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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir - Announced

Default Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir - Announced

October 27th, 2007, 12:00
Laurion Studio sent us a press release about a new indie we haven't heard of before. Parhedros: The Tunnels of Sethir is described as an "old-school, dungeon-crawling, fantasy role-playing adventure" that claims to use advanced AI techniques for dialogue and story development. It also has mature content, so be warned. Here's the press release:
NEW INDIE RPG LETS NPCS REALLY GET INTO CHARACTER
UTICA, New York, Oct. 29, 2007. Fancy a game where the Non-Player Characters seem to think they’re real, and that their lives and stories matter too? Independent developer Laurion Studio has announced the release of its new Parhedros fantasy role-playing game for the PC, which uses advanced AI techniques, as well as literary techniques drawn from posthumanist theory and hyperfiction, for NPC dialog and story-line development.
“We’re very excited about this game, since it gave us a chance to experiment with some styles of gameplay that you just don’t see in commercial RPGs,” said developer David Van Meter. “In particular, we wanted to really push the envelope with the NPCs. We wanted characters that you can really befriend, or grow to loathe; characters who love to tell their own stories and thus subtly nudge the player’s story in new directions. We’re proud of the fact that a lot of our testers told us they got totally immersed in the dialog, to the point where several forgot at times they weren’t talking on-line to a real person.”
Laurion bills Parhedros as a single-player, 3D dungeon-crawl that looks and feels more than a little rogue-like. Besides its novel dialog and story-advancement interface, the game features random dungeons so that no two games are the same, a magic system that emphasizes the summoning of familiars, and a tactical combat system that stresses good maneuver and sound unit mixes. Players can play as a number of fairy-themed races, ranging from Satyrs and Glaistigs to Centaurs and Spider-Folk, and even as Valkyrja. Laurion has released Parhedros as shareware, and the game can be downloaded for free at the company’s website at www.parhedros.com.
…and here is the feature list from their site:
  • Great 3D Graphics! Parhedros is a fully-featured 3D computer role-playing game, bringing you old-school style role-playing with the eye-pleasing graphics of today!
  • Exciting Character Classes! Play as cool and unusual fantasy role-playing characters inspired by traditional Celtic, Norse and Greco-Roman faerie mythologies. Playable characters include: Satyrs, Glaistigs, Centaurs, Spider-Folk, Valkyrja, and the Prithivim (royal descendants of the dwarves)!
  • Authentic and Fun Magic! Parhedros uses a magic system which is not only fun and well-balanced but also historically authentic, as it is based on painstaking research into ancient magical literature and modern occult practices! And with five different schools of magic to master, no two spell-casting characters will ever be alike.
  • A Deadly World to Explore! Parhedros is a good, old-fashioned dungeon-crawl. Your Quest sends you directly into a mysterious and dangerous dungeon, populated with interesting characters and fiendish monsters, in order to solve a problem of major importance to your character.
  • Innovative, Tactical Combat! Parhedros revolves around challenging and insanely fun tactical combat. The battles are turn-based, and demand thoughtful deployment, effective maneuver, and a sound mix of unit types.
  • Life-Like, Interesting NPCs! Parhedros features a revolutionary Non-Player Character (NPC) interaction system. Our goal is to make it seem that you are chatting with real people, not talking billboards! Each NPC has a richly developed personality and a complex maze of moods and desires. Based on how you interact with each NPC, you may become the best of friends or mortal enemies, or possibly even starry-eyed lovers!
  • Interactive Plot and Story-Telling! Parhedros is an innovative experiment in interactive story-telling. You can spend hours chatting with the main Non-Player Characters in order to learn about their histories, motivations and secrets, and thus better understand how to solve the intricate mysteries of the Tunnels of Sethir!
  • Mentally Stimulating! The Tunnels of Sethir abound with dozens of deviously fun and challenging puzzles, which you can solve or ignore as you prefer; open magical chests by answering clever riddles to discover valuable treasures, or decipher ancient tomes written in a strange code to learn powerful magical spells!
  • Highly Replayable! Every game you play is different! You will explore different levels, and encounter different monsters. You may even have a different Main Quest!
  • Easy to Customize! We make it easy for you to customize your game! You can easily add your own character portraits, change the main menu art, and play your own music (mp3 format) while exploring the world or fighting in battle!
More information.
Dhruin is offline

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October 27th, 2007, 12:00
I downloaded the shareware version yesterday and had a play for 2 to 3 hours. It was a dungeon crawl though the only other NPC was a trader in the couple of levels I completed.

The fighting was turn based and you quickly realise that you have to employ sensible tactics against the different types of monster (the run with pointy stick approach doesn't always work - as I found out). The "summoning" system was easy to follow and use. You could lose yourself trying to crack the puzzle chests but I decided to explore the maps.

There doesn't seem to be an automapping functions which means it's back to graph paper and pencils (something I don't miss from the old days). Resting points are limited so you do need the map!

Graphics reasonable with a FP perspective though you can step back and get a quasi-3rd person.

Overall - enjoyed it and had to force myself to stop playing at 11pm. Would I continue? Probably if I didn't have Oblivion and mods for NWN2 to play
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October 27th, 2007, 13:47
This sounds really intriguing, downloading the demo now.
But that's a lot of hype, so I'm quite wary of much hyperbole. But we'll see. A demo, reasonable price and clearly low system requirements are all attractive. The artwork leaves something to be desired though.

And I love this quote from the above press release:
"…literary techniques drawn from posthumanist theory and hyperfiction"

Whoever wrote that either takes themselves waaaaay too seriously or was barely able to contain themselves as they wrote.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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October 28th, 2007, 02:22
The Game is not fully Vista Compliant. The Graphics and Sound called are based on DirectX 8 according to the DEVs.

I tried running it on Vista Ultimate 64 and had major problems, I may have to do an XP O/S Partition once I install the new HDD.

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October 28th, 2007, 05:45
Worked fine on my XP rig with Direct X9 running.
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October 28th, 2007, 18:09
Interesting game… Kind of takes me back to the old RPGs with the high fantasy, puzzles and attempts at interactive innovations.

It's dead cheesy, but in a sort of charming, nostalgic way. The LARPer portraits are horrific though.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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