Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the second series, episode 4 of 10.
Before there was The Unholy War, before there was Battle Chess, there was Archon! Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly battle it out as the forces of light and dark in a game of chess crossed with stress.
- Archon was a big deal in 1983 and one of the Electronic Arts’ first titles; it’s success led to a sequel the following year
- We’re playing the original Atari 8-bit version on the Altirra emulator
- Archon was developed by Free Fall Associates which was husband-and-wife team Jon Freeman, Anne Westfall together with Paul Reiche III. Freeman and Westfall left Epyx to start Free Fall; Freeman had co-founded Epyx as Automated Simulations in 1978.
- Free Fall Associates were also responsible for a procedurally-generated murder mystery Murder on the Zinderneuf, which was overshadowed by the success of Archon.
- In the sequel, Archon II: Adept, pieces were conjured at will, power points moved and strategy was based on contesting power across different elemental planes. Adept is more innovative, but it has some flaws (I like to single out the Apocalypse spell which is an attempt to skip the war of attrition strategy games can descend into).
- Paul Reiche III went on to found Toys for Bob in 1989 with Fred Ford. Toys for Bob were behind Star Control and Archon-like The Unholy War.
- Closing music is the theme from the 2010 remake, Archon Classic
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