Greyhaven is a fantasy murder mystery RPG published to Big Blue Disk magazine in 1991 (though the game itself was apparently made in 1990) which was a computing magazine solely for DOS games. It wasn't one of the most notable games to ever by published in Big Blue Disk (Like Apogees Kroz series, or ID Software's Catacomb series) But it is the one I remember most fondly from my childhood.
|Legends Of Murder 2 Greyhaven Opening Screen|
|Legends Of Murder 2 Greyhaven OKeys|
Controls are pretty simple keyboard controls arrows and simple keyboard controls (IE G brings up the game menus, S searches/looks etc.). They're pretty standard for a dos game of this type. However, the controls are clunky it's easy to get stuck on things and you sometimes have to search around a stationary object 10 times before you find an item you KNOW is there.
Sounds are nonexistent. I suggest listening to something like Midnight Syndicate to set your own mysterious murder fantasy mood.
|Legends Of Murder 2 Greyhaven Tavern|
Honestly though if you just want to dash through and not read and/or explore this probably isn't the game for you, as it's pretty much the entire game play. When you do investigate you'll notice that things in the town are...a little off. Boarded up businesses, abandoned homes, deserted streets and naturally some unhappy creatures bent on killing you. Eerie! After you've gotten all of your exploring out of the way and hopefully not gotten yourself killed in the process you met up with Baswik the Wizard headmaster for more detailed info on the situation. You adopt the guise of a new apprentice so as not to arouse the suspicions of the other students (and likely murders) and start your investigation.
The entire game is basically you wandering around the map searching for clues, fighting in encounters, leveling up, and reading a lot of text. Without actually going into to everything you do in the game and how you solve the crime, there's not too much to discuss here. Though there are some things for better or worse that set Greyhaven apart from other games from this period.
|Legends Of Murder 2 Greyhaven Telescope|
First you can examine just about everything. Personally this is a big bonus for me. If there's painting on the wall (in this case a couple of blue pixels) I want to know what it looks like, if there's a shelf I want to know whats on it even if it's not useful. However this can get you in to trouble because you figure out the crime pretty organically, you don't take special note of the things that are important (or take notes at all) so actual clues can get a little muddled with random information.
|Legends Of Murder 2 Greyhaven Skeleton Demon|
Third you can only carry a 9 items, this seems like it ought to be enough but it's really not. You find way more stuff than you can carry and have no real way of knowing what you're going to need to hold on to and what you won't and when you drop something it's gone forever. Not being able to pick-up stuff you've dropped is probably the biggest issue with the game play.
|Legends Of Murder 2 Greyhaven|
Third as I said earlier you figure out the crime in an organic manner, the game doesn't hand you anything. This is both awesome and annoying. The clues aren't obvious and unless you have a completely photographic memory of everything you read, examine, say when you walk in a room and/or hear from someone, you're going to have to write some stuff down and sift through it. Even then though it's tough, when I got to the final showdown it was some trial and error for me to guess the name of the killer (which is a necessity). On the other hand, it's nice not to be treated like you're stupid and makes things more of a surprise at the end. Which is way better than other games where blatant clues often tell you the whole story from the beginning.
Once you've gotten all your information and drawn successful conclusions you'll have your necessary items, and can find the killer. Assuming you're strong enough take them out and not only solve a murder, but save a town in the process.
I love Greyhaven, I really do but it does have a few flaws. It's short, I'll say generously an hour of gameplay if you know what you're doing. It's got very limited replay value, encounters only happen in specific areas under specific circumstances and there isn't a lot you can do to alter or change your conversations in any way. Pretty much the only time it's worth playing again is once you've totally forgotten everything that happens. That being said it's really a shame more people haven't played this game. It's really a great game considering the time period and that it was a 1 man effort. If you're a fan of the genre, Greyhaven is definitely a game worth seeking out.
Don't forget to stop by our shop for retro gaming collectibles: