Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fallthru: Won!

Getting "HOME!" is my reward. You know, Fallthru, I could have done that at any time by just shutting off the game.

Let's recap because it's been a while: Fallthru is a text-based RPG that features an enormous (perhaps infinite) but mostly empty game world. There are only a few dozen key plot locations, which you find through lore, exploration of road networks, and an artifact called a Weyring. The rest of the "squares" are generic forests, roads, paths, farms, and desert. As you explore, you meet warriors who challenge you to duels, and by defeating them, you increase your "level"--the only character development in the game except for a hidden accuracy statistic that indicates how good you are with a throwing knife or bow. Unfortunately, I capped at Level 76. You also meet wandering civilians who ask for gold, food, or water, and being charitable occasionally nets you a reward, like a gem or a special item. It also keeps your status "honorable," which is a prerequisite for some of the quests.

Exploration is logistically annoying because you have to keep an eye on food, water, and fatigue meters and keep an inventory of food and water. You can only carry so much in your hands, and a lot of the game involves shuffling items between your hands, backpacks, and burros. Hunting creatures that appear in specific zones is a good way to build resources and make money in the early game, but once you're strong enough, fighting warriors has better financial rewards.

Navigation is a bit of a pain, too--not complicated, just boring--although the "Wherstone" (giving you geographic coordinates), the "Flyr" (allowing you to move up to 20 squares at a time), and the "Navaid" (allowing you to navigate thick wilderness areas) all come along at just the right times.

My crude map of the overall game world. Everything is compressed and proportions are a bit off, particularly for the desert, in which locations are much further north. Note that to the north, east, and south, terrain stretches endlessly (or, at least, more than double what's shown here). Click for a larger version.

Fallthru is definitely a text RPG, not a text "adventure." There are no "puzzles" except some light problem-solving that depends on mapping or the right inventory items. These inventory items are primarily keys, necklaces, and rings that occur in bronze, silver, and gold varieties. They open access to various dungeons, some of which offer small navigational puzzles and invariably end up giving you another item that, in turn, gets you into another dungeon. Unlike most standard RPG dungeons, Fallthru's are quite small, generally only have one monster (if any), and typically only have one thing worth retrieving.

There is no information offered about the main character and his quest except a vague goal to get "home." "Home" always appears in quotes, suggesting something else is going on.

When I last posted, I was stuck. I had some clues as to what to do next, but I couldn't find key locations or items, including the castle Morag, a golden amulet, enough rubies (100) to purchase a gold ring (which I needed to get intel from a sage named Prothan), and the password to the Silver Way.

Shortly after posting last, based on a hint from Commenter X, I returned to Thun, took the bronze ring out of my backpack this time, and found a secret passage that led to a treasure trove, including an emerald, which I needed to decipher runes. I just didn't know where any runes were.

I wandered the desert and used the Weyring to find the three oases (a process that took forever) but didn't find anything there except exorbitantly-priced food, water, and oil. I also found a path I'd missed near the cleft in the great cliff. I assumed it would take me to Eyry, where I could find an opal scimitar. But when I tried to explore the paths, I kept falling and dying.


In desperation, I looked for hints online, only to find that there weren't any--at least, not this far into the game. A few message boards covered only earlier puzzles.

I had just typed up a posting titled "Fallthru: Give Up, Turn Off, Drop Out," announcing a hiatus in the game until I could get more hints, when I hit upon the idea of looking for hints in Fallthru: The Mentat Warrior, Paul Deal's novelization of the game, published 13 years later. Using the search feature on my Kindle, I tried PASSWORD and found a passage in which a character obtains the password to the Silver Way from runes on a place called Hi'mtn. The book didn't give the password itself, but this was a crucial location name I'd been lacking, and the INFO command in-game told me that Hi'mtn was in the desert--clearly what I was supposed to be finding around the oases. Unfortunately, the Weyring didn't recognize the name, so it didn't do me any good.

I kept searching, this time for MORAG--a castle I had a lot of lore about. Based on what I found, the book renames the castle to "Mordat," but it still references the "misty domes of Morag," somewhere west of Targ. That was something to work with. I returned to Targ in the southwest, headed west, and eventually found the castle with my Weyring. Searching it produced the golden amulet, an artifact that heals wounds, prevents injury, and makes the wearer immune to poison.

On the way to Targ, I'd talked to a warrior and gotten a bit of lore I previously didn't have: that there was some cave nearby called "Dre'cave," guarded by a "invisible killer." Again using Targ as the origin, I staked off in random directions, using the Weyring to ask WHERE IS DRE'CAVE before I finally found it to the southeast. The "invisible killer" turned out to be poison fumes, but my golden amulet protected me. I descended into the caverns and found a hoard of 100 rubies. That was a relief. I thought I'd have to fight warriors for hours and hours to get enough rubies to buy the gold ring. With the 100 I found, I returned to Triod and bought the gold ring.


At this point, lots of paths had opened up. Figuring the golden amulet would protect against injuries from falling at the Eyry, I returned and found I was right. I climbed to the right cave and got an opal scimitar. I took it back to Or'gn and used it to cleave the chains from the vault, only to find myself slaughtered by the demon Zugg--clearly I was here too soon.

If only it was this easy.

Prothan in Woren knew how to defeat Zugg, and now I had the gold ring I needed to talk with him. I journeyed east to that city and visited his manor. He related that to defeat the demon, I'd need a jeweled talisman from a cave 187 legons east and 203 legons north of "Spectacle," but first I'd need to follow the silver way to Sorf and learn where to find a gold key that opens the cave's gates.

Prothan spells out the endgame.

For a while, I was stuck again, not knowing where to find Hi'mtn and get the password for the Silver Way. I re-checked the lore on the oases, and saw that the entries noted that they were good places for "information," which I hadn't found. Returning to the desert, I re-visited the oases and this time thought to say HELLO in the markets, where the proprietors told me the distance from their oases to Hi'mtn. I journeyed to the convergence of these distances, went up the mountain, and (using the emerald from Thun) read the password to the Silver Way on an obelisk.

Before I remembered to get the emerald out of my pack.

Now I know why it wasn't in the book.

Fortunately, there was also a Silver Way station on the mountain. I entered, used the password, and found myself presented with a variety of numbered options for fast travel, but I'd already been to them all! However, noting that there were some gaps in the numbers, I tried numbers not listed and finally found the way to Sorf.

Sorf ended up consisting of just one room with a "locatrix" that gave me the coordinates to dig in the desert for the gold key. It was only because I had the diamond in hand that it did so; without the diamond, it just gives a bit of doggerel.

Alas, I don't have a loaded gun.

With the gold key, I set out to find the location of the Spectacle. INFO said that it was a waterfall in the Fariver where the highlands transitioned to the rainforest. Crossing the bridge to the south/east side, I worked my way up the river until the rainforest disappeared and I found the "Spectacle" location. Making my way from there to the coordinates given by Prothan, I found a cave called Estcave.

Estcave ended up being a real pain in the neck. Various passages required me to doff all my equipment, so I ended up reloading and just dropping everything but the lamp, the gold amulet, and the gold key at the entrance. A series of downward passages culminated in an area where I had to drop even the lamp before heading down into the darkness and feeling around to find the talisman. With creatures attacking me in the dark, I had to choose random directions until it finally returned me to the chamber with the abandoned lamp. I died and had to reload several times during this process.

A bit of description in Estcave.

The first time I exited the cave, I found that because I had dropped my navaid, I couldn't successfully find my way back to the cave to retrieve my dropped stuff. I had to reload an earlier save (thankfully, I'd been backing them up), journey all the way to the cave again, this time keep my navaid with me, and repeat the whole process. At last, however, I emerged with the last item I needed before the endgame. I just had to make the long trek back to Or'gn (with the all-too-frequent stops for food, water, and rest).

Back in Or'gn, I healed, saved, struck the chains off the vault, and plunged in. The battle with the demon Zugg was quite long and I had to reload once when he killed me. It took maybe 25-30 entries of FIGHT before I finally got the best of him. (Like all enemies in the game, I didn't kill him; he just fled when his health got too low.)

And after I leave, he presumably vacates his little corner and slaughters the entire population of Or'gn.

With the demon out of the way, I triumphantly stepped up to the raised platform, entered a spinning golden vortex, and . . . got a simple message that said, "you are, at last, HOME!" No explanation for the game world, where I was, why I was there, or anything else whatsoever.

That's not cool, Paul. After 26 hours, you needed to provide a bigger payoff.

(Looking for more answers, I read the last few pages of the book. Like the game, it ends at the vault, but instead of going "home," the characters get transported to yet another world. Reflecting on their adventures, they determine that they were probably dead all along, and their consciousnesses are stuck in a virtual reality overseen by the "Mentat master" from Faland. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger as they decide to start exploring their new reality.)

So a very unsatisfying ending to an interesting but flawed game. Looking back on what happened during this last session, it strikes me that the crucial piece of information I lacked was the general location of Morag castle. As soon as I found that, everything else opened up. I suspect it was part of the lore bank and I just missed it. Either that, or the game really expected you to wander around typing WHERE IS MORAG in random locations until you happened to wander within 100 squares of it.

For the record, the range of X coordinates with anything useful in them went from 0 to 1188, and the range of Y coordinates went from 85 to 1213, giving us 1189 x 1129, or 1,342,381 squares/screen/pixels/whatever in the "active" game world. I pushed the borders for a couple thousand squares beyond that and never found the northern, eastern, or southern borders (to the south, the coordinates happily went into the negative numbers), so my hypothesis is that the game just keeps generating new coordinates indefinitely (or, at least, up to some never-reachable maximum). 

There were a couple of bits of lore that never resolved into anything, including a note that the "Golden Way runs through Sorf" (just the Silver Way was there; the only Golden Way was the portal at the very end, in Or'gn), a sign that pointed to "Sturk Beach" but never delivered anything, and a note that there were ruins in the mesas to the northwest, where I never found anything. If I missed anything there, it wasn't crucial to winning the game.

Final thoughts, and the GIMLET, coming soon.

52 comments:

  1. Nice work!

    It seems like you could have comfortably replicated the map on a 36 x 36 grid, considering there were all of what, 25 locations?

    That would have reduced the size of the world by, oh, a mere three orders of magnitude.

    Add to that some slightly less obscure directions and a better UI and you'd have a game people could finish in a four hour sitting.

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    1. As we'll talk about next time, the size of the game world actually serves a few purposes in the game. I groused about it frequently, but I get it now.

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    2. From a game design viewpoint, there is a tradeoff between letting players explore and discover new locations vs. having them find the clues that lead them there. Most RPG's are more open, so players can find things "out of order", while adventure games tend to be more linear and plot-based.

      I can't remember the game, but there was one in which a player (I think Addict or AdventureGamer) got to a location early, killed a hostile NPC, then later got the bread crumbs. That caused the story to become inconsistent, because the player was sent on a mission to defeat the already-defeated NPC.

      It can be a little anti-climactic to find a major plot location (such as Morag Castle) before you have clues to it. But it is much worse if you know you need to get there and can't find it. I can visualize a game system like Fallthru that breaks the map into large grid sections and hides the information about each section until you've learned about it. That way you wouldn't feel obligated to walk through every minor grid point.

      In fact, we did something like this with the Quest for Glory III map - We tried to get across the idea of an endless jungle and savanna, but key points were marked and you could "quick travel" to any place you knew about.

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    3. Linearity prevents people from doing things out of order, but it's not worth it. I'd rather an open world where things are a little nonsensical at times.

      I skipped Fallout's main quest by accident and 'won the game' having never resolved the situation which causes you to leave the Vault in the first place.

      I was most confused, but I'd still rather that happen than be shepherded from location to location.

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  2. Congrats! I guess that makes this blog the go-to place for all things Fallthru now. I would not have had the patience to deal with Fallthru's most empty environment, especially given the lack of graphics.

    Quest for Glory II is at least guaranteed to give you a satisfying game experience, I can't speak for any of the other upcoming games on the list. Mt. Drash is probably not going to be as much fun as a game with "Ultima" in the title should be.

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  3. How satisfying was it when you realized you could find what to do by reading the book? It sounds like you had to really think outside of the box to realize you could get the solution outside of the game without even the internet able to help you.

    I admire the patience and skill you have in solving these seemingly impossible games. I can't tell you how many times I would've given up on the game you're playing after writing it off as being unwinnable.

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    1. Well, I felt a little clever, but I'm not saying it was "satisfying." The book came out 14 years after the game, so clearly I was supposed to find all the hints I needed in the game itself.

      I think the problem was that I defeated all the warriors I needed to hit Level 76 (the max) while still mostly in the central area. I thus spent less time talking to people in the fringe areas, and thus probably missed out on some bits of lore (lore is, in part, geographically dependent).

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    2. Yeah, the fact that Morag's castle is west of Targ is definitely on my list of lore. Unfortunately, since lore is handed out randomly and the lists of lore available from different sources are not always clear, and even if you knew from whom you could learn certain things, there's no way to guarantee you'll meet them, it's definitely somewhat unfair. I think perhaps the game is calibrated for people playing it over a much longer period of time than you did. Your hyper-efficient win-win-win trip through CRPG history is not how we played them back in the day! It's very very impressive though.

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    3. Hitting the level cap like that makes me think of Fallout 3.

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    4. Fallout 3 had quite a low level cap to begin with, and you leveled extremely fast. You could hit the cap with barely a quarter of the game world explored and most of the quests undone.

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    5. and once you had small guns and repair at 100, level ups were of minimal value anyway

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    6. But I remember the DLCs will increase the Level caps... don' they?

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    7. Lunch time responses: Kenny: Yes, Broken Steel. However, that cost money, and thus I didn't buy it. Also, there was a time when the DLC broke a bunch of things, including the bugfix patch. (Or rather, upgrading Fallout 3 broke mods, rendering any games using them unplayable. To use DLC, you needed a fully patched game.)

      Now that the complete edition is out, and cheap, I've gotten it, but as I recall I hit level cap well before Broken Steel came out. Also it only adds 10 more levels, and it also comes with some crazily bullet-spongy enemies that makes even my fully-upgraded small guns feel useless, so I have to start buying Big Guns and carrying around crazy heavy laser gattling guns. (Still pumped for Fallout 4!)

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    8. Fallout 4 looks like Wasteland had a lovechild with The Sims. It's a strange beast, that one.

      Previous Fallouts were about wandering. This one is about fortifying & building. I'm just wondering why the 111 Vault Dweller just use a GECK and be done with it.

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  4. Congratulations.
    The next few games on your 'upcoming games'-list are short and/or easy, so that'll probably be a welcome change.

    All of them except Captive, anyway. Don't even attempt to finish that one, because... gur 'qhatrbaf' ner cebprqhenyyl trarengrq, naq gur tnzr arire ernyyl raqf.

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  5. Congratulations!
    I really like the world building in this. Of course, my own imagination can fill the gaps that a text based RPG creates, but the idea of a much larger game world that is not relevant to the main quest, sounds great.
    The ending, however, is just nothing. It apparently was a game with ambitions bigger than the programming skills or technical possibilities. Maybe it wasn't even finished. Some lore might relate to quests that weren't put in the game.

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  6. Grarz for completing fall trough that was quite a feat from the looks of it.

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  7. Wow, I think you're the first person to ever win this game.

    If there's one thing I hate, it's pointers to content that was never finished or not included. I get it, you can't put everything in. But at least remove references to it! Oh but that would be too hard to find all of them (so what about the work I and every player will do finding them?) and you're pressed for time and you have to ship the game...GRRRR!

    I used to feel sad about games that had frightened me off, like I had missed out on something by not completing them. But with games like this, I feel completely vindicated. What a lame-ass ending. It's like he *knew* nobody was going to see it.

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    1. Keep in mind that i could be wrong about those things. Perhaps there was some dungeon in the mesas. Perhaps that's where I was supposed to find some clue as to the general location of Morag.

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    2. The ending deserved a few more paragraphs, at least... but then, so does the ending of Nethack, a game that takes far more than 20+ hours for the average person to win the first time (without cheats or "explore mode").

      Congratulations on winning Fallthru! Quite an accomplishment, given the game's frustrations and lack of available FAQs.

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    3. There is a set of ruins in the mesas; as I recall, it's a city destroyed during the demon wars. I guess there's nothing important there other than treasure.

      Sturk Beach is a real thing. You can hunt sturk there. It's not too exciting unless you're too weak to hunt better game.

      There are also bits of false lore. I know at least one renegade advocates mugging peasants, which is probably not a good idea.

      Also, non sequitur: I think you have a couple typos where you describe finding the gold key; it says "gold ring".

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    4. Thanks. I said "ring" when I meant "key" twice. Just fixed it.

      The funny thing is I never found the sturks at Sturk Beach, but I did find them way on the other side of the map, to the east.

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  8. Congratulations! My nice comment was lost, so let's try a shorter one.

    Shame that this is two games on your longest column in a row, but you have to give the guy SOME credit for out-of-the-box game design. There has never been one before and for reasons that became apparent, one since, like this. Shame that after all that time, he did not stick the landing. I cannot wait for the GIMLET!

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    1. Oh, this won't come anywhere near the "longest" list. At 26 hours, it was pretty moderate in length. I certainly do give Mr. Deal credit for doing something original. As I'll cover in the final posting, it's really hard to detect the influence of ANY previous RPGs on Fallthru.

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    2. I found some commentary by the author on the game in a couple of places:
      http://audiogames.net/page.php?pagefile=_Audyssey_Magazine_Issue_36_-_first_quarter_2003_
      http://www.syntax2000.co.uk/issues/83/letters.asc.txt

      There's some interesting remarks...

      "Ironically, when I wrote it, I was not interested in computer programming per se, but rather in using computers to create biological simulations. Programming Fallthru was a learning project to help me develop enough programming skill to write effective simulations. However, the game became something of an obsession, especially after I became fascinated with certain routines, as in figuring out how to create an "open territory," or developing procedures to allow characters to carry objects in hand or put them in sacks or packs or on burros, then nest the sacks in other sacks or in packs or on burros, etc."

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    3. Thanks, pdw! I didn't find these results in all my Googling of the game to prep for the final posting. I really appreciate it.

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  9. "I had just typed up a posting titled "Fallthru: Give Up, Turn Off, Drop Out," announcing a hiatus in the game until I could get more hints, when I hit upon the idea of looking for hints in Fallthru: The Mentat Warrior, Paul Deal's novelization of the game, published 13 years later. Using the search feature on my Kindle, I tried PASSWORD and found a passage in which a character obtains the password to the Silver Way from runes on a place called Hi'mtn. The book didn't give the password itself, but this was a crucial location name I'd been lacking, and the INFO command in-game told me that Hi'mtn was in the desert--clearly what I was supposed to be finding around the oases. Unfortunately, the Weyring didn't recognize the name, so it didn't do me any good."

    Chet would have fit in well inside the fictional world of 'Ready Player One'.

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  10. It's been kind of amazing to watch this one unfold. Even though it sounded tedious as hell, I was - unexpectedly - weirdly drawn into the barely-sketched-out game world. There's still some residual power text-based games have over my imagination, I guess; plenty of others have rhapsodized about the open-ended prompts of white text on a black screen, but really, I have a clearer 'vision' of this world than many of the more graphically rich but somehow cliched games we've recently seen here. And some of the, I guess you might say "encounters" - like trying to open the valve in a cave of "black water" before the leeches consume you - are really evocative in a way they might not be in a 'classic' CRPG. You'd have a little warrior icon, poking around on these watery tiles, with little leech icons surrounding you and biting off your hit points or something, and it would all just feel like EGA abstraction of something better accomplished in tabletop roleplay. Now, it seems like the gameplay mechanics (especially the 'random direction dungeon' idea) really worked against that sequence's immersiveness - but it's still a cool idea.

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    1. That's a great paragraph that describes why this game works in its own way.

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    2. Needless to say, it's even more effective in games that better writing. Those who have played, for example, Infocom's Trinity (by Brian Moriarty) know that no MODERN graphics could ever compare to the haunting power of the words themselves. It's a more sublime pleasure than graphics can afford, and I wish that games made more use of text. One great writer is cheaper than a hundred illustrators.

      Anyway, congratulations on making it through this game. I look forward to seeing in your next post whether you thought it rewarded your efforts.

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    3. Good point Gaguum. I definitely wouldn't beseech Chester to let this game off the hook just because of the good text-based qualities - it's easy to imagine those being better, and appearing in a better-designed game. Some of what I'm really reacting to is the novelty of encountering these qualities in CRPG land.

      I also do find the staggering emptiness kind of evocative in itself, but more for its creepiness. I wasn't entirely kidding in my reference to the horror-story aspects of House of Leaves a few posts back. But even the setup of a lone adventurer wandering broad, trackless, and largely empty wastes has a certain appeal. Much of Tolkien consists of trying to convey the in-between places of a journey, the parts where no encounters do happen but which actually take up much of the map - fantasy's flyover country.

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    4. I definitely see what you mean. I'm sure all the scenes where they measure the interdimensional space of the house using increasingly elaborate setups of tapes and lasers were pure torture to people who wanted to get right to the action.

      I would add another popular work considered to be a misstep due to its pacing: Deathly Hallows. So many people gripe about the middle part of the book where Harry and company wander aimlessly and hopelessly in the wilderness. But this is essential to the theme of the work: the feeling of being directionless and overwhelmed when you pass into adulthood. Harry et al. are literally stripped of their guides and thrust out into the wilderness, forced to find their own way.

      I think Fallthru captures that same spirit. You're dropped into this vast and confusing world, where just surviving is the goal at first. There's a reason Hunger and Thirst are up on the stats area in the same place as Injury: Those are your HP in this game. Reaching a level where feeding yourself is trivial is like a standard CRPG where you encounter squads of kobolds with your max-level party. It's just a measure of how far you've come. Should both problems be eliminated when they become trivial through interface changes: macros or quick-battles? Probably. I give Fallthru a pass, because it was the work of one guy; lack of polish seems inevitable.

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    5. @doctorcasino: "But even the setup of a lone adventurer wandering broad, trackless, and largely empty wastes has a certain appeal."

      FWIW, the wasteland was a staple of medieval romances (for those who don't know, that's a technical term; medieval romances are NOT what you'd call romantic). A great example is in the middle of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where the wasteland is in stark contrast to the cozy familiarity of the court at Camelot, and also to the unnerving magic of the Green Knight's domain on the far side. Anyway, I think that the wasteland is a universal archetype that evokes certain feelings in humans.

      On a different note: earlier today, I mentioned the evocative power of the Infocom game Trinity (for those who've played the game, of course). It just so happens that today was the sixty-ninth anniversary of the Trinity blast.

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  11. Looking at the map and its highly terrible naming of the places, I'm somewhat curious if there are places called Oasia, Oasic and Oasie in the desert.

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    1. Ha! No. I thought of that. I thought maybe I just hadn't heard of all the oases, so I tried both INFO and WHERE IS with Oasia, Oasic, Oasie, Oasig, etc. Nothing came up, and the three actual oases all had INFO and WHERE IS results.

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  12. Good to see this one put to rest. Nice job getting through it.

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  13. 16 bits can represent numbers from −32,768 to 32,767 so maybe those are the world limits?

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    1. Maybe it wraps.

      One of the mysteries of the universe.

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    2. Is CRPGAddict MAN ENOUGH to find out?!?!

      j/k

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    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qtrAMK7_Qk

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  14. Adding congratulations for beating Fallthru! I knew you could do it, and I'm really glad you gave it a shot even though it seems like this wasn't quite your cup of tea.

    I can now reveal that I got stuck on the gold ring. For some reason, I was under the impression that the invisible killer at Dre'Cave would be revealed by the diamond. When that failed, it never occurred to me that the gold amulet might protect me. So I concluded that I would need to fight 100 warriors at a 5-level disadvantage to get the 100 rubies. That's pretty much as hard as it sounds, so I never succeeded. Given the level cap you discovered, it's probably impossible.

    I'm looking forward to finding out in the GIMLET if any of the game's charms grew on you over time.

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    1. It's funny the assumptions you make. I spent most of the game thinking that Eyry was a city where I would BUY a scimitar, and that I'd need to find a rune stone and BRING it to Thun.

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  15. The articles on this game were enjoyable to read
    on an unrelated note I thought I would give Mad Men a try and watched the first 3 episodes. Don's wife ordered a vodka Gimlet on about the third episode. That was a lol moment.

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    1. She didn't order it on the rocks. That makes the difference between a man's vodka gimlet and a woman's vodka gimlet.

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  16. Now I know what is so addictive reading CRPG Addict. Namely, the fact that you can so efficiently, consistently and systematically terminate the game. Personally, I've always been rather chaotic during games and rarely went to the end. Your enthusiasm and effectiveness as well as the brilliant comment in conjunction with a huge note of sentiment for the good old days means that I will read you as long as you write.

    Best regards and thank you.
    reader

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    1. I love how "terminate" has a dual-meaning in this comment. There are many games I wish I could efficiently, consistently, and systematically terminate.

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    2. In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear.
      Something unstoppable. They created

      The CRPG Terminator

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  17. For what it's worth, I remember a Dr. Who episode where they were discussing how languages mutate over time, and the patterns they were pointing out roughly match the alterations of names in this game. I don't know if that was intentional, or just lucky coincidence.

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    1. It would just be nice if the game had done anything with that in plot terms. Faland isn't explicitly given as a future Earth, nor are the people who populate it explicitly given as the descendents of English-speaking immigrants. Sure, if I was among a band of Americans inexplicably dumped into a fantasy world, and after we shook off our terror and confusion, we got it together to build a city, I can see calling it "Origin," and sure, I can see if generations later, people pronounced it something more like "Or'gn." But I don't know if that's honestly what Deal was going for, or if he was just being a bit unimaginative.

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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.

3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

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

NOTE: Spam has gotten so bad lately that I've had to turn on comment moderation for posts older than 10 days. I apologize if it takes a little while for your comment to appear.