Magic: the Gathering, also referred to as Shandalar, is a computer game written by MicroProse. It was first released in April 1997. This Windows 95 version replaced the previously announced MS-DOS version.
Aside from random duels against the computer using customizable decks, the game features an enhanced campaign mode set on the plane of Shandalar, a deck builder, and a multimedia tutorial. 465 cards were included, taken almost exclusively from Fourth Edition, with a few extremely rare and famous cards from previous sets (Limited Edition and Arabian Nights) thrown in.
- For other uses, see Astral.
Part of the original Magic: The Gathering game is a "semi-expansion" of 12 cards, known as Astral. The Astral cards have their own set symbol (), and incorporate various random attributes that would be difficult or impossible to replicate in real life. While most of these cards exist only within this game, the first 50,000 boxes published contained an oversized version of the card "Aswan Jaguar", which has the MicroProse logo printed between the name and cost.
|1||Aswan Jaguar||Summon Jaguar||When Aswan Jaguar comes into play, choose a random creature type from those in target opponent’s deck.
, : Bury target creature of the chosen type.
|2||Call from the Grave||Sorcery||Put a random creature from a random graveyard into play under your control.
Call from the Grave deals to you an amount of damage equal to that creature's casting cost.
|3||Faerie Dragon||Summon Dragon||Flying.
: Play a random effect.
|4||Goblin Polka Band||Summon Goblin||, , Pay for each target: Tap any number of random target creatures.
Goblins tapped in this way do not untap during their controllers' next untap phases.
|5||Necropolis of Azar||Enchantment||Whenever a non-black creature is put into any graveyard from play, put a husk counter on Necropolis of Azar.
, remove a husk counter from Necropolis of Azar. Put a Spawn of Azar token into play.
Treat this token as a black creature with a random power and toughness, each no less than 1 and no greater than 3, that has swampwalk
(If defending player controls any swamps this creature is unblockable.)
|6||Orcish Catapult||Instant||Randomly distribute X -0/-1 counters among a random number of random target ceratures.|
|7||Power Struggle||Enchantment||During each player's upkeep that player exchanges control of random target artifact, creature or land he or she controls, for control of random target permanent of the same type that a random opponent controls.|
|8||Prismatic Dragon||Summon Dragon||Flying. During your upkeep, Prismatic Dragon becomes a random color permanently. : Prismatic Dragon becomes a random color permanently.||2/3|
|9||Rainbow Knights||Summon Knights||When Rainbow Knights comes into play it gains protection from a random color permanently
: First strike until end of turn. : +0/+0, +1/+0 or +2/+0 until end of turn chosen at random..
|10||Whimsy||Sorcery||Play X random effects.|
|11||Pandora's Box||Artifact||, : Choose a random summon card from all player's decks. For each player, flip a coin.
If the flip ends up head, put a token creature into play and treat it as though an exact copy of the chosen summon card were just played.
|12||Gem Bazaar||Land||When Gem Bazaar comes into play, choose a random color.
: Add to your mana pool one mana of the color last chosen. Then choose a random color.
Expansions and later releases
Spells of the Ancients
In September 1997, an expansion set called Spells of the Ancients was released, which increased the card pool by 92 cards taken from Antiquities. Additionally, it added a sealed deck generator.
Duels of the Planeswalkers
In February 1998, the main game was rereleased in a special edition named Duels of the Planeswalkers. The card pool was increased by 385 cards, incorporating cards from Legends as well as filling in cards not supported in previous releases. Furthermore, it included an option named ManaLink to allow play against other players online.
In August 1999, Hasbro announced its plans to ship a new version of the game, called Gold Edition, in the fall. It would have included play against AI, multiplayer either over LAN or via the Internet, further additional cards from Legends and The Dark, and new features such as sideboarding.
Gold Edition was never released. MicroProse ceased to exist in January 2001.