antara.jpg - 7.5 K
Betrayal In Antara
Preview by Alfred Giovetti
Price: $44.95
Genre: Fantasy Role Playing Adventure
Release: October 1996
Developer: Sierra Online
Publisher: Sierra Online
Phone: 800-757-7707
requirements: Windows 95, Windows 3.1

Raymond Feist, the author of a series of fantasy books about the world of Krondor which he created, and the original Dynamix company design team released Betrayal at Krondor, one of the most highly acclaimed and best selling computer fantasy role playing adventures (CFRPG) of all time. The original design document for the game encompassed vast plots within plots on an immense landscape within the worlds linked with teleportation portals created by Feist. And while those original designers have gone their separate ways, Sierra has designed a new game, built around the old game engine, updated to todayís technology.

Role playing games need to have an effective story, an immense and infinitely detailed world that allows complete freedom of movement and action, multiple characters who can travel together to increase their proficiency in a number of skill areas with experience, a series of puzzles to solve, a large number of items to discover, a rich and well written scripted plot, numerous quests and mysteries to solve, and numerous non player characters that interact with the player characters with conversation, combat, and trade. Betrayal at Krondor had all these things and more.

Since Ray Feist is currently working on another game with another company, Betrayal in Antara will not be set in Krondor but a new fantasy land created by the Sierra design team. Sierra was originally confused by the new medium of role playing adventures, in spite of their long years producing graphic animated adventures. While at this time, no one is aware of the extent that Antara will differ from Krondor but Sierra has pledged that the new game will be faithful to the original. 35010th.gif - 8.7 K

Krondor and Antara employ real-time first person perspective for adventuring and non player character interaction, and a special third person turn-based overhead perspective during combat or while solving combat based traps. The game player is placed behind and above the player characters on the battlefield over which a square based grid is laid optionally. Combat proceeds normally with movement points determining the range of motion and action while attacking or defending.

This immensely popular tactical turn-based combat system was also used to solve the incredibly different combat traps innovated with Krondor. While adventuring the party would stumble into unique mechanical and magical traps set across the roadway by thieves or enemy agents. The party had to disarm the traps, by understanding the geometric and mechanical relationship between the trap parts, either by moving though the traps as a maze or actually destroying the trap with weapons or spells. If the traps were not disassembled with finesse the group was damaged and may still have to get though the trap field.

A special automapping system kept track of the party progress and certain versions of the game had unique teleportation cheats that allowed game players to move about the map more easily based on the immense coordinate based grid system which overlaid the maps. Making notes and markings on the maps were both manual and automatic.

The game was full of weapons, armor, and artifacts both magical and mundane that were traded in shops, found as loot after battle, or could be discovered by digging up graves, in caves and dungeons, and the many buildings found around the game. Buildings could be entered, occupants spoken to or attacked. I remember one building with a patch of black cloth on the door which was opened by an infectious plague victim who had an item to trade and information to give. That was one costly clue.

The plot of Antara has one nobile, William Escobar, a commoner companion with magical talent, Aren Cordelain, and Kaelyn Usher, a trapper, thrown into a nefarious plot to save the vast Antaran Empire, and probably the know universe, from evil doers as yet undefined. Hey if you donít recognize this plot when you see it. . . world2th.gif - 9.4 K

3D Studio is used to develop the detailed outside and inside renderings of locations and backgrounds..

Betrayal at Krondor used a technique that allowed for multiple player character parties, which the player could switch from one to the other. The game was composed of multiple chapters, which incorporated the technique of changing the plots within the lands explored at the ending of the main plot within each chapter. This way towns were different each time you went to them, non player characters "remembered" previous conversations and provided new and different comments as the plot progressed. The game player got a feeling of a real living environment that they had an effect on, which is the true definition of interactivity.

Many of the best role playing gamesí non player characters have a life of their own. These characters go to work, go to the tavern, sleep, have favorite haunts, and daily routines, which was first seen in the Ultima series of games by Lord British. And these routines and daily activities can change with the game. One example of this was seen in an early AD&D game adaptation of the Dragonlance world by Strategic Simulations, which in one "chapter" was at peace, another chapter defending against invaders, another under the occupation of an enemy Minitour army, and finally the invaders were repelled and the town was again at peace. Krondor carried this advanced concept into their game system.

Antara will have some new improvements on the old system. Difficulty land experience levels will adjust to taylor the game to the individual playing styles and abilities of a larger audience of game players. The magic system will now allow spell hurlers to increase in ability by multiple skill based factors that will increase with a more wide range of experiences, including witnessing the effects of others casting spells in battle.

Music: Listen to the music of Antara

Cheats, Hints, Walkthroughs:
Betrayal in Antara Cheats

Preview refernces
John Sauer, InterAction, Summer, 1996
Chris Hudak,
Steve Honeywell,
Sierra Antara Website
Nexus Gaming Review
Lars Mathiassen, SharePaper Review, 100%.
Online Gaming Review
Game Center Review
Gamesmania Review
Antara Theme Pack Download
Jeff Levinson's Unofficial Fan Site
Sierra Screen Shot Archive

PC Game Center

Issues Reviews Previews News
Walkthroughs Hints Cheats Archives
Interviews Yellowpages

Please send us your comments and suggestions.