The real reason you got that machine (or emulator), right? Classic and new Amiga games talked about here. Have you seen the Games Library?
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Mon May 01, 2017 9:44 pm

Great news - so far so good!

I installed the new disks shown above (made in 1990, with glossy and typical SSI stickers, not the early-release 1989 ones) and they installed as smooth as butter.

To keep the variables low, I created a whole new party (again). I've never had the freeze bug emerge during that process, but I wanted to make sure my Save file wasn't somehow corrupted. I don't think it is, but again - remove all extraneous variables, right?

After that, I proceeded to buy weapons, go to several of the merchants, then the inevitable battles. After the first one, the tension in my chest lessoned just a touch but didn't go away. Then I went through the paces of surrendering (you have to) and being sent to a thieves guild. More battles. Then another. Then another! (with giant rock throwing asshole monkeys).

And it never froze - not once!

And here's the other weird thing. During boot up, it says it is version 1.1 just like the 1989 disks do.

If I can get through a second day of playing for over an hour, I'm chalking this up to being an absolute success. So, one day to go! I'll report back tomorrow night. Stoked I can finally play this game, even if it is 2 weeks later than I'd imagined!

<3
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Wed May 03, 2017 8:44 am

Last night I played for another 40 minutes or so. I've made may way to the Sewers under Tilverton.

I had one freeze occur.

So, after a very long series of playing this annoying issue still exists, but it doesn't seem to be quite as rampant as before. After each major battle or entrance to a new area, I'll just save the game to a new save slot. Curse (and all Gold Box games?) allow for 10 individual saves, which is nice. The only crushing part of all of this is the error seems to happen the most during battle sequences with no real rhyme or reason. At least, I've not been able to discern any obvious pattern to it all.

It's not the end of the world in my mind, though, as I'm having to reboot a lot anyway. Curse has been kicking my ass all over the Forgotten Realms. Some of the rooms in the sewers are filled with baddies twice as powerful and three to four times larger than my own. For only being two hours into the game, I'm a bit surprised at the balance (or lack thereof). I've had two characters die. Luckily, I feel no remorse by just creating a new one and replacing the fallen foe at the startup screen, but that does lose their experience up to this point. It's not a great strategy, but running around with one less cleric or paladin isn't a good one, either. Not when a single battle can literally wipe out everyone I've got.

Anyway, going to keep going forward. If the freezing thing becomes too problematic, I'll probably hang it up. But not yet.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Thu May 04, 2017 1:44 am

Well, I wasn't really wanting to dig through this stuff given my current break; But you're still in the very beginning of the game and you're still having issues... so... Here are downloads from the site I always use to download games. These are not my actual disks but I would imagine they were from this source... Maybe... If they still freeze let me know and I'll copy my exact disks. If that doesn't help you, then you might need to try another machine. This nightmare of an issue you're going through is not one I ever recall facing.

Disk 1

https://www.dropbox.com/s/71aa1za77j76a ... 9.adf?dl=0

Disk2

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h4y5anwdsp9du ... 9.adf?dl=0
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Thu May 04, 2017 8:53 am

Thanks, Shot. I'll definitely pull those down and give them a try. It does seem really odd to me, too.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Fri May 05, 2017 9:41 am

The good news is I've only had that freeze occur once with the new 1990 1.1 disks, which isn't the end of the world. It does add a tinge of unnecessary stress, but I'm good with it right now.

DAMN this game is hard. I've made it pretty far into the sewers - I think I should make good progress over the weekend. The tactics around the battles are super interesting, and sometimes super frustrating. But fun. I can see that the balance between which spellcasters to put in the party makes a really big difference, and how to position them. I have no control over the walls in various rooms, and that can have a huge impact on which spells to cast - depending on the size of the foe and their position relative to my own.

My party looks like this right now:
  • 2 clerics
  • 1 mage
  • 1 paladin
  • 2 fighters
I had a thief at one point, but her ability to use arrows and climb walls (there are times) vs having another cleric to heal wounded allies didn't show enough benefits. If I need long-range weapons I can use Magic Missiles. So, when she died (it didn't take long) I didn't bother keeping her alive. I just swapped her out. Kinda danged handy that you can do that in the middle of nowhere, frankly, if a bit odd story-wise. This allows me to position one fighting cleric around half my other other characters, so everyone is covered most of the time. Can you imagine what the characters in your party must think?
*Poof!*
"Hey, where'd Nightshade go?"
"I've no idea! Gather the rest and let's go look for her. Hurry!"
*Poof!*
"Where am I?" a new character asks.
"Well, you're in the sewers of Tilverton. It's filled with enormous hordes of things that want to kill us all. We were going to go find our missing friend, but she was about dead anyway and you look to be of equal strength and perfect health. We need to get out of here. You're being enlisted."
"Do I have a choice?" the new character asks.
"Not really."
"Let's go!"

Pretty interesting, though.

I really like the "fix" button, too. So when a big battle is done and everyone is barely hanging on, but I've cleared a lair, I can just tap "fix" a couple of times to get everyone back to perfect health. Managing days/hours/minutes would be a boring drag otherwise. And, to memorize spells the game already shows me a default time the party will need to Rest to get that back to normal, too, which is nice.

Hope I find a way out of here soon. Surely I've upped a level or two.

I watched a snippet of a movie on YT of someone playing some "unbeatable" battle unless you find some sort of dust in the sewers [spoiler: I didn't mean to learn that when I pressed play. Oh well.] That joker had characters all with -10 AC and all with 250HP! There must be some sort of cheater crack version out there.

I mean, the game is surprisingly hard almost immediately with a starter-party, but dialing your stats to the nth degree? That takes all of the fun and challenge away. What's the point of that?
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sat May 06, 2017 12:31 am

A lot of the sequels can get pretty damn hard because they sort of built them with the idea that you'd be bringing in your previous party. Although the previous party ends up being your downfall in the last game, Pools of Darkness. Because SSI stupidly (in my opinion) decided/were forced to follow those AD&D rules to the letter; the simple fact that you have the same characters through 4 games means by the 4th (really the end of the 3rd) you are now unable to train any non human character, besides a thief. In fact, if you want the best chance to win them all (the 4th one can be a bitch) you have to eliminate a huge part of the role playing aspect. If you're not playing with all human characters and you're not starting from the very first game; you're in for a fight.

Now; there are skill modes that I believe were introduced in Curse. Defaults in the middle at Ace, but there are harder and much easier levels. I think they attempted to also give you consequences for choosing a rookie level but not really... I think you face more people in "random" battles on easier modes, but in fact it's a lot easier... But you also get less experience in those easier modes... By the last game the rookie mode might byte you in the butt as well. But that is an option... I just stick with the defaults.

I always thought Curse was the easiest and shortest of all the gold box games... hahha... You've got much more to experience, young one. :D You do have some control over your environment with the combat. Those walls and rooms in the combat section are not randomly generated. If you mapped the combat area you'll find it corresponded perfectly with the real 1st person map. The way you're facing when you go into a battle, how far away you are, the front of the back door... If you're in a corner in 1st person view then you'll be in a corner in battle and vice-versa. There are indeed times you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

The first couple games are all about the sleep spell and stinking cloud, maybe a magic missile or a hold person or two. The 3rd and 4th games bring in the big guns, Fireball and lightning bolt, hold monsters... Positioning is ever more important in those battles because a well placed fireball can be all you need... But they're both in same level for spells so you can't just load up on both fireballs and lightning bolts. Both very useful but for very different reasons.

Your party is confusing to me; but I'm often amazed at the combinations people do and end up winning. My default is a fighter, Paladin (as soon as they let you have one, which means I do have to get rid of a character at some point), multi class fighter/mage/thief, multi-class fighter/mage, cleric, and mage. As far as I'm concerned a thief is a must have, you really end up getting hurt quite a bit when disarming traps without one. But - You're right, they are rather useless, as their own class... Multi-class is where to go with the thief. Train him up as a fighter and a mage, as well as a thief, and you suddenly have a very valuable party member. The backstabbing is INCREDIBLY useful once you've figured out how it works... and it's okay, I don't blame you if you haven't figured that out... It's a pain in the butt... But once you know how to backstab with a thief you'll get a guaranteed hit with double the damage anyone else will do.

Keep me informed on the freezing issues. And if you do use my download link and still have issues, be sure to tell me... Because "if" I indeed did face that problem at some point.... I'm just not the kind of person that would have tolerated it... On rare occasions I recall digging into my original emulation files from back in the 90's to get games to work.... Normally I hate using those games because of cracks or whatever... But I have noticed the stuff I got back in the 90's tends to not show up these days. Back then literally one person cared enough to figure out how to turn his "real" disks into adfs, and EVERYBODY using emulators used this one dude's disks. With TOSEC now, there are now several versions of most games out there, even if most sites will only give you one of them. But I will vouch that TOSEC does not ever seem to carry "random dude's disks" from the 1990's. Most of the time this is a good thing, but I have on occasion gone back to my archives to dig up a game or two, and that ends up being the one that works. - *If I came across this freezing issue, I would have stomped on it. The more I hear your struggles, the more I kind of wonder if just perhaps I did experience these struggles with the "newer" adfs I found... But that I mostly forgot about it because I would have went back to my original 90's downloads and that ended up working. Hmmm.... I'll give a full report whenever I next dive into Curse for you... But if the issues goes on, I know my disks, wherever I got them from, should work.... So I'll be happy to grab them for you if need be.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sat May 06, 2017 12:54 am

intric8 wrote:"Hey, where'd Nightshade go?"
"I've no idea! Gather the rest and let's go look for her. Hurry!"
*Poof!*
"Where am I?" a new character asks.
"Well, you're in the sewers of Tilverton. It's filled with enormous hordes of things that want to kill us all. We were going to go find our missing friend, but she was about dead anyway and you look to be of equal strength and perfect health. We need to get out of here. You're being enlisted."
"Do I have a choice?" the new character asks.
"Not really."
"Let's go!"


Dude; mixed reactions from me on that quote! haha. I like the "temp" role playing but it reminds of the original walkthroughs people used to post online back in the day.... And I think you can still find those ones if you look hard enough.... Crazy people would create entire walkthroughs in character.... Just tons and tons of terrible and needless dialogue in between "we walked 12 spaces to the right".... Although perhaps I have to thank them, for it was there terrible walkthroughs (the only ones you could find in the 90's) that made me decide I had to map these games by hand. I so hated other people's role playing being forced upon me. Those thoughts are wonderful to have when you're playing the game, or reading the book... But please promise me you will never do a review in character.... I'll deal with using the names from the books, which is also something that makes me shake my head, but please don't ever do a review and talk in character!

-Mostly said in a humorous way; though there be truth in most of my jokes. :D
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sat May 06, 2017 10:56 am

I played a lot last night and this morning. I got the first "tattoo" off my arm. As a result of my saving the king and the princess, I've been banished. Ha! Such gratitude.

I've wandered my way out into the map-world and made it to a point where I'm getting creamed again. I've come to realize that the battles are fairly random in terms of the power of who you fight.

I did one battle 5 separate times (rebooting due to deaths) and usually my mage was one of the last people to get to start a battle. So I could never use fireball to weaken the army against us. When on the 5th attempt he suddenly got to go first, it turned the tide to where I was able to beat everyone and, while I took a ton of damage no one got killed. Don't you love when one of your characters falls unconscious in a Stinking Cloud, so you can't even cure his wounds to 1 HP? That totally sucks.

Anyway, I feel like it's not quite as bad as I used to now that I'm getting my bearings. The learning curve up front is a little steep, but once you "get it" it's tolerable and a lot of fun. It does make the random-factor fairly apparent. And when you get totally wiped out a lot of off-game pondering goes on, which is the sign of a good game.

Don't worry - I'd never do a review "in character". I can't believe people did that back in the day. Ha! Dorks. So funny.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sat May 06, 2017 4:17 pm

While it is "possible" to enter into an encounter when using fix, in practice it almost never happens.


I've only used Fix when I'm camping in a safe area. I almost never camp out (unless I'm super desperate) because it's a virtual guarantee you're going to get attacked when you're most vulnerable.

And I may have been too hasty calling out the guy on YouTube with -10 AC and 250 HPs. I've only been playing for a few days, and (I think) I'm at about 20% done, and after killing some elvish troops most of my party is equipped in Drow Chain Mail. As a result, my level 6 characters are all at -3 AC except the 2 mages. I have 2 now because Akabar Bel-Akash (the mage from the book) has joined my party in the town of Hap.

Now this is cool and funny at the same time. Cool, because he was a pretty fascinating character in the books. Funny, because the game devs weren't very kind to his stats at all. He has a pathetic 15 hitpoints and 10 AC. In addition, I don't think he has a single personal attribute above 15. In other words, he's a total throw-away character. He probably won't last one real battle and I won't cry when he dies. It'll be nice to have 2 fireballs going at the same time, though.
Now; there are skill modes that I believe were introduced in Curse.
Hm, I haven't seen anything like that. I just enter my code-wheel codes, load my saved game and begin.

I do think it's cool they've focused so much on "encumbrance". So many games seem to let you walk around with enough to fill a U-Haul. Nice maybe, but totally unrealistic. And to be fair, I think each character in Curse (depending on their strength) can carry about 3X more than a real person could, but that's so much more realistic than anything else out there I've seen. Plus, it actually reduces your movement so managing your load is a big deal. I appreciate the thought that went into it.
Those walls and rooms in the combat section are not randomly generated. If you mapped the combat area you'll find it corresponded perfectly with the real 1st person map.
That's interesting - I hadn't picked up on that.
Your party is confusing to me; but I'm often amazed at the combinations people do and end up winning. My default is a fighter, Paladin (as soon as they let you have one, which means I do have to get rid of a character at some point), multi class fighter/mage/thief, multi-class fighter/mage, cleric, and mage. As far as I'm concerned a thief is a must have, you really end up getting hurt quite a bit when disarming traps without one.
That's the beauty of D&D - there's no "right answer". Many paths to a common goal. But I may split classes at some stage. It slows the character dev down big time, but does offer a lot more versatility in armor and weapons. I think I'll wait for now, though.

Rather than use a thief (one of my personal favs in paper and pencil D&D), my two clerics can cast as many 2nd-level "find traps" spells they need. Disarming them will be another matter... If I keep running into Azure Bonds characters, there's a chance Olive Ruskettle might come my way. Who knows? I guess I'll deal with that whenever I get to it. Thus far I've not needed to detect magic or traps or anything like that. Trust me - I love the thief class. Just tired of watching mine die over and over. Maybe later.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sat May 06, 2017 8:52 pm

Example of one of the in-character walkthroughs that were the start and majority of internet walktrhoughs (at least for RPGs) during the late 90's. - This is why I map!

http://tin.at/c64/champions_of_krynn/ch ... nn.sol.htm

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