Prince of Persia
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The Playstation version (Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown) has a very different, more metal/techno soundtrack. A few tunes are the same, a few are “remixed” versions of original tunes, and a lot are original. It was composed by Mark “TDK” Knight:
Build engine also cannot do full room over room, because the map is still 2D. There are ingenious tricks in the engine that allow the feeling of room over room.
One is silent teleporters that basically take you to a different place in the map (this is what happens every time you dive under water – check it).
The second key element has to do with the way the engine renders sectors – it does not care about their absolute position in space, only the connections between them. So two sectors can really overlap or occupy the same area in space, as long as they are not visible at the same time. So you can “feel” room over room, but you can never see room over room.
The latter feature allows some amazing things that are almost unheard of in 3D games. I encourage you guys playing it right now to check the following secret levels to understand what I’m talking about and to be deeply impressed:
E2L11 – Lunatic Fringe (exit from E2L08 – Dark Side)
E3L10 – Tier Drops (exit from E3L05 – Movie Set)
Come to think about it, all of the most famous Build Engine games (Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood, Redneck Rampage) feature much more realistic level design compared to the DOOM and Quake games.
Thus it’s got to be something more than just the style of the designers who worked on the levels (because these were different people); there must be something inherent to the engine, or the editing tools, that make it much easier to pull off realistic-looking environments.March 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm in reply to: What a Game! aka. WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME _HOW_ GOOD IT IT?? #1224
I believe that if you set Parental controls to on, it should get rid of most of the child-unfriendly stuff, including the sexism.
When playing using keyboard only, I always use the keypad, not the arrows. This way you can much easier use Pad7/Pad1 to aim, Pad9/Pad3 to look up/down and Pad5 to center the view. I think this is how it’s meant to be played on a keyboard-only setup.
I never tried it over LAN, only “Hot seat”. It’s easier to set up, and you don’t have the element of uncertainty “when is that guy going to finish up his turn???”, but you lose some of the mystery, as all human players know what all other human players are up to.
Come to think of it, last time I played Heroes multiplayer was with my lovely wife. We would make a pact not to attach each other until all AI enemies are beaten. Interestingly she enjoyed the first game more than the second one, where she did not appreciate the extra complexity.
In the second game, the special structure in the Warlock castle actually produces an extra 500 gold a day, just to balance out the cost of the troops. In Heroes 1, better find a gold mine, or a gold-producing artifact, or conquer another castle. 🙂
I think that in the first 3 games in the HoM&M series, it really makes sense to start playing them in order. Each game introduces extra complexity to the elements it takes from the previous one. Starting with HoM&M 3 would overwhelm a lot of players (unless they already have experience with similar games).
Heck, I’ve played the first two games a lot, and HoM&M 3 still overwhelmed me. I never grew as fond of it as most seem to be. I think it’s because in my nature I prefer games that are somewhat confined, rather than those that seem infinitely expandable.
The first game is a bit too confined. There really is only so much you can do. The second adds a lot more things, which increase depth and the number of available strategies, and the third takes it a little bit too far, in my opinion.
When I played the campaign, I felt that the level that puts you up against the Barbarian, Lord Slayer, is the hardest, because the Barbarians start sending powerful heroes to attack your castles almost immediately, and with the ‘no movement penalty on rough terrain’ they can cross the desert and be at your door step within 2-3 weeks, making it tough to survive the initial onslaughts. But if you do, it gets easier.
You can avoid this level entirely if you choose the Barbarians to play the campaign to begin with. 🙂
Trolls also regenerate hitpoints at the start of every round (something not immediately obvious). If your troll got even 1 point of health left at the end of the round, next round it starts at 40 again. It can help avoid some of the attrition that the enemy archers do to trolls during long battles (since the AI will go for your most powerful ranged unit at all times).
One technique against Hydras is to try to take them out of the game by casting Blind/Paralyze on them (Paralyze is especially good since they can’t retaliate either). The AI uses that technique a lot. Then you can finish of the other creatures, and then focus on the hydras. Doesn’t help when fighting groups of hydras in the wild, though. 😛
Regarding morale: You get -1 for 3 classes, -2 for 4 and -3 for 5. Since a Knight hero has +1 morale, and since you can usually find some artifacts that boost morale as well, I figure that 3 classes is something you can handle without morale penalties for the most part. 4-5 is probably too much already.
Phoenixes – well, they are very strong, the 2nd strongest in the game (after dragons), and against pack creatures even a small group is probably enough. However, when fighting enemy heroes, I’ve learned that attack/defense skills matter more than one realizes at first.
Consider Paladins, for instance. They are not as strong as a Phoenix, but their production is double, and they strike twice. Take a Knight hero with high attack/defense, against a Sorceress hero with low attack/defense, and a double-sized stack of Paladins will easily make minced meat out of Phoenix.
I mostly agree with your selection of armies for the 4 classes. Peasants are useless, of course, and Dwarfs/Hydra are much more useful as castle defense creatures than in a traveling army.
The one class where I’m not conclusive on is Barbarian. Ogres are very tough but are also slow. So, choosing between them and Goblins, I would sometimes prefer to take Goblins with me for traveling (as the hero moves faster). This is especially true if you are in a map with lots of Goblin huts where you can get more Goblins to join you for free. So, sometimes I would choose Ogres, sometimes Goblins.
In the end, it does not matter as much as one thinks, because at some point in the game you will have more than one hero, and you will have conquered some castles of other classes. In the end your most powerful hero will probably have a mix of powerful creatures from 2-3 classes.
Dragons, well, they are totally awesome. They are way overpowered in this game. It is true that their speed is Medium, so a fast creature (like a Phoenix) will get to attack first, but it typically will not make a difference. Their total spell immunity allows massive exploits – take a strong spellcaster with a few Dragons, walk around and cast Armageddon / Storm, causing hundreds of damage points to all enemy creatures, while the dragons are not affected.
In the sequel, they tried to balance things out a bit, by adding ‘Dragon slayer’ spell which boost attack against dragons, and adding powerful Titan units that, while not immune to spells, can also benefit from good spells (like Bless), and can often match and surpass dragons, depending on the skills and spells available to your hero.
Oh, you mean that the tracks that play during map exploration have that ambient noise (kind of like sound effects superimposed on the music)?
I understand what you mean; interestingly I never gave it a second thought. Probably because the first time I played through the first game was through an early CD-Rip that had no music at all, just ambient noises.
FWIW, the music that plays in the towns/castles and during battles, does not have that ambience added.
The economy thing is quite nice about Scorched Earth, but it also is a pretty big potential game breaker.
Once you win a couple of rounds and get enough money to buy shields, you are practically indestructible. Very few things can penetrate a shield (especially the heavy-duty one), and it is likely that the other players don’t have them yet.
Thus, if you are not unlucky enough to get killed before your first turn, you activate the shield, which gives you at least 80% of winning the round (90% if you also bought parachutes!), which means you will get more cash, with which you can buy… more shields, and run away winning almost every round.
When playing with other friends we sometimes agreed to not use shields, just for this reason.
You expressed it very nicely, sorceress. I had similar feelings when I played the game ages ago, but never managed to put my finger on it. To date I can barely remember the designs of most E2 levels – they are like a blur in my mind – whereas most E1 I remember quite well. E3 is a little better in this regard, but not as good as E1.
All E1 levels except E1M8 where designed by John Romero, whereas none of E2/E3 where. Many of the things that positively distinguish E1 from E2 are straight out of his “design rules”:
I guess this shows you that his reputation as a master designer is at least partially deserved. :