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Alternate Reality: The City by Philip Price +Links


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#426 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:50 PM

The way character disks work, you really need to back it up between saving and using a character again.

In The City, the character is lost if you reload it and he dies.

In The Dungeon, random stats are decreased if you die and reuse the same save spot.

IIRC, with both, the game halts once you do a character save.

#427 scottinNH OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:15 PM

Do you guys remember, about 10 years ago Philip Price owned the alternatereality.com domain, and he was trying to get funding to make it a MMORPG like Everquest, etc. I wrote to him about the game and my interest in beta testing. I actually heard back from him. Kind of a big deal to me then.



#428 Kylev OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:38 PM

TheSoundOfTheSuburbs,

I seem to recall that you can get that reaction if you inadvertantly attempt to enter an establishment right at closing time. It may even happen if you are inside and the shop closes. You will be kicked out and then you won't be able to get back in to any establishment thereafter.

As was said earlier, someone more experienced with AR may chime in and correct my memory.

Russ

#429 Thesoundof Thesuburbs OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:42 AM

so could be a flukey bug based around entering/leaving establishments around closing time or, and this would seem less likely, it's a problem with the copy protection? I think the latter is less likely as the character i used to have on my Atari didn't die for years and years, so i wouldn't have been manipulating the disks at the point where the bug first began. Although saying that, in order to accelerate my character development (i don't have the same hours to spare as when i was 9!), i've been relying very heavily on the 'save state' function - could it be that Philip Price designed a copy protection routine so devilish, it even affects emulated versions using virtual drives?!

Oddly, i found that i have been able to enter one or two establishments so for example, i can enter the Screaming Siren bar, but not the Tavern in the City Square. I can enter the shop just off the main street heading towards the palace, but despite my huge amount of recently 'acquired' cash, i can't enter a smithy to get myself armed....! Although i'm yet to try a Smithy that i haven't already entered... that might be the key.....

25 years on and still providing mystery. not many games have that kind of longevity... : )

Thanks all!
Jase.

#430 Xebec's Demise OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:20 PM

TheSoundOfTheSuburbs,

I seem to recall that you can get that reaction if you inadvertantly attempt to enter an establishment right at closing time. It may even happen if you are inside and the shop closes. You will be kicked out and then you won't be able to get back in to any establishment thereafter.

As was said earlier, someone more experienced with AR may chime in and correct my memory.

Russ


That is correct. From the Official Adventurer's Survival Handbook:

Never stay in any Tavern past closing time. Once you do this, your Character can never again enter any Taverns (this goes for Banks, also).


And, also:

If you consistently offer a Shopkeeper less money than he wants for his goods (or even if you just offer the bare minimum), he'll eventually start calling you names (ouch!) and may even refuse to deal with you (worse ouch!). Of course, this only applies to the particular Shop where you've caused "trouble" and doesn't affect your Moral Alignment.


There is also another likely possibility from what you are describing. The game not only saves information to the character disk, but also on game disk 2, side 1. These saves are related to establishments. If you are using save states, then the save states can become incompatible with the disk 2 saves. So, if you want to prevent corruption or incompatibility you need to always use the same disk 2, side 1, that a character was first played with.

Guidebook to Alternate RealityThe City:

Note: Never play with a different Disk 2 (Side 2, on the Apple) than the one you use to create a character. If you create a character using your backup of Disk 2, always use the backup disk when playing with that character. If you use the original game Disk 2 when creating the character, always use the original game Disk 2 to play with that character.



Here's a post I made previously about this:

I will support you with a donation for the cart. As I said earlier, I would be willing to donate $100 for a fully functioning AR cart with char saves, and I am happy to see you making so much progress!

Anyway, the documentation for the city specifically warns that you must not use a different disk 2 side 1 with any character that you create. This is because the game saves information about your character to disk 2 side 1 while while booting. The information saved about the character includes which guilds the character has visited and likely also includes information about the smithys, shops and taverns that the character has dealt with.

If you try to use a different disk 2 side 1 than the one that a character was originally booted up with several things happen. By switching disks with a character that has not visited guilds, a char may continue to visit guilds getting increases in skills each time, this is a cheat or bug, also, you end up corrupting the character so that he may not enter establishments. This also happens when you try to do a Save State in Atari800win and then play it later. Because some of the character information was temporarily saved on disk 2 side 1 while playing, this info does not get recorded in a Save State and thus when you continue playing a Save State the char is corrupted and cannot enter establishments.


Edited by Xebec's Demise, Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:51 PM.


#431 Thesoundof Thesuburbs OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:35 PM

brilliant. thanks!

also a bummer as my first encounter yielded a Treasure Finding potion. Great fun, but not when you're dying of fatigue and can't enter an inn.


am very much addicted to this game again... many happy memories.. : )

#432 Kylev OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:24 PM

TheSoundofTheSuburbs,

Try starting a new character. Go for as high a gold supply as possible at the portal and visit the smithy at the city square. Buy a dagger for whatever price he is offering (you can usually afford this and have a night's lodging to spare on the common room floor). Then visit the inn just off of the main street in the southwest quadrant and sleep until nightfall (1900 - 2000).

This goes against the common wisdom, but gives you a greater opportunity to meet up with a gremlin. Kill the gremlin and you should get at least one potion, sometimes two. Save your game and restore. Try your potion and do the Resurex and restore dance until you get a Treasure Finding potion. Save immediately.

Now just wait for the next evil encounter and watch the gold rack up. If you are lucky, some more gremlins will show up during the heightened treasure finding period and they will give you a minimum of 2 potions each. A common ploy that me and friend used back in the day was to use half of our available potions. If we had not increased a stat or aquired a new Treasure Finding potion, we would stop and do the Resurex recovery of the player and restore to try again.

This usually will lead to a rapid rise in available funds through the sale of the gems and jewels you get during encounters with Treasure Finding up on your character. Once your gold level is high enough, start sleeping in the Best Suite at inns. You tend to use less food and water and recover your hit points better than on the common room floor.

Good luck with your character development and have a great time in the City. Remember, the Dungeon awaits!

By the way, in case you are not aware, Resurex is a character recovery and editing utility. There is a version that works with just the City characters and one that works with both City and Dungeon characters. Try a Google search for "Resurex" and "Atari" and you should find a source for these very useful programs. If you can't find them, let me know and I can upload my copy of Resurex 2 to this forum.

#433 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2011 9:05 AM

TheSoundofTheSuburbs,

Try starting a new character. Go for as high a gold supply as possible at the portal and visit the smithy at the city square. Buy a dagger for whatever price he is offering (you can usually afford this and have a night's lodging to spare on the common room floor). Then visit the inn just off of the main street in the southwest quadrant and sleep until nightfall (1900 - 2000).

This goes against the common wisdom, but gives you a greater opportunity to meet up with a gremlin. Kill the gremlin and you should get at least one potion, sometimes two. Save your game and restore. Try your potion and do the Resurex and restore dance until you get a Treasure Finding potion. Save immediately.

Now just wait for the next evil encounter and watch the gold rack up. If you are lucky, some more gremlins will show up during the heightened treasure finding period and they will give you a minimum of 2 potions each. A common ploy that me and friend used back in the day was to use half of our available potions. If we had not increased a stat or aquired a new Treasure Finding potion, we would stop and do the Resurex recovery of the player and restore to try again.

This usually will lead to a rapid rise in available funds through the sale of the gems and jewels you get during encounters with Treasure Finding up on your character. Once your gold level is high enough, start sleeping in the Best Suite at inns. You tend to use less food and water and recover your hit points better than on the common room floor.

Good luck with your character development and have a great time in the City. Remember, the Dungeon awaits!

By the way, in case you are not aware, Resurex is a character recovery and editing utility. There is a version that works with just the City characters and one that works with both City and Dungeon characters. Try a Google search for "Resurex" and "Atari" and you should find a source for these very useful programs. If you can't find them, let me know and I can upload my copy of Resurex 2 to this forum.


That Resurex is a great tip! I'll lool into that. I've always done something similiar, but not quite as easy, by just making a back-up of the character disk after every save, using the AR back-up program on disk 1-2 or 2-1 or whatever. If a character dies, make a backup of the backup then play again and repeat. I assuming your Resurex program is a bit simpler and quicker?

There also an AR Dungeon character editor out ther somewhere, I couldn't find it when looking, but I have a copy on floppy. I can make an ATR image of it if anyone else can't find it. Basically it lets you create a character from scratch. I used to use it instead of the Dungeon city character transfer option becuase that way I wouldn't lose so much and keep all the stats, etc. A direct 1-1 manual character transfer (with substituions for stuff from city with not dungeon counterpart).

Edited by Gunstar, Tue Nov 1, 2011 9:24 AM.


#434 bfollett OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2011 11:48 AM

One of the FAQ's on Alternate Reality lists the memory addresses where your stats are stored. If using an emulator you can poke 255 into all your stats, but that seems to me as if you are taking away quite a bit of why you are playing the game. The Dungeon also has a few bugs that if exploited let you rack up several of your stats without even using an editor.

Bob

#435 Thesoundof Thesuburbs OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2011 2:09 PM

thanks for all the tips. to be clear however, i clocked The Dungeon back in the day, possibly only completing the whole thing with the help of the Atari User walkthrough, but if i was addicted to the City then it was only morphine compared the Dungeon. Being an only child in the house most of the day during school hols gave me plenty of time to play and i can't even begin to think how many hours i racked up. More than any other single game, for sure (although Time Cruise Pinball on the PC Engine is a contender!).

#436 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2011 4:40 PM

I was in high school when AR City&Dungeon were released and I spent all my free time for weeks on these games until I "finished" them. Of course I have also gone back again and again, probably every 2-3 years and start all over again, although now I take months to finish instead of weeks. Plenty of weekends too, where AR was my life. As a matter of fact, my 2-3 year cycle has completed and I'm starting all over again now.

#437 Kylev OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2011 9:17 PM

Gunstar,

You are exactly right. Before I found the original Resurex in the download section on Compuserve, I used to do what you described. I used to have 2 backups of my character disk and I would keep cycling through them always making sure to keep at least one good copy of my most currently used disk. I gave up on the backup utility on the AR disks, though. Just used a simple sector copy version of DOS to make my copies.

Resurex sure saved a boat load of time as well as eliminating the need for multiple copies of the character. Just keep one backup (in case of disk failure) and bring it up to current at the end of each gaming session. During play, if your character dies just whip out the Resurex and restore it to life. You do lose any progress you have made since your last save, but that is hardly ever catastrophic.

I have probably stolen enough of the OP's time with this side topic chatter. Good luck with your current game run.

#438 Dan0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2012 9:55 PM

Hey all,

I have recently found out that I could again play one of my all time favorite games growing up! I've downloaded the Atari 800 Win PLus 4.0 emulator and have even started a couple characters, but am hoping I could get some help with backing up my character disk.

I have tried right clicking my character disk and selecting copy, but for some reason it won't work. I have seen no option in the emulator to copy disks the old fashioned way, and saw Kylev's comments on the resurex file. I've downloaded that and tried using it but can't get it to work and while there seems to be several comments about it there are no directions. Anyone have some advice on how to use resurex or copy my character disk file?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Happy gaming!

#439 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2012 10:02 PM

You can just create backups through Windows, much easier.

If you get an error due to the file not available, just eject it in the emulator first.

You can also use Save State in the emulator, but AR writes to some of the game disks, so you'd need to backup the game disks and use those with the save state file you've created.

Generally that's more trouble than it's worth but can be handy when testing potions or fighting a strong enemy.

#440 Dan0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2012 10:32 PM

Yeah, not sure if you read the post completely, but I have tried right clicking the character.ATR and selecting copy, but it does nothing. That's how I normally make copies of word documents etc, but for some reason it doesn't work on the atari files.

#441 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2012 10:41 PM

You have to paste it as well. It's the same deal as copying any other file in Windows.

#442 Dan0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2012 10:41 PM

ok, really weird, but i was able to do it by selecting paste after... never had to do that. Thanks for the response!

.

#443 Shamus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 9, 2012 3:47 PM

The Heist Network cracks of both The City and The Dungeon have character ressurectors built in--they replaced the useless copy programs that came with the originals. :) For both The City and The Dungeon, they're on Disk 2 Side 1. ;)

Ressurex, of course, lets you edit stats too, but that goes just a bit too far in my opinion. It's far nicer to have the ability to ressurect dead characters built into the game disks themselves if you ask me. :D

Last minute edit: I could have sworn The City had the ressurector on it, but can't for the life of me find my copy of the data disks (boot disks, yes :P). But I was able to check The Dungeon, and it works as advertised. :)

#444 Kylev OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:33 PM

Shamus,

As I recall, the Dungeon had a character resurrector built in from the beginning. The reason most of us chose to use Resurex for Dungeon play was that the built-in one knocked off stat points with every use.

I agree with you that being able to adjust your player's stats to "God" levels diminishes the enjoyment of the game. One of the reasons that I only use Resurex to revive a character (and, when I get really irritated, dump a ton of potions into his hands).

Russ

#445 Shamus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:39 PM

It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure that the original disk of The Dungeon did *not* have a character ressurector in it, and it had the same copy program that The City had.

If it did, it was certainly different from the one that was on the Heist Network release: It says "AR Ressurrector by Hacker Cracker". :) And that one didn't alter your stats in any way. ;)

#446 Dan0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012 10:31 AM

I know I'm technically challenged... but can anyone give instructions on how to post a screenshot in the forums? I've got the files saved from the game just fine, but the only option i see in thread is image which doesn't want to pull my files, but rather asks for a url...
Really want to share what I've been able to do with my character the past couple of months. :)

#447 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012 10:51 AM

Use the upload tool in "More Post Options". Then "add to post" when each upload completes. Common pic types will automatically display.

#448 Dan0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012 11:06 AM

Let's see if this works... Thanks for the reply!

atari001.png

This should be a shot of my first ever dragon kill!


Turned out great. Thanks so much Quad.

Edited by Dan0, Sat Jun 9, 2012 11:07 AM.


#449 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012 11:22 AM

I'm just about positive I experienced them way before Level 10.

Not that I've properly played AR in years... it's just too tedious having to nearly double your play time for each level up.

#450 Dan0 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 9, 2012 11:37 AM

After reading this thread and feeling the juices flow again for one of my all time favorite games I finally rolled my best character and taken him to heights I'd only heard people talk of. I figured I'd share some screen shots with everyone and maybe motivate some folks to post shots of their best characters!

atari000.png

Daniel is now level 13... don't know if I'll ever have the motivation to take him to level 14. ;)

atari013.png

Wow it took quite a while to get here.

atari003.png

Currently rolling around with about 20k copper in pocket change and a fair amount of potions.

atari012.png

This is what I've been able to stash away in the bank!

atari004.png

I would have never thought I'd be rolling around with the magical flamesword, a magical tower shield, and the crystal plate!

atari006.png

It's kind of funny... I found the crystal plate around level 7 and the tower shield at about the same time... The two magical flameswords came at level 10 about a week apart from each other... All told, I've found 3 sets of Crystal Plate, 2 Magical Tower Shields, and 3 Magical Flameswords (one was cursed).

atari005.png

Without a doubt the toughest thing in the game to do is to find fine dragonskin clothing of the same color... this is the best I've been able to do.

atari007.png

Gotta love those potions!


Now that I've accomplished just about everything I've wanted in the game using the conventional backing up I think it's time to roll up a new character and join the competition thread!

Looking forward to seeing your character highlights and reading of your adventures.




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