Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Questron: 2

Minutes the developers would last in Vegas before going bankrupt: 15.

Number of minutes I initially played "Wizard's Squares," a casino game I found in a few towns, before deciding it was a stupid version of roulette and moving on: 8.

Number of minutes I continued to play the game before a nagging voice in my head made me say, "Wait a second..." and return to the casino: 12.

Average return on investment if betting on one of the four "corner" squares in the game (see spreadsheet above): 112.5%.

Amount of gold I had after about 15 minutes of playing: 25,446.

Number of treasure chests in Castle Redstone: 25+.

Number of chests you have to open before the guards start attacking you: 1.

Likelihood, given previous games in this series, that I will somehow end up having to kill all of these guards for vague reasons: 100%.

Number of walls it breaks for characters in the game to actually refer to "hit points": 4.

Number of character deaths I suffered before discovering that the way to heal myself is to buy hit points at unmarked stores in a handful of towns: 6.

How much sense it makes to find a network of "banks" in a quasi-medieval society: 0.

Given that you can store money in a bank, that you get an extra 200 gold with each resurrection, that there doesn't seem to be any chance of permanent death, and the only downside to death is that you have to re-purchase your weapons and armor, how much death sucks on a scale of 1 to 10: 2.

Percentage of the time I screamed, "No! Really! You don't have to do that!" when viewing this screen: 100.

Levels I gained for finding the Hall of Visions in Castle Redstone: 1.

Levels that you can gain in the game based on experience fighting monsters: 0.

Average amount of gold gained from killing a monster: 25.

Number of monsters I would have to kill to equal roughly 5 minutes of playing Wizard's Squares: 320.

Reasons, therefore, to fight monsters: 1.

Reasons to fight monsters other than "they're standing in my way": 0.

Number of other CRPGs in which a staff beats a hammer or axe: 0.

Given that more "advanced" weapons and armor, like hammers and ring mail, started showing up in towns after I attained an extra level, likelihood that the type of weapons and armor you can buy is tied to your level: 100%.

How $(&#@ing stupid this is on a scale of 1 to 10: 10.

Number of dungeon entrances in the upper left-rightcorner of this temple: 1.

Number of dungeons I have discovered after visiting every town and temple on the continent: 1.

Likelihood that the Wand of Power is in this dungeon: 100%.

Google results for "OOLATEK!": 155.

Number of magic missile and fireball spells I am allowed to buy and carry at one time: 99.

Average damage I do against creatures in the dungeon with my hatchet, and average percentage of the time that I hit said creatures: 13/50.

Average damage creatures in the dungeon do against me, and percentage of the time that said creatures hit me: 33/100.

Maximum number of hit points I am allowed to have: 400.

Average damage I do against creatures in the dungeon with my fireball spell, and average percentage of the time that I hit said creatures: 80/100.

Realistic tactical options I therefore have while exploring the dungeon: 1.

Reasons that vermin would have to be "wrathful": 0.

Having reached the end of this posting, satisfaction level with this particular gimmick, on a scale of 0 to 5: 0.

Given that I'm at a beachfront hotel in California, likelihood that I'm going to re-do this posting: 0.

Given that I'm here until Friday, number of other postings you are likely to see before then: 0.

Apologies that I offer for this: 1000.


  1. Have fun at the beach enjoy sipping your mojitos and viewing the scantily clad wenches :P

  2. Awesome post!! :)

  3. great posting! just one thing: century in which the first networks of banks were founded in Europe: 13th

  4. Degree of confusion as to why anyone in their right mind would rate this post as 'bad' on a scale of 1-10: 9

  5. Once again your disillusionment with a game is apparent. It's entertaining to correlate your enjoyment of a game based on the tone of the posting. Bravo!

  6. Number of hours you *should* spend playing this game: 6.

  7. Retail price of Questron in 1984 (presumably similar to Questron II's in 1988): $49.99 (Apple/Atari) or $39.99 (C-64).

    Number of stars given to Questron II by Patricia Hartley and Kirk Lesser in issue #183 of Dragon (1988): 4 out of 5.

  8. Correction: that should be Dragon #138, and apparently the authors of the review are Hartley Lesser, Patricia Lesser, and Kirk Lesser.

    Vintage ad for Questron here: http://mocagh.org/ssi/questron-ad.jpg

  9. I was expecting a "Priceless" (a la MasterCard) joke at the end of the post :p

    Looking forward to the Sentinel Worlds playthrough, as it's one that I've always wanted to give a fair chance but have never managed to dig into.

  10. This post gives me the impression you're not giving the game a fair chance, but it's so funny that I'm not going to complain!

  11. The next game is called "Rogue Clone"? Isn't that a genre, not a game?

  12. High-larious.

    Let us know if you spot any jelly nymphs while you're in California!

  13. It's great when you manage to squeeze a hilarious post out of a mediocre game! =]

    Just for the sake of precision, I'd argue that the mention of hit points breaks only one wall (the 4th), but granted... that's just nit-picking.

  14. You should gather it all (all the posts so far) and publish as a book. I would buy....

  15. Ah Max, I see your post is dyslexic , it's issue 138 not 183. Interesting to see how they gush over crap in those days though :)

  16. Random note on the sidebar list: Shadows of Mordor is a text adventure without any RPG elements. (I know you are dying to play another Tolkien game though.)

  17. I thought the addict might like to read the bit on Dragon Warrior III- I'd be intrested in hearing your opinion on the design elements it discusses and if any of the games you have played have done them well.


  18. Hi Addict, thanks a lot for your blog, I really enjoy remembering the good ol' time following your adventures!

    Just a little "know it all" comment on the payout thing: the average return isn't 112,5 %, you forgot to include the cases where you lose your wager (so that's -1*0.6875).

    The average return is then 0.4375, still largely positive (which explains where you got your millions :) )

  19. Turns out June sucks in San Diego. They have this thing called "June Gloom" where it never gets sunny at the beach. No tans, no sunsets.

    Thanks for those of you (Enraged Geek, Max, Anon) who followed along with the motif.

    Last Anon, I don't think my math was wrong, but perhaps I used misleading labels. The cases in which I would lose the wagers are built in to the probability. 1.125 was, based on probability and payout amounts for different squares, the average amount that you win for every 1 gold piece spent over time. For every 1000 gold pieces bet, I will get an average of 1,125 gold pieces in return. At least, that's how it SHOULD work. In practice, I seem to win a lot more than the percentage would dictate, leading me to believe that perhaps the location the ball falls isn't random.

    Canageek, I read the article. I applaud the game's non-linearity, but I agree that sometimes it's good to have a linear bit at the beginning, just so the player can get used to the controls and maybe gain a level or two. BG2 does that with the sewers, Oblivion with the...well, sewers. MM6 is very non-linear but it starts you in an "easy" corner of the map, so it would be hard to stumble in to a tough area right away. That's good balance.

  20. Hmmm, yeah, I'd agree with that. I do like a visible way of saying 'here be dragons' as well. Fallout 3 does that with the river separating DC from the rest of the wastes, BG uses area transitions and such.

  21. rebuilding this game on my minecraft server, hopefully it'll turn out well :)

  22. Really looking forward to your "Star Command" experience. Played it huge on the Amiga back in the day. Regarding your "recent and Upcoming" A lot of these are freeware\abandon-ware titles and are literally free! it would be great to have links to upcoming games and download sites,(even it's abandon/freeware) it's always more fun to crpg with a friend.

  23. Well, legally I'm not sure there's such a thing as "abandonware," and while many of the titles might be realistically free, I'm not sure that they are "free" according to the original copyright holders. I'm a little wary about putting links to abandonware sites on my own site, lest I get complaints from legal departments.

  24. Great: the first game with level scaling.

  25. doesn't referring to 'hit points' only break a single wall? It may be the '4th wall', but it's not four walls ;)

  26. times i chuckled while reading this post: many.

    this was great. thank you for writing it. even if your frustration with questron ii shows pretty clearly, i'm grateful you stuck it out to produce this gem.


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