Sunday, September 8, 2013

Game 114: The Dragon's Eye (1981)


The Dragon's Eye is one of a group of  proto-RPGs made for the Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET, and other platforms in the early 1980s. I've played a bunch of them since downloading my first non-DOS emulator about a year ago, and while I've held some to a certain level of fondness (e.g., Wilderness Campaign, Dragon Fire), it's not much of a secret why most of them are are ill-remembered today. Nonetheless, it's worth preserving their memories for some of the innovations they offered, few of which made it into the CRPG mainstream.

The game takes place on a single map of 40 areas, separated into seven regions: Fel City, Dark Forest, Lofty Mountains, East Plain, Deep Chasm, Ley Land, and West Plain. The player starts in Fel City and moves from area to area seeking randomly-distributed treasures and fighting monsters. Its basic mechanic--visiting discrete areas, searching for items and encounters--would reappear in Wizard Wars in 1987.

The Seven Provinces

Each treasure acquired and each combat won contributes to the player's overall points. You must return to your origin point in Fel City within 21 days to voluntarily end the game and receive your final score from 0 to 6,000 points, organized on a scale from "Terrible" to "Grand Master." "Winning" the game is about returning with the titular Dragon's Eye as one of the treasures, but you can theoretically achieve a high score without it.

Once again I have to give credit to the fantastic Museum of Computer Adventure Game History for collecting and scanning the 17-page manual for this game, without which I would have been utterly lost. I was a bit lost anyway as to the incomprehensible back story. It's only a single page, but I read it three times and I still don't understand. Something about the Seven Provinces, ruled by a good magician, being threatened by the Evil Necromancer of the Warring Lands, whose amulet, the Dragon's Eye, gives him power over time itself. The idea, I guess, is that the good wizard managed to "freeze," at the cost of his own life, a three-week window of time in which adventurers could repeatedly try to find the Dragon's Eye and thus forfend the coming invasion.

I linked to the manual above because it's worth checking out. It benefits from far better formatting and illustration than the typical game manual of the era (a characteristic of Epyx; they also did a good job with Dunjonquest). It's written with the type of goofy humor that I'd probably decry in an 80-hour epic but don't mind in a one-hour lark. The manual begins with a warning...

It is commonly said that 'they who have not read and followed the Document of Special Instructions regarding the mystical procedures needed to do that which is known in the sacred tongue as !LOADING! are those whose eye cannot see beyond the veil of illusion.'

...and continues in that vein throughout. The keyboard commands are not given as bland actions like "Examine" or "Rest," but rather "Examine the Ethereal Equities" and "Repose in Respiteful Rest." The documentation, as silly as it sometimes reads, is exhaustive, outlining each command and spell and concluding in a little sample of gameplay from  "The Adventures of Willy the Wake."

One of the nice illustrations in the game manual by George Barr.

The game begins with a character name and then a choice of sobriquet like "the Quick," "the Deadly," or "the Strange." There's some suggestion in the manual that the choice of title is something like the choice of a character class in a regular RPG, with consequent effects on combat prowess and spell-casting ability, but if so, this is all invisible during gameplay.

My desire for alliteration overwhelmed other considerations.
 
After the choice of title, you pick from four swords: great sword, thrusting sword, short sword, and scimitar. One thing the manual doesn't explain is the advantages and disadvantages of each, but from trial and error, I determined that these are listed in descending order of how much damage they do, but also of how much strength they sap every time you swing them. You can afford to swing and miss a lot with a scimitar, but not with a great sword.
 
 
The game then gives you a selection of spells. At first, I thought these were based on the chosen title, but I later discovered that they're just random. There are 15 spells in the game. Once you cast them, they're gone for good, but you can find scrolls throughout the map to replenish or supplement them.


After that, it's off to the map, where you want to remember your starting position in Fel City so you can return there at the end.
 
From the moment the game begins, your battle against time is more important than your battle against individual foes. Every action--searching, moving, casting, fighting, resting--takes from several hours to half a day, with actions during inclement weather "costing" more than those made when it's nice. Time even passes when standing still. The essential goal is to move from place to place in the most efficient manner possible, (e)xamining at each location enough times to ensure that you acquire any treasure there, fighting and fleeing from whatever monsters appear, and moving on. If you're feeling invincible in combat, you can switch from normal movement to "bold" movement (or "Broadcasting Brashly the Boldness of your Being," as the manual has it), which increases the speed but also the chance of encounters; "cautious" movement does the opposite.

Many of the spells, though costing time themselves, are meant to tweak aspects of time. "Flying" and "Teleport" move you to other locations without the hours it takes to walk; "Weather" speeds up movement by creating better weather for the day; "Time Travel" resets the clock up to 7 days, but at a huge cost of magic power; "Knowledge" increases the chances of finding treasure on each round (meaning you have to waste time with fewer of them); "Treasure" highlights locations of important treasures; and "Locate Eye" gives you the province in which the Dragon's Eye can be found.

Combat is action-oriented and presented in a side-view, like Crown of Arthain from the same year, but with far more options. You can chop, thrust, smash (a strong overhand stroke), go "berserk" with several attacks in a row, move back and forth a number of steps to increase or decrease the range, "leap" to jump at the enemy and follow with an attack, fire a magic bolt (you only start with 5), fire an arrow (you start with 20), duck or parry, chug a potion, or flee from the battle. In theory, this all sounds great. In practice, it doesn't work perfectly. I found that there was never any obvious link between the choice of chop, thrust, and smash and their chances of hitting or damage, except that you're more likely to miss if you keep doing the same action over and over (this was confirmed by the developer). Ducking and parrying are too hard to time to actually avoid an enemy's attack.
 
 
Throughout combat, you have to watch your three meters: strength (which is basically stamina), health, and "aura" (magic). These can be replenished with vials that you find as random treasure or simply by resting.

If you die, there's a chance the "good magician" will find you and resurrect you at 50% of all of your attributes, but at a cost of a few days of time.
 
Oddly, there are no spells that you can cast in-combat. Instead, there are those that you can cast in preparation for combat. These work best either when you've been moving cautiously and know a particular foe is lurking around the area, or when you've just escaped combat with a foe but want to cast a spell and then take him on again. These include "Killing," which will instantly kill a specific type of creature the next time you meet him, on your first hit; "Protection," a kind of magic shield; "Readiness," which allows you to enter combat quicker. There's a rare spell called "Eradicate" that serves as a parallel to NetHack's "Genocide," killing all creatures of a specific type. Rounding out the spell list are those that replenish attributes: "Cure Self," "Health," and "Strength."

Casting spells is accompanied by a cute animation, after which you're told whether it's successful or not, a determination based on your "aura" plus certain treasures that you may have found.


Including the Eye, there are Ten Treasures of Incalculable Value that you can find scattered among the areas. Each has some effects on the three attributes, combat ability, spellcasting, and other aspects of the game, though the manual is deliberately unspecific about what these effects are, and you can't really tell in-game. A couple of them have negative effects.

Finding some of the Ten Treasures. The Seeking Sword presumably makes you better at combat.

When you find the Dragon's Eye, you immediately enter combat with a dragon. Dragon combats can also occur randomly on the map. They're the toughest foes in the game, and I was never able to defeat one without previously casting the "killing" spell targeted at dragons. Fortunately, you can usually escape from them.

Slain by a dragon before I even got in a blow.

On my fourth or fifth character, I found the Dragon's Eye early and immediately returned it to the location to win the game. I technically "won," but the point total was a bit unsatisfying.
 
 
In subsequent plays, I found that the best strategy was use the "Locate Eye" spell to find the eye first...
 
Looks more like a beehive.
 
...then circle the map methodically to find as many other treasures as possible, escaping from combat wherever I could (treasures are worth more than combat victories in the point total). "Time Travel" helps a lot by giving you more time, though at the cost of essentially never being able to cast another spell (your aura goes too low). Even with these strategies, though, the highest score I was able to achieve was 2,498, having found eight of the ten treasures, including one--"The Serpent's Tooth"--not mentioned in the manual.


A winning game takes significantly less than an hour. In the four hours that I experimented with Dragon's Eye, I fielded eleven characters and won with three of them. I've noticed that a lot of these early RPGs--Dragon's Eye, Dragon Fire, Crown of Arthain, Ali Baba, Fracas, Dungeon Campaign, Wilderness Campaign, Odyssey--were clearly meant to be played in one sitting and to take no more than a couple of hours. Few of the games listed here even offer a "save" feature (Dragon's Eye doesn't). Of the games prior to 1982, only Wizardry seems clearly designed as a lengthy experience. The developer (see below) told me that this was because cassette tapes were "extremely unreliable" for storing save games, and that saving and lengthy adventures only became the paradigm when floppy disks became widely available. Wizardry was one of the first games to use floppies.

Dragon's Eye is notable as the first game from Robert Leyland, and one of the few RPGs produced by Epyx (most famous for their Dunjonquest series) before they abandoned RPGs to concentrate on sports games. Leyland would go on to be a designer on the Star Control series, a and programmer on the ToeJam & Earl series and a host of other games right through the 1990s and 2000s, including Star Wars: Episode I, Madagascar, and Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam. No other RPGs, unfortunately. His most recent credited games are the Skylanders series (2011-2013) from Toys for Bob, where he works as a senior programmer.

I had a chance to exchange some e-mails with Mr. Leyland earlier this week. He's originally from New Zealand and says that he began programming Dragon's Eye while still living there in 1980, on his Commodore PET. (The game was released for the PET, the Atari 8-bit, and the Apple II.) He credits his friend, Bernie De Koven, with the fun manual and confirms that Automated Simulations/Epyx "was really into production values." The first version was called The Magician's Hat (which remains one of the treasures), and it was influenced by several board games, including Magic Realm, which featured a rock-paper-scissors style combat system.

On my GIMLET scale, I give the game a 20, which is a reasonably high score for the era. It suffers from a lack of NPCs, no economy, and no real character development, but it gains from making an attempt to give the world a back story, a decent action combat and magic system, and robust, non-linear, replayable gameplay.

If you're wondering why, in my regression to the 1980s to pick up the non-DOS games I missed on the first pass, I'm playing this instead of any of the games you voted on, it's because I wanted to at least finish all the games through 1981 for the purposes of my forthcoming book. After this one, three of them remain, but I'm having trouble with all of them. The interface for EduWare's Empire I: World Builders seems impossible without the game manual, which I can't find. I can't find a downloadable version of Kaves of Karkhan. And while I've been able to find SwordThrust, I haven't been able to find any of the original adventure modules for it. So this might be the last game of 1981 until I make progress.

For now, it's back to my regular chronology and on to DarkSpyre!


72 comments:

  1. As I looked through the non-DOS games list I noticed that Sundog had no votes. Then I remembered that I didn't vote for it either - a glaring omission on my part, I thought.
    But: Sundog, though part of the list, is not in the survey! Would be a shame for you to miss this incredible game...

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    1. Oh, and if it should make the cut anyhow - play the ST version. :)

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    2. Sundog: A Frozen Legacy was an excellent game. I spent many enjoyable hours playing it on the Atari ST. Is it an RPG? Yes, I think it qualifies. It has an interesting and challenging economic system, two types of combat (personal and ship), exploration, etc. I don't recall it having character stats, but I might be wrong about that.

      Anyway, I recommend it, although I too forgot to vote for it - didn't notice it on the list.

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    3. I remember just staring at the overhead screen of my ship and unable to do anything else with it as I lost my manual (lost after reading it on a bus).

      Old games certainly have a way with making games with interfaces that are extremely non-intuitive.

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    4. I just added it recently when I saw it on Wikipedia's list. It wasn't on MobyGames's list.

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    5. Ah, I suspected as much. I wonder why it isn't listed as a RPG on Moby, since IMO it strongly qualifies (especially according to your rules :) ).

      While that may undermine your poll, I have to reiterate: You need to play this game. Not because it may be great (it is :) ), but because it was ahead of its time in many ways, from the mouse controls (complete with windowing system) to the impressive scale (from space to planet to town to single buildings) and detail.

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    6. @ Kenny - They were staggeringly unintuitive. And yet as a teenager I'd sit there for hours sometimes, trying to completely figure them out.

      I guess part of me HAS adapted to modern gaming. Recently I got a batch of games from the mid to late 90's and found that I'm not willing to put in the effort anymore. Most of those games went straight to the recycle bin after I flailed around in each one for 5-10 minutes.

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    7. @Paul - I read the lore instead of the mechanics when I'm not playing the game. Especially the Gold Box and Ultima series. They really know how to whet your appetite for things to come.

      Sundog had a really good and detailed backstory too. Too bad I can't even figure out how to move. I can move the cursor of my mouse but that's it. It doesn't seem to register any of my key strokes.

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  2. I've found Kaves of Karkhan here:
    ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/games/misc/KavesOfKarkhan.nib
    ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/games/adventure/KAVES_OF_KARKHAN_hr.dsk

    Here somebody talks about cracking the protection of the game. I've no idea of the downloads above are the original or the cracked version.
    http://www.hackzapple.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=46

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    1. The same archive also has a SwordThrust collection:
      ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/games/rpg/misc/swordthrust-all.zip

      There are photographs of some pages of the Empire manuals here, so it still exists in physical form...
      http://boingboing.net/2012/11/12/empire-i-world-builders-19.html

      I did find David Mullich's blog and an interesting interview though
      http://davidmullich.wordpress.com/
      http://tleaves.com/weblog/archives/000431.html

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    2. Thanks, guys. I thought I'd browsed through all of the folders on Asimov, but clearly I missed some. These will help me finish up 1981.

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    3. Chet, I have the manuals for Empire I: World Builders. I should have them scanned for you tonight or tomorrow. As for the game itself, I recall it being interesting and innovative, but also very clunky and buggy.

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    4. Well, after all of that effort, it turns out Kaves of Karkhan isn't an RPG. Not remotely. It's an odd adventure game with randomly-generated puzzles.

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  3. I think these early CRPGs have much more in common with boardgames like The Talisman or Hero Quest than with PnP RPGs. It's a pity thet don't do them anymore, they're much more deadline-friendly than modern stuff ;)

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    1. They do too.

      http://www.talisman-game.com/

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    2. Talisman? I only finished a game of it once, and it took about 6 hours! You can do Catan in like, 45 minutes!

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    3. House rules, my good man. The manual in the revised Talisman board game addressed the problem by giving you several different options to customise the rules. Most of which 1st Edition players were already implementing themselves when we can only run a short game.

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    4. This was second or third edition. No expansion packs. Three players. I have also tried the newest edition and it seemed very similar.

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    5. I dunno really, never played the original Talisman, only its Polish clone "The Magic Sword", and it took about 2-3 hours per session with three players.
      (Also, "deadline-friendly" refered to boardgame-like CRPGs that can be finished at a sitting, not boardgames pers se)

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  4. I love it when CRPG Addict reviews these old games. It's not just the nostalgia for 8-bit games, but I like the aesthetics of them.

    Though I never played Dragon's Eye, I really like how the programmer was able to overcome the early system's environment by coming up with creative ways to make e most from limited resources. I presume that this game was made in BASIC (like most early CRPGs) as it was ported to multiple platforms. The animated gif of the fight with the spider looks awesome

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    1. The Apple II version is indeed written in BASIC - it's rather slow standart floating point variant: "AppleSoft BASIC".
      It uses a few machine language subroutines, though.

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    2. I second the comments on 8 bit games and yes that dragon is a great piece of art. I was expecting something more like Adventure.

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  5. Wow that seems like quite a lot of fun for such an early game :)

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  6. I'm a big fan of compact roguelikes, which this game essentially is. It became a pretty rare design philosophy until the smart phone. 868-HACK is a really good example of the new crop.

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  7. The Skylander games are pretty much action RPGs for kids.

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  8. Just make sure we guide kids accordingly to prevent gaming addiction. :)

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    1. I must have missed that story, who is doing that? It seams like something I would have read on gamepolitics so I am surprised I would miss it.

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    2. And we need a guide for adults as well because DAMN, do I need one.

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    3. I actually wish I could get into more games and not get bored. I miss the days when I could get addicted.

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    4. Yeah... it's strange: I'm still interested in games, I follow a few gaming blogs and I try to stay up to date on the news, but most of the time I have trouble actually getting into games. Even when I do, I rarely have the patience (addiction?) to see them through to the end.

      What's worse, it seems that the only games that I find easy to get into these days are first-person shooters. Probably because most of them are really easy to play in short bursts and they're light on the ol' noggin... and FPSs weren't even among my favourites as a kid!

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    5. For me, I am still addicted to Turn-Based Stategy and RPGs.

      I can't stand FPS and cannot play them for long in one sitting.

      Put me in front of Civ 5 and you'd have to chisel my ass from my seat before I dominate at least a continent for myself.

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    6. For me this shit also happened extremely fast: even last year I can remember myself happily playing Drakensangs and Skyrim, but this year the only game I haven't had trouble getting into was Shadowrun Returns. Any other RPG I've tried (Game of Thrones, Risen, M&M7) I quit after about an hour and never got back to. That's really sad too, because I do need occasional distraction to relax the mind, and other media just don't do this for me as efficiently.

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    7. I think it's the "Just one more turn to see where it would get me" attitude that turn-based games instilled in us. I would liken turn-based games as books and action games as movies.

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    8. I have been getting into FE:LH which is a MOM-like so it has many RPG elements but it isn't a true RPG.

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  9. First, DarkSpyre's storyline (which you can find in scanned manual in link below) continue in Summoning

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Summoning_(video_game)

    Second, item from puzzles you get from same level. BUT there are 1 item "Driftwood" that you need keep from previous levels (or u cant win game). I can remember only this item, not sure if more.

    ---
    Here is scanned Manual (remember to read storyline, you will enjoy it)

    http://www.mocagh.org/miscgame/darkspyre-manual.pdf

    And cluebook if you would need.

    http://www.mocagh.org/miscgame/darkspyre-cluebook.pdf

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    1. These 2 games are so far apart in release dates with such a different interface & visual scheme that I did not know they are in any way related, despite completing both!

      Great info, Anonymous! I mean... myself!

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    2. Huh? From what I remember, they're pretty similar interface-wise, with character sheet sliding from below, and almost identical mechanically. Not to mention that in the very intro it is stated that they're summoning one of the heroes of DarkSpyre.

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    3. There's an intro that made sense in the 90s?! I must have skipped it.

      But seriously, look at the two games...
      http://takegame.com/arcade/pictures/darkspyre.gif

      http://www.myabandonware.com/media/captures/T/the-summoning/the-summoning_3.png

      The only CRPG series I know that made more change than this visually are Ultima, M&M and Wizardy. But it was more in a gradual sense than a sudden leap.

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    4. I dunno, maybe at the time of their original releases the leap from top-down ega to isometric vga was perceived as really striking. But I played all these only in early 2000s, so compared to contemporary stuff they looked quite similar to each other ;)

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    5. Tell me about it.

      I'd sooner believe that Dark Knights of Krynn was a sequel to Pool of Radiance than The Summoning to DarkSpyre by judging on the graphics alone.

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    6. Oh, and uh... I take back the Intro thing only not making any sense in the 90s. Soul Edge (an action game in 1995) changed all that - the granddaddy of all cinematic intros.

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  10. Oh my GLOB. I've been trying to figure out what this game was for years. I just remember an RPG-ish game from my childhood that I played on my friend's Commodore 64 and this is it! I don't think he had the manual for it (since I don't even think it was a legitimate copy), but I had fun for hours on end playing this thing... Thanks so very much for going back to 1981!

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  11. I remember this. Holy s#it, memory lane. It was a simpler time. Going through my stash of floppy disks which were copies of copies of copied....you ended up with a collection of all sorts of stuff that was obscure even back then. Anyone remember the AppleSoft menus named Hello? Hello would be at the top, and below that you'd have games written in basic, text adventures and whatnot and things like Kill Sammy. Awesome blog, and can't thank you enough for the time yo've spent on these pieces of history.

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  12. I'm pretty sure I've got a photocopy of the manual for "Empire I: World Builders" (and maybe for "Empire II: Interstellar Sharks") around here if still needed.

    Let me know before I start looking in boxes.

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    1. Yes! I really need it. If you have a chance to find it and scan it (or mail it), it'll allow me to play the game.

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    2. I've just sent you a scan for Empire I, CRPGA. :) I don't have Interstellar Sharks, though, so that'd be great if odkin could dig that up.

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    3. I really appreciate that, Josh! It's been very rare that I've had to decline to play a game because I couldn't find a manual. I'd hate to have left that as an excuse.

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  13. Thanks for the write-up. I don't think it got nearly as clear a treatment when it was released!

    2498 is a really good score IIRC - I forget what the actual maximum was, as you could cast more than one time travel spell if you found a mana recovery potion.

    One of these day I should dig up the source code printout and figure it out. I still have it in a box in my basement!

    cheers,
    Robert

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    1. It's always great to have original game developers show up on this blog. :)

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    2. If that ever happens on my blog I'll know I'll have made it. It's at least a milestone.

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    3. Robert, thanks for stopping by, and for all of the information you gave me by e-mail. It means a lot to hear the authors' recollections of their games.

      Zenic, it happens on my blog only because I track them down and write to them. I've never heard from anyone who just stumbled upon coverage of their game.

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    4. Unless I brush on my Japanese, this will probably never happen. Also, I'm too embarrassed to invite someone like Brian Fargo to stop by and comment on Swords and Serpents (the first console RPG developed outside of Japan).

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    5. My brother and I played the heck out of this game as kids on our Apple II. Thanks for making it Mr. Leyland and thank you CRPG Addict for writting this up. Great memories. And yeah, gotta love that dragon!

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  14. Are you making a book? awesome. I am definitely looking forward for it. Even if i have not commented in your blog, i have been following it for a long time. You have a future customer here :)

    Manu

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    1. Yep. I don't seem to have enough male readers eager to meet scantily-clad Elven maidens in WarTune, so I needed to come up with an other way to get my wife to Italy.

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    2. If you would toss up an Amazon referral link on the side bar I know I would use that quite a bit more than whatever WarTune is.

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    3. Wartune is a terrible online pay to win game that users sexism to advertise. There target market seems to be 14 year old boys.

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    4. Yes, I have no expectations other than it's awful, judging solely from the ads that appear on this site. My (joking) point is that since ad revenue has done essentially nothing for me, I need another strategy if I want to generate any spending money from my blogging.

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    5. I don't understand the Wartune ad strategy. The ads feature poorly armored women, but then some of them say "For Male Gamers ONLY". So, that says a lot about any of the (non-AI) scantily clad Elven maidens you would meet. Even a teenage boy is going to figure that out pretty quick.

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    6. Someone also noticed the first question in character creation is 'male or female' or something along those lines. .....yeah. Also: Why target young teenagers? They don't have credit cards to use on microtransactions. o.0

      Delete
  15. Sorry for being off-topic here, but...

    Oh my God, they've butchered MobyGames!

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    1. Oh, wow... I haven't been there in a couple weeks. It's really changed. I hope that means updates will be faster.

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    2. It looks more like it was raped, traumatized, took up shooting lessons, did a slutty makeover and came back with a vengeance.

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    3. "I hope that means updates will be faster."

      Doubtful; from what I've seen on the forum pretty much everyone is displeased with it and some long time mods are calling for a boycott of all new submissions and approvals.

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    4. Wasn't Mobygames sold to Gamefly some years ago?

      Either way, the site is almost useless to me now. One example is that you can no longer search for games with CMS support, since you are limited to selecting audio devices immediately available in the dropdown, which is not all of what used to be there.

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    5. Yeah, it was, in 2010 IIRC. Gamefly taking over was the moment it all started going downhill for MG.

      Delete
  16. I used to play "the dragon's eye" all the time, As my hardware progressed I think I might have got rid of the floppy disk because I didn't have a way to read it. My "BASIC" programming teacher used to give us all sorts of games and the assignment was we could have it if we could hack it and copy it.

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    1. Your programming teacher sounds pretty awesome. Probably more kids learned programming by hacking games than reading all the textbooks in the world.

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  17. I spent MANY early morning hours before school playing this game. Some earworm-like bug got in my head today, and I HAD to figure out what old computer game it was that was its origin.

    "You lay dead and rotting in the ditch for 4 days before the Good Magician found you. He will attempt a resurrection."

    What I really remember from this game was the graphics for the spells--these radiating lines of various colors. I specifically remember a teleport spell. I searched high and low for references to this game and was about to lose my mind until I did an image search and somehow got the screen for the sword selection. I had totally forgotten about the character generation portion of the game, but when I saw it, huge blocks of my memory that had been put into cold storage suddenly came flooding back. MAN, that's such a strange sensation, to have a huge portion of one's dead memory suddenly restored.

    The images of the combat system--that arachnid!!, how those moments filled my heart with dread. Reading this post and seeing all the screencaps was a real nostalgia blast. Thanks so much for investing the time to do this.

    In my search today, I went through many lists of old computer games, and what strikes me the most is just HOW MANY games I used to play as a kid in the 80s. Now that I'm a father, I begin to worry about how much screen time my kids have, but I started playing games when I was 5 or 6, and I spent HOURS and HOURS playing CRPGs and text adventures. The way these games captured my imagination was pure magic. I really hope that my kids experience the same kind of wonder in imaginary worlds that I did with all those early games. Something about the verisimilitude of current games removes some imaginary component, I'm afraid. I mean, Fel City, Ley Land, and the Lofty Mtns... for many hours each week, those places were REAL to me.

    Thanks again for delivering all these wonderful memories of the kid that I was; it kind of renews my hope for the fun my kids will have, whether playing sports or engrossed in an imaginary world delivered by a computer. Childhood is bliss.

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  18. This was my favorite game when I got my Atari 800XL back in 1984. I had a friend who worked at Epyx and he got me a whole box of their games for the Atari before I had even bought the computer. So naturally that was the computer I had to buy. lol

    ReplyDelete

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