|Gem of Jharmen|
Title screen of Gem of Jharmen.
|Series||Gem of Jharmen|
Gem of Jharmen is a text-based role-playing game made in 2003 for the TI-83 Plus calculator by Gregory McLeod and published by McLeodGaming. It is one of the first role-playing games to be created by Gregory McLeod.
The game had a direct sequel, Gem of Jharmen 2, made the same year. It continued the story of the original game while also expanding on its gameplay mechanics.
The game begins with an unknown voice telling the main protagonist in his sleep that they are the chosen one. He explains that whoever possesses the Gem of Jharmen shall obtain great power, and if evil gains control, then the world will come to an end. He continues that the gem must be taken to the Fier Realm to lock away its power forever, but if it is taken to the Dark Vale, then evil will prevail. He says that he will wait for the protagonist at Char and then leaves.
The protagonist is then woken up in their home town of Nirin by their aunt Mary, who says they have to leave home due to being a warrior. After leaving to Chartoo, the protagonist comes across a villager who directs the protagonist to Char and explains that the village was named after a civil war that destroyed it. He claims that some say the Char town statue is haunted by strange sounds, but warriors have already rid the path of monsters.
After arriving in Char, the protagonist finds the town statue, and the spirit who spoke to them in their dream is revealed as Zalor. He explains how long ago, the ancient tribe in Asther Mountain set off on a journey to new land and ended up in Jharmen. In Jharmen, there is a cave hiding its gem, which some merchants uncovered while exploring, causing monsters to appear that they had to hide the gem from. Zalor also explains that monsters can reproduce, but they will all be wiped out of existence if the first monster is destroyed. He then tells the protagonist to head to Asther Mountain for directions to Jharmen from Derin, and he says he will disable the trap preventing the protagonist from entering.
After arriving at the Asther Entrance, the protagonist comes across a magician guarding it. He makes them play a game where three magic doors appear and they must choose the correct one. After doing so, he lets them pass into Asther, where they find Derin. He gives them a warp pad to take them to Jharmen, which the protagonist then uses. At Jharmen, they enter the cave, where they come across a powerful boss monster, which they manage to defeat.
Zalor then appears and congratulates the protagonist for destroying the boss, who dropped the gem after being destroyed. Zalor says he will take it to the Fier Realm and recommends that the protagonist takes a break for now.
The gameplay of Gem of Jharmen is similar to that of other text-based role-playing games. The player must progress forward through a linear series of battles against monsters, with visits to different residencies in-between. Along the way, the player has to manage their HP that decreases every time they are attacked, as losing all HP will result in the game ending. They also can collect potions, which can be used to refill a small amount of HP, and gold, which is used to buy more potions. The player also has a set amount of experience points, and earning a certain amount of them levels the protagonist up, increasing their attack power and total HP.
Everything is presented with text with very few pictures displayed, and the player progresses by selecting from a list of options on the screen. These options can be selected either by scrolling to them and pressing "Enter" or by pressing the numbered button corresponding to the option. The options themselves are separated into two sections of gameplay, with one being used for visiting locations and the other being used for battling against monsters.
When visiting towns and villages, the player has a variety of options they can perform. Most locations have a shop where they can buy a set amount of potions with the gold acquired from battling, with each town's shop charging a different price from one another. Several locations also have different set pieces that may advance the gameplay or even contain items. Some locations also have a unique resident who speaks to the protagonist, which may either advance the gameplay or simply elaborate on the plot. The player can also check their HP, gold, potion count, experience points, level, and protagonist name in the Status menu. Most notably, the player can save all of their progress (with the exception of the protagonist name) to a file that can be loaded from the main menu. Finally, the protagonist can often leave to the next location.
The main focus of the game is the battling portion, though it is very limited. After leaving certain locations, the protagonist will come across a monster they must fight. The battles themselves are turn-based, in which the player has the option to either attack the monster or use a potion. Attacking will deal a certain amount of damage to the monster, who will then respond with an attack of their own to the player, ending the turn. The damage each attack deals depends on the protagonist's level, as higher levels deal more damage. Dealing enough damage to the monster will defeat it, ending the battle. Using a potion heals a certain amount of HP, and the monster will not respond with an action of their own to this, allowing the player to use as many potions as they choose to before being attacked again.
- A special edition of the game was also released the same year. This updated version adds the ability to save two games at once and takes up a bit more memory.