Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sword of Glass: Addendum (and Vacation Announcement)

Well, I learned my lesson this week about scheduling postings. Knowing that I was going to be on the road for the latter part of the week, I spent most of last Sunday playing Swords of Glass and writing four postings (including my final Starflight reckoning), scheduling them for automatic posting each night, Monday-Thursday.

Then, in a series of great comments, readers noted some errors in my first and second Swords of Glass notes. But because I wasn't technically "around," my subsequent postings got published with no acknowledgment, as if I was just ignoring everyone.

The unseen-by-me "utilities" menu.

For the record, it turns out there was an entire sub-menu to Swords of Glass that I missed. Commands on this menu allow you to:

1. Wait out the effects of paralysis and sleep--I guess. Since readers told me this, I wandered around a bit trying to get paralyzed or slept again, but, wouldn't you know it, there were suddenly no traps. In my belief that paralysis and sleep were akin to permanent death, I was relying on some info from the fan pages I mentioned, but perhaps I misunderstood them.

2. Force a second party member to follow the main character, thus allowing you to bring a healer into the dungeon without having to control the second character on the keyboard. (But you have to split experience with that person so you level up more slowly.)

3. Death is not permanent. When your character dies, a grave stone appears in the dungeon. Another character can buy a resurrection potion and bring it to the dead character. Functionally, this is very difficult because resurrection potions cost a lot of money and you have to survive in the dungeon long enough to read the dead character. Just like in Wizardry, by the time your new character is advanced enough to do this, you might as well just keep playing with him. I suppose there are ways around this by leaving new characters expensive goods in the vault, though.

The second option is pretty advanced for the era, but then so is cooperative multiplayer.

At this point, though, I've already viewed spoilers for the game, and I think I've played my fill of Swords of Glass even if it's a little easier than I thought.

Unfortunately, my attempts to get ahead of the game will not save me for the rest of this month. Hence, the bad news: I will not be posting again until after October 4. I will be on the road for most of this period, and the time that I'm not on the road I'll be satisfying other professional obligations that Starflight had me neglecting. I'm sorry for such a long hiatus, but it's the only way to keep my CRPG addiction from completely ruining my career.

When I get back, I have to figure out the oddity that is Tera: La Cité des Crânes ("the city of skulls"). In the meantime, I hope new visitors enjoy the older postings. Talk to you in the fall!

Only my shaky 10th-grade French is keeping me from skipping on to Wizardry IV.

9 comments:

  1. I'm sure us readers won't begrudge you having to take some time away from the blog.

    With RPG games being quite big in general, I expect it's taken quite a lot of your time to keep us entertained, and it is much appreciated.

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  2. I don't know, I am afraid I have become addicted to CRPG Addict...

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  3. I'm a new reader and absolutely love what you're doing here. As someone who cut their teeth on the Bard's Tale and Wizardry games as a kid, I'm really enjoying reading your take on them as well as learning about new things I've never heard about.

    Slightly bummed you didn't enjoy Autoduel, but coming up soon is another great Origin game by Chuckles: 2400 AD. I spent many hours of my youth figuring out and beating this game, so I'm looking forward to you giving it a shot. Truly one of the great games that seemingly no one has ever heard of in my opinion.

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  4. Yeah, don't ruin your career. I can barely keep up with READING these (plus all the other sites I try to visit), and I can just imagine how much time you must spend at this.

    Lots of fun reading your play-throughs though.

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  5. When do you think you will find time for the next update?

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  6. Just want to say that the concept of this blog is amazing. Good work, and good luck in your future endeavours.

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  7. Brian - thanks! I know nothing about "2400 A.D.", not even that it was an Origin game, so I'll look forward to it more. As for "Autoduel," whether I enjoy a game or not probably has as much to do with my mood on the day I first play it as anything else. That might just have been a bad week. I hate to leave it up to whim like that, but really, with over 1,000 games on the list, what else am I going to do?

    Elzair - tonight! Although it's not my best.

    Ruber - Thanks. I really appreciate the readership.

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  8. For some reason I randomly thought of this game a few minutes ago and decided to do a search just in case someone else remembered it - which turned out to be good timing. I remember getting it in the late '80s or early '90s, probably from one of those companies that used to sell 5 1/4" disks of freeware/shareware by mail order. It was a game of its time, all right - there was no leading the player to fun by the nose. If you wanted fun, you'd have to fight for it! And die a lot. But it had a kind of quirky fascination to it that got me to sink many hours into working out what the hell was going on. I think I made it down to level 5 or 6, where it started to get really nasty, before I finally gave up. Thanks for the post!

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  9. This game shows that interesting ideas can come from unlikely sources. But of course, it's still frustrating for you that you hadn't completely left the graphics of 1980 with this game. Anyway, the game might not even meet your own criteria for including them. It really looks like shareware.

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