Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager

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Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager

Dark Sun - Wake of the Ravager Coverart.png

Cover art
Developer(s) Strategic Simulations
Publisher(s) Strategic Simulations
Designer(s) SSI Special Projects Team
Platform(s) MS-DOS
Release 1994
Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations in 1994 for the MS-DOS operating system. It is the sequel to Dark Sun: Shattered Lands . Wake of the Ravager was initially released in two boxed versions: on floppy disk and on CD-ROM, with the latter featuring digitised voice and music (as Red Book CD tracks). It was later re-released in a CD-ROM jewel case form factor, and also as part of the AD&D Masterpiece Collection in 1996. The game was re-released in 2015 on Gog.com with support for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

Strategic Simulations Video game developer

Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI) was a video game developer and publisher with over 100 titles to its credit since its founding in 1979. The company was especially noted for its numerous wargames, its official computer game adaptations of Dungeons & Dragons, and for the groundbreaking Panzer General series.

1994 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country and Sonic & Knuckles.



Wake of the Ravager takes place in the Dungeons & Dragons' campaign setting of Dark Sun, set on a harsh desert world named Athas. The story is a continuation of the events in its predecessor, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands , and take place in or around the city-state of Tyr. The introductory cut scene introduces us to the mysterious Dragon and his general, the Lord Warrior, who are planning the conquest of Tyr. Upon starting the game, the player witnesses an assassination of a woman who turns out to be a member of a secret society known as the Veiled Alliance. The player eventually becomes involved with the Veiled Alliance and their struggles against the Dragon and the Lord Warrior.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> fantasy role-playing board game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

Campaign setting fictional world which serves as a setting for a role-playing game or wargame campaign

A campaign setting is usually a fictional world which serves as a setting for a role-playing game or wargame campaign. A campaign is a series of individual adventures, and a campaign setting is the world in which such adventures and campaigns take place. Usually a campaign setting is designed for a specific game or a specific genre of game. There are numerous campaign settings available both in print and online. In addition to published campaign settings available for purchase, many game masters create their own settings, often referred to as "homebrew" settings or worlds.

Dark Sun Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting

Dark Sun is an original Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) campaign setting set in the fictional, post-apocalyptic desert world of Athas. Dark Sun featured an innovative metaplot, influential art work, dark themes, and a genre-bending take on traditional fantasy role-playing. The product line began with the original Dark Sun Boxed Set released for D&D's 2nd edition in 1991, originally ran until 1996, and was one of TSR's most successful releases.


Wake of the Ravager shares the same engine and gameplay as its predecessor, but with slightly different graphics (most obviously, the use of larger character sprites). The engine uses a top-down view of the world. Players control a party of one to four characters. The game can be started with a pregenerated party, or the player may create their own or import characters from Shattered Lands. As with other Dungeons & Dragons computer titles, combat features prominently in the game play; in the Dark Sun series, combat is turn-based. Like its predecessor, Ravager also incorporates elements unique to the Dark Sun campaign setting, including unique character races (the Mul and the insectoid thri-kreen (Though thri-kreen appear in both Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds )) and extensive use of psionics.

Sprite is a computer graphics term for a two-dimensional bitmap that is integrated into a larger scene, most often in a 2D video game.


In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the thri-kreen, or "mantis warriors", are an insect-like monstrous humanoid race. Thri-kreen are one of the primary player character races of the Dark Sun campaign setting, and have also appeared in the Spelljammer and Forgotten Realms campaign settings, as well as the Dungeons & Dragons v3.5Monster Manual II, the 4.0 Monster Manual 3 and the Monster Manual for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.

<i>Pool of Radiance</i> 1988 video game

Pool of Radiance is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) in 1988. It was the first adaptation of TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy role-playing game for home computers, becoming the first episode in a four-part series of D&D computer adventure games. The other games in the "Gold Box" series used the game engine pioneered in Pool of Radiance, as did later D&D titles such as the Neverwinter Nights online game. Pool of Radiance takes place in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, with the action centered in and around the port city of Phlan.

The game has several bugs, some of which result in a crash, others resulting in the game not winnable. For example, due to game engine limitations, graphics for doorways or items may disappear. [1] Some of these issues were addressed in the 1.02 and 1.1 patches.

Publication history

This game was later included in the 1996 compilation set, the AD&D Masterpiece Collection . [2]

<i>AD&D Masterpiece Collection</i>

The AD&D Masterpiece Collection is a collection of roleplaying games for Microsoft Windows, produced by Mindscape/SSI in 1996.


Review scores
PC Gamer (UK) 60% [3]
PC Gamer (US) 85% [4]
Electronic EntertainmentStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Writing for PC Gamer US , Neil Randall called Wake of the Ravager "a rich and complex title that works from a highly usable interface — the kind of thing roleplayers are always looking for." [4] Al Giovetti of Electronic Entertainment believed that the game "offers well-written, stylish role playing, once you get over some technical hurdles." [5]

In Computer Gaming World , Scorpia wrote that Waker of the Ravager "is a mixed bag, although worth playing if you are a Dark Sun fan and you've waited for the patch or a revised release." [6] PC Gamer UK 's Andy Butcher called the game a "missed opportunity", but he remarked that it was "still fun if you have the patience." [3]

According to GameSpy, "Wake of the Ravager sported enhanced graphics and larger character sprites as well as a number of huge, game-stopping bugs which ensured that for most gamers, The Dragon's lackey still waits to be defeated". [7]

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
  2. Butcher, Andy (January 1996). "Games Reviews". Arcane. Future Publishing (2): 80.
  3. 1 2 Butcher, Andy. "Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager". PC Gamer UK . Archived from the original on May 3, 2002.
  4. 1 2 Randall, Neil (January 1995). "Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager". PC Gamer US . Archived from the original on November 13, 1999.
  5. 1 2 Giovetti, Al (January 1995). "Wake of the Ravager". Electronic Entertainment (13): 84.
  6. Scorpia (December 1994). "The Dark Sun Also Rises". Computer Gaming World (125): 185, 186, 188.
  7. Rausch, Allen (2004-08-17). "A History of D&D Video Games - Part III". Game Spy. Retrieved November 17, 2012.