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Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 2:51 pm
by Exhuminator
prfsnl_gmr wrote:Shadow Tower is likely one of the few games where the developers made up a name based on its technical limitations.

I'm not sure it was technical limitations though. The plot supports the name as you come to understand it better. Also FromSoftware produced Shadow Tower after King's Field III, and KF3 had a tad further draw distance. A few screenshots:

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I believe the ever present suffocating darkness in Shadow Tower was an aesthetic design, not a programming compromise. I could be wrong of course!

prfsnl_gmr wrote:how awesome a HD FromSoftware FPDC Collection would be


I agree with you. Alas for now all we can do is pretty up the graphics in ePSXe.

prfsnl_gmr wrote:I decided I wanted to get through the first game...uh...first, however.


You'll be glad you did when you get around to Abyss. There are plot elements that carry over from the first game.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 2:57 pm
by marurun
I found the first Krynn game easier than Pool of Radiance.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 2:59 pm
by Ack
MrPopo wrote:I'm surprised you picked up the Krynn games but not the Forgotten Realms games. Personally I'd recommend you do Pool of Radiance before picking up any of the Krynn trilogy, because those have a higher starting difficulty. So of that list, given the time you still have, I'd say you'd probably be best off with Battlespire, or possibly either Menzoberranzan or Ravenloft; don't know enough about the lengths of the latter two to say for sure. Might and Magic 1 might be a bit too much to chew at this point; there's a lot to explore and map and the maps are pretty intricate (especially the overworld) and there isn't much direction.


I actually did pick up Forgotten Realms, but it's tough to decipher which games are dungeon crawlers, more tactically-oriented RPGs, action RPGs, etc., with the way GOG has everything grouped. That's why I said those were some of my choices! I know Ravenloft well enough to know it'll want to dick me over at the start because it's Ravenloft, but we'll see. Maybe Battlespire is where I should go.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:44 pm
by MrPopo
Ack wrote:
MrPopo wrote:I'm surprised you picked up the Krynn games but not the Forgotten Realms games. Personally I'd recommend you do Pool of Radiance before picking up any of the Krynn trilogy, because those have a higher starting difficulty. So of that list, given the time you still have, I'd say you'd probably be best off with Battlespire, or possibly either Menzoberranzan or Ravenloft; don't know enough about the lengths of the latter two to say for sure. Might and Magic 1 might be a bit too much to chew at this point; there's a lot to explore and map and the maps are pretty intricate (especially the overworld) and there isn't much direction.


I actually did pick up Forgotten Realms, but it's tough to decipher which games are dungeon crawlers, more tactically-oriented RPGs, action RPGs, etc., with the way GOG has everything grouped. That's why I said those were some of my choices! I know Ravenloft well enough to know it'll want to dick me over at the start because it's Ravenloft, but we'll see. Maybe Battlespire is where I should go.

So here's the various groups in the Gold Box games:

Pool of Radiance
Curse of the Azure Bonds
Secret of the Silver Blades
Pools of Darkness

Gateway to the Savage Frontier
Treasures of the Savage Frontier

Champions of Krynn
Death Knights of Krynn
Dark Queen of Krynn

All use the same engine (with upgrades along the way), are first person perspective exploration with the tactical combat engine. Some of them have a world map for exploration between different dungeon areas. The groups are intended to be played as a single storyline with the same characters, using the import feature. There is a side game called Hillsfar, which is set between PoR and CotAB, which is not first person and is really just a series of minigames. I wouldn't recommend it.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:27 pm
by nullPointer
Time for a status report on Megami Tensei! As my household is edging ever closer to 'summer schedules' I've been a bit pressed for gaming time this month. Thankfully I've been able to spend some quality time with Megami Tensei over the last few days. Last night I barely eked out a victory vs. Hecate in the Mazurka Corridor. This section of the game required a much greater degree of preparation in order to pass through. Over the course of several NPC interactions, I was able to piece together the rather convoluted story of what happened in Mazurka Corridor. A thief/earth god(?) Gaia has stolen Hecate's prized Silver Relief. Aside from the predictable fact that Hecate is now out for vengeance, the Silver Relief is also a necessary artifact in order to reach her chamber. After some lengthy exploratory expeditions to track down Gaia, the greedy bastard took all of my money (macca) in exchange for the relief. This meant I paid a rather princely sum of 88,000 in order to proceed. (I rather wonder if there's an acceptable lowball amount here; like could one spend down almost all of their money and still be able to purchase the Relief?). At any rate the Relief is only part of the equation. As it turns out, Hecate also has a bit of a penchant for invisibility, and in order to actually look upon her one needs to acquire the Ratosu Statue. Unfortunately this statue resides in a lethal trap chamber, and to retrieve it safely the statue must be exchanged for something of equal weight, Indiana Jones style. Exactly what that object is must be discovered through additional NPC interactions.

Jumping ahead a bit, and with all necessary items in hand, I set out to finally defeat Hecate. As I mentioned earlier, I barely squeaked out a victory. This wasn't so much due to the difficulty of the boss, but rather the lengthy journey between the last available healer and the dwelling of Hecate. I was very depleted upon reaching her chambers. Thankfully I had some powerful demons on hand to assist in the battle. It was a hard fought battle nonetheless, but she fell to our mighty forces all the same.

I really enjoyed this section of the dungeon. Up until this point the game really has been a rather protracted exercise in the following:

1. grind
2. acquire more powerful demons
3. grind some more
3a. (repeat steps 1-3 as necessary)
4. fight boss
5. repeat steps 1-5

So it's been nice to mix things up with some slightly more focused goals in terms of seeking out specific items. Next we shall descend into the Rotting Sea of Flames where upon we shall doubtless encounter further unspeakable Eldritch horrors. By my accounting I've passed through 4 of the 6 areas in the game, though I'm sure I still have a sizeable chunk of grinding and demon gathering to come.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:17 pm
by Sload Soap
Made a smidgeon of progress in STHA by returning to the graveyard outside of town, sneaking through the underground crypt and opening the newly unlocked door to the vampires lair. The vampire himself was a pushover, probably doing more damage to my eyes with his garish colour scheme than he did Arthur and the gang. Basso left which was a shame as I was beginning to really appreciate his habit of breathing critical hit giving flames on everyone. So that's me ready for the south shrine. There was a bit of story after I beat the vampire but this game is still very gameplay focused.

And depsite saying I'd set it aside, I can't resist the call of Vvardenfell so I beat Morrowind and the Mournhold expansion, or at least their main quests.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:28 pm
by pierrot
Wow, you made a bunch of progress all of a sudden, Null. The last two areas will be a real test of your mettle, but especially the Sea of Flames. Anfini has mobs that can reduce Nakajima and Yumiko's levels, but at that point you should be pretty steeled for the final push.


I got back to the second chapter of Arcus I-II-III today. I caught up to the little Hobbit brat who stole Pict's sword at the docks, as he was being bared down on by a maleficent tree. That goody-two-shoes Pict wouldn't let the kid get harmed, and jumped in to fight the demonic Trent. He got himself poisoned for it too. After felling the tree, Chinopp (who is apparently actually 20 years old) carries Pict's listless body to the Elfs' village. Upon waking, Pict hears from Diana that there's something wrong with the spring well in the Elvan sanctuary, Prat Nee, that seems to be causing an elemental imbalance, and stirring up creatures like the Trent Pict fought. Diana (now chief of the village) had already sent out two investigation units, only to have no one return. Third time's the charm, she must have said, because she was about to send out one of the best archers in the village, alone. So, along with a Hobbit thief, Chinopp, and an Elf Archer, Su (some characters suspiciously similar to ones I had with me in the first chapter), Pict forces his way into the investigation party.

So, I think I see how this game is going to be doing things, and I don't know if I'm on board with it. Essentially, because they mashed all three Arcus games into a single game, I'm headed to a dungeon underneath what was the Coriander Tundra, but has become all flush with plant life due to the events of the first chapter. That's fine, but I went there toward the end of the first chapter, and all the enemies in this place are the exact same as they were in the first chapter. I went jaunting merrily into the dungeon at first, until I hit a trap, and was ambushed by four skeleton enemies that I couldn't hit with my attacks, and that can use higher level ice spells that do a pretty flat 15 damage at any level. My characters are all about level 6 right now, and can only take 2 to 3 of those spells to the face before they keel over. So, they took out Pict and Su before I was able to run, and limp my way back to the Elf village. It seems like the expectation at this point is that I'm going to grind 10 to 15 levels now to actually get through this dungeon again. Depending on where this second chapter is going to take me back to, I could end up way overleveled for other areas, though, if this trend is going to continue. Seems like balance was the least of anyone's concerns on this project--.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:12 pm
by nullPointer
pierrot wrote:Wow, you made a bunch of progress all of a sudden, Null. The last two areas will be a real test of your mettle, but especially the Sea of Flames. Anfini has mobs that can reduce Nakajima and Yumiko's levels, but at that point you should be pretty steeled for the final push.

Thansk man! Mostly it's lack of intervening posts providing the illusion of a sudden burst of progress. I moved through Bien Sky City and Vallhalla Corridor at a relatively leisurely pace over the last couple of weeks. Then I sort of blasted through Mazurka Corridor in the last three days.

It's interesting. On one hand I'd say that Megami Tensei is a very grind heavy game (old school Dragon Quest style), but on the other hand if you make an effort to fill out every corner of the auto-map, you'll typically stay on target with appropriate leveling. So perhaps it's just a game in which completionist level exploration is not an option? (I'd still call it very grind-heavy since most of the time this exploration yields only XP and gold)

Despite your reservations Pierrot, I have to say that Arcus I-II-III sounds rather intriguing!

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:21 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
I need to get in on the Arcus. Arcus 1-2-3 and Arcus Odyssey have been on my wishlist for ages.

Apparently the second game originally had a top-down view, it was converted to first-person for the Mega CD three-in-one release. Neat.
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Wolf Team owns.

Re: Together Retro: First-Person Dungeon Crawlers

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 5:45 pm
by pierrot
nullPointer wrote:It's interesting. On one hand I'd say that Megami Tensei is a very grind heavy game (old school Dragon Quest style), but on the other hand if you make an effort to fill out every corner of the auto-map, you'll typically stay on target with appropriate leveling. So perhaps it's just a game in which completionist level exploration is not an option? (I'd still call it very grind-heavy since most of the time this exploration yields only XP and gold)

That's pretty much exactly how I play these Japanese FPDCs that have auto mapping, and it was mostly because of how I played Megami Tensei. I'm pretty sure I went over every possible square of the game, and that probably did help limit the amount of mindless grinding I would do. Although I also spent an insane amount of time hunting for certain monsters to mix the latest and greatest as I approached certain levels.

I'm not sure if you'd have it yet or not, but don't forget to make use of the spell that nullifies trap/damage floors. This tradition of lethal dungeons continued in Megami Tensei II, but they seemed to be done with the idea by SMT.


nullPointer wrote:Despite your reservations Pierrot, I have to say that Arcus I-II-III sounds rather intriguing!

It's definitely interesting. One of the big selling points for the original Arcus was the story, which I've mostly enjoyed so far, but most of my bellyaching is probably due to remorse over not playing the PC versions instead. This Sega CD version seems fine as a bit of a digest of the stories, but the gameplay elements needed a bit more planning.


BoneSnapDeez wrote:Apparently the second game originally had a top-down view, it was converted to first-person for the Mega CD three-in-one release. Neat.

Yeah, there are quite a few concessions made to the first two games, at least, to keep some consistency in the "Chapters" of the Sega CD version. Originally, Arcus 1 didn't have any experience points, or character levels, either.