uukrul it is, then
August 23, 2007

So anyway after getting sick of updating(I did push Ultima III through) I looked at some games I'd been playing for a while, or I'd meant to be playing, and two struck out at me. Champions of Krynn and Dark Heart of Uukrul. Apparently both are rather good.

The first defied emulation(I had trouble creating a save disk,) and the PC version is somewhere in my newly cleaned place I can't find it yet. I poked at DHoU and found why the maps I made of it were rubbish. They were a few lines of code from NOT being rubbish, and I fixed that. Without having to touch that map generator I like so much but can't quite bring myself to potentially dismantle as I improve it.

So my goal is 1 location a day to map. There are 20 total. This with all the other projects.

Most recent blog posts from Andrew Schultz...

honestgamer honestgamer - August 23, 2007 (04:02 PM)
You coded a map generator? Am I understanding that right?
overdrive overdrive - August 23, 2007 (04:43 PM)
I remember wanting to play Champions a couple of years ago, but apparently Dark Queen was the only one of the three Krynns that was released on Mac, so I had to emulate the C-64 version.

Seems as I recall, it was a vicious circle, as Champions and Death Knights were on C-64, but Dark Queen wasn't, so I wouldn't be able to use my characters throughout all three games.

Add that to the fact I really considered the Krynns to be a bit inferior to the Pools quartet and I wound up eventually deleting them from my hard drive.
aschultz aschultz - August 24, 2007 (08:01 AM)
Basically, it's what I intend to use to get rid of a lot of the dirty work for sending maps to GameFAQs. The user can create walls/1 way doors on a Windows GUI and also label special squares on a map for a game like Wizardry or whatever.

It's a bit trickier than the grid-based stuff, which I've had around for a while, but I wanted to try something relatively low-key to help understand windows programming. My big hurdle now is creating the BMP.

Actually, if you're interested in looking at it or think it might be useful for working/FAQing through a game, I'd be glad to let you have a look at it & be open to suggestions. I'd even put your name in the "help/about" box!
aschultz aschultz - August 24, 2007 (08:02 AM)
On livejournal blogs maybe?

I'm not too concerned about the quality of the game as I sometimes just like to chop through something. It's more just seeing how the project will go. I'm not expecting anything profound, and with DosBox in 1 window and my map creator in another I think I can get a lot done.

btw what do you consider to be the Pools quartet? Pool of Radiance, then...my memory here is foggy.
overdrive overdrive - August 24, 2007 (01:21 PM)
Probably. When I was there, I was kinda gung-ho about FAQing the Gold Box games and maybe a Might and Magic one or two, as well. Then, I realized I just don't have the attention span necessary to write a good FAQ for a more complex game. Glory of Hercules II (Dragon Warrior-ish NES RPG) was okay, but the NES Pool of Radiance about killed me. And then, trying both Curse of the Azure Bonds and the two Xeen M&M games just burnt me out.

And, as for the Pools quartet: Curse of the Azure Bonds is the second one, Secret of the Silver Blades is third and Pools of Darkness is fourth.

In Curse, you wake up unconscious with weird bonding symbols branded on you. You have to kill each of the fine evil folk who branded you, which leads you to another final confrontation with Pool of Radiance villain Tyranthraxus (this time in storm giant form).

Secret's kinda considered the weak link of the series, I think. Tyranthraxus (I think) only has a cameo, as he's trapped in mouse form for this game and the game really has no connection with the other three location-wise.

Pool of Darkness is the uber-awesome conclusion which ends with you preventing the rebirth of the evil god Bane, while killing a number of his lieutenants including a couple of powerful AD&D demon classes (a balor and marilith, I think), the undead version of PoR evil councilman Cadorna AND preventing the final attempt at rebirth for Tyranthraxus. From what I gather, the entire world for this game's probably larger than any two of the other three put together.

I have a ways to go before I'd ever get to that point though, as I haven't played Curse in a couple of years and I think where I left off was at a particularly tough battle with drow partway into the second truly major dungeon sequence.
aschultz aschultz - August 24, 2007 (07:25 PM)
I disliked Curse but that may have been due to how demanding the Apple could be. I've been consistently favorably surprised at how many PC versions of games were just outright fairer--Demon's Winter comes to mind.

Actually as we talk about this bits and pieces of other conversations we had came out. Your discussing the Xeen games probably helped me push MM4 and MM5 guides with maps through. Even got through Swords(ugh.) I know they have errors but I think I did a lot right. I think each took me a month or so of gaming-time to nail down so I know how it can be getting sick of stuff.

You really have to have the right temperament to FAQ(or review) and in the case of the second I noticed your blog post on losing some of that fire. My fire for this seems to burn lower but longer.

Still all of these games need FAQs(according to GameFAQs) and I have an apparatus to start cranking them out.
overdrive overdrive - August 25, 2007 (01:07 AM)
Well, to clarify, it's not that my fire's diminishing for writing reviews. It's more of a personal frustration of having stagnated to a degree. It seemed like when I started evolving as a reviewer, my writing improved dramatically, so I was quickly beating out guys who'd initially been way above me. I had goals of being the best reviewer EVER! Then, I hit a plateau and have been stuck at being really good, but generally being second fiddle, which has caused me to tinker and tinker and tinker. Believe me, I have a gazillion games on my computer and on actual "real" systems that need an Overdrive reviewing and the only thing stopping me will be death (if that does....).

I saw your Xeen FAQ and was very impressed. That's not an easy game to do, but you did a great job with it. I remember when I first played the MAC Worlds of Xeen (both games in one pack), I was very thankful of a glitch that, if you controlled the party movement in one way (between mouse, on-screen icons or keyboard.....can't remember which), traps wouldn't be activated. It's amazing how much easier dungeons are when you aren't getting raped by all the various traps. You just have to know when to use a different method of movement to unlock "good" traps like the Darkside Troll Holes or the encounter with Barkman in the bottom floor of the Darkside Orc dungeon....or just get past the first room of the wizard's tower in the first Darkside town, for that matter.
aschultz aschultz - August 27, 2007 (01:18 AM)
I spent several go-throughs getting it and the maps straight and felt good about it--I know I picked up a lot the Xth time through ie the trick of starting in MM4, getting to L10 in MM5 in a day, then coming back and wiping MM4 out.

I think what you are remembering is the sidestep ability that means you don't have to turn as you get burned. I had fits til I figured that out--taking 2x the damage you need to can be a big problem. Plus if you know where monsters are you can sidestep so they don't "see" you at times, because you can't see them. Sometimes bugs like that make more fun puzzles.

I never figured the troll holes enough to remember them--I made a map of them but soon forgot them. That and the gem mines which I probably should've looked at that more carefully when building up.

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