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Bill Loguidice's picture

Bill's Darklands Slog 001

I'm still not sure if I'm going to make this a formal slog or not, or even how long I'll keep this up, but for what it's worth, this counts as the first Darklands play entry. As mentioned, I've been trying to figure out how to find time to play more involved games, starting with Darklands. So, even though I didn't actually finish reading the extensive Darklands manual, I decided to start playing the game anyway to get a real feel for the game before going through the rest of the manual. Sometimes that's what you need to do. First thing of course was I created my characters. It's interesting that there's no traditional way to create character classes--you just sort of guide your characters down certain paths. I'm not sure if I did that correctly as I tried to make traditional fighter, priestess, wizardress, and thief classes for the four character slots. It seems at least for the priestess, it was a total failure...

iPhone photo of desktop with Darklands packaging
Yeah, Darklands is definitely a classic CRPG. Just take a look at that box contents sprawl on my desktop...

Bill Loguidice's picture

A Stratagem to Actually Play Some Games

I've been chomping at the bit to play a good multi-character CRPG for some time now, but am typically presented with various barriers, which I'm constantly looking to overcome. I think I've found one way to get through one of the most egregious barriers, and that's minimizing set up time. Whether truly necessary or not, when it comes to a good CRPG, I like to read the manual first so I can plan out my character creation strategy and then hit the ground running. Unfortunately, gathering the motivation to actually break out the manual and read it is difficult at best since there are so many other demands on my time, many of which are considerably more fun than reading rules. Since the Kindle app on my iPad 2 now supports the sending of documents over email directly to the device, I was able to send both the PDF manual and PDF map for Darklands (which Matt Barton covered here and here) from my Evernote account via my Kindle-specific email address. While I own the complete boxed version of Darklands, having both the manual and map on my iPad are considerably more convenient since I can read the former at my leisure, and refer to the latter as needed. In fact, I read about half the manual today during lunch, and will probably get through the rest when doing cardio at the gym tonight after hitting the weights. This way when I do have a little time in the evening, I can simply start the game. And speaking of the game, I got Darklands on gog.com, and it's already installed on my gaming PC, so no need for me to set up my original disks on an old PC and go through the whole tedious process that that would involve. This of course further streamlines my ability to actually get to the game before using up all of my time and/or energy.

Matt Barton's picture

My Interview with Arnold Hendrick, Darklands Designer

Welcome back to Matt Chat! This three-part episode features the first-ever video interview with Arnold Hendrick, the award-winning designer of Microprose's Darklands. The interview covers his background and interest in military history, the ups and downs of Darklands' developments, what it was like working with Sid Meier, and the tragic bug that robbed Darklands of its deserved financial success and sequels.

Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat Featuring Darklands

This week we head back in time to 15th century Germany, or the Holy Roman Empire to be precise. Arnold Hendrick's Darklands (1992, DOS) was a revolutionary game that offered an unprecedented level of historical realism. Experience what the 15th century felt like to the people who lived in it--and see their wildest fears and dreams made flesh! The combat is "real-time with pause," a style that would become quite popular with Baldur's Gate. Alchemy replaces magical spells, and a pantheon of Christian saints bestow their blessings on the pious. Enjoy the video and let me know what you think!

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