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Box artwork for Mandragore.
Box artwork for Mandragore.
Developer(s)Marc Cecchi
Year released1984
System(s)Thomson MO5, Thomson TO7, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Commodore 64/128
Followed byOméga, planète invisible
Genre(s)Adventure, Role-Playing Game
ModesSingle player
LinksMandragore ChannelSearchSearch

Mandragore was developed and released in France in 1984 and then localized in English for the European market. It is a computer Adventure game with some cosmetic elements reminiscent of role-playing games; thus, it is considered the first open-world role-playing game made in France. Also, it is a precursor of Drakkhen, that is a full-fledged role-playing game.

"Mandragore" is French for "mandrake".

Story[edit | edit source]

In a nutshell: the bad guy has to be defeated in his castle on an island. A party of adventurers should first explore nine other castles and earn enough money to purchase a boat and reach that island castle.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

  • Interface: apart from movement, all actions are controlled by a simple text parser; since there are a few more commands than letters on the keyboard, for some commands the player should type two letters. The player should specify the acting character (numbered 1 to 4), the action, and the object (A to D or 1 to 9). Combat is neither turn-based nor in real-time, but controlled by the same text parser, thus depending on the player's typing speed.
  • Character progresson: although each hero in Mandragore has six attributes borrowed from role-playing games, they are constant throughout the game and they have no real effect on any action; the experience points are just each character's score. Thus, the game is better categorized as Adventure.
  • Dialogue: although the villagers have nothing to say about your quest, every dungeon/castle hosts several creatures and even enemies who will give clues about the puzzles in the same dungeon.
  • Freedom of exploration: the first nine dungeons/castles can be explored in any order. Their structure will be used in Drakkhen, too: instead of corridors, large fixed-screen rooms with doors to the adjacent rooms.

Versions[edit | edit source]

All the versions of the game play the same. The main difference is in the graphics.

Thomson MO5, Thomson TO7, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum The original 1984 version and its ports. Colors are very limited.
MSX The main difference from the original is the graphics of the overworld.
Apple II This version was made for the unique Apple II graphics.
Commodore 64 The version with the most advanced graphics.

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