Good Old Games is in the midst of its 50% holiday sale and I took the opportunity to pick up a game I had on my first PC back in the olden days of 1994 when PCs still came with floppy drives and monitors were massive 14 inch wonders.
That game is Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos and when I first had it I made it all the way to the climactic battle against the evil Scotia but never quite finished the game. I’m not sure why. It may have been that I ended up getting a new PC and moving saved game files was sometimes a tricky thing back then. Or it could have been an obscure, game-stopping bug that was never patched (that was also a tricky thing back then. I still recall 1998′s Baldur’s Gate as being the only computer game I owned that truly and utterly defeated me. It would consistently crash 10-15 minutes in no matter what I did. I eventually gave up and shipped it off to a friend who, of course, played it without issue). Whatever the reason, I didn’t complete the game and used this as a handy excuse to justify the nostalgia in picking it up, knowing full well the chances of me completing it now were pretty darn slim.
Much to my surprise, once I set the game to windowed mode and shrank it down to 800×600 it ended up not looking too bad. The pixelated graphics are quite acceptable when shrunk down appropriately. Even better, the actual game is is easy to pick up. The interface is clean and straightforward and the copious voice work helps to compensate where the graphics falter. For example, most signs are just a bunch of VGA scribbles (unreadable) but clicking on one results in your party leader reading it aloud in a crisp tone. Handy!
I still don’t know how far I’ll get. As you can see in the shot below I am just starting out and only have one of the eventual three party members. At this point I’ve solved one simple puzzle, beat up an attempted thief, beat up a mean boar and had the castle guards tell me to get lost. Not bad but not exactly saving the world — yet!
I’ll follow up within a month’s time to report on whether the purchase (a whopping $2.99) boiled down to an hour or so of play or whether I’ve actually made real progress. Odds are it will be the former but every once in a while you can go back.