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Planet Bob

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Playing Alternate Reality - The Dungeon (C64)

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Hi there!


Yay! Here comes another one from my beloved RPG genre:




I never played this one back in the day, but I remember wanting to. I guess I couldn't afford it at the time or I was too busy playing The Bard's Tale - or both! :)


I already started several attempts nowadays to get into it, but this time I'm giving it a really serious try, I even read the complete manual!


Well, the first advice it has for new adentureres, is figuring out how to stay alive - which I just did tonight. I was roaming the north-east quarter of the impressive 64*64 squares map, just learning the basics of the game.


I bought me a whip and making good use of it I killed 2-3 dozen monsters with it, so I'm now a level 2 character. I'm still dying often enough though, so I'm making heavy use of save-states. What I did not figure out so far, is how to get money in this game. I found some copper coins after 2 of the fights, but this is so little, that I still can't afford buying anything at all, not even owning a single piece of armor by now.


Also, as you can see above, I tried joining a guild. Unfortunately they kicked me out, claiming I'm not good enough for them yet...




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EDIT: Ah, just realized that you are playing The Dungeon, not The City. :)


It's still partially usefull info there - the games aren't that different from each other ;)


Interesting enough, even the map isn't all worthless, since the dungeon is just one layer under the city, so some buildings extend down there, e.g. the Palace.


I have complete maps of the game though in my Power Play mags #2 and #3 ;)




So today I went on doing some more "surviving". I mostly did that okay enough, just once did I panic when I found my character got diseased by a poisoned rat :)


I've been trying to do some sightseeing in the southeast corner of the map this time, but usually halfway down there I'd run out of supplies or similar. (I once even had some acid slime ruining my food rations...)


Also solved my money problems, when I figured that I can sell all those gems and jewels I was collecting :)


So my armor got a lot better now and I found dozens of new weapons. I'm having a hard time though to figure out how good which weapon is. They also have a tendency of breaking occasionally, so I'm carrying a lot of them around.

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I keep hearing about this game out of the corner of my ear. I didn't know it was on the C64, I thought it was always just an Atari title. Cool.

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So is this an RPG with a story, or is it more of an open-ended, "go a-questing!" type of thing?


That's a good question I can't answer yet. The past two days I didn't even see something similar to a quest, but today I found a prisoner I managed to free. He teleported me somewhere, asking me to solve "the riddle of the three doors" or something like that. I've no idea yet if this is a quest or part of a bigger storyline, we'll see tomorrow ;)


I keep hearing about this game out of the corner of my ear. I didn't know it was on the C64, I thought it was always just an Atari title. Cool.


The City and the Dungeon are both available on the C64, yes :)




Not much to report today. Did some more exploring and I have a really mighty level 6 character now! Well, at least I'm not dying all the time anymore. I found tons of mysterious items, cloth and weapons, doing all sorts of funny effects. One demonic weapon I picked up got me in real trouble: I was getting attacked by fire demons every few steps, until I dropped it! :)


And another weapon with some evil enchantment tried to kill me while I was sleeping... Okay, actually it succeeded, but that's what save-states are for :)

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It seems the game has a couple of subquests forming a bigger story arc. I got the impression you can even beat it by compiling all parts of a certain magic staff.


Other than that not much happening today, besides that I killed both the goblin and the troll king to get two parts of a ring... :)


I'm very strong now, there's nothing in the top level of the dungeon that can still hurt me :)

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So... as long time readers may remember, I'm limiting the Playing... experience usually to 5 days. I may extend that limit in case of an exceptional game, but I choose not to in this case :)


AR: The Dungeon is a pretty good RPG, in fact the best I featured in this series so far, but especially considering that it came out a mere 3 months before the quantum leaping Dungeon Master, I wouldn't call it "exceptional".


On this final night didn't happen anything special. I didn't get anywhere questing, but basically just did a little sightseeing in the 2nd dungeon level and upping my character to the 8th level.


Some future day the "Playing..." series may see another 3D RPG game in the form of "Might & Magic", but first it'll continue with something else.

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