Duke Nukem 3D
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From my first impressions, the general feel seems quite like a different Silmarils game I had called Le Fetiche Maya, where you were basically dumped into the environment (a set of locations connected by driving sections) and left to work out any and all objectives for yourself! Though admittedly I got the game from my uncle and I didn’t have the manual, so that could have hindered me a lot.
Blimey, this definitely throws you in at the deep end – thanks for the quick guide, because without it the game just presents you with this unfathomable screen to click around on! Definitely another case where a read of the manual is going to be needed 🙂 Silmarils (and more generally, French) games seem to be very like this.
Something I’ve thought might be good as a starting point for each month is a few links showing people where to get the game – one possible place is https://archive.org/details/msdos_Transarctica_1993 . It looks like you can also get it in the Silmarils Collection as a download from Amazon – I found a download of the American version Arctic Baron elsewhere, but it suffers from a weird problem with the mouse where sometimes it’ll jump into the corner of the screen.
Will update once I’ve worked out what I’m doing at all 🙂
I think I may have hit my wall on level 4! I’m pretty much stuck in a siege where I own the three rightmost castles on the map – I have just about enough forces on hand to fend off the armies of ten Cyclopses that keep coming my way, but not enough to make any headway in forming a counterattack.
It’s interesting you say that because I’m on level 4 of the campaign now, playing as Knights, and I’ve run into a difficulty wall where I had to admit defeat and start the level again – I spread myself too thinly with units that get torn through like paper, and I’ve been pining for access to the more powerful units of the Warlock class! Does the increased cost of the Warlock’s army make it impractical to build it up in the early game?
Aha, yes – I learned about the Trolls’ unique advantage, I had the feeling they were stronger than they should be based on the numbers 🙂 Like I said in the other topic, it’s amazing how many nuances there are to the game – it starts off looking overwhelming, then seems quite simple (buy units, send them off to fight), then becomes more subtly in-depth again.
That Acidcave site is incredibly informative! (I was hoping for more detailed campaign strategies, but the conversations are cute too 🙂 ) I love reading about the in-depth quirks of games like this – the battle system has more nuances than “move and stab” the more I look at it, with some units being less mobile because they’re large and cumbersome, and ranged units being unable to fire if there’s an enemy next to them – it makes positioning and the order of your units on the map all the more important.
And it’s great when makers of a game go above and beyond what’s necessary – there’s no reason at all to have drawn a separate banner for every single combination like that, but it gives a lot of flavour 🙂 (I’d also have liked more distinct looks for the heroes rather than just one per class, but often the amount of memory you take up with extra sprites is a concern for DOS games of this era).
Finished level 2 now (had to leave it for that night, but I was only a couple of turns away from discovering the last enemy castle) and have gone through 3 as well where the objective is to find the buried treasure! I spent a while conquering the east side of the map where I started, then recognized the location of the treasure before I’d really uncovered the X by finding enough obelisks, and just diverted all my attention to excavating the whole place for it as the enemies went on a shopping spree through my undefended castles (I found it on the sixth turn).
It’s nice that so far, the missions alternate between having a specific objective and just a fight to the death – it keeps them interesting.
After diversifying a bit in the second scenario map, I’ve discovered that phoenixes are like a flying pink steamroller – if you’ve got about seven of those then you can absolutely waste everything in a pack encounter very easily, and they’re very powerful against enemy heroes as well! They’ll definitely be on my list of things to prioritize in the future.
This game is absolutely wrecking my week. I’m supposed to get up in about six hours and drive to daycare and I’m absolutely hooked on finishing this second scenario (good to know that the others are just the same maps played on different starting points, by the way – that’ll save a bit of time.) I think I’m quite close! I think I’d mistakenly thought this game was an RPG before, where it’s really more like Civilization (especially in the temptation to take “just one more turn” about fifty times in a row). My weakness is definitely in defence – it’s only recently that I’ve thought to actually leave troops behind to defend a castle and keep a hero around specifically to keep my flags planted on the mines, rather than just leaving things alone and hope nobody barges in.
After struggling back and forth a bit, there seems to be a point where you reach critical mass with your castles and income (currently 10,500 gold pieces a day) and can just buy up everything, after which the game gets a lot easier… having a hero act as a taxi had occurred to me as well, to ferry troops out to the combat zones instead of returning to heal up, interesting to know it’s a viable strategy 🙂
I’m still in my first steps with the game, but the tutorial mission starts you off with a barbarian army and I quickly got to appreciate the Trolls a lot 🙂 They’re strong, they hurl big boulders at the enemy… they’re very expensive, though.
The Hydra was a massive headache for me during that mission, I never got hold of one myself but whenever I encountered one it seemed like a massively overpowered scaly wall of doom that would trundle round and absolutely slaughter everything. I’m looking forward to seeing if the impression is the same the other way around… it’s interesting that you’re finding uses for units that you hadn’t originally realized!
The way that each class has one more unit type than you can fit into an army reminds me of Etrian Odyssey, in an odd way – I read that the director of the game chose a party limit of five specifically so that it would always feel you were missing something and want to experiment with new combinations. It’s also interesting that you get a morale penalty for having too many units of different classes – I think this is something I didn’t realize way back when I briefly played HOMM3! What that does is discourage you from stuffing your army with multiple fliers, or ranged units, or whatever, by reaching across classes.
Additional note regarding the sound – I honestly wandered around my house trying to work out why the heating was making a distressing noise until I realized it was the bizarre “wind” sound effect in the background of the game! It’s so repetitive and mechanical…