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August 5, 2011

Dragon Wars - Getting started

I knew that Dragon Wars looked the best on the Amiga version so I got it running with WinUAE. The problem was that there was no way to save the game. The keyboard didn´t react to the S key. I couldn´t continue using that version so I got it to DosBox instead. There I could use the S key but the automap key doesn´t work instead. Grrr...Well, At least there are a compass right from the start so I´ll have to do my mappings myself. But I am not overly fond of that, but let´s give it a try.

A truly classic
We are pilgrims striving on a barge to the island of Dilmun. The city of Purgatory could be seen and soon the ship enters the harbour. It is confiscated by officials and every crewmember is arrested. All possessions and wealth are taken from us and we are dropped off inte the slum quarters. The barge is confiscated and soon to be included into the Dilmuns growing navy led by the single leader Namtar - The beast from the pit.

That´s how things start. You start without any gold and without even a single item. You get the chance to play with the included four characters or dismiss them and create your own. Of course I choose to create my own ones. Here you get 50 points to divide between abilities and skills. Abilities range from Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Spirit and HitPoints. Other statistics derived from them are your attack value (AV), defense value (DV) and Power (spell points).

This is how it looks when you´ve played for a while
I was quite happy to spening my points instead of re-rolling for hours which I have a weak habit to get stuck on. But it is very difficult to know what signifies a high or low value for strength for example. You all start on 10. Since there are no classes in the game (you create the ones with your points) I optet for two warriors and two magicians and let each and everyone has at least one skill point in a unique skill such as lock pick, climb and different types of lores.

The game was originally to be called Bard's Tale IV but because of law infringements and copyrights to that it was soon before release name as Dragon Wars. It is the same people behind it though that created the Bard´s tale series and they have tried to implement and expand this one to be the best of them all. The game features four magic schools (low magic, druid magic, high magic and sun magic) with a total of 58 or so spells, as well as 16 skills.

Let´s see if they succeeds....

I begun to map Purgatory from scratch and ran around. Quite of often you get encounters with a lot of different monsters and people like spiders, wild hounds, pikemen, beggars or fools. You have the choice of running away which actually works very good and you most often succeeds. Thank you!
I only took the easy fights to slowly build up my experience points and get some few gold crowns. There are a few interesting places in Purgatory. I met an insane wizard who teached me my first low magic spells for example. I also found a slave market, a black market (the only place to buy weapons/armour) and also an arena. My mission is to get out of this town in some way. I managed to raise three levels within it´s border and also recruited a new member, Ulric - a warrior - to my group, before wondering how I would actually leave this gods forsaken place.

Fortunately you could get more companions
I heard rumours there should be a secret entrance in the wall somewhere to the freedom outside but I haven´t found it so far. The front gate is heavily guarded and my group can in no way handle with that right now. One other possibility is to sell youself as slaves and get out of the city that way. Rumours say you will end up in the slave mines in chains. But I am sure you can get out there in someway.

Could life as a slave might be better than to get insane in Purgatory ?

3 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear you didn't get the Amiga version to work properly. I just did a test run and I had forgotten how good this game looks.
    To be able to Save and other things like Load, you need to press down the Home key at the same time. The Home key emulates the Open-Amiga key of a real Amiga.
    You also need to create a save disk first (a good alternative may be to install to a virtual HD, something I haven't tried myself) and make your emulator (I invested in the commercial Amiga Forever) use 3 disk drives. Setting the Floppy Drive Emulation Speed to Turbo there is hardly any waiting time.

    Dragon Wars is a game I didn't complete when I was a kid, but it is on my to play (again) list.

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  2. I played through the Amiga version not too long ago, and like Petrus I never got to complete it as a kid, but always wanted to. I was really happy to have finally got to go through it, as it turned out to be a really good game.

    I remember having to fiddle around on the Amiga emulator to get it to save, it took me forever to figure it out.

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  3. Great start. I'm very curious in your further succeed. Great blog by the way :) keep it up.

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