Arcade Quiz (Swords ‘N Sorcery)

I’m going to strike while the iron is still hot!

It’s time for another arcade sound quiz! This may very well be the last one (but one never knows, I guess).

All of these games share a common theme.

Each game has some degree of medieval swords ‘n sorcery flavor. If you knew any geeks in high school that were into Dungeons and Dragons, or you yourself were that geek, there’s something for you in each of these games.

I’ll give you the year the game came out, along with the sound sample.

May King Arthur himself guide your fair steed! What, too much?

Sword 1 (1982)
One of my all-time favorite games. If I would have waited around a little longer in the sound sample, you would have heard a scary-ass pterodactyl.

Sword 2 (1983)
This wasn’t a joystick game — it was point-and-shoot. I sucked at it. ‘Nuff said.

Sword 3 (1985)
Not only did I suck horribly at this game, but everybody else did too. The makers of this game should be kicked in the shins for how hard they made it.

Sword 4 (1985)
This is a fun multiplayer game (up to four people at once!). I’m not sure if it was cool to be the Elf or not. I probably watched other people play the game more than playing it myself.

Sword 5 (1987)
I was really terrible at this game, but it was kind of addictive. For some reason, one of the monsters you had to fight threw juggling pins at you. I still have no idea why.

Sword 6 (1989)
I had a lot of fun playing this game, though its sequel was even more fun. And you haveta love those death screams. Oh, baybee!


Answers posted!

An Ongoing Investigative Series: World Of Warcraft, With Sprinklings Of Diablo


I have mentioned before that I have dabbled in the arcane arts of role-playing adventure, particularly those which are computer-based.

One of my favorites was The Pool Of Radiance, which I played on the good ol’ Commodore 64.

A few years ago, I got pretty unpleasantly addicted to Diablo II, an initially enjoyable game which eventually devolved into an unpleasant grind of killing monsters in hopes of getting some decent treasure.

Blizzard Entertainment, the company that produced Diablo I and II, has in recent years produced an even more popular game called World Of Warcraft, which is the equivalent of Diablo I and II on crystal meth and crack combined.

Both my brother and myself were at one time both addicted to Diablo II. We were both able to kick the habit. I should probably mention that we were casual addicts rather than hardcore, sit-in-one’s-filth addicts. You can take this statement however you want — I’d be suspicious of the same kind of comment coming out of an alcoholic’s mouth.

My brother recently informed me that he has started playing the World of Warcraft game.

I asked him if I could periodically provide updates to his character’s progress, impressions of the game, etc., to which he consented.

In this series I’ll recount some of his experiences, and mix these with some of my own observations about my Diablo II experience.

To keep your interest, I’ll periodically include the odd picture of a hot, busty elf.

Reconsidering Fantasy Role-Playing

As faithful readers of my blog will know, it is no secret that I have dabbled in the dark art of Dungeons and Dragons.

I must admit that I have been drawn again to the siren song of fantasy role-playing games (RPG).

However, I’d like to take a cautious step into the unfamiliar, blossoming world of other RPG games, to a world outside D&D, perhaps to a world without tragedy — where a gnome thief in his underpants getting bit by a rat and nearly dying is only a troubled teen’s fanciful nightmare.

At this point, I’m considering two possible options for my new RPG adventures.

I’m intrigued by RuneQuest, the RPG Royal Crown Cola to D&D’s Coke.

I have taken an interest in this particular game module.

I tremble at the description of the world I may be thrust in:

“Taint is evil. It is a corruption so deep that it warps the very plane of reality.”

I have one more fantasy RPG I am also considering — Werewolf: the Apocalypse. I am having some difficulties following the elaborate details of this wondrous game, but this particular entry caught my eye in the game’s House Rules:

Triatic Taint – This rule covers Wyrm-Taint, Wyld-Taint and Weaver-Taint. As described in the Player’s Guide to the Garou, Taint is a trait ranging between 1 and 5 dots. When sensory Gifts are used to detect Taint, the difficulty, normally left vague in the books, acts upon the following base of 9-Taint level. Thus a Fomor with 3 Taint is detected with a 6 difficulty unless other modifiers apply. STs and Assistants may determine what outside factors will affect this difficulty such as ambient triatic energies and assign a modifier at their discretion. Detecting a Gorgon is obviously much easier in the midst of a factory than in the middle of an insane asylum. Levels of Taint for various character types are listed in the FAQs relating to those character types, but a ‘generic’ possessed creature with no Autonomy trait can generally be assumed to have about 3 dots of Taint unless specified otherwise. Characters with the Touched Background also have one dot of Taint per level of the Background.

I’ll keep you informed as to my decision. As Marachi Zed Caracas, 3rd Level Ranger of Ooln once said, “T’aint a decision to be taken lightly, me lads.”

A Dorky And Dangerous Meme

Okay, this has been brewing in my head a bit.

I don’t know that this classifies as a “meme” (I actually have no idea *what* makes a meme a meme, honestly).

I would like you to share your favorite Dungeons and Dragons story. Ideally, the story should involve a character of yours, and will entail you describing events in the game you were playing. If it makes a better story also talking about the “real world” that your D&D game is transpiring in, that’s fine.

You can provide helpful informative details in your story, but try to write under the assumption that your readers have memorized the Player’s Manual, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide. If they don’t know what a vorpal blade is, that’s their problem, not yours.

Assuming you have a story to share, here are some things to consider.

Why You Might Consider Posting Your Story
1. D&D adventures are, after all, ripping adventure yarns. Who doesn’t love a ripping yarn?
2. Chances are there will be no one else with your exact story. This is a unique life experience that can brighten someone’s day.
3. Share your exploits — did you take on a Beholder? Damn!

Why You Might Consider Not Posting Your Story
1. You play(ed) D&D? Ewwwwww.

Okay, here’s mine.

First off, I haven’t put in tons of active duty in D&D campaigns. Most of my D&D experience has been through computer games, particularly the wonderful game Pool of Radiance.

My brother, who is several years my senior, would occasionally get together with some of his buddies and play D&D. At age nine, I’m sure I was a drag to a group of teenagers rolling the 20-sided. Still, one time they let me play with them.

My name was Hydrox the Cookie. I was a Gnome thief. And I was terrible.

I believe the DM of this particular game was of the “asshole” variety. At one point I was talking to members in my party, and I said something along the lines of, “We should kill that guy.” Of course, since I was saying this, the DM interpreted this as my character saying this. And since my character was in a crowded street, some NPC heard me say it. Call the constables!

I think I was the only person that got caught in the ensuing scuffle with the law. I did put up a fight, but I was quickly knocked unconscious, and woke up in jail.

When I woke up in my cell, which was barren, except for a bench hanging off the wall, there was a mean rat staring at me. I didn’t have a weapon and I didn’t have any armor. So, what the hell was I supposed to do? It moved toward me and I kicked at it. It bit me for a couple hit points of damage.

I proceeded to get into a very uncool hissy fit. I tried kicking it again and missed. My brother was starting to get very angry at me. The rat bit me again and I went to zero hitpoints. Bang! I was out of the game. I believe at this point tears might have been welling up in my eyes.

My brother shouted, “Why didn’t you just jump on the bench?!”

I said, “I don’t know!”

And then I had to go to bed.

The next day, my brother informed me that I had not died, but had merely been knocked unconscious by the rat. He said that I later rejoined the party. At this point my character was played by the aforementioned “asshole” DM. Apparently, I was wounded again in an encounter with a displacer beast. But, our party prevailed and we defeated the monster, getting a generous amount of treasure in the process.

My take? A +1 dagger that extended to a +1 short sword when a button on the handle was pressed. A goddamned magic switchblade.