Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pools of Darkness: Won!

I actually think it's time for a big celebration and then I retire in Phlan with my riches.
    
There's a surprisingly large amount of game left to play after the "final battles" of Pools of Darkness. It's not the first game to allow continual play after winning, but it might be the first to have actual interesting content in the post-victory world.

Once you've struck the final blow at the end of the three battles, Gothmenes' wounded body (despite the battle screen clearly stating that you "killed" him) goes flying into the Pool of Darkness. Gothmenes cries out for Bane to save him, but Bane doesn't because of reasons.
    
 
I honestly did not intend to pull you back.
   
Gothmenes is consumed by the Pool of Darkness. Moments later, a vision of Elminster waves at you creepily from the same pool. He says that "the powers of good [have] undone all of Bane's plot" and "everything is as it was--only ye and I know what fate the realms almost bore." Some "fog lifts" and the party stands on a street in Phlan, where we were when the game began.
     
   
Okay, I know we're at the epilogue here, but could the storytelling have been any lazier? The party is somehow magically transported back to the beginning? Everything is reset? No one remembers? Why not just say it was all a dream? I wanted a victory parade, damn it!

But not all is the same as it was before, because NPCs who were in other places are suddenly wandering around the streets of Phlan. You meet Priam, wondering what adventures we could possibly have together, given how peaceful everything is.
   
You do realize the Moonsea is only a small part of the Realms, right?
   
Shal says hello and thinks she recognizes us but can't place us. Vala slaps us on the back and talks about stirring up trouble in Vaasa. Nacacia invites us to visit her in Elven Court someday.
   
Sure. Maybe I'll explore the ruins of Myth Drannor.
  
Finally, Elminster pops up and offers some nonsense explanation for the way things are ("when the greater powers returned the cities, 'twas needful of them to return time as well"). He says he's arranged passage for us on a ship to "a land ye can call home," as if Phlan wasn't good enough for that. He notes cryptically that there's a second ship at the docks that Rolf will tell us about. He then takes off for Shadowdale.
    
Is there a reason you're trying to get me out of here?
   
In the town hall, Sasha dismisses us completely.
    
You know what? I think I'm over you.
   
The seer in the old slums says she can't see our future.

You can take the party outside Phlan's walls and re-explore the entire Moonsea region. All of the evil fortresses are ruins that you can't enter. Manshoon has sealed Zhentil Keep. 
    
    
There are still scattered encounters in the wilderness, mostly with land-sharks.

All of the former craters now have menu towns.
    
There are no menu towns in the main part of the game. They programmed this just for the endgame.
    
The one exception is Mulmaster. If you visit there, a guard informs you that the arena monsters have escaped their pens, and you can run around fighting them if you want. Personally, I felt more sympathy for the monsters. 
   
Have you heard the "enemy of my enemy" theory?
    
Back in Phlan, Rolf offers you a choice of two ships. The one will bear the party to parts unknown, because there's no possible good a group of Level 40 adventurers could do in the Realms. The second ship "limped in with a busted mizzen t'other day" and the captain says "he is here to offer you a challenge."
   
    
If you take the first ship, you get a final series of screens in which the party ruminates on the changes they have wrought to the Moonsea region, feeling pride, etc., and once and for all abandoning any idea that you can role-play the games as an evil party:
    
You board the ship, which soon has its sails smartly set and a bow wave rising before it. You look back at Phlan and the Stojanow River rolling peacefully into the sea. What changes your hands have wrought!

When you first set foot towards adventure, the region was aboil with evil and corruption. Now, its citizens will know a lasting peace, free from fear. What wonders will they create in this golden age?

Turning your musings inward, you know a deep satisfaction in your deeds well done, and realize that it is time to say farewell to the land and the many people you met there.
    
Then there's the other ship. It takes you to Dave's Challenge, an optional final area of the game. (It's named after co-developer David Shelley; we had a dungeon of the same name at the end of Death Knights of Krynn). I gave it a shot after I resurrected my dead characters, healed, leveled up, and retrieved my old equipment from the hold of Rolf's ship--let's not worry about how it got there.
   
Sounds like an RPG developer.
    
The challenge is presented as a special dungeon erected by some lunatic for the specific purpose of challenging high-level adventurers. From the moment you enter, the only goal is to leave. It's a standard 16 x 16 map, but only about 60% of the squares are used.
    
Arriving at The Challenge.
    
I save-scummed liberally as I mapped the Challenge, trying to figure out the optimal order in which to do things. There are three major issues in the challenge:

1. There's only one place that you can rest. It's off a hallway where lightning bolts shoot at you randomly. You can only rest there three times.

2. There are squares where your spells are wiped away. Various sites say that you lose your "mage spells" or "cleric spells," but the reality is that you lose all spells for mage and cleric characters. Since all my spellcaster are dual cleric/mages, all of their spells get wiped on every square.
   
This happens all over the place in Dave's Challenge.
   
3. You play the dungeon with all monsters on "champion" level.

A central room contains a beholder who gives you hints the first two times you enter, then attacks with a large group of beholders the third time. I was only able to defeat them using the "run up/run away" trick.
   
Breaking one of the "bonds" that keeps me in the dungeon.
   
The goal is to break four "bonds," each aspected to a particular class: thief, mage, cleric, fighter. (If you don't have one of each of these, you can't win.) The thief's bond is the easiest--you just have to fight a single battle against some rakshasa and iron golems along the way. The others are much harder because you lose all your spells when you enter their areas. Some of the battles include multiple Blue Minions of Bane and are theoretically harder than the final battles in the main game.
   
3 of 7 Minions of Bane on this map. If I didn't have my items, this battle would be harder than the final battle in the main game.
    
I say "theoretically" because I had one major advantage here that I didn't have in Gothmenes' palace: items. I had lots of wands, potions, and scrolls in my cache back at the Phlan docks, and once I saw what awaited me in Dave's Challenge, I was able to reload and buy more. Since I hadn't burned them earlier in the game, I had two Scrolls of Protection from Dragon's Breath (and each scroll is capable of multiple castings), which really ended up saving the day.
    
The most important item in the game.
    
After a few false starts, I learned where my spells would disappear and made sure to cast every buffing spell before that happened. I carefully spaced out my rest breaks. I ultimately was able to break all the seals and make my way to the final battle, where a mysterious voice indicated that he'd rescued Gothmenes, Tarental, Thorne, and Kalistes. Immediately before the battle, all your spells disappear yet again.
  
Wow, Dave has some serious power.
    
The final battle comes in two waves, with no rest in between. First, Tarental and Gothmenes attack with a bunch of Bits o Moander and maybe 8 Blue Minions of Bane. I never would have survived the breath attacks of the Minions without using the Scrolls of Protection from Dragon's Breath first, but with them, it wasn't too hard. I concentrated my fighters' attacks on Gothmenes and Tarental (despite the "champion" level, each went down in a single round from a hastened fighter) and then the Moander bits while my mages used scrolls and wands with "Fireball" to kill the Minions of Bane.
   
Killing Gothmenes never gets old.
    
The second battle was with Kalistes, Thorne, and a bunch of Pets of Kalistes and Red Dragons. Again, it wasn't so bad. My high-level characters were immune from the "Disintegrate" and "Charm" spells the enemies tried to use, and the scrolls kept me safe from the dragons' breath. It took a long time to whittle them down, but I wasn't in a lot of danger in the meantime.
   
Part of final battle #2.
    
Without those scrolls, I'm not sure the battles would have been winnable. I'm grateful for my hoarding tendencies.

When the battle was over, I wandered around before walking into a square that asked me to "Repeat the mystic clue." I had no idea what it was talking about. I still don't. I looked through all my screenshots for any kind of clue and couldn't find any. Eventually, I had to consult a spoiler site to learn that the clue is "Oh, well"--comma and all. Does anyone have any idea how I was supposed to know that?

Entering the clue took me to a small "reward" area where I found a chest with thousands of gems and jewels, two Girdles of Giant's Strength, two pairs of Boots of Speed, and some high-end weapons. There was also a fountain that I didn't know what it was doing at the time (it just says "you get wet") when you enter, but apparently it was increasing my experience by 400,000 for each trip (up to the maximum you can achieve between levels). 
    
The largest treasure reward in the series.
    
Beyond that, an exit led back to Phlan, where I leveled-up, rested, and saved, then exported my characters for....well, nothing, I guess. Perhaps a replay at some point in the future, or maybe I'll use them to trounce my way through Treasures of the Savage Frontier.
    
You'd like to think so, but you have nothing on Wizardry IV.
    
Two quick notes:

  • The druid's "Protection from Fire" apparently never wears off. When I checked which spells were in effect at one point, she had multiple editions of the spell active, since the previous ones hadn't been "eaten up" by fire attacks in previous combats.
     
I guess she really doesn't need any more.
    
  • Recovering all spells at these levels, after your mind has been wiped, takes almost 5 days of rest. The game maxes the automatic resting at 2 days, so you have to rest 3 times in a row to recover everything. I didn't know this at first and spent a lot of time wondering where all my spells had gone.

It's been a long game! Let's GIMLET the thing and get back to the list.

*****

As for that list, the next game is anyone's guess, and you might see some dramatic shifts to the "recent & upcoming" list in the near future.

I would really like to play Fer & Flamme, which turns out to be Ubisoft's first game, except I can't find a manual and I can't get past the character creation screen. The game makes you manually type in the character class, and without a list of valid options, I'm stuck. I've tried French translations of common RPG class types--guerrier, voleur, sorcier, etc.--to no avail. [Edit: Someone found the manual already and sent it to me.]


At the same time, I'm having trouble finding a workable download of Le Fer d'Amnukor, the sequel to Tyrann, which exists only for the Oric. I'm new to the emulator, so that might be causing part of the problem.

Moonstone is proving so frustrating that I might add a "keyboard control only" restriction to my master game list. I have a Logitech controller that, after some effort, I basically have working with DOSBox, but either it's reading my inputs erratically or I just suck. I can't even win the practice battles. Adjusting the CPU speed doesn't seem to help.

Knightmare is giving me the usual issues working with the Amiga, which in this case means that it freezes on loading most of the time, and when it doesn't, it doesn't stop asking me for a disk even though I've inserted one. No luck with the ST version, either. This one is probably more solvable than the others, but I reached it after a string of failures with the games above and was low on patience.

As for Fate: Gates of Dawn, I sank 8 hours into it last week and didn't get any further than mapping a few partial levels of catacombs. The game is indecently large, and I'll probably need double that time to encounter enough plot points to have anything to write about.

So barring any movement on the above, the next post you see might be on Legend of Lothain or Heavy on the Magick, neither of which I've looked at yet, so heaven knows whether I'll have any problems with them.

68 comments:

  1. Is it just me, or does Elminster always looks like he's wearing cherry-red lipstick? Which reminds me, my girlfriend is dressing up as Slutty Gandalf this Halloween. The combination of short-skirt-wizard outfit with full gray beard is...disturbing.

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    1. He also has a leopard-print cloak, which is all sorts of pimp.

      (Also, I'm not usually one to point out typos, but when that typo is "dramatic shits" I feel like it's my duty to do so.)

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    2. I for my part welcome the promised "dramatic shits".

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    3. Yeah, that was a pretty bad one.

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    4. > He also has a leopard-print cloak, which is all sorts of pimp.

      I think that's less likely to be leopard-print than leopard-skin. Considering the setting, it makes considerable sense to have a cloak made out of an animal skin, so wouldn't have the same connotations we do.
      I mean, I wouldn't look at a picture of a Zulu warrior that was wearing leopard skin and think he was trying to pimp himself out. Then again, for all I know, that's exactly what he's trying to do within the context of his culture. ;)

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    5. The love of Elminster is not like the love of a square.

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    6. @Kevan That is probably what he's doing... Killing a leopard with rocks and a spear wouldn't exactly be easy, and women tend to have a thing for displays of physical prowess in most cultures.

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  2. It's a pretty petty thing to point out someone's typos, but considering the way you avoid using profanity that one typo after the '*****' left me confused for waaay too long.

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  3. Everything is cool except sombreros, nowadays.

    Dave's Challenge reminded me a bit of the cenreal conceit of Chaos Fights Back, with the special puzzle for each character class.

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    1. Kind of. But since my clerics lost all their cleric spells (as well as their mage spells) entering "their" area, and vice versa with the mages, it felt more like it was a fighter challenge all the way through. I guess I did forget to mention that the thief's challenge had one trap I had to disarm or something.

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  4. Back in the day I used to manage completing Moonstone using the keyboard quite reliably (since it's sort of a multiplayer "boardgame", I played it quite often with friends from start to finish), so I don't think that's the problem. However, I do recall that the game had a fairly steep learning curve, and it took a while for the combat system to click, getting to know all the moves and which were best for which enemies; but once it did I was slaying the dragon like the best of them. I guess the only advice I can give you is to keep at it using the practice mode, though.

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    1. Regarding Moonstone, I recommend to play the Amiga version. Just use standard A500 with 1 MB in WinUAE and setup the joystick as keyboard.
      It plays really fine, had no more problems with the game than with good old Competition Pro.

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    2. Ah, Competition Pro, the best joystick ever! :)

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    3. Thing is that game has events that increase the power of enemies such the full moon and rat men which the game gives generous hints about.

      also raising stamina IIRC increases the amount of enemies on screen at the same time and unlike the emulator the actual A500 sometimes really struggled with multiple enemies on screen.

      Anyway since game is as more an action adventure then pure RPG it's more then likely that addict just simply sucks with the controls as most enemies are dependent on timing the right strikes and insta kill opponents give you the tiniest of hints before instagibbing such as balors and swamp skeleton monsters (which is hit and never ever stay still or you WILL die).

      Game takes a surprising amount of mastering to win actually despite looking and feeling a rather cartooney.

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  5. I recently LPed the beginning areas of Knightmare for a recurring feature of mine without much issue. It was the ST version using STEem, if you'd like to try that route yourself. (Back when I was doing that ST feature, I switched from Hatari to STEem because the latter was far more user-friendly. It was also considerably more user-friendly than pulling my old Atari STE out of mothballs and setting it up on a monitor with screen/video capture.)

    I only bring it up because I'd like to hear your thoughts on the game: from its weird backstory to its similarities to Captive (which is hardly an incentive for you to get it working, I realize) and its uncommon structure. I can accept that there's plenty of other, better 1991 games left to get through, though.

    Congrats on defeating PoD, by the way. Sounded like those last encounters with Gothmenes were some nasty ones, though you'd be the first to admit that you inadvertently made them considerably harder on yourself.

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    1. I tried downloading what I thought were Atari ST files for Knightmare, but they have an extension of "STX" which Steem doesn't seem to recognize. Can you point me to where I can get a ST version that works with Steem?

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    2. You should try the "cr by Cynix" version at www.planetemu.net for working *.st files.

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    3. Didn't have any problems emulating it on the Amiga. I've put together a ready-to-run package for you, just start winuae.exe and it should automatically load. Enjoy yet another Dungeon Master clone where running into walls and waist-high bushes damages your characters :)

      Also included Moonstone in case you can't get the DOS version to run properly. It's set to use the keyboard arrow keys to move and right Control or Alt to fire.

      https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwlM6LUXUzHMUG1mQzhYaWhuMlk

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    4. About .stx:
      Download this (http://pasti.fxatari.com/downloads/PastiDll_02h.zip) and place the past.dll in your Steem folder.
      I tried it with Dungeon Master and it worked.

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    5. Right, sorry, I forgot about the .stx problem. I'd already troubleshooted that issue when covering a previous game by following the same directions as Dotur, above, with Pasti.dll.

      That's why I didn't recall an issue: I already had the dll in place when I got around to Knightmare, so the .stx thing didn't occur to me until you mentioned it. That'll teach me to pay attention.

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    6. Thanks, everyone. I'm sure that among these resources, I'll be able to figure it out. I elevated Heavy on the Magick to the next game because I'd made some progress, but it doesn't seem there's any reason to re-order the rest of the list.

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    7. Zardas, I downloaded the two files in case you don't want to leave the up forever.

      Dotur/Mento I believe I actually havet at .dll. I don't know what I always do wrong with Steem. I find the "Disk Manager" horribly unintuitive, and in the past I guess I just basically screwed around with it until it worked. I'll try the Amiga version first, even though it always feels like I'm surrendering a piece of my soul whenever I agree to play the Amiga version of anything.

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    8. For emulating Amiga, I would suggest to use FS-UAE emulator. It is based on winuae, but it has really easy-to use launcher interface.

      You just out your roms and game files somewhere, then log in to online database and run scan - every game is automatically added to launcher, with working configuration which is fetched from online database.

      I would suggest downloading whdload versions of the games (basically cracked version of game running from harddisk, not disk image) - loading times are lot faster that way. FS-UAE supports multiple versions of same game - you only need to have game files available (and they can be zipped files, you do not need to mess around with them).

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    9. Alright, I've removed them since the Amiga ROMs are still technically copyright protected.

      I don't really understand your dislike for the Amiga though. It's a personal computer, not that much different from the PC, what's wrong with it? Or is it emulation in general?

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    10. Rangerous the SecondOctober 16, 2016 at 12:51 PM

      I can't speak for CRPG Addict, but back in the dark ages, I was a one of the first owners of the original Amiga (later called the Amiga 1000), and I totally loved it. I still have most of my Commodore vintage computers (in working condition even!), but not the Amiga. Commodore's superb vision and execution (jk) seemed unable to capitalize on their greatest asset -- Amiga users' rabid support and enthusiasm. By the time MS-DOS left Amiga's once-unparalleled capabilities in the dust, I regretfully bought my replacement PC. Then, like a jilted lover, I needed some kind of catharsis. I gave it away just to get that over-promising, under-achieving box out of my sight.

      Still, I have my moments of nostalgia. Following CRPG Addict, I've dusted off WinUAE and struggled to get Faery Tale Adventure up and running. No joy. Much later, I tried Fate-Gates of Dawn. It required several multi-hour sessions, but now it's working. The continued complexity, struggle, and let's just admit it, poor execution, always strikes a bit too close to home, reawakening some of the same Amiga pain I felt upon buying my first PC clone.

      Great, I feel much better now that I have that off my chest. Now, let me tell you about my father...

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    11. Addict, I've really changed my mind on Amiga emulation. I used to be one of the people championing the system to you, but I've altered my tune substantially in the last year or so. It's just so damn hard to get a system up and running stably, with the games working properly and as well as they could be run. Even with setup help, it sucks. Even with Amiga Forever, which is probably the best overall way to run those old games, it *still* sucks.

      The Atari ST was vastly inferior to the Amiga in most respects. It was basically a 68000 glued to some RAM, a weak sound chip, and some basic video circuitry. But that simplicity also makes it very easy to emulate, and while games won't be quite as good over there, the effort involved in emulating them should be much lower. The games will be 80% as good, for 20% of the pain in bringing them up.

      The Amiga was a way of life back then, and it's still a way of life now. That paid off when it was the only modern-ish computer that you could buy (offering a remarkable number of advanced features, some of which Windows still can't match), but you just want to play RPGs. None of that crap matters to you at all.

      It seems to me that, from your standpoint, the extra complexity is an obstacle, not a benefit.

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    12. Basically every game was the same for Atari and Amiga anyways. One had the better sound and the other better graphics, but neither was used very often.

      At later times, some games were only released for Amiga and PC, but at that time, the PC had already won. The closed systems of Atari and Amiga were too slow to adapt, especially since the newest releases (Atari TT/Falcon, Amiga 600/1200) each flopped.

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  6. Hello Mr. CRPG Addict,

    Concerning Fer & Flamme, you can find its manual (notice n°1) at the following link, as well as many other things related to this game :
    http://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&onglet=notices&num=864

    In order to solve your problem with class names at the character creation, type them in lowercase. Also, your characters must respect the minimum ability score(s) for their chosen class, as 16 in "force" for a "guerrier". You will find them in the manual.

    About Moonstone, you may consider playing the Amiga version. So you will not need a real joystick.

    And about Le Fer d'Amnukor, I played it on emulator almost ten years ago, and I remember that launching it properly was not easy. There were also some problems with saving the game. I finished it with the help of a big walkthrough, but this one seems gone from the internet.

    However I can recommand you this link in French where you will find some help to launch and save the game :
    http://callmekenneth.pagesperso-orange.fr/edito,en,112,86.html

    And if you register at oric.org, you may retrieve many documents and informations here :
    http://www.oric.org/index.php?page=software&fille=detail&letter=&num_log=1369

    Thanks for your great blog. Following your adventures in all these old CRPGs is a real pleasure.

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    1. About The Fer d'Amnukor, actually I saved the internet page of the walkthrough when I played the game years ago. I just found it in my dusty archives. Unfortunately this walkthrough is in French but it contains a lot of informations and all the detailed maps of the game. Ask for it and I send it to you.

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    2. I appreciate all the resources. I think together these solve my problems.

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  7. In order to solve your problem with class names at the character creation of Fer & Flamme, type them in lowercase. Also, your characters must respect the minimum ability score(s) for their chosen class, as 16 in "force" for a "guerrier". You will find them in the manual.

    And about Le Fer d'Amnukor, I played it years ago on emulator and it was difficult to launch it and to save your game. The extensive walkthrough I used at the time, with detailed maps et strategies, seems gone from the internet. However it appears that I saved it on my computer at the time. If you are interested in it, I may send it to you. The size of the archive is only 73 Ko. The only problem with it is that it is in French.

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    1. I'm absolutely interested. I can read French okay, and there are plenty of translation tools if I encounter a difficult passage.

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    2. I have just sent you the walkthrough for Le Fer d'Amnukor. Don't hesitate to use it if you are ever stuck in this game. I don't think I would have had the patience to finish it without it.

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  8. I have to ask after reading about the problems multiple times (hundreds?) now.

    Don't you have someone who is proficient enough with an Amiga/Atari ST/whatever emulator that he could just provide you with an archive for games where you have problems? Some zip containing the configuration files? Or the HD images?

    Something in the way of "Here is an archive containing the correctly configured emulator and the roms, just start the emulator and go!"

    (Side note: I know that you can't ask people for roms, but there are other ways like "If you would use this version of the game, it would work like this")

    Or does nobody reading this blog know their way around with an Amiga emulator? (I for one don't, but I haven't done much Amiga emulation yet)

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  9. If you would like a keyboard setup for Moonstone I can set you up on the Amiga with WinUAE

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    1. Thanks, Ian. I think Zardas took care of me (above).

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  10. Joystick isn't required for Amiga emulation.

    Go to WinUAE options, select Game Ports, change both port settings to Keyboard Layout B or C (whichever sounds more comfortable to you), and switch the control type field (next to autofire settings) from default to joystick.

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    1. The question isn't whether it's required; it's whether I can functionally play the game without one.

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    2. I think what he means is that this makes the keyboard register as a "joystick" to the Amiga, meaning you can use the keyboard as a joystick substitute even if the game demands a joystick.

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    3. Right, I understand that. What I'm saying is that there are many games for which to adequately play them, you NEED a controller. Keyboard emulation might be back at the technical inputs of a controller, but they don't always mimic the smoothness of control.

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    4. "Be back" is how my phone interpreted "mimic," apparently.

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    5. You need a joystick only people with a certain fetish would play games like Moonstone with a keyboard but that's just my opinion.

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    6. The Amiga used digital joysticks, Addict, the Atari 2600 standard of four switches and a button. It even used the same connector; you could plug actual 2600 sticks in directly.

      You should be pretty okay with a keyboard. It might, in fact, be better than an analog stick.

      A digital thumbpad would probably be the closest reasonable match, but if you want to use a keyboard, you should get pretty good results.

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  11. One option if you want to the POD-party-in-TSF thing is to use it to explore options that would otherwise be inaccessible due to difficult fights.

    Minor spoiler: Treasures has a large fight near the beginning you are supposed to walk around decreasing the monsters in. It's actually still beatable with a beginning party and enough strategy, but your POD party will have a fun time.

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  12. Excellent! Can't wait for the GIMLET. It's pretty clear we're going to have a new Top 5 game (our first in a very long time), but will this one push PoR out of the #3 slot? I can't wait to find out.

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    1. I can never tell what is and isn't sarcasm here.

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    2. Yeah I'd be surprised if was top 5.

      Character development is pretty weak and combat is samey, often requires forewarning (for buffs) and the opportunity attack cheese vs dragons and beholders and has a pretty grim final fight. Plus robbing you of your cool gear at a bunch of places is some hokey nonsense.

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    3. I was being serious, but we'll see what the Addict thinks. I've not PLAYED this game so I do not know if reading it feels different than playing it.

      But right now, except for economy (which is worse), most elements of this game seem superior to PoR which is currently ranked #3. Even if we get points knocked off for still using this engine or the way many combats devolved into spamming fireballs and timing, it still has a chance of Top 5. And elements like having to work with scavenged equipment seem like things that the Addict would be very in favor of because it completely changes the flavor of the game-- too often we get overpowered equipment early and ride it to the end; here he had to make decisions (and...er... some very wrong ones) throughout the game.

      So, I could be wrong but I think we're going to get a relatively high GIMLET here and that's pretty exciting.

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    4. I doubt it, personally. The Addict seemed pretty pissed at the game.

      It was really made to be released at the height of the Gold Box series when everyone was fresh from Secret and knew all the tricks. Now it's really for diehard fans only.

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    5. Top 5 or not, all I can say is that I hope he had as much fun playing it as I did reading about him playing it.

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  13. You are using the copy of the emulator I gave you for Fate, so you can use the same thing for all (most) other Amiga games.

    You can find a big archive here:
    http://tinyurl.com/m9qjwpy

    Or this other one, though it's very outdated:
    http://www.whdownload.com/

    When you have the archive of one game you just unpack it in the DH0/Games/ directory. You then load the game as with Fate.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The "Oh, Well" clue issue, according to Dave himself, was the result of a lack of polish on a hastily created bonus level.

    http://www.tsi-games.com/Community/topic/gold-box-and-more/

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  15. Congratulations on winning both the main game and Dave's challenge. Your line, "You'd like to think so, but you have nothing on Wizardry IV." had me giggling. It's a pity that none of Bane's lieutenants had such a great name as Werdna.

    The only Gold Box game I played after defeating the main bad is Pool of Radiance. Genheeries remains with the party. I actually did some of the quests after defeating Tyranthraxus.

    I suppose it is an A.I. issue, but I wondered if programmers could put monster reactions to player characters? Wouldn't some monsters flee if they saw a magic-user in the party? Dragons and un-dead can have fear effects in some Gold Box games, Clerics can turn un-dead, but shouldn't a paladin cause un-dead to possibly flee or have lower morale? At some point, exploits of the party should have circulated enough to give monsters reasons for other actions besides attacking up to the last hit point.

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    Replies
    1. It was "explored" in Berserk manga, where undead were attacking main character relentlesly. It qas explained that each living person appears to them as a flame, and they want it's light and warmth, living in cold and darkness. So maybe undead attacking good characters and especially paladins can be made logical, if the "gooder" you are, the bigger your flame.

      Delete
    2. It was "explored" in Berserk manga, where undead were attacking main character relentlesly. It qas explained that each living person appears to them as a flame, and they want it's light and warmth, living in cold and darkness. So maybe undead attacking good characters and especially paladins can be made logical, if the "gooder" you are, the bigger your flame.

      Delete
  16. One line here caught my attention:
    > Perhaps a replay at some point in the future, or maybe I'll use them to trounce my way through Treasures of the Savage Frontier.

    Is there some way to hack the PoD characters to TotSF? They're a different series and the latter has levels around 6 to 13.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ding-Dong! I mean Null-Null!

      Delete
    2. You can import characters from Pools of Darkness to Treasures of the Savage Frontier, and import characters from Curse of the Azure Bonds to Gateway to the Savage Frontier. They keep all their equipment. It's really unlikely to be deliberate design and it's very close to playing each game in god mode, but it's there.

      Delete
    3. I'm tempted to do it, just so I can have one game where I curb-stomp everyone. It would probably be boring, though.

      Delete
  17. It is unlikely to help with your current problem, but I would like to remind you at this point that Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers are fully PC compatible. USB versions of the Xbox 360 controller or using the Xbox One controller in wired mode (as I understand it, you can just use the charge cable) work out of the box, or you can use them in wireless mode with a relatively cheap adapter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obdurate Hater of Rhythm GamesOctober 17, 2016 at 1:07 PM

      Are there any adapter for Nintendo and Sony controllers? It would be nice to use a controller for things like ROMs, action games and ported JRPGs, but I refuse to give Microsoft after all the horrible things it did the last few years.

      Delete
    2. There are adapters, drivers and third-party offerings, but naturally Xbox controllers offer the best plug-and-play compatibility on Windows. Some lazy ported games don't even support anything else. So be prepared for some trouble if you hate MS so much that spending a mere $27 for the easiest solution is out of the question.

      Delete
    3. Drivers exist for the PS3 controller, but I have yet to successfully get one to work.

      I mentioned the convenience of using an Xbox controller principally because I know (from previous posts here) the Addict already owns one, and he might have an easier time getting one to work than a third party one.

      Delete
  18. I'm really excited that you might play Fer&Flammes, it might bring me some closure :)
    I remember playing it as a kid and probably enjoying it only because there were so few CRPGs on the CPC. I didn't get far, but I've been secretly hoping for a longplay all those years.

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  19. Several days late on mentioning this, but I seem to recall that in the 1st edition (pen and paper) Dragonlance setting there was a level cap in that the gods were stated to either eliminate characters that surpassed level 18 or shuffle them off to another plane. (Raistlin later being an example of what happens when they can't/don't.)

    Maybe that's what Elminster is up to with the ship taking you away: time to remove these folks from the field, they're a little TOO effective.

    ReplyDelete
  20. In the Forgotten Realms adventurers are kind of like US politicians. Once you've gotten to the to of local politics, you move up to state politics, then federal.

    It kind of makes sense- the type of thrill seeker that decided risking their life in combat on a daily basis is probably not the type of person to want to settle down after beating the big bad. They look around for a bigger mountain to climb.

    That said, it would be cool if you had an RPG that had a sequel that was a strategy game, then a kingdom management sim. In game one you take out the tyrant and get elected. In game two you reclaim your kingdoms territory. In the final one u it becomes more Simcity like as you manage what you've conquered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And in game 4, that game is called Game Of Thrones.

      Delete
    2. It isn't exactly a RPG, but Crusaders Kings 2 lets one transfer the save game to Europa Universalis 4 so after building a family dynasty one gets to run the nation state. There are also unofficial ways to keep transfering the save through Victoria 2 to Hearts of Iron. If only there was a real RPG to build one's character for CK2.

      Delete

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