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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Prince of Destruction?

Prince of Destruction (PoD) is an action-based computer "role-playing" game for up to four players. PoD may be played alone or over a network with up to four players. When played over a network, PoD is played cooperatively... all of the players work together to solve the goals of the game.

What is MARS?

The Multiplayer Animated Roleplaying System (MARS) is a computer engine for designing and playing computer role-playing games. Prince of Destruction is the first of many games that will use the MARS engine. Both Macintosh and Windows versions of PoD are available.

Where can I get/buy MARS or Prince of Destruction?

MARS products are available on major Internet FTP sites and online services; distribution is encouraged. BadgerCom is developing FTP and this web site.

Prince of Destruction is packaged commercially and as shareware. A fully packaged version is available in software stores or directly through BadgerCom (US$50), or PoD may be downloaded and registered by telephone or postal mail (US$25/$40).

How can I heal my character?

Characters can recover from their wounds by drinking a healing potion. Healing potions can be found throughout Prince of Destruction. There is no "rest" or "camp" feature.

Later in the game you may find even more effective methods of restoring hit points.

It says to get up to at least level three before going very far into the game, and that you gain levels by reading. Well, I've gone through the first several screens and won several battles, but I've seen nothing to read. How do I gain levels?

Various Tomes are scattered throughout the region. Tomes teach you a variety of new skills, represented by an increase in your experience level. There are four different kinds of tomes, each of which have varied effectiveness at different levels. You can kill hapless goblins for days and you won't go up a level -- you must find and read (use) tomes to gain levels.

Hey! Where's the music mentioned in the manual in the Windows version?

Windows versions 1.21 and Macintosh versions 1.11b and earlier do not have music support. Macintosh versions 1.20 and later have music support, as will a future Windows version. After lots of development time we discovered that the Windows version could not handle the way we stored music. A new music format is being developed.

Since this is Mac and Windows only, are there any mouse control options?

No. MARS is designed for action games and the mouse isn't very well suited for quick response. There are currently no mouse controls.

General Tips

A quick walk through the start of the game

Here's a quick walk-through to get you started with Prince of Destruction:

0) Pick the Barbarian or Assassin as your character (it's easier to win as them).

You might like to lower the combat intensity (the slider with the fist symbol) and modify the character's attributes (e.g. swap some hit points for power or accuracy). You might also like to name your character (click on the name to edit it).

1) Talk to the magician at the top of the first screen. (Try starting with the word "hello" or "name"; you can also enter more complete sentences, such as "Hello there," or "What is your name?"

2) Walk onto the pentacle.

3) Pick up the master key from the table.

4) Open the door to the room (by walking into it) when the guy patrolling outside is far away and facing away (if possible).

5) Kill and/or run past this guy into the room to the left ("west").

6) Kill the goblins in the next room (using missile weapons if you can, to avoid the slightest chance of being hurt).

7) Go to the NW corner and press "E" to search the stone wall near the worn area. A secret entrance appears.

8) Wander into the "goblin caves" and massacre the two goblins within.

9) Go north and kill two more goblins.

10) Go east and kill two more goblins.

11) Go south, kill two goblins, a hobgoblin, and take the gold and the Damascas sword.

Now, kill everyone else in the complex (using any TOMES you find as soon as you get them). If you get killed, restore your last saved game rather than go back to the start (returning to the start costs you a level).

You should reach level 3 by cleaning up the goblin caves. You may want to avoid the room with the single poledude in it until you're more advanced (that guy's pretty tough, and the fight in the room east of that is very hard).

Fighting

Divide and conquer. If you are facing an insurmountable force behind a door, try opening the door when only 1 or 2 enemies are near it and allowing them to come through the door after you. Run away so that the door closes, and finish off the enemies that have come outside.

He who fights, then runs away, lives to fight another day. If you are attacking a strong enemy, make sure you are near the edge of a screen or a ladder so that you can escape.

Honorable combat this ain't. Ambush your enemies. Grab their attention, then run. While they are milling about, trying to find out which way you went, turn around and start firing missiles at them. This works very well with the black and red officers. You can do it repeatedly - fire away, then when they get too close, turn and run for a while until you lose them, and repeat the process.

See no evil... If the soldiers are not facing you, then they can't see you and you can sneak up behind them.

Other Hints

Talking: Talk to everybody. Four words, in particular, are very useful to ask people, and will be answered in some fashion by virtually everyone.

These words are "Hello," "Name," "Place, " and "Job."
(Another important one is "Resistance.")

Pay attention to what they say. Words that they understand, and key words, will be printed in red. (Sometimes red is used for emphasis and does not indicate a word the person actually understands. Sorry about that.)

The priest in the temple at Wygard (Noam) will heal you if you say the word "Heal."

Try also asking people about the names of others you've met along the way.

Note also that a person's answers to your questions may change depending on what you've accomplished.

Help: The oracles (sphinxes) on the island that can be reached using one of the pentacles and are a good source of information. The western oracle give straight answers, but generally gives less information. The eastern oracle gives you questions that match the words you say, "Jeopardy" style.

(For example, if you say "hello," it'll answer, "What is a common greeting for wayward sphinxes?") Be careful, however. In early versions, one of them gives you somewhat misleading information about Nestar's Tomb. Even if you aren't a magic wielder, you MUST visit the tomb and take what is there.

Searching: Don't search randomly. It won't hurt your character, but it will try your patience. Things are only hidden when there are ample clues to find them. (e.g., trampled dirt near a hidden entrance.)

Choice of character: Choose your character wisely. The assassin is the easiest character, overall. Next is the Barbarian, then the elf, and the magician is by far the most difficult. (Play testers have won the game using Ada, and she's great in multi-player games.)

Tomes: There are 4 different types of Tomes.
Tomes of Knowledge will not take you past level 5;
Tomes of Lore will not take you past level 10;
Tomes of Arcane Knowledge and Tomes of Outdated Concepts will not increase your level past 20. They will increase your level by 2 while you are below 16.

Note that if, for example, you manage to get ahold of a Tome of Lore when you are at level 4, you should save it until you find a Tome of Knowledge. Use the latter first, and then the Tome of Lore second, otherwise that Tome of Knowledge will do you no good.

Money: If you need more money, you can sell items to Lugo (sometimes only for a nominal amount). If you accidentally sell something to Lugo that you discover you need later, you can buy it back (for a lot more than you were paid for it - heh, heh).


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