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The first game in the series came out in 1992 on Amiga, Atari ST and DOS. It takes place on the island of Kendoria. At the beginning, the player controls a warrior called Aramir, and he must defeat Krogh, an evil sorcerer who has killed lord Jarel. The game takes its name from Krogh's fortress, Ishar, whose name means "unknown" in the game's fictional elf language. In order to achieve this, the player's characters must travel across the whole island and, among other things, meet with the surviving companions of Jarel.
Most of Ishar takes place in an outdoor environment, which was original for computer roleplaying games of the time. It also featured a unique system to change the lineup of player characters: the player can have up to five characters at the same time, but each one will like or dislike his comrades. These preferences come into play when the player tries to recruit or dismiss a character, because the other characters will then vote for or against the recruitment or dismissal. If a character cannot be dismissed by a vote, it is possible for the player to have him assassinated by another character, but there is a risk that other characters will murder the murderer himself, possibly creating a chain of murders that slays the whole party but one.