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Ah that’s a bummer to hear but understandable. I think as a game SQ4 doesn’t quite hold up for the reasons you mentioned.
However, SQ1 and SQ4 are the only two entries that instantly flash before my eyes when I hear “Space Quest”. They are the two defining titles to me for some reason.
What I liked about SQ4 was the time travel plot, all the in-jokes and references and the visual style. Forever burned into my brain is that creature patrolling the streets in the beginning – when it sees you, it points and screams. Never forgot it. Years later I finally watch Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and there it is. Just a fun little personal moment 😀
Not sure why 2+3 left dark spots in my mind. Gonna have to replay them.
King’s Quest and Space Quest were pretty tough on the player, death comes instantly and often surprising. Once you realize this it curbs your drive for exploration a litte, that’s true.
King’s Quest especially. I found Space Quest to be a bit “milder” about it. Although there is a really funny memory. When Roger crashlands in the desert, there’s this underground cave. As a kid I couldn’t figure out how to disable the laser barrier. So eventually I just clicked on the other side and Roger actually walked through it! But then, after a brief moment, he falls apart into pieces. At least in the VGA version.
So I would say these games are best played with that humor in mind. Your points are valid though, like I said.
Aye, it be tough.
As shameful as it is: I guess I’ll have to reduce the difficulty if I want to progress. As you said the levels are larger than I remember, with more enemies, and not enough ammo (for me). I’ll have another go this weekend, with Easter granting me two days off.
Yes glad you brought it up. I don’t do well with vertical and full 3D movement in games. See Wing Commander or Homeworld. Or Descent!
Doom couldn’t do rooms above other rooms. There are elevation differences but you are never standing “on top” of another room. That was one of the big engine limitations and it informed their level design. Another thing is that Romero and Carmack went for a “gameplay above all” approach. I don’t think they cared what the levels looked like. For them it was function over form. Romero recently (Edit: April 2016) made a new level for classic Doom and it’s exactly like that: no idea what it is or where you are, but fun to play.
Duke Nukem started out as a 2D platformer so when they made the transition to 3D I think it makes sense that the gameplay would be more vertical. We think of Duke3D as a FPS now, but I wonder if back then the designers were thinking “so how do we make a jump&run from a first-person view?”.
That’s also why I struggle with Duke3D more than Doom or Blood. I can’t for the life of me control the jetpack 😀
Blood plays a lot more like Doom. Shadow Warrior is more Duke.
There’s also a long-range missile launcher to take out trains without a fight. You have to purchase and store missiles in cargo wagons and manually enter the launch coordinates, then hope for the best. It’s extremely hard to hit something imo. A better use of missiles is to combine them with scout cars to make a bomb car. They will stop any train they hit for a while. Regular scout cars are great to see if the tracks ahead are safe.
You can also use spies to blow up the train tracks. It will take a while for the Viking Union to repair so you can get away. Spies are free but you do need a special wagon.
And you can buy an observation wagon, the big one in Peking I think. Improves your vision range, more or less a must have. Otherwise you won’t see approaching trains in time.
Thanks! It’s really cool you told me about this podcast. Transarctica is in dire need of a remake. The art style and music are just too captivating. The game also has a myth-cult status for me because it technically took me almost 20 years to beat it.
I’ll make another thread for my story because this is How to Play.
Alright! rnlf did all the groundwork already.
Most of your time will be spent keeping your train well-supplied with coal and new military wagons. Whatever you do, don’t leave train combat to the AI. Transarctica is a beautiful and really cool game but almost unplayable by modern design standards. You need to fight all train battles manually. The losses you suffer otherwise are unacceptable and will really slow you down.
The Transarctica will occupy the bottom track, the Viking Union trains the top one. You have to destroy all military wagons and troops to win. Try to leave merchandise wagons and coal tenders intact so you get some loot for your trouble. Wagons are destroyed by either three cannon hits or one explosive charge. Infantry is slow and cumbersome to control so I usually just use cannons, and deploy infantry for defense.
If you lose a single train fight it’s game over. Since you have to “win” them all anyway, we’ll need different metrics for what counts as a defeat. Save whenever your crew spots another train. Finish the fight and take inventory:
-lost a coal tender? reload
-lost too many cranes, mammoths, or “slaves”? reload
-lost important merchandise? better reload
Honestly the losses from these fights can seriously set you back and cause a snowball effect of misfortune. The only wagons you should consider acceptable losses are machine guns, cannons, and maybe barracks. Try to let your military wagons take the heat but don’t let any harm come to your, uh, infrastructure? Resources and such. As long as you have coal and cranes you can buy as many new cannons and soldiers as you want.
I can just go on and on about this game, big fan.
Here’s a simple list of the story objectives you need to complete, I hope this isn’t considered a spoiler or anything. You can find all the hints ingame but if you get stuck and want to peek…
1. Get Harpoon in Baku
2. Get Drill in Rum
3. Get key for Oslo from The Philosopher
4. Get Geiger Counter in Oslo
5. Go to Omsk and get the Boiler (this has a time limit)
6. Blow up the “ancient power plant” (the most frustrating step)
7. Enter the Himalayas
8. Defeat the Minotaur