Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Game 193: Antares (1991)

"Reaching for the Stars" is the subtitle translation.

As I noted in my review of 1990, we're beginning to see a lot more RPGs coming out of Germany, including Rings of Medusa (which I rejected as an RPG), Legend of Faerghail, and Dragonflight. In 1991 and 1992, we see Antares, Spirit of Adventure, Amberstar, and Realms of Arkania. I look forward to seeing if any themes develop that are peculiar to the sub-genre.

I had trouble with the "Dein Raumschiff von einer unbekannten Raumstation in Brand geschossen" part.
        
Antares is unique among these games in that it was released only in German, giving me a chance to learn a little of a language I otherwise have almost no exposure to. Just from the opening paragraph, I have a greater appreciation for how German forms compound words for concepts that we'd be more likely to express in two words or hyphenated words in English. (Although English, of course, forms compound words much more readily than Spanish or French.) Here's my translation:

In 2280, Earth launched the first interstellar spaceship, the Hope, to explore new habitats for humanity. When Hope broke off contact 34 years ago, all energy was put into a second mission. Aboard the Auriga, you have traveled to the Antares system, responding to an automated distress call Two minutes after arrival, your spaceship is on fire [might have missed something here]. Only 12 people in your crew manage to escape in a landing craft, about 80 meters east of the emergency coordinates...

You don't get to create characters (something Antares shares with Dragonflight; will this become a feature of GRPGs?); instead, you select your party of 5 from 12 pre-defined characters among your besatzungsmitglieder ("crew members"). There are slots for 6 characters in the party, but the game would only let me pick 5. If I've translated their "classes" correctly, the choices seem to be man, woman, android, language robot, combat robot, specter, mutant, and midget. Each is given a default name from a popular sci-fi novel or movie: Blade Runner, Petra, Highlander (appears twice), Marvin, Wanderer, Ford Prefect, ES, Xenia, Dao-Lin, Terminator, and Luke Skywalker.

Choosing a party from among the surviving crew.

Each character has a different balance in attributes (power, luck, IQ, skill, and creativity) and skills (fighting, technical, medicine, language, psi, and cooking). I assume the idea is to get a balanced crew, so I picked six individuals who complemented each other. I wanted to give them my own names. Casting about for a theme, I found a 2004 German film named Antares. The first character I went to rename was Petra (from Ender's Game, presumably). I went to the lead actress in the film and found out that she's named...Petra. Weird coincidence, but I went with the character name ("Eva") instead. A few clicks later, and I went to rename the android from "Xenia," and I found that the next actor on the film's list was named...Xenia. Did the filmmakers play this game or something?

Renaming "Terminator."

Once you select the party, the game loads, and you find yourself on your crashed landing vehicle, with options (revealed by "help") to use items, translate, cook, heal, see the time and date, check your location, sleep, and identify a device.


Leaving the craft puts you facing west in an area (or on a planet) called Lauree or maybe Kyrion, the landscape dotted with pits and trenches:


As I wandered around, I kept getting confronted by alien creatures. When this happens, your options are "fight," "flee," and beraten, which I translate as "advise." This latter option transitions you to a screen where the options seem to be "think about opponents" (uber Gegner nachdenken) and "negotiate/bribe." The former one here seems to assess your own characters' chances against the foes.

"Martina is the type never to come close?"

Anyway, if you choose to fight, each character has the options to attack, use an item, use psi power, defend, cook, or heal. I suspect I'm translating "cook" wrong here, but I'm not really sure what it means in the context of combat. Once you line up the attacks, they execute in order, with text describing the scene faster than I can translate.

I assume I'll learn to look for keywords here.
 
If you defeat the enemies, you predictably get experience and gold, but also the options to pick up...well, I guess food. The options below seem to translate to "rib bones," "sand asparagus," and "biospaltar ragout." Food does play a role in the game, so maybe this is how you acquire it.

Yum...biospaltar ragout.

The game does something interesting with the little pits and trenches scattered across the overworld map. I've never seen anything quite like it. At various points, marked by patches of dirt, you can descend into the trenches, which open up into larger areas full of houses and shops, kind of like the streets of Skara Brae.

The entrance to a food store. I believe the text translates to "Alas, Kyrioners appreciate their free time---CLOSED!"
 
It was in one of the trench homes that I found a man who introduced himself as Kirk Hammett (nice reference), a former pilot of the Hope spacecraft. He related that the Hope had also been shot down, 34 years ago, and that the crew had scattered throughout the area looking for information. Few returned. He suggested that I consult with his colleague, Marek Dvorak, about the planet and its inhabitants while he spread word of my arrival.

There were like 10 pages of this. It took a while.

So far, the game feels slightly Bard's Tale-influenced, at least where it comes to combat and navigation. I haven't figured out the inventory system yet. None of the characters seem to be equipped with anything that sounds like weapons.

The android has something called "electerium," plaster(?) and a Disk-Man?
  
This brings me to a major problem: I can't find any documentation for the game. Searching for keywords in the command list, inventory lists, or monsters hasn't produced anything; the best I can hope for is that there's a non-OCR'd PDF version out there somewhere. Because of this, rather than the language issue, I'm confused as to a lot of aspects of the game and interface. For instance, I don't know what all the meters below the character icons represent, nor the two meters in the lower-right. I don't quite understand how sleeping works, or healing. This is a tough enough game given the language barrier; it's going to be even tougher if I have to figure out every element of the interface and game mechanics without documentation.

There also aren't any walkthroughs, videos, hint files, or fan pages to assist. (At least, if they exist, they avoid mentioning Kirk Hammet or any of the game's monsters.) As such, it appears to be an obscure game even by German standards. It's the only title that I can find from its developer (Nightmare Productions) and designers (Michael Wyler, Kjell Marc Droz, and Olivier Schraner). I'm not even sure I'm playing it in the right year. MobyGames says 1991, but other sites have it in 1990, 1989, or even 1988.

However far I'm able to get with the game, I do need to thank one commenter for getting me this far: Abalieno pushed through my negative comments about the Amiga, Amiga emulators, and Amiga enthusiasts and convinced me to rescind my policy of never wanting to have anything to do with "WHDLoad." He prepared a custom package for me, with the emulator and WHDLoad already configured, and numerous games already on the hard drive. It looks like this will keep me set for the next half dozen Amiga games, at least. I wouldn't have tried so hard to help someone as ornery about the Amiga as I was, so he deserves a lot of credit. I guess I still have Amiga magazines to complain about.

Time so far: 2 hours
Reload count:

97 comments:

  1. Pfft, Kirk Hammett wouldn't fly a ship named 'Hope'. He'd be flying Starship Orion!

    Maybe he can give you some CDs for your disk-man.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Martina is the type never to come close?" maybe a ranged fighter?
    Pflaster = band aid
    Disk man is prolly referring to a discman, a cousin of the walkman, except it plays CDs.
    The trenches are prolly a homage to star wars and tatooine, where luke lives semi underground or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew what a "Discman" was, but I didn't imagine the game meant it literally. If it did, I wonder what use it will have in the game. Maybe I can just sell it.

      Delete
    2. By the way, judging by this site, which is for a company founded by Kjell Marc Droz, the game is in fact not German, but Swiss - which probably explains its obscurity.

      Delete
    3. "Martina is the type never to come close?" That's not the right translation. If my rusty german still serves me that means "Martina has not yet stepped close enough to the guy"

      Delete
    4. Maybe. The publisher (BOMICO) is German, and quite well known (they're still around today), so you'd think it would be better known. Anyway, thanks for the heads up. I change it to "Switzerland" in the master game list, because my general policy is to go with the developer there.

      Delete
    5. Funnily, the movie Antares isn't German either, but Austrian. Very mysterious...

      Delete
    6. Wow, you Europeans like to make a lot of fine distinctions in things.

      Delete
    7. Of course! There are wonderful and important differences between those 3. Wouldnt you like to distinguish between lets say Californians and Texans? And Germany, Austria and Switzerland are even different countries, not only states :)

      Delete
    8. While your point is valid, my experience (having visted all four) is that culturally, Austria and Germany are more culturally similar than Texas and California. :-P

      Delete
    9. It doesn't really matter to Europeans if Americans are from Michigan or Florida. We're all Americans to them. And likewise the other way around, although it's somehow wrong when Americans do it.

      Delete
    10. Yeah, like all Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indians, Thais & many others are Asians.

      Anyway, the Disc-Man looks like this.

      Delete
    11. "It doesn't really matter to Europeans if Americans are from Michigan or Florida. We're all Americans to them. And likewise the other way around, although it's somehow wrong when Americans do it."

      That's logical. Countries in Europe have different culture, language and customs to each other. Where as in america, most differences are superficial.

      Delete
    12. That's half-true: some states, like Texas or New-York, have stronger stereotypes associated with them. So someone from, say, Oregon is just an American, whiles someone from from Texas is, well, still an American, but of a different kind.

      Delete
    13. I would hope everyone understood that my "fine distinctions" line was a joke, but in any event, I'll try to remember to make a distinction between "German-language" things and "German nationality" things.

      Delete
    14. It might seem like hair-splitting, but the Germany/Austria distinction is taken quite seriously since, oh, about 70 years ago. Historical baggage and such...

      Delete
    15. Yes, VK, but to confuse things more: So have bavarians and Saxons (both Germans ;-)

      Delete
    16. ...and dont forget the upper bavarians and the lower bavarians - theres quite some difference! ;)

      Delete
    17. Or even between cities like Cologne and Duesseldorf ...
      But I think this leads too far ;-)

      Go on with your great blog! As you see there are lots of Germans helping you out! And I am sure almost all other languages would be covered by your readers as well.

      Delete
    18. In the review in Power Play (a scan is linked from MobyGames), the reviewer also refers to the developers as Swiss.

      Delete
    19. My understanding is that confusing Austria and Germany is like confusing Canada and the USA...

      If North America had been a patchwork of warring states for 500 years, a strong leader from (say) Texas had united the rest of the USA while excluding Canada, and the last guy to try to unite the two had started a limited nuclear war, gotten tens of millions of people in the rest of the hemisphere killed, and made the entire continent hated for 70 years.

      Delete
    20. "And I am sure almost all other languages would be covered by your readers as well." I'm seriously going to need some Russians in a few years. Is Pravda still around? Maybe I should try to get a feature in that.

      Delete
  3. There is a website with some brief instructions (Kurzanleitung) at http://www.kmd-design.ch/antares/ (all in German)

    According to it the bars under each portrait are, from top to bottom: awaken-ness (Wachheit), physical condition (körperlicher Zustand) and mental condition (geistiger Zustand) and the two big bars below the portraits are party motivation (Team-Motivation) and party food supply (Team-Nahrungsvorrat)

    in Brand geschossen -> shot to blazes
    ist dem Typ noch nie zu nahe getreten -> literally: has never stepped close to this type before; metaphorically: has never hurt this type's (or guy's) feelings; but here probably: has never encountered this type before
    Pflaster -> band-aid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On second thought, it should probably be "shot ablaze", so the opening paragraph becomes:

      In 2280, Earth launched the first interstellar spaceship, the Hope, to explore new habitats for humanity. When contact with Hope broke off 34 years ago, all energy was put into a second mission. Aboard the Auriga, you have traveled to the Antares system, when you receive an automated distress call. Two minutes later, your spaceship is shot blza by an unknown spacestation. Only twelve people in your crew manage to escape in a landing craft, landing about 80 meters east of the distress call coordinates...

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the web site. I don't know how I missed it in my Googling. It's not comprehensive, but it will still help quite a bit.

      "by an unknown spacestation" was an important part that I missed.

      Delete
  4. I wonder if the trenches are more a reference to the "canals" of Mars a la Schiaparelli and Lowell.
    I wish I could help you with the German, but it's Greek to me.
    I really do not like games that pre-determine character. It eliminates half the fun for me. I hope you keep complaining about Amiga magazines. I still cannot forgive Amiga Power for trashing Secret of the Silver Blades.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amiga Power also thrashed Elvira 2. I actually read that one week ago browsing through old magazines while visiting my parents

      Delete
    2. Did you find Amiga Power to ever have strong predictive accuracy among software? I found .info to be a strong source of information about software and tech (though maybe not games) back then, but never liked Power.

      Delete
    3. Sometimes they went on their way to be shocking, but on a whole, it was the most entertaining Amiga magazine.

      Also, they never fell for the hype. Just check their fair review of Rise of The Robots where they gave the game 5%, while many other magazines of the time were giving away 90% scores to it.

      Delete
    4. Agreed, Ricky: Amiga Power was _entertaining_ - I found Stu Campbell especially hilarious.
      Their reviews though...nah.

      Delete
    5. Stuart Campbell did some classic reviews, like the "international rubgy challenge" one, but he should have never reviewed RPG's and strategy games.

      Jonathan Nash was also another great of the era.

      There's even a tvtropes page about amiga power!

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Magazine/AmigaPower

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your translation is very good. Just a small detail in the introduction: Hope didn't break contact, it says "when contact was broken 34 years ago". The part you missed is that a space station shot your space ship down, setting it ablaze.

    Kochen is really cooking, there is no other translation. Since it is in combat and regarding the other options, it might be an elaborate buff system. That sounds interesting, please cook something! :-) The 3rd meal you have found is "bio divider ragout", I'm not sure I wouldn't eat that.

    Other words:
    Pflaster - band-aid
    Diskman - most probably a portable CD (or diskette) player.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way, the game uses some unusual terms and wordings, especially in combat. That is not how German people speak at least, but I can't really nail it down.

      Oh, also:
      "Martina never came close to that type" probably means she has no information about that creature. Did you "think" about that creature (in game, I mean :-D)? Maybe you collect a log with information about monsters which fills with every encounter. That sounds like a really fancy feature!


      I'm really keen on this game! It looks like it has a lot of interesting features and is crafted lovingly.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the help. Shanghay below confirms that there's some attempt at "high speech" going on here.

      I'm very curious to find out how "cooking" works, then.

      Delete
    3. I quite like the idea that every party in this universe has a pre established chef, though I don't really believe that any of the 'character choices' would be particularly good. Maybe Ford could review the meals they're stealing from their freshly killed enemies?

      Delete
    4. There has to be! You don't know what kind of preparation procedures are required to make a Mantok fit for consumption!

      Delete
  7. Overcoming the language barrier isn't eased by the fact that the game is written in flowery, but sort of clumsy and colloquial prose, something that was typical of early German games - I guess back in the 80s, the intersection between literature majors and computer game developers was small.

    Anyway, if you need help translating something that google and your own (substantial, I estimate) linguistic skills cannot figure out, you can always rely on your readers - I have a sneaking suspicion a significant portion of your readers is from Germany, myself included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine that non-English readers would have the same trouble translating the pseudo-Early Modern English of the Ultima games (e.g., "Thou hast lost an eighth!"). Thanks for the heads-up on that.

      Yes, I seemed to get a lot of German readers after the article in Der Spiegel a couple years ago. I'm glad to have so many readers to help translate when I run into these odd colloquialisms.

      Delete
    2. Are there peculiarities with the Swiss dialect of German that might account for some of the language oddities?

      Delete
    3. having both Swiss and German connections, afaik the language is basically the same. Swiss natives will often be French bilingual though so they might use colloquialisms from that language at times

      Delete
    4. I wasn't even aware the game was made in Switzerland. The screenshots show no evidence of Swiss dialect so far - even though Schwytzerdeutsch is employs many notably different idioms. (It sounds notably different as well, of course, but the written spelling is identical to German, aside from words unique to the dialect.)

      Probably the developers figured that the German-speaking parts of Switzerland alone would be too small a market, and Germans might find dialect off-putting, so wrote the ingame text in standard German.

      Delete
    5. "Thou hast lost an eighth!" I get the first bit but 1/8th ??

      Delete
    6. It's specific to Ultima IV. You have to become an Avatar in each of the 8 virtues, which slowly fills in a little symbol in the center of the screen. If you do something against that virtue after you achieve it, the game tells you that you've "lost an eighth" and you lose that little bit of the symbol.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for clarification I was sure that 'eighth' would have some special meaning in old English and I spent 5 hours of googling the most fascinating stuff about Saxons, old english root words, history and such.

      My English teacher challenged me once saying that if I could write up an essay using 'grammatically correct' old English I would get a full 10 which to her amazement I did with the power of the internet (in -96 even) and a 30cm's thick vocabulary book.

      Delete
    8. I feel silly, but I first thought the eighth referred to a piece of eight. But then I realized this is the Addict, not the Adventure Gamer, and Guybrush Threepwood doesn't visit Britannia.

      Delete
    9. Funny thing about Eighth? No other word rhymes with it.

      Delete
    10. Wraith? Faith?

      Delete
    11. Bathe? Lathe? Nah. It's missing the 't' sound between 'ay' and 'th'.

      Delete
    12. Tolkien to the rescue: "Haradwaith".

      Delete
    13. PetrusOctavianusJuly 10, 2015 at 2:18 PM

      "Haradwaith" is elvish, not English, so it's not pronounced like "eight".

      Delete
    14. "Hates" pronounced by someone with a lisp.

      Delete
  8. >You don't get to create characters (something Antares shares with >Dragonflight; will this become a feature of GRPGs?)

    No fear, the Realms of Arcania series will let you create a own party and even let you take it with you through the games

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Blade Runner, Petra, Highlander (appears twice), Marvin, Wanderer, Ford Prefect, ES, Xenia, Dao-Lin, Terminator, and Luke Skywalker."

    This is painful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Highlander (appears twice)"

      Highlander Highlander?

      Delete
    2. What happens if you try to put both of them into your party?

      Delete
    3. I'll save that mystery for another day. Kenny, "Highlander" is the default name for the #3 guys in both rows. The others are in order from left to right.

      Delete
    4. I wonder: how much of American nerd culture do German nerds get? Now, much more, but back in the 1980s it must have seemed like the bizarre, wonderful progeny of an alien culture, kind of like the way we used to see anime.

      Delete
    5. @Chet - Yeah, I know. I was screwing with you.
      @Null Null - Which is probably why those names were used. It was probably "edgy" and "out-of-this-world", like how they were portraying the game to be.

      Delete
  10. I'm German, I grew up with an Amiga but I never heard of this game before. It sounds really interesting. I'm curious how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think the game tries to display a roguish humor. "verursacht einen leichten Kratzer im Lack" = causes a small scratch in the paint, like you would damage the car paint with a key or something.
    All these references annoy me a little.
    Whatever Martina is doing there in combat, isn't exactly clear to me. Is she examining the beast but hasn't got enough experience with them, or is she trying to get into close combat but too far away? The phrasing is sometimes odd...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I thought the same thing., They are trying to be funny and using an "ironic" tone, that does annoy me. As someone else mentioned, this was quite common in German games back then (anybody remembers Hellowoon?)

      Delete
    2. I get what you all mean. Trying to help someone who doesn't know English translate Keef the Thief would probably be a similar experience.

      Delete
  12. Maybe "electerium" is electrum or a more different electrum?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Everything I know about German space terminology, I learned from 80s German synthpop:

    https://youtu.be/KIEDV9z-ohs

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't think the odd language is because of a dialect or anything. Seems just like plain bad writing. Try some obscure german c64 games (especially text adventures) and you'll see a lot of similarities. One thing that's particularly annoying is the use of certain expressions or phrases. Not only are they outdated by now, they're also often used in the wrong context like "geistig verwirrt" in this case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Additionally, it seems that everyone tried to sound like Rainer Brandt (wrote a lot of dubbings) back then. :)

      Delete
  15. "Geistig verwirren" is a very "humorous" way of telling you that the enemy does psychic damage.

    "Kratzer im Lack" is the Ultima V equivalent of "grazing the orc". Meaning you did little to no damage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what it means, but it's normally used in a different way.

      Delete
  16. "beraten" is more 'to confer' than to advise. the german in this game sounds kind of old-fashioned and ponderously to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds more like its been written by a teenager trying to sound clever and/or cool.

      Delete
  17. Combat cooking sounds like something that should be done in Kitchen Stadium. Iron Chef, represent!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Here's a review from a german magazine, in case you are interested:

    http://www.kultpower.de/archiv/heft_powerplay_1991-06_seite30

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a more positive one from another German magazine at: http://www.kultboy.com/index.php?site=t&id=10384

      Delete
    2. The last picture shows one of the (secret) shops

      Delete
  19. Anyway, am I the only one who who thinks that the MANTOK looks a little too... phallic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed... maybe that's why Martina never got close enough to it..

      Delete
    2. Yeah... It'd be much worse if Martina made it cry. Geez... I need to give myself a good scrubbing down just thinking about it.

      Delete
    3. I was going to comment on that, but with all of the breast controversy, I didn't want readers to think that I saw naughty bits everywhere I looked.

      Delete
  20. http://www.kmd-design.ch/antares/anleitung.html

    here are some details (apparantly the maker did make a PC version just for fun. And the game is originaly from Switzerland)

    So the top bar is actually the Fatigue meter and if this bar is empty the character can't be controlled since he/she is sleeping
    second bar is "Motivation" (it doesn't say what it actually does) if you win a battle the motivation increases, if you loose or flee it decreases. You can also increase Motivation by listening to music (probably the Discman)
    Last bar is Hunger meter. It seems that if you cook a meal it increases but it doesn't say if only the meter of the character who is cooking increases or if you can cook meals also for your party members. (as it is written here i don't think so..i guess you have to buy meals for the other members who can't cook)...seems silly though to cook during battle.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, I'll translate part of it since it seems to be very useful and is apparently intended to be known be the creators:

      "Every member of your team has certain abilities that you can see if you click on their portrait."

      "The people in your team have to eat to fight and to survive. So pay attention to the lower red bar. It represents the food supply of the team. Let a character cook something and the bar grows (if the character can cook). You can find food for money in (hidden) stores or you get them as spoils in battle.
      The red bar above food is the motivation (I'd say morale). If you win in battle it increases. If you lose or flee, then it decreases. Of course, good vibes can also help against bad mood and naturally, our Amiga music already sounded rad in 1989 (yeah, it sounds that corny)."

      "The people in your team can't stay awake forever. The uppermost bar under each portrait shows the "awakeness" (the negative fatigue, so to say). If it is gone, the character falls asleep. He still follows the group, but can't execute orders anymore until he has fully rested. But you can command him to sleep before that to make sure, that you always have a battleready group awake, because once combat has started, you cannot awake the sleepyhead anymore."

      "Under the awakeness bar are the indicators of physical and psychological fitness. If they are empty, the character is dead. But luckily, in the future there are still drugs like band-aids or Aspirin and the good old resuscitation machine which is powered by electerium (!)."

      Delete
    2. "If an opponent challenges you to a fight, it happens strategically and turn-based. Every character can execute an attack that you command. After the order is given, the text window shows what happens to your team. The effectiveness of a weapon depends on ability, power, dexterity and even luck. Although the battle mode back then could not be compared visually to today's games, the strategic complexity was already pretty impressive (translating loosely here, because the text does not make sense literally, some weird idioms...) Definitely examine your enemies well. Everyone ha sa weakness. And don't try to hypnotize something that doesn't have a brain. E.g.: Battle robots can't cook and are immune against psycho attacks, while electromagnetic rays can annoy them very much."
      "Every character can carry max. 6 items: weapons, equipment, food and healing or other crap. Soon you'll be wanting a caddy to carry your crap after you, and maybe you'll eventually find him... Click on a portrait and then on "inventory". You have to equip weapons and armor to use them. Equipped items have a * in the list. Items that a character cannot (yet) use are marked with a "o with a strike through". E.g: Everybody can heat water, but an Asthanensteak needs more cooking skill."
      "The great LED-display shows you the danger level of your environment: The higher the number, the stronger can the enemies be. The redder the color, the higher the danger of being attacked. At night and in dark corners, the most dangerous villains lie, and the deeper the dungeon, the hungrier the beasts..."

      "Always have enoguh food (Shops have opening times). Pre-sleep in safe areas to be rested in dangerous ones. Correctly assign the right tasks, weapons and gear. Map cities and dungeons, or special shops and NPCs. Check architectoral peculiarities (hidden rooms). Note inscriptions and follow them. Save beofre the dungeons. Don't spill Cola over your keayboard, don't neglect your pet or girl/boyfriend (serious threat of addiction!)"

      Delete
    3. Man, I gotta get me some band-aids some time. But should I smoke or inject them? What is the appropriate method?

      Delete
    4. Band-aid is like Kool-aid, man. You drink it, man. Gotta get high, man.

      Delete
    5. I really appreciate the translations. They helped a lot in the next game session.

      Delete
  21. Does "cooking" only show up as an option during combat? That would be pretty silly: "Crap, a K'Menoy is attacking! Highlander, you put the kettle on, Xenia, Blade Runner and Highlander, attack! I'll get the ketchup."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Combat is resolved via a cakemania minigame.

      Delete
    2. No, cooking is there outside of combat, too. I wonder if it means mixing up something that would be a "spell" in another game. I haven't been back into the game since I wrote this, so I'll check it out soon.

      Delete
  22. Looking forward to seeing Chet play through Realms of Arkania. I bought it on GOG because I'm a sucker for old CRPGs, but it doesn't click with me.

    For one thing, there are too many equipment choices at the beginning, and now guidance on what I should choose. This is an issue with a lot of older CRPGs though.

    The real dealbreaker when I tried to play was that the game seems to use fixed dungeon encounters and offer no way to grind, so I quickly reached an encounter that I couldn't beat and had to stop playing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Try a german translator:
    http://de.pons.com/text-übersetzung

    "ein k'menoy versucht, eva geistig zu verwirren und beschädigt sie gehörig."
    from the "I assume.."-pic is translated to:
    "k'menoy tries to confuse Eva spiritually and damages them severely."
    That's pretty good. (of course "them" must be "her")

    for single words:
    http://www.dict.cc
    it is imo the best for suggestions.

    hopefully you can handle letters "with 2 dots over it"
    Alt-key + number pad (three-digit) works for me
    ä 132 Ä 142 (use "ae" instead, beschädigt=beschaedigt)
    ö 148 Ö 153 (oe)
    ü 129 Ü 154 (ue)
    ß 225 (ss)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for cluing me in on the codes. I know how to do diacritics in Word (a letter with an umlaut is CTRL-: then the letter), so I've been typing the sentences in Word and then pasting them into Google Translate. If I learn these, it will save time.

      Delete
    2. Isn't it CTRL-SHIFT-: ?

      Delete
    3. Without the SHIFT, CTRL-: wouldn't be CTRL-:. It would be CTRL-;

      Delete
    4. the two-letter-replacements can save you even more time...

      Delete

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.