased), a shop where you can buy armor and weapons (you are unable to sell item, so you don't have to collect dozens of plate mails in the dungeon, just drop what you don't need). But before you can gain one or more levels at the inn and buy a nice longsword, you will have to find a bank to convert your (nearly worthless) american dollars into (precious) rubels. 
So all you will have to do in this game is to enter the dungeon to gain experience, wealth and special items then climb up till you reach the town level, where you advance and equip your character which then allows you to roam deeper parts of the dungeon. 
The plot in these games is simple: From time to time, while descending deeper into the dungeon, you'll enter a special level inhabited by 'boss monsters' which usually leave a special artefact and some treasure and are quite easy to kill, but very hard to find (each dungeon level is a huge labyrinth - see the screenshot of the dungeonmap). 
In Moraff's Dungeon the dungeon is divided into segments, each inhabited by three different kinds of normal monsters, one kind of life draining monsters and one boss monster. Each segment consists of four or five dungeon levels (see the screenshot of the segment information). There are also teleporters in the dungeon which can transport you to a different modul. There are five different modules, each one has it's own town (all towns have the same prices, offer the same services and sell the same equipment) and it's own dungeon.
In Moraff's World everything is quite the same, the only difference is that instead of using teleporters in order to enter another dungeon you just leave the town and journey through the outer world (which is even for Moraffs standards terrible looking! - see the screenshot) till you reach another dungeon. The problem with this wilderness map is that you tend to get lost and that you have no idea which dungeon is adequate for your power and experience. 

Character generation: 

In Moraff's Revenge you can just choose to play a wizard or a fighter. The wizard is difficult at the beginning but gets quite powerful after finding some spells and gaining some levels. How high your attributes are, is randomly determined. If you're playing a fighter you should have high strength, health and agility, while a wizard almost needs every attribnte. The higher a wizards strength is, the less spellpoints he will have to spend while fighting monsters. 
You will also have to choose a race for your character. The race has influence on your attributes, some races tend to be strong but stupid, while others are weak but quite clever.
In Moraff's Dungeon and in Moraff's World there are some additional character classes: the priest, worshipper, mage, monk or the sage. 


These games have many interesting and original features. In Moraff's Dungeon you will encounter many strange monsters like the annoying garbage cans, giant balls which usually have more than 200 hitpoints. In Moraff's World you will face a bit more traditional monsters like dwarves or armored knights. But the most interesting monster can be found in both games: it is the puffball (see the last screenshot). There are at least 10 different types of them in these games and they usually just have a few hitpoints. These creatures won't really attack you but will try to change your attributes. Some increase one of your attributes others decrease one of your attributes. So when you encounter a yellow puffball (raises constitution) just wait for it to change you. Should you encounter a brown one (reduces constitution) flee or (if you have the chance to kill it with a single blow or spell) attack it. Your attributes will change very fast in these games because you can also find magical potions (or magical pills) which reduce an attribute by 3 (2) and increase another attribute by 6 (4) points, you will also find books that raise your attributes. There are also different rings you can find, for example rings of protection or rings of regeneration (these are extremly useful!), but also wands, scrolls or papers. 
Some spells that you will find (on a scroll or a paper) can protect you or enhance your abilities for a very long time; these spells are called preparation spells (you can't cast them in combat). There are also permanent spells (can just be casted in town level and will reduce your mana permanently) and battle spells. It is very advisable not to venture to deep if you haven't found most protection spells (especially protection from experience draining , poison or desease). 
Of course there are also many other special items you can find and many more strange monsters to fight. 
Maybe the only bad thing is that the dungeon levels are usually full of holes, it can happen quite often that you fall down a few levels then realize that the monsters are getting quite tough and while searching for stairs that it will take you up again you fall down another hole . . . 
The strangest thing is that you have four windows (unlike Bard's Tale and other early 3d dungeoncrawls that only have one): one for each direction. This is very confusing in the beginning but very practical once you have gotten used to it. 


Oh, well the graphics . . . The first thing to say about the graphics is that they don't really disturb the game, at least not after you've played for two or three hours. 
Still the walls and monsters look so ugly that you might suspect that this was done on purpose. You can use the zoom option, change the color of the bricks but this all won't help: the graphics are really really bad. On the other hand the graphic is not so important as the playability of a game. Many designers put too much effort on graphics and sound and not enough on story and playability. 
Certainly MoraffWare didn't make this mistake and thus created an extremly well-balanced game: it doesn't get too easy to be boring but it's also not too difficult to be frustrating. 

Links: you can find these games here (in the rpg-section): http://www.theunderdogs.org/

Average Reader Ratings: 2.67 (3 votes)
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