The Horde – Part 3


I was just starting out in the swamp lands at the end of part 2. These didn’t prove to be much of a challenge all told with enemies usually attacking from the East and all my cows out to the West. Planting trees slowly drains the land which slows all the alligator horde right down allowing plenty of time for me to get my act together when they attack.

I’m starting to make much more use of my powerups during these sections, especially the boots of haste which make me run around much quicker for about 30 seconds. I’ll be using these near enough all the time from here on out. The teleportation ring is also handy for rescuing cows if I’m attacked from the other side.

IMG_20180112_153541 IMG_20180112_153721

After 5 years in the swamps, it’s back to the castle with a whole heap of money. The chancellor is trying to spread a rumour that I’ve got the plague and should be confined to the dungeons. Chauncey points out that the spots are actually red stickers. He then catches the chancellor playing with his dolls before being presented with the deeds to a desert village.

As you may gather, the videos get ever more juvenile as the game goes on. You would think they were aimed at a seriously young audience but the game itself has too much going on for younger kids. They are still fun in these occasional small doses but if the game relied on the FMV for gameplay I would probably grow to hate them.


The desert land proves to be a serious challenge. I can’t do anything on the sand tiles of the map and need to dig out water channels to slowly irrigate the land. I can only dig in already irrigated areas so this is slow going. My village gets repeatedly wiped out in the first year until I realise how useful the spiky traps are. These kill most hordlings if they walk over them and liberally spreading them about the place makes my life a whole lot easier. It has to be said that the defenders you can buy (archers and knights) are near useless by comparison despite being more expensive.

The new hordlings in this realm tunnel around in the sand and knock down buildings instantly. They aren’t too keen on water though.


I spend the first two years losing money while slowly spreading my network of water channels. Eventually I have a big enough are to wall off a huge section and spread out my maximum allotted 30 cows. It took me a while to discover it but the overhead view shown above can be used in both strategy and action sections. The strategy section can be entirely played out like this and I used this increasingly as the game went on. I also discovered by this point that if you spread the cows out the ground doesn’t get overgrazed so I don’t have to move them around at all.

IMG_20180112_175410  IMG_20180112_183509

There was a bit of a side quest on this level where a frog in a tree wants me to feed it. I wasn’t sure what this meant until I spotted a strange icon on the ground some time later which I could dig up and then place by the tree. After several of these, I’m rewarded with a meteor causing trident which I can’t say I ever actually used.

IMG_20180112_185811 IMG_20180112_185900

After 6 years in the swamps, I have a healthy bank balance again. The chancellor is now trying to spread rumours of my death saying that these boxers are the only thing left. Chauncey walks in at this point of course only to be awarded yet more land, this time in the frozen north.


These last levels would be extremely tricky if I wasn’t coming into them with a load of cash. The new enemies here are yeti that take loads of hits to kill, turn any ground they walk on into snow which I can’t build on and roll giant snowballs around destroying buildings in a single hit.

My strategy here is to hunker down and simply survive the 7 years. I have at this point bought a Morningstar powerup which makes me invulnerable for 10 seconds while I’m spinning a giant spiky ball that kills anything in a single hit. This is invaluable for taking out the yeti. By the end of 7 years, I have about 2000 gp left over but return to the king having wiped out the horde…

IMG_20180112_201301 IMG_20180112_201304

… or at least that’s what I thought. The king makes me his heir which infuriates the chancellor so much that he reveals himself at last as a member of the horde.


In a mirror of the introduction, Chauncey chokes him to death with a chicken leg, leaving behind a red pile of goo with eyes

IMG_20180112_201458 IMG_20180112_201506 IMG_20180112_201517

He becomes heir to the realm and lives happily ever after, or at least until the hinted at sequel which never happened.

I’m not going to say it was brilliant but I really liked The Horde. It’s well made with lots of variety in the levels. Each new realm seemed to subvert my strategy from the previous one causing me to have to try something new each time. The presentation was good for the era and the two contrasting styles of gameplay actually worked well together.

The FMV was probably all shot on one location in a day or two but it was amusing enough and added a little incentive to get to the end. I kind of liked the way Chauncey went from bumbling idiot to smug hero over the course of the 5 realms.

The CD-audio music is worthy of a mention and I liked the way the graphics all changed for every realm down to completely new villager sprites, tree types, etc.. I could have done with a little more screen resolution for the overhead view but it’s a limitation of the 3DO. Mouse controls would have been nice as well so the PC version would no doubt have some advantages.

The Horde comes recommended by me. I’ll see what reviews I can dig out for the next post and find out whether the UK gaming press agreed.

6 thoughts on “The Horde – Part 3

  1. I definitely agree with you on this one! I loved The Horde back in 1994 on my 3DO. I just got another FZ-1 and will be replaying it. (I loved my 3DO, BTW, which I bought in 1993, when the MSRP was $699)

    Does the battle music change with new lands, like the build phase music? I watched a video of the PC floppy version recently, and the music (Adlib/SB FM, I presume) of the battle phase of the 1st land was awesome. I couldn’t believe it. Clearly it wasn’t as elegant as the 3DO’s CD quality music, but it was a much more fun, interesting, and catchy score. I wonder how the PC CD version’s soundtrack compared/differed with the PC floppy version’s and 3DO’s. Perhaps you’d be interested in doing a comparison review of the versions in general?

    I was truly shocked, as I actually can’t stand music on most PC games, as I hate the sound of the standard FM driver used in the US, and the scores created by US games musicians, and never even liked their MT-32 or GM scores. I love the music of the Amiga, Atari ST, Atari 800, and C64 games–mostly the British ones. Of course, Tempest 2000 on Jaguar was amazing, too. I’d love to hear the

    BTW, the img links are broken on this article.

    • It’s been a while but I do recall the music changing with each new land. From what I can remember the PC CD version uses CD-Audio as well – it was near identical to the 3DO all round. I’ll take a look at the FM soundtracks when I get the chance. Personally, I love MT-32 and tend not to be so much of a fan of adlib except in a few rare circumstances like Dune. Curious to see how they turned out here.

      The images on this post went missing when my old webserver died and I hadn’t taken a back up in ages. I got nearly all the posts back from the internet archive but the images in this case weren’t saved.

      I’ve removed the anti-spammers plugin for now. It seemed to be conflicting with the Jetpack one so I’ll try just using that and see how I get on.

      I’m curious about that MPEG version you mention below as well. I picked up a Reelmagic card ages back to try to get Return To Zork working on it (among other things) but I couldn’t get any life out of it having tried every set of drivers available on more than one old PC. Not sure if it was a dodgy card or drivers.

  2. I meant to remove that dangling beginning of a sentence near the end.

    Here’s a full gameplay of the floppy version, and the battle music is nowhere near as good as the first land’s:
    Here’s a gameplay of the first land of the PC CD version, and it has the exact same music as the 3DO original version (and Saturn, I think):

    I found photos of the floppy version box, in order to find out what sound cards it supported. It states support for the Gravis Ultrasound, which can be emulated in DOSBox. I’m going to have to set that up to hear that soundtrack. Here’s instructions for GUS setup w/DOSBox:

  3. I had to break my previous comment into 2, due to the spam detector. It wasn’t far off the mark. 😉

    Amazingly, also have an MPEG CD version, which requires an ISA Sigma Designs MPEG card. I didn’t know this version existed. Its FMV looks about as good as the 3DO version, unlike the much-less-then-fullscreen and worse quality FMV of the regular PC CD version.

    Here’s the floppy and CD versions:
    (CD dl is all the way at the bottom of the Files page)
    Here’s the MPEG version:
    Unfortunately, the 1.1 upgrade is missing for the MPEG version.
    There’s videos showing the quality of the FMV of this version on the Videos page.

    I recommend using Chrome for this site, which has a built-in translator.

  4. Got a ‘ReelMagic’ version of this game off of eBay for $30, and with a recent version of DosBox with RM enabled, the game works great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *