|Genre(s)||Adventure, Role-Playing Game|
|System(s)||MO5, TO7, CPC, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Commodore 64|
|Followed by||Oméga, planète invisible|
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".
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.
- 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.
All the versions of the game play the same. The main difference is in the graphics.
|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.|