Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fate: Combat in the Wilderness

Talking to snakes produces an expected reaction.
I kept getting killed in the catacombs, so on advice from readers, I returned to the outdoors to explore the area, find treasures, and level up. I had no idea what I was in for. The starting area, encapsulated by mountains (that's why I have to solve the quest to fix the "Cavetrain"), occupies about 100 x 100 squares, giving me 10,000 squares to map. Now before you argue that Fate doesn't actually use all those squares, consider that the twisty, irregular-shaped, impenetrable mountain ranges and copses of trees take considerably more time to map than empty space or rectangular corridors.

The wilderness so far. I've mapped all the roadways and I'm trying to get the perimeter.
In fact, the game fundamentally seems too big to map--and yet I've found just enough stuff in those pockets of wilderness that I feel like I have to keep doing it. Among my discoveries in the roughly 1/3 of the starting outdoor area so far:

  • A deep pit with a dead man lying at the bottom. My characters can climb down the hole, but none are strong enough to bring out the body. (I assume I want to try to resurrect him.) I need to build strength or find a stronger NPC to join for a brief time.
  • A fountain that heals all wounds and conditions.
  • The ruins of the inn whose destruction started the game. There were some miscellaneous treasures nearby.
  • A "station" that probably won't be accessible until I solve that Cavetrain quest.
  • Another city, called Laronnes, much smaller than Larvin. I explored and mapped it but didn't find any additional hints or quests.
The odd-shaped Laronnes.
  • An area called "Herman's Wood" where a banshee roams as a protector. I couldn't get anything to happen here but I assume it's important for a later quest.
Kenny, you're up.
  • Numerous magic treasures, including the Icesword, Icegloves, a crystal bow, and a magic helm.

Every time I'm about to say, "this is ridiculous" and give up, I find one more thing that keeps me mapping.

As I mentioned before, the game's use of sound is excellent and atmospheric, with realistic thunder and rain effects during storms, and birds, crickets, and frogs depending on the time of day. One particular looping tree frog effect sounds like the frogs are saying, "That's basic hazing" over and over. I might be going a bit mad.

Winwood is up to Level 9 and most of his companions are close. Combats in the wilderness are feast or famine. I might go an hour or more without encountering a single enemy, but then all of a sudden the game will fall in love with one particular type of foe--thieves, mages, rats, or snakes--and just keep hammering you with them. I'll typically win 6 or 8 of these encounters before someone gets an unlucky roll and dies, and I'll reload, which causes the map to reset, and the monsters leave me alone again for a while. 
Winwood levels up after a battle with some rats.
In a typical longer game, I might offer one blog entry that primarily covers combat. I'm doing that here, but with the understanding that with a game this long, I'll probably have to offer another midway through the game, as more options and tactics become available. Right now, I'm not using a lot of the options.

Combat is only one potential outcome of an encounter. The other major possibilities are a conversation--the mechanics of which I'll discuss next time--and just walking away. Aside from obvious rules, like you can't talk to animals, the game draws a blurry line between "enemies" and "NPCs." I routinely find that classes who are clearly primarily supposed to be enemies--robbers, thieves, padfoots, murderers, assassins, gral wizards, rain witches, and so on--are happy to occasionally have a chat instead. Some even offer hints or help one my characters increase an attribute. I rather like the approach and wish more games adopted it. It seems silly that literally every bandit or forsworn in Skyrim comes charging at you the moment he sees you.
Usually, this is what happens--but not always.
The initial encounter menu gives you three options that correspond to the three major outcomes described above: "Fight," "Talk," and "Disengage." "Disengage" brings up its own sub-menu, with options to "Run Away," "Ignore," "Hide," "Pray," "Bribe," "Chant," and "Joke." I haven't really spent a lot of time exploring these options, mostly because I usually want the experience or benefits that come with talking and fighting.

There are two other options on this main menu: "Forward" for times when foes start further away, and "Action." "Action" brings up options to "Mock," "Warcry," (use a) "Scroll," "Suicide," "Dig in," "Close Eyes," and "Laugh." I've played with these a bit. I guess "Mock" and "Warcry" are both legitimate options to influence the subsequent statistics in your favor. I haven't found a scroll to use yet, and the rest of the options just seem to produce silly results.
This ought to help.
Once combat begins, characters and foes seem to go in an initiative order determined by dexterity. Winwood goes first much of the time because NPCs have been increasing his dexterity. During their turns, characters can attack, cast a spell, use an item, shoot a missile weapon, throw a weapon, defend, change their weapon, or engage in a number of "special" actions I'll describe in a minute. If there are multiple groups of enemies, you have to specify the group.

The way that the game handles throwing is unique and fun. Almost every weapon or shield can be thrown a short distance--maybe 6 to 10 yards. It's a great option when enemies start outside of melee range. The best part about it is that characters automatically pick up and re-equip the items post-combat. I would have given real money to see that happen in Dungeon Master or Eye of the Beholder. Oh, and if I want to reclaim those weapons during combat, my warlock has a spell called "Getback" that does it.

At this point in the game, combat tends to be pretty quick. Most of my attacks hit, and most of them kill the enemy in a single hit. Unfortunately, enemies get lucky this way too, sometimes. A thief's thrown dagger might immediately kill one of my lower-hit point characters, like my cleric. But if all goes well, the typical combat against half a dozen foes generally only lasts a couple rounds and less than a minute of real time. Given the sheer number of combats in the game, that's a welcome speed, although it keeps things (so far) from getting very tactical.
Magic is simply going to have to wait for a later discussion. I have three spellcasters--a priestess, a magician, and a warlock. I'm still trying to get a witch and a banshee to join me. The priestess has four extremely useful status spells: "Heal 5," "Cleanse," "Cure," and "Sober." She mostly attacks in combat. My magician has "Entangle," "Armor," and "Paralyse." The latter is occasionally useful, but I really need him to get a direct-damage spell. My warlock gets a lot of use out of "Mageclub," an offensive spell, but not so much out of "Warpower."

I'm still trying to figure out if the options on the "Special" menu are worth it. Maybe they will be at higher levels. "Warcry" can cause enemies to flee. "Steal" gives you the ability to pickpocket your foe during combat--I don't know why I'd do this instead of just killing him and getting his stuff that way. "Mock" has the effect of "enraging" opponents; I assume that makes them clumsier. "Grope" has never worked, and I don't even know if I want to know. "Dupe" and "Enchant" never seem to work for me, and my characters always refuse to "Hide" ("I'm not a coward!" they say).

My priestess reviews her "special" abilities.
After a successful combat, you either get one equipment item or money (piaster), never both.
Post-combat rewards.
Equipment will also have to wait for a later posting, but for now let me say that the game outperforms almost every other title of the era by giving you a set of precise statistics and facts when you "Examine" items. The screen even clearly tells you which current characters in your party can use the item. Brilliant. 
Not much to report on the main quest, since that's going to involve me clearing out the catacombs and figuring out the "Cavetrain" quest first. I'm thinking maybe I'll go back to that now instead of continuing to map the wilderness.

Lots of miscellaneous notes:

  • I keep losing little bits of progress because I forget to shut down the game and emulator properly, which causes my saves to not actually save.
  • Just a random thing here:
  • Inns offer a variety of different lodging types (e.g., stables, cot, room, suite) and time periods. No matter what I choose, my characters seem to get fully restored when they sleep. Maybe this isn't true at higher levels with more hit points to restore.
  • Here's something I won't mind a spoiler about: are there ever "secret doors" outside? I'm wasting a lot of time walking headlong into every tree and mountain if not.
  • Characters get experience for casting spells outside of combat, as well as for talking with NPCs. That's a great system.
  • A fun thing happened in Laronnes. I found a fountain that immediately killed a character who drank from it. After that, none of my other characters would drink even when I told them to.
  • Although I've leveled up many times, I haven't been using the guilds to improve because I haven't figured out the best way to do it yet. Non-spoiler advice welcome.
  • NPCs only ever seem to improve wisdom, intelligence, and dexterity. Do I ever find any who improve strength, charisma, stamina, or skill? 
  • The game has a kind-of automap feature using "magic jewels" that you can find or buy. Using them and then reloading is, of course, the height of lameness.
Making sure I didn't miss anything in Laronnes.

  • Every time I try to buy keys in a shop, the shopkeeper says they've all been stolen by a thief. So far I haven't run into anything that requires keys anyway.  

Let's be frank: Fate simply doesn't have enough features to justify its size and length. But it reliably passes the time, and I don't mind continuing to make progress in between brisker games--a designation that I hope applies to The Magic Candle II.

Time so far: 29 hours
Reload count: 28


  1. I've always been quite interested in this intimidatingly large game, so nice to see so much positive here.

  2. No invisible doors outside towns.
    Keys aren't needed.
    Skills even subskills all can get upgrades in temples, will cost you :-)

  3. "A deep pit with a dead man lying at the bottom. My characters can climb down the hole, but none are strong enough to bring out the body."

    One way is to recruit a Witch (recommended anyway because of her Magic Ears ability), she can make Strength +1 potions for a temporary boost, and there is no limit on how many you can drink at once. You'll need about 50 strength. I'd recommend to focus on this as the dead man is a fairly powerful mage and comes with a set of magic equipment as well.

    "I might go an hour or more without encountering a single enemy, but then all of a sudden the game will fall in love with one particular type of foe--thieves, mages, rats, or snakes--and just keep hammering you with them."

    The wilderness is always limited to a single enemy type. Not sure why they made this decision, maybe memory constraints.

    "reload, which causes the map to reset, and the monsters leave me alone again for a while."

    The game also reacts to save scumming, saving/reloading a lot will cause the spawn rate to go up temporarily. Not sure if it happens in the wilderness, but definitely does in dungeons. Just something to keep in mind.

    "I'm still trying to figure out of the options on the "Special" menu are worth it. Maybe they will be at higher levels."

    That's entirely correct.

    ""Grope" has never worked, and I don't even know if I want to know. "Dupe" and "Enchant" never seem to work for me, and my characters always refuse to "Hide" ("I'm not a coward!" they say)."

    "Grope" might be another term lost in translation. High level mages can cause random status effects like aging just by touching the enemy. It's not very effective as it only affects a single enemy and wasting time on status effects is not a very good tactic in this game, you'll want to kill as fast as possible before they land a lucky hit on your characters.

    "Dupe" means "backstab" or "critical hit." It instantly kills if it succeeds. Certain hard to kill enemies are often very susceptible to this, but it's again only single target, so not worth it against lesser foes.

    "Enchant" is probably another status effect, never used it for the same reasons as groping.

    "Hide" essentially removes the character from the remainder of this combat. They can't do anything, but also can't be hit. As far as I can tell, it can only used by "coward" characters which seems to be a hidden, rare attribute. Only my Witch and a named NPC had this, they also refused to do scary things like looking in a dark pit ("oh no, what if there are monsters inside?", etc.

    "are there ever "secret doors" outside?"

    Not that I can remember, no.

    "Although I've leveled up many times, I haven't been using the guilds to improve because I haven't figured out the best way to do it yet. Non-spoiler advice welcome."

    Every attribute has a "best" guild somewhere in the world where they increase it the most per improvement point. Thus the best way is to wait until you have access to all cities, which means solving the Cavetrain quest and buying a ship. Then it's just a matter of making a list of all guilds and finding the best one for each attribute.

    "NPCs only ever seem to improve wisdom, intelligence, and dexterity. Do I ever find any who improve strength, charisma, stamina, or skill?"

    Strength and stamina, no.

    Charisma is trained by Nymphs. These look like blonde women in white togas, only appear around noon outside and even then fairly rarely. They're also the best trainers, training dexterity, wisdom and charisma all at once.

    Skill is improved by warrior types if you can ever get them to help.

    "Every time I try to buy keys in a shop, the shopkeeper says they've all been stolen by a thief."

    It's just another joke option. :)

    1. >>"Enchant" is probably another status effect, never used it for the same reasons as groping.

      Might enchant charm a foe so that he either attacks his chms, or at the least, doesn't attack your party?

    2. Attacking lower level enemies by groping them? That's basic hazing.

    3. "..saving/reloading a lot will cause the spawn rate to go up temporarily."

      Oh no, was that why i had problems in one of the later dungeons? The enemies had been attacking in so frequent waves that I had no time to click on the save button.

    4. This is mostly correct. However, groping will work later on, and it will in fact be useful. Note those combat statistics? Successful gropings will be counted. And when you visit a particular place, you will be rewarded.

      Duping works well against enemies that have been... prepared. I personally like freezing them into blocks of ice, then duping them. As with groping, a high duping count will be rewarded later on.

      Some characters will indeed hide. Again, a high hiding count is useful. Plus, you may want someone pure of heart, who has never spilled blood. To keep someone pristine, hiding during combat might be a good idea, no?

      I wouldn't use the witch's strength potion, because she can only make a limited number. Better to wait for the magician to get access to a spell that increases strength temporarily. (I'd dump the magician afterwards.)

      And your character probably got a little present for her birthday, like a few HP. (These would first need to regenerate or be healed.) Or one additional option of increasing a statistic, I don't remember too well.

    5. I appreciate all of the answers to my direct questions, Zardas. That really helps move things along.

      "Again, a high hiding count is useful. Plus, you may want someone pure of heart, who has never spilled blood. To keep someone pristine, hiding during combat might be a good idea, no?" Every time I think I have a handle on the game, someone says something like this, and I realize there are dozens of subtleties I've yet to explore.

  4. "After a successful combat, you either get one equipment item or money (piaster), never both."

    That's quite probably why there is "Steal" option. I remember that in Final Fantasy ... ummm... one of Final Fantasies stealing was of paramount importance - after fight you would get single item and some money from an enemy, but stealing during the fight yielded very good items - usually the stranger the enemy (I remember fighting some cards and cactuses (cacti?)) the better the items were.

    1. The only Final Fantasy to get stealing right in my opinion was IX, in which there was never a point where you didn't have a thief in your party, and the success rate was pretty good, too.

    2. FFX did stealing well too, especially if you're clever with the sphere grid. Rikku's the only official thief, and she's not in the party for a good chunk of the early-middle game. But it's not hard to give the Steal ability to multiple other characters fairly early on when using the expert sphere grid. By the time Rikku rejoins, you can have three or characters able to steal rather than just one. Steal works quite reliably, just somewhat less well when stealing multiple times from the same monster. Plus the game includes multiple related abilities besides just swiping an item: mug is steal plus attack in a single action; pilfer gil is steal money; nab gil is like mug but for money; bribe is paying the monster to give good items and go away.

    3. i recalled that I've been stealing a lot in FFVII, so it seems that it was a viable option in qiute a few FF games.

    4. I thought Stealing since Final Fantasy 1 was pretty good. It usually can be upgraded to Mugging (Stealing + Damage) in almost every game of the franchise.

    5. Steal didn't appear until IIIj - I and IIj didn't have the command. Plain steal is also absent in VIII (which only has Mug), and was last present in XII. Mug didn't appear until IV, and was last present in X-2 (technically it is present in XI and XIV as well, but those are the MMOs).

    6. This mechanic (get items through stealing on top of what enemies "drop" after beating them or even items they don't drop at all) is also used e.g. in "Ni No Kuni". Wouldn't be Chet's cup of tea and might be too "childish" for some, but it's a beautiful game if you like the Ghibli style and music by Joe Hisaishi.

      It's true this doesn't make much sense: If an enemy has this (additional) item and you beat him, why wouldn't you get it then anyway, too, like loot in a typical RPG? It just adds another gameplay aspect which of course you can like or find stupid and superfluous. As often the case, YMMV.

  5. Modern Dungeon Master clone Legend of Grimrock has what you want. Thrown weapons go back into the hand/quiver of the thrower, when you walk over them.

    1. Heh, I played through LOG 1 with four throwing barbarians. I'd be crazy if I had to pick up everything after each fight...

  6. Man I wish this was a MODERN game with slightly more a modern aesthetic- I would be playing this game FOREVER. Sounds like it has almost everything I want in a game! Why didn;t I hear of this back when I had an Amiga? I had both a 1000 and a 500. Oh well, the joys of emulation! Thank you so much for playing this, Chet!

    1. I agree with you, this would make for an amazing game if it were dressed up for 2016. We'd likely get something close to the child of Daggerfall and Skyrim, with some Witcher thrown in for good measure.

    2. I'm also pretty impressed. Outside of translation issues, special actions like grope and steal show a depth of options, and that hidden coward stat makes for a very interesting option. There's more subtlety and variety here than in most games, ancient or modern. Shame the pacing is otherwise off. I'd probably be content replaying a deep and varied 20-hour game five times, while a slog through a 100-hour instance is likely to make me decide I'm too tired to try it again with different circumstances.

  7. I bet Winwood enjoys The Finer Things, before you know it, he'll be back in the High Life again!

  8. Wow, 29 hours and you still aren't out of the starting area! Looking at online maps I was thinking that you had mapped over half the game, until I realised I was looking at a map that was about 1/24th of the actual overworld map. This must be easily the largest non-proceduraly generated game world so far that you have played.

    1. The full map being 640×400 means it has 256.000 individual locations. Plus the towns and dungeons. But half of that size is just water and content is pretty low regardless...

      For comparison, another massive game, Wizardry 7, has an overall world grid around 200x200 or 40.000 locations, but only a small part of that is explorable. And a similar size for dungeons and other stuff.

      And there's also Legerdemain roguelike, that is available for free (just google and will find it). It's standard top down roguelike, so not first person, but it has an handcrafted world and it uses up to a 1.400.000 (yeah) overall grid. Even in this case the actual explorable space is much lower as it's just a grid and stuff like dungeons are just small paths into it, and a lot of it you just run through. But it's still an amazing design and one of the biggest game worlds ever created.

    2. I found the following http: // (split so no problems with links) - very interesting read. Is this you blog by any chance?

    3. Well, yeah. That's just my blog.

      No idea why you found it if you were looking for the actual game!

    4. That's easy: I read your comment, enter Google -> Graphics, "Legerdemain roguelike map", first hit, "Visit page", read through first entry, notice that what you wrote in the comment and blog entry have very similar phrases describing Fate and Wizardry, ask here :)

      BTW, entry "Building 2D worlds" is pretty interesting. And this Doom map looks awesome!

    5. Knowing the exact size of the Fate game world is a little bit of a spoiler, but I admit I was curious. There's no way I can effectively map all of that.

    6. you have this map

      each pixel is a square\mappable location. You can enlarge the image in Photoshop to something like 5000x5000 (just my guess) and use it as a map. Then you have a map of the whole game world, you can use PS or some other program to make comments to the enlarged map (remarks what you find). Then the only thing you need to map are the dungeons.

      I did this with Starflight. I used the official map
      enlarged it and added notices on the map to the planets.

      Just an idea. I do not know if that would work for you

    7. Interesting, so basically 70 % of squares are non-accessible (water, mountains, rivers). Are there any ships in the game? Can you control them directly like in Ultima games?

    8. Yes, you can buy a ship. You can turn it 45 degrees and raise/lower the sails at any time. With raised sails it will automatically run forward until it hits land. Its speed of course depends on the wind, won't go anywhere in headwind or dead calm. This is where the Enchanter shines again, it's the class that gets access first (at level 20-ish) to the Elementary school, which has a Storm spell that creates a random strong wind.

  9. "After a successful combat, you either get one equipment item or money (piaster), never both."

    Yeah, this can be pretty annoying. You kill that army of Dwarves, expect 20-30,000 piasters and you get... a dagger worth 50. Or if the last enemy succeeds at stealing and runs away, you won't get anything at all.

    1. Right, I meant to comment on that last bit. That's infuriating.

      It's kind of pain to check how much total money the party is carrying, so I haven't really been noticing how much thieves steal during combat. I've just been assuming that it's less than you make in the same combat. But I could swear that at one point, I had over 80,000, and now I only have 65,000 (without having bought much), so perhaps I should pay more attention to those thefts.

  10. Dat moment you realize the starting area is like 5% of the entire game world ^^

    1. People DID warn me it was going to be a long one.

    2. No, they laughed at you when you said you were expecting to make a 2-post review of this game.

  11. A scantily clad chick holding a long hard object and declaring herself a "guardian" of Herman's "Wood"? Hmm...

  12. I'm having a doubt...

    Do you know that you can use the jewels even when you are in the wilderness, RIGHT?

    Because that's the 640x400 map that you can find online. The jewel only shows a portion, but it's a pretty big one, so even without cheating you could make a screenshot and keep it to the side for reference.

    YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAP THE WILDERNESS. I thought you knew this and only mapped to be sure of not missing locations/items...

    1. It's a good way to be thorough, though. The ingame map is pretty good and mostly pixel-accurate, but not always. For example many of the mountain trails are colored as solid rock.

      The thing that irks me most in this game is that it doesn't show you anything in the first-person view. Instead, you have to directly step on every square to find out if there's actually a huge pit or something there. I blame the Bard's Tale series.

    2. Hi, Trystero. Yes, I know you can use the jewels in the wilderness. As Zardas points out, you still have to step on every square to make sure you get all encounters, and manually mapping is the easiest way to make sure I do that.

    3. Rangerous the SecondJune 11, 2016 at 4:19 PM

      Like you, I enjoy using Excel to map, so I thought I would share a neat trick I discovered which helps improve the detail of the wilderness maps.

      In Excel, I started color coding each square to reflect terrain type. While maps that include this additional level of detail seem to help you get your bearings more quickly whenever you lose your way, it was also quite a bit more work to map at this level of detail.

      I discovered a very helpful Excel Visual Basic utility on Neils Horn's website, here:

      This utility paints each Excel cell with the corresponding bit map pixel color. On top of that palette, you continue mapping within Excel as usual.

      There were a few quirks that required tweaking:

      1) Neils' utility was written for xls, which was limited to 256 max column width. I updated this limit to xlsx's 16,384 max column width.

      2) It took a little experimentation to get a consistent pixel scale from WinUAE to Windows. When resolution scales are interpolated, the imagery isn't consistent. For example, from the jewel maps, roads might randomly appear as sometimes 2 pixels wide, other times 3 pixels wide, etc., in order to match scales when Windows resolution is not an even integer multiple of WinUAE resolution. With experimentation, I discovered that setting WinUAE to 640x480 windowed resolution allowed Windows prt scr to capture a consistent bitmap in which each jewel pixel actually occupies three bitmap pixels.

      3) It seemed cluttered and inconvenient to have each map cell represented by 3x3 Excel cells, so I updated the utility to paint each Excel cell with every 3rd pixel from the bitmap.

      Neils' Visual Basic macro is brief, commented, and well structured, so you can glance through it and see that it's not pulling any shenanigans (an important consideration, since VB viruses are said to be on the uptick).

      A picture is worth 1,000 words. I'd like to attach an image of the Excel map from near the ruined inn. Can commenters even do that?

      So, sorry I can't figure out how to display a picture. Also, I can't figure out how to make the automated Excel map converter utility available. If anyone wants to edit Neils' macro to include my changes which make Fate maps work very nicely, I've provided them in a search/replace format:

      changed comment:
      (from) "Maximum size is 255 x 1000."
      (to) "Maximum size is 16,384 x 16,384."

      changed code:
      (from) If bmpInfoHeader.Largura > 255 Or bmpInfoHeader.Altura > 1000 Then
      (to) If bmpInfoHeader.Largura > 16383 Or bmpInfoHeader.Altura > 16383 Then

      changed code:
      (from) For nRow = 0 To bmpInfoHeader.Altura - 1
      (to) For nRow = 0 To bmpInfoHeader.Altura - 1 Step 3

      changed code:
      (from) For nCol = 0 To bmpInfoHeader.Largura - 1
      (to) For nCol = 0 To bmpInfoHeader.Largura - 1 Step myStep

      changed code
      (from) Cells(bmpInfoHeader.Altura - nRow, nCol + 1).Interior.Color = RGB(bmpPixel.r, bmpPixel.g, bmpPixel.b)
      (to) Cells(Int((bmpInfoHeader.Altura - nRow) / myStep) + 1, Int((nCol + 1) / myStep) + 1).Interior.Color = RGB(bmpPixel.r, bmpPixel.g, bmpPixel.b)

      Hope this hasn't been too much of an imposition. I really wanted to show the resultant image, but ... I'm simply not smart enough to figure out how to do that! LOL!

      Thx, and good gaming, everyone!

  13. Fun fact: English version was censored. In German version there is some nudity, rather serious for it's time. Game's page on Wikipedia have examples.

    No, I don't want to start another dispute about nudity in US and Europe.

  14. This game has hidden "realistic details" - for example, if you will drink from fountain of youth with someone and get him under 18 and then you try to go to the Tavern between (i think) 10pm - 6am hour, the barkeeper will kick you out to the street because "he won`t serve children at night" :-D
    Try to find more nice events like this.

    I give you one important advice - try to complete satisfying party as soon as possible, and i mean before you will level up much.
    Many players did not realize that newly recruited characters are scaling to winwoods level but they always have 0 training points!!!
    That means, if you train character from level 1 to level 10 he will gain points but if you recruit character on L10, he will be scaled L10 character WITH ZERO training points!

    I think very good party is something like this:
    Winwood - Explorer (must have char so you do not have a choice)
    Cleric like class (Cleric, Priest, Nymph...)
    Warlock (you will find one nice for sure)

    That is a 5 character superb base, great from the start to the very end of the game.

    I had a Ninja class in my gameplay from beginning to the end and the last member will be Must-have special NPC after some time, so you do not have to care much about last character.

    .... and do not care about money much, i had about 100 000 000 at the end :-D

    And the last one - solve the Dead body & low strength miniquest ASAP.

    1. "Won't serve children at night"? What makes getting a bunch of drunk kids on the street in the DAY any better?!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I don't know about the current situation in Germany, but you could drink beer and wine with 16 but have to be at home before midnight until 18

    4. West-Germany, don't know about the GDR.
      The situation is still the same, club and bar owners, festival promoter etc. still have to make sure that kids under 16 years leave before 22:00, and youths between 16 and 18 leave before 24:00.
      And you can buy beer and whine at an age of 16, and drink it, under parental supervision, at an age of 14.

    5. At the very least, the Germans sure adhere to their Nordic customs in certain ways a LOT.

    6. Funnily in Nordic countries you are not allowed to drink underage.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. @Philipp Tiesler - OMG! I was wondering about that all my life! This can change the entire world! Best to keep it within our highest echelons and delete your comment as soon as possible so that none of these unwashed masses get to learn about it and gain instant enlightenment.

  15. Is it possible to use "Winuae save states" for this game? Do you have any experience about this? In my opinion it is not possible because this complex game saving its extra information on the disk and the save state knows nothing about that. Save state = present memory state.

    1. Yes it is possible to use savestates, but i see a huge risk in doing that. This game is simply so huuuuuuge and you never know what can happen and if some fatal bug comes after 200 hours of gameplay - well you can even end in madhouse :-)

      My friend has an unregistered WHD and he plays WHD version of the game, so he cannot use regular savegame option - he uses savestates instead.

      He is in Grottos of Gahmos dungeon now, but he stopped playing Fate before some time so we will probably never know if it is possible to finish the game succesfully by savestating.

      I played DOS (AmigaDOS) version (regular HDD installation, not WHD install) under Workbench (something like Windows on Amiga) system, where you can use regular savegame option without any problems.

    2. Thank you for the reply. Any advice about the unresponsiveness of the game? Sometimes I press the "turn left" button then nothing happens, press again then nothing happens, press again then my party is turning left at last. It is a little annoying. And for a 200+ hours game it is *very* annoying :)

    3. I had the same problem with the unresponsive direction arrows and keys. Then I switched from the A500 to the A1200 emulation and now it runs very smooth and fast. You need to change the chipset from AGA to OCS and use HDD installation, booting from floppy causes a guru meditation at the A1200.

      When You have only the A500 kickstart ROM you can try to play with the CPU and FPU settings.

      This answer is a little bit late, but this blog have a very good google rating, so perhaps I could help other people, too.

  16. Rangerous the SecondJune 19, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    I've been using this variant on WinUAE:

    The problem: Fate fully loads into and executes from memory. When you think you've saved a game, you've only saved it into memory. When you're done, you mustn't quit. You MUST remember to exit by hitting "*" within Fate, or all of your progress is lost.

    If you're an old dog like me, new tricks take several punishing reinforcements before they take. I've lost several, several hour, sessions.

    We have many choices about how to spend our free time. For now, I choose less unforgiving pastimes.

    1. That variant uses WHDLoad, which is a paid product. Certain features, like saving to disk without exiting are only available in the registered version.

    2. Is it this WHDLoad: ? Where do you pay for it? That page sure makes it look free, which is a pretty crappy way to market.

      I was going to say it would be pretty funny to see a $50 kickstarter or something for chet, so we could get him some proper tools for playing the more esoteric platforms, but I'm not even sure the cost, if there is any, for this tool now.

      It would be pretty awesome if I could throw a few bucks at him to help with that though.

    3. Ah my bad, they've removed registration since then. "Starting with WHDLoad release 18.2 a registration is neither required nor possible. Please update to the latest available WHDLoad version."

      To be honest I've never used tools like this, I've had a real Amiga 500 back in the day so installing the system and the game in the emulator was no problem for me.

    4. An original Amigan -- that's pretty cool!

      As an early adopter of the Amiga 1000, which I loved, I didn’t really pay much attention to the Atari or Mac lines. Amiga was one of a kind, with Jay's doggie paw print and other signatures on the inside top cover. But eventually, even the lowly IBM PC overtook the Amiga's capabilities and especially the quality of games available. After (as the Easter egg so aptly put it) Commodore "messed" it up, with sadness and some dismay, I picked up an MS-DOS machine. My Amiga became a hand-me-down for the less fortunate (my brother), and I've never looked back. Until now...

  17. Here's an obscure German PD RPG that was recently added to mobygames: "Die Quelle von Naroth" (The Well of Naroth): Never heard of it, but it doesn't look too bad. Here's a short arcticle about it (in German): it's pretty short, but says that the game seems fairly professional. The disk image can be found here:

    1. The developer of this game has been in touch with me and sent me a personal copy. I look forward to trying it in a couple of years.

    2. You forgot Might & Magic IX, but I think it's excusable, shock was great indeed.


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