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May 27th, 2021, 00:24
RetrospectiveGaming looks back at Realms of Arkania 2: Star Trail:

Realms of Arkania 2: Star Trail (1994) Review

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Realms of Arkania: Star Trail is a computer role-playing game by Attic Entertainment Software based on the German RPG system Das Schwarze Auge. The original German version of the game (German title: Das Schwarze Auge: Sternenschweif) was released in 1994. Due to the success of its predecessor Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny, it was translated to English and released by Sir-Tech in the same year. An expansion, Speech Pack, was released in 1994 for the floppy disk version.
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May 27th, 2021, 03:17
The title refers to StarTrail HD but this is actually a review of the original 1994 game.

While I really enjoyed Star Trail and it in improved on BoD in some areas, such as more unique encounters and maps, it felt far more linear and a much smaller game overall. I consider BoD a superior game but would still heartily recommend Star Trail to any true cRPG fan.

Sadly Shadows over Riva goes one step further and shrinks the game down to a single town and it's outskirts. While the graphics are a big step up everything else ends up being inferior - with an especially weak ending which forces you to ditch all your hard earned gear from all 3 games and pits you against a "small" final boss, a big letdown after defeating the bosses of the last two games.
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May 27th, 2021, 03:33
I remember how much I enjoyed these games in the past, yet this series might be shining examples of games that, to me, haven't stood the test of time very well. And don't even get me started on that re-release that happened a few years ago, that was beyond ridiculous.
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May 27th, 2021, 05:40
That reviewer's voice…
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May 27th, 2021, 08:07
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
The title refers to StarTrail HD but this is actually a review of the original 1994 game.
Fixed it
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May 27th, 2021, 10:45
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That reviewer's voice‚€¶
Reminds me of late night radio show hosts that tried to make their voice sound more sexy

Edit: No offence to the reviewer or the actual review
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May 27th, 2021, 12:13
There were no Amiga version of the game so I could not transfer my characters at the time, not to mention play the game.

I replayed Blade of Destiny to have characters to import recently, played a part of Star Trail but have not finished yet, anyway it's an even better game, combat is more varied, with slightly better controls (diagonal targetting), deadlier and quicker, also in theory going from one inn to the next is great and I love Blade of destiny anyway but in practice the towns are quite limited in BoD so a bigger focus on dungeons, where these games shine, is a good move.

People have different interpretations but to me these games are the ones which feel the most like a translation from P&P to video games, which is what I'm looking for (it's not that much dogmatic, these are my favourite games), so they are definitely among my very favourite, especially Star Trail. That said I can understand how, for example, if combat in Pool of Radiance is still among the best to this day, combat in these games is nothing to talk about at best. They're slow, complex, demanding games, not always with the most straightfoward controls (because of plenty of layers, for a big part), it's technically possible to get definitely stuck, I think, and anyway I don't think they're games for people who hate any form of puzzle solving, they're also more about trying to open a door via lockpicking, then an unlock spell then let it go and try to find the right way if nothing else works and also managing your MPs so you have enough to complete a dungeon, which I like, also trading blows with mundane orcs, than a series of truly deadly encounters against spellcasters casting large fireballs (although' encounters in Star Trail are better than in Blade of Destiny). Still, yes, amazing game, overall the dungeons are among the very best out there, the overall presentation even with not perfect controls is very good (good gfx and music), and passerby will throw stones onto you if you're not wearing pants, there's some attention to detail and the writing is top notch, the games manage to stay atmospheric while not taking themselves too seriously when it's appropriate, which is not always an easy task.
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May 27th, 2021, 12:43
Pixel Art Amazingness! So they created superb animated pixelart heads - AKA Scotia. Then they even created an okay looking isometric Battlescape.
Then the audio designer idiot on the team decided that the game needs to have a Loud & Ear-piercing whistling sound effect played every time signifying the end of a combat turn.. each FCKN time! This demented feature Fatality-Finished for me the otherwise excellent game!
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May 27th, 2021, 13:43
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
with an especially weak ending which forces you to ditch all your hard earned gear from all 3 games and pits you against a "small" final boss, a big letdown after defeating the bosses of the last two games.
I really enjoyed especially this back in the day. So for me this is a big plus of the game.
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May 27th, 2021, 17:30
Originally Posted by CryptRat View Post
There were no Amiga version of the game so I could not transfer my characters at the time, not to mention play the game.
I thought there was ? At least for the German language ?
Or was that only for Blade Of Destiny ?

Oh, how I loved that game !

Well, I remember somewthing extremely weird … when a battle had begun, I could - I had tested it ! - tell by a certain, curious feling of mine, whether the next encounter would be successful (rolling dice) or not !

Once I had noticed that strange feeling, I tested it, and in the end, it became really creepy for me, because I could foretell the outcome of that battle (successful or not) !

Then I tried not to do it anymore, because there was less fun for me with being able to predict a battle's / encounter's outcome.
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May 27th, 2021, 17:47
The sheer randomness of these games were a huge draw for me, back in the day. I'm just not sure I'd feel that same way today, lol.
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May 27th, 2021, 19:53
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I thought there was ? At least for the German language ?
Or was that only for Blade Of Destiny ?

Oh, how I loved that game !

Well, I remember somewthing extremely weird … when a battle had begun, I could - I had tested it ! - tell by a certain, curious feling of mine, whether the next encounter would be successful (rolling dice) or not !

Once I had noticed that strange feeling, I tested it, and in the end, it became really creepy for me, because I could foretell the outcome of that battle (successful or not) !

Then I tried not to do it anymore, because there was less fun for me with being able to predict a battle's / encounter's outcome.
I kinda had the same with the dice rolls… there was something strange about this rng.
But i guess, that was because my chars failed so often (at least in the beginning) that i focussed on this in a "self fullfilling prophecy effect" aka: "yep, missed again, thanks for nothing!"
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May 27th, 2021, 21:31
Pathfinder can have a brilliant time with rng's also, I've had streaks where I have rolled numerous ones in a single combat round. Never happens with critical hits.
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May 27th, 2021, 22:41
Yes, the battles in the beginning of Blade of destiny can be long and boring, you almost never hit and you win only because with a good armour you get hit even less. By Star Trail it has become more tolerable.
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May 27th, 2021, 23:01
Has anyone played the HD remake? Is it as bad as the Blade of Destiny remake?
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May 27th, 2021, 23:56
I have fond memories of all 3 games in the series. I loved the loud and almost echoing voice of my female wizard when she cast the fulminictus spell. Might sound corny, but it was so awe inspiring to me, it almost brought a tear to my eye.
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May 28th, 2021, 11:10
Originally Posted by The Hulk View Post
I have fond memories of all 3 games in the series. I loved the loud and almost echoing voice of my female wizard when she cast the fulminictus spell. Might sound corny, but it was so awe inspiring to me, it almost brought a tear to my eye.
I guess the voices are the same between language versions as they are in Bosparano (Latin). I also have very fond memories of that, and even got a printout of all the spells here.
I think the casters using these bosparan words is actually "exclusive" for the PC game, as I think in the German Pen and Paper game, casters would use the full spell name to cast it. So for the beforementioned spell it would be "Fulminictus Donnerkeil", while in the game they just say Fulmen!"

But there is a range of other spells I also remember vividly.
Like the other big damage spell, which was better on higher levels: Incede!
And of course the Druid Spell to have enemies fight against themselves: Conspectus malus!

And then there was also the teleport spell: Transversalis Teleport

And I think especially in the third game, there was a lot of identifying illusions with Nuda structuram magiae! and then destroying the magic [b]Destructibo arcanitas![b]
The latter were almost within the absurdity of skills and spells in the game which you'd normally never use or even think about…like the skill for horseriding, there was a spell for walking on icy underground and things like that.
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May 28th, 2021, 18:58
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I thought there was ? At least for the German language ?
Or was that only for Blade Of Destiny ?

Oh, how I loved that game !

Well, I remember somewthing extremely weird ‚€¶ when a battle had begun, I could - I had tested it ! - tell by a certain, curious feling of mine, whether the next encounter would be successful (rolling dice) or not !

Once I had noticed that strange feeling, I tested it, and in the end, it became really creepy for me, because I could foretell the outcome of that battle (successful or not) !

Then I tried not to do it anymore, because there was less fun for me with being able to predict a battle's / encounter's outcome.
I had the same with XCOM: EU and similar chance based games, where the result was emotionally important to me. Actually you stumbled upon something very profound, but if you never thought it further IRL, then it will remain buried, just like the rest of this stuff in case of lots of people.

I thought this phenomenon a lot further and am actively using it multiple times a month. Professional stock-brokers / day traders / similar professions etc.. do it as well. Unfortunately this stuff runs on an organic "Duracell battery" and if someone thinks himself as Duracell Bunny in this regards, that one pays the price!
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May 28th, 2021, 19:16
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
I had the same with XCOM: EU and similar chance based games, where the result was emotionally important to me. Actually you stumbled upon something very profound, but if you never thought it further IRL, then it will remain buried, just like the rest of this stuff in case of lots of people.

I thought this phenomenon a lot further and am actively using it multiple times a month. Professional stock-brokers / day traders / similar professions etc.. do it as well. Unfortunately this stuff runs on an organic "Duracell battery" and if someone thinks himself as Duracell Bunny in this regards, that one pays the price!
I don't know if its the case here, but in some games outcomes like these are based on seeds which aren't as random as they should be. I guess everyone knows that Computers cannot really generate random numbers, and you have achieve close proximity to randomness. Like mixing the current time with split seconds into the seed generating the random number. However it is possible, especially in some older games that they used a simplified seed.

Just 2 cases come into my mind:

Colonization: This might or might not have been based on seeds. But if you loaded a savegame and did an attack right away, it was always against your favor.

Lords of Xulima: I think that game had some "randomness" when picking locks or something else with a chance. If you failed, you could not reload to try again. The outcome was basically = Chance+RandomSeed modifier. But this random seed modifier was static. So a character with a chance of 70% will always fail on retry. If you then use a character with a chance of 69% instead, he also got a different pre-determined outcome and might be able to open the chest. I think it was also possible to reset the seed by opening some other chest first and then coming back but I am not sure anymore.

Edit: Actually, I also have it right now in Phoenix Point. Enemy Attacks on Outposts depend on a seed. And this seed is constant in some cases, but something seems to be able to refresh the seed.
So a base get attacked - you reload, and it will get attacked again, and again, no matter how often you try. But if you do something specific this event will not trigger that way. I didnt figure out yet what this event ist.
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May 28th, 2021, 23:49
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
And of course the Druid Spell to have enemies fight against themselves: Conspectus malus!
I think that was the "evil eye", right ?

"Duplicatus" was, I think, to create illusionary doppelgängers/mirror images ?

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
And then there was also the teleport spell: Transversalis Teleport
That was the most difficult one ! I had read somewhere that one should always sacrifice a few points for putting them into that spell in order to be able to have mastered it x levels later ! After that, I followed that advice …

Plus, the game's nasty habit not to hinder one of putting points into spells one couldn't use (due to class restrictions) at all !

I think … the underlying rules set was the Second or Third Edition … or a mix of both.

Originally Posted by mercy View Post
I had the same with XCOM: EU and similar chance based games, where the result was emotionally important to me. Actually you stumbled upon something very profound, but if you never thought it further IRL, then it will remain buried, just like the rest of this stuff in case of lots of people.

I thought this phenomenon a lot further and am actively using it multiple times a month. Professional stock-brokers / day traders / similar professions etc.. do it as well. Unfortunately this stuff runs on an organic "Duracell battery" and if someone thinks himself as Duracell Bunny in this regards, that one pays the price!
I have learned to finally call it my "intuition" or "inner voice". Sometimes, this feeling warns me of something, like spending money for something, and later it turns out that I needed exactly that amount of money for something else …
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