IFComp 2014: Arqon   Leave a comment

You attack the cave spectre, swinging the ancient broad sword, making an attack roll (1d20) of 10, +3 for your level, +2 for being affected by bless – hit (11 to 19), doing 3d4+2 of damage: 3d4+2: 4,3,3+2=12 points – a fatal blow!

As the excerpt illustrates, Arqon by H. J. Hoke is a RPG text adventure, with stats and spells and items and monsters.

There are a large number of formatting errors and typos. (Note: The author states in the text he has a visual impairment and would appreciate hearing about these.) I get the impression more beta-testing would have been handy.

Putting aside the bug issues and the fairly insubstantial plot, the RPG combat isn’t very solid either. There is no strategy to weapons or armor: you simply choose the strongest one. There are spells, but they use up precious strength and aren’t worth using in combat. Magic Missile, for instance, costs a colossal 6 strength, and usually does less turn than a single strike of a weapon. I don’t recall finding anywhere to use Exorcise Undead (or if I did, it fell far too quickly to my weapon to be worth the 7 strength loss; is the cave spectre undead?).

Eventually (due to another bug) the vials of strength stopped working for me (I think leveling up set the “max strength” to whatever it is at the time, even if it is at a lower level), and the only way through was to save my game before each combat and restore if any damage was sustained.

Posted October 20, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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