Reply To: Revisiting Albion

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I took the bonus from the pillars in the Former building right after Sira joined the party! A bonus of 10 to three different stats at that stage of the game is significant, and I decided I’d rather not wait until this late in the game even though it meant a couple of characters would miss out on it. Actually I wonder if that’s made the difference for me compared to the bad time jefklak is having…

It never occurred to me that you had the opportunity to take both Siobhan and Kunagh, with free space in your party! I imagine that Sira and Mellthas won’t agree to join unless there’s room for both of them? It’s an interesting opportunity, but I don’t think I could survive the rest of the game without Frost Avalanche 🙂

Moving around the maps is still awkward even with fast travel, the caves always seem to dump you miles from anywhere and the view isn’t quite zoomed out enough to have a clear picture of where you are. Nevertheless I’ve taken the chance to go back and learn spells I wasn’t high-level enough for before, stock up on free healing potions, and have uncursed the Shadowsword. That last one isn’t a real option in the game as far as I know, but clearing the fourth byte of the inventory slot containing it sorted it out.

It’s interesting that the data about weapons seems to be split between the inventory and elsewhere – equipping this purified Shadowsword gives a huge bonus to stamina and makes you really good at lockpicking for some reason, and it can be removed from your hands freely, but the message about it being cursed still appears when you equip it. So the fact that the Shadowsword has those bonuses and is expected to be cursed must be in a table somewhere else in the game data – but it’s the data in the bytes of the inventory item that actually define the effects of the curse. This implies that there might have been (or still is?) some way to uncurse items in the game, or otherwise change their effects.

Inventory slot +0 bytes: Quantity
+1 byte: Spell value – number of charges left
+2 bytes: Enchantments value
+3 bytes: Bitmask:
0x01 for an item having been identified (allows the “More…” menu in the inventory screen).
0x02 for an item being broken.
0x04 means the item is cursed – this seems to reverse any bonuses defined on it and makes it unremovable when equipped.
(Possibly more in here as well!)
+4 bytes: 2 bytes for the item type. Shadowsword is 74 01

I’ve noticed that over the last few games I’ve joined in DOS Game Club I’ve grown to love pulling things around and seeing what happens, solving the puzzle of how the game works as well as the actual challenge of the game itself 🙂