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Dirty Gold


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TERROR'S MARTYR

 

I figured to myself, “Alright, now that I got through Creator’s scenario for 1/10, time to play Ryan’s.” I downloaded the thing in ten seconds flat (thank goodness for cable!). First impression is the graphics file. The graphics used here are mediocre, at best. There is what seems to be a torch (it’s flaming, but it’s supposed to be gold), and there was floor with some golden specks. Not that great. The other gold looked more like human excretion than anything else. The parrot also looked a bit awkward, but it was okay. I made the .meg file, and started playing.

 

I was first treated to a sequence where the main character is in an emotional sequence with her dying father. That reminds me, there is a prefab party who is a girl named April. Like the rest of Ryan’s scenarios (saving Changing Faces), the party is totally bereft of weapons skills. Of course, there was no combat anyway (well, very little), so it didn’t matter. Ryan also included a few spots where April’s gender came into play, but I only noticed a few of these on the second time through. I’m not complaining because of this, but it could have really shined here. (I had much worse encounters with gender assumption in BoE, involving the terms “1PC” and “crossdresser” in A Gathering Storm :-P) The opening sequence, the farm, was done decently. Nothing was particularly spectacular, and the farm could have been enriched by being smaller. The premise is that Timril Plains are filled with gold, and everyone has taken all of the gold, and it’s rumored that the valley is cursed (of course it is, this is a BoE scenario!).

 

Your first “mission” is that you’re supposed to take a letter to your brother, Marcus, in the newly-made town of Rush. Marcus says you’re full of bull, and says that your father is full of it. You yourself read the letter, and find out that the valley is indeed cursed. This is where the action — quite sadly — reached its peak. It left a good deal of mystery, and gave the scenario a sense of imminence. This went on a plateau for a while, as you meander into a secret cavern with a laboratory. This first dungeon is rather annoying, seeing as terrains that try to suck you under the mud are everywhere. You make your way to the south end, and find a good bit about the threat (well, just about all of it) in a book which slides away, revealing a secret passage. You then find a sword, which will pick up all the gold you encounter.

 

At this point, I’d like you to place yourself in the shoes of Wile E. Coyote. You are chasing after a Road Runner, which for all intents and purposes, will taste like an extremely delicious scenario. You are chasing the Road Runner across the surprisingly perfectly paved roads of New Mexico, when you hit a sheer cliff. The Road Runner runs 10 feet off of the edge of the cliff, and hovers on a little cloud. You try to follow the Road Runner, and as you Looney Toons purists will know, the rest of the cartoon can be characterized by falling down a huge gorge the size of 2 Empire State Buildings stacked together vertically, hitting various pointy implements on the way down. This is, to a much lesser extent, how I felt while playing Dirty Gold. The scenario had a really promising beginning, and kept that for a while. It wasn’t looking that great, but it had a start. It then decided to promptly suck, which is a horrible shame.

 

At this point, the party goes back into Rush, to absorb all of the “evil gold” into a sword that was found in the laboratory. The first few times, this is fairly easy. It basically involves walking into somebody’s home, and taking the stuff. Then, the town accuses you of witchcraft. I honestly thought that I would stop crashing into the large branches jutting out of the cliff at this point, but this could best be characterized as the point where Mr. Coyote suspends himself in air to put on his puppy face, and hold up a sign saying, “Ouch!”, “Goodbye!”, or something of the like. I will say that there was a fairly unique aspect, in that guards would kick you out of the city if you got too close. This was effectively thrashed, due to the fact that one could wander around in combat mode quite easily and receive no such reprimandment. Three of the “puzzles” could be characterized by buying a specific item at the local “buy every puzzle coupon” store, about 5 spaces outside of the city. There was a rather obnoxious puzzle about buried gold, which talked about the lake pointing to some rubble with made a click. I didn’t get this one for quite some time. When I did, I thought it was even a tad more silly.

 

The scenario reaches its “climax” when the party collects all necessary gold, and is chased into a field. Then, the sword we filled with all of the evil gold decided to glow red, and summon up the final boss — a weakened Haakai. Mr. Coyote has now hit the bottom, and made the required 30-feet deep crater with his imprint. The fight could have been much more creative, or at least a bit more challenging with the party fighting it alone, but there are so many townspeople to take the hits for you that the fight is rather bland and pathetic, especially for what started out with so much promise.

 

I guess that just about concludes it. My recommendation for you? If you’re bored, play this. It’s not that bad, but there are just so many better scenarios out there. Better yet, go play one of Ryan’s better scenarios, like Chains or Zankozzie. This one can be passed fairly well. It’s okay and all, but achieves that much good, and never reaches great. This scenario is for low-level parties, and is rated R.

 

Substandard

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JEWELS

 

This is a fun little scenario with nice puzzles that are sometimes too hard. It has a few bugs that take away from it's charm but it's an overall nice break from the realworld. Unfortunatly it's a little bit forgettable though It hasn't been that long since I played. Of course, that may just be me. Average

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