Gates of Delirium Live - Post 7

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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

adamantyr
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Ultima 9 issues
yakumo9275 wrote:

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.

Seven killed your interest? It's widely considered the best Ultima ever done. I've been thinking I'd like to write my own 2D CRPG engine that's inspired by their design. Eventually. :)

Ultima 9 has a number of issues that the Ultima long-term fans hated:
- Linearity. The game forces you to do things in a very particular order, for plot and story purposes. The game can actually crash if you use cheat codes to force it to do things out of order.
- Simplistic plot. To "mainstream" the game for a wider audience, complex and in-depth characters were booted, and quest plots were cut down to minimalist standards.
- Male only avatar, due to the cut scenes and voice-overs. Disappointing, another facet of individualization gone.
- No party. This was apparently due to the lack of time the U9 dev team had; in that era of 3D engines path finding was still a tricky business.
- Small map. This was also apparently due to time constraints; using map editing you can actually visit a large number of unused maps in the game.
- A number of topographical and geographical errors, many caused by the tight schedule (making the sewers of Britain into the Hythloth dungeon) or just flat-out bizarre changes (Moving Cove, Minoc, and the Shrine of Sacrifice to Dagger Isle).
- The game is incredibly buggy, even after the last official patch.

The funny thing is, though, that despite the agony of it, there's something definitely appealing about the game. Why else would I keep playing? In contrast, Oblivion consumed about a half-hour of my time before I stopped and never reinstalled again.

Given how badly the game runs due to bugs, I can't honestly advise trying it, at least until the Forgotten Worlds project can do something to improve it for modern gaming.

yakumo9275
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u7 was cold
adamantyr wrote:

Seven killed your interest? It's widely considered the best Ultima ever done. I've been thinking I'd like to write my own 2D CRPG engine that's inspired by their design. Eventually. :)

yep, I never liked 7, its ok but just not my cup of tea. 6 I really loved, that was pure awesome but 7 left me a bit cold, I dont rate 7 as bad or anything but after 6 I was kinda let down.

-- Stu --

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adamantyr
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Update?

Hey, been nearly five weeks since a posting on Gates of Delirium... Have you given up? Or have other things interfered with game time?

Calibrator
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My opinion
yakumo9275 wrote:

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.

IMHO U9 isn't that bad. But it isn't a CRPG - it's an action-adventure with some stats.
It's a tiny bit more RPG than U8 without the big patch and it didn't have a horrible
magic system.

What it does relatively well is to immerse one into its world - especially into its
lush landscapes and good dungeons (for the time) - and I had always the
incentive to continue. I can't always say that about other, more modern games.

To minimize crashes one should try a Voodoo card for the game, even though
these cards couldn't do 32 bit rendering (the "22 bit filter" was nearly as good
and the Voodoos were fast enough). The town of Britain was a hog, though.

I had a V3-2000 at the time and only one or two crashes during the entire game.
The rest of the system was a Celeron 400 on a good Asus board running
Win 98 SE and a Soundblaster Live card - this was as common as possible, I guess.

The only real letdown for me was the ending, but in retrospect it was quite fitting
as there was no U10...

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
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late ultima

I've read a few reviews of Pagan that put it in a good light. Most people agree, though, that it was pretty lame, and very few people like 9. Supposedly the Gothic series is based on Ultima 9, but much better.

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adamantyr
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Ultima 8
Matt Barton wrote:

I've read a few reviews of Pagan that put it in a good light. Most people agree, though, that it was pretty lame, and very few people like 9. Supposedly the Gothic series is based on Ultima 9, but much better.

Funny enough, after Ascension came out, many fans looked at Ultima 8 in a different light and admitted that it wasn't THAT bad.

The "jumping" stuff they don't like. That's seen as crossing over too far into "action-adventure" game categories. But the depth of the culture of Pagan, the music, and even the basic engine design were all quite good. You can still see the same passion in Ultima 8 that the earlier Ultima's had. And at least the NPC's have schedules! (Ultima 9 was supposed to, but it was chopped at the last minute.)

In contrast, Ultima 9's team changed considerably over its five years, and the final game only had two people associated with the original Ultima designs on it: Richard Garriott and Hermann Miller.

yakumo9275
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No, not given up, Just not

No, not given up, Just not enoguh to make another post :) I've found another dungeon (yay!) that turned out to be easy. Just not a lot of time and as the dungeons dont have a lot of interaction there isnt much to write up. I spose I should write my notes up from this dungeon.

NRC (nuclear regulatory commission) was at work doing an audit, thought the baby might have had MRSA :(, grandpa in law in hospital on verge... wife was sick for a while, I was sick for a while. Work is pushing a massive end of year deadline which sucks (i'm working on the weekends)... This is works biggest outage season ever which makes things tougher. Suddenly everyone wants their nuclear reactors and reactor heads worked on.

I should maybe over thanks giving bust out some time on it and get another dungeon or two done

-- Stu --

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adamantyr
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Not a problem

No problem. Trust me, I know how real life can catch up and delay things. Right now I got job interviews on the brain so my own gaming and game-writing has slowed down quite a bit.

Der (not verified)
yakumo9275: You SUCK. 7 is

yakumo9275: You SUCK. 7 is best Ultima game ever created.

Mark Vergeer
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Quote: Sun, 04/19/2009 -
Quote:

Sun, 04/19/2009 - 8:23pm — Der (not verified)
yakumo9275: You SUCK. 7 is
yakumo9275: You SUCK. 7 is best Ultima game ever created.

Dear 'Der', I wouldn't go as far as to say that Mr Yakumo9275 simply 'sucks', you probably don't even know him. The anonymity of the internet may have given you the impulse to make such a bold claim which is a rather polarizing remark without any other evidence to substantiate the claim. Harsh words about mr Yakumo9275.

But the rest of your remark is interesting, why would you say that Ultima 7 is the best Ultima game ever created? You've made us curious.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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