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 Post subject: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:53 pm 


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Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
I've got a hankering for some dungeon crawler gaming akin to grimrock 1&2, wizardry and even better if you can suggest anything similar to the king's field games - ideally, I'd prefer them to be real time rather than turn based but I know that's a big ask for the genre - I would have enjoyed anvil of dawn more if it wasn't so hard and I'm also aware that lands of lore and the eye of the beholder series is out there but if anyone can recommend anything more modern I'd certainly love your input xxx
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:46 pm 


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Eye of the Beholder I & II are my favorite of the Dungeon Master-style games, particularly the fan-enhanced Amiga ports that add automapping, but you already covered them in your post.

Might and Magic X is modern and quite good. Recommending it comes with some serious caveats, though. It's turn-based when you said you were leaning toward real-time. It comes with Ubi's shitty Uplay DRM. It's more Grimrock II than Grimrock I in that it has an overworld instead of being set purely in a dungeon. And while it has rewarding exploration, there's no way to escape battles, so you can run into enemies way out of your league and have recourse other than to die and reload. You can save anywhere, so it's not like this discourages exploring, but I'd have preferred there to be some way within the mechanics to deal with hopeless battles.
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:47 pm 


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I loathe real-time ones like Dungeon Master or Grimrock where you've got multiple party members but you have to control them all individually like you're some kind of multi-limbed octopus. Feels too micro-managey to me. I love King's Field though where it's just you, alone in an oppressive dungeon. There aren't too many games that capture that, at least not in a first person view.

I am, however, nuts about Wizardry style crawlers. My recommendation for a turn-based crawler is the futuristic Starcrawlers. A dungeon crawler with a Final Fantasy X style time bar system, where the combat is filled with lots of class skill synergies to experiment and play with, set on derelict spaceships or corporate offices. Has a very strong "Shadowrun in Space" vibe, and it's great.
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:58 pm 


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I'm curious about Shining In The Darkness, I've come across plenty of people who like it over the years. I'm about to order a flashcart for Genesis so I'll try that one out soon.

I have no idea if Shining the Holy Ark (SAT) is any good...

Always been interestd in Eye of the Beholder on Sega CD. In part due to the Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack, including in-dungeon music, in the form of a sick techno track. weird but awesome all at once. so '90s it hurts. case can be made that these SoR 3 style tracks don't fit the game at all :lol: but I dig it nenetheless. Gives it EDGE. Dem goblins are having a sick rave down there :O it is a real-time multi character game tho. However this version has auto map. Once I get the means to play Sega CD, I plan on giving it a go
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:24 pm 


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I was also seeking some good entry in the genre. I have fond memories of the dungeon parts in D&D Warriors of the Eternal Sun on the Sega Megadrive.
So thanks for the input guys, and please add some Switch titles ?
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:25 pm 


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^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Ah yes, that one too seems quite competent
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:07 pm 


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lol, the combat in the first person section of WotES is busted beyond words. "Kill a red dragon with a slingshot at level 1" busted. That's not possible in D&D!

As it's the optimal strategy, it kind of renders some of the early encounters moot. Since the space immediately around the castle is just barren of purpose and doesn't get to serve its intended role as an EXP farm for newbies. Games where you pilot an awesome octopus monster should definitely lock you in place while they attack.

Pool of Radiance is probably the better game, except for aesthetics.

FinalBaton wrote:
I'm curious about Shining In The Darkness, I've come across plenty of people who like it over the years. I'm about to order a flashcart for Genesis so I'll try that one out soon.

I have no idea if Shining the Holy Ark (SAT) is any good...


Shining in the Darkness is a bit minimalist and threadbare imo. Not bad, but around the same level as Dragon Quest 2. Its sequel seems more well-liked.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:34 pm 


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Brandish: The Dark Revenant
Has a bird‘s eye view, but apart from that it’s classic dungeon crawling and even controls like one (with square by square movement). Awesome OST to boot!


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:52 pm 


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I came across another game that I wouldn't mind trying out that I thought was brandish before you mentioned it being top down but it's not... aesthetically it looks pretty much identical to grimrock but I heard the mechanics are better.. wasn't keen on the interface let OKing like something from an mmo mind you but you can't judge a book by its cover......when I mentioned king's field games I know about eternal ring and shadow tower too btw) I was half expecting stupid answers like Skyrim and oblivion...I'd love to get I to eotb but it's the lack of animation that puts me off, it's confusing turning around but you say dungeon master is real time??? Should have mentioned I was ideally thinking pc too ( also shout out to Frank klepacki s amazing score on wires, pre c&c I believe)
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:55 pm 


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Mortificator wrote:

Might and Magic X is modern and quite good. Recommending it comes with some serious caveats, though. It's turn-based when you said you were leaning toward real-time. It comes with Ubi's shitty Uplay DRM. It's more Grimrock II than Grimrock I in that it has an overworld instead of being set purely in a dungeon. And while it has rewarding exploration, there's no way to escape battles, so you can run into enemies way out of your league and have recourse other than to die and reload..


I found this during myvrese and it looks almost like what I want - haven't looked yet but assume it's on fig which should avoid shitty DRM, right?
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:58 pm 


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Crossposting my old post from the not shmup thread:

My favorite dungeon crawlers are EO3, EO4, Dragon Wars, Shiren the Wanderer, Sil, Brogue, Ragnarok, and ADoM.

Etrian Odyssey games look and feel somewhat similar to JPRGs, and if you've played a few then you shouldn't have trouble adjusting. They're light on story and instead emphasize character building, exploration, and combat. They have a reputation for being difficult, but they're really not that bad. The series's most outstanding feature is that the dungeons are full of wandering enemies called FOEs. FOEs are never fought in random encounters, they move around on the dungeon map like you do and a fight starts if they can catch you. Generally they're much stronger than other enemies on their levels and you'll want to figure out how to avoid them. Another cool thing about the series is that they always include a harder, optional dungeon after the final boss with an optional true last boss. Yuzo Koshiro does the soundtracks, so that's a big plus too. They're all good, but I think 3 is the best overall. 4 is very solid if you're alright with its gentle difficulty level.

Dragon Wars is an old first person western dungeon crawler. You'll need DOSbox to run it these days. I like it for its attrition-based combat and its strong emphasis on multiple solutions to different problems. For example, you start out in a prison city, and your options to escape include killing the gate's guards, winning citizenship in the gladiator arena, escaping through a hidden passage, and hiding among corpses that are being throw out to sea. Like many of the WRPGs of its time, your characters have a billion skills to choose from, where some are worthless, some are vital, and there's no real way to say in advance which is which. One thing I like is that magic abilities tend to be much more powerful than what physical fighters can do, but you also burn through your MP very quickly, which leads to interesting decisions in both combat and character building. In combat you can win most fights if you burn through all your magic, but then you'll be more vulnerable afterwards. When you build your characters, you have to decide whether to be make consistent fighters, wizards with lots of power, but no stamina, or hybrids that are somewhere in between. My teams are always 100% hybrids. Feel free to ask for character building or any other kind of advice if you decide to give it a shot. I'd say DW is harder to get into than EO, but beating the true last bosses in EO is generally harder than DW.

Shiren the Wanderer is a console roguelite available on the Super Famicom (with a fan translation) and the DS (with an official english release). Its main feature that makes it a roguelite rather than a roguelike is that it allows you to retain items from one playthrough to the next, which will eventually make you strong enough to easily clear the game. Fortunately, the game was balanced around being beaten without using that feature, and you can and should play without it. My favorite thing about Shiren is how little dead air there is. Once you reach the halfway point of the game, you will very regularly run into enemies that can kill you 1 on 1, and a lot of the time you'll see them in groups anyway. There's no real character building options, you don't choose how your stats go up when you gain a level, and you never learn any abilities. To make up for your character's limited moveset, the game features a wonderful arsenal of interesting and powerful items. Much of the game's strategy revolves around which items to bring on your journey, and when to burn your valuable consumables to save your life. I consider the SFC version preferable over the DS version for a few reasons, but the differences are ultimately minor. Without using the item warehouse, Shiren is probably a bit easier than a typical roguelike, but there are postgame dungeons that get pretty tough.

Sil is a freeware roguelike based upon Angband, though it plays out very differently. Sil is based on JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion, and unlike similar games, it is quite faithful to the source material. Your goal is to reach the bottom of Morgoth's fortress and steal a silmaril from his crown and then escape alive. For more points you can try to take two or all three of silmarils. You can also try to kill Morgoth himself as a sort of optional true last boss, but you'll need a very optimized character to pull that off. Anyway, the game itself heavily emphasizes character building and tactical, positioning-based combat. The AI is very smart, and whether you win or lose depends just as much on who outmaneuvered whom as it does your stats. There are four races you can play as, and they're effectively difficulty options. Noldor elves (like Galadriel) are immensely superhuman, and can be seen as the game's normal difficulty. Sindar elves (like Legolas) and Dwarves are somewhat weaker, and can be seen as hard mode. Edain are normal dudes like you and me, and constitute SUPERHARD difficulty. It's a pretty challenging game, even as a Noldor, though its time limit is fairly generous by roguelike standards. It's freeware, get it here.

Brogue is another freeware roguelike where your goal is to descend to the 26th floor of the Dungeons of Doom, retrieve the amulet of Yendor, and escape alive. Unlike most roguelikes, it doesn't use experience points or experience levels. Instead, character building is based entirely around items. Drink a potion of life to increase your max HP (though they also fully heal you so it's sometimes better to hold off). The most important items for customizing your character are scrolls of enchantment, which can permanently upgrade one piece of equipment. Enchant a broadsword and plate armor if you want to be a fighter, enchant a lightning staff it you want to be a wizard, etc. Lots of interesting choices as to which items to enchant, and whether to spread your enchantments out evenly or to go all in on one super item. The dungeon generation system deserves special mention for how good it is at consistently creating unique and interesting areas to explore. It even dynamically generates puzzles not unlike ones you'd find in a Zelda game. Solve the puzzle and you gain access to something good, usually a treasure room where you're allowed to choose one from a handful of magical items. The ability to choose your favorite item from a treasure room also goes a long way towards mitigating the luck factor in finding the items you want. Brogue does an excellent job of balancing tactical and strategic gameplay. The food timer is very strict, and your enemies are also very dangerous, so the decision of when to rest and let your HP and magic items recharge, and when to press foward is never easy. As an optional challenge, instead of bringing the amulet of Yendor back to the surface, you can bring it all the way down to the bottom of the dungeon at floor 40, though I've never managed to pull that off. It's available as a free download here.

Ragnarok is a hacklike roguelike, which is to say that its mechanics are derived from Nethack. You'll need DOSbox to run it. It's ostensibly set in the world of Norse mythology, though it's really a bit of a "kitchen sink" fantasy setting. Your goal is to find a way to give the gods of Asgard an advantage in the final battle of Ragnarok, so that their defeat and the fated end of the world can be avoided. There are six different missions you can perform to assist the gods, which mostly revolve around recovering their lost magical items. It isn't necessary to complete all six to win the game, but the more of them you do, the better the Aesir's odds are. Anyway, much like Nethack, Ragnarok takes a "more is more" philosophy towards gameplay. The bestiary is huge and your enemies' abilities are wild and varied. The items and abilities you can use are similarly very powerful and varied. A favorite example of mine is the scroll of extinction: you read it, and it asks you to name a race. You type in whatever species you want, and those enemies are wiped out for the remainder of your playthough. You can even type "human" for an instant game over. A few of the strongest races are too powerful to be wiped out by the scroll, but it's still a tremendously useful item. And it's not even rare! At the start of the game you choose from six classes, and after 10 experience levels in one class, you've mastered it and can change to another. Eventually your character will be a master of everything, which some people don't like but I've never seen it as a problem. Sage is one of the best choices because they're the most powerful once they reach level 10. They're very weak at level 1 though, so a beginner might be better off starting as a viking or woodsman. By the end your character will be an invisible, psionic, teleporting five-dimensional, master viking-woodsman-blacksmith-sage-alchemist-conjurer with laser vision and wielding a scythe stolen from death herself, and even still there will be plenty of enemies who can kick your ass. One cool feature commonly found in hacklikes is that you can polymorph into different kinds of monsters, and with how broken some of the monster abilities are, this is THE fastest and most effective method of acquiring power, especially if you can find a way to get one of the super overpowered bodies, like a draugr or a borgon vile. Personally I think trying to clear the game as a human makes for a fun optional challenge. Another great feature of hacklikes is that one of the rarest, and often the most desirable item in the game is a wand of wishing. You zap the wand and it asks what you wish for. You type in an item and the game gives you that item. Protip: use one of your wishes to ask for dead hel dragons and eat their meat asap. Another cool feature is that items in Ragnarok tend to have interesting alternative uses. For example, if you read a scroll while confused, your character will mispronounce the words. So if drink some mead and then read a scroll of extinction, the scroll will instead either revive one of the races you wiped out earlier, or it will create a new race with randomized attributes (this is very dangerous!). Due to its immense complexity, Ragnarok is much harder to learn than the likes of Brogue, though I'd say it's easier to master. There are a few different versions of Ragnarok out there, the final and best version is 2.5, which is also freeware. In some places it was released as Valhalla, but you don't want that version. It's missing some of Ragnarok 2.5's features, has very poorly done sound effects, and has an irritating copy protection system that asks you to reference the manual. I've got a video recording of a full playthrough with text commentary up here.

Ancient Domains of Mystery is another hacklike that was freeware for nearly 20 years before a commercial version was released. The free version is still perfectly solid and playable, and afaik the biggest difference is that the paid version features nice graphical tiles instead of ASCII graphics. Anyway, much of what I said about Ragnarok is true for ADoM. Both the player and the enemies have a huge array of wild abilities to draw from, the wand of wishing makes an appearance, lots of items have unintuitive alternate uses, etc. You can't polymorph into a monster or change classes, though. I think the biggest thing that makes ADoM stand out is the effort made to make the setting itself unique and interesting. There's a much bigger emphasis on interacting with friendly NPCs than other roguelikes, there's a morality system that affects various things, and, as the title suggests, there's a great deal of complexity and mystery to discover in all the places you visit and people you meet. Anyway, the plot of the game is that the door to the elemental plane of chaos has opened, and if someone doesn't close it, it's going to ruin the world. The corrupting influence of chaos serves as the game's time limit. As long as the door is open, your character will gradually mutate, gaining various abilities and penalties, until eventually they become a writhing mass of primal chaos (an instant game over). The time limit isn't very strict though, as long as you don't make a habit of pointlessly traveling across the world map, you'll be fine. To complete the game you need to reach the bottom of the caverns of chaos, close the door, and make sure it stays closed (by killing all the demons on this side who would open it, or destroying the mechanism to open it). There are optional, special endings where you can perform a large number of obscure and complicated steps to allow your character to survive stepping through the door of chaos, where you'll face Andor Drakon, the ElDeR cHaOs GoD, in a final battle. Conceptually, this is cool, but I'm speaking from experience when I say that the steps to prepare for this are almost unbearably tedious and limiting, and you should really just settle for the normal ending which is perfectly fun, challenging, and satisfying. Difficulty-wise I'd say ADoM is overall harder than Ragnarok, but doesn't require as many spoilers or memorization.


Two more dungeon crawlers I'd add to the list are Labyrinth of Touhou 1 and 2. The huge cast of characters makes party building very complex and interesting, and they've got some of the best boss fights you'll find in a turn-based RPG. 2 has more characters, much better graphics, more character building options, and some nice quality of life improvements, but I think 1's boss fights and dungeons are overall better.


Last edited by Vanguard on Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:47 pm 


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BryanM wrote:
Shining in the Darkness is a bit minimalist and threadbare imo.


Yes, but I think that works in it's favor. A simple, colorful dungeon crawler with a good soundtrack, that works great as an entry point for the genre (on consoles, at least).

Quote:
Not bad, but around the same level as Dragon Quest 2.


Nah, I don't agree. It's definitely more polished - it's basically a better DQ2 in the form of a dungeon crawler (not having enemies at the endgame that can insta game-over you with a spell is a good thing, I think).

Plus, it's fun to see how ridiculously powerful your trio can get by the endgame, with all the high-level magic, mythril weapons & armors and special items.

Shining the Holy Ark is a much bigger, much better SitD. Solid game and it's story-line is even connected to the Shining Force III trilogy, IIRC.

My recommendation would be Baroque, for the Sega Saturn or Playstation - a game with a fantastic, and grotesquely surreal design. Think Shin Megami Tensei, but darker, with real time combat and you are alone; in fact, you're the only human being left in the world: everyone else got transformed into grotesque creatures.

Sadly, it's JP only and it's not easy making your way through the game without knowing japanese. I did it years ago together with a friend that was learning the language, but we never got to finish the game and I've been eagerly waiting for a translation even since.

There's also a PS2 version, a remake that saw an english release, but unfortunately I think that the game lost a lot of it's visual and stylistic impact. For what it's trying to achieve, I think it looks better on the 32-bit machines, and that makes a big part of the experience.


Last edited by bottino on Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:38 pm 



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I really liked Vaporum and consider it to be pretty similar to Legend of Grimrock.

Because of this thread I also read a bit about Vaporum and it's getting a prequel, so that's a nice surprise.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:14 am 


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Moonshades looks promising, although I haven't been able to invest much time in it.
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:11 am 


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Obvious but if you want KF-style then go for Shadow Tower Abyss on PS2.

Or for another actiony title.. See if you can get your hands on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for NDS.. and enjoy your carpal tunnel.
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:04 am 



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Shining the Holy Ark rules. The music alone kicks so much ass, though it is turn based.

If Japanese isnt an issue Boundary Gate is quite cool (turn based). The original PC-FX version has no polygons and is totally a 2d game drawn to look 3d. Way cooler then the ps1 port that uses an actual 3d engine to render the game.

Super old school but Dragon Knight 1, 2 and Wordsworth are still quite a lot of fun imo.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:07 pm 


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bottino wrote:
My recommendation would be Baroque, for the Sega Saturn or Playstation - a game with a fantastic, and grotesquely surreal design. Think Shin Megami Tensei, but darker, with real time combat and you are alone; in fact, you're the only human being left in the world: everyone else got transformed into grotesque creatures.


Impressive atmosphere in that youtube clip! Makes me want to try it even if it is real time.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:22 pm 


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I played through King's Field (US) and King's Field 2 (US) on a real PS1 some 10-15 years ago and I loved 'em, so +1 for I'd like to find something similar to those that's real-time, and played either with a controller or only keyboard, since I can't really play games with a mouse anymore.

Dungeons & Darkness is a step in that direction, lots of reviews compare it to King's Field as well. It's also available DRM-free over at Playism, but the current Steam sale has it for $2. I've actually only played the demo of this one, several years ago, and back then I decided to wait because it wasn't quite there yet. Hard to argue with $2, though...
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:25 pm 


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CIT wrote:
Brandish: The Dark Revenant
Has a bird‘s eye view, but apart from that it’s classic dungeon crawling and even controls like one (with square by square movement).

Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC) employs movement like that in dungeons, although the animation does not betray it. Halting stops in-game time, so it's not-quite-real-time exploration. The combat strictly turn-based, in first-person view. I liked playing the game, but quit it pretty soon as my drive to play games in general had been diminishing at the time.

Quote:
I played through King's Field (US) and King's Field 2 (US) on a real PS1 some 10-15 years ago and I loved 'em, so +1 for I'd like to find something similar to those that's real-time, and played either with a controller or only keyboard, since I can't really play games with a mouse anymore.

Arx Fatalis Xbox port? Haven't gotten to playing any version, myself, due to the aforementioned drive crisis. Ultima Underworld PSX port? Begging for English translation, last time I checked.

Neither last, nor least, Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter, while nominally a jRPG, does not really feel like any genre game I can put my hands on. Still, the "gaming" part is pretty much all dungeon crawl, with time stopping when you stop moving. Seems like a title folks either don't care for, or they admire and count it as one of the PS2's (and Capcom's) very best, ever.

Real-time dungeon crawler I feel obliged to namedrop every time this genre games are discussed is Crimson Tears. Most addictive milk-mugging enemies for loot, on a par with Onimusha's issening (since you "get" the latter; it's really nothing super-demanding, technically, I found rhythm games trickier to play the right way at some point, but I digress).
What little I played of Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring's "Diablo mode" - I did like, wanted to learn playing Tobal 1&2's dungeon crawl modes properly too, but those were some other games that swarmed around me when I was losing drive.
The latest Diablo-like I played to any greater extent was Darkseed (on PC, but there's a PSX version too), MUCH "fresher" a game than Diablo 2 if you ask me (not just graphically). (Incidentally, the last game released by Delphine Software - Moto Racer Advance - happens to be one of my most played games these days, as I recover from taedium vitae. Digressing further, TrackMania Wii - another fix of my reinvigoration as a gamer - also happens to be French!)
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:34 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
I played through King's Field (US) and King's Field 2 (US) on a real PS1 some 10-15 years ago and I loved 'em, so +1 for I'd like to find something similar to those that's real-time, and played either with a controller or only keyboard, since I can't really play games with a mouse anymore.


Have you heard of Sword of Moonlight, Ghegs? I never put the effort into getting it to work but it's a tool that Fromsoft produced so that people could make their of KF games on the PC, I understand that there are some games that are works in progress that you might think would be worth a look? http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:51 pm 


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Vanguard wrote:
bottino wrote:
My recommendation would be Baroque, for the Sega Saturn or Playstation - a game with a fantastic, and grotesquely surreal design. Think Shin Megami Tensei, but darker, with real time combat and you are alone; in fact, you're the only human being left in the world: everyone else got transformed into grotesque creatures.


Impressive atmosphere in that youtube clip! Makes me want to try it even if it is real time.


Yeah, the game has a really dark and oppressive atmosphere, it's quite remarkable in that regard.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:48 am 


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For what it's worth, Baroque got handsomely remade for PS2 and Wii; that version got released world-widely.
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:39 am 


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Obiwanshinobi wrote:
For what it's worth, Baroque got handsomely remade for PS2 and Wii; that version got released world-widely.

Good grief, whats with the fat pierced nipple monster !?
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:57 am 


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Obiwanshinobi wrote:
For what it's worth, Baroque got handsomely remade for PS2 and Wii; that version got released world-widely.


Ohh now you have my attention.

I can't tell what the player's attacks are though? Is it melee? a projectile?
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:11 pm 


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Obiwanshinobi wrote:
For what it's worth, Baroque got handsomely remade for PS2 and Wii; that version got released world-widely.

The remake doesn't look even 1/10 as spooky as the original.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:25 pm 


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Leader Bee wrote:
Good grief, whats with the fat pierced nipple monster !?


For some reason the genre seems to work way better with things ya don't want to see. Even the stuff where your team is a bunch of cute anime peoples, like the Etrian Odyssey and Labyrinth of Refrain series, have horrible nightmare alien monsters all over the place. And is grimdark to any NPCs you find inside the labyrinth - doomed nearly to the last person.

I have a theory that it is a better reward mechanism, since things ya don't like to see aren't things you've already seen, and therefore are more novel than unicorns and rainbows.

.. or maybe the games are a bit stressful and unpleasant, so the aesthetics ought to match I dunno


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:12 pm 


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Apparently enough people agree about the Saturn version of Baroque, because it (not its remakes) is getting a Switch port in 2020. Unsure what people think about how well this is carrying the SS specific vibe, but worth looking at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-ridCLNSqE
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:35 pm 


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Gonna repost some old waffle for some of my recommendations, too:

Quote:
Yeah, first-person dungeon crawlers are pretty much all I play outside of STGs now.

The Dark Spire on the DS is one of my favourites. Most people will probably find it a little too similar to classic Wizardry in terms of its mechanics - it has none of the 'quality-of-life' concerns of something like EO - but I think it's worth playing through even just to look at it. It has a really unique kind of charioscuro you don't often see in games - I've never seen anything use colour quite like it. Part of this is due to the DS screen itself, I think, which lent itself to a lot of strong visual choices in all of the Atlus dungeon crawlers (e.g. one thing EO, Strange Journey and The Dark Spire all have in common is beautifully crisp fonts - even the menus are a pleasure to look at).

Another big fave is Soul Hackers, the Shin Megami Tensei game that was originally released on the Saturn but localised for the 3DS a few years ago. Sadly copies sold on eBay seemed to go from next to nothing a few months ago to around £50 overnight, but the digital version can be had for under a tenner. If you haven't played an SMT game before, their main gimmick or hook is that instead of building a party that remains fixed throughout the game, you attempt to convince or bribe demons to fight alongside you using an in-battle dialogue system - it's essentially a precursor to Pokemon. Soul Hackers also adds the notion of "demon loyalty" to the mix: rather than levelling them up, you increase your demons' loyalty by giving them gifts (e.g. jewels or booze) which in turn makes them more reliable in battle (a neglected demon will often refuse to carry out your orders at the worst possible moment). Apart from learning how to game these systems, if you've played any other crawlers before you'll be right at home. One of the most impressive things about the 3DS port of Soul Hackers is its commitment to the original game's aesthetics, not just in terms of keeping the original soundtrack and visuals etc, but as much of the package as was possible, right down to holding onto the original compressed-to-fuck FMV cutscenes/boss battle transitions and including them essentially untouched. I'm so glad that the 3DS update leaves its very mid-90s aesthetics completely intact, because they're irresistible.

I like how off-kilter the gameplay is, too, the demon loyalty system being such that if a boss fight is proving too tough, it's less a matter of levelling up and more a matter of finding the right pals and getting them drunk. The demon dialogue/negotiation is a fair bit more robust than in most of the other SMT games, too. They're still just talking in weird non-sequiturs most of the time, but you haven't exhausted their lines after three battles. Thanks to this and the trippy nightmare-spaces you encounter them in, the battle situations never get old.

I'm in the middle of playing through the first three EO games on DS at the moment, and am hoping to dive back into Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land, one of the best games on the PS2, and Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls on PS3 after that. The latter was due for a re-release on Steam but it's been pushed back until next year due to a licensing issue. Really glad to see this genre is well-liked here, anyway!


Labyrinth of Lost Souls is out on Steam now, but I haven’t spent enough time with it to firmly recommend it. It seems fine, though! I’d like to second the recommendation of StarCrawlers, too – it’s been too long for me to say much about how it works, but I can vouch for it as a fun time, at least. There’s a lot of interesting ‘party synergy’ potential in it, which should appeal to EO fans, and the breaking up of the dungeons themselves into bitesized missions you undertake for money makes it a refreshingly low-investment experience. Like EO, you can play it for five minutes at a time if you want, and still make good progress with each go. It’s going for pennies right now on Steam, so give yourself a present.

I'm currently making some headway in Elimage Gothic on PC, in between bursts of Elminage Original on the PSP. It’s by Starfish, who worked on a lot of good Wizardry games. I'm really loving how convoluted and almost sadistic the labyrinths are thus far in Gothic, and knowing they're just the tip of the iceberg is pretty funny. I'm on a big dungeon crawler kick at the moment, but nothing else I'm playing manages to feel as palpably oppressive, claustrophobic and demented as this. Even the earliest dungeons plunge you into vicious networks of doorways upon doorways upon doorways, all circling back around to each other or leading to yet more dead ends. There was a point where I ran out of the single-use maps on Tsun-Kurn B2 (I've been trying not to brute-force my out of the intended limitation by buying hundreds of them), and finding my way back out felt genuinely hopeless for a good half hour. It was great. I highly recommend EG to anyone who appreciates the jouissance of being overwhelmed and slightly confused, of not yet understanding how a game’s various systems interact with each other and of having to feel it all out for themselves (which you almost certainly will have to do, even if you’re well versed in your Wizardry). It’s on Steam and GOG and is frequently on sale for a couple of quid.

I'm currently playing through all of the PS1 Wizardry remakes, via the 'Llylgamyn Saga' and 'New Age of Llylgamyn' collections, which feature enough English translation for me to get by. These are really beautifully presented – I was expecting something a bit thrown-together and slapdash, but everything from the enemy and dungeon art to the fonts has been given lavish treatment and full care, everything adhering to a consistent artistic vision. They’re easily the best versions of the games, although they could be a bit too long in the tooth to recommend here. Keep them on your radar if you have a PS1 or access to emulation, though. For something of a similar vintage you can play on your PC, check out Wizardry Empire II, which was translated into English a few years ago. You’ll have to jump through a few hoops to get the text to display properly (in the end I just changed my region and language settings to Japan/Japanese before installing), but it’s well worth the initial pain in the arse, because it’s another instantly compelling one that wastes no time in getting down to the business of tying you in knots. It’s devious and mysterious from the off, and funny, too – I don’t know how how much of it is the work of the translators and how much of it represents the original ‘voice’ of the game, but almost everyone I’ve met so far talks in non-sequiturs and emphatic expressions of nonsense. It reminds me of the demon dialogue in SMT games, where characters will often react to things you say in ways you don’t expect, because you’re dealing with consciousnesses fundamentally unlike your own.

Speaking of SMT, I’ve also taken a chance on a bunch of Megami Tensei repro carts (everything released on SFC but in English, plus Wizardry Gaiden IV!), which I’m excited to get stuck into when they arrive, since I’ve played them all but haven’t finished any of them. This isn’t necessarily the best way to play them any more (I’ll miss home comforts like quicksaves and the automap button in SMT1!), but I just really wanted to see them running on a CRT with an RGB cable. I’ll have to get back to you about how strongly I think you should do the same. :P

It’s been nice to see so much enthusiasm for King’s Field here. I became absolutely obsessed with the series quite recently, having admired them from afar for some years, and almost immediately bought every regional version of every game. It’s great to see people here can talk about them in terms of what they do rather than in terms of how “badly” they have “aged” (which is pretty much the only level of discourse I've seen around the series), because they’re incredible, truly unique experiences that were not only unprecedented but in many ways haven’t been meaningfully superseded by more contemporary fare. Anyway, getting back to recommendations, an indie dev called Modus Interactive is working on a King's Field-inspired game at the moment, with similarly evocative, ethereal, PS1-style graphics. I don't think there's a website for it yet but it's called Call of the Empyrean if you fancy scouring Twitter for screens. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on. If you’re interested in Sword of Moonlight games, Moratheia looks excellent, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:13 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
Obiwanshinobi wrote:
For what it's worth, Baroque got handsomely remade for PS2 and Wii; that version got released world-widely.

The remake doesn't look even 1/10 as spooky as the original.


I've played both, didn't finish on ps2. If anyone here fancies a physical copy I think I have two and would happily just mail someone a copy if that is the case.
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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon crawler recomendations
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:48 am 


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Leader Bee wrote:
Have you heard of Sword of Moonlight, Ghegs?


I know it, yeah.

Arx Fatalis I played quite a lot many years ago (GOG version) when mouse controls weren't a problem for me, same with System Shock. The former I didn't quite finish, the latter I did with gusto.

One I quite liked, though slightly off the beaten path here, was Severed. It's available on most touchscreen devices, I played it on Switch. The combat brought to mind Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance and Skyward Sword since you have to aim at enemies' body parts at specific angles to do real damage. It's kind of a weird mix of traditional grid-based movement and fairly quick real-time combat where you're standing still (that does occasionally devolve into just swiping your finger back and forth on the screen as fast as possible), but I enjoyed it.

I actually own physical copies of both Llylgamyn Saga and New Age of Llylgamyn on PS1, bought when I thought I might be able to expand my dungeon crawling into that direction. But...no, not my thing. If anybody wants those, arrangements can be made.

I managed to find a grand total of four screenshots and one gif of Call of the Empyrean here. It looks awesome, thanks for the heads-up.
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