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Really Obscure RPGs

Ravielsk

Prophet
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
732
You want obscure OK, I can do that. How about this here Czech dungeon crawler that was only translated to English in 2012: Cardhalia
cardhalia3.jpg

cardhalia2.jpg

cardhalia1.jpg
A classic dungeon crawler with hand drawn graphics and wholly free. http://www.say-realm.com/c1/index.html#:~:text=Cardhalia is a grid-based,that you will appreciate it.
 

Ravielsk

Prophet
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
732
I have several more but let me close up with "Život neni krásny 1-8" which is again a Czech adveture/rpg (depending on the installment) made with the fine technology of MSpaint and pure retardation that lets you experience the many joys of being Czech. Not sure if there even exists a english translation but its just too juice for me to pass over.
Screenshots:
20169.jpg
20167.jpg
85572.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2014
Messages
494
You want obscure OK, I can do that. How about this here Czech dungeon crawler that was only translated to English in 2012: Cardhalia
cardhalia3.jpg

cardhalia2.jpg

cardhalia1.jpg
A classic dungeon crawler with hand drawn graphics and wholly free. http://www.say-realm.com/c1/index.html#:~:text=Cardhalia is a grid-based,that you will appreciate it.
I do remember this game. I really like the unique and handdrawn graphics. They wanted to create a second part to this but unfortunately never finished it.
 

Fluent

Erudite
Patron
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
769
I have to say I was rather astonished by the quality of Waste Walkers and the other games this magnificent guy created. I purchased them all. Very strong atmosphere, great open exploration, quite some nice gameplay ideas. I haven't played much of these games yet but what I've played felt very solid and rather unique.

yeah, his games look great. i've yet to get around to a lot of stuff i own, taking it slowly and appreciating each game as i go, but his games do look great. very cool stuff. i also picked up another rpg for 99c. Lord of the Castle. looked very cool as well. so many neat RPGs and different games out there.
 

Fluent

Erudite
Patron
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
769
here's a weird one to keep an eye on. a strategy/rpg/sim mix in early access:

Scraplers

and a slightly obscure one a friend recommended that was in a bundle recently:

Hellenica Tactics
 

Bad Sector

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
1,735
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex
Then there is this amateur clone of Diablo from early 2000s called Lost Legends. Also freeware but I have no idea where to download the latest version. Either way the authors blog still exists today.
https://ghostwoodgames.wordpress.com/lost-legends-downloads/
Screenshots:
67277.jpg
67276.jpg

Based on the archive name i found it in this shady site. I say "shady" because it looks like searching for the filename in google ends with several similar pages in different URLs with different languages but exact same layout (example). In any case, the downloaded files match the MD5 checksum of another page i found (still shady since it was just a redirect to some long gone file sharing service so the download doesn't work, but at least it had that MD5). I threw all DLLs, CABs and EXEs inside the ZIP file to virustotal which didn't find anything and finally i made an XP VM in VirtualBox just in case and it seemed to work ok (aside from a sound issue). So i tried it normally and it worked, meaning it was most likely legit.

So i uploaded it to archive.org here: https://archive.org/details/llegends

As for the game, it is a bit barebones and clearly unfinished as you only have a single class, race, etc. Graphics are really rough, that skeleton above is among the highest quality and it sounds pretty much as it looks. But there is some gameplay there, you can bash stuff, use magic, there are special objects like fountains, monuments, etc that restore your health/mana or temporarily increase some ability (e.g. XP rate or one of your skills), there is both a skill tree and character attributes (strength, etc) that you can increase per level, a bunch of different items, weapons, armor with enchantments, etc, several monsters (many are visually reskins of each other), etc. You can also find... merchant wardrobes :-P from where you can buy and sell stuff (your inventory space is very limited).

Nowadays you can certainly find a bunch of better games but this one is indicative of the sort of freeware 3D games you could find during the mid2000s before Unity was ported to Windows.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,951
Location
Bjørgvin
I completed The Earth Lords. I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it.

Decided to give it a go myself.

Do you know how bonuses from stats work?
Is it like Might&Magic with diminishing returns, so that it's better with even stats?
Or like Wizardry and AD&D where you only get bonuses from 16-18, so that maxing one or two stats is better?
Or something else?
 

CryptRat

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
3,362
It's probably simply linear. What's similar with Might&Magic is that your stats will raise a lot (in similar ranges to Might&Magic, with a 255 cap), but I think the benefits are linear rather than logarithmic since you end up with crazy damage, number of attacks per round ...
 

Bad Sector

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
1,735
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex
If you want to install winhlp32.exe properly under Windows 10, create a new text file alongside winhlp32.exe called something like "dothis.cmd" (make sure it has the .cmd extension) with the following contents:

Code:
 set crtpth=%~dp0
 takeown /f "%windir%\winhlp32.exe" >nul
 icacls "%windir%\winhlp32.exe" /grant *S-1-5-32-544:F >nul
 copy /y "%crtpth%\winhlp32.exe" %windir%
 icacls "%windir%\winhlp32.exe" /setowner "NT Service\TrustedInstaller" >nul

Then run the dothis.cmd file from a Command Prompt window that was launched with Administrator privileges (search for Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator" from the sidebar). This will replace the stub winhlp32.exe that Windows 10 has with a working one, providing proper support for WinHelp in all applications. I have this command file together with a winhlp32.exe copy that i can reinstall at any moment since major/feature updates bring back the stub winhlp32.exe and i lose help on a lot of older applications and games.

Note that AFAIK WinHlp32 was disabled because it can embed OLE, ActiveX, etc which can execute arbitrary code which can be a vector for malware - not sure if it is much of a concern nowadays, especially if you do not download random executables from the internet (tbh personally i wouldn't download that winhlp32.exe from the site but instead try to extract it from a disk image or some older Microsoft archive), but something to keep in mind - those .hlp files are as dangerous as any random .exe file, yet they do not get marked as such by scanners, browsers, etc.
 
Unwanted

Savecummer

Latest Doxxer Account
Edgy
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
330
not sure if it is much of a concern nowadays, especially if you do not download random executables from the interne
i mean the point was that you dont donwload an exe, you download a .chm, an actual .chm, not just renamed to different extension
and winhelp helps you to execute an embedded binary
and the malicious ones are certainly marked by av, you just shouldnt trust av...
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,951
Location
Bjørgvin
Ready to fight the good fight in The Earth Lords:
RsjI1Um.jpg


Won the first fight against some evil guards:
2aaz7uq.jpg


Not only a
participationtrophy.png
, but also lots of XP, enough almost for two new levels.
Combat was in many ways the opposite of Dark Heart of Uukrul, where the enemies could run rings around you and you had no missile weapons.

Very good impression of the game so far.
The starting city is small and concise, and you soon get to do proper adventuring.
Combat is fairly good for only one character. Reminds me a bit of Aleshar: World of Ice, but not so brutal (I don't think enemies can crit you?) and progress is much swifter.
Seems to have decent encounter design and loot to find.

A bit high random encounter frequency maybe.

BTW, any way to make it more "Windows aware"? For some reason it does not show up on the taskbar, not can I Alt-Tab to and from it. So it makes it hard to "capture" again unless I close it between sessions.
 
Last edited:

CryptRat

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
3,362
There are a lot of encounters on each map but I vaguely remember that inside dungeons many encounters you face are in fact placed, just neither visible nor fixed, the battlefield and the number of enemies are randomized, so you get one encounter every two steps when you walk forward but fortunately only one every three steps (seriously, in my memory it's significantly less but I can't remember well) when you're going around in circles. You can also flee at will, I even think there are some battlefields where you have no other choice but to flee unless you have a high score in Architect to pass through walls which I did not.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,951
Location
Bjørgvin
Some further thoughts on The Earth Lords now that Don Quijote is lvl 10, has completed his first Quest, and got his first magical weapon (which is still too weak against some enemies).

There's some silliness in combat. For example, you and your enemies are often walled in and you have to choose Flee to end combat. I assume a high Architect skill will enable you to bypass the walls, but I can't help wonder how you (and your enemies) found themselves in this position.
Enemies can't attack you diagonally with melee attacks, so you're safe if having walls on four sides and then attack through the corners.

Loot and encounter systems could have been better.

Encounters are area scaled, and at least in the first city's basement, partly level scaled (got tougher once I reached lvl 5). But terrain makes no difference, so you'll meet the same enemies in water as in forest.
EDIT: Although it seems to take into account if you are flying.

You get nearly all items from shops instead of finding random loot on slain enemies, which is rather boring. The only random element is that some shops have one slot of random items for sale, so you can get better stuff that way.

After wading and swimming through muck in the Swamp, shit really got real in Swamp Castle. I've been prioritizing Speed when leveling up, since it determines crucial things like number of moves and attacks in battle, as well as iniative. But even with 50 Speed, Don Quijote was dead in the first encounter there even before he could throw insults at his assailants.
 
Last edited:

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,951
Location
Bjørgvin
In The Earth Lords, there is some bullshit going on in The Frozen Fortress.
Sometimes I lose hundreds of HP after a battle. It seems to happen more often if you have the Extra Life skill. At first I thought it was a trap, then I thought it was some anti Extra Life measure, but now I'm leaning towards an undocumented design feature.
Also, at this stage I didn't have any weapons able to hit most enemies, so I used a Book of Creatures to summon allies who are usually far more powerful than my enemies. So it felt rather unbalanced at this stage.
But once I (that is, an ally) defeated Frost Byte, I got access to the weapons that would have helped me from the same people who sent me to the Frozen Fortress in the first place.
 

CryptRat

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
3,362
I liked having to find another way to fight enemies my current weapon would not hit, I know I used a wand you can buy at the beginning during an important part of the game because it would work against most if not all enemies, I have got a save file where I'm level 22 and have a "Wand of Astral fists" equipped, so it's possible it was this one, cool to see multiple things work like in this case summoned monsters.

Regarding quests in case you wonder the structure is that about half of the quests are main quests and their location is only accessible in the right order, while the other half are technically optional and you can access their location from the start (maybe not exactly but I think so), the only thing I'm not certain is that the quest giver will validate a quest if you've not validated the previous ones but what's certain is that you can do these (or most of these) and will sometimes validate several ones when coming back and talk to him.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,951
Location
Bjørgvin
This is kind of annoying in The Earth Lords:
cAMPufC.jpg


I have the skill points needed for the Stride skill, but can't buy it?
Do I need the weaker Ethereal skill first? There is actually a FAQ/walkthrough for this game, but no mention of this.

The other Lord skills shown here are provided by items and/or mounts, so not worth buying.
But another guild master sells Max Me Out for 4,000 skill points. Maybe I should save my points for that?
 
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