Friday, October 19, 2018

Dungeon



Much thought went into the title!

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 readily 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.


Monsters, battles and blood!

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!


Chat and try your luck

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 with superly silly personalities, even if conversations are a little shallow. Communication reveals more than you realise and perhaps you might earn a bob or two and make 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?


Aesthetics

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 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 humorous nature: footsteps, knocking doors, groans and the clang of metal, are all good. But it's those horrifying screams are amazing and really make me chuckle.


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


Sometimes real hardware isn't the best!

I've never previously experienced the Talespin engine and, although I wasn't expecting commercial quality, it's obvious this creator had limits. The problem is that agonising wait between each and (almost) every action which is quite poor and spoils the experience. Oddly, installing to a hard drive didn't present much of a benefit.

Sadly, my Mega STe didn't speed up the gameplay as expected. In fact, it made things slightly worse because a few screens suffered palette corruption and sound effects didn't play correctly. So, (sigh) I find myself in new territory here and thus advise 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.


The CryptO'pinion?

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

Ironic, isn't it? Having said that, this is a blummin' excellent dungeon crawler with much content. I enjoyed it.

Grab yourself the download right now.

4 comments:

  1. I have a question regarding this gane. Does anybody know if this game was released commerially or psolely as shareware/freeware?

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    Replies
    1. Licenceware by Budgie UK so available via many pd libraries but at a cost. If that makes sense?

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