Instructions for


Ariolasoft, 1985

Written by Chris Owen, HTML'd by Arnt Gulbrandsen.


Keyboard, Kempston, Sinclair

Aim of the game

ARCHON is an abstract strategy game superficially similar to chess; the aim is simply to win.

Game play

As with chess you have two opposing forces facing each other, but unlike chess the forces are not matched. Each of the two armies have different pieces, each having individual strengths and weaknesses. Before the game begins you must decide which side to contol - you can play against the computer or another human player. Although each side has different pieces, in overall terms the armies are about equal. Some pieces are able to move ahead only two or three squares while others may be able to pass over other pieces or even, with the aid of a spell, teleport to any location on the board. To move, you simply place the cursor square over a piece, press fire, then move the square to the position you desire. If the move is over a distance greater than is allowed, or is illegal for some reason, perhaps because it is blocked by other pieces or has been imprisoned by the enemy, then the computer will tell you. When playing against the computer it moves its pieces in exactly the same way, so it's very easy to follow its moves. The object of the game is to take and hold the five power points, but to do that you must destroy the enemy forces and that takes a lot of good planning. Apart from having to know the strengths and weaknesses of each of the pieces and remembering how best to use them, it's good to take advantage of situations unique to this game. For example, perhaps you have just lost a major piece and in doing so have severely wounded an opposing piece, are you in a position to send in a minor piece and finish the job before the enemy has time to heal his wounds? When you are ready to attack all that is required is to move the piece over to the occupied square, and the computer will ask if you want to challenge the occupant. If you answer yes, the main display will change to the battle screen. This has a life strength indicator for each of the pieces in combat - the first-time player will notice that the life bar of his enemy's piece is three times greater than that of his own. At the start of a battle the two pieces are positioned on opposite sides. At various and constantly changing locations around the screen blocks are located, which can be used as defensive barriers. The two icons must fight to the death, with the winner gaining control of the disputed square. Depending on the nature of the piece, the mode of attack will vary - some are able to fire bolts to cause damage at a distance while others must fight at close quarters. This is where the strategy element comes in - try not to attack a much stronger opponent. While some pieces are able to move at great speed, they are only weak fighters, while some move very slowly but a direct hit from one could be fatal. Others may have both strength and speed but require long intervals between firing. The minor icons are not very strong, but they are more numerous and with luck and good play you may inflict a lethal blow. To make the strategy element even more complex, there are also "luminosity cycles" and "power points". If you decide to attack a piece on a power point, that piece will be much stronger than normal as well as being protected from magical attacks. The luminosity cycle dictates that while pieces on squares of their own colour are stronger (dark on black, for example), some of the squares will change in colour. The effects of the magic used by the magician pieces vary too; they can only be used once and their use weakens the piece. The revive spell allows you to resurrect a useful piece that has been killed, while the summon spell allows you to call a piece that did not previously exist. Other spells include teleport, heal, exchange and imprison. Since the use of a spell at the appropriate game can change the whole course of a battle, you must make sure that your magician is protected whilst trying to find ways to destroy your enemy's magician.


"An involved game, very good"


83% (CRASH #18, July 1985)


An interesting strategy game; it's a pity about the poor graphics though.


Up	- Q
Down	- A
Left	- Z
Right	- X
Fire	- C

Nettverksgruppa, 10/9-94,