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Default Realms of Arkania Trilogy to be Rereleased Though JoWooD

December 2nd, 2008, 20:16
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I liked Startrail most. It was in improvement against Blade of Destiny, has some things better than the first game (for example automated jobs meanwhile resting/camping).

I liked Blade of Destiny, too, but it had a few more "edges" compared to Startrail.

I never played Shadows over Riva through, I don't wquite know why … The area was a bit too small for my taste, and there was no free roaming possible like in the first two games. Everything was a bit more "condensed".
Star Trail was definately an improvement. The worst thing about Blade was the use of the PC speaker when selecting certain options. AFAIK you couldn't turn it off. Luckily they did away with that for Star Trail. I loved how throughout the series getting a magic item was not an everyday occurance and once you got one you couldn't tell exactly what it did.

One of my fondest gaming memories was listening to the music during character creation and going to great lengths to make the character exactly how I wanted it. I can remember creating characters for over an hour and having to get used to stats not based on the 3-18 attribute points of D&D. Many people nowadays hate the attention to stats games like RoA paid. But this only made RoA seem like playing a nice PnP RPG.
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December 2nd, 2008, 21:28
Originally Posted by EvilManagedCare View Post
One of my fondest gaming memories was listening to the music during character creation and going to great lengths to make the character exactly how I wanted it. I can remember creating characters for over an hour and having to get used to stats not based on the 3-18 attribute points of D&D. Many people nowadays hate the attention to stats games like RoA paid. But this only made RoA seem like playing a nice PnP RPG.
RoA wasnt exactly a success here in the 90s either. In here the game was called as the "Teutonien taulukkolaskentaohjelma" aka "Teutonic spreadsheet program" by one reviewer. He gave it 65% and said it was depressingly amatourish rpg. The review is nowadays online but only in finnish: http://www.pelit.fi/index.php?id=60581 . The reviewer was a known ad&d fan (not sure if that had anything to do with it).

When I read the review in 1994 I was quick to agree with him since during that year I was playing best rpgs of all times like ultima underworld, ultima underworld 2, betrayal at krondor, system shock and ultima7. Blade of destiny didnt look like much compared to them. I had one friend who had atleast the last game in the series - I loaned it once but didnt play it much.

It wasnt until over 10 years ago later that I tried the abandonware version of the first game. The character creation looked impressive but I didnt go very far because I didnt like studying such complex game from a txt file. Few years later I bought the trilogy just to get a printed manual (plus map). In a way the complexity of character creation reminds me of my first pnp rpg runequest (I played a lot with the cc). Thats how I got drawn into RoA.

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Last edited by zakhal; December 2nd, 2008 at 21:37.
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December 2nd, 2008, 21:35
I've created empty DB entries for the RoA games and a group for the trilogy. Maybe somebody who really played them could fill in the details.
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December 2nd, 2008, 22:45
I ran into a horrible bug in Shadows over Riva. I had done some quests in the "wrong" order and a crucial NPC didn't spawn. "Spawning" meant appearing out of thin air, since as you may remember the cities didn't have any character models walking around. So I walked and walked around the empty streets wanting for the dialogue screen to appear, but to no avail. Only after some time I read in a gaming mag that it was a bug. I didn't have internet at home back then (almost no one did in my country), so I couldn't even check for a patch. A shame, because I loved the game and this bug made it unfinishable.
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December 2nd, 2008, 22:54
There are a few bugs in the games, yes. The team around Kunar found them out, partly by looking into the game files themselves.

The results can be found in the "Nordlandtrilogie" thread at the Larian forums, and in a section at Crystal's NLT forum (don't remelber the exact adress, but it begind with "nlt").

They found out quite a lot of interesting things.

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December 2nd, 2008, 22:59
I was enjoying the first one untill I ran into a game-stopping bug. So I called for support (Sir Tech, iirc). They had no solution but suggested that I buy the next game, saying it would be a lot better. I never did.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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December 3rd, 2008, 00:00
Originally Posted by EvilManagedCare View Post
Star Trail was definately an improvement. The worst thing about Blade was the use of the PC speaker when selecting certain options. AFAIK you couldn't turn it off.
You're right that the sound effects are horrible but they are not PC Speaker and they can be turned off by the sound setup program. My main problem with Star Trail is not technical graphics/interface/sound but the plot. It's just a complete desaster. Like I said attic removed the map traveling from Shadows over Riva because of the backslash the feature generated after Star Trail was released.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The results can be found in the "Nordlandtrilogie" thread at the Larian forums, and in a section at Crystal's NLT forum (don't remelber the exact adress, but it begind with "nlt").

They found out quite a lot of interesting things.
it's http://www.crystals-dsa-foren.de
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December 3rd, 2008, 00:39
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
I've created empty DB entries for the RoA games and a group for the trilogy. Maybe somebody who really played them could fill in the details.
Some basic information


Developer: Attic

SP/MP: SP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turnbased
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
North America
Platform: PC
don't know
Publisher: SirTech

Germany
Platform: Commodore Amiga (only RoA1), Atari ST (only RoA1), PC (all)
afaik 1992, 1994 and 1996
Publisher: Schmidt Spiele (RoA 1+2), Topware (RoA 3)

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December 3rd, 2008, 01:47
Play-time: Around 25 hours for Blade of Destiny and 50 each for Star Trail and Shadows Over Riva. http://www.geocities.com/ataniel/arkreview.htm

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December 3rd, 2008, 09:47
Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
Platform: Commodore Amiga (only RoA1), Atari ST (only RoA1), PC (all)
RoA1 was never released on the Atari ST, http://www.atarilegend.com/interview…erview_id=23#8

Germany
Platform: Commodore Amiga (only RoA1), PC (all)
April 1992, September, 1994 and December 1996
Publisher: Schmidt Spiele (RoA 1+2), Topware (RoA 3)

Europe & US
Platform: Commodore Amiga (only RoA1), PC (all)
June 1993, October, 1994 and 1997
Publisher: U.S. Gold (Europe), SirTech (US)
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December 3rd, 2008, 12:54
Originally Posted by noctrun View Post
it's http://www.crystals-dsa-foren.de
I thought it was http://nlt-hilfe.crystals-dsa-foren.de/

But that's basically the same.


By the way, the first game did indeed have a timer, until the Orcs would strike … Although this timer was quite long, enough time to travel around.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 4th, 2008, 19:51
Comm Manager Ivan Ertloff confirmed in our comments that they are using DOSBox for this release

http://www.dsa-game.de/content/view/536/1/

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December 4th, 2008, 20:12
Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
Comm Manager Ivan Ertloff confirmed in our comments that they are using DOSBox for this release
Yeah…I mean…but…errr…This coming from soneone who has a boxed set with all three games so wasn't buying this anyway, but…that makes this kind of a pointless release, no?
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December 4th, 2008, 20:24
I think I might buy it just to get a tiny collection together.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 4th, 2008, 20:59
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Yeah…I mean…but…errr…This coming from soneone who has a boxed set with all three games so wasn't buying this anyway, but…that makes this kind of a pointless release, no?
Sry, I don't get that.

RoA was out of sale for a long time. Now is the chance to get a copy of it again, also for people that are not able or willing to configure DOSBox. Startrail comes in the 2CD version with enhanced audio. And it's a possibility to get a fresh volume. Some people are willing to pay for this service. It's their choice.

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December 4th, 2008, 21:30
Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
Sry, I don't get that.
Basic economics. Realms of Arkania III was never available as Abandonware, but I and II have been on any Abandonware site for years.

If you're going to ask people to suddenly start paying for what they've been getting for free for some time now, you'd better be offering something on top of what you're normally getting. "We put them all in one box for you" doesn't really cut it.

And let us not follow the "if you don't like it you can just not buy it" angle, that is - as it always is - somewhat besides the point.
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December 4th, 2008, 22:14
There's much truth in that argument, 'though I normally don't like to use it. In that special case there is no other. JoWood offers a service, some people will think it's worth it. It's the same as for Betrayal at Krondor. It's free, but some people were still willing to pay for a retail release. I bought one copy myself, because normally I prefer CDs over digital copies. It is hard to explain to someone, who doesn't think the same. So there's no clue in discussion. Either you feel the same or not. *shrug*

RoA I & II has never been abandoned. In fact, Attic only exists because of securing the copyright to the old RoA games. RoA II also wasn't available in 2CD version, I think. And there is only an english version on the net, not a german. Most germans prefer german versions, so for german market there surely is an argument for that release.

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December 5th, 2008, 03:24
I bet there are a few thousand people out there who want the games and either
- don't know about abandonware
- know about abandonware but prefer legal options
- aren't aware of DosBox
- know it but don't want to mess around with such complicated stuff
- only have the "small versions" yet
- want all 3 games on one disk
- want to replay the trilogy on Vista
- left out one or more of them years ago and want to complete their collection or
- think it's simply not worth spending a lot of time just to save 15 bucks.
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December 5th, 2008, 10:07
All of the originals - Star Trail, Shadows Over Riva and Blade of Destiny are available right now on ebay.
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December 5th, 2008, 14:29
Confirmed:

- CD versions
- Star Trail 2 CD version
- preconfigured DosBox. User only has to click the desktop shortcut.
- XP & Vista compatible.
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