Instructions for

The Lords Of Midnight

Beyond, 1984

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



Aim of the game

overthrow the evil witchking Doomdark and restore peace to the land of Midnight.

Game play

At the beginning of the game, the player controls four characters: Luxor the Moonprince, his son Morkin, Corleth the Fey and Rorthron the Wise. The computer takes the role of Doomdark, commanding 250,000 Iceguard warriors and the dreaded Ice Fear which saps armies' courage and may even cause them to desert to Doomdark's side. Although the odds aren't good, it's possible not only to defeat Doomdark, but the wipe out the entire Iceguard.

The Free have two distinct advantages in the form of Luxor and Morkin. As a Moonprince Luxor own the Moon Ring which lends him powers of vision and command. These allow him to command and look through the eyes of the characters on his side. Some characters are individuals and some control large armies. Other characters can be recruited by using already loyal characters. In a relatively short spce of time it's possible to amass quite a large army.

The Moon Ring also acts as a shield against the Ice Fear. The closer a character or army is to Luxor, the less will be the demoralising effect of the Ice Fear. There's only one disadvantage: Doomdark can sense the warmth of the Moon Ring so always knows the precise whereabouts of the wearer.

Morkin in the only character in Midnight who is able to totally resist the influence of the Ice Fear, thus enabling him to undertake dangerous missions in the heart of Doomdark's territory without being demoralised.

DEFEATING DOOMDARK: There are two ways to defeat Doomdark. The first is to destroy the Ice Crown, the source of Doomdark's power. This can only be achieved by Morkin. The Ice Crown is located at the Tower of Doom near Doomdark's stronghold of Ushgarak on the Plains of Despair. This task is more like an adventure and places the emphasis on stealth rather than military might.

The second is to actually seize the Citadel of Ushgarak. This requires many lords, complete with armies, to be recruited. The full-scale military campaign is the more difficult and time-consuming of the two tasks. However, the flexibility of LOM allows the player to adjust strategies at a moment's notice.

For Doomdark to win, he must accomplish two of three goals. Firstly, kill Morkin - as long as Morkin is alive the game continues. Secondly, kill Luxor or thirdly, capture the southern Citadel of Xajorkith, Luxor's base. Should Luxor be killed, the player loses control over all other recruited characters by finding the Moon Ring. Unfortunately, as soon as Morkin puts on the Ring, Doomdark is immediately aware of his whereabouts, thus making the quest for the Ice Crown virtually impossible.

HOW LOM WORKS: LOM boasts 4,000 locations and 32,000 different views. The screen displays the eye view from the location of the current character in the direction they're facing. Whenever a character moves to a different location or changes the direction they're facing, the screen updates to show the new view.

The game proceeds by day or night. During the day you can move any or all of the characters under your control, along with any armies they control. The distance a character can move depends on a combination of the type of terrain they're moving across, their general health plus whether they are walking or riding.

Whenever a character moves N, S, E or W, they move a distance of one league (3 miles). If they move diagonally (NE, SE, SW, NW) they travel 1.4 leagues (about 5 miles). Therefore moving diagonally takes more time and leaves less hours of daylight for the rest of their journey. Once a character has used all their daylight hours or engaged one of Doomdark's armies in battle, the screen goes dark, indicating night. Except under exceptional circumstances, that character cannot do anything until the next day. Once you've moved all the characters you wish, press the NIGHT key. The outcome of any battles is shown at dawn.

THE PEOPLE OF MIDNIGHT: The people of Midnight can be broken down into three basic categories: the Foul, the Free and the Fey. The Foul consist of Doomdark's Iceguard riders and warriors. There are some 250,000 of them and none can be recruited to your cause.

There are numerous Lords of the Free. Generally, these can be located at citadels in the south of Midnight and at some keeps. Any of these Lords can be recruited by Luxor and usually by any other recruited Lord. The Lords recruited from keeps have smaller armies and are less useful in fights than those from Citadels.

The Fey live exclusively in the forests; they don't like to meddle in the affair of the Free but don't have any great love for Doomdark. They can really only be rallied by other Fey, such as Corleth. The Fey can move through forests far faster than any other characters in Midnight. It's also worth noting that Doomdark's armies tend to avoid venturing into forests.

Though Doomdark holds the north of Midnight, there are a few Lords who remain Free in that region, but they have to be recruited early on in the game otherwise Doomdark will overrun them. Of these, Lord Dreams (a Fey) is one of the more useful, as is Lord Gloom (a Free Lord). Other recruitable characters who can help overthrow Doomdark include another one of the Wise, a dragon, a Skulkrin and the Utarg of Utarg. The latter is not aligned to either side, being a true neutral, but can be persuaded to fight against Doomdark by Luxor. However, if the Ice Fear gets too strong he may desert and join the enemy.

Finally, Midnight is not a land without its fair share of dangerous wild animals. Wolves, dragons and wild Skulkrin can sometimes get the better of the lone traveller.

GETTING STARTED: The game begins at the Tower of the Moon, in the Forest of Shadows (western Midnight). It's best to start the game trying to achieve both objectives, in case one strategy goes wrong. The best way for Morkin to approach the Tower of Doom is along the western edge of the map. Farflame the Dragon and Fawkrin the Skulrin can aid Morkin in his quest and both of them can be found in this region. Farflame can be found at the Tower of Dodrak in the Mountains of Dodrak, while Fawkrin is usually to be found in the Plains of the Moon (a good place to look is Moon Henge). It's also worth going to the Forest of Lothoril to recruit Lord Lotheril, who can provide a small army to protect Morkin.

The final journey to the Tower of Doom must be made by Morkin alone, as any armies that follow him risk being spotted by Doomdark and putting the mission in jeopardy. When controlling Morkin, it's a good idea to avoid fighting anything, to avoid putting Morkin in danger. When embarking on the strategy of conquest, it's best to recruit as many Lords and big armies as possible. It's impossible to defend each citadel and keep against Doomdark, so for much of the game you will have to let him capture them. However, this also has the bonus of splitting up and weakening Doomdark's army as it becomes dispersed over a wide area.

The best strategy for recruiting a large number of Lords and armies quickly is to split up your characters and send them in different directions. As you recruit more characters to recruit other characters. In this way, you can sweep the south of Midnight for characters and armies in a matter of days.

When you feel you've recruited enough Lords and armies, choose a rendezvous point (a good one is the Citadel of Ithrorn on the Plains of Ithril). Rest all your characters and then push on to Ushgarak, making sure that you rest frequently so that they're in top condition. If you're after a quick military victory, Xajorkith will have to be abandoned. A sizeable force is needed to defend it, and leaving such an army behind would seriously weaken your effectiveness when fighting through to Ushgarak. However, as Doomdark takes more and more of Midnight, the Ice Fear grows stronger.

Once you've assembled all your armies, spend some time reorganising them so that the bravest Lords have the biggest armies. Once you're completely rested, you're ready for the final assault on Doomdark. Good luck - you'll need lots of it.

Features of the landscape:


"One of the greatest games ever"


10/10 (CRASH #7, August 1984)


Although 10 years old by now, still a superb game. The last in the Midnight trilogy, Eye of the Moon, is due out in mid-1994, and it looks very nice - graphically it is like a ground-based Comanche Maximum Overkill, but better. LOM, though, can still cut the mustard...


Look			- E
Look north		- 1
north-east		- 2
east			- 3
south-east		- 4
south			- 5
south-west		- 6
west			- 7
north-west		- 8
Night (end turn)	- U
Select character	- M
Move character		- Q
Choose			- T
Character information	- R
Load			- D
Save			- S
Yes			- G
No			- J

Nettverksgruppa, 5/10-94,