Thursday, May 26, 2016

Game 224: Dungeon of Nadroj (1991)

Anyone know what Blackmar's Dungeon is?
    
Dungeon of Nadroj
Australia
C. W. Jordan (developer), published as shareware
Released 1991 for Amiga
Date Started: 22 May 2016
Date Ended: 22 May 2016
Total Hours: 3
Reload Count: 9
Difficulty: Moderate-Hard (3.5/5)
Final Rating: 22
Ranking at Time of Posting: 78/223 (35%)

It takes some guts to write an independent shareware RPG for what is arguably the premier RPG platform, in the heyday of its popularity, but that's what C. W. ("Bill") Jordan did here in 1991 with Dungeons of Nadroj. While it can't compete in quality with some of the best commercial games of the era, Jordan deserves credit for creating a game that feels familiar without feeling completely derivative. As I told him during a brief correspondence earlier this week, I couldn't identify a single specific game that must have served as Jordan's inspiration.

Dungeon of Nadroj belongs to a subset of games that we might call "afternoon RPGs": light games of short duration and randomized gameplay that use RPG elements. It's going to suffer in my GIMLET rating for not having much of a framing story or an epic quest, but that was never the developer's intention. An Australian chess champion, Jordan became well-known within his community for developing chess programs, and Nadroj feels like the type of game that a chess game developer would write: brisk, replayable, and more concerned with mechanics than content.
      
The game's "instruction manual" leaves out the important keys (U)se and (D)rop.
    
Jordan was 33 when he wrote Nadroj and began selling it in magazines for $25 AUD. Like legions of developers before him, Jordan decided to name the dungeon by spelling his last name backwards. Memo to future developers who might think about doing the same thing: this only works if you have the right sort of name. If your name is Bill Rorret, you got lucky. Mr. Jordan, in contrast, did not, and his game name sounds as silly and forced as, say, Dungeon of Ekorbgnilob. (Revelation: the first five letters of my last name are an anagram for "goblin." How did I never see that before?) Again, though, we give it a pass for not being that serious a game in the first place.
   
Two PCs encounter each other in the dungeon.
   
Up to 4 players can explore the dungeon, competitively or cooperatively, all with a goal to kill a wizard on the sixth level. When you start the game, you set the number of characters, choose from human, dwarf, elf, and hobbit classes (I found no functional difference), and give each character a name. If more than one character is active, you decide whether they can fight each other and how many moves each character gets per turn. After that, it's off to the dungeon.

Levels are supposedly randomized for each new game, but I didn't see that happening, so it's possible the only version floating around online is a demo version rather than the full, paid version. Each level is 14 x 14 squares, with the squares initially hidden but slowly revealed as they enter your field of vision. As you explore, you fight both fixed and wandering monsters appropriate to the level, collect treasure, and use it to improve your character's dexterity and strength (the only attributes), restore lost constitution, and purchase equipment.
  
The combat is pretty basic. You see you and the monster's comparative strength and dexterity levels and health meters. As the seconds tick by and you and the monster attack each other, your meters deplete until one of you is dead. Your only options are to toggle between "Defend," "Attack," and "Thrust" modes, but these just seem to affect the speed at which the meters reach their inevitable outcome. You can also "Run" or "Use" a particular item that gives you an offensive or defensive advantage against the enemy, but there aren't many of these.  
  
Combat with a poorly-drawn mummy.
   
Slain enemies give up gold. If the enemy was fixed (there are about a dozen of these per level), he'll also have a treasure chest that might be trapped or might have some special inventory item.

In between monsters, you encounter wandering NPCs. If you "talk" to them, they'll give you brief hints, such as the locations of stores. If you "trade," each will offer potions that increase strength, potions that increase dexterity, and healing potions. The potions that increase strength and dexterity are the primary mechanisms for character development in the game. They start at 200 gold pieces each and increase by 20 gold pieces for every point you increase.
  
Buying healing from an NPC.
   
You start the game with no inventory and slowly accumulate weapons, armor, rings, potions, scrolls, and so forth. Even after winning the game, I remain confused about how it treats weapons and armor. There's no "equip" command. There is a "use" command, but you can only have one item in active "use" at a time. Thus, if you have a sword and a suit of armor in your inventory, I don't know if they improve your combat stats if you're not actively "using" them. There are some items--sacks, ropes, and lanterns among them--that never seem to do anything even if "used."

On higher levels, you fight tougher creatures like dragons, demons, balrogs, vampires, and puddings, but you start to find more useful magic items. There's a "magic sword," for instance, that protects against any damage from undead, and rings that detect evil creatures, warn you of impending attacks (and give you a chance to flee), and protect against fire and magic. These rings are never called anything but "ring," so you have to remember which effects are in which inventory slots. There's one fun bug: if an undead creature attacks you while you're protected from undead, your hit points actually increase with every attack, potentially well above the normal maximum of 200.
   
A "Ring of ESP" does its job.
   
On lower levels, almost every fixed enemy's treasure chest requires a key. You have to develop an inventory of different keys--iron, copper, gold--on upper levels to open any of these chests. You're generally rewarded with multiple treasures per chest if you have the key.
  
I don't have the right key to open this chest.
   
Levels are dotted with staircases, parts of the corridor that slope upwards and downwards, magic portals that teleport you to other levels, trap doors, and secret doors. The ratio of regular squares to those that screw with your movement gets a little tiresome sometimes.
   
   
Slain characters can "reincarnate," but their strength and dexterity are reduced to 1, they lose all their equipment, and they lose all their gold. The maps remain explored and all the fixed encounters--which you really need to build the character--already tripped, so "reincarnating" is worse than just starting over. 
  
  
With the equivalent of permadeath thus in effect, winning the game is hard unless you spend a long time grinding. You want to spend a long time on earlier levels, earning money, buying potions, and getting your strength and dexterity up high. Camping near a store seems like a good idea; that way, you don't have to rely on random NPCs for healing potions. You probably don't want to move down to the next level until your stats are 10 times the level number.

Since I was willing to abuse save states, I won the game more quickly, though I had to "reload" quite a bit. The wizard roams the sixth level, but he's invisible, so you need a Potion of Detect Invisibility to find him. This can be purchased from one of the shops if you don't find one, although none of the potions in the shops are labeled, so you have to spend a while testing them.
   
For some reason, if you can't see the wizard, you end up fighting a pudding.
   
Once you can see the wizard, killing him isn't very hard--he falls far more quickly than the dragons and balrogs you can find on the same level. Defeating him gives you a brief message in which Jordan forgot to put spaces around the [Name] and [Class] variables. Hitting SPACE at this point dumps you to the Amiga desktop.

The "winning screen." Either by bug or by design, the wizard has no graphic of his own. You're seeing the last NPC I encountered.

Nadroj isn't going to do great on my GIMLET, but I still liked it. It didn't hurt that I played it while taking a break from the 100+ hour Fate: Gates of Dawn and just before the confusing Swords & Sorcery. Nadroj served great as a quick, fun palate-cleanser.
      
  • 1 point for an extremely brief game world.
  • 2 points for character creation and development in the form of buying potions.
  • 2 points for NPC interaction, both to trade things and hear a small selection of hints.
  • 1 point for a set of standard foes.
  • 1 point for near option-less combat.
  • 3 points for a variety of equipment you must use intelligently to survive.
      
     
  • 4 points for an economy that never gets stale given the need to buy potions.
  • 2 points for a main quest.
  • 2 points for goofy graphics, no sound, and an okay interface, though the in-game instructions don't bother to tell you all the commands.
     
This is a "balrog." I think you'll agree I'm being a bit generous on the graphics.
       
  • 4 points for gameplay, mostly for replayability and not overstaying its welcome.
    
That gives us a final score of 22, which doesn't sound great, but is on the upper end of independent RPGs. It's much better than the other Independent Australian RPG I've played in the last year: 1990's Stone of Telnyr.

In e-mail correspondence, Mr. Jordan (still active with chess programs and tutorials) told me that the Amiga shareware scene was pretty active in Australia in the early 1990s, with a number of stores selling cheap disks by mail, and one magazine--MegaDisk--with large shareware library. Bulletin board distribution was also quite common. There are probably dozens of uncatalogued shareware RPGs from this era (that wasn't a challenge!), and Jordan's was one of the few lucky ones to find its way to modern databases. Jordan says he did well with some of his programs, but he only ever received one shareware payment for Dungeon of Nadroj. Reviews were good, though, and the game was awarded "public domain game of the month" by one UK library.

As I mentioned, Nadroj is unique among shareware programs (so far) in that it owes no obvious inspiration to an earlier commercial RPG. You can't describe it as a "Whatever clone." Jordan told me that while he was familiar with some roguelikes--LARN, Moria, Hack--he was primarily inspired by tabletop Dungeons & Dragons and Tunnels & Trolls sessions from the 1970s. He also tried his hand at adventure games and an adventure game creator, all of which seem to be lost.

It's a bit refreshing to play a game with brand new elements, and even more refreshing to cover a 1991 game in a single posting. Back we go to Nadroj's thematic opposite with another posting on Fate.

58 comments:

  1. Did you make it two shareware payments? :)

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    1. I was going to buy him an Amazon gift card, but Amazon.com.au wouldn't let me shop there, and I couldn't get a straight answer if a card I bought on Amazon.com (US) could be used by an Australian recipient.

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    2. In 2016, sending money to people in other countries ought not to be as hard as it is.

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    3. You can thank The Man for that.

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    4. >>In 2016, sending money to people in other countries ought not to be as hard as it is.

      Indeed, although Unlike Posidonius, I'd blame banks myself.

      Could you have used Paypal?

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    5. Banks are only following thousands of pages of rules in the United States Code and Code of Federal Regulations.

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    6. Posidonius, in this case it's even worst, since they're also following Australian, and possibly even international regulations.

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    7. True. Every nation on the receiving end of an international transaction is another set of laws the bank has to comply with. 150+ massive sets of laws = banks saying "f it."

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    8. Amazon Terms and Conditions say that gift cards purchased on the US store can't be redeemed on other international Amazon stores. (It doesn't specifically exclude AU but it does exclude UK and in any case it refers to an exhaustive list of excluded sites, none of which are international storefronts.)

      Link omitted to not trigger spam filters but it's in Gift Cards -> Terms and Conditions.

      Last I tried, Australians can buy from the US store if they want to, although many items won't ship to Australia and when they do they have prohibitive pricing and shipping times.

      Does he still game? Gift him something on GOG or Steam. ("Here's a game I liked better than yours, thanks.")

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    9. Oops should read "exhaustive list of INCLUDED sites, none of which are international". Wish you could edit Blogger comments.

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    10. I think this is the same Bill Jordan that has just this year moved to South Australia, and is playing in (and winning) the local chess tournaments. If you like, I can buy him entry to the next chess tournament, or a chess book, or something on your behalf.

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    11. It's kind of convoluted. Normally Amazon gift cards are linked to the subsite where they are purchased. Canadian cards can't purchase on the US site and vice versa. However there is often nothing stopping you from creating an Amazon US account and purchasing something and getting it shipped to Australia - which incurs a rather steep shipping premium. If you have a Kindle you can temporarily change your country to download books.

      Normally I'd just create an account on the Australian site and buy a gift card there - except I don't think they even have gift cards - at least it's not in their inventory.

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    12. Yes it is the same Bill Jordan who moved to SA. Any free chess entries appreciated and I have PayPal :)

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  2. Blackmar's Dungeon was an Amiga BBS door game. It's mentioned in some Usenet discussion archived on Google Groups.

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  3. Balrog killed me :D

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    1. If that thing had come after the Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, they would have just collapsed laughing at it.

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    2. Boromir: "What new devilry is this?"

      Gandalf: "A balrog. A comedian of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you to take seriously."

      Delete
  4. I wasn't aware that you have shareware RPGs on your list as well. If you are interested in it, I can provide a copy of my own attempt from (Amiga, 1993, german only). It got some good reviews in german magazines back then. Here's a sneak peak:

    http://www.exotica.org.uk/mirrors/ami_sector_one/quelle.htm

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    1. I really have no reason to say no. You should go catalog it on MobyGames.

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    2. I tried...I really did. But Mobygames is more complicated to use than any Amiga Emulator out there. It's the brainchild of a mad god...it has to be.
      Anyway, maybe it will appear there someday. I'll prepare a proper setup for the game in WinUAE and send the download to you, if that's ok.

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    3. I did register some obscure game before in mobygames and didn't have any problem.
      They only required title, platform, a simple description of the game and proof that the game was actually released.

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    4. I registered on Mobygames and started to add my game. I then decided that I didn't have proper memories of some things in the game and decided to come back after refreshing them. I didn't save anything, because I hadn't done more than giving it a title.
      Then I came back, tried to add the game just to find out that my former attempt was still there somehow, magically "approved" (but not visible) on the one hand but without any content except for the title on the other. And I couldn't edit it anymore.
      So I made a new one with the same name. That one I gave a proper description. Then I had to choose a publisher. That would be me then, but I'm not a company. So I checked the "not published by a company" and typed my name as a publisher. The system then told me, that it couldn't find a company of that name. So I had to add myself as a company. And add some proof for that...which I couldn't do, because...what was I supposed to tell them? "Yes, it's all fine, because me is me? Trust me!"
      I then added some additional stuff. But I couldn't add screenshots. Which I could for the other, empty hull of an entry.
      Now I have a strange combination of things pending, "working on" (but I can't edit these items that I'm supposed to "work on" nor can I delete them) and whatnot. The user experience is catastrophic. They force you into things that remain totally unclear even after doing them. They bombard you with pages over pages of "explanatory" texts that don't explain much at all. And finally, you end up with a mess of items in different states and tears in your eyes. I did a lot of web development in my main job. If I would have created such a mess, I would be doing something different now.

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  5. I love how this game neatly labels "Map", "Picture", "Text".

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    1. I was inspired by the Icon Adventures such as "Shadow Gate" etc which did similar tacky labels.

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  6. "I think you'll agree I'm being a bit generous on the graphics."

    I'll say. Just looking at the pics I would have guessed this was for the Apple ][. I wonder how it compares with other contemporary Amiga shareware (which, I never knew shareware was even a thing on systems as old as the Amiga, I learned something today.)

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    1. The Amiga was a powerful graphics machine with 4096 colors (much better than IBM clones of the day). The program was written in AmigaBasic which had very weak graphics support. I drew the graphics with a crude 16 color bob editor. Besides, I'm no computer artist.

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  7. about anagram in bolingbroke: you quite probably didn't see it because first five letters spell "oblin" at most. make is six and you are all set :)

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    1. Nadroj silly and awkward? Maybe because one of my college friends was really into a band called Natraj, the name actually felt moderately familiar to me.

      Now, when we move up from simple mirror names to anagram names (the next inevitable step in the evolution of poorly hidden fake names) you can have a Dungeon of the Bokergoblin and come out sounding like roses.

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    2. Crypt of the Broke Goblin, or Chasm of the Boring Bloke?

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    3. Goblin leveled up! GOBLIN BE ORK now!

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    4. "Nadroj" does have kind of an Indian vibe to it.

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    5. sounds more Russian to me :)

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  8. I love these shareware RPGs. The Carmack ones, Vampyre, it's fun to have such in depth coverage of games nobody cares about. I can't wait for Ultizurk 1: The Grandmaster's Quest, I've always wanted to know how those Dr. Dungeon games were (without playing them myself).

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  9. Bard's Tale II made it back on the list? I didn't realize you were giving it another go. Since the last attempt felt boring because you were overpowered, are you going to start from scratch, or just push though to give it a more thorough exploration?

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    1. Oh no!!! I have to suffer through Chester skewering one of my childhood favourites all over again?

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    2. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but the way I treated it originally was a little shameful. All my BT reviews pre-date my taking the blog seriously and taking the time to comment on developers, publishers, and the business of RPGs, so I can use a second attempt at BT2 to offer a retrospective on the entire series the way I should have written it in the first place.

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    3. To be honest I think you'll reach much the same conclusions as before. If anything, I think the game may go down in your ratings. I just have enormous fondness for the whole trilogy, as it was my first real RPG obsession

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  10. To be fair, Bard's Tale II kinda deserves to be skewered. I had to order the cluebook to get through its more ridiculous puzzles.

    I loved BT2, it was my first RPG ever, but every criticism in the Addict's previous Bard's Tale postings is on target.

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  11. >It takes some guts to write an independent shareware RPG for what is arguably the premier RPG platform, in the heyday of its popularity,

    That comment really surprised me. The Amiga? The premier RPG platform?

    I mean, I loved the Amiga to death, and I've commented about it here a number of times, but I didn't really think of it as an RPG platform. That might be because I was a US owner, and I bailed out of the platform probably by 1990 or maybe 1991, but I don't remember very many offhand. There were some, but I don't remember any uniques that didn't exist everywhere. (like, say, the Bard's Tale.) The flagship RPG on the Amiga was probably Faery Tale Adventure, but that was widely ported.

    So, I'm just curious why you think that. You know more about RPGs than probably anyone, so I respect your opinion a lot, it's just ... it contrasts pretty strongly with my lived experience. Did I just not notice?

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  12. I was an Amiga fan in those days, and I'd agree - while it did have its own RPGs, there was more activity on the PC side.

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    1. PetrusOctavianusMay 28, 2016 at 2:13 AM

      I agree too. Most CRPGs for the Amiga were ports. The Amiga was more about side scrollers than CRPGs unfortunately.
      The only Amiga exclusives I can think of was the above mentioned Faery Tale, Black Crypt and Abandonded Places.
      But nearly all of the traditional, turn based ones were developed for the Apple.

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    2. I was a bit young to be into RPGs in 1991 so I can't speak for them specifically, but here in Australia it seemed (anecdotally) that the Amiga was the premier home gaming system at that time.

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    3. "The only Amiga exclusives I can think of was the above mentioned Faery Tale, "

      Not an exclusive. Ported everywhere from C64 to DOS to Sega Genesis, and even an apparently unreleased Apple IIgs version.

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    4. Oh, sod the lot of you. For 5 years, it's been constant, "You should play the Amiga version, CRPG Addict! The Amiga version has better graphics! The Amiga version has better sound! All you have to do is figure out WinUAE. And some frigging thing called 'WHDLoad' that no one will give you a sensible explanation about what it is no matter how many times you ask. It's easy! 'Amiga' means 'friend' in Spanish! What does 'DOS' mean?! 'Two?' What kind of a name for an OS is that? Amiga has better music! Amiga has better...."

      And now I finally make some capitulation to the damned platform, no matter how much of a pain it is to emulate, and you're all like, "Amiga? Huh, never heard of it."

      Of the 242 active games on my list between 1988 and 1992, 106 (44%) were ported to the Amiga. DOS admittedly has more (179), but no other OS has more, and DOS was virtually unknown outside the U.S. Every AAA game was ported to the Amiga, and the same isn't true of DOS.

      I did say "arguably," so continue to argue if you must, but I stand by my statement.

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    5. Hey, I never said the Amiga was best. I'm an Atari ST guy! Go bumblebee cursor!

      But yeah, Amiga was market leader for much of the late 80s and early 90s over here. If you're going to tackle a lot of weird European CRPGs from that era, you would've had to face it eventually.

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    6. The only computer worth playing on is the Iron-Man color-schemed Family Computer (Famicom)!

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    7. >Oh, sod the lot of you. For 5 years, it's been constant, "You should play the Amiga version, CRPG Addict! The Amiga version has better graphics! The Amiga version has better sound!

      True, and I've probably been one of them. In general, at least in the timeframe you're presently in, if there's an Amiga version of a game, it will be the best one. It had amazing graphics and sound. In many ways, it was the first modern computer, capable of many of the same things that current machines can do. Software in general on the Amiga could be remarkably sophisticated. It was *way* past contemporary machines, kinda Unix-like in some respects. There are a few die-hards still using them, even today.

      >All you have to do is figure out WinUAE.

      Aye, and there's the rub. WinUAE has gotten really difficult. Like, HARD. It has grafted new option after new option after new option onto the old code base. I left the Amiga platform relatively early, by '90 or '91, but I was a mighty expert on the machines. I didn't follow many of the later developments (like WHDLoad), but I understand the Amiga pretty darn well. I used to sell them, fer chrissake.

      And, you know what? WinUAE has turned into a freaking nightmare. Ten or fifteen years ago, it was pretty simple. But nowadays? Trying to get a working system up has turned into a hell of a hassle. You've got four or five major OS revisions, five or six major hardware revisions, and enough optional hardware doodads to choke a freaking horse, and *no clue what any of them do*. I used to live and breathe Amigas, and I still have a tough time with the program. I can get it to work, but it is one hell of a lot harder than it should be.

      So I totally get your dislike of the platform. Looking at it with modern eyes, it's justified. It was wickedly complex, and it's complex in a different way than Windows, requiring an entirely disparate knowledge base. Trying to emulate it just about requires a master's degree.

      The people at Cloanto have a pretty good solution. They've been working on their Amiga Forever system for years, and have come up with a fairly clever way of distributing self-contained RP9 files that contain everything needed to run a given program. It's basically a combination of a hardware spec (model, ROM revision, plus any specific additional requirements), and all the disk files you need, preformatted and ready to go, built right into the master file. You pretty much open the RP9, click Play, and WinUAE plays it.

      It's payware, but it's not terribly expensive, about $30.

      What I'd suggest is this: tell people what Amiga games are on your list, and ask if anyone has (or is willing to make) prebuilt RP9 files. You've got enough readers that people might be willing to make them for you. If they will, then the $30 registration for Amiga Forever would probably be way worthwhile.

      Now, you're depending on them making you a good file, and on actually having tested it properly. So you could still get bit if they don't do it well. But if they do, Amiga RPGs should be fairly painless.

      (continued)

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    8. >And now I finally make some capitulation to the damned platform, no matter how much of a pain it is to emulate, and you're all like, "Amiga? Huh, never heard of it."

      No, no, you misunderstood me. I LOVED the Amiga, but I didn't think of it as the RPG king. I thought of it as the shootemup king, with a minor RPG thing on the side. I thought of DOS as being where you went for solid RPG titles.

      But then you point out:

      >Of the 242 active games on my list between 1988 and 1992, 106 (44%) were ported to the Amiga. [...] Every AAA game was ported to the Amiga, and the same isn't true of DOS.

      Like I said, I respect your opinion very much, and it looks like that opinion was correct. It was just so sharply divergent from what I remember being true that I was extremely surprised. But the numbers don't lie, and I'm very sorry if I annoyed you. That was not the intention, even a little bit.

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    9. Well, once again what I thought was joking anger came across as actual anger, so I'm sorry I made you feel like you had to type such a long explanation and apology.

      In truth, most of my Amiga issues are in the past--I think--thanks to Abaleino and the WinUAE/WHDLoad package he configured for me. It works even though I don't understand it. I did buy Amiga Forever a few years ago and it worked well for Legend of Faerghail and I think Captive, but it fell apart with Antares which is when Abalieno came along.

      I'll try to remember to use emoticons in the future. We're cool.

      Delete
    10. For whatever it's worth I'm a spaniard and the "'Amiga' means 'friend' in Spanish! What does 'DOS' mean?! 'Two?' What kind of a name for an OS is that?" bit made me chuckle :D

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    11. Thing with Amiga is that in it's basic setup every single game barring a few special snow flakes made after -90 (AGA) should work.

      That is 68000 processor which was the first processor of A500, WB 1.3 which is the version that most people had in A500, no hard drive since no one had those they costed an arm and a leg and most of all only 500kb of ship mem with no fast mem.

      And 99% of the games should run just fine since game were almost universally made with A500 in mind.

      So technology marches on and so do the Amigas with better chip sets and OS but the game makers don't want to adapt so they still make games with A500 in mind since A1200 has a built in crippled mode made especially for games with A500.

      And game makers keep on making games for A500 and maybe an odd title only for A1200.

      And in the end we end up with little tangled mess with emulator emulating every single Amiga configuration that has ever existed when you only need like 2-3 sets to run every single game ever made for Amigas.

      So technology and so on and we have lazy buggers who can't be bothered to swap disks so they invent a program called WHDload that is essentially "a-game-disk-in-a-file" that you can use from HD since 99% of the Amiga games where "copy protected" by using their own loader software that made them unreadable and copyable by Amiga DOS (which worked really well, btw /s ).
      So all fine and dandy except for the one little fact which is that most WHDload games are from cracked copies and well most cracked copies are cracked in more then just a copy protection and we end up with yet another host of emulator problems.

      And to add in that some games never worked well or as intended in A1200 or other more advanced RL Amigas in the first place, so how could they work in an emulator with a wrong configuration ?

      So basically what you're complaining about is a heap of problems bit by bit stacked a top of one another.

      That special screen in wb 3.0 based machines worked by pressing both mouse buttons on powering up (which took 2-3 seconds iirc), so "bios settings" with a mouse 20 years before PC had it and consequently all Amiga emulators also miss that feature since they don't have an actual starting up sequence.
      Not that the emulating ever worked perfectly (compared to actual A500 with wb 1.3) but for me it allowed me to play games that otherwise would had required a real A500 to run (those games were that finicky btw).

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  13. Seeing BT2 on the horizon, you might consider to delay you second take on this, see http://www.pcgamer.com/bards-tale-iv-kickstarter-backers-will-get-the-original-bards-tale-trilogy-free/ . It will be the definitive bugfree Version for all parts. If the article doesn't make it clear it will be available to everyone though kickstarters of the 4th get it for free.

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    1. From Burger's last tweet on Saturday, it's been delayed further because her understudy found a game-crashing bug less than 30 seconds into the game.

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    2. "Definitive bugfree" seems lofty. There's currently a huge pile of immediately obvious bugs reported and supposedly "in a coming fix" since mid-March. Things like "Press ESC to reroll stats" in character generation, and the Pool Gold feature. I get the feeling it could be a while, at least in Windows native. For the record, I think this makes the fifth (and hopefully last) time I've bought one or all of those games. Not counting the time I bought two separate half-functional Apple IIgs systems to create one working system, to avoid running it in emulation.

      If they ever get it all together, though, I might end up having to write another novel.

      Delete
    3. A sequel to The 8-Bit Bard (uh... The 16-Bit Bard?)? Here, take my money. Take twice of what you charged for the 1st one.

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  14. Interesting that we are already into games in the early 90's, the blog should move pretty quickly post 1992 as there was an rpg dead zone, with just a few exceptions, until around 1997.

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    Replies
    1. That's very funny. You should try yourself at stand-up comedy.

      Delete
  15. This is kind of a non-sequitur here, but on the subject of reasonably short palette cleanser RPGs, I look forward to your take on Ancients I and II (Ancients I is this year). One of the few obscure games on your list that I've actually played, God knows why, probably just because it was there at time.

    They're not great games by any means, but they are short and inoffensive Might-and-Magic-likes. Perhaps something to save for when you've just come off a long slog that wore you out - though I can't promise you'll like them. Actually it might be a challenge for you to find much of anything to say about them.

    ReplyDelete

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