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Game News Classic SSI RPGs Wizard's Crown and Questron II released on GOG

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Questron II; Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Sword of Aragon; Westwood Studios; Wizard's Crown

    Back in June, it came to our attention that an obscure indie publisher by the name of Forthright Entertainment had acquired the rights to a number of SSI titles from the 1980s. Although no formal announcement was ever made, three of those titles appeared on GOG yesterday. The most notable of them is probably Wizard's Crown, the 1986 hardcore tactical fantasy RPG whose combat engine became the basis of the Gold Box series. Here's its description:

    Wizard's Crown is a fantasy role-playing game in which the player creates a party of up to eight adventurers and takes them on a quest to retrieve a magical crown from a wizard named Tarmon, who sealed himself and the crown in his laboratory five hundred years ago.

    The game features tactical battles, during which the player navigates the party members in turns over the battlefield. Different weapons demonstrate unique characteristics; for example, spears can attack two squares away, flails ignore the enemy's shields, and axes have a chance of breaking them completely. Shields are used to defend against frontal attacks and those coming from whatever side the shield is equipped on. The player can opt to skip these details and have the battle proceed automatically.

    Experience gained by characters is spent on skills, attributes and life points. Unlike in most comparable games, classes and their unique abilities are not assigned to the characters, but must instead be "bought" by using intelligence points. The classes are Thief, Ranger, Fighter, Priest and Sorcerer; any of those can be combined with another one for a single character.

    Weapons can be imbued with various enhancements. Magical weapons inflict elemental damage (called "injuries" in the game); "Plus" weapons cause extra bleeding, which may affect the character's health, making him faint; "Life Blast" weapons can kill a character in such a way that he cannot be resurrected afterwards.​

    Another SSI classic released yesterday is Questron II, Westwood's 1988 sequel to the 1984 Ultima clone Questron, which for whatever reason was not released alongside it.

    The follow-up to SSI's Apple II classic Questron and spiritual cousin to EA's Legacy of the Ancients, Questron II picks up the story years after its predecessor ends.

    This time, Mesron the Great Wizard sends you on a journey into the past to prevent the Mad Sorcerors from creating the Evil Book of Magic. Excellent plot, puzzles, and many nice touches (e.g. the casinos you can gamble in) make this one of the best solo RPGs ever and a true successor to Legacy of Ancients in spirit.

    As the second title in the Questron series, this game follows the same basic formula as the original. You start out as a lowly peasant with only a few gold coins in your pocket and a bad attitude to defend yourself. By stumbling around the countryside and fighting hordes of creatures, you gain wealth, experience, and title.

    Questron II spans two continents, Landor and the Realm of Sorcerers. Additionally, there are the requisite tombs, castles, and dungeons. In the first Questron, your goal was to defeat the evil Wizard Mantor. Now, in Questron II, the good Wizard Mesron has sent you back in time before the Book of Magic was created. Your goal is to defeat the six Mad Sorcerers before they can create the book.​

    Wizard's Crown and Questron II along with 1989 fantasy wargame Sword of Aragon are available on GOG for the standard $6, with a 20% launch discount until December 30th. CD Projekt recently revealed that GOG was losing money and that the site would now be focusing more on its "core business activity". I'd say this is a good start. Let's hope more of these are on the way, including the Phantasie series.
     
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  2. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
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    Feels sad that these games never seem to get any remakes
     
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  3. Eisen Learned

    Eisen
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    What's good about Questron 2?
     
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  4. Unorus Janco Lurker

    Unorus Janco
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    Nothing really, people should avoid it unless feeling very nostalgic.
     
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  5. DarkArcher Educated

    DarkArcher
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    Questron plays like old Ultimas hence the settlement. I remember having fun in the castle and gaining rank, but I'm sure they don't hold up terribly well today.

    Wizard's Crown probably does better with things like auto-resolve for combat to speed things along.
     
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  6. Deuce Traveler Prestigious Gentleman 2012 Newfag Patron

    Deuce Traveler
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Yeah, I agree with what was said before. Questron 1 and 2 were just ok. Nothing special and a knock off of the superior Ultima games.

    As Infinitron mentioned, Wizard's Crown is a pre-cursor to the Gold Box games, so it's an interesting piece of gaming from a historical perspective. Not as good as the Gold Box games, but you can see how they are beginning to put it all together and what ideas they ran with. I do like the character creation as it wasn't limited to a class system.

    The game has a special place in my heart. My Dad got it for me when I was a kid, but it was too complex for a beginning CRPG gamer. I completed it on my laptop just a few years ago while I sat next to his death bed and during the times he would be asleep. :( I got to tell him I finally finished the game he got me a week before he died.
     
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  7. negator2vc Educated

    negator2vc
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    I could never understand why GOG has to release even mediocre old games especially when they already have their far better cousins.
    I can understand and welcome the release of old gems (like the Gold Box and Ultima series in this case) but in case like these....just No!
    This type of either predecessor or clones of famous games don't even hold up well today!
     
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  8. Bigg Boss Arcane

    Bigg Boss
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    WHY ARE YOU SHILLING ABOUT THESE CLASSIC GAMES INFINITRON!?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2021
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  9. Kev Inkline Arcane Patron

    Kev Inkline
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    A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Man, I never thought a post on codex would make my eyes watery. Stroke me right in the feels. May he rest in peace. :salute:
     
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  10. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Questron (the original) plays similar to the very first original Ultima 1 on the appleII. Questron has better dungeons or rather static not random dungeons compared to ultima 1 randoms. There is gambling and some games in Questron but Ultima has space travel and combat. Mondain is kind of an asshole to kill but Mantor is a damn pushover. There is more suspense in questron and an decent ending sequence compared to even the remastered ultima 1. Fm-town might give it a run for the money except that god awful in-game music.



    Remaster U1


     
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  11. Unorus Janco Lurker

    Unorus Janco
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    It's a similar game on a surface level only, Questron's what happens when a kid who knows nothing about D&D and other pen and paper games falls in love with a CRPG for the first time and decides to make his own, without understanding what the genre was trying to accomplish in the first place. Unlike the early Ultima games, Questron sacrifices freedom and immershun in favor of a rigid narrative, with no character customization options, choices of any kind, simulationist mechanics or emergent gameplay, yet still most of its mechanics are apparently there for no other reason than because they were in Ultima. It tries to spice things up with some small add-ons like different weapon types and gambling minigames, but unfortunately the game was already rotten.

    Which doesn't mean Questron's not an important game in history, there's after all a huge subgenre of modern Questron clones to play today. They're called JRPGs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
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