Stonekeep is a first-person RPG in the style of Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master. The game is set in a series of underground labyrinths, filled with monsters, treasures and traps. The player uses the directional keys on the keyboard for movement and typing in notes in the journal and uses the mouse pointer to interact with objects and characters. The mouse pointer is usually a target indicator for aiming attacks and weapons wherever it is clicked. When the mouse pointer is moved onto a particular something it changes to another icon to indicate a different action. For example, the mouse pointer changes to an eye when the player can examine things (often signs) or the mouse pointer changes into a spread-out hand when the player can pick up items. Other mouse pointers include opening and closing chests, opening and closing panels, pulling levers and switches, pressing buttons, drinking water and giving items.
The protagonist Drake has two starting possessions: the magic scroll and the magic mirror. The magic scroll allows the player to pick up an infinite number of items. Items of the same type can be combined together up to a maximum quantity of 99; other items can be combined together such as a quiver which can hold 99 arrows. The magic mirror allows the player to equip Drake and other characters with weapons, armour and accessories and to consume items to affect their status such as healing potions or bad smelling Throg food otherwise Drake can read scrolls used on him. Although Drake can wield any weapon, other characters like Farli and Karzak can only wield hammers, axes and shields. Certain weapons like polearms and heavy swords require Drake to have two free hands to wield one. Some armour can be worn by certain characters. For instance only dwarves can wear dwarven platemail and only Drake can wear knight armour. Exceptional characters like Sparkle and Wahooka cannot be outfitted, but can still consume items
The third possession is the journal available once the player procures it. The journal is divided into six sections. The first section of the journal records the statistics of Drake, shows the status of his current equipped weapons and describes the characteristics of his partners. Drake statistics are strength, agility, health and his weaponry skills including polearm, sword, magick, missiles and others. The second section of the journal records any clues and hints the player may come across. The third section of the journal is used for writing notes. The fourth section of the journal records items each time the player picks up a new type. The fifth section of the journal records runes each time the player comes across a new one. Unlike the items section, the runes do not have their own respective name recorded. The sixth section of the journal records the level maps that the players journeys through. Spots on the map can be clicked and notes referring to them can be written.
Stonekeep features an elaborate 'Magick' system where four types of runes are inscribed onto a spellcaster (wand): Mannish, Fae, Throggish, and Meta. The first three runes are used for offensive, defensive and special interaction purposes. The Meta runes enhance the effectiveness of the base runes, like double power multiplies a single firebolt in two. To use a spellcaster, it must contain adequate mana and runes must inscribed onto the shaft of the spellcaster. To inscribe runes on the spellcaster, the player needs to equip the spellcaster on either one of Drake's hands, open the journal onto the Runes section, take out the spellcaster and copy the runes onto the spell slots of the spellcaster. Then the runecaster can be taken out at any time and the spell that can be used has the spell slot highlighted and launched on the indicated target point. Using the magic mirror, some spells can be aimed on the characters especially healing and quickness spells.
Yngvi Th. Johannsson
Retro gaming enthusiast and all around computer collector.
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