Thoughts on a few obscure CRPGs

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006

Greetings, everyone. I was wondering if anyone had experience with the following CRPGs who might be willing to share them with me. I haven't played these games much, and would like to get a better idea of them from a true fan.

Omnitrend's Universe (Atari)
Binary Systems' Starflight and Starflight II (Multiple systems)
Star Control II (DOS)
Space Rogue
Mega Traveller
The Dark Heart of Uukrul
Trust & Betrayal
Legends of the Lost Realm
Drakkhen
Chamber of Sci-Mutant Princess
Swords of Twilight (Amiga)
Paladin
King's Bounty
Interplay's Lord of the Rings games (multiple)
The Magic Candle series (Apple II)
Quest for Glory
Dragon Wars
Lands of Lore

If you think you're familiar enough with these games to answer some questions about them, let me know. Or, just reminisce!

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Mat Tschirgi (not verified)
King's Bounty was the

King's Bounty was the precursor to Heroes of Might and Magic--it's not so much an RPG as a turn-based strategy game with RPG elements. Think of something like Civilization with less depth and more of a focus on combat.

The Quest for Glory games were odd hybrids of the GAG and RPG genres. I think they are RPGish enough to discuss in a chapter focusing on how RPGs cross-pollinate with other genres, but if you don't cover these, it's not a huge deal.

The Lord of the Rings RPGs from Interplay are complete crap and ultra-hard. They have a Zelda feel to them, except the player is given little idea of where to go... The cut-scenes and music are good.

Dragon Wars is an Interplay RPG similar to Bard's Tale but with a larger scope. Some people unofficially call it Bard's Tale IV. I don't think it does anything revolutionary, but might be worth a play.

Trust and Betrayal is a Chris Crawford game that is not a RPG... In the game you talk to various NPCs using different buttons that represent different emotions and get to witness somewhat complex social reactions. It's pretty good, really, but not a CRPG.

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=- Mat Tschirgi =- Armchair Arcade Editor

Dax (not verified)
some cool games mentioned

Drakkhen (Amiga)
Swords of Twilight (Amiga)
Lands of Lore (PC)

My brother and I played the games listed above. The one we liked the most was Drakkhen. At the time we had never seen a game quite like this one. One of the cool features was when you traveled at night and ran off a path, constellations in the sky would come alive and attack you, needless to say if you were not high in levels you would be wiped our very quickly! We never completed the game (without the cheat), but we got our characters to the max lvl possible. When we used the cheat to beat the game, it had a really sucky ending.

Swords of Twilight was a really fun game, we never got far in this game because we didn't have the manual so it was hard to navigate. We could tell it was a really fun game, but we didn't get very far.

Lands of Lore was a cool game that we did not beat, it was ok and got boring eventually.

Most of the games you mentioned can be played on amiga emulators. Just type the name of the game you want and most are downloadable and free to play.

yakumo9275
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Joined: 12/26/2006
Matt Barton wrote:Binary
Matt Barton wrote:

Binary Systems' Starflight and Starflight II (Multiple systems)
Star Control II (DOS)
Space Rogue
The Magic Candle series (Apple II)
Quest for Glory
Dragon Wars
Lands of Lore

Got all the magic candle hint books as well as all the lords of the rings interplay hint books + dragon wars.
star control ii was a huge phenomenon in my teen years
starflight was pretty cool but not my cup of tea.

didnt like quest for glory at all and wouldnt call it a crpg.

paladin was a crpg builder from what I understand but I never came across it in australia.

Lands of Lore was so good it bored me. They refined it so much from the EOB engine, that it just felt missing something (it was an excellently designed game but just didnt have that hook to hold me like EOB or DM did)...

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Starflight, Paladin II and Swords of Twilight
Quote:

Binary Systems' Starflight and Starflight II
Star Control II
Space Rogue
Mega Traveller I and II
The Dark Heart of Uukrul
Trust & Betrayal
Drakkhen
Swords of Twilight (Amiga)
Paladin
King's Bounty
The Magic Candle series
Quest for Glory
Dragon Wars
Lands of Lore

Those are the games I know I have, top of my head. Most are boxed, complete. However, I only have true intimate experience with Starflight (Genesis, though I presently own the Amiga and Tandy 1000/PC versions), Paladin (II of the Amiga version, though I have the PC version too I think) and Swords of Twilight (Amiga obviously).

We already talked about Starflight. In no way do I consider it an RPG. It's more of an action-strategy game. What RPG elements it has, like the crew and dialog with aliens, is very limited. It's mostly exploration, resource gathering and ship-to-ship combat.

Paladin II, from Omnitrend, which is the version I owned when my Amiga was a primary system, was a game with tremendous potential and promise that didn't quite pull everything 100% together. Anyway, you took the role of the Paladin (which you created) and you played through individual missions/quests (the game came with 20 linked quests, but you could also make and link your own) that were made up of predetermined elements, like a specific terrain, specific comrades and specific opponents. Sometimes the mission was to rescue some prisoners, sometimes it was to find something, sometimes it was just to escape an area. The game was turn-based and you had a certain number of movement points per turn. I loved the overall idea, but found the scope of each mission rather small and the idea of linking these small quests didn't really jibe. It was like playing a series of RPG mini-missions while growing one character. It also was heavily skewed towards combat and party strategy, sort of like an RTS, but without the real-time component.

Swords of Twilight. Ah, so much promise, but again, it just fell down in the actual execution. It was made by the legendary Jon Freeman and Anne Westfall. The best way to describe it is taking a Super NES JRPG and supercharging it on a computer with a Western design aesthetic. Up to three people could play at once (combination of controls) and movement was all in real-time. This was huge to me and my friends at the time, but its telling of the games weaknesses that we didn't play through it very far. (by the way, there was no on disk copy protection, but it required you to look on the INTERIOR OF THE BOX to answer a copy protection question!) The music was lush, but ultra-repetitive and there was a lot of loading. There was lots of dialog too. With repetitive music, lots of loading and lots of dialog, pacing was a serious issue. The premise of actions was based around your character's attitude. For instance, in order to fight, you had to put your character into "hostile" mode. You then were required to press a key combination and move in the direction of the enemy to attack.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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