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The Dark Spire - Nintendo DS

by Atlus
Nintendo DS
Everyone 10+
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews) 69 / 100

Price: $64.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Take back the age of the great classic RPGs where you build your perfect party from the ground up
  • Shrewd strategy is required to navigate tough dungeon floors with limited resources, earning experience by taking on 80 different enemies out to end you
  • The traditional RPG experience is fully realized in Classic Mode, which offers a black-and-white wireframe dungeon environment reminiscent of the nostalgic PC RPGs
  • Switch back to Modern Mode to update to the full 3-D atmosphere of the Dark Spire
  • A second person narrative reaches out from the game to speak to you of codpieces and killer rabbits, enveloping the gamer in an unforgettable adventure that offers three possible endings

Frequently Bought Together

The Dark Spire - Nintendo DS + Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City - Nintendo DS + Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard
Price for all three: $114.08

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Product Details

  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B001OALQIA
  • Item Weight: 4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: April 14, 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,519 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Product Description

Nintendo DS Tribute to classic western-style RPGs The Dark Spire is a first-person RPG of exploration and character development in the purest sense. Parties will be assembled, stats will be rolled, items, weapons and armor shall be equipped, and monsters will be slain. Some adventurers will choose to play using the "modern" interface, its bold, stylized textures and palettes delivering a fresh, up-to-date adventure. Others may opt for the "classic" mode, guaranteed to evoke overwhelming sensations of nostalgia as it perfectly recreates the style and simplicity of the fathers of the genre. Two different presentation modes, two different ways to experience The Dark Spire!

Amazon.com

The Dark Spire is a first-person RPG of exploration and character development in the purest sense. Parties will be assembled, stats will be rolled, items, weapons and armor shall be equipped, and monsters will be slain. Some adventurers will choose to play using the “modern” interface, its bold, stylized textures and palettes delivering a fresh, up-to-date adventure. Others may opt for the “classic” mode, guaranteed to evoke overwhelming sensations of nostalgia as it perfectly recreates the style and simplicity of the fathers of the genre. Two different presentation modes, two different ways to experience The Dark Spire!

Welcome to the Dark Spire
Welcome to the Dark Spire
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3D Dungeon
3D Dungeon
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Dark Spire Logo
Classic Enemies
Classic Enemies
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Synopsis
Those who dare to enter the Dark Spire's endless labyrinth will encounter vicious monsters, diabolical traps, and mysterious devices. Walk carefully, be observant, and keep your wits about you. Investigate the dungeon carefully, using each of your party members' talents to their fullest. A broken sword that might appear meaningless could actually be an important clue to solving a puzzle...

Key Game Features:
  • Homage to classic RPGs — Take back the age of the great classic RPGs where you build your perfect party from the ground up. Shrewd strategy is required to navigate tough dungeon floors with limited resources, earning experience by taking on 80 different enemies out to end you.
  • Dual dungeon modes — The traditional RPG experience is fully realized in Classic Mode, which offers a black-and-white wireframe dungeon environment reminiscent of the nostalgic PC RPGs. Switch back to Modern Mode to update to the full 3-D atmosphere of the Dark Spire.
  • A captivating story of mist and shadow — A second person narrative reaches out from the game to speak to you of codpieces and killer rabbits, enveloping the gamer in an unforgettable adventure that offers three possible endings.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Fun: 3.0 out of 5 stars   
There some great reviews here that describe the game well. But I've got to give the game 3 stars and not 5 like many here are doing. Why? I like the old school graphics but the graphics repeat a lot. Really folks, you are looking at the same 2D graphics for hours. This is a long game and started to tire of the same level graphics.

Its not just the graphics though obviously: the gameplay requires enormous amounts of "XP grinding" where you fight lower level enemies to get to a certain point where you can get to the next level of the tower. This for me at least, got old really fast. Yes I know this is what old school RPG's are like and I'm sure this is fun for some gamers, but I got bored. I enjoyed the first 15 hours of gameplay but I really had no interest going another step. Your mileage may vary!

Also one nitpick -- would it have been so hard to have the battle text be red when you are taking damage and blue you are giving damage to your enemies? Some colored text would have made a world of difference and you are looking at this text all of the time, so why not font colors?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
This is yet another reason why those of us who grew up playing computer games in the 1980s really owe it to ourselves to buy a DS. First, the DS has a pretty good sized number of turn-based wargames, complete with hexes and counters, (does anybody remember Avalon Hill) an excellent remake of Populous with all the fun still intact,(something many remakes don't achieve so well)and a few excellent arcade collections that bring the 80s back to life. This game, however, is like Nirvana for those of us who grew up playing Wizardry on Apple II computers, early Ultima games on Apple, Commodore 64, or Atari computers, or the Bard's tale games that did not have "in-your-face" 3-d photorealistic, holographic graphics and fifty-seven channel super-duper sound, but required you to have an imagination and to not be afraid to start over many times. Back then, we used to play these games, help our friends with the puzzles, and feel a real sense of achievement on finishing. People then welcomed other players of their games, never used the words N00b or pwned against other gamers, (it was a tight and welcoming community) and cared more about helping each other solve puzzles. I remember in High School there was even a computer game club in which we would help each other with Zork, Ultima, Wizardry, and some of the lesser known games like Odyssey:The Complete Apventure. Trust me; if you lived through those times, you owe it to yourself to buy this game, and be sure to use "classic" mode for the full effect of playing a real RPG on an Apple II or a Commodore 64. There is a more artsy modern mode as well if you don't like the old graphics style, so everyone gets something. If you lived through the classic gaming era of the 80s and you don't have a DS, buy a DS then buy this game.
Enjoy!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fun: 3.0 out of 5 stars   
Be sure you know exactly what this is before purchasing it. This game is the very definition of a niche title, aiming itself squarely at older gamers who remember grid-based dungeon crawlers in the old days when you had next to no information about various elements of the in-game world and two hours of work could be undone by an unlucky run in with a particularly nasty skeleton. This isn't so much a tribute to those games as an elaborate recreation of them, and all the flaws that came with RPGs from that era.

Old dungeon-crawlers (think Wizardry or The Bard's Tale) were essentially frustrating grind-fests that killed you frequently and never stopped to explain themselves. Generally, you learned through trial-and-error as you went along and suffered long hours of tedious and monotonous gameplay in order to perhaps graduate to the second level of the dungeon after hours and hours of sheer work. Most never included a map function, forcing players to create their own maps on graph paper, and the various items/weapons were largely mysterious in nature until you bought them and discovered what they were good for.
The Dark Spire accomplishes this with ease and grace, even managing to throw in random stat selection ala D&D.

The game has two modes: Standard and Classic. Standard mode drapes the game in dark textures and designs of astonishing power, giving the game a haunting and gothic edge. There is some variation in the music, but it is generally unexceptionable.
For gamers eager for the most retro experience possible, the Classic mode is available. This mode literally discards all of the textures and designs in the game, replacing shadow strewn walls with wireframes. Literally. That's it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro is good! April 28, 2009
Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I'm a big fan of classic RPGs, having played Bard's Tale like mad on the PC around 15 years ago. It featured a variety of classes, different spells, stats, secrets, and very little guidance. One feature that tells you it's classic is that Armor Class (defense) actually gets better as it DECREASES and goes into the negatives. The Dark Spire features all of this and more.

To start off, you choose four characters to make up your team. You can decide their name, race (dwarves, elves, halflings, humans), class, spells (if they use magic), and alignment (lawful or chaotic). Everything makes a difference in this game, however slight.

Now you enter the Dark Spire itself to begin your adventure. Navigation in this game is like old RPGs and Etrian Odyssey in that you are constantly walking through hallways from a first-person perspective, moving one square at a time. You encounter random battles which range from one enemy to multiple groups of enemies. The challenge level is pretty steep, requiring patience, lots of healing, and grinding.

Experience points are used to upgrade your class level, skills, or stats. Anything you raise costs a lot, so you need to be careful and think ahead before you spend your experience.

There's a variety of different equipment available in The Dark Spire--swords, helms, armor, shields, and accessories. Weapons and armor can add special options to your attack and defend commands while in battle. For example, a Longsword offers a precision attack for increased accuracy but takes longer to perform. It also offers a lunge attack for doing extra damage at the expense of defense for that turn. This adds lots of variety to each battle, and it makes equipment choice very important.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Boredom: The Game
Felt very boring. Watch a Youtube review for the game before buying this.
Published 9 days ago by Miguel Nieves
4.0 out of 5 stars but a fun time sink
Old school hard, but a fun time sink. You can add or subtract a star depending on how into that you are.
Published 1 month ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Old-School-Style RPG
Outside a town lies the Woods of Mist, a foreboding place obscured by thick fog; one day, the mist suddenly parts, and an enormous tower rises from the ground: the Dark Spire. Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. Michael Gallen
5.0 out of 5 stars includes soundtrack
honestly, i haven't even played the game yet but i was pleasantly surprised to find that the game comes with a music cd. Read more
Published 9 months ago by borgula
5.0 out of 5 stars A throwback to the Wizardry games
I first heard about this game when I was listening to a compilation of the best VGMs from entertainment history and got an earful of a track from The Dark Spire. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Alan Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficulty on par with Wizardry or Might & Magic, it nearly gets it...
I picked up The Dark Spire when it was new a few years back, and played it for awhile and then for whatever reason stopped playing. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D. Fillion
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal and unforgiving - Awesome
Much like the first person RPGs of old. Dark Spire is a Wizardry-style dungeon crawler with a four person party system that includes a few new perks (like being able to change... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Badger
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't get enough of it
This game is intense. Its difficulty, although relatively high and unforgiving, is perfectly appropriate. Read more
Published on November 9, 2012 by CENU
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone
I'd been looking for a game like this ever since the wizardry games went out of style. Modern rpgs that hold your hand through large elaborate and sometimes ridiculous and trite... Read more
Published on October 22, 2012 by Daniel J. Shatz
3.0 out of 5 stars A Word of Warning...
Everything you might have heard about the difficulty level of this game is true, it is a beast. Strangely enough, I was surprised to find this an actual flaw. Read more
Published on May 28, 2012 by ilovebridge
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