Dr Lancer-X 
Release Date
Requires MegaZeux 2.83 or newer.
A first-person RPG made in the likeness of the simple FPRPGs of yesteryear like Akalabeth, Lady Sword and Card of Destiny. Approximately 7-8 hours of play time.

Added a map for the infamous floors 4-11, created by Maxim.
Last modified 2012-02-11 06:33:10
Remember that 3D maze in Weirdness? Megazeux has come a long way since then...

& is an RPG in the style of old 3D dungeon crawlers: first person, four directions, and a whole lot of exploring and fighting. All done in Megazeux. It all begins with a tower, where a mysterious force drives you to ascend it all the way to the top...

The visuals are mindblowing. There are no smileys and yellow borders here; the game world is presented with lo-res'ish SMZX graphics, really giving it that old RPG look. The audio doesn't slack either with amazing music and sound effects.

And to top it all off, the gameplay is superb; it's as fun and complex as you'd expect an RPG to be. The combat uses a move system where you use a set of five moves to fight. You can learn new moves along the way, and configure your moveset accordingly. There are vast areas to explore, complex puzzles to solve, and a wide variety of enemies to fight. And amidst all of it is a strange plot that gives this game its symbolic name.

RPG enthusiasts will enjoy the complexity and long length of this amazing MZX game.
Terryn  said:
Last modified 2012-05-21 08:18:07
Lancer just doesn't know when to quit, does he? Thank goodness. After the monumental task of converting Ultima IV to MZX, Lancer decided to do something even more esoteric by actually using MZX to make a lengthy and original game.

This game is patterned after first-person, one-character CRPGs, and as such indirectly after Eastern CRPGs; & is more like the slew of games inspired by Wizardry instead of the games inspired by Gold Box and Ultima. Battles are abundant, loot is abundant, progression is (mostly) linear, maps are absolutely huge. Thankfully, "patterned after" does not mean "a strict emulation of". & is neither really brutal nor banal, and actually has an interesting and somewhat deep battle system. & borrows a bit from the SaGa series; strict character levels do not exist, and stats power up after battle (the amounts of any possible increases depend on the enemy strength). Not only that, but all moves have set use numbers, and must be replenished through either rest or item usage once the uses run dry. Most new moves are learned through encountering them a set number of times (the sole exception is equipment-based moves, which are learned once certain equipment is found), and new items must be found through raiding treasure chests. The main character can rest to recover HP and moves after a certain amount of actions have passed, though there's the risk of being ambushed while sleeping. Saving is possible at any point outside of battle.

The difficulty level, at least on default settings, is very well-balanced. Enemy progression, and thus move progression, keeps to a reasonable curve, though there's the prospect of getting wiped out from encounters with out-of-depth enemies early on, and through traps and trapped chests later on. It leans towards the higher side of difficulty, overall, though much of this is due to the distinct level designs and not the enemy strength. Item conservation, via resting as often as possible, can be crucial, since the amount of items in the game is finite. A suggestion: keep pencil and paper around to take notes. They'll be needed once you hit the convoluted switch puzzles that are all over map 4, the stumbling block of many people playing this game.

Special mention goes towards the final boss battle, which is one of the toughest final boss battles in recent memory. Seriously, if you've invested the 10-12 hours to get this far in & already, do some serious prep before attempting it.

Of note is the opening sequence, which pulls out all of the stops. However, the graphics, overall, are an acquired taste. If you can get over the general low-res aesthetic, they have a definite charm. Some overworld areas look better than others, honestly; at worst, there's one section where it was initially hard for me to tell what was a wall, what was an obstruction and what was a path. Thankfully it's one of the most straightforward areas in the game, and I eventually adjusted, but that was about as bad as it got. Enemy graphics are done by Lachesis, except the times where it's plainly obvious they're not (:D), and do a good job at representing what they're supposed to represent. Although there's a lot of palette swap enemies, there's still good variety, they usually look pretty good, and bosses never repeat. Battle effects do the job, with things like raining fire, particle beams, computer prompts and various slashes coursing across the screen.

The music is what you'd expect from Lancer by now: serviceable, from his distinct pool of Japanese free-use music. The tunes selected definitely fit their given applications, and the sound effects (provided by Maxim and weasel), while not exemplary, are satisfactory.

The game's plot is intriguing, with bits of it expanded upon in various places in the game. Though the game's trappings are mostly generic fantasy, the storyline contains a strong post-apocalyptic and technology-oriented bent. Though the plotline's resolution is clunky (Q/A sessions: probably not the best way to wrap up a plotline), to a degree it can't be helped due to the nature of nearly every plot development prior to this point being through monologue or found journals.

I was hesitant to throw up a review for this game, although it sorely deserved a thorough one. This was partly because Taoyarin, while a really good game for the standards of MegaZeux and worth the rating I gave it, is still something I don't ever feel like replaying. For now, though, I think I'll actually not mind replaying & sometime in the next century. Just... not so soon.

Full marks and a definite approval. At least TRY to play this.