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Assume the role of Ruus Hardy, a no-nonsense mercenary in search of new trials and tribulations. Journeying through the Kingdom of Eclipse, he hopes to find refuge in the town of Zepter; the inn's owner is a faithful companion and lifelong friend. Upon reaching his destination, Ruus find nothing more than a desolated town and the decimated tower that once stood in its center. All was not quiet, however. An old monk approached Ruus and told him of an ancient prophecy that he was destined to fulfil.
Ruus must embark on a great adventure through the innards of the ominous tower that partially remains in Zepter's center. As the protagonist, it is your destiny to wield an ancient blade, passed down from generation to generation, in an attempt to disperse the power of the dark ones that overpowered the town. It is also your duty to learn about the mysterious disappearances of the townspeople and the elusive, one-eyed crown that caused the mayhem and destruction. Only if Ruus fulfils these obligations and prophecies will his quest be over.
Created by the development house responsible for the King's Field series, Shadow Tower is a first-person RPG that spans seven massive worlds filled with all kinds of hazards and characters. A vast bestiary features 150 challenging critters including spiders, undead skeletons and zombies, killer plants, repugnant slime, and more. As you progress through the various dungeons and caverns, you'll have to deal with these baddies in order to achieve victory. Approach with caution — each monster and boss critter will leap at you with deadly consequence, each possessing its own unique tactics and AI. The game keeps a creature book that informs you of every monster you've encountered on the journey.
Because of the role-playing nature, Ruus will attain level-ups and increase various attributes including speed, stamina, strength, magic resistance, defense, and weaponry specifications, such as piercing and slashing. Killing the various monsters is one way of increasing your stats; another way comes in the form of Soul Pods. Once you've attained a Soul Pod, you can distribute five points to the attributes of your choice.
There are over 256 unique pieces of armor, weapons, magical spells, and other helpful items that will aid you throughout the vast quest. Weaponry comes in the form of devastating swords, long-range bows, maces, and axes; as you progress through the game, you're treated to stronger variations of each weapon. Do not misuse or overuse your weapons, however, as they have set durability numbers. Once that number equals zero, the weapon will no longer work. Fortunately, there are non-player characters and items located throughout the worlds that will fix your equipment.
Shadow Tower also features a two-player battle mode that can involve the wagering of items and creatures. Using saved data on the memory card, each player chooses an item out of his or her private inventory and bets it against the other player's item. After the bet has been made, players select either one or three different monsters to fight in a 3D arena. The enemy critters are controlled by the other player and can defend, attack, and use magic. Whoever wins the most rounds claims victory and the opponent's item. ~ Glenn Wigmore, All Game Guide