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Towers II - The Atari Times

Towers II

Move on up with this first Jaguar RPG
by Wes Powell

February 1, 1997
Towers II is the first genuine RPG for the Jag. I love RPG's, so when I first heard about this game, I was very pleased. The screenshots that I saw looked very good as well. Well, the game's finally been released, and I'm happy to say that this game is excellent. The graphics are great. The textures on the wall, floors, and ceilings are done well. They do get a bit grainy when you're up-close, but just take a look at Doom....The game has blocky walls, and everyone loves it (well, most people). The res on the textures is right in-between AvP and Doom. The frame rate of the game is very good indeed. When I first started to run around, I said to myself "Whoa!.. This is pretty fast!"....and it's not choppy, which is extremely important. The screen bobs up and down like you're really running (i.e. Doom)...and you can see the weapon that you're carrying moving in and out of the screen to add some realism.

The enemies are rendered up nicely. They have a smooth and shiny look from a distance, but the enemies get a bit pixilated when up-close too. Nothing like the pixelization ya get on AvP, but there is some. There is some noticeable texture warp...but it's nothing compared to the junk you'll see on the PSX...in fact, it's barely noticeable.

The animation of the enemies left me wanting a bit more, but at least there are more than 15 enemies....more than AvP or Doom's put together. As for special effects, there aren't many. The light textures are animated, but that's almost a must have. The draw in is a little closer than what I would have liked, but it works out just fine. When stuff starts to pop into view, it starts the depth cue, which shades the object until you get closer. This kinda creates a light sourced look. The music is done well. There is an into track, an in-game track, and an ending track. They all sound pretty good. The in-game tune is the one that really counts, and it doesn't get annoying or repetitive. The track is really long, and it really counts when you play for long periods of time (which you will).

The sound effects aren't bad at all either. The slashing of a weapon on a foe creates a cool cutting sound (sounds like it hurts... hehe). Your footsteps go left, right, left, right...on the speakers (if ya got stereo sound), and all the effects are in stereo too. There are a few digitized effects too...for getting hit, and killed. There are sounds when an enemy greets you ...and you can hear their footsteps when they approach unless they fly. I didn't feel that this area was lacking. The gameplay is excellent...and one of the games strongest points. The control is a bit hard to grasp onto in the beginning, but like most games, you'll get the hang of things. You start out with your bare hands, then work your way up to crossbows, swords, spells, etc. You can equip your character with boots, armor, helmets, rings, necklaces and weapons.

You've got a magic bar and a life bar. When these are low, you can go to sleep and regain mana and energy...that's if your character isn't hungry. You can be attacked while you sleep, so be sure to clear the area.

Character interaction is very good. You'll be able to talk to people in the tower, and you'll often have to go get something and bring it back to the being in exchange for an important item. When you kill someone, you'll be able to search-over his/her/it's body for good stuff. The puzzles in the game are very intricate and well thought-out. You must pull levers, navigate through series of teleporters, walk on sensors, solve riddles and even resurrect people! This game has to be played to be believed.

There is also something unique about this game. On Doom, if you find a secret door, you'll simply be treated to extra ammo etc....but on this game, it's essential for making progress, and that definitely keeps you on your toes.

This game is deep, and will appeal to action gamers and RPG lovers alike!

Towers II Story

It has been several months since we've been in Lamini. The repairs to our ship are almost complete and the crew's morale is finally on the rise. We've heard no news on the wars in Airatose, we've heard no news at all. No information seems to reach or leave this dungeon of an island.

At first, when we ran around, I thought this was paradise. But having to go through what we have, I would have considered being in one of Sargon's torture cells, paradise. At the time of the wreck, we were alive, and that's all that mattered. Now I realize, time soothes the emotions and things appear as they truly are.

As I've stated before, there is no information, not just about Airatose, but anything. This island seems to be cut off from the rest of reality. No one will talk about anything, besides the current affairs here on Lamini. All the people of power seem to be extreme wielders of magic and there is no real outside trade. So how did these mages become so wealthy? There have been rumors of Lamini's elite guards not returning from a quest.

We've been asked to see Farale, the new sheriff. We entered Farale's office. A stout man in his later ages sat behind a desk. We quickly exchange greetings and he began to speak about a lord named Daggan." Lord Daggan was once a good man, who held one of the high seats on the council. He was an avid astronomer, who made many discoveries.

Then one day he resigned his commission, stating only that his research takes precedents over any problems we might have. "Strange happenings soon followed. Mighty explosions were seen at his tower, but when examined, not a trace of damage. Also, he's been seen excavating bones out of the mystic's graveyard. When the council inquired about his doings, he flew into a screaming rage." At that point we knew he had gone mad, and must be stopped. All knights and sages who held a chair on the Lamini council, were sent to either make him come to his senses or destroy him. They never returned."

Several well known thieves were spotted leaving Daggan's tower with bags full of treasure. We caught and questioned one of the hoodlums. What he confessed to us was truly amazing. He spoke of Daggan's guards being very dimwitted and that sneaking around them was very easy, especially for a man of his talents. He also spoke of strange beings, the likes that I have never heard. Eyes with large wings that fly and wield powerful magic. Giant men made out of iron, living fire and other unnatural beings."

Also inside the tower, just lying around the floors were the bones and weapons of previous looters who not so quick for Daggan's guards. Feces from animals that were never picked up. This is very strange for Daggan, he was normally a very tidy and neat man. It seems that his tower, which is still in the process of being built, is falling apart. Normally we wouldn't have believed a word of what this thief was saying, but it was the way he told his story. You could just feel the unbelievable truth."

Once again we ask you to help us with our problems. We feel that sending only one of you in, to stop Daggan, is to our best advantage. He would never expect only one man." The reward offer is very small, but anything you find in Daggan's tower is yours to keep. When you return, a small keep will be built for you. Thus you will always have a home in Lamini."

Why they chose a shot like this for the title screen is beyond me. Wouldn't an actual Tower be more appropriate?
Again with the eyeballs! Actually, I think these are Beholders. And a nasty lot they are.
This is the inventory. It's problem is that the joypad isn't nearly as fast as the mouse is for moving things around.
"Oops. Sorry to have walked in on you like that. Go back to your witching and brewing."
Towers II
System: Jaguar
Publisher: Telegames
Genre: RPG
Graphics Score: 85%
Sound & Music Score: 80%
Gameplay Score: 95%
Control Score: %

Final Score: 88%

Reader Comments for Towers II

Jaguar's first and very good RPG game by Fsporsche on 2008-10-01 08:29:44
I just want to point out that I am not a big fan of RPG games but this one took me by surprise. I ordered this game from telegames as soon as it was released, I popped into my Jaguar64 and must of played it for 5 hours straight that night and even called out sick to work the next day so I could continue and try to finish this intense game. The graphics are good and the controls are solid, it does take a little getting used to the game play, the music is spooky and the doors opening and closing give you that chill not knowing if someone is behind you. A must for all Jaguar64 hardcore fans!
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