Dungeon Keeper



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Evil Lurks in the Hearts of All Men

Horned Reaper Demon Pots of gold and sparkling gems lure every hero to forge the dark passageways beneath their quiet towns. Sure a sharp sword and shiny armor may have made you a hero in the past, but now the tables are surely turning. In Dungeon Keeper you will now have the chance to stop the forces of Good from pillaging and keep all the riches, creatures and power to yourself. After all, how hard can it be to stop a few sword wielding, tin can wearing, pumped up warriors, wizards, and general do-gooders? Personally, I welcome the chance to fight for the dark side.

Bullfrog has done an excellent job of immersing you into the role of the Dungeon Keeper. It's a dirty job but someone has got to do it. Peter Molyneux and the rest of the Bullfrog team have been teasing us with Dungeon Keeper for two years. It was worth the wait.

You begin far beneath a happily slumbering town, in an area only an imp could love. Here you create a dungeon any self-respecting monster would kill their kin to live, work, and fight for.

Dungeon Keeper offers a variety of tools to make your job easier. Fourteen different rooms ranging from the necessary lairs to let your tired minions sleep it off, to a Hatchery where farm raised chickens offer a meal even the dragons feast on. First and foremost, of course, is the treasure room to store all the gold and jewels your imps mine. Twelve kinds of traps and doors to deter the best society throws down to you, ranging from the mundane locked wooden door to a lightening trap that incinerates all but the toughest outsiders.

Using your Hand of Evil (a cursor similar to the one used in Populous), you layout your basic structures by selecting available tiles of earth and your trusty imps, the work force of the dungeon, begin digging and constructing rooms to your liking. Remember, if you feel the monsters are not working hard enough, don't be afraid to give them a big swat to hurry them along.

Each room you create is the size and shape you deem necessary. There are no fixed size rooms to simply plop down on a flat piece of grassland. As always, each layout must be constructed with offense, defense, and accessibility in mind. Unique rooms such as the torture chamber, graveyard, prison, and temple add variety to each level. There is nothing like a good sacrifice to the gods at the Temple, especially if they reward you with an even nastier denizen to train.

Bile Demon After creating a formidable dungeon, where even Diablo himself would be happy to reside, you must dig out the Portal through which hordes of monsters will enter your Keep. Each of these eighteen different monsters, ranging from the easily crushable Beetle to the Horned Demon himself, comes exquisitely detailed in SVGA graphics and personalities to match. This is where the Bullfrog team really showed the stuff that made past titles such as Theme Hospital, Populous, and Magic Carpet so popular. Flies and beetles have an obvious distaste for each other and will break into battle if left alone too long. The vampires strive for dark sections of the dungeon or are simply content to wander their graveyard. The gaseous, pot-bellied Bile Demons offer an excellent first wave of attack by spewing stink clouds, but can also be useful if put to work alongside a Troll in the workshop, creating boulder traps and nearly impenetrable magic doors.

Character statistics border on ridiculous, with everything from an individual name for each minion and happiness factor, to their respective blood types. Perhaps this level of detail is offered to each of your creatures because you have the ability to actually possess any of your followers. After casting a Possession spell you, the Keeper, are placed directly into the creatures' body, free to walk through your dungeon and view it from their perspective. A first person 3D view, not as rich as Quake's but still breath taking, is given and you are free to walk through your hallways adorned with Aztec statues and torches, or perhaps you will just stop by the Hatchery to munch a chicken. If you find your way to a battle or start one yourself, you can actually make a significant difference by casting spells yourself and slashing the enemy one on one. While not the main part of the game, it is nice to step off your throne and view the world from a skeleton or warlock's perspective.

Each level pits you and your minions against either another Keeper, muscling in on your turf, or those pesky heroes from above. Kill your enemies and build the strongest keep you can and you will conquer the land.

The manual provided with the game is an excellent reference guide that doesn't even need to be cracked until later levels. The game's tutorial does an excellent job teaching the young Keeper and allowing him to jump right into the game after installation.

This game truly shows how breaking the Warcraft and C&C mold by offering style and playability, still rivaling the best of the genre, can make an excellent real-time strategy game. As you conquer town after town, you begin to see more unique twists and turns that have been carefully placed into the game to unfold as you play. The game is deep (no pun intended).

Initially, some real-time strategy veterans may be turned off by not having an adjustment for game speed, but after playing through the first few levels you will soon learn the fun of scrambling to the front lines and won't feel the need to slow down the action. More troubling though is the absence of a difficulty adjustment. Dungeon Keeper's option page offers no way to make your second romp through the game any more difficult than the first. Increasing difficulty of the 36 different levels offers some consolation, but without a level editor, replayability is limited. All this would almost be forgiven if the IPX/Internet support had been offered up. Patches may soon follow, but as of now, players must be content with the levels dealt and use Kali to find opponents. None of these gripes alter my perspective on this long awaited game, truly a classic.


Any real-time gamer, with a yearning for the dungeon life and nerve to slaughter an army of Monks, Fairies and Lords, will be pleasantly surprised with Dungeon Keeper. After all, how can you not want to wreak havoc underneath towns called Cozyton?

Written by Christopher McDonald

Click here for screenshots



System Requirements:

MS-DOS Configuraton

486 DX4-100Mhz or faster (Pentium 133Mhz for optimal performances),
MS-DOS 6.22,
Min 8MB memory (16Mb for high resolution graphics),
Hard disk with 65MB free hard disk space,
Quadruple speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA display with 1 MB RAM,
Microsoft compatible mouse and keyboard,
Most popular sound cards supported.

Windows 95 Configuraton

Pentium 75Mhz or faster (Pentium 133Mhz for optimal performances),
Windows 95,
Min 16MB memory,
Hard disk with 65MB free hard disk space,
Quadruple speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
Microsoft compatible mouse and keyboard,
Video card and sound card compatible with DirectX 3.0a.

Multiplayer Support:

Serial link (2-players),
LAN (2-4 players, 1 CD per network player).


Bullfrog Productions.

Web site: Bullfrog Productions


In North America:

Electronic Arts
P.O. Box 7578,
San Mateo, CA 94403-7578.

Technical Support:415-572-2787 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm PST
Fax Support:415-286-5080
Order Line:1-800-245-4525

Web site: Electronic Arts

In Europe:

In UK:

Electronic Arts UK Ltd.,
90 Heron Drive,
Langley, Berks SL3 8XP.

Technical Support: +44-(0)1753-546465

In France:

Electronic Arts France,
3 Rue Claude Chappe,
69771 Saint Didier au Mont D'or Cedex.

In Germany:

Electronic Arts GmbH.,
Verler Str. 1,
333332 Gutersloth.

In Sweden:

Electronic Arts,
Business Campus,
Johanneslundsvogen 2,
194 81 Upplandsvasby.

In Spain:

Electronic Arts Software S.A.,
Edificio Arcade,
Rufino Gonzalez 23 bis,
Planta 1a, Local 2,
28037 Madrid.

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