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Dhruin November 3rd, 2007 04:38

Parhedros - Free for Voters
 
Parhedros, the adult indie RPG we recently announced had been released, sent us the following press release saying they will give the game away until Election Day to those that agree to write to their congressman with the message that gamers vote:
Quote:

Game Developer Gets Out The Vote With Game Give-Away

LITTLE FALLS, New York, Nov. 1, 2007. Are some politicians alienating a neglected voter-bloc when it comes to the recent controversies over content in video-games? Independent game developer Laurion Studio thinks so, and wants to prove it by giving away a free computer-game in a voter awareness campaign aimed at the getting out the vote among the game-playing populace.

Laurion announced that during November through Election Day it is giving away a free, fully registered copy of its new 3D fantasy role-playing game Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir on its web-site (www.parhedros.com) to everyone over the age of 18 who agrees to write to their congressperson with the simple message that “Video-Gamers Vote!” The game normally sells for $22.95 on-line.

“We hear so much about protecting kids from games,” explained Laurion spokesman David Van Meter, “But how often do we hear that the average video-gamer is actually 33 years-old, and that a whopping 72% of all gamers are over the age of 18, according to studies by the Entertainment Software Association? Video-gamers are also voters, and I think it’s time to let politicians know that we are tired of being treated like children when it comes to free speech in our games.”

Laurion's game Parhedros itself affords an example of the sort of “free-thinking” games that are quietly being published only on the internet by mostly small, independent developers for this so-called “mature majority” of gamers. Despite being a role-playing game that focuses mostly on exploring dungeons and battling fantasy monsters, the story also touches upon such mature themes as alcoholism and crises of sexual identity, and some of the characters may do “nude scenes”. Needless to say, you won’t find games like this coming soon to a major retail store anywhere near you.

“From our viewpoint, games will only reach their full potential as an artistic medium when they can freely tackle the same sorts of subjects that novelists and film-makers have treated for decades,” said Van Meter. “But the political hand-wringing over game content and ratings has left the major studios and retailers afraid to touch games that intellectually challenge adults as works of fiction. It will stay that way, too, until video-gamers speak up and assert their political voice.”

For more information on Laurion Studio and its offer of a free copy of Parhedros for concerned game-playing voters, visit parhedros.com.
More information.

guenthar November 3rd, 2007 04:38

I went for the offer and tried the game but there are some problems with it. I made a warrior but when I got into my first fight the Spider wouldn't die. I hit it and hit it an it should have died since it's healt was almost gone after the second hit but it would never die and I died instead. Also the spider has a ranged poisoning attack that has no limit to the range that I could tell.

SleepingDog November 3rd, 2007 12:12

I must admit that the 1st time I came across the spider it was a pain. Do you have the sigil (I think that was what is was called) that allows you to summon the "cavarly" unit? This deals fairly effectively with the beast. I played the demo - not sure if this is different from the game.

skavenhorde November 4th, 2007 04:08

It took me four tries to kill it. On the fourth I walked past it when it was far to the left and grabbed the rune on the pedastal, after that I could transform into a wereworlf and had no problem killing it.

I'm impressed with the game so far. The game has a ciper puzzle in it that is quite original. I never thought I was going to figure one out until I went online to find a way to crack the ciphers. It took me about twenty minutes after I knew what letters to look for. I haven't had a game challlenge my intellect like this one has in a very long time. The riddle treasure chests are reminiscient of Betrayal at Krondor. Some are quite difficult but at least they are challenging. One riddle that I still haven't figured is how the realms of judges and the realms of admirals bring men and women closer together :)

The NPC dialog was confusing at first but once you figure out that the NPCs are not just there to give quests, then it starts to make sense. You talk to them about what they want to talk about and the more you learn about the history of the NPCs the more you can talk about. For example there are three sisters in the tunnels. One of them has died. You won't start to understand why they are there until you talk to all three, including the spirit of the dead sister. A little hint just like in the games of the past it helps a lot if you have a pen and paper next to you to write down topics to talk about and some of the names can be confusing. I recommend reading the whole manual it helped with my first battle and when talking to the NPCs.

Unlike most games all the monsters don't attack you. Sometimes they will sometimes they won't. They are just chillin in the tunnels and I guess if they are hungry or really cranky then they'll take a whack at you. The ones that don't attack you can talk to, but their language isn't english. I'm not sure if you will understand them later or that they don't really have anything to say and it's just giberish. I did figure out that "Vale" means bye but as for anything else they say it's giberish.

The combat system is nice once you make it past that first spider. Even if you're playing a fighter character you MUST summon familiars into battle. I think the battles are scaled also. I'm a fourth level sorcerer and I now have more monsters showing up in the battles than I did when I was third or second level.

The magic system is great. Some of the spells are your normal "hold person" or "poison" but some of them are orginal. The doom spell that will kill a monster in a certain amount of turns is very original. Also if you don't use any armor and go "skyclad" your spells work more often. The only drawback is that you will get knocked around if someone attacks you. You also have sigils that you use to summon familiars. Some of the familiars will have their own spells and their own sigils that they can use to summon their own familiars. So even if you only have two sigils you could end up with eight familiars on the battlefield. Your familiars are allowed to summon three familiars. Normally the familiar's summons are much weaker than yours but they help a lot in the bigger battles. The combat AI is good. I've found a couple of problems that future patches should address. Like if an archer monster gets cornered it will just turn around in circles trying to get away instead of just fighting back. Spell casting monsters seem to intelligently use their spells. I had one first silence me and then cast a doom spell on me. The AI could use some tweaking but future patches will take care of this problem.

The only thing about the game that really annoys me is that I'm unable to run. Some of the passages in the tunnels are very long and if I'm backtracking to a bed to rest up, it takes a bit of time or if I die I start out with half my HP near the entrance of the current map and it takes a bit of walking to get back to where I was. I'm hoping that this also will be fixed in future patches because it is my only real gripe with the game.

If you're at all interested in the folklore and myths of Europe this is a great game to get. The only other game that even comes close to going into the history of "Fey" creatures would be Nethergate. A word of warning this is a mature game and if that freaks you out then don't even install it, it will just upset you. The graphics are good for an indie company but if your only looking for "Oblivion" style graphics then you should also avoid this game.

I don't know how far I'm into the game but the farther into the tunnels I go the more I learn about what is going on there. It's a refreshing change from the usual Fedex quests and the kill the bad guy and come back quests. Everything seems to have a reason for being there and there are no real ultimate evil bad guys to kill.

Sorry about the long post :) That's about it for the summary. If you have patience and are sick to death of the normal diablo style games where you are just there to kill hordes of enemies then you should give this game a try. I registered the game without any problems. The game does have a few bugs in it and I've had a couple of CTDs during NPC conversations, but other than that it seems stable at least for a ver 1.0.

Dhruin November 4th, 2007 05:36

Appreciate the detailed post. I want to take a good look at this but haven't had the time, so far. Sounds interesting.

guenthar November 4th, 2007 06:55

It's not that it was too hard but that it wouldn't die at all even though it was near death. I got it near death in a couple of hits but every hit after didn't do anything and I died. It might be a bug with the melee system only and it seems as if they were more focused on the magic part anyway because what I have seen so far.

skavenhorde November 4th, 2007 07:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by guenthar (Post 52113)
It's not that it was too hard but that it wouldn't die at all even though it was near death. I got it near death in a couple of hits but every hit after didn't do anything and I died. It might be a bug with the melee system only and it seems as if they were more focused on the magic part anyway because what I have seen so far.

The first battle is too hard. The spider first whacks you with poison and your HP are so low that only a couple of turns and your dead. You can avoid the spider and grab the rune but the rune is different evertime you make a new character and you might end up with one that you can't use. My only other advice would be to set the combat to easy for that battle and bump it back up to normal once you killed it. Also you can avoid it by going left and then talk to the sister that is on the path, she will normally have some weapons you could buy. If your low on money and can't afford any weapons then keep heading down that path until you come to a ruin. There is another spider there but not nearly as hard as the first one, but the main thing is that there is a sigil that will summon a centauress in battle on the altar. After you have that sigil the spiders are no problem :)

For the problem with the spider being low on HP and not dying. Put your cursor over the monster and push X. That will give you a detailed view of exactly how many HP it has and its overall stats.

I hope the post helps anyone who is interested in the game. I forgot to mention the save game is a bit odd. You never really save a game it saves it for you. There is a load button on the main screen that has a lot of slots to put savegames into but the game always saves it to the first slot. The manual says if you push F9 you save the game and it seems to work but it doesn't really matter anyways since the game saves your character every few seconds. I hope this also will be addressed in future patches because I would like to be able to use those different slots.

Also when registering please do email a congressman, even if your not an american. It's a small price to pay for being able to register.

Dhruin, I know The Witcher just came out so a lot of people are playing that right now :) and thanks for posting the info about the game. I would of never of known about it if I hadn't of read the news article about how you could register for free if you emailed your congressman.

The Usernameless One November 4th, 2007 09:51

Just finished the demo (two levels of the dungeon) and the slow exploration is killing the game for me at the moment. Long walks through long nondescript uninteresting corridors, and all the way from the start of the level again when you die or retreat. I wonder if the game would have worked better as a step-based eye-of-the-beholder type deal?

Plus all their high-minded talk outside the game seems to boil down to what is a first person rogue-like with lots of randomly naked fantasy ladies. Which, being a bloke, I can't say I mind, but does this aspect of the game expand when you get beyond the demo? What about the variety of the environments?

But in general I admit it was slightly addicting clearing the levels, and the combat, and hunting for sigils and ingredients. Also didn't mind the singing aspect, even though it was a bit hit and miss.

Shagnak November 4th, 2007 11:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Usernameless One (Post 52130)
Just finished the demo (two levels of the dungeon) and the slow exploration is killing the game for me at the moment.

I'm downloading it at the moment,so I'll share my impressions later.
But I've just gotta say…love your anonymous user name. You really should register it ;)

Corwin November 4th, 2007 13:05

Played a small section of the game and killed 3 spiders, with the last one being the most difficult. Don't have a lot of time for it just now, with MotB just begun and Witcher on its way, but it appears to be a good time filler. Like Shaggy, I'll post more later!!

skavenhorde November 4th, 2007 18:38

Been a little farther into the tunnels. I haven't run across any other NPCs other than the three sisters. Its a shame there isn't more people to talk to, it would help a lot. I did have a very interesting conversation with one of the sisters :) Let's just say the conversation switched really fast. I went from talking about the vakalja and their dead sister to talking about different sexual positions in the space of a heartbeat. It got raunchy really quick. Not that I minded but I thought I was talking about their dead sister and that all of a sudden made her really hot lol.

I have seen more bugs with the combat system. I have on average four monsters attacking me. Invairably one of these monster will not attack me or my familiars. I think it is looking for a path but just can't find one. This has happened on more than one occasion. Also I have a spiderlady familiar who can then summon spiderlings. The first two spiderlings will be invisable but once I cast the third spiderling summon spell, then they will all show up on the battlefield.

The AI seems to use intelligently planned out spells against my guys. Like the monster spellcasters will silence only myself or my familiars who can cast spells. The monsters never cast silence on my noncasting familiars like the minotaur. They save poison or other attack spells for them. If one of my characters gets too close it will run away then cast another spell. So far so good. I'll keep looking to see if I see any flaws with their attack pattern but like I said before so far so good.

I really enjoy this game and to me it's not just "Nethack with Boobies." Yes, it is a nice dungeon crawl and yes it is very mature and sexual, but it's not just a porn game disguised as a RPG in my opinion. (The big penis on my satry is a bit funny though) The puzzles within the game are very difficult. The cipher ones espcially, but since I enjoy puzzles it is a plus in my mind and with a bit of patience I can crack these ciphers and recieve a spell for my effort. The treasure chests on the other hand were at first a bit difficult but now the ones I run across I just don't have a clue as to what the answer is. Even searched online for similiar riddles but couldn't find any that were like the ones in the game. Here is another example if anyone knows the answer please help cause it's killing me. "Five items of an everday sort; but you will find them in a princes's court. What are we?" A word with 7 or 8 letters. Since they are optional I've been skipping those and sticking with the ciphers.

One thing I noticed when you leave one map and then come back to it, all items that were in planters or stools will reappear. It won't be the same items either. Sometimes you find bones in the planter and other times you'll find flowers. They are used for brewing potions. The same goes with the sisters. If there is a sister at the beginning part of your new map but you want to talk to the other sister, just leave and come back. The other sister might be there now or it might be the same sister or none at all. The only one that never changes is the spirit of the dead sister. You can only talk to her for a few moments before she disappears and its like she is reliving how she died. She thinks she is talking to the deamon.

The potion system is nice. Its pretty simple and complex at the same time. You get two ingrediants and a bottle. Put them on the wheel and if it is a potion, it will let you know what kind of potion it is at the bottom of the screen, if not take away one ingrediant and try again.

I'm able to equip my familiar with other items since I trained the Englightment skill. I can give them spells that I can't use like white magic spells. They show up in the familiars rune list when in battle. You can also equip them with items that give them bonuses like a bell that gives the familiar a 25% bonus against magic.

Like I said in my previous post, the only gripe I have is not being able to run. It really brings down the game when you have to walk through endless tunnels or backtrack to where you were when you died. If you leave the game and come back your character will be saved but you start out at the beginning of the map your on and you will have to walk all the way back to where you saved it. A run button would help a lot.

Well that's about it for now. I've progressed through 6 maps now and I'm up to level 5.

Black_Lord November 4th, 2007 21:09

I'm enjoying this game as well. I really like the personalities of the A.I. As for e-mailing my Senators, I'm working on that since I have two choices here in Idaho. Larry Craig or Mike Crapo! :p Craig is one of those who you might find in the game. Except he won't be in the closet.

Moving around is a bit slow but the battles are very rewarding. I like being able to run around in the buff if I choose to. :lol:
The game seems to play a bit differently for each character I choose. With different spells and familiars to play with.

Corwin November 4th, 2007 22:56

Skav, your answer is VOWELS. That's a very obscure riddle.

skavenhorde November 5th, 2007 05:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 52228)
Skav, your answer is VOWELS. That's a very obscure riddle.


Thanks Corwin, I thought it might be fingers, toes, chairs etc… but didn't think of the alphabet. The word items made me guess it might be something tangible.

crpgnut November 14th, 2007 21:44

I downloaded the demo and played around for a little while. There just isn't enough content in the game to justify paying for it. It's a 320 meg download with 300 megs being lame nude photos. You literally walk at a cripple's pace, there's nothing to see, combats are overly hard, and there are a total of 3 NPC's that you can converse with Eliza style. It looks like a concept demo that someone floated to a publisher to see if they could get funding. I actually like the concepts but there really isn't a game here.


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