Saturday, June 15, 2024

Game 518: Die Quelle von Naroth (1993)

 
That's a pretty cool opening image.
        
Die Quelle von Naroth
"The Well of Naroth"
Germany
Independently developed and published
Released 1993 for Amiga
Date Started: 5 June 2024
       
Die Quelle von Naroth is a tidy independent game that evokes some of Pool of Radiance in its themes and basic mechanics. I always like solving local problems more than world-ending ones, and this game's main quest, although it may develop into something else, is both local and relatively original. It's set in a typical fantasy kingdom called Naroth, founded by orcs but now occupied by more civilized races. The town once had a booming economy thanks to its magical healing waters, but something has recently caused the well to run dry. The king has posted a reward for anyone who can determine the cause. Enter four young, eager adventurers.
     
Creating the party.
      
Character creation has you selecting four characters from six potential classes: fighter, knight, barbarian, sorcerer, priest, and monk. Your race and class choice, plus some randomness, determine values for strength, intelligence, constitution, skill, accuracy, damage, parrying ability, protection, hit points, and magic points. I create:

  • Chester, a human knight
  • Tharkk, a half-orc barbarian
  • Axon, an elf sorcerer
  • Ilende, a dwarf priest.

The game begins in the city of Dandall, and I was delighted to hear background noises! I have been eagerly anticipating the era when RPGs incorporate ambient sound. There isn't a lot here--just repeating loops of inaudible conversation, thunder, people talking, and horses whinnying--but it's 100% better than most games of the era. German developers in general were doing a better job with this than anyone else. I previously praised the ambient sound in The Legend of Faerghail (1990), the two Dungeons of Avalon games (1992), and Fate: Gates of Dawn (1991).
     
The opening moments. I may post a video later so you can hear the background noises.
    
Unfortunately, I soon discover a negative: the game uses mouse controls exclusively. You otherwise  navigate the world in a standard 3D tiled interface. The graphics are decent for an independent game.
   
The party starts with no items and 750 gold. The city is already mapped out in the game's automap. There are no encounters on the street. The city consists of 11 buildings with 14 doorways. The doors open up to reveal two armorers, two weaponsmiths, a bowyer, two taverns, a temple, two dungeons, a training hall, and NPCs named Aurelius and Thelax. After I scope the prices, I get the party outfitted with some basic weapons and armor: shortswords and leather armor for my lead fighters, a morningstar and shield for my priest, and a dagger for the sorcerer.
        
A few options available at the armorer.
      
There's also a door leaving the city, but "the city council has instructed that no one leave the city," so I guess that's for later.
    
Aurelius gives me what seems to be my first quest. He claims to be friends with Thelax, who also lives in town. He says that all his goods are in his house in the neighboring town, and he can't get into the place because two "thieving ogres" stole the key. He'll give us two valuable magic items if we retrieve it for him. We say sure.
       
Aurelius's narrative. It's a lot of text, but Google Translate's new (2023) image tool takes care of it in a few seconds.
        
Thelax is a wizard whose spellbook was recently stolen by his archrival, Maruschke, and taken to the catacombs beneath the city. He's willing to pay for its return.
   
The taverns are called The Orc and The Golden Lion, and in both of them we have the ability to feed keywords to the innkeeper for more conversation. From them, I get:
    
  • Aurelius may not be telling the truth about his missing key. The owner of the Golden Lion says that Aurelius had previously enlisted an elven warrior, who tried to run off with the treasure he found instead of giving it to Aurelius, and Aurelius had him killed. The owner of the Orc says she doesn't believe that story but agrees that Aurelius is looking for more than a key.
  • Benedictinus at the monastery is looking for someone to clean out the cellar. That has to be on a different map, as I didn't find any Benedictinus in the main city.
  • Thelax and Maruschke have an ongoing feud that goes back to a magic competition that Thelax won, perhaps by stealing some secrets from Maruschke. 
      
Asking about people in the tavern.
     
After I finish exploring the town, I head into a dungeon, choosing at random the one against the town's western wall. After a few steps, I face my first battle, with two orcs. I've been expecting a Dungeon Master-style combat system (although I realize belatedly there's no button on the interface to fight), so I'm surprised when the game takes me to a top-down interface.
    
My first battle.
       
The characters act in order and can move, attack, use an item or spell, or block. Being Level 1 characters, we miss most of our attacks. I exhaust my sorcerer's and priest's mana bars casting "Magic Missile" and "Healing," respectively, and the orcs manage to kill two of my characters before we kill them. It takes a couple of reloads to get a more favorable outcome. On their corpses, I find a note. It was written by someone who claims that he's being held in a dungeon beneath the city, guarded by two guards. He says he has important information for anyone who releases him.
       
The top-down, turn-based combat system.
   
I'm concerned because even in our "successful" battle, we got hurt, and I have very little magic left. Hit points and spell points do not regenerate on their own. There's a "camp" option, but every time I try to use it, whether in town or in the dungeon, the game says I can't find a good spot. 
       
The dungeon exploration interface.
    
I continue on, letting the automap do its work. It's a few minutes before my next battle with four spiders. It and a subsequent combat with four rats leaves me almost completely dead. I'm not finding any treasures to pay the temple to heal me, either.
   
I consult the manual, and it says you can't camp in cities, as vagrancy is outlawed, but you can camp in a dungeon if you can find a place with a wall on three sides. That actually makes sense. I find such a nook, and soon I'm back to full power.
         
The group successfully camps in a little nook.
      
I kill more rats. It looks like the game divides experience from combat based on the number of successful actions. 
     
After combat. Chester, as usual, was the MVP.
     
I soon wall off a square, so I start testing the surrounding walls for secret doors. This pays off. The square turns out to have a treasure chest with 200 gold pieces. Another one, right by the entrance, has 100. I'm feeling good about the future.
       
Why would anyone choose not to take the gold?
      
Then I encounter two trolls. My characters all die within two rounds. I'll have to try to work around them and save them for last.
    
The game tells you what weapons and armor your foes have, but unfortunately you can't loot them when they die.
     
Before wrapping up, I check out the second dungeon, which has a more polished look and symmetrical layout.
     
We activate a pressure plate in dungeon #2.
      
There are a couple of pressure plates that open hidden doors. Without even having to fight any battles, I encounter several treasure chests with gold, a long bow, a shield, and a morningstar. Some rats and kobolds give us a little trouble. Eventually, I realized I've amassed enough experience points to level up--only to discover that leveling up even one character will cost as much money as I have. Clearly, I need to find some more treasure.
                  
The training hall.
         
I manage to finish this second, smaller dungeon. I kill a bunch of rats, kobolds, and spiders, find a few treasure chests, and find a key that unlocks a door on the small second level. Behind the door is a druid, who attacks us by himself. I guess it's Maruschke, because once he's dead, we find a spellbook on his body. We also find a yellowed piece of paper that no one can read.
      
Maruschke makes his last stand.
       
Returning the spellbook to Thelax gets us a longsword and 800 gold. I have enough at this point to level up my first three characters but not the fourth. Axon got "Magic Cloud" at Level 2, a single-target spell that does more damage than "Magic Missile."
         
This interface allows me to give Thelax his spellbook back.
       
We turned our attention to the larger dungeon, the improved party doing better with the parties of 2-10 rats, spiders, kobolds, and orcs. We even manage to beat a couple of pairs of ogres. I'm nowhere near the level needed to kill the two trolls, though, as a disastrous rematch proves conclusively. Amassed treasure finally gets my cleric to Level 2 and my knight to Level 3.
       
Taking on a whole swarm of rats.
      
In a dead-end cell, we find an old elf warrior--clearly the author of the note and the subject of the innkeeper's rumor. He introduces himself as Effax. He says Aurelius imprisoned him when he discovered the mage's true intentions. The ogres didn't steal Aurelius's key, he says, but they have their own treasure guarded by a key, and Aurelius wants it. He recommends that we take it for ourselves and then takes off to enjoy his freedom.
   
The dungeon continues to a second level, but here we run into an obstacle. To progress, we need to defeat a party of 4 ogres, and I just can't do it, not without leveling up first. The frustrating thing is that I think my characters have amassed enough experience to make it to about Level 5, but a deficiency of gold keeps us where we are. For the same reason, we can't upgrade to better armor or weapons. There's no way to grind in the game, at least not so far, as all the enemy encounters are fixed. I found a Ring of Wisdom at one point, which adds 10 to a character's intelligence, but I'm honestly considering selling it, since it will pay for 4 or 5 training sessions.
        
My sorcerer's inventory at the end of this session.
       
I'll make another loop around to make sure I didn't miss anything and keep trying. Aside from the leveling problem, I'm enjoying the game. It's simple but effective.

This entry is about eight years in the making. I was first contacted by Helge Foerster, the author of Die Quelle von Naroth, in 2016. He sent me a custom package to help emulate the game as well as a translation of the manual. That same year, Foerster produced a very belated sequel for the Android, called just Naroth. (YouTube trailer here.) It looks like an independent Elder Scrolls. It seems to have been well-received.
         
We exchanged some emails leading up to this entry. He confirmed my suspicion that he had played Pool of Radiance: "[It] was the first RPG that I ever played (on my trusty C64). I loved it." Naroth is in no way a "clone" of Pool, but it evokes some of the same spirit with the nature of the quest, the tavern tales, the city council, the 3D exploration contrasted with top-down combat, and the trolls serving as a hard experience gate in the first dungeon. Even the full-party-death message ("The opponents laugh at your incompetence") echoes the famous Gold Box death message ("The monsters rejoice for the party has been destroyed"). The world could use more developers inspired by the spirit of a previous CRPG who didn't feel compelled to make a direct clone.
    
Time so far: 3 hours

73 comments:

  1. That looks like a pretty competent game. The "look for a square with walls on three sides to camp" idea is brilliant. From a design aspect, I do like the idea of requiring the player to at least find a safe spot for camping, but signaling them to the player in an unobtrusive way isn't easy.

    "Leveling up even one character will cost as much money as I have."
    - In which the creator also evokes the spirit of Darkside of Xeen, levels 100 and above.

    I had a good chuckle at the designer's YouTube name, "EgonOlsen71". Egon Olsen was the head of the comically inept thief trio "The Olsen Gang", a Danish comedy movie franchise that was so popular in the German Democratic Republic that some of its returning phrases became everyday expressions. I wanted to suggest creating a rogue named "Egon" and see what happens, but there are no rogues in Naroth, unfortunately...

    Very interested to see how this goes.

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    1. Hunh...East Germans liking Danish comedy was not on my bingo card....

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    2. Well as a West German back then I have to say I like the movies, too. They are a fond memory of my youth and I'm currently in the process of rewatching them all. But yeah, they weren't as popular here as in the other Germany.

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    3. They were popular in Poland as well - the Olsen gang is synonymous with the inept criminals here as well. I didn't even know that it's Danish, although to be fair I don't think I've actually seen any of the movies.

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  2. If I understand the chapter about weapons and armour in the manual correctly, it should be possible to somehow pick up enemy equipment after a successful fight. The part about weapon shops in the "cities" chapter mentions selling each equipment part in its respective specialized shop for higher prices. Maybe figuring this out and selling the loot could solve or at least alleviate your money problem.

    The manual also confirms your impression that the game divides experience from combat based on each character's actions / performance.

    Sounds like a nice game except for the mouse-only interface. Now we just need a replacement for / successor to Sasha ;-).

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    1. I do occasionally find equipment after battle, just not after every one. I don't think there's a mechanic for searching for battle loot that I'm missing.

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    2. No, there isn't. Loot (or the absence of it) is fixed for each encounter. Enemies like spiders and rats don't drop anything at all, because... how could they? I always find it strange when animals drop gold or weaponary.

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    3. Ah, ok. I misunderstood your caption above "The game tells you what weapons and armor your foes have, but unfortunately you can't loot them when they die." to apply to all fights, i.e. you not getting any equipment from enemies. Hmm, this still leaves the money issue unsolved then.

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    4. "Huh. These rats had a +3 sword of mangling."

      "They did? Then why'd they only try to bite us to death?"

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    5. "I always find it strange when animals drop gold or weaponry."

      So do I. I'm a big fan of animals dropping remains which you then can use to craft healing potions, for instance. I think the game that removed loot sensibility from consideration was probably Diablo II, where Blizzard developers had initially considered just such a system (animals drop crafting ingredients), but eventually arrived at the question "why force the player to go the extra step?"

      I'm not sure if today's AAA games care for any aspect besides level relations and respective drop rates. I guess that happens when dopamine feedback loops become a science...

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    6. Yeah, no concerns over rats not dropping coins, but occasionally you'll fight enemies who you're told on the pre-combat screen have certain equipment, only not to find that equipment when they die.

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    7. AlphabeticalAnonymousJune 16, 2024 at 10:39 PM

      All their weapons were made of contaminated iron and so broke during the battle. (j/k)

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    8. The best way I've seen this addressed was done in RPG parody game Kingdom of Loathing, in which the main currency was Meat. Guess what dropped from spiders and wolves and other animals :)

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    9. Re: modern AAA games, I'm playing through Baldurs Gate 3 right now and it's pretty good about only having animal enemies dropping crafting materials and nothing else (and the one exception I can think of has a full environmental story-telling reason for it).

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    10. Skald: Against the Black Priory is the same - animals only ever drop scales, tails and such, which can be used to craft potions.

      Great game in a retro style: Chet will certainly enjoy it assuming he still has some time for modern games!

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  3. While the title picture isn't bad, it makes me wonder why someone would attack a huge dragon basically being naked and armed only with a long stick.

    Well, maybe he had no choice but to engage it that way and the stick is in fact a magic spear? I guess we'll see if the image reflects the game's content as closely as e.g. in the case of Ambermoon/star.

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    1. It seems more like a dinosaur than a dragon, which makes me wonder whether some "Lost World"-inspired place will appear in the game.

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    2. Yep, that's definitely a caveman fighting a dimetrodon.

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    3. I like the image too. Reminds me of the first scene in Conan story "Red Nails" where Conan and Valeria fight a dinosaur on a high rocky outcropping with a spear.

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    4. I'm almost 100% certain that that image is from some fantasy cover art or the like. I swear I've seen it before. Unfortunately Google image search is failing me. This is going to keep me up tonight.

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    5. And just like that it came to me. It looks like it was cover art for a Piers Anthony novel Phthor. Cover by Alan Morgan.
      https://www.worldswithoutend.com/novel.asp?id=7651

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    6. AlphabeticalAnonymousJune 15, 2024 at 9:43 PM

      Wow -- good memory! The correspondence between the two images seems about as perfect as Amiga graphics would allow.

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    7. I got the "inspiration" for this image from a book that collected several images of the fantasy/sci-fi kind and tied them together with a rather simple and nonsensical story about space exploration. I had three of these books. Got them for very cheap because nobody wanzed them

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    8. Helge, if you don't mind my quoting here what you told me by email, just for clarification: "About the graphics: I did them all by myself...well, kind of. What I did was to take pictures from magazines and books, placed some transparent sheet of plastics on top and used a sharpie to transfer the outlines onto it. I then attached the sheet to the monitor and used the mouse to trace these outline in DPaint. I then colored the 'digitized' image according (more or less accurate) to the original by hand (pixel by pixel). I got pretty good/quick at this (it wasn't the first time that I did it this way). It didn't cross my mind that this approach was at least questionable in terms of copyright."

      I was going to cover that in my final entry, but as we see, it became relevant much earlier.

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    9. AlphabeticalAnonymousJune 16, 2024 at 10:40 PM

      For such a (seemingly) basic approach, you achieved an extremely impressive title graphic! I doubt I could make it look so good even today, 30+ years later.

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    10. IDK about copyright questionability, Jordan Mechner did exactly that with the first Prince of Persia (in fact, even worse - he shot a movie that contained fencing scenes on a camera that he "bought" fully intending to return it for money back withing return-possible period), and traced it, and no copyright questions arose as far as I know :D

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    11. You got a source on that? Or are you just dissing Jordan Mechner for the fun of it?

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    12. he was pretty open about it at the time

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    13. @Radiant: Dissing???? I'm actually impressed by the guy! And by the fact that he got away with all of that! And, in the process, became such a brand name in computer games industry! As for this story, he mentions it in interviews, and his personal diaries that he made public at some time tell all about this too, if I remember correctly.

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    14. I mean, Mechner did make do with what resources he had instead of "never making a game at all", and he was pretty creative, and the world is overall much better for Prince of Persia existing than not, so I see no reason here to "diss" about that, even if copyright was creatively ignored a bit!

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    15. I mean, I just love the guy and the stuff he made, he has his unique style, he came up with some seriously creative solutions for "impossible" (at the first sight) problems, and I have no qualms with him borrowing a few frames of flynning from some Robin Hood movie for his game. My point is, Egon is not to be disrespected for what he did, either, if we are going to continue to love Prince of Persia - not the other way around.

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    16. Sorry if my comment came off accusatory. That certainly wasn't my intention. I just remembered the image from my childhood likely from that same book you referenced. I believe it was called Aliens in Space.

      "Swipes" were a fairly common thing back in the day. No one really cared about it unless it was egregious. Now with the internet and the ability to image search people get much more prickly about it than before.

      Reading above how you did it is pretty cool. I would never have thought about that.

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    17. Here is the Alan Morgan illustration in Aliens in Space. On the preceding page at the end, in the part in italics, is the description of what it's supposed to represent.

      It seems the use for the Phthor cover predates it, though, at least judging by publication dates.

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    18. PS: Sorry, another link to the previous page as it seems the one above does not fully work and defaults to the title / first page instead. It's on page 41, just in case.

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    19. Yeah, that's the book! I had the german version of it (as well as one or two others in the same style). Thanks for digging that out!

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    20. Oh man, this book....I remember now borrowing it from my town's public library. Great scifi art.

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    21. Regarding "inspiration" taken from existing works and how common this was even for well-known commercial entities or games: It's been linked on this blog before more than once, but I feel it's still worth pointing to the impressive six-part/pages collection assembled on Hardcore Gaming 101 in 2012 for those who don't know it yet or rediscover it.

      The forum for the article is still active almost twelve years later, and has added quite a few other possible examples over time.

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  4. Reading the title I was curious if this and the Android game are connected. I am not sure whether you will cover mobile games as well, but Naroth was a very fun one.

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    1. It will be an awfully long time before I have to make that decision, and by then I expect most mobile games will no longer be available.

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    2. Speaking about "mobile" games, I wanted to suggest two, but apparently Addict wants new suggestions to be added to Mobygames, and I'm not going to register and learn the process only for it, so can someone else add it there?

      Dragon Bane for PalmOS-compatible PDAs, initially released on July 13, 1998
      Dragon Bane II for the iPhone, PalmOS Zaurus, and PocketPC platforms. Initially released in 2001 (?).

      Developer's webpages for the games:
      http://www.mythological.com/db1.htm
      http://www.mythological.com/db2.htm

      I've played the second part on iPhone. Those are not "mobile" games in the modern sense of the term, but still related I'd say. Except for the iPhone version, but it is still a PDA port.

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    3. I am stuck trying to kill this Urapi, which is the stuff of nightmares.

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    5. Killing an Urapi actually shouldn't be that hard. The FAQ contains some hints about combat:

      https://www.jpct.net/faq/

      (that's the Android game we are taking about here btw.)

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    6. I did eventually git gud and am on my way... :)

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  5. What surprises me in this game is how tiny the 3D viewport is, and how much of the game screen is filled with static gray-ish bricks and oversized brown buttons. Just compare this to another early 90s blobber (like Eye of the Beholder or even UU).

    Sure, old games would do that for performance reasons, but that really shouldn't apply to a 1993 game unless they've written it in BASIC or something.

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    1. That was a technical limitation imposed by the development environment I was using to make the game. On the Amiga, you could either blit bitmaps from one screen to another or from memory onto the screen. I wanted to use memory->screen, but that didn't work in my environment for some reason. So I switched to screen->screen, which worked fine. But that required the assets to fit into one screen, which is why they are limited in size.
      I figured out later that the issue was my development environment. When compiled into a stand-alone program and ran on its own, the blitting from memory worked fine. It was just that when run with the IDE open, it didn't. But when I discovered that, it was too late to change it so I went ahead with what I had.
      I briefly worked on another RPG-engine for the Amiga (more like a tech demo, no gameplay at all) that didn't have this limitation and rendered a much larger view.

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    2. Hey Egon, thanks for dropping in - we're both German, and I was wondering if you played, or were influenced by tabletop rpg's as well, especially 'Das Schwarze Auge' which was huge in the late 80s and early 90s?

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    3. Not really...I had a few sessions of "Das Schwarze Auge" at a "Konfirmandenfreizeit". I remember liking it, but I never felt the need to get back to it after that.

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    4. I just want to add that is is so great to have the developer participate here and answer technical questions. Thank-you!

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  6. The "Ring of Wisdom" can actually help you in Dandall. It's not strictly needed, but...(ROT13):

    Vg urycf lbh gb yrnir gur pvgl ol vapernfvat gur vagryyvtrapr bs n punenpgre (sbe rknzcyr n cevrfg) fb zhpu gung ur vf noyr gb pbaivpr gur thneqf gb yrg gur cnegl cnff.

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  7. A nice little find, never heard about it before, looking forward to see more.

    Incidentally, your chosen party names seem to capture the naming conventions of the game itself, that's cool.

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  8. "German developers in general were doing a better job with [ambient sound] than anyone else."

    My guess is, this is due to the Amiga being more popular here. At least the games you mentioned are all games that were developed for the Amiga. I think by 1993 the PC had closed the gap, but it probably took developers some time to adapt.

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  9. > six potential classes: fighter, knight, barbarian, sorcerer, priest, and monk

    At a glance, this looked like three classes to me ;-). But kudos at the game for trying someting original.

    > He confirmed my suspicion that he had played Pool of Radiance

    My feelings exactly. The setup, including the training camp, looks very reminiscent; which augurs a hopefully very polished experience.

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    1. The monk class as a more combat-oriented priest is very old, and I think we've seen the barbarian as a fighter variation before - sometimes as a more agressive version of the fighter, sometimes as a tank. Fighter and knight sound similar, though. I thought the knight might take the role of the paladin here, but he doesn't have any spell points.

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  10. I've never seen hit points rendered as "Schlagpunkte" before. I guess it can be translated that way, but it feels more like "punch points" to me.

    And the bad guy's name, Maruschke... that's such an extremely non-fantasy name. I wonder if the author carried a real-life grudge into his game. :)

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    1. Oh, and it's odd to see "Ogres" in the German text. Why not the German word, Oger, instead?

      Not trying to be mean or anything, by the way. Just a bit bemused by the idiosyncrasies.

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    2. I guess I hadn't played any games with Ogers in them in german, so I didn't know any better. To be honest, I never noticed this.

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    3. Maruschke is indeed a reference to a real person, but there was no grudge at all. I did it just for fun.

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    4. I see. I was half correct, at least. :)

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  11. Google Translate these days is insane, I recently used it to play the PC-88 Ys games and it worked far better than I expected. Nowhere near perfect, but still more than enough for a playable experience

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    1. Definitely. To the point I'm not sure if it makes sense to "outlaw" machine translations anymore in the game translation scene, but this is a discussion for somewhere else.

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    2. Like I said, it's playable, but not perfect, and generally it's going to be easier to do it from scratch than to fix an imperfect translation

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    4. I know but consider this. I've played the "machine assisted translation" of Dragon Knight 2, which beside the ridiculous pixelporn is a fine enough dungeon crawler for me. I think the translation is more polished and feels more natural than some complete "manual" translations out there. What's keeping some fan or even commercial translator with low moral standards from selling their work as their own even if it isn't the case. Is this behavior then better than openly admitting to relying on AI and risking being marked or even banned? Because I think the former is what's going to happen even right now as we speak.

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    5. Unfortunately, I tried image translation with a Japanese game a few days ago, and Google's effort just produced a bunch of nonsense. One primary issue with its image recognition is that it can't always tell where sentences begin and end. It also doesn't work well with certain fonts. Finally, with Asian languages being less "direct" than European ones, it's much tougher to extract meaning from a literal translation.

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    6. I was able to use Google Translate in Japan last month and surprisingly it worked really well. I guess it wasn't walls of text, but I did also use it at The Met on an ancient Chinese scroll and it was making some kind of sense...

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    7. My experience did involve having to boot the scanned text into the main translator so I could make corrections more than I'd like, so it's probably less "playable" and more "potentially playable if you're willing to put in some effort", which isn't going to be worth it for a lot of people. The fact I have some interest in learning Japanese probably helps with giving me a reason to go through the effort, but it's nowhere near good enough for general use

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    8. If you've gone to the effort of making a patch or selling the game with the translation, it's in very bad taste for it to be MT. That's something anyone can do, without having to get into the code and with the benefit of not having some terrible bit of translation set there in stone.

      That said, there are an awful lot of crappy official translations and more than a few crappy fan translations, whether these are all up to human error or hastily redone MT is anyone's guess. It's not exactly difficult to find Japanese-English translators who range from incompetent to malicious. Definitely the kind of people who could only hack it in a field where text and story are secondary to something else.

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  12. Definitely looks like a tidy little title. I second liking the camp restriction. Does that extend to saving in a dungeon too?

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  13. Now this is the kind of thing I like to see here, a genuinely nice game that got lost not due to any terrible misfortune or poor timing, but being in another language. Not quite the same inspirations, but this reminds me a lot of Mordor, the setup and the harsh difficulty of it.

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  14. *german comes out of the woodwork* nice to see this game!
    I really like the crunchiness of the title screen, seems like a lot of work. Nitpick on the translation: unless it really is a construction (Brunnen), Quelle is more like „spring” (it can also mean „source”).

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    1. Well in English doesn't necessarily connote a construct, either. I felt that there was such a clear etymological relationship between quelle and well that it made the most sense of the available options.

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I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) This also includes user names that link to advertising.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters. I will delete comments containing profanity on a case-by-case basis.

3. NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. If you don't want to log in to Google to comment, either a) choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank, or b) sign your anonymous comment with a preferred user name in the text of the comment itself.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

5. Comments on my blog are not a place for slurs against any race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or mental or physical disability. I will delete these on a case-by-case basis depending on my interpretation of what constitutes a "slur."

Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

I will delete any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.