Thursday, September 10, 2015

Antares: Anlagen und Geräte

This monster portrait freaks me out for reasons I don't understand.

At the conclusion of the last session, I had been visited by a "projection" that told me to travel to Akrillon and see an Umbeke named Ranishtar. Before I left, I wanted to check out the one un-explored dungeon in Nomiris: Tiefencastel.

Despite its name ("deep castle"), Tiefencastel ended up being about 17 squares. There were a couple of trite messages ("Life is expensive, even after death!") along the way. The hallway ended in a barricaded door and there was no way to progress. "Despite being a bit disappointed," the game said, "you're nevertheless glad that the way ends here. Everything you've seen from these corridors so far didn't exactly inspire confidence." I don't know if some other event will bring me back here or not.

It's nice that the skull and crossbones has universal meaning.

So much for that. I returned to the transport hub, entered my found PIN, and set off for Akrillon. I'm not entirely certain whether the three places I can travel from the transport hub are different planets in the Antares system or different cities on Kyrion.

Akrillon was much like Nomiris: a 20 x 20 city in which every wall is a door to a building. I explored them all and found a lot of empty houses, four food shops, one equipment shop, a storage depot, and two dungeons: Tornac and Dominia. There was no sign of Ranishtar in any of the houses, so I reasoned that he was probably in one of the dungeons.

The city of Akrillon.

The storage depot was a nice touch. It allowed me to stuff any of the equipment I was carrying in a locker for later retrieval. I put almost all my "Electerium" there, a bunch of food for when the stores were closed, and a couple of items that I was afraid to discard but I didn't know what they did. This freed up a lot of inventory space. This might even be a CRPG first. I can't remember a previous game that allowed me to store items in a central location.

A nice touch for an inventory-limited game.

I decided to try Tornac first. It turned out to be a two-level dungeon, each level consisting of two 6 x 19 areas connected by a 3 x 7 corridor. In general, the developers of this game did a good job varying the size and shapes of the levels while still making them symmetrical enough that you can identify likely secret areas. They also did a good job with different textures in the dungeons.

One of the symmetrical levels from my latest exploits.

I didn't find Ranishtar in the dungeon, but I did find a bunch of messages related to the mysterious Questonaten race. "It's strange that the Umbekes' best friends carry such a 'questionable' name," the first read, opening a mystery I haven't yet solved. Another indicated that the race can assume a spectral, ethereal shape, and a third said that they were telepathic.

"Our masters are exceedingly reserved. In all of their history, they have chosen to bother with only three other cultures--us being one of them." I assume this one is talking about the Vuroners, but I'm not sure. "You'll see us," a final one promised, "and then, at the latest, you'll recognize us." Okay.

The main quest reward from the dungeon.

On Level 2, I found some kind of medallion that the game assured I would need later. Then, after navigating a room with invisible walls ("Do not trust with your eyes what they're not able to see," a clue offered), I ran into what I assume is a member of the race. He asked me telepathically to name him, and the answer--QUESTONATEN--opened the way back up to the exit. So I guess the medallion was the real purpose of the dungeon.

Encountering a member of the Questonate race.

The dungeon was also unique in that it had a shop in the middle of Level 1, run by a guy named Ernesto Samson. The shop sold a variety of objects labeled "container." I suspect these are supposed to be boxes that allow you to expand your inventory, but unfortunately every time I try to open one, the game crashes. I hope this doesn't turn out to be plot-relevant.

I have no idea what these containers do except crash the game.

As I explored, I did my best to puzzle out all of the various items of equipment in the game. To help future players Googling the terms, I've pasted the full list (so far) at the end of this posting. Of particular note are a series of devices that help with dungeon navigation. A "Detektor AR-1" alerts you to messages within a few squares of where it's pointing; a "Detektor AR-2" warns you of messages and traps. I haven't found any way to avoid or disarm traps, though, so this is of limited utility.

The Detektor alerts me to a trap.

An "Auto-Mapper" does what it suggests, although it only lasts for the active level, so you can't really rely on it for all your mapping needs.

It would be nice if this meant I no longer had to do my own mapping, but alas...
Other notes:

  • In an earlier post, I mentioned how difficult it is when your fatigue meter gets to 0 and you're forced to sleep, even in the middle of a dungeon. Well, I found a loophole to that. On the initial encounter screen--where it tells you how many enemies you face and asks whether you want to fight or flee--time still passes. I can remain on this screen indefinitely, letting my party members get a nice, long rest, before either fighting or fleeing. Unfortunately, light and food also deplete during this period, but they're not as much of a problem.
  • Blue laws are apparently in effect on Kyrion. Shops are closed on Sundays.

Man, the Puritans made it everywhere.

  • Akrillon, unlike Nomiris, had a bunch of houses that I couldn't enter.
  • One of my victories produced an "Atari ST." I have no idea what to do with it. It would be the coolest thing ever if, when I "used" it, it opened up a mini Atari window and let me play a basic game. But we're way too early for such things.

The computer only an alien would own.

  • Based on the percentage of paragraphs in the translation document that I've accessed, I'm only about 20% of the way through the game.
  • I rather thought I'd find an NPC to occupy that sixth party space by now. Did I just miss the ability to add that sixth member during character creation?

You can't say I'm not trying my best with this one, but I'll continue to intersperse posts on other games in between Antares articles. Let's check out Enchantasy.

Time so far: 21 hours 
Reload count: 23


Aluminum-Platte: Aluminum plate (armor) - 100
Armschutz: Bracer (armor)
Aspirin: Aspirin (mental healing) - 50
Asthanen-Steak: Steak (food) - 120
Atari ST: Computer (unknown use)
Auto-Mapper: 450
Beruhigungspille: Pill (mental healing)
Biospalter-Ragout: Food - 20
Blei-Mantel: Lead coat (armor) - 450
Container: Containers of various types all crash the game
Demograllampe: Lamp (utility) - 30
Detektor AR-1: Warns you about messages ahead - 140
Detektor AR-2: Warns you about traps - 190
Druckverband: Bandage (physical healing) - 40
Eisenstange: Iron bar (weapon) - 120
Electerium: Use in landing craft to resurrect characters - 423
Glasfaserkabel: Fiber optic cable (unknown) - 20
Halogenlampe: Halogen lamp (utility) - 20
Handschuhe: Gloves (armor) - 80
Handtuch: Towel (unknown) - 20
HiFi-Center: H-Fi Center (makes music) - 210
Hut: Hat (armor) - 60
Isolierband: Insulating tape (armor) - 60
Jogging-Schuhe: Jogging shoes (armor) - 50
Kichererbsen: Chickpeas (food) -
Kompass: Compass (utility) - 50
Kompass "Ali": Compass (utility; stays on longer?) - 60
Kreuzring: Cross ring (unknown; "increases self-confidence") - 180
Marmorbuddha: Marble Buddha (unknown; "increases self-confidence") - 300
Marschallstab: Unknown
Megaphon: Megaphone (does group psychic damage in combat) - 374
Messer: Knife (weapon) - 50
Nomiris-Vodka: Vodka (food) - 90
Pflaster: Bandage (physical healing) - 20
Poisodan: Unknown - 60
Refraktor: Unknown - 120
Rippenknocken: Ribcage (weapon) - 30
Roboterhand: Robot hand (unknown) - 150
Roter Hering: Red herring (unknown) - 60
Sandspargel: Sand asparagus (food) - 10
Schlüssel: Key (unknown) - 20
Schutzanzug: Protective suit (armor) - 150
Skrit Reference: Translation book - 12
Stahlschild: Steel shield (armor) - 200
Sonnenhut: Sun hat (armor) - 30
Stablampe: Flashlight (utility) - 20
Taschenmesser: Penknife (weapon) - 30
Tokero: Does mass physical damage - 309
Totenkopf: Skull (unknown) - 100
Trash: Trash (unknown) - 400
Walther PPK: Gun (weapon) - 250
Wasser: Water (food) - 10
Wochen-Abo: Unknown


  1. What an odd assortment of items. A sunhat & jogging suit for armor and a penknife for weapons? I guess had I been a boy scout that I too could have been prepared for exploration on Antares. It's just a weird mix of anachronistic (for the setting) 20th century items. Why no lava lamp?

    Hopefully the text entries in Antares are all backloaded at the end of the game so it won't take as long as it seems to complete. Otherwise this might get up into Knights of Legend territory in terms of slog.

    1. It's a pity we don't have the manual for this game. It should give an explanation for at least some of the weird items, right?

  2. Did the first Bard's Tale have an empty house where you could store items? I may be remembering that wrong.

  3. I think I can speak for all your readers when I say, why the F*CK are you still playing this game?!?!

    1. Well I wouldn't quite put it the same way as Mr. Anonymous here, but if you are only 20% of your way through it, it seems like a game that doesn't appreciate the decency of length and perhaps you should gimlet it and move on. Do you really want to spend 100 hours on it?

    2. But it's interesting to hear about, and it's not like most of us will play it!

      So Anonymous is DEFINITELY not speaking for me. I would much rather see posts on obscure games that I'm not going to play than on games I already know and love.

    3. I'm still playing it because it's kind of low-demand, because I haven't otherwise finished a German game to date, and because I'm kind of interested in seeing where it's going.

    4. Well I too have to disagree with Anonymous here. As whiner said, I find the more interesting entries to be the ones about obscure and previously unknown games.

    5. Same here. As long as it doesn't leave the Addict completely demoralized, I really value an excursion like this one, i.e. into poorly-documented, offbeat games.

  4. The game is so strange, but IMO the posts are fun to read. I like to know how the story ends ... I've read somethere that there is windows port out there? But there is no trace of it in the internet ... I would like to join in playing without the emulator problems.
    @Chester: Congrats for your perseverance and thanks for your great blog - my daily must-read.

  5. Hi! German can be a wonderful and interesting language, but unfortunately in this game it is used in a toilsome and rude way.
    I wonder how big the proportion of your readers from german speaking countries is. Greetings from Vienna, Austria

    1. Seas Nachbar, Hey Neighbour ;)

      Never heard of this game before. But judging from the screenshots, the german seems a bit bizarre. First, swiss german is always a bit odd, but also, it reads like some teenagers trying to be tongue-in-cheek as in Douglas Adams novels. It doesn't really work.

      Chet, I admire your dedication, but I think in this case nobody will blame you to quit prematurely. On the other hand, I think I got all my english skills from p&c adventures and might&magic ;)

    2. People keep saying stuff like this, but I wonder if you could provide some specific examples. I know that the "tone" of the language is hard to translate, but could you give some analogs in English that would help me understand what's so odd and/or rude about the way they use the language?

    3. I don't speak German but I would suspect that it's some kind of "Howdy partner ! are we having an explosive blast today" - German with some bad puns about various items thrown in for good measure.

      That is trying (and failing) miserably to be funny while being anything but. I've played several Finnish (and other) indie games that are funny if you're like 12.

      Nothing is as bad as a forced humour with some semi-intellectual word games.
      Monty Python made it but I guess these guys didn't.

    4. Sometimes it's too much high language where it doesn't work. For example:
      The loot consists of... (Die Beute besteht aus...)
      Who wants to manipulate the depots (Wer will sich an den depots zu schaffen machen)
      You have just gambled your life ("Du hast soeben dein Leben verspielt")
      Or single terms like "equipe" (group), "düstere Gesellen" ("gloomy figures") which nobody uses in reality.

      I try to translate the tone the worst offender, where a figure of speech is used literally:
      A Mantok batters Eva without weapons and barely scratches the surface ("Ein Mantok schlägt ohne Waffen auf Eva ein und verursacht einen leichten Kratzer im Lack")

    5. Yeah, the tone is just somewhat stilted and artificial. There's also a tendency to use some very uncommon words. Like calling your group an "Equipe", which in my 30 years in Germany I have not heard used once.

    6. I would imagine German game designers are just as nerdy as the American ones, and hence fond of obscure words...

    7. Almost makes it sound like it was written by a non-native speaker translating from a book.

  6. "a 20 x 20 city in which every wall is a door to a building"

    I have a strong dislike for such maps. I like doors to lead somewhere new.

  7. The translation of the word "Schlüssel" is questionable. The more common translation would be "key". As a haven't played the game for more than 5 minutes, "wench" could still be the correct translation.

    And a minor error: "Jogging-Schuhe" are shoes (probably sneakers), not a suit.

    1. You surely meant "wrench", not "wench"? :)

    2. A "Wochen-Abo" is a one week subscription of something. And "Schlüssel" can mean wrench, it depends on how it looks or what it is used for. And yes, "Schuhe" = shoes.

    3. Indeed it is wrench (which I suspect it is not ). :)

    4. Okay, thanks for the corrections. That just deepens the mystery, though. If a "Schlüssel" is a key, then a key to what?

    5. I do rather think that the Schlüssel is a wrench, as different keys in games are generally coded in some way, like material or color.

      Oh, and a Refractor is either a telescope or, more realistically, a (refracting) monocular.

      Considering the amount of useless or unknown items, could there possibly be some rudimentary crafting system in this game?

    6. If there is, its mechanics are well-hidden. But perhaps later, as part of a quest, I'll have to assemble a bunch of these items.

  8. "This monster portrait freaks me out for reasons I don't understand."

    Maybe it hits an uncanny valley.

    1. Well, I personally think it's the kissy mouth.

    2. You might be joking, but I have a mental defect that compels me to explain the term Uncanny Valley every time it's used incorrectly, much like Eric Cartman singing "Come Sail Away"

      Uncanny Valley is a specific technical term that applies to computer animation. It makes the most sense when referring to humans, but I suppose it could be applied to any animated thing that we're familiar with seeing like animals or trees.

      As graphic technology improves, we're able to render things more and more realistically. So if you were to chart the 'believability' of a particular snippet of CGI, you'd see the graph going upwards as we put in fancy things like textures, shadows, reflections, shininess, etc.

      Except that computer graphics folks found that there was a point where the graphics looked *great*, but suddenly people viewing the CGI thought 'ugh that looks totally weird'. The believabilty graph suddenly went sharply downwards. What was happening was that the graphics looked so good, viewers started unconsciously expecting little details (usually related to animation; the way the skin around your eyes crinkle when you smile or the way your ears move a little bit) that a real person would have that the fake graphic didn't.

      When they started doing all the little details, suddenly everything was fine again. But the graph had a big dip in it and that dip was labelled the Uncanny Valley because people couldn't put their finger on what was wrong at first, it just looked 'weird' or uncanny, as it were.

    3. Oops, meant to include "so don't take this personally :)" in the first paragraph. I got carried away, as you can see.

    4. 2 Moonmonster.

      Term "uncanny valley" was coined in 1978, long before issues of CGI you writing about. They are a major contributor now, but not the only thing what can cause an uncanny valley effect.

    5. Also modern research is questioning if it even exists, and are having trouble replicating the original findings.

  9. "This monster portrait freaks me out for reasons I don't understand."

    It was probably inspired by 1922's classic Nosferatu. Nice to see that the horror still works. :)

  10. You know, that medaillon reminds me of the Aurin from The Neverending Story. I'm curious if it's just a coincidental similarity or will turn out to be a reference. It is a very famous german book/movie after all.

    Also "Marschallstab" is a compound word from "Marschall" which is a german military rank, and "Stab" for staff. And the "Marschallstab" is an insignia for said marschalls form medieval times:

    1. I instantly thought it looked like the Auryn. The original book is German as well, isn't it?

  11. The game walks a fine line between cheeky and too clever by half. Not uninteresting to read, but probably tough to play. I think it's a game that is horrible to play the first time, because it isn't long enough or doesn't introduce its myriads of mechanics easily enough. During a second playthrough one will wonder how one needed to spend so much time on it.

  12. "I can't remember a previous game that allowed me to store items in a central location"

    There's a vault in Secret of the Silver Blades that will let you store money and equipment.

    Interestingly enough the equipment it not tied to a saved game and is instead based on an inventory file that sits in your save game directory.

    As a result, items put into the vault by Party A are retrievable by Party B, if one desires. Have to assume that's a bug that wasn't caught in playtesting.

    1. Unless it's a throwback to the early days of CRPGs, in which you could recruit new characters in the inn, either to replace dead characters or to recover and resurrect their corpses. In these games there was usually the chance of some equipment trading.

    2. Very well. I had forgotten about the vault. I think maybe Champions of Krynn had one, too.

    3. Also in in Dungeon Master (1987) and derivatives you can stash your goods in a chest and leave it in any point of the dungeon (e.g. near stairs) for later resupply, thus avoiding the slowing down due to excessive carried weight. DM "simulation" approach allows many emergent tricks such as this.

    4. It was a bug--the later games like Pools of Darkness have separate vault files for each saved game.

    5. You could even argue that Dungeon Master had a 'central location' for stashes, because for the second half of the game there was a single down staircase visiting all floors (though you had to battle through each floor to unlock its section of stairway).

    6. Nethack has various ways of storing grear in 3.4, but I don't know about older versions.

  13. Hey guys. Has anyone played "Gateway to the Savage Frontier" yet? I'm trying to get ahead so I will have played it before the addict gets there and I have a game mechanic question:

    Vs lbh trg uvg ol n qvfrnfr, lbh frrz gb creznaragyl ybfr fgeratgu rira vs lbh dhvpxyl pnfg "pher qvfrnfr". Vf gurer fbzrguvat gung V nz zvffvat? V whfg xrrc erfgbevat jura V trg uvg ol n qvfrnfr orpnhfr creznarag fgeratgu erqhpgvba fhpxf.

  14. I do find it very interesting to read about the game, especially because it's Sci Fi and not the usual ole fantasy setting (Not That I have anything against Fantasy games) but I find from the screen shots the art style seems really...varied. Some of the graphics are really polished and what I'd expect to see from a commercial game.

    But there are others (Mostly monster graphics, and but also some of the party member portraits) that seems...I'm not sure this is right, but kind of amateurish. I dunno, maybe that's just me *shrugs*.

    I'm glad your playing other games inbetween though, because it doesn't sound like you're really enjoying this game so far.

  15. Even until today, shops are closed on sundays in Germany. For us, that's normal and not puritan. If you need anything, you have a pizza delivered or go to a gas station - they sell "travel demands" like canned food.

    1. I'm sure it's normal to close shops on Sunday in Germany. Why they would do so on Kyrion--or, indeed, why "Sunday" even exists on Kyrion--are more complicated questions.

    2. I could imagine Germans establishing that on a foreign planet. ;)

    3. Computer game designers, particularly in the early years, were computer hobbyists who are not necessarily particularly well-traveled. They might have just thought it was normal to close shops on Sundays and so the shops are closed.

      Heck, even the Gold Box games had way more gender equality than any real preindustrial country. People project the customs of their culture onto fantasy cultures they create, and it's not noticeable until you see someone else's fantasy culture and think, 'wait a minute...'

    4. It might be just another stab at trying to be cheeky too. Hence the "even Kyrions cherish their free time" message.

      Of course, as sucinum said, it WOULD be very German to impose our rule set of "the week has 7 days, we close shop on a sunday" that we are used to even to foreign worlds, but I doubt the game is that clever.

    5. But... but... it makes no sense to implement weeks in a foreign planet!

      Earth week was created based on the number of days honoring each of the then-identifiable celestial bodies (Moon, Sun, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn & Mercury) and these shouldn't apply elsewhere!

      What's more, why would that planet even be revolving in its axis and orbiting around its sun at the same speed as earth to have the same length of day and number of days in a year?! What sort of freaky-arse concidence did it take to have this manifest?!

    6. Weeks are a natural subdivision of the lunar month, with each week corresponding to one phase of the moon. The number of identifiable celestial bodies has nothing to do with it (parifularly since the 7 day week predates the discovery that some of those not-sun not-moon lights in the sky were other planets instead of stars, and only three of the days of the week (Sun's day, Moon's Day, and Saturn's Day) are named after celestial bodies in the first place, as Tyr's Day, Woden's Day, Thor's Day, and Freya's Day are named after the Norse gods. Even Saturday was probably named after the god rather than the planet.

      In the context of an alien planet, weeks would be a logical subdivision on any planet with a moon, as lunar timekeeping has some practical utility even in the modern area. A week of seven days is a bit convenient, but not outside the bounds of Reasonable Suspension Of Disbelief.

    7. That's because we (humans) decided to subdivide it into 4. There really is no reason for that. We could easily make 6-day weeks but noooo...

      Also, lunar months are only useful for agriculture and seafaring. Seeing that there is no freaking farm or bloody ships to sail on in this game, I basically have to see this game as it was being set on Earth in a parallel dimension instead of being on an alien planet.

    8. or, maybe only on planets with roughly the same orbit and rotation and a roughly equivalent relationship to a dominant orbiting satellite is intelligibly sentient (I do not discount other possible paths to sentience, only our ability to recognize them as such) likely to evolve.

      All advanced civilizations are likely to have passed through predominantly agricultural periods, and assuming similar geography to earth (also possibly a requisite for sentience) maritime cultures are also likely to have existed, ans the adherence to a familiar calendarscape is merely an artifact of their history.

      or maybe their ancestors emigrated from Creuzburg.

    9. Society having a day off doesn't seem like a particularly bad idea. So it's not necessarily Puritan, and it's not necessarily alien other. But it is necessarily German. :)

      And the idea of weekends existing as times of rest hasn't existed for all time -- unions had to organize get the 40 hour work week established in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    10. We keep generalizing off-world civilizations with our own. For one thing, for all we know, there are aliens who eats crystals or (like Supes) feeds on solar energy. Why would they even need to eat plants or beasts?

      And work, to us, is a way to exchange that toil to another form of resource, which we want or is a lot more attractive a majority of others. For aliens who doesn't have that need or even require any forms of exchange, why would they need to work in the first place, amirite?

      I mean, look at that monkey in the first picture. It obviously needs only to suck in air for sustenance. And how does it work without arms? By banging his head against a keyboard, maybe? I dunno, but I'm pretty sure it's varied enough to not use some (if not all) of our Earthly conventions.

    11. “We keep generalizing off-world civilizations with our own. For one thing, for all we know, there are aliens who eats crystals or (like Supes) feeds on solar energy. Why would they even need to eat plants or beasts?”
      Eating plants and animals is just a way to acquire energy from the Sun for beings that can’t photosynthesize. It is unlikely for photosynthesizing life to evolve intelligence because it is subject to different selective pressures than non-photosynthesizing life.
      “And work, to us, is a way to exchange that toil to another form of resource, which we want or is a lot more attractive a majority of others. For aliens who doesn't have that need or even require any forms of exchange, why would they need to work in the first place, amirite?”
      Exchange is the natural product of unequal distribution of resources. Given quantum randomness, resources are likely to be unequally distributed throughout the universe.
      “I mean, look at that monkey in the first picture. It obviously needs only to suck in air for sustenance. And how does it work without arms? By banging his head against a keyboard, maybe? I dunno, but I'm pretty sure it's varied enough to not use some (if not all) of our Earthly conventions.”
      I assume that abomination is some mad scientist’s attempt to cross a chimpanzee with a lamprey. After this hideous mistake killed its keepers, it evolved intelligence and adopted the customs of its creators. Sunday shop closings have acquired a deeply symbolic meaning and ecumenical adherence in their culture. 

  16. I'm a bit behind on my CRPG Addict reading, so someone else may have pointed this out already--but our host got a brief mention in David Auerbach's book review of Gamelife over at

    1. That's really cool. I love Slate. Why don't they just do a whole article on ME?

    2. First, they'd need the public to largely agree that your blog was either really great, or a total waste of time.

      Then they spin up their contrarian wurlitzer and crank out 1000 words on how everyone was wrong about you, but for the right reasons.

    3. Wait, what, where? I scoured the entire article but all it's about is Creed.

      Anyway, Chet, your online persona is slowly gaining traction and will, one day, grow bigger than your IRL presence. Any thoughts on how to deal with that?

  17. Long-time reader, first time poster. I admire the determination displayed here, I certainly couldn't slog through this one.

    What I'm most looking forward to is your Knights of Xentar playthrough. I know you said you weren't crazy about anime art (while you played Sorcerian?) and Xentar is full of in-your-face anime cutscenes.... And nudity.

    As you probably know Xentar is actually Dragon Knight III. Parts I & II are first-person dungeons-crawlers à la Wizardy, III (Xentar) is a typical "JRPG" of the era, while IV is a strategy RPG. You'd probably enjoy the first two the most, but they're nearly impossible to play without knowing some Japanese I'd imagine.

    1. Other than the sex and nudity, I have no idea what to expect. If it has good RPG mechanics, I'll probably like it. It ought to be an interesting series of posts either way.

    2. I played the PG13-version and it was a quite ok game. It's a typical JRPG as far as I know (I have played a handful others), a bit odd, but enjoyable.

    3. Even the uncensored version is probably way tamer than you'd expect from a "porn" game. I don't even remember there being actual sex in the game (never beaten it, though), just a picture or two of a nude girl whenever you rescue one of them. Making the picture to gameplay ratio also something that you'd never play just for the few instances of nudity.

    4. From what I remember of the one time I tried to play it, combat is kind of quirky and difficult to figure out, but probably falls to the RPG side of the RPG/Action divide. It's been a lot of years though and DosBox was new technology at the time and my computer could barely handle it.

  18. True, that little alien IS freaky. Is it the vagina on the head, or this rubbery mouth? Can't decide which is worse...

    1. It's the fact he's singing "dooby dooby doo..." :P

  19. OMG. Addict has been eaten by a Kirgonier?

    We miss you!

    1. Eaten by a Grue?

      Crit by a moblin for 3k?

      The monsters are sad, your addict has been destroyed?

      Hope all is well sir!

    2. Apparently he said "Burger" at a Temple of the Mad God.

    3. Not only the addict absent, but he has left us with that hideous image staring at us every time we visit the site to check!

    4. One of us should venture into the depths of the dungeon to fetch his bones and bring them to the temple.

    5. Sorry, everyone. Lots of work, conferences, etc. I'll resume my regular schedule by the end of the month.

  20. Judging by the screenshots this game is really anemic. Time to put it out of its misery and move on to something more juicy?

    1. I'll continue to play other games in between Antares postings, probably, but my win/bail ratio hasn't been great so far this year, and I have a perverse desire to fully document this game since it doesn't seem to be fully documented elsewhere.

  21. Some entertaining spam cropping up lately!

    1. Entertaining or otherwise, pic looks hot though.

    2. It has a stream of consciousness quality to it... Maybe they're influenced by James Joyce.

    3. For some reason my blog continually gets spammed with YouTube videos about head gasket repair. I'm mystified as to how head gasket repair got linked with the Elder Scrolls.

    4. It got excessive in the last month, and suddenly there was a bunch of hardcore porn spam that Google mysteriously wasn't catching. I've turned on comment moderation for a little while.

  22. Is there such a thing as a cRPG Addict-addict? Because I'm jonesing for a fix.

    1. If he doesn't post for a while it means he's working. Just relax. Stop reloading the page and put it on RSS.

    2. Looking for something to read during Chet's break? Check out my own gameplay blog. I just started Gateway to the Savage Frontier.

  23. While we have nothing more important to discuss, let me observe that the last two subtitles in the Antares posts have been flawless German. We've all been eager to point out the little mistakes -- let's give credit where it's due. :-)

  24. "This monster portrait freaks me out for reasons I don't understand."

    You are a cruel man, letting that freaky portrait greet us every time we've visited your blog the last month...

    1. You're right. I'll replace it with something much more attractive in a few minutes.

    2. "Nerds!"

  25. The game looks interesting. Too bad I don't know German.
    On a very tangentially related note, I was wondering if I could ask you to share some wisdom in the dungeon mapping area.
    I'm trying out excel to map but I can't seem to find a good way to map one way doors. That's what has me hung up right now.
    I was wondering if you've got any workaround for that and other similar troubles that have come your way.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. I don't have a great solution to it. I usually use Insert | Symbol to put an arrow indicating the directionality of the door in the square that precedes it. You can see some examples if you zoom in on this map from Fate.

      It gets cumbersome if I have to make a bunch of annotations int he same square.

  26. The manual for this one is actually available, you may want to have a look:


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