Friday, October 19, 2018

Dungeon


Dungeon is a role-player released in 1993 by TC Basset for legends, Budgie UK. It uses the Talespin adventure game creator engine which is something I've personally never experienced before. Upon loading, we are greeted by a creepy dude (with an obvious blood pressure problem) who has an incredible sense of humour. He warns of the adventure ahead and offers us the choice of character but listen carefully and heed his warnings...

Ultimately we must battle the evil necromancer, Malik Abdul Aziz, and recover something called The Great Orb Of Thoth. Who thinks of these names? Anyhow, the dungeons are pretty simple but also infested with a wide-range of hideous creatures so tread carefully. Choose your character wisely but newcomers are best picking the Warrior or a Fighter as they come ready equipped to tackle most beasts. And who doesn't love a free weapon?

  
No sooner had I begun and the first nasty creature is a blood-dripping zombie. YEAH!!

  
A couple of steps deeper into the dungeon and these two ghoulish monsters fancy a piece of me.

Yep, you are not alone down inside the dark corridors, so stay frosty and be ready for anything freaky that's waiting to jump out: decaying zombies, barbarians, venomous snakes, gnarly bats, and many more hideous creatures are all lurking in the shadows. Fighting is crudely entertaining and far more frequent than you initially realise.

The metallic chinks of your weapons are great but battles can also be fought magically using potions and victory ensures a deathly scream - before hearing their bodies crump to the ground. Each defeated enemy (even a bat) will reveal a hidden treasure chest filled with random goodies so collect your loot and leggit!! Those that cluck like a cowardly chicken may wanna run away? Your choice but beware, there could be a price to pay...

  
The first dingy tunnel takes us into a medieval village and that Mr Muscles is actually me. Yes, me!

Exploration is never a bad idea, so take your time and turn over every stone. Why not chat to the locals as there are some interesting characters, even if conversations are a little shallow, but their personalities are superbly silly. Communication reveals more than you realise and perhaps you may earn a bob or two and make new friends?

Taverns are a safe place to rest and recuperate. Just as with Lure Of The Temptress, they are the perfect place for a chat and why not order yourself a beer and enjoy a flutter whilst here? Perhaps I had too many beers, but I loved this experience which entertains constantly with a wicked sense of humour. Those, outside this great island of ours, might not fully appreciate it but we Brits always had a daft sense of humour. Well, I had a great laugh!

  
Being a normal guy, I head straight for the tavern which opens up a world of new options.

  
I gambled with these likely lads but didn't do very well... Wait a moment, is that a trapdoor I see?

Graphically, we have a homebrew Dungeon Master wannabe. It's actually pretty good and I believe the funky images are taken from Deltronics' Fantasy Graphic Disk so are quite well-drawn and often humorous. However, I was gobsmacked when the zombie appeared to eat my brains because I think this is superb pixel art.

Sadly, there's no atmospheric background tune but at least the sound effects are all made from samples. These certainly help to enhance the games already humorous nature: footsteps, knocking doors, groans and the clang of metal are all pretty good. But it's those horrifying screams which are amazing and really make me chuckle.

  
Abandon hope all ye who enter here as each step reveals something hideous lurking in the shadows.

I've never played anything that was developed using Talespin and, although I wasn't expecting commercial quality, it's obvious this creator had its limits: the main problem being the agonising wait between each and (almost) every action. It might only be a couple of seconds but feels longer! Oddly, installing to hard drive improves things little...

Sadly, my Mega STe didn't really speed up gameplay. In fact, it made things slightly worse because a few screens suffered palette corruption and some sound effects didn't play correctly. So, (sigh) I find myself in new territory here and thus advice using an emulator like Hatari - I sped up those waits by hitting CMD X.

  
I should have spent more time in the tavern!! At least the great humour remains until the very end.

I enjoy finding something "new" and this was most certainly an interesting adventure with silly characters and lots of battles against many unearthly creatures. Sadly, it's let down by the Talespin engine which is pretty slow and clunky. However, if you can put up with that, then you have yourself something different to enjoy one quiet night in.

Dungeon offers as much fun as it does disk loading so grab yourself the downloaded right now. Be brave!!

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