Currently playing: Nox Archaist

August 24, 2012

Ishar 3 - A quick glance

Ishar 3 was the third and last of the Ishar series and was released in 1994. At that time the hype was all about 3D in RPGs while Ishar 3 still retained its 2D - albeit beautifully drawn - graphics. It was released for PC, Amiga (AGA) and Atari.

Since I´ve just defeated Shandar in Ishar 2 I was a little bit tired of going straight for Ishar 3 but I couldn´t resist at least start it up to see how it was. At least for an hour or so. I also read you could import the surviving characters from Ishar 2 which I did.

So what´s the background ? Well the manual for Ishar 3 is almost as bad as in Ishar 2. In the end there is a chronology of years and what happened. The short story is that Shandar did not really die in the last battle. Somehow he was able to escape - or at least save his soul before his physical body perished. So of course we have to deal with him once again. I will return to the story if I continue playing this game.

I successfully imported my party from Ishar 2. I first inspected my group and they retained everytying except their equipment and gold. Not that it matter much because as I´ve said while reviewing Ishar 2, neither skill points or attribute points increase during level ups. But we keep our levels and therefore vitality points. My highest level characters are level 24 but If I am starting Ishar 3 from scratch, they begin at level 16.

Just to compare I restart the game from scratch without importing my last save from Ishar 2. This time around you really create your own characters by selecting race, class and distribute 62 points to attributes. This is a major improvment and let´s you optimise your party. However, I still choosed to go with my old group for this quick revisit.

You start in a very large city. Probably twice as large as  the city in Ishar 2 and the city graphics is much improved and more detailed. In front of you stands a man. My party approach and he give us the first task. Too see an astronomer and ask him about the great conjunction. Where that astronomer is to be found he doesn´t say. Neither who he is or why I should do it. 

The town graphics looks really nice
I don´t know who he is but he gives us our first task
I begun by walking around the city. You still have the automap and this time it is improved in one important way. After you´ve visited a place it is marked on the map and color-coded. If I where to be playing seriously I would also start to write down each shops inventory and prices as in Ishar 2 but there are people out there that have already done that so I think that If I first discover all shops there are and then use the pre-written lists, it does not count as cheating, right ?

It doesn´t take long before I meet the first thugs and have to fight them to get by. The graphics are identical for the thugs used in the Ishar 2 city. I noticed one important thing during the combat which was pretty hard since we lacked any weapons. My mages have all spells available to them for their 20+ level but after using the spells for the first time they are suddenly removed like if the game designers thought that would make us too powerful and I begun back at the spells the characters originally brought with them. 

I noticed there are fewer bandits in the city than before but they seem stronger (then I read somewhere that they scale with you). Not only do they leave gold and needed experience but they could also hold chests in their dens for you to discover. In that way I soon got 20.000 gold to start with. That maked it possible to equip my group with the first rudimentary weapons. Most equipment and misceallanous things are identical to what was available in Ishar 2.

At one tavern I was approached by a man who asked me to deliver a package for a small sum of money. Positively surprised of being given missions that didn´t exists in Ishar 2, I took the bait and looked for the receiver on the other part of town. He thanked me and gave me some gold. My exploration of the city revealed many shops of exactly the same types as before but a few interesting places at all. They all seemed to be hidden inside the "rich" quarter of town but that part was blocked by guards demanding me to buy a pass for 4.000 gold to enter.

NPC portraits are much improved
After having run around for several hours in the game I still hadn´t found the astronomer and I thought the game was about to become boring. The graphics of NPCs are much improved and you get more elaborate descriptions and texts but this is still too much like a RPG-adventure in which you must use/give/find certain items at certain places or you will run around forever without progressing. The graphics overall is better but the music was a let down. While Ishar 2 featured good music that I enjoyed this game leaves no impression at all on me. 

The map is improved but you can still not make notes
Perhaps I might return later on when having played other games inbetween. For now Shandars ultimate defeat will have to wait. Better games lies ahead on my to-do list....


  1. Do not import chars from any other Ishar as they will be far worse than the ones already to be recruited on the town of Koren Bahnir. They got a HUGE (i really mean it) amount less of health, and maybe more handicaps when you import those characters.

    Creating a party also makes created chars much worse than the ones at your disposal to recruit in town.

    1. Thanks! Who would have thought that !? One should be rewarded for importing a previous successful party (not the least because you have bought the previous game) not punished. I do recall I was surprised at how good statistics the characters at the tavern had but still thought I would be better off having gained more vitality points. It makes me even less interested in returning to the game now.

    2. Ishar 3 is very entertaining, on the level of Ishar 2. Has similarities and differences, don´t miss it if you liked 2.

      But, start anew and be patient to get the characters you want from taverns. It´s really stupid both options, to import and to create, they are useless!!. Stupid were the programmers for putting them on the game so nerfed.

  2. Here is a little hint on money and exp getting, a video i uploaded recently when i played Ishar 3.

  3. :) The game isn't that bad! The stranger who sends you to the astronomer at the beginning says that you should purchase some lime liquor first. The astronomer will be much more friendly if you give him some booze.

    Oh! And your blog is great. I'm devouring your reviews!

  4. dude, the green arrow shows exactly where the astronomer is.