User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 7 out of 20

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  1. Jan 3, 2015
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Played for a few hours. I'll highlight the good and bad points based on my personal opinion of this game.

    Narrative
    - Weak and shallow. From the hours I've played, all I have been doing is going from town to town, castle to castle speaking to its queen or king to get permission to move on to the next region.
    - Not 'punchy' enough, predictable story
    - Family members all over the continent? Doesn't interest me at all one bit.
    +- Play this game only if you like role-playing a dark, immature, silent, brooding guy for a main character.
    + Couple of interesting background stories sometimes.

    Dialogue
    + Every single NPC has something different to say.
    + Once in a while you will get a choice in a conversation which could end with rewards,
    - but dialogue mostly still shallow, loose and basically boring, uninspired stuff that you could skip through.
    +- Once in a while you will meet someone who would talk back or bad to your main guy, causing you or one of your party member to cut him/her down. Like what...? I feel like a kid raging against the world again.

    Art Direction
    + Great job on monster designs.
    + Nice graphic details in game.

    Gameplay
    + Battles are fun, skills make a difference and enemies are challenging.
    + Interesting ideas employed in various parts of gameplay.
    + Hidden items that are fun to find (in barrels, wells, etc),
    - but a lot of them are potions,
    +- and also an elixir in every, and i mean, literally - every - single - well - that I came across in the game. Really..? but yay elixirs.
    - Bosses... they are all humans/humanoids. Every - single - one of them... really mundane.
    + Sensible, good drops from bosses
    + Equipment progression is fun and really does make a difference in your strength,
    - however, time between towns can be really quick and you can upgrade in every town you come to, making equipment bought in the last town obsolete. I feel like I'm playing three minute hero with a 25 hour long story.

    Rating: 5/10

    Personal opinion: What I think the designer of the game has done, is to take some fun, important elements of an RPG and mashed them together.
    e.g. Towns, buying of items, resting in inns
    Castles, treasuries to access for sweet loot
    Boss fights, item progression
    And basically you are just bouncing back and forth between these 'elements' with nothing much of substance in between.
    I do not doubt that these elements combined together does form some sort of fun. However, there is only so much these can do.
    I rate this a poor man's RPG at best.
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  2. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    Now this is a well-made game rpg game! I was initially leery of this game when I bought it off of Amazon recently, but I can say I'm so glad I picked this little gem up!

    Smoothed out hi-res graphics done in the retro style with some amazing HD animations are real easy on the eyes. The music, my god, this game has one of the best soundtracks I've heard in years and also has my new
    Now this is a well-made game rpg game! I was initially leery of this game when I bought it off of Amazon recently, but I can say I'm so glad I picked this little gem up!

    Smoothed out hi-res graphics done in the retro style with some amazing HD animations are real easy on the eyes. The music, my god, this game has one of the best soundtracks I've heard in years and also has my new favorite battle theme as well. Gameplay is solid and nicely-paced, what I really liked was the implementation of a modified ATB battle system that kept combat nice and fresh rather than boring and tedious. What really elevates this game though, is the story, characters, and the writing. The story is absolutely phenomenal, with some plot twists that you'll never see coming. The characters are memorable and the writing is just amazing. I'm definitely hooked on this new series, and I'm looking forward to the sequel!
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  3. Dec 23, 2014
    2
    Well, I started this game expecting good stories because that's pretty much the main thing you would expect from an indie game, since indie games tend to have lackluster graphics, battles, and etc.

    The intro's narrative is meh at best. You, an heir of a kingdom, and your unloving parents(for unexplained reason) have some fallout, and you decide to go to a battle against your father's
    Well, I started this game expecting good stories because that's pretty much the main thing you would expect from an indie game, since indie games tend to have lackluster graphics, battles, and etc.

    The intro's narrative is meh at best. You, an heir of a kingdom, and your unloving parents(for unexplained reason) have some fallout, and you decide to go to a battle against your father's order to lead troops;

    In the battlefield, you have an argument with your father right in front of soldiers a moment before battle. Your father gets mad, and you have an outburst at which point some evil god makes you his enforcer and you slaughter everyone, becoming a dark lord. Over next 10 years you conquer neighbor states and spread fear... except when you actually play next chapter you act like a normal ruler with some hint of cruelty.

    I mean, read what I just wrote. Does it make any sense? The whole situation feels like a cheap skit. Why you have fallout with your parents are not explained. Why your sister wants to flee with you is not explained. Why you want to lead troops and then leave kingdom afterwards is not explained. Berating king in front of his own troops make me facepalm, and DEM god makes me faceroll.

    I've continued to play for a few hours, but the narrative didn't get any stronger and I don't want to play a main character granted some god-power by DEM. I am not playing this game for mediocre story, so I quit at that point. A war breaks out in the early chapter, I'm probably gonna locate the culprit who is some kind of ancient and great evil and vanquish it. Heard that, been there, done that, no thanks.

    I've honestly seen better free RPG maker games in both story and quality-wise. This game's not horrible, but I advise you not to play it unless you are early teens who enjoy this kind of 'badass' flexing his power story. Me? I will pass.
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  4. Feb 16, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Having just bought the game a week ago off of Gamersgate, I truthfully wasn't expecting much considering that I only had to spend $5.95 for the game's Enhanced Edition. Let me first say that I'm a Japanese role-playing game aficionado of a sorts, and that to this day, my favorite games of all-time are still the classics like Final Fantasy 6 and Star Ocean for the SNES. So, I went into this thinking I'd get a Cthulhu Saves the World-type deal just with maybe slightly better graphics (judging from the screenshots I saw). What I found instead, was a hidden gem lying midst the wreckage of Indie role-playing games that truthfully, never held my attention for longer than fifteen minutes (that includes Cthulhu). Let me tell you my experience now, and then maybe that'll help you with a decision about this game. On boot-up, I was greeted with a choice between full-screen and windowed, something that I found refreshing to see. It's not often I get a choice like that unless I'm in the configuration mode of a game, or I have to wait until all the opening credits have past. Anyway, that was a good sign of things to come. Next, came the Kisareth Studios logo with an intro sound that was pretty cool for the company, and then...the title screen. Nice and simple, presented with a classic feel to it, but it was the music that played here that really told me I had just downloaded a quality title. The music from the title screen and onward, is just tremendous. The fact that it's entirely done by indie artists is just insane considering the level of commercial-quality music that was being presented to me. So, after selecting 'New Game', I get my mind ready to delve into the world of Chronicles of a Dark Lord, and wow what a world indeed. My next screens are like from an early PS1 FMV sequence, and I mean that in the best of ways. Mode-7 is definitely present, as you're given a slowly-scrolling look at the continent of Shenandor'ah, which apparently was destroyed by a cataclysmic battle between flesh-bound Dark Gods and a unified army of both Darkness and Light. I imagined that battle in my head, and what I got was Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter and they had a child that tore them both to shreds. If the developer ever were to do a prequel, I'd definitely suggest depicting that conflict in all its brutal glory. So, the story basically is that this calamity happened in ancient times, and Shenandor'ah, similar to our Pangaea I'm guessing, broke apart because of it into two distinct landmasses, the Myri Territories and the Rim Kingdoms. Then the intro goes on to tell us that millenia have past, and the war is all but forgotten. Now here, I thought that the tired cliche' of "but it's going to return isn't it?" was going to happen, but thankfully, I was proven wrong. Instead, we get a prophecy that a Dark Lord will be born under the Black Eclipse, and that this particular Dark Lord will cause war and strife for awhile before saving everyone in a war that goes beyond anyone's imagination. This was where I really started becoming interested in the game's story. A Dark Lord, both a villain AND a savior? I was intrigued, so I continued of course, and found that throughout the course of the game's myriad twists that the overall story was about a different kind of morality and values. I understood that my main character, Magus Drakhen Lee, is a Dark Lord and can kill people on a whim (and does several times in the game). I also understood, by the end of the game, that my character may be very Dark, but that he's not truly evil and even fights against it. Darkness versus pure evil, if you will. There are also quite a few interesting concepts introduced within the game's rich story, like parallel dimensions for one. I hope to see the developer expand on that as the series progresses. The game looks great in terms of what it was going for. The Mode-7 view for Overworld maps was done very well, albeit with some minor lag, and the classic style of jRPG graphics were omnipresent except that there was definitely some upgrades to the resolution. We're talking early PS1 graphics, and not 16-bit textures, especially the battle backdrops which are frankly gorgeous to look at. The gameplay itself was smooth, and the battles were presented in classic ala Final Fantasy side-view with a very solid ATB system in place. I experienced no weird hiccups or glitches whatsoever, a testament to the developer's knack of the classic design formula. All in all, I have to say that Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is a must-buy for any gamer into RPGs, and I don't just mean retro gamers. Considering the low price for such a gem as this, how can you not want to experience it for yourself? Expand
  5. Mar 12, 2012
    9
    This is what a JRPG should be. This is what I remembered growing up with, and to experience a game recently released in this style with its own innovative and epic story is just something you don't come across often. I would consider this game extremely underrated, considering how easily the player is drawn into the game's world and its splendid and addictive story. I experienced somethingThis is what a JRPG should be. This is what I remembered growing up with, and to experience a game recently released in this style with its own innovative and epic story is just something you don't come across often. I would consider this game extremely underrated, considering how easily the player is drawn into the game's world and its splendid and addictive story. I experienced something in this game I have not experienced since Final Fantasy 6...this game brought out my emotions. I actually laughed at some of the very witty dialogue (Xiria Lee is my spot-on favorite), I felt choked up at a particular scene that I won't spoil for anyone, and I event went "hooooooly hell that's f*cken amazing!" during another scene that left me speechless with how amazing it was. The developers are onto something great with this first entry in the series, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing the next entry in the series. For only $5, this was worth every penny and then some. (I went to www.kisarethstudios.com to purchase it for those curious.) Expand
  6. Feb 16, 2012
    9
    I bought this game earlier today, as it looked like an innovative take on the classic RPG formula. I've had the misfortune of playing indie games that just don't live up to what they're supposed to be, and finally, I play a game that not only lives up to what it is but exceeds even my own expectations. Finally! I'm not even getting into the story, not because it's bad quite the contrary,I bought this game earlier today, as it looked like an innovative take on the classic RPG formula. I've had the misfortune of playing indie games that just don't live up to what they're supposed to be, and finally, I play a game that not only lives up to what it is but exceeds even my own expectations. Finally! I'm not even getting into the story, not because it's bad quite the contrary, but because it's so intricate and artfully woven into the dialogue that I'd be doing it a disservice if I tried to summarize it. I'd put this game's storyline on par with a game like Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger. Of course, what also helps this game is the fact that you're not playing as some hero or even the reluctant hero out to save the world, but as a villainous Dark Lord who reluctantly has to save the world by proxy since this purely evil enemy invaded his home soil. I have to say, the character interactions, the dialogue, the narrative, it's all executed wonderfully. Big kudos to the writers at Kisareth Studios, you made an addictive storyline that I just can't get enough of. I'm going to touch on the music now, and it's better than quite a few commercial RPGs out there. Seriously, you'll have to hear it, to believe it. The graphics are updated for a 'retro' game like this, I would liken them to early/mid-level PSX graphics. Sprites are detailed enough and clear to know who's who, and the dungeon mapping is executed extremely well. I'm also a sucker for Mode-7, which is used extensively in the game on the Overworld. Finally, let me be clear about the gameplay. It starts out strong, and stays strong throughout. The ATB battle system works wonderfully here, and I can't get over the fact that the enemy sprites actually (gasp!) move toward you as they attack you. Something I felt was sorely lacking in the Final Fantasy games (specifically IV - VI). My opinion on that is simply, don't blink at me, attack me! Overall, this game is already up there in my favorites, and it's making me wanting for Episode 2 even though I'm only maybe a third of the way through the game. Highly recommended! Expand
  7. Feb 16, 2012
    10
    This game is getting a lot of praise lately, and I was hesitant to try it out until I saw the really low price for it on Gamersgate. So seeing that, it was an easy buy for me, since I'm really into the classics of the SNES era. I'm not going to go in-depth about the game, as I would urge everyone to buy it and play it for themselves, but after trying it out and playing it all day, I feelThis game is getting a lot of praise lately, and I was hesitant to try it out until I saw the really low price for it on Gamersgate. So seeing that, it was an easy buy for me, since I'm really into the classics of the SNES era. I'm not going to go in-depth about the game, as I would urge everyone to buy it and play it for themselves, but after trying it out and playing it all day, I feel like I've been playing a jewel that I can't put down. The story and the writing is out of this world awesome! Haven't played an engrossing game like this in a loooong time! The music is so epic, so adrenaline-pumping, you'll be playing this for hours just to listen to the normal battle theme nevermind the boss battle themes! You'll also notice quite a few nods to other RPGs that inspired this game's creation, I caught a few Final Fantasy, Lunar, and Chrono Trigger influences already. Polished, well-written, beautiful scores, great retro graphics, smooth and classic turn-based battle system, this game is a required buy for any rpg gamer out there. Expand
  8. Feb 15, 2012
    9
    Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is the game that brought me back to the classic, old-school role-playing games of my youth like Final Fantasy IV or Chrono Trigger. Except, there was something definitely different about this nostalgic title...it was better. I'm going to break it down, and tell you why I think Chronicles of a Dark Lord is going to be the doom of FinalChronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is the game that brought me back to the classic, old-school role-playing games of my youth like Final Fantasy IV or Chrono Trigger. Except, there was something definitely different about this nostalgic title...it was better. I'm going to break it down, and tell you why I think Chronicles of a Dark Lord is going to be the doom of Final Fantasy.

    Story

    First of all, the story is addictive from the get-go. For one thing, you're not playing as a teen who's out to save the world, or a sacred Paladin who's off to do battle against an ultimate evil. You're playing as a Dark Lord, and to be quite blunt about it, he's a total badass. Without giving away too many plot spoilers, I'll simply say that the story is rich and complex, full of twists and turns, with fully-realized characters and the writing is simply excellent. I will say this about the story, at one point an event happens that I've never experienced in a JRPG before that is just too amazing to be told here. Gameplay

    Ah...classic Active-Time-Battle (ATB) fighting done right. The controls are very simple and easy to use, either on a keyboard or a PC controller (I used both). Throw in a simple, yet intuitive and sleek menu design and you have yourselves a smooth gameplay experience. What I would suggest for anyone who picks this title up, is to do everything and talk to everyone. This is the kind of game made for those of us who live to explore and find items here and there. You can also pick up a few side-quests as you progress through the game, though they don't detract from the main story arc, if anything they actually enhance it. Kudos to Kisareth Studios for knowing how to make side-quests that actually don't suck. There is grinding to be had in this game, but then it's never too much, usually if you grind for at least one more level than you're at then you're good to go. For a lot of titles grinding feels repetitive, but for some reason in this game it actually feels just...right. Speaking of grinding, this game could never be accused of being too easy. It's not uber-difficult either, but it's got a good difficulty balance all the way through to the end. Chronicles of a Dark Lord does not hold your hand at any point, and I have to say, it's refreshing to see, especially in this day and age of tutorials being thrown at you every five seconds. As for bosses, there is no health bar for them, which again, harkens me back to games like Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI. It's not really a critique, more like an observation. For me personally, I would have liked to have seen health bars on the bosses, but that is my own personal opinion. Audio

    Wow. I seriously didn't expect for a gorgeous soundtrack to come out of my speakers when I booted this bad boy up. Instead of a 16-bit soundtrack, I'm graced with a symphony of extraordinary scores. For a moment, I thought Kisareth Studios had Nobuo Uematsu in their back pocket, but I later find out that their entire soundtrack is all indie artists. My favorite two themes, are one of the boss battle themes, and the final battle theme...just amazing. Graphics

    For a game that's an homage to the classic JRPGs the graphics are definitely not 16-bit, but more like mid-PS1 graphics with some great visuals. The overworld is presented in a Mode-7 type setting, while everything else is an overhead-view. The game's presentation definitely holds up, with some great mapping done especially in dungeons (my personal favorite is the underwater cave). The face art is not too bad, not too great, as I felt that the face art was a bit too bland especially for some of the main characters. One gripe I do have was that I experienced a bit of lag while in the Mode-7 view, and while it doesn't deter from the overall experience, it's something that the developers will have to look at for their next title. Conclusion

    Overall, I think that Kisareth Studios has made a gem here. The nostalgic flavor of the game, combined with some innovative features (killing npcs because they're being d*cks is just fun), and an epic story is well worth the time to pick up and play this highly underrated title. If you're looking to pick it up, it's only $5.95 on Gamersgate (go for the Enhanced Edition) or go to the developer's own website at www.kisarethstudios.com and purchase it there. Definitely looking forward to the next in the series!
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  9. Mar 12, 2012
    9
    After reading a few very favorable reviews of this game online I went and bought this game off of Gamersgate (Enhanced Edition to be specific), and honestly, I thought it would be a decent game and nothing more. I truthfully did not expect this game to become one of my new all-time favorite RPGs. I seriously put this game right up there with such classics as Lunar: Silver Star Story andAfter reading a few very favorable reviews of this game online I went and bought this game off of Gamersgate (Enhanced Edition to be specific), and honestly, I thought it would be a decent game and nothing more. I truthfully did not expect this game to become one of my new all-time favorite RPGs. I seriously put this game right up there with such classics as Lunar: Silver Star Story and Final Fantasy 6. The graphics are retro in design, and done extremely well. Everything is vibrant, and the updated resolution of those retro graphics certainly gives the game more polish, however there's more to it than that. The entire game is just...polished. A lot of heart and soul went into this game to be sure, but what really struck me was the game's style. It felt like a JRPG, it played like a JRPG, but it wasn't really, it was something new, something innovative. The story itself is wonderfully written, and surprisingly deep. As for the music, that is where this game really shines. The soundtrack is rich with great tracks, such as the boss battle themes and several of the dungeon themes. The overworld mapping is very classic, very retro, and beautifully done in Mode 7 view although I did experience some lag for my part. Battles are presented in classic side-view ala Final Fantasy style, and even has a very solid Active-Time Battle System in place (something many other indie RPGs fail to utilize unfortunately). Overall, this game has become one of my new favorites, and I am very much looking forward to Episode 2. Expand
  10. Mar 13, 2012
    10
    Just got this game a few days ago to see what the hubbub was about. Epic story, great retro graphics, awesome soundtrack, solid battle system, and smooth gameplay all brought together to make this game one of my new favorites.
  11. Mar 9, 2012
    3
    I was very disappointed with this game. I've read good reviews about it but the game quite doesn't live up to them. The story is okay at best and the rest isn't quite up to the standards of other games in the same style.
    It's a shame because I think 2D RPG deserve a spot of their own but this game is just not so good.
  12. Mar 30, 2015
    2
    Chronicles of a Dark Lord is a story of (as the bulk of this is right from the intro, there are no real spoilers in this review) a guy who gets mad, kills his father in front of his army, has a sister who wants to flee his parents' empire for some reason, and... then he kind of softens up, yet he still kills townspeople anyway if they do as much as look at him funny. The game's charactersChronicles of a Dark Lord is a story of (as the bulk of this is right from the intro, there are no real spoilers in this review) a guy who gets mad, kills his father in front of his army, has a sister who wants to flee his parents' empire for some reason, and... then he kind of softens up, yet he still kills townspeople anyway if they do as much as look at him funny. The game's characters and motives don't add up, and furthermore, there's a contemporary nihilistic teenage angst vibe flowing through both their designs and dialog.

    You'll spend a lot of time traveling from kingdom to kingdom, warning their empresses that an evil empire is set to invade everybody else on the planet. This makes for heavily redundant gameplay, and the maps don't help--even if the overworld implements Mode 7 somewhat well, the graphics are overly blocky and the towns lack detail. Also, the visuals are really, really dark (perhaps the developers took the name of their game a little too literally), to the point that it will likely bother your eyes.

    The game uses a unique combination of scripts to establish its battle menu, which is Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode I's biggest plus. Problem is that there is much lag in this game, and not natural lag from simply waiting for ATB meters to fill up, but the RPGMaker engine gets overloaded, and you'll be waiting to do things like select an attack, open the main party menu when on the overworld, and wait for parallax fog effects to load (when you enter one town, the parallax effect loads first, so you're seeing sky before you see the town... strange stuff.)

    As for the exact moment I gave up on CoaDL: I got two cheap game overs in a row. One was for incorrectly guessing a password to a treasury, and the other was upon completion of a side quest. Both events triggered battles that sure seemed impossible to beat, so I was expecting the game to continue after I lost. ... It didn't.

    There are some good ideas in CoaDL part one (most of them battle system related, but I also enjoyed the high rate of items searchable in pots, clocks, wells, and other pieces of scenery), but I do believe the reason this game has gotten so many ratings is because of how many free keys, and cheap keys in Steam bundles, were distributed. I want to stress that I do not write negative reviews to diss any creator and his/her hard work, but to encourage re-examination of flaws so that improvement can be fostered. Perhaps a remake of this game is in order.
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No score yet - based on 1 Critic

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 6, 2014
    80
    Overall, Chronicles of a Dark Lord is an exceptional game that is certainly worthy of much more attention.