Once Upon a Time in a Kingdom
You all, of course, played board games as children where you roll the dice and move the chips around. Now there is a similar game on ZX Spectrum / TS-Conf. But in those games, everything depended solely on your luck; here, you have to use your head. Your goal is to be the first to reach the finish line.
Most of the squares you enter require you to make a simple YES/NO decision. Some cells help you move towards your goal, while others slow you down with various negative effects. You also have the option to stop enemies from moving around by giving them a friendly sneaky “trick”. You can develop your character and even get friends who will serve you faithfully. And of course your way will not be an easy walk, because in this world live various unfriendly creatures like dragons and ghouls, with whom you have to engage in battle. Battles are based on the principle of turn-based tactical games. A large bag of magical potions and, of course, a magic book will help you.
The game is impossible to lose, because the bandits do not want your life, they are only interested in your purse. And of course, if you get smacked, some time you will have no time to roll the dice.
This approach to game mechanics is made for one purpose – the game must not torment you with its complexity, it must relax you. You can make a move, think about something, listen to music, have a cup of tea, and then make your move again. There’s no time limits and no need to rush. Eventually everyone will reach the finish line, just someone will be first and someone will be second. And, of course, the game can be played with a large crowd, just like when you were a kid at your grandmother’s house.
Once upon a time in a Kingdom is a universe of goblins and elves, knights and princesses. Therefore, the plot, as it should be for all children’s fairy tales, is banal. Imagine that one noble man wanted very much to marry his young daughter, but here’s the trouble – the princess is pregnant, and, of course, she herself does not know from whom. To quickly find her a husband and hide the shame, her father declares a tournament. Who first passes the test strip – he and the father, and the rest promised incentive prizes and a coupon for a free meal at McDonald’s.
Go for it!
This game is developed specifically for TS-Conf computer (that is compatible with ZX Spectrum, but has some improvements), and can be run on Windows using integrated and pre-configured UnrealSpeccy emulator (everything is included in the downloadable archive).
- Mouse move – control the pointer
- LKM – attack, select
- RKM – cancel selection
- Enter – character information (works on the map and in the battle mode too)
- Space – skip the move
Full Kempston Joystick:
- Cross – move the cursor
- A – cancel action
- B – attack, select
- C – skip the move
- Start – character information (works on the map and in the battle mode too)
We recommend using a standard three-button joystick from the Sega MD1, like this:
It’s an ordinary board game, so the rules are simple and should be familiar to everyone from childhood: you throw the die (throw dice), make the appropriate number of moves. Depending on which square you hit, you make a YES/NO decision, or you get a bonus or penalty.
The goal of the game is to reach the finish line first, ahead of your enemies. Only the winner gets a bag of gold as a reward, the rest are happy with their places and participation in the game.
- Hi-Score – the best result, is saved automatically. Points are only awarded for first place.
- Start the game – starts the game.
- Difficulty – the difficulty of the game. In Hard mode there are more enemies on the map, you get less money for them, and the enemies are stronger.
- Specialty (Yes/No) – the nature of the heroes allows each hero to have their own special characteristics. Abott – becomes strong in attack, Witch – in magic, Giant – skillfully defends, and Dwarf – just a rich man. With mode off, all heroes are the same in functionality.
- Animation (Yes/No) – play the die roll animation.
- RND magic (Yes/No) – all heroes get one random magic at startup.
- Many mana – All heroes get one mana at the end of each turn.
You can also select a hero with the left mouse button or the B button on the joystick and lock it to you with the right mouse button or the A button on the joystick. All settings are saved automatically, except for the selected heroes.
Use [ Throw dice ] to throw a dice.
Below are the characteristics of your hero.
- Gold – The gold you use to pay for all kinds of services.
- Energy – Your energy (life) in battles.
- Attack and Shield – Attack and Shield respectively, the hits are calculated as (Attack – Shield + Random) = Energy left over. The randomness of the hit depends on the strength of these parameters, the higher they are the more likely it is to land a critical hit.
- Magic – is the power of magic. It increases the strength of the spell and the number of moves the spell works.
- Manna – Each spell costs your mana, the ENTER button or the Start button on the joystick allows you to see how much mana each spell costs and also its power.
The empty window in the middle – this can be your helper, by clicking on this window you can set your helper against the one ahead of you. In doing so your opponent will lose a turn. However, you will also lose your helper. On top of that, your sidekick fights your battles and can be upgraded as well. Each time you pick up a sidekick, his power stats increase.
Magic and Bag – actually your magic and your bag of items. Some items increase the hero’s characteristics on their own, some can be used in battle on yourself or your sidekick. Note, however, that some magic is used on the enemy, but some is used on the hero himself.
Playing Field Cells
You can meet these cells on the playing field:
1 – Neutral – normal move.
2 – Bed – hero misses 1 turn, but recovers + 2 energy in his sleep.
3 – Additional turn – roll again, if roll number 1 you get + 5 gold.
4 – Back Arrow – roll cube and go back. Foul square.
5 – Clover – Grants a random bonus.
6 – Scroll – gives random magic, but sometimes some nonsense is written there.
7 – Chest – It can hold useful items.
8 – Beer Glass or Tavern – Here you can drink beer, but you’ll have to pay for it and suffer a hangover for three turns. In hangover mode, the maximum that can be rolled on a die is 3 points.
9 – Gold, adds +10 units.
10 – Doggie – Here comes your trusty friend. The more of these cells you take, the stronger your canine will be.
11 – Old Soldier’s Hut, adds +1 to your attack.
12 – Local Merchant – Will sell you any junk for 20 gold.
13 – Colosseum – Here you’ll be taught how to defend yourself, adds +1 to defence.
14 – Hygeia Temple – for a modest fee the Hygeia will heal your wounds.
15 – Mana Well – Here you may use up some of your mana.
16 – Elder – teaches you sorcery, adds +1 to magic.
17 – Evil Sorcerer, extorts money from you, otherwise he turns you into a donkey. But sometimes it’s even useful, because the donkey isn’t interested in bandits, though he’s really too dumb to use the bonuses. Good thing it’s only for three moves.
18 – The Finishing Box. Reach it first to win the game!
The battle takes place in turn-based mode.
Note that you can use magic or a purse at the same time per turn and still hit your enemy.
Defend – to defend yourself. This can be triggered with the Space key or the C key on the joystick. Allows you to skip your turn. When you skip your turn, the shield is automatically raised by +1 and your mana is also increased. Useful when you want to use magic and you don’t have enough mana to use it, you can buff it up, especially if the opponent can’t penetrate your shield.
Pay Off – pay off. Simply give up the battle, which is equivalent to losing the battle. However, as it is impossible to die in the game, you miss your turn and lose all the gold.
If you win, you take away the enemy’s gold and gain an extra turn. In Hard mode the amount of gold from the enemies is reduced.
Items and Magic
1 – Red Potion, adds +10 energy (must be used on a hero or partner).
2 – Blue Potion, adds +10 mana (must be used on a hero or partner).
3 – Yellow Potion, adds +3 to attack and shield, but you gain poison status and lose 1 energy each turn (must be used on hero or partner).
4 – Flies, adds +3 to attack (must be used on hero or partner).
5 – Magic Sword, adds +2 to attack.
6 – Axe, adds +3 to attack.
7 – Wooden Shield, +2 to defence.
8 – Wrought Iron Shield, +3 to defend.
9 – Fireball, attacks one enemy, requires 2 mana, takes 1 energy, plus your magic power is added to the damage.
10 – Lightningball, attacks all enemies at once, requires 5 mana, takes 3 energy, plus your magic power is added to damage.
11 – Crystal, Crystallizes enemies and they become helpless. Requires 3 mana. Can only be used as many times per turn as your magic power.
12 – Hypnotize, hypnotizes an enemy. Hypnotized enemy can be controlled. Requires 3 mana. Works as many turns as your magic power allows.
13 – Bonfire, the enemy can be set on fire and will lose 1 unit of energy each turn. Requires 3 mana. Works as many turns as the strength of your magic.
14 – Snake and Bowl – Heals your wounds. Require 3 mana. Restores the amount of energy corresponding to your magic power (used on your hero or helper).
15 – Broken Shield, inflicts weakness on your enemy. Requires 4 mana. Each turn, takes 1 unit of shield from enemy unit. Works the number of turns corresponding to the strength of your magic. Very good against tough opponents.
16 – Voodoo Magic, casts a curse on your enemy. Requires 4 mana. Each turn takes 1 attack point away from the enemy. Works only as many turns as your magic’s power. Very good against tough opponents.
17 – Staff of the Sorcerer, gives you +3 to your magic power.
18 – Mana Necklace, gives you +1 mana every turn.
19 – Vial of Dragon’s Blood, increases basic skills by +3, +10 energy, +5 mana (must be used on a hero or partner).
Each enemy has its own peculiarities.
- Spiders – Usually attack in droves. Their weakest enemy in the game.
- Forest Elves can heal their wounds.
- Boar – very strong enemy, often comes in the company of goblins.
- Goblins – stronger than spiders, weaker than elves, like boars and all.
- Ghouls – weak in defense, but strong in attack. Immune to magic.
- Wizard – can fight, but can also fire fire fireballs and take away your mana.
- Crusaders are very strong shrews and often don’t go it alone.
- Stone Giant – Solid armour.
- Dragon – The most dangerous enemy and is immune to magic.
There is a special feature when using magic. If an enemy is already under the influence of magic, no new magic can be cast on it until the old one passes. When hovering your cursor over an enemy, its status will be shown.
- Skull and Bones. Indicates that the character is poisoned and loses energy each turn.
- Crystallized – The enemy is crystallized.
- Enemy is under hypnosis.
- Bonfire – Enemy is on fire.
- Enemy is cursed and loses defence.
- Enemy is cursed and loses hit power.
- Immune to magic.
Coding – Marie Slip
Music – Fatal Snipe, Karbafos
Graphics and animation – Mister Robin, Devstratum, Colorizator, Graf Cherry
Testing – Black Cat
(с) ERA Creative Group
Version 1.1 (15.01.2023)
- Fixed a bug with magic use during battles with sorcerers. If a sorcerer used magic, all possible collisions could happen with your magic, leading to errors in the use of your magic.
- If your magic level is higher than 5, you can cast sorcery on creatures that are magic-proof.
- Healing magic may fail 30% of the time. This is done to maintain balance so that you can’t heal infinitely during a battle.
- Fixed bug with dog running away. The dog could run away from one player and the turn would be lost by the other player.
- Added game version for TFM sound card (not supported in Windows version).