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Game #1924
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Magic Candle, The    View all Top Dogs in this genre
RPG   Top-down

Rating: 9.1 (198 votes)

Magic Candle, The box cover

Magic Candle, The screenshot
One of the best RPGs ever made, The Magic Candle is an incredible, highly underrated masterpiece that put Mindcraft on the map. Ater producing a few respectable RPGs for SSI (e.g. Rings of Zilfin), Ali Atabek's first release for his new company Mindcraft rivals Wizardry in addictiveness and sheer size. The Magic Candle boasts a very complex story, non-linear gameplay, and a huge game world to explore in addition to innumerable neat touches.

The plot revolves around you (Lukas) and your party of intrepid adventurers who have been tasked to seal the demon Dreax within the Magic Candle which has been rapidly burning thin. The game has three difficulty levels, toggled by changing the number of "days" you want to complete the game in (easy mode gives you 999 days, hard mode is less than 400).

The Magic Candle is a great example of an "epic RPG" in every sense of the word. The game has so many miniquests (hundreds, in fact) that it's impossible to do them all, so you will have to be selective and take copious notes lest you forget your main objective. Similar to Ultima IV, you will have to do a lot of talking to NPCs to glean information. What makes The Magic Candle a revolutionary RPG instead of merely a great game, though, is the abundance of nice little touches of realism. For example, when you are trecking through the moutains, the bird's eye view will change to a side view of your party standing on a dilapitated bridge or at the edge of a bottomless ravine where you have to throw a rope to cross to the other side. Similar to Wasteland, The Magic Candle also implements a complex skill system, which is used to good effect to enhance realism and as solutions to many puzzles.

Among its numerous innovations, the most celebrated feature of the game is the ability to split up your four-member party at any time. Some puzzles (again similar to Wasteland) require you to be in different places at once, so you must split your party up. Different members can also do different things as time passes in real time. What this means is that you can leave some mages in a town to rest and the rest can go off hunting. This is the kind of efficiency required to win the game.

Overall, The Magic Candle is a masterpiece RPG that will keep you engrossed for months. The only weak point about the game is the combat system, which is a little too simplistic, as well as the lack of on-line notebook to record immense amount of information. Still, the game offers a good balance of combat, puzzle-solving, and character interaction. A definite must-have for all RPG fans, and a much better game than its two sequels. Two thumbs up!

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Ali Atabek
Developer: Mindcraft
Publisher: Mindcraft
Year: 1989
Software Copyright: Mindcraft
Theme: Fantasy, Epic
Multiplayer:  
None that we know of
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links: The Magic Candle Fansite
Links:    
If you like this game, try: Magic Candle II: The Four and Forty, The, Magic Candle III, The, Bloodstone

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