I forgot how big the floors are in this game, so I didn't even get down to the third floor without maxing out on screenshots. I'd do a part 3 but I think I'll run out of things to say by the time I make it down there (which is a shame, because it's an interesting collection of puzzle chambers rather than the usual wandering around getting lost without a quickmap). Still, I'm presenting these games as possible backlog-filler, rather than a full walkthrough. Despite its age and the aforementioned lack of maps (the internet has your back for those, no doubt) Dungeon Master is absolutely still playable, especially if you're used to the kind of BS Grimrock is likely to throw at you. Chaos Strikes Back is still a little hardcore though.
Part 2 - Screamers, Starring Peter Weller & A Mummy
I eventually did find my way to floor 3 (puzzles), which is followed by floor 4 (the dreaded and not-at-all-sexually-suggestive Purple Worms, which is where many people gave up) and the floors kind of continue like that in a steadily increasing numerical fashion. While I did briefly touch on the combat (it's essentially driven by those weapon icons on the right, each with their own set of commands) the real draw are the odd little puzzles everywhere and the way the game handles treasure: If you find a gold coin, you don't grab it because it's shiny loot, but because you'll probably need it later for some closed door with a suspicious coin slot next to it. Weapons and equipment are just to keep you alive longer, food and water are necessary tools for survival and everything has a practical (if not always immediately apparent) application. Rather than diminishing the appeal of exploration and treasure, the system actually increases the value of these items you find scattered around everywhere because they're almost certainly vital - you aren't just scouring a dungeon floor for the sake of some arbitrary 100% completion factor.
I can't really tell you in no uncertain terms exactly why this resonated with so many back in the day - there's probably a dozen reasons that were self-evident back then regarding how new and fresh every aspect of it felt - but the fact it remains playable 25 years later is in some way a testament to how well structured it is. It's very much the Legend of Zelda of the early Atari ST/Amiga/PC DOS days and hopefully some sense of that got through all these pictures of my wizard ninja dog wandering about being silly.
Until next time, everyone.
|Other Brief Jaunts|
|Master of Magic - Parts 1 - 2 - 3|
|Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos - Parts 1 - 2|
|Dungeon Master - Parts 1 - 2|