: Moraff’s World
: 02 Aug 91
: Steve Moraff and Moraff Games
: PC, Dos
: 3.5 floppy disk
Moraff’s World is a turn based role playing game
that blends many of the classical elements gamers have come to expect. As far as RPG’s go, Moraff’s World is about as light as they come. There is basically no story line at all, just a hack fest with absolutely no gore. The only goal is to defeat the “Red Dragon King
” and to accumulate all the power
you can (even though in the grand scheme of things this means nothing in the game other then you can easily kill most monsters). It has the bonus of being able to be picked up and put down with as little or as much time investment as you want, though it does leave a lot to be desired in many areas. It has poor graphics (though not bad by 1991 standards), no story, and nothing to do but kill thousands and thousands of monsters
, many of which you will see hundreds and hundreds of times.
Starting the game
In true old-school shareware fashion, Moraff’s World asks you to pick your monitor’s resolution before you start the game. Once you’ve decided if you want to play in 16 colors or 256, you are then taken to the even more old-school shareware menu, the registration page. After promising that you will register the product, you are then shown a screen where the terrible monsters (all of them poorly drawn and 2 dimensional) of the Moraff Universe appear.
Character creation screen
The Character creation screen allows you to choose the race of your hero
, decide which class of character you would like to use, and then to name your hero. The creation process is simple; you first decide which race of character you want to use (human, elf
). You then decide which class you want to play. These are the descriptions given in the game for each character class:
Simple to play, can use many weapons, no spells and very little magic. Should have high strength, agility, constitution
Very poor fighter. Can cast many priestly spells. Interesting to play, but requires very peaceful attitude.
Doesn't use weapons, can't keep any items, magic or not. Deadly with hands, and has ability to cast spells without spell books.
Doesn't fight well but gets more spells than any other class. Should have very high intelligence. Good for advanced players.
: Moderate fighter with many defensive and subtle spells. Should have high wisdom, but all characteristics are important.
: Poor fighter, poor spell caster. Good for exploring without being noticed. Gains experience just for exploring. Needs high agility. This class must be played very carefully. Not for beginners.
: Combination of fighter and wizard. Very hard to start, but very powerful later. Needs well-balanced characteristics.
Once having chosen the race and class, you are given 6 traits (strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, agility and luck) to assign a point value too. The computer randomly assigns values to each, but you are allowed to reroll
as many times as is necessary to receive the numbers you want. Later versions allow more flexibility in character creation, such as being given 24 points to assign individually to traits. With each different roll the computer also randomly assigns a gender, height, weight and age to your character. These variables don’t seem to affect game play, but choosing a short character may lead them to develop the Napoleonic Syndrome
Basic layout of the game screen:
There are six main areas to the game screen. In the very bottom left hand corner the game displays your vital statistics. This includes your characters level, the amount of experience acquired, the number of hit points (both the number you have now and the maximum amount you have overall), and the number of magic points (also out of how many total).
Above this is the top-down map that shows your immediate vicinity. This map becomes more accurate with exploration. As you travel through uncharted areas they are recorded onto your map.
Next to the top-down map, and taking up a majority of your screen, is the view in all four directions. This map is rarely used to navigate, but is used to watch for monsters that may be approaching you. When a monster is adjacent to you in any direction its name appears above it, as well as its level and number of hit points.
The fourth area of the map is the all-purpose message box in the top left hand corner. This box has many uses throughout the game. In the shareware version it constantly reminds you to register, while also giving you tips on how to play. This is also where you see the effects of combat, how many points you hit the monster for, and how many points they hit from you. After killing a monster this is where you see what you loot from them, and it gives you options whether you want to take something or not.
The last two parts of the screen are the least important. In the bottom right of the screen you are shown your attributes, the amount of strength, intelligence, etc, that you have. At the top right you have a menu that tells you the quick keys of the game; and also this allows you to use a mouse during game play. Earlier versions of the game did not support the use of a mouse.
Once you have progressed through the character creation screen, you are unceremoniously dropped into town. The town looks much like the dungeon, completely walled with ladders up and down. The only difference is that the ceiling is sky blue instead of red and green tiled.
There are five different types of businesses in town. Each is represented by a different colored square on the top-down map.
The first is the Moraff Bank (represented by a light red square) which will hold your vast amounts of treasure, convert different coinage to the standard Jewel Piece
(from now on referred to as JP), allow deposits and withdrawals, and it also gives you the option to rob the bank. (When you choose this option a screen appears saying “Do you really think I’d let you rob my own bank?”)
The second business is the Flea Bag Inn
(represented by a dark red square (easy to mistake with the Bank)). For 10 JP you can stay the night, restoring all of your magic points and recovering some of your hit points. The other bonus of staying at the Inn is that it allows you to gain levels if you have acquired enough experience.
There is an armor and weapon shop in town (represented by a blue square), though you will likely find a lot of each in the dungeon. The prices aren’t bad, but taking a sword off of a monster is much cheaper than paying for it. The downside to this store is that you cannot sell anything that you find in the dungeon. In Moraff’s World you either use the item, or you should lose the item.
The Temple (represented by a yellow square) is where low level players can go to buy themselves cures to disease and poisoning, and also to heal their wounds. Higher level players will likely have spells (a few classes, fighters for example, have low magic ability and will need to use the temple) that will accomplish this without having to pay for it. The most important function the temple plays in the later game is that it sells “Raise Dead Contracts
.” When you buy a contract, the temple promises to resurrect you the next time you die. You can only buy one at a time, and the price gets exponentially higher each time you die.
The final ladder in town is the way to leave the city and enter the wilderness (represented by an orange square). This feature does little more then show off the amazing Technicolor world of Moraff. There are no monsters in the Wilderness
; it’s primarily a “sightseeing expedition.” There are 5 continents, each with one dungeon. Each continent’s dungeon has different walls, but otherwise everything is the same (the bank even transfers your money for you).
Combat is simple. If you want to use whatever weapon you have equipped just hit ‘F’ (for Fight). If you want to cast a spell hit ‘C’ (starting to see the logic yet?) and choose the spell you would like to use. To use an item hit ‘I,’ or if you want to run away use the arrow keys. It is probably as simple as any combat system can be.
Spell and Magic system:
Moraff’s World has a very straight forward spell system. There are 120 or so spells which you find spell books for throughout the game. Once you find a spell it is recorded in a menu for easy use. There are four types of spells, permanent, preparation, wizard battle spells, and priest battle spells. Permanent spells effect your body and accessories. You can enchant your various items or put magical defenses around yourself. These spells are permanent (thus the name) and permanently decrease your magic points. They also must be cast in town; the game will not allow them to be cast in the dungeon. Preparation spells have many of the same effects as permanent spells but on a temporary basis. They cannot be cast during combat, though they can be cast in the dungeon. These spells only decrease from your total magic points; these points can be recovered by staying in an inn. Wizard battle spells are cast during a fight; they can zap hit points from a monster or offer quick protection. These spells are similar to preparation spells in that they only temporarily decrease from your bank of magic points. Priest battle spells are very similar to wizard battle spells except they are more defensive in nature.
Most of the monsters in Moraff’s World are laughable to say the least. There are the old standbys of Orcs
, and Dragons
, but there are also some monsters that I have never seen in any other game. One example is probably my favorite monster in the whole game (if you can even call it a monster), and that is the Puffball
. This blob of color
has little to no fighting ability, and can also be more of an ally than a foe. Puffballs have the unique ability to change your attributes. If you hold off fighting them, and instead hit your space bar when you are next to them (the space bar is basically a way for a turn to occur without you moving) they will raise or lower one of your attributes. The secret to harnessing this is that light colored puffballs help you and dark colored ones hurt you. The other two important classes of monsters are the level drainers and the shadow/red dragons. Level drainers are almost self explanatory; whenever they hit you your character will lose one or more levels. With this you lose all experience that you have acquired past your new experience level, plus all of the extra health and spell points. This gets very annoying after awhile, though the level drainers carry vitamin pills that raise your attributes. The shadow (low level bosses) and red (higher level bosses) dragons are tough to beat. They are level drainers and also carry special magic items unique to each dragon. There a set number in the game, 8 in total, and killing them is about as much story line as the game has.
This game was one of my favorites when I was a kid but to this day I still have not beaten Moraff’s World. I have probably devoted weeks of my life playing this game through the years and the Red Dragon King still alludes me. I still pick this game up every once in a while, strengthening my character for his battle royal with the RDK.
Moraff’s World Help File
E2 FAQ: Video Games
Moraff Games Webpage - http://www.moraff.com