Oldschool RPG – Phantasie 3

I’ve been into RPGs, of the pen & paper variety, since before I got into video games, so I’ve always had a soft spot for computer RPGs too. The problem is, so many computer RPGs have a tendency to simplify things too much, making them more like traditional video games rather than the numbers-heavy simulations of most RPG (at least the early ones).


I enjoyed Phantasie 3 – The Wrath of Nikademus at the time I played it, on the Atari ST. It sure didn’t make any efforts to hide the complexity of the numbers by trying to show it by graphical visualizations. Like the character sheet above, it’s all numbers, and I quite like that :-)


It got a bit more visual when you where travelling on the roads. You could move your group of adventurers around, and sometimes you would encounter enemies, and have to fight it out. Though the enemies wasn’t displayed on the map, you just got a message box telling you about the attack, before taking you to the battle screen.


When you encountered a city, there was various things you could do, like train or learn spells, or recruit more members for your party. This was done by simple menus, which worked quite well.


Battles was turn-based, and at the start of your turn you would set up which action each of your characters would perform during the battle.


Battle would then be resolved, letting you know who had been damaged and if any of the enemies had been killed. Your own characters could be injured in various ways, including having limbs chopped off!


There was also dungeons to explore, and that worked pretty much the same way as when travelling along the roads (but without the cities, obviously).

It’s rare to see RPGs with this level of complexity these days. Focus seems to have shifted to fast-paced action and pre-defined storylines, with less interest in detailed simulations and oldschool RPG mechanics. Which is a shame, because I’m sure that there’s quite a few of us out there who really likes them, and would love to play some newer ones…

7 Responses to “Oldschool RPG – Phantasie 3”

  1. Verious says:

    Fable 2 for Xbox 360 has a huge array of statistics hiding just under the surface, many of them are displayed as graphs, but the raw numbers are often accessible through menu options.Plus player interactions with every townsperson in the game are tracked individually and people actually remember if they have seen/spoken with you before.Fable 2 is a very detailed game, which does a nice job abstracting the complexity for players who are not interested in it and displaying the raw numbers for players who are.

  2. Magnus says:

    Reading this and seeing these screenshots really brought back some good ol’ memories. This was actually the first RPG I ever played, I played it with a friend on my Atari 1024 and we just loved it. That later led us to games such as Dungeon Master, Might and Magic, Eye of the Beholder, Black Crypt and a lot of others that I can’t remember. But this one was the first and It really opened up our eyes and minds to this whole genre. Thanks for bringing back some great memories :-)

  3. Mattias says:

    Yeah, it was a great game, and one of my big sources of inspiration for my Thieves and Warriors game.

  4. J. Hooks says:

    I LOVED this game, but never finished it because I couldn’t figure out how to get to the Castle of Dark. If I could get a copy, I’d be missing for days!!! How did you get to the Castle of Dark????

  5. castle of dark says:

    C2-thats how you get there. I got it on my first guess seeing that its the opposite of the Castle of Light which was C2+

  6. kc ceridon says:

    is this game available on an emulator of some sort for windows? i never did finish the game.

  7. You can find the Atari ST fairly easily KC Ceridon, then an emulator to play ST on your PC called STeem.

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