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Video Game / The Magic Candle

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The Magic Candle is an RPG for Commodore 64, Apple ][, and PC/MS-DOS by Mindcraft, first published in 1989. There was also a Japanese version for the FM Towns.

The demon Dreax is imprisoned by the Magic Candle, a prison constructed by heroes long ago. The candle burns eternally due to the spell of restoration cast by the 44 guardians each year. But the guardians have disappeared and the candle melts! If nothing is done, Dreax will be freed in 1,000 days' time. Lukas and his chosen party of heroes must scour the world for a way to restore the candle.

Two sequels, The Magic Cadle II: The Four and Forty and The Magic Candle III, and an assortment of spinoffs followed (most of them only available on the PC).

This game provides examples of:

  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have (up to) six party members in your group at once. In the first game, the other available characters have to be parked at one of the two royal castles when they aren't in your party.
  • Cast From HP: Spells require "energy" which is sort of like MP, except physical attacks need energy to work, too. The healing spell transfers health and/or stamina from the caster to the target.
  • The Chosen One: Lukas (the party leader in the main trilogy).
  • The Corruption: The Blight in The Magic Candle III.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: As long as at least one party member with enough Sermins (Resurrect is very expensive to cast) and enough memorized copies of the Resurrect spell survives the fight, you can bring everyone back to life.
  • Dialogue Trees: Ask anyone about Name, Job or Rumors, and ask any merchant about "Shop". "Code words" are automatically learned; you can ask NPCs who might know about information related to code words once you've learned them.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Apple II version of the first game had a fatal bug which caused it to crash if you tried to leave the city of Sumruna.
  • The Good King: The king of Deruvia is a decent and noble sort.
  • Healing Potion: Made with various herbs and honey, and so thick that you have to eat it with a spoon instead of drinking it. (This odd little detail has a gameplay reason behind it: the Eat command wouldn't make sense for potions otherwise.)
  • Jack of All Stats: Rangers are decent in every tactical department, and Lukas even has decent Charisma as well.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Sir Rexor is strong, brave, and an all-round great guy; the King would have made him leader of the party, but he felt Lukas would be a better candidate.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Six characters are in your party at any time. You are allowed to make arbitrary subparties as small as one (as many as you like). It's required in some parts of the game, such as narrow passages.
    • The second game revamped the party structure.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: At any given moment, only one person (which, in the timespan of the main trilogy, is the party leader) in the entire world can wield the sword Brennix.
  • Mage Species: Wizards. While outwardly indistinguishable from humans, they have a much greater lifespan and are the most magically capable and martially inept of the remaining races of Deruvia. (Whether they are more magically capable than the Eldens is never revealed.)
  • Magic Mushroom: Several of the consumable buff or restoration items are mushrooms.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Sermin mushrooms restore energy to 100%. Staying awake and walking drain energy slowly. Performing combat actions (attacking, blocking, spellcasting) drains energy quickly. Sleeping is the best way to restore energy outside Sermins. Most players will give Sermins to Wizards so they can memorize spells while the rest of the party sleeps.
  • Status Effects: Poison and disease stop you from recovering Stamina (hit points) and limit your Energy (action points) to 49 (instead of the normal 99). In combat, you can be incapacitated by fear (which still allows you to dodge) or paralysis (which doesn't).
  • Talk to Everyone: To access dungeons, you need a password. To get passwords, you talk to people.
    • To access most houses, you need the name of the occupant. To get the names, you talk to people.
    • The goal of the game is, "Find a way to restore the magic candle." The solution is long and complicated; much of it is information alone (rather than items). You spend the game searching for clues as to the location of the necessary items and information.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Multiple forms of teleportation:
    • The book of Ishban included a Teleport spell which allowed you to travel a Magic-skill-dependent distance across the world map instantaneously, allowing you to bypass enemy patrols.
    • The teleportal chambers/houses used fixed combinations of magic dingbats (simple solid shapes in the first two games of the main trilogy; magically significant bones in the third) that you could buy from travelling merchants, or loot from dungeons, to teleport to specific locations.
    • Some dungeons contained unmarked teleporters on the floor, variously as traps or conveniences.
  • Vancian Magic: A character who has a spellbook (they're expensive; Wizards start with one) and non-zero Magic skill (Elves, Wizards, and a few Humans including the party leader) can "memorize" copies of that spell. When the spell is cast, the copy vanishes, but the next one pops into memory if there is any reserve stock of that spell.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: The sword "Dreadslayer" in The Magic Candle II is, as its name suggests, exceptionally effective against dreadknights.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: The game ends if the party leader dies in combat and you lack the means to resurrect them immediately afterwards.

Alternative Title(s): The Magic Candle II The Four And Forty