Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Sun Rises On A New Day In New Phlan

I have only one major caveat about this blog, my game playing, and everything about the entire situation. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and while the major symptom is horrible chronic pain (I take a LOT of pain meds to get through the day), the other main symptom is, for me, difficulty concentrating. It manifests in several ways- if I have to concentrate hard  I get headaches and start to get sleepy. I also forget things easily- and while that can be gotten around by simply writing things down, one of the problems is that I forget to write things down :) Vicious circle. I have been told that getting eight hours of sleep a night is crucial, vital, key. My problem with that is I have a combination of insomnia, a messed up sleep pattern (my days and nights are reversed (but then I have always been a night worker and a night towl- this being diurnal instead of nocturnal is still strange and unusual)), and a general hatred of sleep. So I cut myself off at the knees right there. Oh well. That being said, onward.

The first and strangest difference between the MS-DOS and Nintendo Entertainment System games are what is included. The disk based game for the computer comes with an adventurers journal, so you can read the "flavor text" from the book without overloading the game with text. Back in the day when a game over a megabyte was a big'un! A manual and a cartridge. A boy and his dog. A president and his war.  I am not sure where I am going with this. The NES version has no journal... which means, I hope, that the cartridge has all the character text within it. Otherwise it's going to be a sparse, flavourless game.

To taste the difference in 'flavours' between  the two games, I am going to load both and contrast and compare for a little while. Luckily, unlike my sad situation with the nintendo game where my console has long since died and my cartridge has been lost in the dust of time, I still own the CD that all the Gold Box games were compiled upon! Makes it easier to C&C. For my emulated console I am using FCEUX 2.1.4a, and my cartridge is simply "Pool of Radiance.nes". They play well together... so far. For the MS-DOS version I am using the MS-DOS version of Pool of Radiance, and Dosbox 0.74.

 Making parties is way different between the two platforms. As you can see from the screenshots provided, the MS-DOS version provides a lot of freedom in making a character while the NES platform reigns in the choices quite tightly. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, you just have to be ready to role play third or fifth string choices :)

Simple and basic. Just the way I like it- like my women.
You get to edit the stats if you like, so they can magically  end up with all 18's- just like you rolled them. 
The Nintendo Entertainment System version is similar so far.
You are not limited in classes by your stats, like normal, but instead it's just how Japanese you are.
You get to choose your stats after your alignment. You get unlimited re-rolls. That part is nice.

The irritating part of multi-classing is that you have to be either an elf or a half-elf. And since I don't want a party of non-resurrectables, I need to scatter my choices about where I am not quite so happy. Oh well. Most of my characters are multi-classed, which means they are going to level so slowly they might all die, many times, before they ever get enough XP to even get halfway through to their first level. I'm sure I will regret these choices before long :) I am going to stick with these oddly named beings, however, to the bitter bitter end.

I am going to save my game quite often, mostly to make sure that if something awful happens (computer crash, power outage, Zombie Apocolypse, whatever) I don't lose anything. I will only re-load my game if my entire party dies, however, or if I end up in an untenable situation,i.e. I have only one or two party members left, no money to raise/resurrect the others, and no way to get money to raise/resurrect them as only one or two party members would find it impossible to survive to get money.

So these are the rules, these are my people, and this is the way of the future :) Which, by the way, THESE are my people: 
Figtle is my Dwarven fighter, Ficle is my half-Elf fighter/cleric, Thifling is my Gnome thief, Fimu is my half-Elf fighter/magic user, and Feyemoo is my half-Elf fighter/magic user. I don't know how to make my paragraphs not so wide, my apologies.
I've been dumped. I hope he calls me...
This blog is also going to be a mix of "Let's Play!", simple blogging such as our fearless friend the Addict does, and story telling. Hotcha!

In the NES version we are treated to a constant simple (but catchy) tune. Luckily this can be turned off if desired. I'll let it play until it makes me crazy. The graphics are simple but colorful and a mix of browns and blues so far. This is indicative of video gaming of the future, when most 3dimension action games are done in shades of brown. This is sarcasm. There is the quick tour of the city which includes the docks, the commissioners office, training hall, a temple (and the news that there are two others about), and the door to the slum. Then we are unceremoniously dumped off and told that our future is now in our own hands, have a nice day. Handy!
He gave me flowers and promised he'd call. Sigh.
Contrasting this with the MS-DOS version... the game is silent. I don't know if this is because I couldn't figure out how to get the sound working (I'm going to keep working on that), or if there are only PC speaker blips and bloops.

Our tour guide is nothing if not flashy and friendly, even though much less accurately drawn. Even though the graphics on the NES are simple, for the most part they are also more "true to life". As we walk, there are noises for each step, so now I know that I did the sound correctly :) The graphics are a little better and the flavour text is both abundant and vibrant! Makes me worry now about the lack of an adventurers journal for the NES version. Oh well. And then the tour ends, I am on my own, and now I will concentrate solely on the NES version of the game for further posts.

My next post will start the actual game, although I may end here with story telling just to RP my characters actually getting to Phlan and why they did so. Again, my hat is off to our dear fearless friend the Addict for forging the way and showing us that story telling is okay in role playing :)

1 comment:

  1. I like the tour guide at the beggining of this game. "Hi! Welcome to the city! This is the docks, here is the city hall, training hall, temple! Isn't all lovely? and here we are at the monster infested slums, where the guards are always suspicous of you, and you will be beaten and rob by vicious gangs of non-humans. This is where you will be spending most your time! byeee!"

    It kind of makes you wonder what kind of life he leads. Is he paid by the city? Or is he just trolling adventurers for the fun of it?