Saturday, August 07, 2010

Angband... So it Goes...


If you've read much of Tolkien's writing about the First Age of the Middle Earth (in particular the recently released Children of Hurin), you'll know its a story of one horrible, dark, bitter defeat and disappointment after another. Angband, the free Rogue-like game set in this universe, certainly follows this theme. Your job is to decend from town to level 99 of the dungeon, slay Morgoth, then return to the surface with his crown. The trick is that death is permanent. If you die, game over. Roll a new character, and start over. The game is also hideously difficult and death is sudden and merciless. Nonetheless, the game has had a loyal following for 20-years now and is continually under development, tweaking, and balancing. I love it, though in the ~10 years I've played, I've never come close to winning.

Here is how my latest attempt ended:

[Last Messages]>

The Greater basilisk gazes at you.> You are unaffected!>

The Greater basilisk bites you.> You are more poisoned!>

The Greater basilisk bites you.> You are more poisoned!>

The Greater basilisk gazes at you.> You are unaffected!>

The Greater basilisk misses you.>

The Greater basilisk bites you.> You are more poisoned!>

The Greater basilisk breathes nexus.> You resist the effects!>

The Greater basilisk breathes darkness.> You die.


Killed by a Greater basilisk.


...and so ends another valiant try. My level 31 dwarf fighter bites the dust, the victim of overconfidence and complacency as he butchered his way through the first 35 levels of Morgoth's fortress, only to encounter a monster that normally doesn't appear until around level 45. Five keyboard clicks later, and about 12 hours of dungeon delving comes to a close. Great composure was needed to keep myself from smashing my laptop into a hundred little bits.

What is most infuriating is that I was fully capable of escaping his beast via teleport, but I was clicking away faster than my brain was engaged and so died before I realized what was happening. Argh!

Anyhow... valuable lesson learned. Starting around level 30, Angband seems to be actively trying to screw you. Several times in the last few levels before I died I encountered stuff that was from way deeper in the dungeon, sprinkled in little vaults next to enticing treasure, just tempting me to give it a shot. Now I know to be a bit more careful.
In other news, the Lord of the Rings Online Free Play beta is now open. I think I'll give it a shot tonight.

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2 Comments:

At 1:37 AM, August 08, 2010, Blogger Chris said...

Ben playing Angband

Sorry, Ben. This is the way it always ends...

...and begins again.

 
At 9:20 PM, August 09, 2010, Blogger Rob said...

Chris... I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

 

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