Gates of Delirium Live - Post 7

yakumo9275's picture

BL: Welcome to yakumo9275's (Stu) ongoing "Gates of Delirium Live" recounting of his play through this obscure Computer Role Playing Game for the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer, released in 1987 from Diecom. Post 7:

How to make a dungeon twice as long? Imagine all dungeons being say 32x32 in size, and having say oh 8 levels. Take each level, and put an obstruction all the way down the middle.

Now instead of 8 down, 8 back up, you have 16 down and 16 back up!! Argh. That might not make much sense since its still the same size, but it feels oh so twice as long!

As is my life in Gates of Delirium, not content to just make you go down and back up 8 levels for 8 dungeons, no, every dungeon so far is having a completely different layout.

Based on what I can see for the locks I had in a previous screen shot, I need 8 keys to win the game, which would indicate 8 dungeons. Only I have not found all 8 dungeons yet. I've managed to find about 4 in total, which leaves me scratching my head with 4 other dungeons. One I think is whats 'between' the two versions of Twin City but I didn't find a key on my way up or my way down. Sigh. If thats correct I have to do some serious searching of another 32 levels.

Ive ventured forth in several with no luck, no I didn't die, I rebooted out of frustration. Multiple ups and downs on the same levels, really big sprawling levels.

Here is where the variety is, the meat of the game play. Its not in the towns, or finding clues, the real challenge is navigating the dungeons.

I was expecting a walk in the park after I completed the first dungeon, but things have gone seriously uphill in the complexity scale.

These designs would be hard without monster encounters, let alone trying to run back and forth several times with infinantly spawning monsters and getting poisoned.

The worst offender is manipulating the dungeon design and not being able to un-do it.

Yes, its completely possible and very very very easy to make the game un-winnable by visiting an easy to get to dungeon and making about oh 5 steps inside it.

This is the epitome of poor game design, worse, you could play through the entire game and only at the end realise _thats_ what has happened.

Once I crack this nasty dungeon, I'll document step by step how to proceed through it.

For anyone else playing along, if you find yourself on the southern landmass, don't enter any dungeons, lest ye be warned!

One positive, torches last a long time in this game. At least there is one thing on the side of the player.

Sorry for the lack of screen shots, but there has been no real progress this time. I do have 3 dungeons to try and conquer and some others to find before I run out of patience.

I have also resorted to the cheat mode to remove the poison status whenever I get poisoned. Its just too dang hard without it, it has become a game of attrition now.

Comments

Bill Loguidice
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Oh the pain...

Wow, so bad with the poison that you're relying on cheats now! At this point, I wouldn't begrudge you one bit if you wanted to give up on the game and try something else. It seems really, really awful. You're really taking one for the team here. I hate games that require me to eat every few steps or poison me constantly. Hate them.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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adamantyr
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Woah...

Yikes... so I'm not sure I completely understand, are you saying the dungeon layouts are NOT static, they actually change? That's just evil.

Reminds me of the pain and anguish I've been going through trying to re-play Ultima 9 of late... except there the flaw is the massive number of bugs still present in the engine. I crash regularly for no apparent reason. Then again, your GoD experiences may put that in perspective... a buggy mediocre game may be better than a non-buggy crappy game.

Maybe we should start a "Buy Yakumo a bottle of Scotch when he finishes GoD" fund.

yakumo9275
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Whisky
adamantyr wrote:

Yikes... so I'm not sure I completely understand, are you saying the dungeon layouts are NOT static, they actually change? That's just evil.

Yep, you have to push walls around, which if you dont do the correct wall in the correct order and push it to the correct place.. you block off the dungeon, and/or yourself! And all the walls are the same so you have to push everything and see what moves, like a bad game of tetris or something. Not all walls move and you cant 'reset' them in game.

Quote:

Maybe we should start a "Buy Yakumo a bottle of Scotch when he finishes GoD" fund.

Lagavulin is my preferred drink. Have recently been getting some Wasmund's made locally here in virginia which isnt too bad at all. The head distiller apprenticed at Bowmore on the Isle of Islay (same isle as Lagavulin comes from)... Its nice stuff, let me reprhase, its impressive stuff for its process needs water or an icecube tho to bring it out as I dont think its built to drink neat.

lol, I'll stop the whisky talk now.

-- Stu --

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Bill Loguidice
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Ultima 9
adamantyr wrote:

Yikes... so I'm not sure I completely understand, are you saying the dungeon layouts are NOT static, they actually change? That's just evil.

Reminds me of the pain and anguish I've been going through trying to re-play Ultima 9 of late... except there the flaw is the massive number of bugs still present in the engine. I crash regularly for no apparent reason. Then again, your GoD experiences may put that in perspective... a buggy mediocre game may be better than a non-buggy crappy game.

Maybe we should start a "Buy Yakumo a bottle of Scotch when he finishes GoD" fund.

I haven't gotten around to playing my copy of Ultima 9, but I did note some time ago that a stream of user-created patches have been released. Have you tried any of those yet to get a more bug-free experience?

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

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adamantyr
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Ultima 9 patches

I downloaded patch 1.19, which was a fan-created patch that was, in rumor, written by one of the developers after all official support was cut at 1.18. I haven't put on the fan dialog or economy patches; they're for content change over technical problems.

I think the principal problem is that Ultima 9 is a 3DFX Glide game, and the Direct3D conversion was done hastily and at the last minute, without a great deal of regression testing. I could be wrong, but I don't recall having quite so many crashes when I played it at release on my Voodoo5 card. Unfortunately, I don't have that card anymore. :)

It seems that particular regions generate the crash, but not consistently... I had what I thought was a game-stopping crash-halt where a teleporter just got the program stuck in an infinite loop, but a replay through the area cleared it up. Save a LOT, and in a lot of different places, because you never know when you'll have to backtrack. The saved games seem to corrupt very easily.

There's a group of fellows working on a mod to make the game more playable, called Ultima IX: Forgotten World. Hopefully that will help address some technical issues as well as plot and story-related ones.

Bill Loguidice
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Ultima 9 and Voodoo

I actually got SLI dual Voodoo cards off of eBay expressly for classic games like this that were made with 3dFX in mind. Obviously that's for me to put in an older Pentium II computer...

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

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Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
Voodoo 2
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I actually got SLI dual Voodoo cards off of eBay expressly for classic games like this that were made with 3dFX in mind. Obviously that's for me to put in an older Pentium II computer...

I have one of my V2 12MB in my Opteron system (socket 939) right now.
Glide does work but I haven't re-installed U9 (yet).

Look here for the supposedly best drivers for XP ("Gold Edition"):
http://www.3dfxzone.it/dir/3dfx/voodoo2/drivers/windowsxp/
and here for installation tips, problems etc.:
http://helppage.3dfx.sk/

Sadly, no Direct X at the moment for XP (there are some games that would
run better on a V2 with DirectX than with a modern card).
SLI is also problematic with XP - at least with the current drivers - but my
other usable PCI slot (those two fat GF7 are blocking everything! ;-) is
occupied by an Audigy anyway.
Video-passthrough doesn't work either so you need two displays or a
display with two inputs.

Of course the V2 is the limiting factor speedwise but the "Donut Demo" spins
happily and faster than with my old P3 with 700 MHz...

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
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Ultima 9

If you guys get U9 to run, please let me know. I've been trying to get it to run, but it crashes during the loading procedure on Vista. I'm going to try running it on my XP laptop tonight.

I ended up having to acquire an ISO file, since the game runs $50-$70 on eBay. It was telling that they didn't bother to release a demo...Didn't want people to see the bugs.

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adamantyr
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Ultima 9 and Vista
Matt Barton wrote:

If you guys get U9 to run, please let me know. I've been trying to get it to run, but it crashes during the loading procedure on Vista. I'm going to try running it on my XP laptop tonight.

I got it to install on Vista without any trouble. I did use the 1.18 re-release disk that Origin/EA sent all the customers back in 2000, though.

Matt Barton wrote:

I ended up having to acquire an ISO file, since the game runs $50-$70 on eBay. It was telling that they didn't bother to release a demo...Didn't want people to see the bugs.

Actually, they did have a demo back in the old days... I have the PC Gamer disk in a box somewhere. All it was, though, was the dungeon Despise, which is probably one of the most squeaky-clean parts of the game in terms of testing and refining.

It's running for that much now? Sheesh, I remember a few years ago they were practically giving copies of the Dragon Edition away. I wonder what's changed?

I finally figured out what the source of my Britain crashes are... the freaking tavern. Something about that building or the mobiles inside it causes the game's renderer to crash. Weird.

yakumo9275
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wow. I never tried u9, even

wow. I never tried u9, even being a ye old ultima dragon diehard :). u8 was my breaking point, when they turned it into an arcade game jumping around, plus it played like an absolute dog.

I think I'm glad I gave up at 8 than try 9, even tho 7 killed my interest who would pass up a new ultima 8?? a fool and his money are soon parted.

-- Stu --

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