Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Game 1: Pool of Radiance (1988) - Installation and Party creation

I decided to begin with Pool of Radiance. I tried to locate the Gold Box Compilation but there are no copies for sale. At least not in Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. I could buy a box from Ebay, but I am hesitatant about second-hand games. Through various other channels, I obtain a copy of the game. I would have preferred to play the Amiga version since it has better graphics, but I didn't want to have to fiddle with emulators.  However, installing the PC version ended up being perhaps as tricky as getting an emulator and running the Amiga version.

There were three problems that I faced right from the start. There is an annoying 'copy protection' scheme. Thankfully I found a copy that bypass it. Then, I was getting an 'insert disk #3' error. I fixed this by fiddling around in the games config file. The arrow keys (used to choose commands) did not work. I googled and found out that I should change a string in Dosbox configuration file (usescancodes=false).This didn't work either. It seems Pool of Radiance did not use arrow keys, but the numpad keys, specifically '7' for up, and '1' for down. Oh well. Then I started getting annoyed, because I couldn't hear any music during the intro. After wasting 1 hour, I found out that there is no music in the game, except some 'PC speaker' sounds while moving. Unless I am doing something horribly wrong in the Dosbox configuration.

Intro screen. I suppose this was considered state of the art back then.

Anyway, I stopped messing around with DOSBOX's settings, and satisfied with the results, I started making characters. I ended up with one Fighter, two Magic Users, one Cleric and a Thief. The names are nicknames of real-life friends used in other old-skool online games. Mainly ArcticMud (a dragonlance inspired MUD, which is somewhat fitting since Dragonlance and Forgotten Realm are a little related.

Next step is reading the manual, skimming it actually and then starting the exploration of the city.

The members of the fearless band known as Maza.


Antonakis said...

Do you really say Gavlas with a G- ? I thought most people (and especially those from Athens) use K- instead of G- ! And here I was, trying to correct myself all those past years to remember to use K- instead of G-.

PlutoNick said...

Thanks for your comment. It's the first one I get on this blog.

Also, wow! Deja-Vu. I had the same questions about a month ago when I was playing another online game!

Yes, the correct pronunciation is spelled with a K. However, my parents never corrected me when I was young, mainly because I was using the word they were not around. So, when I started using it online, people thought I was from Salonika (I am from Athens instead).

Anyway, I always thought that Gavlas sounded more badass. Kavlas sounds a bit less masculine if you know what I mean.

Btw, funny that you asked my about this, because I was just finishing my post on another more personal blog of mine [I got more than 10 blogs, really].

(link is in greek)

thelamebrain said...

1. Copy Protection: Finding a copy that bypasses the copy protection is good, but you can also go here for a software solution: http://www.weekendwastemonster.net/crpgs/pool/codewheel/codewheel.html

2. Insert Disk #3: You got this one, you have to change the Configuration file to point at the actual directory the game is installed in, or the directory that DosBox is emulating.

3. No Arrow Keys: I know, right?! So frustrating! I also use "Insert" and "Delete" to get past this.

4. No Music: LOL, yeah, no music. Your settings are alright.

I prefer the Two Fighters, a Cleric/Fighter, a Thief, and Mage, and a Cleric setup myself.

Good luck and have fun!

PlutoNick said...

I will try that composition when my extra mages/clerics die. And I am guessing this will very soon.

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