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Albion is a sci-fi/fantasy RPG game developed and released by Blue Byte in 1995 for MS-DOS, published officially in German, French, and English. The game is set in year 2230 on the mining ship Toronto and the planet Albion. The lead protagonist is Tom Driscoll, a human pilot from Toronto, who finds himself stranded on the planet which turns out to be a world teeming with life instead of a barren desert as the data from the probe suggested.

Gameplay

Albion is a classical role-playing game with character progression, turn-oriented combat with melee and ranged weapons and magic. Up to 6 characters in total may be controlled in a party, with a selectable leader and Tom always present. The game features mostly linear story progression in an open-world environment. Certain locations in the game are rendered in a tile-based top down 2D perspective in case of continents or houses, whereas dungeons or cities are rendered in a 3D cell-based perspective and sprites for characters or objects.

Development

Main article: Game development

The development started for Commodore's Amiga some time in 1994, but soon the team switched to MS-DOS due to Commodore becoming bankrupt. Around this time, the name "Albion" was chosen for the game, as it sounded Celtic enough, started with the first letter of the alphabet, and was not longer than the 8 characters limit for filenames under MS-DOS.

Technical information

The game uses the DOS/4GW extender to access extended memory under MS-DOS. The used formats include Extended MIDI (.XMI, played using AIL), raw PCM for sound effects, FLIC for animated sequences in the game, and Smacker for the intro and credits video (played via SMACKER.EXE). Images are stored in either 8-bit indexed raw format with an optional header using the game's palette, or ILBM images with a built-in palette. The color palette consists of 256 24-bit colors, with 192 colors defined by the environment, and 64 fixed colors used for the interface. Almost all resources are stored in proprietary XLD archives without any compression.

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