Contents

Chaos Strikes Back Overview

Description

Initially conceived as an expansion set for Dungeon Master (as shown on the boxes that were printed before they changed their mind), Chaos Strikes Back was finally released as a standalone game in the first half of December 1989 on the Atari ST (However, you still need the Dungeon Master manual for the list of magic symbols to cast spells because if was not reproduced in the Chaos Strikes Back manual). It is based on the same engine as Dungeon Master with minimal changes. It features many new item and creature graphics as well as a new dungeon that is much more difficult and non linear than Dungeon Master. It also comes with an additional 'Utility disk' that contains an introduction animation to the game, a Character Editor (to load/save/draw champion portraits, and also import your Dungeon Master champions from a saved game, without their possessions), and a Hint Oracle that loads your saved game and provides help based on the party location in the dungeon (note the Hint Oracle is not available in Japanese versions). Improved portraits of all Dungeon Master champions are also available to replace their older portrait in case you choose to import your Dungeon Master saved game and want to reflect their experience.
The addition of the Hint Oracle was a way for FTL to avoid being overwhelmed by phone calls for hints like they were with Dungeon Master.

Chaos Strikes Back is available on several platforms like Atari ST, Amiga, X68000, PC-9801 and FM-Towns but not PC nor Apple IIGS (Don Jordan, who ported Dungeon Master to the Apple IIGS had left FTL by the time Chaos Strikes Back was released and FTL had no replacement expert to port Chaos Strikes Back to that platform).

Although there is no official port of the game for PC, Paul R. Stevens (prsteven@facstaff.wisc.edu) did that tremendous job based on the Atari ST version, and the result is Chaos Strikes Back for Windows (and Linux, Raspbian, MacOS X, Pocket PC).

I gathered the Chaos Strikes Back reference information you will find on this site by playing with the Amiga version of Chaos Strikes Back, and by using the DMute for PC v1.4 editor.

There was a Gor Coin supplied in the box with some versions of Chaos Strikes Back. An interesting thing to note is that there was a slightly different coin used in Japanese versions. The following image allows for an easy comparison with the Japanese coin on the right:
Chaos Strikes Back - Gor Coins comparison
The face is slightly different on the two coins, and the HH symbol just above 'GOR' is missing on the Japanese coin.
On the other side, the symbol below the text 'Danger Thus Reveals Its Face' is much smaller on the Japanese coin.
[Information supplied by Howard Feldman from Museum of Computer Adventure Game History]

Information posted by FTL on GEnie on Friday Jannuary 5, 1990 about the genesis of Chaos Strikes Back

The genesis of Chaos Strikes Back was as follows. A few weeks after we released DM for the ST in late 87, people began calling saying "just finished DM, when's the next game coming out?". Well, we'd barely recovered from the 2 years it took to design DM, so this was a shock. We were all planning to disappear for a few weeks to go skiing. But, we took the request seriously and began planning a "mini" adventure which would leverage the fact that DM was designed as a "data driven" game. Which means that we can create entirely new scenarios just by changing a data file on the disk.
The original plan was to simply create a new Dungeon data file and keep the same program and graphics. So, we began planning the new scenario. However, as the project progressed we kept dreaming up new ideas to add to it, such as the Champion portrait editor, and the Hint Oracle. Also, our playtesters kept asking "are there any new monsters?" So, finally, we decided to just "bite the bullet" and make it a full new game. CSB was also conceived as a "replayable" adventure using techniques we developed for DM but did not use. The dungeon data file is actually an interpreted program which can intelligently respond to your actions. We discovered that many people enjoyed playing DM over and over, but wanted more variety between each game. So, CSB is an experiment to see how well this idea works. Actually, CSB was a much more complex scenario to plan than DM because there are so many different ways to solve the game.

Since Chaos Strikes back follows in the same fantasy universe as DM I suppose you could call it Dungeon Master II, but we'd like to reserve that title for something we're planning for the future.

Versions comparison

Here are some differences between the versions of the game:

  • Endgame animation: The Amiga and X68000 versions have an endgame animation that is not present in the Atari ST version.
  • X68000: The X68000 version has FM Music.
  • PC-9801: The PC-9801 version also has FM Music (Title, Prison door, Introduction). The color palette is more limited than in other versions: creature graphics use less colors making some of them look strange, and there are only 3 light levels.
  • In the Atari ST version, you cannot drink straight from the water fountains, you have to use a Flask or a Waterskin. In the Amiga version, you just have to click on the fountain to drink.
  • In the Atari ST version, you cannot click on walls. In the Amiga version, real walls will produce some sound while fake walls will be silent.
  • In the Atari ST version, there is no sound when creatures move in the dungeon and when you use War Cry or Blow Horn, unlike in the Amiga version.

Unreleased versions

Macintosh

Chaos Strikes Back was ported to Macintosh but never released.

Dungeon differences between Atari ST and Amiga versions

Here are some differences in the dungeon between the Atari ST and the Amiga versions (thanks to Antman (braceg@actrix.gen.nz) who posted most of them in the forums).
In the Atari ST version:

  • At (04,35,16), a pressure pad opens up the wall at (04,32,16), revealing a lock. If you use Lock Picks, the walls on your left and right sides will also open. There are no opening walls in the Amiga version.
  • At (04,29,19), there is no Magic Map as in the Amiga version.
  • At (04,32,18), there is only one Ven Potion instead of two in the Amiga version.
  • At (04,21,21), there is no scroll. In the Amiga version, there is a magical creature identification scroll which reads the name of the creature in front of you (or "No creature" if there isn't one).
  • At (04,34,28), there is only one Magical Box (Green) instead of two in the Amiga version.
  • At (05,15,01), there is no alcove. In the Amiga version, an alcove here contains a scroll with the magic map spell "Oh Gor Dain".
  • At (05,07,10), there is no alcove. In the Amiga version, an alcove here contains a scroll with the magic map spell "Oh Gor Ros".
  • At (05,21,27), an Iron Key Lock was added in the Amiga version.
  • At (05,25,11), the scroll is a map of your surroundings (look at the map of level 5 and see hint number 29 from the Hint Oracle: the party is standing at the O (05,25,11), the A button will open the A wall, etc.).
    Chaos Strikes Back Screenshot - Scroll at (05,25,11)
    In the Amiga version, it reads "Press westward".
  • At (06,24,23), there is no scroll. In the Amiga version, there is a scroll with the magic map spell "Zo Ir Neta".
  • At (06,10,25), there is an empty Waterskin. In the Amiga version, the waterskin is full, and there is also food (Cheese, Bread, Corn, Apple).
  • At (07,27,07), a wall was added in the Amiga version. It is opened by an also added invisible pressure plate at (07,24,10).
  • At (07,30,10), there is a Iron Key Lock which was removed in the Amiga version.
  • At (07,15,06), there is no Magical Box (Green) unlike in the Amiga version.
  • At (08,10,34), there is a useless shooter (type 14 actuator) in the Atari ST version. This bug was fixed in the Amiga version where instead there is a tiny switch (type 1 actuator) to open the nearby door.
  • At (08,26,28), there is a button on the wall which is not present in the Amiga version.
  • At (08,06,35), the scroll in the chest reads "Grynix ernum quey ki skebow rednim u os dey wefna enocarn aquantana":
    Chaos Strikes Back Screenshot - Scroll at (08,06,35)
    If someone has an explanation about the meaning of this scroll, please post in the forum topic "Quest for the Holy Scroll" topic at dungeon-master.com forums.
    In the Amiga version, this scroll has the magic map spell "Oh Gor Ku".
    According to Bob Retelle who was a consultant for FTL and wrote hint books for both Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back, this scroll is "Another red herring... this was left over from something that was going to be included in the game, but was left out at the last minute... don't worry about it, the scroll can't be decoded..."
  • At (09,21,30), there is an Iron Key, whereas in the Amiga version it is an Onyx Key.
  • At (09,27,13), there is nothing, but in the Amiga version, there is an invisible pressure pad that activates the creature generator at (09,28,18).
  • At (09,31,14), there is an invisible teleporter for creatures only. In the Amiga version, this teleporter was moved to (09,24,11).

Advertisements

Japanese advertisement for Chaos Strikes Back

Japanese advertisement for Chaos Strikes Back
[Supplied by X680x0 repository]

Chaos Strikes Back Advertisement published in Japanese magazine 'Popcom', Vol 9 No 3 01 March 1991, Page 34

Chaos Strikes Back Advertisement published in Japanese magazine 'Popcom', Vol 9 No 3 01 March 1991, Page 34

Chaos Strikes Back Advertisement published in British magazine 'ST Action', Issue #21 January 1990, Page 89

Chaos Strikes Back Advertisement published in British magazine 'ST Action', Issue #21 January 1990, Page 89

Magazine articles

Chaos Strikes Back Article published in British magazine 'ST Action', Issue #23 March 1990, Page 64

Chaos Strikes Back Article published in British magazine 'ST Action', Issue #23 March 1990, Page 64

[Supplied by The Boggit]

Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 114-116, 118, 120, 122, 124

Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 114 Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 115 Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 116 Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 118 Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 120 Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 122 Chaos Strikes Back Article published in French magazine 'Tilt', Issue #83 November 1990, Page 124
[Source: Abandonware Magazines]

Sounds

Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back Sound Effects


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