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therealbountybob

HSC14 Round 17: Gateway to Apshai

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Gateway to Apshai

 

gateway_to_apshai.pngGatewaytoApshai_2.gif

Downloads Fandal Info Atarimania has info & a PDF file...

Atariage's Ballyalley should be able to assist us with any queries - check out this epic thread Temple of Apshai Triology Maps  :thumbsup: 

Round finishes Sunday the 8th of October 10PM UK time.

 

Join in Atari adventurers

Let the quest begin...

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I think I need to read the instructions. I managed to pick up a lot of items, drop them or make them vanish into thin air, but not wield any additional weapons or armor or otherwise actually use an item I picked up. So a very early hack and slash attempt.

 

Gateway to Apshai - 7570 pts

[attachment=530841:gatewaytoapshai-7570.jpg]

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Jason sent me a private message here on AtariAge that said:

 

"We're playing [Gateway to Apshai] in the HSC! Perhaps you could post a quick guide for people who might not have played this before. Any suggestions on level/settings to make this suitable for HSC play good too."

 

I'm afraid I can't be of much help here.  I've played all of the Apshai games, except Gateway to Apshai.  While I do have a very long thread that includes maps for the 11 of the twelve levels of the Temple of Apshai Trilogy, Gateway to Apshai is not part of the Dunjonquest series.  The games in the Dunjonquest series are:

  1. Dunjonquest: Datestones of Ryn (1979) [MicroQuest]
  2. Dunjonquest: Morloc's Tower (1979) [MicroQuest]
  3. Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai (1979) [Apshai Dungeon Levels 1-4]
  4. Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior (1980) [Apshai Dungeon Levels 5-8]
  5. Dunjonquest: Upper Reaches of Apshai (1981) [Temple of Apshai Expansion #1]
  6. Dunjonquest: Curse of Ra (1982) [Temple of Apshai Expansion #2]
  7. Dunjonquest: The Keys of Acheron (1981) [Hellfire Warrior Expansion #1]
  8. Dunjonquest: Danger in Drindisti (1982) [Hellfire Warrior Expansion #2]
  9. Dunjonquest: Sorcerer of Siva (1981)
  10. Dunjonquest: Gateway to Apshai (1983) [C64 or Atari]
  11. Dunjonquest: Gateway to Apshai 1983) (Does the Colecovision really have totally different dungeons?)

I have included Gateway to Apshai in the above list, but this game actually doesn't hold the DunjonQuest moniker at all.  Officially it's not part of the Dujonquest series, but I do consider it right inline with it.  It's definitely not like Temple of Apshai or Hellfire Warrior, as it's more action oriented.  Here's information on Gateway to Apshai (which I think Jason already linked to):

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-gateway-to-apshai_2168.html

 

I'm linking to the above AtariMania page so that you have access to the manual; it's certainly worth reading.

In 2006, Gateway to Apshai had a utility that was written for it that will automatically map the Atari 8-Bit game.  Check it out, here:

http://bringerp.free.fr/RE/Gta/news.php5

I could have sworn that the above website mentions that Gateway to Apshai has something like 10,000 (ten-thousand!) different levels, but I can't say for sure.  Unlike the Dunjonquest games, which have dungeons that are not random, I seem to recall "Gateway's" dungeons appear random (but are actually randomly picked from, I think, procedural-generated dungeons).

 

I'll try to follow this thread to see how you all proceed with this game.  I probably won't play it, but we'll see.  If anyone has anything historical to add about Gateway to Apshai, then please share it in the Apshai maps thread:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/183584-temple-of-apshai-trilogy-maps/

 

The "maps" thread plenty of backstory for Apshai, include user-written Apshai fan fiction.

 

Enjoy the world of Apshai, and please be careful out there-- there are many baddies that want to eat you alive (they don't like cold food)!

 

Adam

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The manual says that Gateway has 8 levels with 16 dungeons each, and about 60 rooms in each dungeon, which means a little over 7500 rooms but then you keep moving around all the time so the room count isn't that important. Actually I played this game a little earlier this summer and compared to my play yesterday, the dungeon on level 1 pretty much seems to be the same. Whether that depends on timers so the longer you wait to start the game, the more random it gets, or if the dungeons are procedurally generated based on how many moves you have made so far so the very first dungeon will always be the same, I don't know. I have noticed that the otherwise unrelated Epyx game Sword of Fargoal on the VIC-20 and C64 uses procedurally generated maps based on the timer so if you load the game immediately on power on, you'll always begin with the first maze being the same.

 

To me, Gateway seems like a mix of the Apshai series and Fargoal. Perhaps Epyx saw that rogue like games were starting to become popular and made one final Apshai game in that style. It seems that Fargoal never was ported outside of the Commodore realm, if that was due to Jeff McCord not approving or other reason is hard to tell. In modern days he has reimplemented his game for current PC systems etc but then Epyx no longer are involved as the publisher.

 

I pressed Option and selected e.g. chain mail but when I pushed fire button it disappeared from my inventory and was never added to my list of weapons and armor, same about long sword. I'll have to try again. Perhaps someone else is more successful, or finds a different version in case the one on Fandal has bugs? It is a little too early to claim that.

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I've played Gateway to Apshai quite a bit. It's fun in short bursts, and for long sessions, so long as you are not expecting an ending. Basically you pick a dungeon (1-16) and lay through the level. The level ends when you run out of time or choose to exit via menu. YOu then pick another level (1-16) and it gets harder. Each level (1-8) has sixteen different dungeons, so there is lots of play value. The level layouts dont change (so Level 1 Dungeon 1 will always have the same layout), but the monster and item placements are different each time. It's a very fun action-based dungeon crawler, I'll play some this evening.

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As a reference how time consuming it is, it took me a little over 20 minutes to reach the above score. Since I'm participating in both this HSC and the tracker, I keep count of how much time I spend on each game

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OK I've played!

 

Quick Guide

Press (several times) Start Select Option (F2-F4 on emulators) for the various commands

some that I found useful

Start = Fight

Select = Key or Search for Traps, New Level [Tip: press Start to force this list to start from the beginning each time]

Option = Choose stuff you have collected - Spells, Healing potions etc. then press Fire to use it

 

I chose new level before time ran out and on the 3rd level I was marooned in a mini segment of map (the first time there was a way out)

 

One of the end of level bonuses gave me More Agility which made me move quicker (probably game is faster on NTSC anyway)

 

The goblins are pretty fast but if you have a spell use it!

 

Never managed to fire an arrow all my attacks seemed to be close range/sword. I had bow and arrows - do you have to select this on the weapons screen - probably should read up now!

 

5,345 lv4 (seemed to lock up at the end of the game?!)

 

Not sure what we want to do about which dungeons to play etc so we'll say anything goes unless anyone comes up with a good idea ;)

Edited by therealbountybob

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Never managed to fire an arrow all my attacks seemed to be close range/sword. I had bow and arrows - do you have to select this on the weapons screen - probably should read up now!

This is pretty much my experience too. I used OPTION to select e.g. a long sword or chain mail and pressed fire. The only thing that happened is that said item disappeared from the game. My weapon still was the short sword with leather armor. I never tried the healing potions or spells, if those actually make any difference. In practise when you choose a weapon, it should arrive on your weapons list but I didn't see that happen.

 

Well, we've got some time to figure it out and perhaps try different versions in case we find that the appointed XEX file is buggy as I kind of suggested but don't want to say for sure as it might be user error too.

 

I saw that Atarimania has 83 titles in the category Adventure - RPG 2D, but most of them seem to be strategy based and not that much action based hack and slash.

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This is pretty much my experience too. I used OPTION to select e.g. a long sword or chain mail and pressed fire. The only thing that happened is that said item disappeared from the game. My weapon still was the short sword with leather armor. I never tried the healing potions or spells, if those actually make any difference. In practise when you choose a weapon, it should arrive on your weapons list but I didn't see that happen.

 

Well, we've got some time to figure it out and perhaps try different versions in case we find that the appointed XEX file is buggy as I kind of suggested but don't want to say for sure as it might be user error too.

 

I saw that Atarimania has 83 titles in the category Adventure - RPG 2D, but most of them seem to be strategy based and not that much action based hack and slash.

 

You have to use option and fire to equip the arrows, armor etc. Then hit start multiple times to select different equipped weapons. Generally it cycles between 'Fight' and 'Arrows', the latter of which shoots. Option/Fire using the healing potions is the only way you make it any distance in the game. It's surprisingly fun once you figure it out, but it's by no means white knuckle. More of a thinking-person's action rpg

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I'll try again. So if I choose a long sword and go to Fight mode, that is the weapon I'll be using despite the Check Weapons menu still only displays the short sword?

 

Anyway, I found an old Reddit thread where Jeff McCord, the developer of the original Sword of Fargoal regrets that he never got into the Atari 800 and is willing to consider it one of the most powerful 8-bit machines of its day. Someone in that thread half joking asked if they're looking to do a retro-port to the TI-99/4A. While Jeff and his team nowadays are pushing SoF2 for iOS and other modern systems, perhaps it would be possible to get his blessing for releasing an Atari port of his game, about 35 years too late. The VIC-20 version is pure BASIC, the C64 version has a few bits of machine code to move sprites and update the screen, but since that is 6502 just like the Atari, it doesn't seem impossible.

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On July 14, 2014, I OCRed the background and objective sections from the Atari 8-Bit version of Gateway to Apshai.  I was going to eventually include it in the Temple of Apshai Map thread, but I never did (I will probably still do that someday).  Besides, this thread seems a more-appropriate place to post the backstory and objective for the Gateway to Apshai.  "Gateway," released in 1983, is last game in the Apshai series, not counting The Temple of Apshai Trilogy compilation, which was just a dressed-up 1985 re-release.

 

Enjoy the backstory to this very unlike-Apshai Apshai game!

 

Adam

 

Apshai's Legacy

     "You have a destiny to fulfill!", the unseen voice whispered from out of the darkness.
     My teeth chattered, my body shook. In the flickering firelight I could barely see the outstretched claw and bony finger, pointing directly at me. By Geb's beard, was I scared!
     It happened so fast. Suddenly, just at dusk this evening, those four huge brutes pounded on our cottage door. Their leader demanded my name. When I answered, he commanded, "Come, Merlis wants to see you-- NOW!"
     Before I could step back or say anything, the other three had grabbed me and were dragging me out the door. Behind me, my widowed mother gasped, then cried: "Oh-- NO, THEY'VE FINALLY COME!"
     I looked back, as I was rudely thrust on the back of a gigantic stallion. My poor mother stood in the doorway, her dear face wet with tears, her right hand reaching out-- as if her hand could somehow stop them from taking away her only child.
     There was a slap on my mount's flank. The beast leaped forward. I clung to the stallion's mane for my dear life. Away we galloped, into the twilight. We rode hour after hour, down strange roads and through dark forests. Finally, we rushed up a mountain trail and stopped. To our right a dim light glowed from the rocks. I was pulled off the horse.
     "Go youngster, Merlis waits for you inside the cave."

     Frightened and trembling, now I stood in the center of a huge cavern. Behind me three ugly witches, shrouded in black, cackled and danced around a giant cauldron, bubbling over a weird fire. Lying on animal skins, in front of me, was a very old man in roughspun priest's robes.
     The robe's hood hid his face. I could only see two glowing embers where his eyes should be. His extended right arm shook, as if being held up with great effort.
     "Youngster, know ye of the disaster on our land...how our crops wither... our flocks dwindle...our cities are dying?"
     I nodded.
     "Know ye how it is written, that only when we rediscover and reclaim the mighty Temple of Apshai will our people once again prosper?"
     I nodded again.
     He continued, "Many, many of our bravest have entered the dungeons to search for our lost treasures... to destroy the evil monsters that now inhabit the mazes...to disarm the perilous traps hidden along the passages... "
     His arm shook even more violently, "But sadly...all too sadly, none of them have ever returned."
     He paused to let me absorb his words, then continued: "And do ye know that it is also written, that only the blood of Apshai's greatest warrior will ever be able to reclaim the Temple of Apshai... and get the curse off our land?"
     I knew who the old man meant. Often my companions and I had discussed his fabled exploits.
     "Has your mother ever told you," he suddenly challenged, "that you are the sapling sprouted from his seed, planted over one score and eight seasons ago?"
     "ME?"
     Dumbfounded, I staggered backwards.
     "AND YOU-- ONLY YOU CAN SAVE US, BY FINDING A SAFE WAY THROUGH THE EIGHT LEVELS. MORE THAN A HUNDRED DUNGEONS AND SEVEN THOUSAND ROOMS. TO ONCE AGAIN OPEN THE GATES OF APSHAI!"
     ME. THE DIRECT BLOOD KIN OF APSHAI'S GREATEST WARRIOR? Hard to believe? Til now, I had only daydreamed of heroics.
     "Pick up those weapons," Merlis said, pointing at the cave floor in front of me. "Turn around, and go directly East one league. There you will find the pit. Climb down until you discover the entrance to the first level."
     "If you survive, you will find, along the way, even more powerful magic weapons to aid your quest."
     The old man gave a long, tired moan, fell back, and said no more. I glanced around the cave. The witches had vanished. Turning back to Merlis, I watched in horror as his cadaver and clothes slowly crumbled into dust.

 

     "Pick up those weapons," something whispered in my mind. I stooped down and picked up a worn leather armor tunic and a short dagger. The dagger seemed to emit an enchanted sparkle, even though the light in the cave was so dim that I could barely see the dagger's handle.
     "If you survive, you will find, along the way, even more powerful magic weapons to aid your quest."
     Once again, I looked slowly around... then, I took a deep breath, turned around, and walked out into the morning sunlight.


Objective

Gateway to Apshai is a one player action-adventure. You, the heir of Apshai's greatest warrior, are trying to find and reclaim a safe passageway through an underground labyrinth to the fabled, lost Temple of Apshai.

Your objective is to successfully complete all eight levels, scoring as many points as you can. You complete each level by moving your figure on the screen with your joystick, through a dungeon maze, fighting off monsters and avoiding traps, while picking up treasures in order to score points.

At the start of the game, you have 5 lives to complete the game. You have approximately six and one-half minute's time to explore as much of each level as you can. After six and one-half minutes, you are automatically teleported to the start of the next deeper level.
 

------------------------------

 

A quick calculation for "Gateway's" playtime:

 

     6.5 minutes x 7,500 levels  = 48,750.0 minutes
48,750.0 minutes /    60 minutes =    812.5 hours
   812.5 hours   /    24 hours   =     33.6 days

 

This means that playing Gateway to Apshai non-stop and without dying (presuming you play each level for the maximum amount of time, which, really, isn't too long at all) means you'll be sitting in your chair for about 34 days!  Yeah, and people say that modern RPGs take too long to play.  Well, please, introduce them to this quick, little game!

 

Adam

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being able to fire the arrows makes the game much better (see above posts): Option and Fire to wield them, then Start to choose Arrows and you are away. I even had some Magic Arrows! Lots of goodies collected tonight, I reached level 5 selecting Dungeon #1 on each as I went.

 

8,360 possibly eaten by a mamba :-o

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I played my first full game of Gateway to Apshai and scored 10,715.

 

[attachment=531373:Gateway to Apashai (10715).gif]

 

This is the first time that I've submitted a score in awhile, thanks for having me browse this thread, TRBB.

 

"Gateway" is okay, but I find that during battles, if you're getting injured (and if you're fighting, then yes, you're getting hurt), that it's quite a pain to move to the healing potion.  Also, there was one monster on the fourth level (I think) that I must have hit with my short sword about fifty times (literally) and he did not die.  He was stuck against a wall and so I could hit him over and over.  I finally gave up on him.

 

When I died, I'd gained a Two-Handed Sword, Large Shield and Breast Plate armor.

 

Is there going to be a bonus game this round?  If so, then here are some suggestions for bonus games in the Adventure/ 2D RPG genre.  I've not played them before, but they look interesting.

A-Rogue - A BASIC game publiched in Antic magazine in 1987.
Crypt of the Undead - Another Epyx game, also in BASIC.
Dragon's Den - A BASIC game from Compute! in 1985.

 

Or, maybe a bonus game that's completely the opposite of Gateway to Apshai?
 

Adam

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I played my first full game of Gateway to Apshai and scored 10,715.

 

This is the first time that I've submitted a score in awhile, thanks for having me browse this thread, TRBB.

 

"Gateway" is okay, but I find that during battles, if you're getting injured (and if you're fighting, then yes, you're getting hurt), that it's quite a pain to move to the healing potion.  Also, there was one monster on the fourth level (I think) that I must have hit with my short sword about fifty times (literally) and he did not die.  He was stuck against a wall and so I could hit him over and over.  I finally gave up on him.

 

When I died, I'd gained a Two-Handed Sword, Large Shield and Breast Plate armor.

 

Is there going to be a bonus game this round?  If so, then here are some suggestions for bonus games in the Adventure/ 2D RPG genre.  I've not played them before, but they look interesting.

A-Rogue - A BASIC game publiched in Antic magazine in 1987.
Crypt of the Undead - Another Epyx game, also in BASIC.
Dragon's Den - A BASIC game from Compute! in 1985.

 

Or, maybe a bonus game that's completely the opposite of Gateway to Apshai?
 

Adam

:thumbsup:

I think we have enough (blood) on our swords to keep us busy for this round :D

I had a creature stuck in the wall too, if you lure him out you can then bash him up  ;)

 

Need to check whether chain armour is better than breast plate, ok definitely this time I am going to read the instructions... right now :-D  

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nearly right now!

 

first tables

 

Gateway to Apshai

1st Ballyalley        10,715 12pts
2nd therealbountybob   8,360 11pts
3rd McKong             7,625 10pts

4th carlsson           7,570 9pts
5th Deteacher          5,760 8pts
6th Redthunder         1,855 7pts
7th jblenkle           1,635 6pts

:)

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Tonight I was mostly killed by...

an ASP!

 

on one level I went back and got my revenge on the Giant Spider and his accomplice - they stayed in the same place. It gets quite tricky on later levels so I tried to run away and then had a couple of nasties following me around, which was ok until I ran into a 3rd one! Might try and use Next Level to get out of tricky situations :idea:

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Tonight I was mostly killed by...
an ASP!


Hey, is that a reference to "most likely to be eaten by a grue?"
 

It gets quite tricky on later levels so I tried to run away and then had a couple of nasties following me around, which was ok until I ran into a 3rd one! Might try and use Next Level to get out of tricky situations :idea:

 

I was running away from baddies too.  I wondered what would happen if there we're so many monsters following me that there was a lack of P/M graphics to show them all on the screen.  The most I had following me were three, but then I died.

 

If you leave a level early, do you lose your statistic bonus going up between levels, or does that still happen?

 

Adam

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Need to check whether chain armour is better than breast plate, 

I didn't find any detailed info on which weapons and armor is better than another, but if Nethack is any meaningful reference, the breast plate should be at least one step better protection that the chain mail, but also heavier to wear. It is relevant in Nethack (and probably other D&D inspired games) but I don't know if it matters in Gateway or any of the earlier Temple of Apshai games.

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Thanks carlsson :thumbsup:

 

Hey, is that a reference to "most likely to be eaten by a grue?"
 

 

I was running away from baddies too.  I wondered what would happen if there we're so many monsters following me that there was a lack of P/M graphics to show them all on the screen.  The most I had following me were three, but then I died.

 

If you leave a level early, do you lose your statistic bonus going up between levels, or does that still happen?

 

Adam

 

Next level still gives you a bonus - I guess it depends on what you have done :ponder:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-z5T8meC84

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