showing 4 games

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Hexen  id Software;GT Interactive (Raven Software)1995Re-edited version with addons included
[22]***1999-01-11 source code released under a restrictive license.
2008-09-04 source code was released under GPL compatible license***Has rather unique difficulty levels, the number of enemies gets inflated as is to be expected, but better weapons are located later on, forcing you to fight with old and "less efficient" ones much longer. But since each character has only 4 weapons total, including the starting weapon, this isn't such a big thing but does prove additional challenge early on. There are some differences in encountered enemies between the characters, too (or they're randomized, but I haven't verified that). There are only two types of "ammo" (mana, really), where the second weapon consumes blue, third weapon green, and fourth weapon both. Unlike some other games of the time, magic was not simply dispensed from some magical weapons, but the character actually seemed to have proficiency in magical arts, as witnessed by the mage classes use of lightning and ice and cleric's use of fire. Hexen is also one of the first (if not [i]the[/i] first) first-person games to implement jumping, as well as falling damage which is ignored in great many games even today.

[spoiler=Show weapons;Hide weapons]Baratus (Warrior):
* Spiked Gauntlets
* Timon's Axe
* Hammer of Retribution
* Quietus

Parias (Cleric):
* Mace of Contrition
* Serpent Staff
* Firestorm
* Wraithverge

Daedolon (Mage):
* Sapphire Wand
* Frost Shards
* Arc of Death (Lightning)
* Bloodscourge[/spoiler]***Raven Software's HeXen actually began development as an expansion for Heretic that was originally slated to hit the shelves as "Heretic II." However, the game design so expanded beyond the original game that this proposed the expansion of the Heretic universe took on a bold new identity of its own...HeXen: Beyond Heretic.

HeXen was developed over a period of 8 months, published by Id Software and distributed by GT Interactive in 1995. The game introduced the 3-D gaming world to the "hub system" of level progression, rotating polygonal brushes and multiple character classes that were available in both single player and multiplayer. All of this combined to help HeXen raise the bar for the first-person shooter genre. HeXen pushed Id Software's DooM engine to its absolute limits and surpassed Heretic as Raven Software's most popular, highly acclaimed title.

The success of HeXen prompted a mission pack, Deathkings of the Dark Citadel, and several ports to home console gaming systems including the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64 and the Sony PlayStation. HeXen also became the first Raven Software game made available for the Macintosh.
[Raven]***[b]System requirements:[/b]
* 486 33 MHz CPU or better
* MS-DOS 5.0 or higher.
* 25 MB free HD space
* 8 MB RAM
* VGA graphics card
* Sound Blaster or 100% compatible sound card

Supports joystick and mouse.***~ Represeting a quantum leap in realism, bursting at the seams with playability and bulging interactivity, Hexen is a spellbinding and terrifying epic that pits its players as one of the three classes of hero and sets them on a nightmarish knife-edge quest to destroy the evil rulers who once controlled them. Every part of this colossal battle between horrific creatures is waged with one of the 12 death dealing weapons, either alone or in 'co-operative' or 'Deathmatch' networked play. Pretenders to the throne beware: - id Software and Raven have joined forces again to create this masterpiece of the 3D dynasty.
[Box blurb]***While you were battling the evil forces of D'Sparil, the other Serpent Riders were busy sowing the seeds of destruction in other dimensions. One such dimension is the decaying world where Hexen takes place. A world littered with the mangled corpses of nonbelievers and inhabited by the undead followers that executed them. Only three humans - a warrior, a mage and a cleric - have escaped the leaders' vicious spell. Now these brave souls have sworn to crush the evil regime that threatens to destroy the world forever. Separated upon entering the mystical portal, the three are forced to attempt on their own what they had hoped to do together: find Korax's stronghold, destroy him and restore order in the physical world.
[id Software]***A sort of sequel of Heretic, Hexen takes you to a new world to take the place of one of three heroes (A Fighter, a Cleric and a Mage) to stop the second of the Serpent Riders. The use of a "hub" system to travel back and forth through the levels is a very innovative idea. This is one of my all time favorite games, however some are turned away by the running around, collecting of puzzle pieces.
Stonekeep Interplay (Interplay Productions)1995Latest version: 1.2 (as of ?)***[b]sorcery[/b] - requires a magic staff onto which you inscribe combinations of magic runes that produce various effects, modified by meta runes and so forth (in the tag's grey area)

--- averted
ambidextrous - has no significant gameplay effect. simply determines which mouse button activates it and which hand on the screen uses it. ergo, this is primarily a graphical gimmick. no way to swap handedness without dragging and dropping the tools between hands.***The scan of the box art is flawed only because my scanner can't really scan the hologram on it (I'm not sure any scanner can). You can see this rainbowy thing behind and around the front skeleton and another skeleton in the rainbow, but in reality it should be silvery/chrome-white and the second skeleton barely visible.***Immerse yourself in an epic experience more powerful and realistic than anything you've imagined. Using innovative new technology, Stonekeep draws you into its dark reaches so completely you'll forget it's just a game. Your feet will walk the ancient corridors. Your hands will wield weapons of metal and magic. You'll battle disembodied foes, rescue your allies from evil, liberate a massive dragon from bondage and discover an experience more realistic than anything you've ever imagined. Step into the mystery of Stonekeep and begin a quest through dark corridors, treacherous sewers and subterranean realms of faeries, magic and the living dead. You'll discover a world where darkness reigns and where you become part of a detailed story line that unfolds to your commands. Defeat evil, reclaim your immortal soul and experience the adventure that is Stonekeep.

Concentrate on the experience, not the computer

* An epic production, Stonekeep is the result of nearly 30 man-years for a dedicated team of producers, designers, programmers, artists and other professionals.
* Hollywood special effects, state-of-the art sound effects and music, expert scriptwriting and stunning live action cinematic sequences... Stonekeep is an experience like nothing you have ever seen.
* 3-D rendered dungeons and creatures combine with live actors and amazing special effects to produce a game play environment of unparalled realism.
* Full-Screen graphics let you truly feel the full intensity of your quest. Without distracting menus and icons, you can conctentrate on the experience, not the keyboard.
* An intelligent Diary accompanies you in your travels, automatically mapping where you've been, the characters you've encountered and important clues you may have heard.
* Includes the first chapter in the Stonekeep saga - Thera Awakening, a limited edition hardbound novella from Steve Jackson and David Pulver.
[Box blurb]***The game came bundled with a small novella, Thera Awakening, coauthored by Steve Jackson and David Pulver.
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar  Origin (Origin Systems)1985Comes on two 5.25' disks. In 1997 the full version of this game was 'made available for free download' at selected sites by Origin. However, it remains proprietary and not defined as "freeware" or "public domain" (these downloads can disappear or the priced raised at any time at Electronic Art's option). Several homebrew upgrades exist for this game that add features such as VGA graphics and Midi sound. The xu4 project allows this game to run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS 8, Mac OS X, and other operating systems. xu4 Also allows extensive modding of the graphics, enemies, items, and certain game logic.

The Ultima series continued to innovate with the release of each game in the series. With the 4th game released for Apple ][ and then ported to IBM-PC, the genre was taken to bran new places. There is no evil big bad enemy to defeat, and the point of the game is not to take advantage of people to get stuff to go defeat the enemy. Rather, the point of the game is for the main character to become a champion of virtue. The goals are literally honesty, humility, honor, spirituality, valor, justice, compassion, sacrifice, courage, truth, and love. Actions, inactions, even words can have less than apparent unhelpful or helpful consequences. Yes, there are still monsters to fight and treasures to find, but this makes up less than 1/8th of the game and the care and purpose in handling these things is more important than the end result.
Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos  Virgin Interactive (Westwood Studios)1993
[59]***CD-ROM version
[37]***Floppy disk version
[37]***[media=youtube]DKdBs7Pc1JE[/media]***Latest version: 1.23 (as of 1994-04?), 1.02 for CD release

White Label CD release is pre-patched to "1.02D".***[b]Minimum:[/b]
* 386SX / 25 MHz CPU
* 4 MB RAM
* 5 MB free HD space

For voices: Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, AdLib Gold, or AdLib Gold Standard.
For music: Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, AdLib Gold, AdLib Gold, Roland MT-32/LAPC-1 or General MIDI.

The CD-ROM (White Label) version mentions Win3.1, but this is only for compatibility info.***1993 original floppy release
1994 CD-ROM - full speech and additional narrative history of the lands by Patrick Stewart
1996 CD-ROM - "special" white label European release. No idea what's so special about it, even though I have this. Doesn't appear any different from the '94 release, except maybe the box art.***A Legend has been born...Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos is a fantasy, role playing adventure like no other.
"Scotia, the hideous hag wants it all... power... riches...lland...THE WORLD! Can she be stopped? The truth stone must be found before her evil can be defated"
The sheer scale, superb art animation and incredible special effects, will transport you through over thirty unique areas. As one of the seven characters that you can choose from, you will face over fifty intelligent and believable monsters in mortal combat. Fantasy and reality become one, in lands where the only law is survival.
[Box blurb]