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Reply 2260 of 2688, by Joseph_Joestar

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Replaying Gothic 1 after so many years and I'm still amazed with how immersive this game is. The world feels very much alive with many NPCs having their own unique routine while going about their daily tasks. The music is excellent and the voice acting is fairly decent too, at least in German.

The combat feels super satisfying, relying both on player skill (dodging and blocking) as well as your character's stats (strength and weapon proficiency). The graphics might feel a bit primitive by today's standards, but they somehow fit the bleak world of the prison colony. Lastly, Gothic's world design is top notch. I'll take a smaller world map packed with hand-placed enemy encounters and items over a huge open world filled with generic, repetitive locations any day of the week.

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Reply 2261 of 2688, by 386SX

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I'm sort of trying to play Thief Deadly Shadow (3) but it's a very strange game to run at a good frame rate in modern o.s. I've tried modern patches but the games always seems to run not smooth even if the Geforce 210 PCI I'm using beside a very low end card should eat that game. I've tried Win8.1 and also ran it in Linux with Wine where the game seems to run faster but not that much. It probably have to do with both the modern o.s. and the game engine not well optimized as other games heavier than this.

Reply 2262 of 2688, by DracoNihil

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386SX wrote on 2020-09-30, 12:52:

It probably have to do with both the modern o.s. and the game engine not well optimized as other games heavier than this.

It's because it's running on a lazily ported Xbox codebase, on a extremely bad fork of the Unreal Engine. (known as Unreal Warfare)

There's really nothing that can be done to fix that unfortunately...

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Reply 2263 of 2688, by badmojo

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-09-30, 11:56:

I'll take a smaller world map packed with hand-placed enemy encounters and items over a huge open world filled with generic, repetitive locations any day of the week.

+1

I still find sneaky little hidden areas in Gothic 1 and 2 - they pack so much into this tiny maps. And I also like how they re-use the maps for each 'chapter', i.e. reset them with new mobs, NPC reactions, loot, etc. Not for everyone I guess but works for me.

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Reply 2264 of 2688, by newtmonkey

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Business has finally got back to pre-COVID 19 levels and I haven't had too much time to devote to any intensive gaming. However, I was able to sneak some game time in between jobs:

Vinyl Goddess from Mars (PC)
Now that I have my ESS Audiodrive working properly (I had mistakenly set the jumpers to use the onboard amp, even though I am using powered speakers), I decided to put some time into this one. From what I understand this was basically meant to be the sequel to Jill of the Jungle but whatever deal the developers had with EPIC Megagames fell through. Based on the couple hours I've put into it, I'd definitely rank it up toward the top of MS DOS platformers. Very tight controls, great levels to explore, decent graphics, and a killer OPL soundtrack make for a surprisingly good game regardless of its lurid title!

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday (PC)
I had explored much of the second mission prior to work getting busy, so all that was left was to actually solve the mission. It's a VERY cool mission that I don't want to spoil because it's like living through an awesome horror sci-fi movie. You slowly piece together what's happening from log entries, environmental occurrences, and even seemingly minor (but very significant in hindsight!) events that happen to your party as you explore an abandoned ship and try to figure out how to get off. It's the kind of story that works well only in a game because you are in control, experiencing it. I never expected to see something like this in BUCK ROGERS of all places 🤣!

Last edited by newtmonkey on 2020-10-02, 16:43. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 2265 of 2688, by newtmonkey

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Finished a large project tonight, and with glass of rum in hand, I decided to pick up a game I had been playing obsessively just a few months ago...

Pool of Radiance (PC)
Launching the game, I had no clue what I was supposed to do. My most recent saved game was from MAY 2020, so it had been some time since I'd last played this game 🤣.
Luckily, the game provides a "world map" of the main area (in the physical log book that comes with the game) and the game is also good about eliminating random encounters once you "clear" an area. So it was just a matter of checking out each area and seeing if any random encounters occurred. I marked off each cleared area on the (paper) map and realized that I had just one area to explore other than what I assume is the final area (other than the wilderness, but that's a whole 'nother story).

That one area was the Valhingen Graveyard, and now I remember why I put this game on hold five months ago 🤣.

For anyone who doesn't know, undead monsters in Dungeons & Dragons can do worse than kill you—they can drain experience levels. There are ways to recover drained levels, and Pool of Radiance does provide you with scrolls to that effect. But even using those scrolls, it can be hard to make up for the levels lost during combat with a powerful enemy that can drain two levels per hit! In a low level game like PoR, losing even two levels is a huge loss. So I spent an hour or so s-l-o-w-l-y exploring the graveyard and playing extremely conservatively. It's still a great game, but I'll be happy once I've cleared this area!

Reply 2266 of 2688, by Shagittarius

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I just finished :

The Outer Worlds
(PC)

I put about 21 hours into this total and enjoyed greatly probably 18 hours of it. I ultimately found myself in hostile standing to a faction and I didn't understand why. Once you ask me to start gunning down entire cities for unknown reasons you kind of lose me. The game was pretty good for most of the time though like a cross betweeen Fallout 3 and Borderlands. I will say that on 'Normal' difficulty the challenge was absolute zero though, I think I died only a few times the whole game, I only needed companions to bolster the skills I did not upgrade, they were worthless in combat, or maybe I was just real lucky of my choices for weapons and upgrades , and that made it so easy? At any rate, its not a very long game, I did every mission and task I could and it was pretty short. I don't think I'll be interested in any further DLC expansions but I don't regret the time I played, to anyone who those 2 games sound good to I would recommend this title.

Reply 2267 of 2688, by newtmonkey

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Pool of Radiance (DOS)
Finally cleared Valhingen Graveyard! Luckily the area was quite small and uncomplicated, because the many battles against level-draining undead were starting to get annoying. The game provides you with many many "restore level" scrolls, so it's not a huge deal, but a character can actually get drained to level 0 which kills him instantly. The quest ends with a battle against a vampire, where you have to first find and destroy his coffin, defeat him in battle once so that he escapes to his now-useless coffin, and then defeat him again (though he is now much weaker). It's an annoying battle because you can't rest in the graveyard to rearrange your memorized spells, but if you leave the graveyard to rest, some annoying level-draining encounters get reset.

On top of that, killing the vampire clears the entire area of all encounters—both bad and good. I had a big chunk of the map unexplored, and just knew that I was missing some nice treasure there. So I had to reload my save from before the vampire and explore that chunk (and indeed, it had some VERY powerful magic equipment I wouldn't want to miss)... and then do the vampire battles all over again. The biggest problem with the vampire is not the level draining (though it's annoying; he drains 2 levels every hit so he can come very close to draining someone completely to death!), but his ability to charm. I lost many, many times when he charmed one of my fighters, who then went and slaughtered my entire party 🤣.

I finally got through it though, so now I can check the graveyard off my list! Next step is to begin exploring more of the wilderness, but I think I am very close to finishing this one!

Reply 2268 of 2688, by clueless1

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Shagittarius wrote on 2020-10-02, 20:55:
I just finished : The Outer Worlds (PC) […]
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I just finished :

The Outer Worlds
(PC)

I put about 21 hours into this total and enjoyed greatly probably 18 hours of it. I ultimately found myself in hostile standing to a faction and I didn't understand why. Once you ask me to start gunning down entire cities for unknown reasons you kind of lose me. The game was pretty good for most of the time though like a cross betweeen Fallout 3 and Borderlands. I will say that on 'Normal' difficulty the challenge was absolute zero though, I think I died only a few times the whole game, I only needed companions to bolster the skills I did not upgrade, they were worthless in combat, or maybe I was just real lucky of my choices for weapons and upgrades , and that made it so easy? At any rate, its not a very long game, I did every mission and task I could and it was pretty short. I don't think I'll be interested in any further DLC expansions but I don't regret the time I played, to anyone who those 2 games sound good to I would recommend this title.

Thanks for the report. I love seeing hours to beat, so I especially appreciate that. I don't know if it would make sense to post this in the List the PC Games You've Beaten thread too. It does look like something I might enjoy.

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Reply 2269 of 2688, by clueless1

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newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-03, 11:28:
Pool of Radiance (DOS) Finally cleared Valhingen Graveyard! Luckily the area was quite small and uncomplicated, because the man […]
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Pool of Radiance (DOS)
Finally cleared Valhingen Graveyard! Luckily the area was quite small and uncomplicated, because the many battles against level-draining undead were starting to get annoying. The game provides you with many many "restore level" scrolls, so it's not a huge deal, but a character can actually get drained to level 0 which kills him instantly. The quest ends with a battle against a vampire, where you have to first find and destroy his coffin, defeat him in battle once so that he escapes to his now-useless coffin, and then defeat him again (though he is now much weaker). It's an annoying battle because you can't rest in the graveyard to rearrange your memorized spells, but if you leave the graveyard to rest, some annoying level-draining encounters get reset.

On top of that, killing the vampire clears the entire area of all encounters—both bad and good. I had a big chunk of the map unexplored, and just knew that I was missing some nice treasure there. So I had to reload my save from before the vampire and explore that chunk (and indeed, it had some VERY powerful magic equipment I wouldn't want to miss)... and then do the vampire battles all over again. The biggest problem with the vampire is not the level draining (though it's annoying; he drains 2 levels every hit so he can come very close to draining someone completely to death!), but his ability to charm. I lost many, many times when he charmed one of my fighters, who then went and slaughtered my entire party 🤣.

I finally got through it though, so now I can check the graveyard off my list! Next step is to begin exploring more of the wilderness, but I think I am very close to finishing this one!

Hey newtmonkey! I'm assuming you're playing this through GBC? Do you have any other experiences with Gold Box games? I'm not sure I'll like them, even with GBC, so I want to give myself the best chance by picking the best game. I keep hearing Pool of Radiance is the one, but I'm also a huge Dragonlance fan from back in the day, so I keep being drawn toward the Dragonlance Trilogy (which I hear is not as good as POR). Thoughts?

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Reply 2270 of 2688, by newtmonkey

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clueless1 wrote on 2020-10-03, 11:50:

Hey newtmonkey! I'm assuming you're playing this through GBC? Do you have any other experiences with Gold Box games? I'm not sure I'll like them, even with GBC, so I want to give myself the best chance by picking the best game. I keep hearing Pool of Radiance is the one, but I'm also a huge Dragonlance fan from back in the day, so I keep being drawn toward the Dragonlance Trilogy (which I hear is not as good as POR). Thoughts?

Hello clueless1, yes I'm playing this using GBC (definitely recommended!). I've only played Pool of Radiance and Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday extensively, but I would definitely recommend choosing PoR. When I first decided to play PoR, I was actually wondering the same thing as you are and was thinking of jumping straight into a newer game in the series. I read a lot of forums and pretty much everyone agreed that PoR was the high point of the series due to the general open structure of the game. I think it's so good that it stands well on it's own, honestly.

I would recommend giving PoR a shot and playing at least until you clear the slums (the first area). At that point the game opens up and you'll know whether you enjoy the combat and exploration enough to keep playing.

As for the Dragonlance trilogy, I do intend to play those, but you might want to give the CRPG Addict's first and last posts for the first two games a read through if you haven't already, to see if you'd like them. They sounded to me like they were far more story-focused than PoR with your characters basically being taken from encounter to encounter following the story.

If you do play PoR, I recommend rolling your characters honestly, rather than setting all your stats to 18. The game scales the encounters based on your attributes, and this is why some people remember PoR as a slog through combats against dozens of enemies; they had made superhero characters and the game threw massive combats at them!

Reply 2271 of 2688, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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Impressive graphics, I say.

DOSBox-2020-10-03-21-37-14-43.jpg

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2272 of 2688, by lolo799

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-10-03, 15:11:
Impressive graphics, I say. […]
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Impressive graphics, I say.

DOSBox-2020-10-03-21-37-14-43.jpg

Darklight Conflict, it looked nice back when it was released and still does today!

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 2273 of 2688, by 386SX

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DracoNihil wrote on 2020-09-30, 17:56:
386SX wrote on 2020-09-30, 12:52:

It probably have to do with both the modern o.s. and the game engine not well optimized as other games heavier than this.

It's because it's running on a lazily ported Xbox codebase, on a extremely bad fork of the Unreal Engine. (known as Unreal Warfare)

There's really nothing that can be done to fix that unfortunately...

Thanks, I didn't remember it but I suspected there was something strange on the code cause the frame rate seems to suffer equally on very different GPUs. Too bad because with the tweaks and mod it might have been similar to the older (better) gameplay of the previous one. I think I've read also there were some scary levels too that'd not be bad for such type of game.
With the mod for example it was solved the Xbox oriented half levels portals but still it's far from smooth no matter the settings used.

Reply 2274 of 2688, by GoblinUpTheRoad

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Dusted off the old Sega Mega Drive and plugged in Shining in the Darkness, a very simple RPG by the looks of it.

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Reply 2275 of 2688, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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lolo799 wrote on 2020-10-03, 15:17:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-10-03, 15:11:
Impressive graphics, I say. […]
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Impressive graphics, I say.

DOSBox-2020-10-03-21-37-14-43.jpg

Darklight Conflict, it looked nice back when it was released and still does today!

Indeed, it is, Iolo. And Darklight Conflict seems to have minimal textures --relying more on goraud shading to make such beautiful graphics. For comparison, Star Rangers is textured, but it looks less beautiful than Darklight Conflict.

Anyway, anyone still love Majesty?

Majesty-001.jpg

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2276 of 2688, by clueless1

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I could've put a significant dent into Bioshock this morning, but ended up only playing about 30 minutes because I got caught up in organizing my DOS PC for future RPG gaming. I moved all the RPGs I want to play into their own RPG folder then sorted out all the speed, memory and sound settings for each game, making notes in my spreadsheet. Some interesting notes:
-Might & Magic III won't play music when set to MT-32 and Sound Blaster. If I set it to MT-32 only, music works great but sound effects are sparse and poorly emulated by the MT-32. If I set to SB only, everything sounds good, music is still nice, just not as good as MT-32. edit: MM3 is also speed-sensitive, ideally to average 386 speeds. Will be playable at up to slow 486 speeds.
-Realms of Arkania 3 only offers CD Audio music. Sounds great, but it would be nice to have it piped through the Dreamblaster X2 as an option.
-Betrayal at Krondor requires EMS and does not let you choose the MIDI port for music devices. So if you want to use the MT-32 with your MPU-401 card set to port 330, then you have to set the soundcard's MIDI port to something else. If you want to use General MIDI, the soundcard's MPU-401 needs to be set to port 330 and the MT-32 needs to be off to not conflict. It's also speed-sensitive, so needs be throttled to slow 486 speeds or lower.
-there is a "hack" to get Darklands to use MT-32 for music and SB for sound effects which basically involves renaming some sound files in the game directory to the MT-32 versions, then telling the game to use SB/Adlib.
-Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession (and probably Stone Prophet, haven't tried yet) requires the game CD as copy protection, which is fine. Also, it doesn't allow custom MPU-401 ports, so you have to set your soundcard to something other than 330 if you want to use the MT-32. Most of the music sounds much better with GM, but at least one of the in-game songs sounds better on MT-32 because the Dreamblaster X2 doesn't seem to have a creepy vampire organ sound for it (though it does use a similar sound in the intro music). Going with GM music because it's way better overall.
-Amberstar only offers SB/Adlib and is speed-sensitive, so needs to be throttled to 386 or slow 486 speeds.

Last edited by clueless1 on 2020-10-04, 19:09. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 2278 of 2688, by clueless1

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robertmo wrote on 2020-10-04, 18:20:

Might and Magic III uses CM-32L/LAPC-I for sound effects.

Yeah, I'm wondering if that has anything to do with the issue. But the thing is, when I pick "Roland LAPC-1" in the sound settings, the music plays perfectly through my MT-32. When I pick "Roland & Blaster", I only get digital sound (Sheltem's voice in the intro is audible). No music, and no sound fx in the game. I'm not the only one who has experienced similar issues. Shagittarius had a similar issue here: Might & Magic III - Roland + Sound Blaster option.
and there's more info here: Re: Xeen and Roland synths

I would like to correct TURRICAN0 when he says

However, the prequel, called "Might and Magic III : Isles of Terra", is a game meant to be played with the MT-32, or rather the CM-32L/LAPC-I : it makes heavy use of most of the extra sound effects, like the Footsteps, Punch, Thunder, Stream, Bubble, Heartbeat, Screaming ... in fact, unlike the 2 sequels, it doesn't play any digitized sound effect at all with the Sound Blaster cards.

because of Sheltem's voice in the intro.

I guess the extra sound effects that TURRICANo talks about would make a big difference and maybe even eliminate the need for the "Roland & Blaster" option.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
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