Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reboot: Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic

I think we covered this last time, but this opening screen seems to tread on a lot of copyrights.

I cannot remember exactly what caused me to bail on Sentinel Worlds after only one posting, but I apparently didn't hate it enough to remove it from my roster entirely. I can barely remember the game (in my mind, I've conflated it with Star Command, which came just after), so I'm going to avoid re-reading my original posting to avoid prejudicing myself. I thus apologize if any of the material in this posting duplicates what I said many months ago

The game takes place in 2996, and humans have colonized several systems of planets. One of them, the Caldorre System, has recently come under attack by bands of raiders who, armed with swift ships and deadly energy weapons, are destroying trading ships but are mysteriously not salvaging the remains. Your party is one of eight that set out on a six-month journey from the Federation Central Base in new "Interceptor-class vessels." Upon arrival in the Caldorre system, your mission is to investigate and neutralize the raiders. The game manual suggests a large amount of freedom in how you do this: you can act as an escort for various transport ships, engage the raiders in battle, and hopefully board their ships, or you can search for intelligence on the various planets. Either way, we apparently cannot depend too much on Central Command. Because of "budget cuts," we will need to earn our own money and buy our own training and equipment.

The crew consists of a pilot, navigator, communications officer, engineer, and medic--just as in Starflight. The game automatically rolls these five positions for you and assigns their names, but you have the option (which of course I exercised) to go in and create party members from scratch. I decided to use the name generator that LordKarnov42 wrote for me in Python last year. Its products do tend to be worthy of sci-fi.

I'm thinking "Masher" is going to be my medic.

Character creation is somewhat limited, though. You can select from only eight portraits--some of which look stupid--you must select attributes within a range of 10-20, and the game automatically determines 2 of the 3 skills that you start with. Based on the manual's description that the comprehension score determines the number of skill points you get on each level, I decided to give everyone the max of 20 in that category and then spread out the others based on how I thought I'd most likely use them. Prompted by the manual, I gave a high charisma to the communications officer and a high dexterity to the medic.

Everybody gets "contact" and "edged" weapons automatically, even though I assume, like in Wasteland and BattleTech, these soon become obsolete.

The skills system seems not unlike that in Wasteland and some of the other CRPGs we've studied, with several combat and noncombat skills. Like Wasteland, I suspect some of them are going to turn out to be useless, but we'll see.

The intrepid crew. Yes, I went with a female captain. I'm progressive that way.

Once you assign your characters and name your ship (mine is the "FSS Storyville"), the game begins by dumping you in the Caldorre System, in the middle of combat, before you've had a chance to adequately check out the controls. It's not terribly difficult combat, though--several other interceptors are on scene--so while I was messing around trying to figure out what I was doing, everyone pretty much just flew away.

Determined to figure out combat, though, I squinted at the screen until I had a decent guess as to which of the little dots represented red ships (enemies) and headed towards them. When I got to them, I had just enough time to wave hello before I blew past them by several parsecs. Reducing thrusters, I turned around and crept back, finally engaging two of the raiders' ships and, with the help of other interceptors in the area, destroyed them. I didn't get any loot from the endeavor--that would have required doing something complicated like knocking out the engines and boarding--but I did seem to get some experience points.

Either there's too much going on on these screens, or I'm just getting too old for this.

My next step was to visit the nearest spaceport, which turned out to be Norjaenn. Here, you can buy fuel, sell minerals, get quests from the Science Foundation to deliver "science missions" (I got a quest to deliver a seismometer to a pair of coordinates). There's a recruitment center to replace dead party members, and while in spaceport you can visit your ship's armory. I'm glad I did, because it turned out I had a bunch of weapons and armor stuffed in there that I didn't know about.

This is the same planet I'm already on, so it ought to be an easy one.

Landing on a nearby planet, I attempted to search for minerals but couldn't find jack. Clearly, I'm missing some strategy here. According to the manual, mine deposits are distinguished from animals in that the former are "light blue" and the latter are "blue." The game is not forgiving to the color blind. After several attempts to mine cows, I gave up and headed for the nearest town. Note how detailed the ATV navigation screen is about the territory you're visiting.

I think cattle have undergone some genetic modifications since the 21st century.

I entered a bar and remembered how much I didn't like the weird combination of top-down and first-person navigation that the screen presents, although I found it a bit more tolerable if I just ignored the first-person part. There were a bunch of farmers in the tavern, mostly complaining about ranchers.

In its quasi-western theme, does this game anticipate Firefly? Or is that a common genre?

Two of the dots were different colors and represented unique people. All of them had a few interesting things to say but cut off their conversation after a few lines, at which point I had to wander around before they would talk to me again. Starflight was like this, too. I don't really see much purpose to it except to waste time.

The crew exchanges a few words with an NPC before she gets sick of them.

My major questions at this point are:

  • Where do I find minerals? (My mistake is probably expecting them to be as plentiful as in Starfllight.)
  • The long-range navigation window shows about four planets in the entire system. Is that all there is?
  • The manual suggests that I can "hack" my ship's various systems to improve them. What would be the disadvantage to doing this?
  • Are the tensions between the ranchers and farmers in this town supposed to resolve to some kind of quest?
  • I've got a couple of weird items in my ship's hold--a "arisian lens" and "holophones." The book doesn't mention anything about them, and I can't find a way to "use" them. What are they for?

I gave them to my doctor, because why not?

I still find the controls horribly non-responsive, and no matter how much I mess with the DOSBox CPU settings, I can't find a good balance with speed. If I set it too high, I whiz by the other ships; if I set it too low, they whiz by me. Perhaps this is intentional, though; after all, I am only Level 1.

I'm at that awkward stage I blogged about last year in which I'm intrigued by the game, but I haven't gotten comfortable enough to really enjoy it. The game has a lot of good features, I can tell, but it feels curiously inaccessible. I can't think of a better way to describe it.

I'm sure you've all noticed that my blogging has slowed a lot lately, which is infuriating to me. E-mails from some of you have suggested that you fear I've entered another funk like the one that drove me to a hiatus at the beginning of the year, but that's not it at all. I want to play games. I'm excited about making progress on this blog. I've just entered a period of a crushing workload accompanied by near non-stop travel.

If you're absolutely jonesing for more information about Sentinel Worlds until I can get out from under this pile, Amy Lunitari has a "let's play" on her YouTube channel, which I plan to watch in full as soon as I finish the game myself.

The crew has a goal.

My plan at this point is to try to make enough money through mining or Science Foundation deliveries that I can buy some decent weaponry. I'm also going to scan the comments from my previous posting on the game for hints, but feel free to offer them here, too.


  1. I've always had trouble with SF crpgs. Medieval games I can get into easy because we sort of have a cultural idea of what "fantasy" means... but there is no real cultural idea of what SF means that can handle everything SF can do. One SF setting has FTL and ray guns- the next has sublight travel and you shoot projectile weapons. I LIKE SF- I just can't do the whole SF game.

  2. I get that, but I don't think it's exactly my problem. It has less to do with the setting than the interface.

    I think perhaps the issue is that this game is so SIMILAR to several others--Starflight in particular--that it feels a bit weird when things don't work the same way.

  3. I believe you should you the Arisian Lens to join the Galactic Patrol and defeat the Eddorians

  4. I've been wondering this a while and don't know if it has already been addressed: Most of these old games are made for displays where pixels are taller than they are wide. (320x200 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio.)

    Do you have a monitor that can display the correct aspect ratio or do you just accept everything being a little squashed? I think this would get annoying, especially getting into more graphically rich games like might & magic 3-5.

    1. It might be possible to correct the problem by messing with the DOSBox config file, which has several resolution & aspect-ratio settings. When I searched DOSBox Forums for "aspect ratio resolution", a lot of posts for handling related problems come up, but I can't tell which ones would be applicable.

    2. CRPG Addict: Do you simply live with this? It's significant enough to affect your assessment of a game's graphics, in my opinion.

      Xyzzy: The problem is, now-a-days, pixels are square. These games are supposed to have rectangular pixels that are slightly taller than they are wide. You can stretch the game window (ideally each rectangular pixel would be 5x6 square pixels if you have a high enough resolution) or you can use an old CRT monitor.

    3. I've simply lived with it because I didn't know it was a problem. The graphics don't look "bad" to me, so I'm not sure how much it's affected my gameplay.

    4. I'm glad you caught my comment. I'm having a blast reading through your old posts.

      Do you have a copy of Betrayal at Krondor? The game has many interface elements, including character portraits, that are circles. At least they are supposed to be circles, but if you play it in a dosbox window, you'll see ovals instead. Its a little like when sports bars started getting fancy wide screen TVs but they didn't have wide screen channels so you got a stretched picture.

      My hope is that as resolutions get higher (see iPad 2), future versions of dosbox will do the necessary scaling by default. If you do it now, you either have to use a stretching algorithm that usually looks even worse, or make the window very large to get pixel-perfect scaling, or of course, get an old CRT.

  5. Wow, thanks so much linking to my channel! That made my day, seriously. :) I'm flattered that you'd watch my whole Let's Play. It was my first, and I fear that it's tremendously boring to watch. Then again, maybe I'm my own worst critic.

    As far as the questions you've asked:

    More minerals can be found in the mountainous regions. Look for gray or brown on the map when you're looking to land.

    Yes, those are all the planets. There is another place to go though, near the end of the game. It's just not a planet. ;)

    By hacking a part of the computer system, you can actually decrease the program's efficiency rather than increase it. The more experienced the officer, the better the chances of a successful hack. I haven't messed with this that much, as there is an event in the game that will increase your computer and armament. I was able to finish the game with hardly any hacking.

    The ranchers and farmers tie in with the whole storyline. There's a big "ah-ha" moment when you find out how. Hopefully you stick it out to see that.

    There are a lot of items that have no function, or at least not that I've found. I just sell them to get money for weapons and armor. ;) As "TheWedge" alluded to above, the Arisian Lens is from the science fiction story, "The Lensman." I'm pretty sure it doesn't do anything in SWFM though.

    Some more tips:

    You can directly change the FPS setting in the main menu of the game. IIRC, I changed it to 6 when tooling around in my spacecraft, and back up to 15 when I was planetside.

    Talk to any non-hostile ship you come across, especially if it doesn't look like the typical freighter or Federation scout ship.

    Good luck to you!

    1. Thanks for all the tips and answers, Amy, and I'm sorry I didn't answer when you first posted. I'll use these a lot as I get back into the game.

    2. No problemo, and I'm glad to be of help!

  6. I haven't played the game before, so I unfortunately can't offer any help... I did want to say, though, that your side comments (mining cows, giving odd items to your doctor "because why not?", etc.) made this one of your more enjoyable posts.

  7. Huzzah! I can't honestly say I would ever find the look of this game while playing it appealing (there IS an aweful lot going on in that screenshot), but it sure is fun to see Arnold, Ian, Sigorney, and Billy again in the sci-fi epic that never was (HaHa!).

    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thought that was Sigourney Weaver

    2. Oh no, you're not the only one. I called that character "Ripley" in my playthrough. ;)

  8. Yeah I think the maker of this game has a love of James Cameron movies. If it had been made after 1997 I would have expected the story involving the ship hiting space ice and a tragic romance surrounding it.

  9. By the looks of those "cattle," it might be a good thing you attempted to mine them, rather than milk them! :)

  10. Glad you picked up SWFM again. One of my all time favs .. but that has more to do with nostagia.

    The game surely is a bit peculiar. Good to see that Ripley is your captain but why is Arnold not in your crew??! ;) But excuse me, I think the avatars don't look stupid at all!

  11. Btw the graphics were drawn by Michael Kosaka, famous for many other games (,179/). I think the avatars resemblance of certain movie actors is a trait of Michael's artistry (but I could be wrong).

  12. I never cared for Sentinel Worlds personally. I haven't played it since the 80s, and never had any desire to pick it up again, but I don't recall the problem. The only thing I DO recall is I named the Schwarzenegger-looking "Al Bebak."

  13. "In its quasi-western theme, does this game anticipate Firefly? Or is that a common genre?"

    The term space opera is derived from the old practice of referring to westerns as horse operas, because many early sci-fi stories were essentially westerns transposed to outer space. Taking the fiction of one frontier and shifting it to the next.

  14. I've compiled the gameplay tips from the last posting for you, so that you don't have to read that post. Some hints about what you were having issues with have slipped through, but mostly I compiled advice about technical issues, along with your responses to it.

    Stuart RueJul 3, 2011 12:44 AM:
    [...] Also, in space combat, once you get close to your target, hit "S" to Shadow their movements. It'll automatically keep you in laser range (assuming you were in range when you started shadowing).

    Acrin1Jul 3, 2011 01:15 AM
    [...] You might be able to modify the speed in DosBox using CTRL+F11 and CTRL+F12 to make the space combat more bearable.

    HelmJul 3, 2011 03:27 AM
    [...] There's an option for game speed in the menu that ameliorates the issue with combat being too fast, but I wish I had known about (S)hadowing.

    There might be more helpful shortcuts and tricks. It seems this is one where we'll have to read the manual thoroughly.

    CRPG Addict Jul 3, 2011 08:29 AM
    I find that the game speed adjusts the overall frame rate, but not the relative differences between your ship and the others. On the other hand, maybe that's just what Level 1 feels like and I need to improve. "(S)hadow" hasn't really worked for me, but the game manual suggests I need to improve maneuverability first.

    The Enraged GeekJul 3, 2011 04:46 PM
    I just loaded the Commodore 64 version to check it out. Sure enough, space combat is slow. Ships move about once a second. It's almost turn-based.
    There's a good chance the DOS version is set too fast.

    saschaJul 3, 2011 08:09 PM
    The space combat is indeed difficult due to a too fast DOSBox CPU but I think it gets easier when skills improve. Hard Nova, the unrelated sequel has this somewhat improved.
    Quest-wise the game indeed throws you into cold water. If you like to take a hint ... gurer'f n lnpug nebhaq gur nern jurer lbh fgneg gur tnzr, fpna sbe vg, nccebnpu vg naq qbpx vg. Gur envqref fubhyq orfg or vtaberq ng gur ortvaavat. [ROT13 applied by compiler --Canageek]

    Canageek Jul 3, 2011 10:37 PM
    ....So the solution is to go into dosbox.conf and fiddle with the [cpu] section?

    Amy K.Jul 4, 2011 02:21 PM
    For anyone who may be interested, I've started a "Let's Play" series on Sentinel Worlds I.
    Click Here. [ --Canageek]
    CRPG Addict, I hope you don't mind my unabashed plug on your blog. I did plug your blog in the first video's description. :)

    ZiadJul 5, 2011 08:39 AM
    Regarding ship combat being too fast in DOSBox I can think of several settings to change.
    First, CPU core. I think Auto tends to try and use Dynamic, which is faster, so maybe setting it to Simple would help.
    Second, cycles, obviously.
    Third, CPU type. DOSBox by default emulates a 486 that supports Pentium commands. Setting this to a 286 for SW might make things slower even without changing the number of cycles.
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks, CG. You're a real bro. I appreciate this and the comment below, and I'll use them a lot as I get back into this game this weekend.

  15. HunterZ Jul 5, 2011 09:20 AM
    core=auto will only use the dynamic core if a 32-bit DOS extender is loaded, which is something that didn't even exist when Sentinel Worlds was released.
    Amy's let's-play videos show that you can pick an in-game FPS value that should make the game speed independent of the DOSBox cycles= setting. It might be worth trying to set a smaller FPS value and seeing what happens.

    Daemin Jul 8, 2011 06:29 AM
    Vgf orra nobhg 25 lrnef fvapr V cynlrq guvf, ohg vs V erpnyy pbeerpgyl, gurer vf n thl ba uvf evpu lnpug jub lbh pna ivfvg sebz gur ortvaavat bs gur tnzr jub jvyy hctenqr lbhe fuvc sbe serr. Gung fubhyq uryc lbh jvgu funqbjvat naq xvyyvat gur envqref.
    V guvax lbh pna sbyybj uvf ornpba va fcnpr gb svaq uvf fuvc naq gura qbp jvgu vg, naq svaq uvz ba gur oevqtr naq gnyx gb uvz?
    [ROT13 applied by compiler --Canageek]

    CRPG Addict Jul 10, 2011 08:42 PM
    Hey, everyone. I got way behind on comments and probably won't catch up on them individually, so let me just say thanks for all the tips about this game. Slowing down the DOSBox CPU rate and messing with the in-game FPS do make the battles slower, but the navigation window is still inexcusably small.
    Amy, thanks for positing your videos! I'll watch them until they start to offer spoilers (or if I decide tos top playing).

  16. Anonymous Aug 23, 2011 09:01 AM
    Maaaan. I remember this game. Ok. Here's the deal.
    If you want to min/max the characters max out Con and Int as they contribute to HP and skills when you level. You can raise the other stats up as you level. The downside to this is you may need to grind a bit to level up and invest in Athletics (allows you to raise stats over +3), gain cash (to pay for raising stats)., to get far. I recall your comm officer needing a high something to talk to people but I can't recall if it was a CHA stat (which would suck) or a communications skill (which would be awesome and easy to raise with a high INT and a few levels).
    In space combat - its all about the move/fire/evade skills of your ships computer. You ship is PAINFULLY slow and under gunned until you have your com specialist hack on the software and get it to higher levels. Luckily this only takes time. Success means the skills go up. Failure means they go down. Without resorting to save/reload tricks you should be able to get them up pretty high. Gurer vf nyfb n fvatyr yhkhel lnpug eha ol fbzr evpu thl jub jvyy tvir lbh n +1 va nyy pbzchgre fxvyyf vs lbh obneq naq gnyx gb uvz. [ROT13 added by compiler, since I did on the earlier post mentioning this --Canageek] Do this once you've hacked your computer skills as high as you can otherwise its a waste. Once the skills are up you can easily outmaneuver and outgun any enemy ship. For optimal cash per raider knock out their engines, board them, head to the armory, take the Tesselator (sells for 600 credits if I recall) and repeat. You should be able to do this (once you're good at it in about 2 mins) making for fast efficient xp and cash grinding if you're into that. Optionally you could just focus on the hull and get (I think) 200 credits for killing each raider and miss out on the XP.
    For skills weapons. Do ONLY guns. Beam weapons are too rare. Melee weapons don't allow your whole party to get in on the action. Only downside is you need to pack LOTS of ammo. Also allows you to focus on a single weapon skill and ignore STR as a stat. Head straight to that farming planet and buy Shotguns and ammo for all.
    Also invest in the Recon skill. It allows you to see where loot is on your map. Very nice.
    Anyhow - explore, level up, kill some raiders. V qba'g xabj jung gur gevttre vf ohg ng fbzr cbvag n qvfgerff ornpba nccrnef ba gur vpr cynarg. Sbyybj vg naq lbh'yy trg oernqpehzof guebhtu gur cybg gvyy gur raq bs gur tnzr. [ROT13 applied by compiler --Canageek] The mid game is excellent but it tries to get all epic toward the end and just ends up kinda silly.
    All in all, a fun game.

    CRPG Addict Aug 26, 2011 08:24 PM
    I appreciate the tips. I'll give them a try when I return to the game.
    [Comment added so you knew that you'd read this before --Canageek]

    Anonymous Mar 23, 2012 07:42 AM
    I finished it when it was new, on PC and as some have said the start and lack of direction is the biggest problem. I restarted several times before the pacing clicked and once the main plot is underway the rave reviews make more sense.
    I certainly remember the priority stat was INT - but went for a more balanced set of weapon skills than just guns. There was something very satisfying about the sound effects for some of the later weapons for one and I remember there being good reason to use them but am vague as to details after all this time.
    The game offers new mechanics and reasons to do certain actions intervals which is one of those reasons it works so well once you realise what these are, but if you don;t[sic] make that connection it can be a really bad grind. Not great design but early days of the art :)

    CRPG AddictMar 23, 2012 07:54 AM
    Anon, I'm glad you commented here, because it made me remember how many gameplay tips people had offered in the comments the first time. As I get started playing this one again, these hints really help. [Dammit, guess you didn't need this --Canageek]

  17. Well, in my eagerness to help I didn't fully read your post, in which I would have seen that you'd already reread the comments at the bottom of your post: I went back to reread your original post first, to compare what you thought then vs. now. Then after reading it I saw all the technical advice in the first couple of posts and thought "Man, I should help him out by editing this and copying it to the new thread. Then I finished reading the new post and say you clearly had. Sorry for cluttering the comment thread.

    I wonder if playing the game in a different graphics mode could help? Are you fully colourblind or Red/green? You could try seeing if the game had a CGA graphics setting, to turn everything pink or something like that...

  18. TheWedge got the reference on the Arisian Lens, if no one else did -- it's one of the magic doohickies from the "Lensman" books by Doc Smith, that let the Designated Good Guys communicate telepathically, fly, and do pretty much whatever the hell they want, by focussing the power of their minds.

    Pretty much the same concept as a Green Lantern power ring, come to think of it.

    No clue what the object does in this game, but if it were ME, I'd keep that Lens on me at all times.

    And watch out for any Eddorians...

  19. Close on the Lens unbeliever64; it wouldn't let the user fly(primarily mental benefits). Primarily the Lens was used as a badge of office- each one was custom made for its owner, and would kill anyone else who tried to wear it. When the owner died, the Lens would dissolve. It allowed the owner to communicate mentally with any intelligent life(and telepathic communication is supposed to be incapable of falsehood). Advanced users could develop extra abilities - detecting lies, read minds, ESP, even kill without a mark.

    The Silver Age Green Lanterns borrowed very heavily from E.E. 'Doc' Smith's works (interstellar patrol of only the best and most moral acting to defeat evil). And the idea of willpower being the driving force behind their power.

    The Lensman books are a fun but very dated Space Opera; they were originally published pre-WWII as magazine serials. There are several nice collected forms out there(I managed to snag at a decent price the leather bound Easton Press editions). The only caveat I'd add is on starting the first one(Triplanetary); the prologues were added for the collected edition and wander very far afield. One edition in the foreward suggested skipping most of them up to the World War II section(which seems to be a minor take that at his old bosses at a munitions company) that is more entertaining on its own.

    Just remember that this was a very different era- purple prose, vacuum tube computers, machine guns as rare and high-tech weapons. And don't expect very fair portrayals of female characters; this is far before any modern notion of gender roles.

    But all of this has nothing to do with the current game. But I like sharing.

  20. This is one game I've fond memories of. I was ~9 yrs old when computer magazine praised it over and over at time, making me to invest (well, at that time involving begging from parents) for C64 disc drive. This followed by weeks of gaming with notion "this must be greatest game ever even if I don't understand a thing" and english not being by native language, had to read through manual and game screens checking nearly every word from dictionary. Doubt that I solved it at first try, but eventually anyway as the learning curve was conquered...

    Despite fond memories, it still had down moments. Travelling across surface on ATV which seemed to break down every ten meter or so was irritating, and spending lots of money from running scientific missions for days to raise some stats to get to clubs at Caldorre and finding out there ain't anything worth of note (IIRC... maybe I just didn't find what's to be found there).

    As a coincidence game across box of old C64 stuff at last autumn when I was cleaning up attic. There was Sentinel Worlds, Space Rogue, Starflight, couple SSI's goldboxes and few articles from System 3. Thought if I'd discard them but didn't have heart to do it.

    Don't have much clues which haven't yet been covered but...
    - Doing scientific missions to Ceyjavik actually pays off because nf lbh riraghnyyl svaq orfg jrncba fubc va tnzr.
    - When boarding pirates IIRC lbh pbhyq znxr fbzr fheeraqre naq vagreebtngr gurz.
    - The final location cebonoyl arire raqf, fb znccvat vf shgvyr. Svaq fbzr bgure jnl gb svaq lbhe jnl nebhaq gurer.

    1. OK, maybe I just forgot where the cipher for these coded messages was posted, but what the heck do these messages say? Why do you guys torment me so?

    2. Giauz, copy and paste the gobbledy-gook into :)

    3. Or get the LeetKey extension for Firefox if you wind up doing it a lot, *cough Trickster's Blog, *cough*

  21. Masher looks like a cross between Clarence Boddiker and Dr. Weir. This does not bode well!

  22. Haha, my name generator thing came up with an actual word! I think I'll pick it up again and work on it some more. I barely remember what the Easter Eggs were. A cat will appear if you shift-click on the screen, and if you move the Avatar (using the arrow keys) over to the Codex symbol and press .. a key I forget (T? G? E?), something happens.

    ~The Artist Formerly Known as LordKarnov42

  23. Back in the day my friend had this game and couldn't get very far in it. He got blown to bits by the Raiders and mulled around aimlessly doing science missions.

    So he gave it to me and I messed around and eventually came across a certain blue npc ship that was a yacht. The game opened up from that point on and I found the pacing and story really neat in the way a 12 year old would.

    I got all the way to the end on my own and I had to call the hint line (lol) to get help on figuring out how to navigate the final dungeon.

    All in all this game is cool and more fun once you know what you're doing.


    1. Someone told me about that yacht last time. I guess my next step is to go find it.

    2. When you first start the game ignore the first raider attack and fly directly towards Norjeann, the yacht will be in the vicinity. It then randomly drifts around the system.

  24. I'm glad you're giving this one another chance. I played it on the C64 when it came out.

    Unfortunately, it is tuned to the old machines to give you the best gaming experience. The only suggestion that comes to mind is to not worry about slowing down DOSBox too much. It's true, space combat runs with 2 FPS on the C64 and it's still a fun game.

    I agree, breaking off conversations is kind of annoying. I wish I could remember whether you need to talk to certain characters again to get vital information. All I can remember is that you will have to pester the ranchers and farmers to resolve their quarrels (yes, it is a quest).

    1. Don't waste time on mining and science missions. Once you know the ropes you don't need them anymore. Try to enter the story - e.g. ranchers and farmers.

  25. "After several attempts to mine cows, I gave up and headed for the nearest town."

    Haha! Did you get any Milk Crystals? =p

  26. i love this game. i bought it when it was released. is there a playable version i can download for windows 7?

  27. Sentinel Worlds was my first RPG game. I enjoyed playing was a new experience for me. Then I discovered the game was like Sentinel Worlds on steriods. It changed my gaming life forever. I consider Starflight (The Flying Dutchman) as the ultimate game of its day. In fact I am still looking for a game that gives you the feeling of freedom and distance that that game gave its players. I tried the new on-line game "Eve"...a bit too complicated for me. Anyway wanted to say that I do have fond memories of Sentinel Worlds and was an excellent game as a starter back in the day.

    1. If you really liked SW, you might want to skip the rest of my postings on the game.

  28. My thoery is that the three heads of the Dragon prophecy will be
    the three dragons fighting each other after killing those
    zombies aka White Walkers and Tyrion Lanniser, Jon Snow and Dany will be sitting on those dragons.

    Where to rent game of thrones season 7


I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) This also includes user names that link to advertising.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters. I will delete comments containing profanity on a case-by-case basis.

3. NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. If you don't want to log in to Google to comment, either a) choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank, or b) sign your anonymous comment with a preferred user name in the text of the comment itself.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

5. Comments on my blog are not a place for slurs against any race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or mental or physical disability. I will delete these on a case-by-case basis depending on my interpretation of what constitutes a "slur."

Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

I will delete any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.