September 19, 2013

Deep Dungeon III - Deep Az The Root

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'... into the fuuuuture.  Alas, I've failed a checksum and made a huge mistake.  All this recent dungeon crawling had turned energetic and vibrant Shen into sullen and listless Nung.  So I outsourced most of the processing to some oversea slave CPUs and went into a much deserved sleep mode.  After some jackass office drone bumped the computer I was resting in, I decided to check in on how much progress was made.  I was quite irate to find that the majority of the SPUs weren't doing Deep Dungeon at all and processing old GameCenter CX episodes instead.  I guess I gotta manchine up and do this isht my own damn self.  No shortcuts to freedom, I spose.

That being said, there's not a whole lot more to say.  These types of games, with their high gameplay-to-posting ratios, usually only allow for an opening and ending posting but there have been a few developments since the initial entry was uploaded all those weeks ago.  And those developments are errors as well.  Man, I'm having a great month.  My first goof was about the character removal system.  An empty slot can be filled by other adventurers that are found within the dungeon.  I just hadn't come across one yet but after the first, many more were found.

I'm sorry, the position has been filled.
But we'll keep your résumé on file
in case something opens up.

What really grinds my gears is that this guy showed up just past the point I had got up to before deciding to reset.  Ah well, I like to be able to name my characters anyway.  My second, more minor, flub was assuming that there were no item drops from creatures.  Again, I just hadn't come across one because they are ultra-rare.  In the hundreds of battles I've done, there have been maybe five drops.  Even amongst those, only one was better than anything I could currently purchase.

Even with rare drops, still couldn't be bothered
to have a weapon pic?  That'll cost ya.

I actually kinda like how rare the drops are.  There's less hassle dragging extra equipment that's just going to be sold anyway.  With less items to sell, there's less of a chance of breaking the economy.  With the exception of the short sword, the drops I did get were all high quality weapons.  It makes getting an item drop an actual event instead of just throwing it on the proverbial pile.

This deep dungeon is quite a bit deeper than the other two but not quite as empty.  In addition to a good number of potential allies, there's many NPCs who spout off generally useless info.  The most useful info actually comes from messages scrawled on the walls but the people just like to shoot the breeze or tell me things that I was going to do anyway.  Keep in mind these are people who are in the same dungeon I am except that they're alone.

Don't you mean "AHH!  AHHH!  They're
after me! Please save me from all
the TERRIFYING MONSTERS!"

The abovementioned master of the tower proved to be the most interesting encounter so far.  His level is shaped like a fortress, complete with double doors leading into his inner sanctum.  I just knew something big was coming because the wall tiles actually changed colour as I entered it.  That's right.  An early dungeon crawler actually had a tile palette swap during the exploration of a single level.  The tower master wasn't too tough but I was just glad to have a boss fight.

Just for you, Barzas, I'll even downgrade
my guffaws to sniggers.

I've got the ball of light which probably will just act as key to some doors that I haven't been able to unlock yet.  Hopefully now that I'm back in full control of the situation, I'll be able to pick up the pace and make some decent headway.

September 03, 2013

[Game 040] Deep Dungeon III: The Journey to Become a Hero (NES - 1988)

Translation by KingMike

Who's ready for another helping of deep dish Deep Dungeon pie?  I guess I am!  Part three definitely feels like a DD game and makes some major improvements over the previous two.  But don't worry, there's also some terrible changes / omissions as well, so I'll still have something to complain about.  The simple plot this time is a tad more interesting than before and bears a mention.  Seems a young lad named Shen has a dream of becoming a great swordsman.  After years of intensive training, he leaves his little village and travels for a few days, ending up in the town of Huma.  While resting there for the night, some crazy ass storm blows through the village, forcing all the townsfolk to take refuge.  In the morning, the residents are aghast to find that their town has been surrounded by a high stone wall.  The only connection now to the other towns in the region is through a network of underground passages which are, of course, filled to the brim with monsies.  There isn't anyone brave enough in Huma to tackle this challenge so the man they call Shen steps up to the plate and vows to clear a path to rest of the world.

I like my blasé attitude after the man croaks.

Though the intro makes it seem like I'm going solo, I'm actually allowed to take up to three others with me.  I'm stuck with the swordsman class but there are three other classes to choose for my allies: hunter, priest, and magician.  I took one of each, purchased some basic weapons, and got ready to explore.  Before I go any further though, I must make mention that I'm using MrRichard999's graphical mod that alters the dungeon walls and changes the look of the panel borders.  I stumbled upon it while searching for material relating to Deep Dungeon and thought it'd be a bit of a lark.

I also use the hqx filter, so it's
not like I'm a purist or anything.

Tactical combat is increased from the previous games due to having multiple enemies to fight.  Up to nine monsters can occupy the 3x3 grid battlefield; the second and third rows can only be targeted by projectile weapons or magic spells.  When a first row monster is defeated, the one behind it will move forward and take its spot at the end of the round.  This can sometimes lead to battles where a first row creature is initially ignored so as to keep a more powerful one in the back rows while missile attacks deal with it.

Poison anything is the bane
in the early part of any game.

Levelling functions very much like DDII's system; increases are predefined by class and two bonus points are given to be allocated to either strength, agility, or luck.  Since dumping points into agility worked so well last time, I'm continuing the trend here and, so far, have only upped agility for all characters.  New spells have to be purchased from a temple or magic shop when the character reaches the appropriate level.  Being a swordsman, I'm the only one who can't cast spells (even though I have MP for some reason).  Hunters, who already kick ass with their projectile weapons, can get some low level priest spells but really just need Cure to be an extra source of healing.  Conversely, the magician has all offensive spells but unfortunately these are not always successful when cast.  So not only does the magician mostly sit there during regular encounters, doing shit damage with his shitty dagger, but when I do need his spells in a tough fight, he only rises to the occasion about half the time.  Well, by level six, I was getting pretty fed up with my magician's lack of participaction and was considering replacing him with another hunter.  There's an option to remove a party member at the inn and so I eagerly disposed of my magician, then noticed that there wasn't a command to recruit a new member.  I figured then it must be done from the main menu where I first created the characters.  After saving and resetting, I discovered that this was most definitely not the case.  There's just an empty, unfillable slot where a character used to be.  Dammit, I at least could have used him as a pack mule if nothing else.

Notice how the little bugger
also took 40 gold with him.

I'm a little baffled as to why the removal option would even be included if there's no way to replace the character.  Whatevs.  I started over again with two hunters and a priest.  It wasn't bad at all since I just needed to grind them back up to level six which didn't take too long.  Most of the previous time spent was in making the maps and exploring empty room after empty room.  Oh, did I mention all the empty rooms there are?  Unlike the previous games, there are no chests of gold laying sporadically all over the place.  DDIII takes the more traditional route and binds the gold to the monsters.  Also unlike the previous games, monsters don't drop items, which may be a good thing since it totally broke the bank in DDII.  I've just arrived at the second town and the prices are appropriately... er, pricey.  The path to the town went through a prison level where most of the rooms held a single prisoner.  The vast majority of them just say "I thought nobody would rescue me!" and then do nothing, so I'm still counting these as empty rooms for my bitching purposes.  Only two prisoners had anything interesting to say; the first gave me a possible quest item and the second was this guy:

Bitch, I would LOVE to have
Final Fantasy come true.

So far, the new party configuration is working out decently.  With two hunters, I get my pick of the battlefield when it comes to victims and even the priest can hold his own in mortal combat (at least he can equip a weapon better than a dagger... stupid magician).  I feel good about this party's chances as I begin to tackle level three and I'm looking forward to mapping out lots of empty rooms that I'll never step foot in again.  As is tradition for a lot of these dungeon crawlers, here's a monstrous montage to marvel at and mull over.

Lol, still having problems drawing
those darn bears, I see.