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Showing posts from June, 2018

Dragon Warrior, Why I Tried Torchbearer, and Why I Left

To me, this is the most tense I have ever experienced a dungeon:



Dragon Warrior / Dragon Quest 1 for the NES. Likely the first RPG of any kind I played. Doesn't look like much, but everything about the way DW handled its dungeons evoked tension to me:
The limited light. When you first enter a dungeon, you only see the square you're in. Light a torch and you can see adjacent squares. The actual distance you can see isn't too different from, say, Wizardry, but something about the overhead view made you keenly aware of how little you can see.The absolute pitch darkness beyond your field of vision. No gradual fade (as later remakes, in my opinion, mistakenly had). No hints of what might be beyond. Just black.That awful sound it makes every time you bump into a wall, which happens a lot, because you can't see.The way the radius of the Radiant spell (which lights a 7x7 area) gradually shrinks. You feel the darkness encroaching. I don't think torches ever actually burn out …