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Exhuminator
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Exhuminator Wed May 02, 2018 11:48 am

I never knew much about Dragon Wars until you started talking about it. It does sound like an interesting experience, and unique in some ways. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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I want to take another stab at recommending Arx Fatalis to everyone.

Arx Fatalis is basically Ultima Underworld III in spirit. It was developed by Arkane Studios (of Dishonored fame). This is a realtime first person dungeon crawler with high interactivity and amazing atmosphere. I myself played through Arx Fatalis back in 2005, and had a very good time. More people should play it! You can get Arx Fatalis on GOG or Steam. There was also an Xbox port. I only played the PC version, so I can't say anything about the quality (or lack of quality) of the Xbox port. I do know the Xbox version changes the amazing mouse-rune-tracing spellcasting of the PC version into simple d-pad inputs.

I found the official trailer on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJmG0433rto

Yep, Arx Fatalis is recommended heartily by some guy you don't know on the internet.

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Mazes of Fate DS

I put three more hours into this last night while sitting outside on my front porch under a full moon. Solved a lot of tricky puzzles in a very large dungeon, came across a few enemies that were legit tough (Dream Demons are bastards). Finished a few optional sidequest dungeons as well. I dumped one of my party members because he dared question my leadership, and replaced him with a friendly mage-ranger hybrid. I'd guess I'm about 2/3rds the way through this game now. Good times.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by marurun Wed May 02, 2018 12:09 pm

Arx Fatalis is indeed unique. It's good overall, but it does have some wonky spots.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Ack Wed May 02, 2018 12:17 pm

Exhuminator wrote:I never knew much about Dragon Wars until you started talking about it. It does sound like an interesting experience, and unique in some ways. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


I do what I can. It's a game I had experience with as a kid at a friend's house, but we could never figure it out, so it's been another one of those journeys of self-discovery white whale kinda things to finally go back and play it. I find something about it...cathartic. Here is my childhood, returned to me, yet now I am older and wiser to its ways.

Objectively, it isn't perfect, but I still find it has its charms, and I appreciate it. I'd happily recommend it to folks like you, Sarge, Bone, Popo, Marurun, etc. I'm curious what I will play after this and which forum folks I'll bring with me.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Ack Wed May 02, 2018 1:56 pm

To add to something I mentioned in my last post, I like to use a stable of folks from the Racketboy forums as characters in my RPG parties, particularly for WRPGs. I try to match what I see of your personalities with the basic archetypes of RPG parties, and when I need a role filled, I tend to go with certain folks as that role. It makes the experience a little more personal for me, but it also gives me the chance to come up with stories for all of you to enjoy. Since this is a two-way street, I figured I'd take a moment to share my thoughts with those of you I like to use and how I see you in these kinds of games:

Ack - Tank (The Savage)
Ack likes violence and bloodshed. Magic is for weaklings, Ack wants to run up and hit things. If necessary, Ack will also protect other party members, because they keep him going so he can keep hitting things. Ack's mantra is "You are huge. Therefore you have huge guts!"

BoneSnapDeez - Paladin, Healer, Mage (The Ancient)
Bone's love and adherence to old tech is an almost religious endeavor, so much so that the old and forgotten gods, gods with names like Atari, Coleco, Intelli, and Speccy, have blessed his crusade. He is a versatile party member, but always one with a spiritual connection to the ancient deities of yore.

ElkinFencer10 - Tank, Mage (The Educator)
Elkin teaches. Usually, Elkin teaches through pain. You want a lesson in hurt, son? Elkin can bring the hurt. Elkin can bring the hurt with a follow up course on ass-kicking. You know what class Elkin normally teaches? History...and Skull Crushing 101.

Exhuminator - Thief (The Sneaky Bugger)
What you do know about Exhum is that he's skilled. What you don't know is that he can stick a knife in your ribs while simultaneously stealing your wallet because he's been around long enough to learn how do it. Sure, some folks have problems with thievery...but then, this is a murder party, so what's a little petty theft? Now if only he'd stop raiding underwear drawers.

Fastbilly1 - Whatever you need (The Mad)
This guy is such a loose cannon, you tend to just point him in a direction and let fly. I've seen him blow up a room full of aliens and then turn their corpses into chocolate bunnies because he could. He'll take the heat, because the world breaks in his favor, and smart opponents know how much of a threat he is. And then the rest of us kill those opponents while they panic.

Key-Glyph - Mage (The Powerful)
Key is wise, patient, and understands the inner workings of events most of us simply take for granted, such as music on the breeze. With such understanding comes immense power, the power to shape worlds or rend them apart. And while Key may tend to be kind, she can kick some serious ass when needed. This is why we like Key.

Marurun - Healer, Mage (The Archivist)
Marurun's got his nose buried in some scroll that may heal the party or incinerate the planet, we're never entirely sure. Want to go to boomtown? Marurun's got a scroll for that. Want to get over poison? Marurun has got you covered. Fly and spit acid? Marurun will likely stick you in a cage and keep you for a pet. Also, never put his scrolls back on the shelf. He's got a system for cataloging those, yo.

MrPopo - Tank, Druid (The Gladiator)
Popo destroys games like opponents in the arena. Therefore, he is a force to be reckoned with. Ack once saw Popo take a WRPG and headbutt it into completion. Because of that, Popo is always a go-to for animalistic, elemental fury. He makes a great barbarian.

Noiseredux - Party wimp (Binky)
Every party has one: that guy who carries the gear, sets off traps, triggers ambushes, and likes to jump in front of moving trains. We call him Binky. Sure, sometimes he's useful...but then, so are wet noodles. Binky is as Binky does.

Sarge - Paladin, Healer (The Sage)
Sarge is calm, caring, hopes for the best yet prepares for the worst. He's the kind of guy you want in your corner, because when the chips are down, he's going to do his best to make sure you survive. Want to survive out there, you need someone who can hold his own and yours too when need be, and that's this guy.

Now obviously I intend to keep adding to this list as I continue on with playing my games. There are more than enough members here to create a remarkable stable of all shapes and sizes.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by marurun Wed May 02, 2018 2:09 pm

Dude, I totally want an acid-spitting flyer in a cage! How did you know?
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Exhuminator Wed May 02, 2018 2:35 pm

For what it's worth, I tried attending UPA (underwear purloiners anonymous) meetings, but it just didn't work out. I ended up stealing the counselor's panties while she was wearing them. :oops: Cop let me off with a warning though, 'cause he'd locked his keys in his cruiser and I picked the lock for him.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Sarge Wed May 02, 2018 4:37 pm

Exhuminator wrote:For what it's worth, I tried attending UPA (underwear purloiners anonymous) meetings, but it just didn't work out. I ended up stealing the counselor's panties while she was wearing them. :oops: Cop let me off with a warning though, 'cause he'd locked his keys in his cruiser and I picked the lock for him.


:lol: Thanks, I needed the laugh!

Wait, you're serious?

...

Nope, still laughing. ;)
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Exhuminator Wed May 02, 2018 10:40 pm

Sarge wrote:Wait, you're serious?

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So I've been thinking about smartphone based FPDCs. This could be useful for folks who want to participate in this TR, but don't have large chunks of free time to sit and play FPDCs for hours. These mobile versions allow quick jump-in / jump-out sessions, while saving each bit of progress. The good news is there are plenty of FPDCs on iTunes and Android, and these are classically styled. The bad news? They're not exactly old. I guess their viability depends on what Bone thinks. That said, here's some ideas...
7 Mages GooglePlay iTunes

Aralon: Forge and Flame (Defaults to 3rd person view, but you can play the whole thing in 1st person view.) GooglePlay iTunes

Aralorn: Sword & Shadow (Defaults to 3rd person view, but you can play the whole thing in 1st person view.) GooglePlay iTunes

Buriedbornes GooglePlay iTunes

Deadly Dungeons GooglePlay

Delver GooglePlay

Dungeon Legends GooglePlay

Dungeons of Legend: Underwell GooglePlay

Dungeoneers GooglePlay iTunes

Hammer Bomb GooglePlay iTunes

Legend of Grimrock iTunes

Naroth GooglePlay

Oubliette GooglePlay iTunes

QuestLord GooglePlay iTunes

Silversword iTunes

The Quest GooglePlay iTunes

If you use Android, consider DOSBox Turbo. That's DOSBox on your phone. Meaning you can play legitimately retro DOS based FPDCs on the couch. Yes, you can play Daggerfall while your significant other watches TV shows you loathe.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by prfsnl_gmr Wed May 02, 2018 10:57 pm

Firs, Oubliette, in addition to having an awesome name, is legitimately old:

http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2013/10/ ... -1977.html

The iOS version, which I have, puts a new coat of paint on the game, but the game remains as archaic as any FPDC designed for mainframe computers in 1977. (That is, it is incredibly, frustratingly archaic, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. :lol: )

Second, I don’t want to start anothe FPDC until I complete one I started last year...Picdun (DS). It probably isn’t old enough for TR since it was released in 2011, but I will likely write about it here anyway once I finish it up.
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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

by Ack Thu May 03, 2018 9:45 am

Dragon Wars

Last night I didn't have a lot of time to play, but I did go ahead and wrap up getting the last pieces of Lanaac'poor's statue in Mud Toad, which opened up the way to his secret laboratory. I discovered his journal inside and then used magic to reshape the walls of the dungeon to locate a bunch of magic spells and the wizard's glasses. Unfortunately, I don't know where he is. I also finally checked out the Valley of the Dragons, but the enemies there could cancel out my party's attacks while reaming me from afar with offensive magic, so I hightailed it out and will try again later. I have to find my way into the Sunken Ruins next to retrieve the skull of Roba, son of a dark goddess.

I suppose some of this will make more sense if I explain the plot: your party of initially four members have sought out the islands of Dilmun because you hear it's a paradise. Unfortunately, you arrive in time to discover the islands are in the process of being laid to waste by an evil wizard/demon named Namtar of the Pit. Accused of being magic users, Namtar has you thrown into the prison city of Purgatory while he instead turns his focus back on the local gods, governments, and powerful wizards of the islands. The head of the Druids has vanished, the head of the High Wizards is rumored to be dead and dismembered, and the head of the Sun Wizards has turned collaborator and works as a lieutenant to Namtar's forces. Worse yet, the dragons that supposedly protect the cities of Dilman aren't all up to the task, while the king of Kingshome, whose armies Namtar now leads, hasn't been seen for months. Namtar now lays siege to the city of the king's son. Meanwhile, the god of filth sits happily in his forbidden island while the goddess of darkness is imprisoned in the underworld, and the god of nature will only appear and aid those he deems worthy. Namtar's soldiers guard the bridges and watch the cities, and what they can't conquer, they raze and ruin.

Admittedly, you know little of this when you first start playing Dragon Wars beyond that you came to the island nation, and Namtar ordered you thrown in Purgatory due to a general ban on magic. You start with revenge in mind, and over the course of your explorations, more and more falls into place. While things often only come together in bits and pieces (and some has to be inferred, such as the king of Kingshome is really dead, his corpse secretly confined to an island full of madmen who cannot escape), it's amazing even with the limitations just how much you'll find out: governments on the run operating out of hidden cities, allies in strange places, even magic sold in secret back alley shops or squirreled away in prisons and slave camps. Dragon Wars is a little disjointed in story presentation, but if you think things through with the clues you are provided, there is actually a rich and well-planned world hidden behind the snippets of dialogue. There is also a set of 140-some odd paragraphs which provide flavor externally from the game, and this helps further expand beyond the limitations of computer text at the time. Thankfully, GOG provides a document with the paragraphs, and there are fan websites which enable you to look them up at any time.

The Sunken Ruins appears to be my next goal, possibly followed by a stint in a game preserve area or an attempt at crossing the Scorpion Bridge. I don't know what lies beyond, but Namtar's main army is occupied elsewhere, so I know I'm not about to end the game by crossing. I also don't yet know what to do with these spectacles, but they seem important.
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