Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Let's survive the Dark Earth (Embrace The Darkness)

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by ghostdog, May 3, 2010.

  1. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    What a surprise ! I'm back with another LP of a game you've never heard of, but you should. Dark Earth is the name... and Post-Apocalyptic-Steampunk(?) action/adventure is the game. It was published in 1996 by Microprose with a badass --and ugly as hell-- guy with wolverine claws on the cover...



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    BROFIST !

    At least that's what everyone, except the Germans, got. In Germany it was sold like this :



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    Wow, nipple-twisting has gone to a whole different lever here. The marketing division of Microprose was onto something...


    Dark Earth has pretty good graphics for its time, with beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds and adequate (if not a bit ugly) 3D models. I was also a bit surprised of the fact that is supports shadows and some lighting effects. The story is good (at least up to the point I've played it), voice acting is excellent and while the main plot is linear, there are at times multiple ways to proceed and some optional sidequests. Unfortunately the game doesn't achieve greatness because of some gameplay shortcomings.

    Movement is oldschool alone in the dark/Bioforge style and it's a bit clunky especially when it comes to combat. While the game is at heart an adventure, it has quite a few combat sequences and they feel like a chore you just want to get over with, to move on. Another problem is that the game becomes a race against time, after a while and that combined with the fact that you have to use save points, can make the game a bit frustrating at times. Nevertheless I think it's a pretty good game and it should be played by adventure game fans that can tolerate some clunky combat.



    Well, let's get on with it.





    DARK EARTH




    [​IMG]
     
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  2. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    [​IMG]
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    Code:
    Chapter 1:
                                                                     
    ,---.          o          |        ,--.                          
    |---|,---.,---..,---.,---.|---     |   |,---.,---.,---.,-.-.,---.
    |   ||   ||    ||---'|   ||        |   ||    |---',---|| | |`---.
    `   '`   '`---'``---'`   '`---'    `--' `    `---'`---^` ' '`---'
                                                                     
    




    Welcome to the future. Or should I say... the past ?


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    The streets are filled with punks...


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    Huh ? what's that in the sky ?


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    If I had to make a wild guess, I'd say that things are about to get nasty...


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    ...


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    Black Fire raining from the skies engulfed the planet,
    the earth opened and the seas flowed over the land.
    The cities of light erected by the ancients turned to dust,
    and the world was plunged into everlasting darkness.



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    Guided by their faith, they set off in search of a land free of the
    Black Shroud, where life could once more again spring forth.
    They were the "Wanderers" -men and women in search of light and hope
    amid the perils of the Darklands.



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    ... until the glorious day when the fathers of our fathers' fathers finally ceased their wondering.



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    ...


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    The future of the entire city lies in the hands of a single man.



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    In order to survive the terrible ordeals he faces, he must seek the help of those around him.

    - His beloved Khalhi...
    - Zed, his brother in arms...
    - His father Rylsaghar...
    - Lory the Great Sunseer...
    - Darnys, the Scavenger...



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    :gasp:


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    Phew... it was just a dream. It seems our hero dreams in movie-trailer format.

     
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  3. yaster Liturgist

    yaster
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    Sweet, I remember demo and nice atmosphere it established. Was meant to play/try it for some time, If only my list wouldn't be so big and I had more time. Do it for me then, make amends for my sins.
     
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  4. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    GLHF, all I can remember from playing this game was that it was superconfusing and bugged to hell and back, gamebreaking bugs included.
     
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  5. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    I couldn't even run it at first, but there is a patch that fixes certain things and makes it playable with XP. So far at least I haven't faced any major bugs, just the occasional crash.
     
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  6. Stereotypical Villain Arcane

    Stereotypical Villain
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    Good grief, man! Another LP?

    Oh well, look at it from the bright side: If you lose the lust to update you'll probably manage to squeeze a couple of PoI updates from me just because I'll be as addicted to this LP as I've been your others.
     
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  7. Brother None Prestigious Gentleman inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    So does this mean BloodNet's officially cancelled?!

    Also: eeeeenteresting.
     
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  8. spekkio Arcane

    spekkio
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    :love:

    ORLY?
    This game was well known back in the day, mostly due ITZ game-breaking bugs...

    Good luck, insect... You will need it. :cool:
     
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  9. Tails Arbiter

    Tails
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    I played the demo looong time ago, but the Full version didn't work for me. Carry on good sir! :salute:
     
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  10. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Oh man, I know that game. I still had somewhere nearby waiting for me to finish it. I admit that the graphics are ugly (SPECIALLY the cutscenes, oh god lovecraftian faces...). Strangely, though I have not played much of the game, I recall that my spanish version was pretty much bugfree.
     
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  11. Fat Dragon Arbiter

    Fat Dragon
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    Never heard of this game before, looking forward to this lp, yours are the best.

    Also, those old cheesy 3D faces always make me laugh, they're even worse than the ones in Planescape. Fallout seems to be one of the few games to have made them right.
     
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  12. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    probably :cry:


    :smug:




    As for the 3D faces wait and you'll witness real terror in the second cutscene...
     
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  13. Crowley9 Novice

    Crowley9
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    I've heard of this game. In fact, I have a boxed set in my closet. Umm, with the non-German cover art.
     
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  14. Jim Cojones Augur

    Jim Cojones
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    I've been planning to play it someday. Well, I don't mind reading and watching instead.
     
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  15. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    And in the meantime you should move your jimbo ass and carry on that teenagent LP...
     
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  16. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
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    I even bought this piece of shit back then but never finished it :( Can't remember what stumped me - probably lack of brain cells and/or bugs. And yeah, 3D-tits galore!
     
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  17. Yeesh Magister

    Yeesh
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    Oh Microprose. You delivered on so many levels. We miss you so much.
     
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  18. Schattenjäger Scholar

    Schattenjäger
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    NICE

    Carry on please.

    :entertained:
     
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  19. root Arcane

    root
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    and even though I walk through the valley of the inanity of next-genery, ghostdog is with me, and I shall not falter.
     
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  20. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    Since the intro left us with some questions here is some more info about the setting and the general backstory...



    Dark Earth takes place several centuries in the future, when a meteor collision with Earth tossed up great clouds of dust that blocked out the sun. Earth's remaining survivors began to seek refuge beneath small openings in the clouds, the few places light could be found. Those that remained in the 'dark earth' were hunted by strange creatures, infected with the darkness.

    To shelter themselves from the dangerous 'dark earth', the people began to form cities beneath the light called 'Stallites'. At the time of the game, most of the citizens of the stallite have forgotten their history and now worship the light as a god. The stalites are run by 'Sun Priests', who maintain order and prevent the creatures of darkness from harming the city. The game follows the story of Arkhan, a "guardian of fire", protector of the stallite 'Sparta' and the Sun Priests.



    So... this was all just a dream -Or was it ?
    Hmmm, let's get back to our hero.



    Code:
    Chapter 2 :
                                                                          
    ,---.                   |o              ,---.,---.    ,---.o          
    |  _..   .,---.,---.,---|.,---.,---.    |   ||__.     |__. .,---.,---.
    |   ||   |,---||    |   ||,---||   |    |   ||        |    ||    |---'
    `---'`---'`---^`    `---'``---^`   '    `---'`        `    ``    `---'
                                                                          
    
    



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    Nice place he has. And it comes with a hot polygon babe...


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    [​IMG] I didn't want to wake you. But the first rays from the Sun God are already filtering through...

    ugly 3D portraits FTW !

    [​IMG] You know, I had a funny dream. I saw the Great Cataclysm and our ancestors-the Wanderers who built our city...

    [​IMG] You dreamed about the founders of Sparta? That's the kind of dream Rylsadhar would like. Your Sunseer father really gets a kick out of History!

    [​IMG] Believe it or not, you were in my dream too! Along with my father, Zed, and the Great Sunseer Lory... Even our friend Danrys, the old Scavenger was there.

    [​IMG] Do you think the Sun God might have inspired your dream?

    [​IMG] I hope not! Listen, if the Sun God really wanted to do me a favor, he'd rise a little later, so you and I could sleep in peace!

    [​IMG] Arkhan! If your father heard you say that...!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Alright, alright. Anyway, it's time to leave. If anyone catches us here together, we'll both be in big trouble.

    [​IMG] I know, you're right. There's no sense playing with fire.




    Anyway, like a good ol' adventure game you have to search every nook and tran- ,eh, cranny and pick up everything that's pickable. Like this piece of meat for instance.

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    There are very few ways to heal in Dark Earth and this meat is rather valuable. We better keep it safe in our underpants. Searching our room we come across more useful things...

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    Ah, our trusty saber ! There are no unkillable NPC's here and we can actually take on the dark path and kill everyone we don't like. We can also choose to take a hard-ass demeanor in dialog and make people mad. But this route is not really advisable because combat is best to be avoided. However there will be times where we'll go XTREME.


    On another note we can interact with many of the items lying around and Arkam will make some remarks about them. We can even wash our face, unbelievable !

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    Heavy Rain has nothing on Dark Earth.

    We better put on our uniform. If we moved around with our underwear, we'd receive some funny remarks from other NPC's, but eventually we'd have to wear it. There are many times when NPC's will react differently according to what you're wearing, what your actions have been, what your demeanor is and if you approach them armed or unarmed.

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    Slick.

    This here is a save point, horrible creatures.

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    Ok, time to head out.

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    [​IMG] (from outside) The Provost Dhorkan summoned you. You're gonna get in big trouble if you don't get out here quick!

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    [​IMG] I don't want Provost Dhorkan to see you. You know how strict he is about letting outsiders into the Guardians of Fire barracks...

    [​IMG] Don't worry Arkhan, I'll leave just as quietly as I came.




    Outside we meet our friend Zed. If you look closely you can see a gun tied to his belt. It seems guns are still in use...

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    [​IMG] Arkhan, finally! Look, I have to get going... it's time to head up and start training. Captain Phedoria's waiting for me. Not exactly the most patient person in the world, as we know.

    [​IMG] Training, huh ?

    [​IMG] If you feel like it, why don't you just come with me. Now's your chance. The next time the Sun God rises, I'm off on a new expedition into the Darklands.


    The hair, the face...

    ...WARRIOR ?!

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    The implications are mindblowing.


    Eh whatever... we better go with Zed. Getting accustomed with combat controls is imperative.

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    [​IMG] Don't worry, you won't get hurt... we won't land real blows!

    [​IMG] So, you ready for a little friendly sparring?

    [​IMG] Whenever you're ready! ... let's go!


    Thankfully if you press F1 you can see the layout of the controls. When we enter combat we should not forget to equip our weapon or we'll be fighting with bare hands...

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    Combat basically consists of you hitting the "attack" button which will make Arkam perform one of his attack moves. Those moves can either be sword thrusts, swings , kicks or punches. I don't think it makes any difference on the damage you do to the opponent. All that matters is to hit him. You can also jump back and try to dodge. Finally, there is a special attack move, but we can't do it yet.

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    We can also spar with Captain Phedoria. She's a much harder opponent, that can evade a lot of our attacks...

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    [​IMG] Captain Phedoria, how would you like a friendly little training session?

    [​IMG] Friendly, huh? "En garde" !

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    Bah, she doesn't know shit, our endurance is legendary... Khali can vouch for this.
    Ok, enough with the training. We better go and see the chief.

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    [​IMG] Ah, Arkhan, it's you.

    [​IMG] Provost Dhorkan, I'm sorry, I... I was... uh...

    It seems we're a tad late.

    [​IMG] Save your arrogance and your lame excuses. I'm not in the mood!

    I knew that a guy named Dhorkan was going to be a jerk.

    [​IMG] The Great Sunseer Lory has called an important meeting at the temple of the Sun God. You've been designated to guard the door to the Council Chamber.

    [​IMG] Yes sir !

    [​IMG] Guardian Jedar has been waiting for you. Go down and take up your post before the Great Sunseer arrives.

    If we mess around the room and don't leave immediately, he'll get mad.

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    We better leave. We have our orders, but we'll wander around a bit for now. There's a balcony out here, let's take a look.

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    [​IMG] During the Great Cataclysm, whole mountains crashed into the sea.


    Fascinating. The door here leads to a storage room, where we find a flask full of Stohll. I'll assume Stohll is some kind of alcohol that can be used as a healing potion. Firewater, if you may.

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    Upstairs we find the master oiler. I suppose he distills the fuel for certain machines or weapons (flamethrower ? :smug: )

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    He isn't pleased with Arkam being there...

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    Now, with TAB we can change our stance to a more threatening one. (They must have copied this innovashun from Alpha Protocol.)

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    Meh, that wasn't extreme at all. Anyway, it was just a demonstration. We'll get different responses from NPCs this way.

    [​IMG] Beat it, I'm busy !

    Not much else here to do now. There's an Oil barrel that we may need later , but it's empty at this point. Let's check the other door in the balcony... It leads to something that looks like a prison.

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    Nothing noteworthy here now except the save point. We should head down.

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    So, Arkam - Guardian Of Fire, has been ordered to guard the holy council ! But not in this update, I'm afraid. We'll be doing it next time, among other things...


    Light (and steel) be with you


    [​IMG]
     
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  21. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    You forgot to comment that selecting the EXTREME mode will make Arkam adopt a more THREATENING pose (and of course the voice acting will be more aggressive), Ass Effect invented nothing as you see...

    PS: Also, the Provost is a true dick, if you talk to him too many times, or mess his room for too much time, he'll attack you, and if you kill him, Phedoria will appear and one-hit-kill you.
     
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  22. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    Heh, I guess Phedoria used a gun, those things are one-hit-kills.
     
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  23. spekkio Arcane

    spekkio
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    Good job.

    BUMP for moar!

    I wonder what did authors achieve by using early-3d technology... Shitty graphics, even for its time? Confusing controls? Man, 3d was overrated back in the 90-ties...
     
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  24. Brother None Prestigious Gentleman inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    And taunt your endurance?

    Emasculating.
     
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