I feel somewhat justified in having apprehension regarding '80s DOS games. CGA and to a lesser extent EGA typically look eye-searing, and usually the only sound games had outside of the high end games were PC Speaker. Not an especially pleasing combination. Yes, with DOSbox we can configure speed to our hearts content, games nearly always work, but even so, such games often feel like utter chaos. I'm not particularly happy to be doing this even considering that Sleeping Gods Lie has practically no sound. But since its this or make a woefully incomplete review, we'll be seeing the DOS version.
|This does make me wonder why the Amiga version is content to do nothing...|
So, Sylvar, the great forest. I don't really see the difference between here and the last place, but something was probably lost in the porting process. Seems like quite a bit of deforestation has been going on. The manual even pokes fun at this, saying that the deforestation has caused the remaining trees to dislike humans. No tree enemies exist so far. The skyboxes, which I liked on the Amiga version, now feel like visual noise to me.
|The unpleasant nature of dwarves here really reminds me of Dwarf Fortress|
|Depending on how long you end up wandering around, you can hear this blather for an hour|
Northern Sylvar is only linked to Northern Sylvar, and the only way to advance is to enter the Dwarven caves. But to do that you need to find a lantern, which I say like its some kind of challenge. The first time I went through this area I found one and that was before I realized it was a puzzle! I only discover this because a molehill says I need one to enter the caves. Gregor is too much of a coward to enter the caves, something I'm thankful for.
|I know that sprite on the right is probably supposed to imply a gradually lowering ceiling, but it just looks like it shouldn't be there|
|I wonder if we can hear it in the Amiga version|
|Probably some kind of weird memory saving trick|
I should also note that I like the way these guys fight. I've mentioned that they usually attack from a distance, start retreating, then attack after retreating a certain distance. They also retreat if they've been damaged enough. While they seem to travel in a half circle whenever they retreat, the rest of what they do is interesting. They work along roughly the same rules as the player, except they can't move and attack. Their accuracy is quite similar to what I put out, as in they seem to be trying to lead their shots whenever I move, so I can dodge if I notice them attacking.
The south end contains more dwarves. Like I said, the dwarves are a pain to hit, so I can't hit them too well. Because of it I tend to be relying upon the sling staff, to build up blowpipe ammo for later levels. A molehill here gives me a belt to use the blowpipe better. Is this a reoccuring character? I don't quite get it.
|Screenshots didn't take well for this session, so enjoy this shot of the fountain far in the distance|
|The Amiga version would make the different kingdoms look different|
This was a bad idea for two reasons, the first is that I got healed between here and Delanda. I don't know how. The second is that I encounter the deadliest enemy yet...seagulls. I didn't mention it yet, but this game doesn't work like other early FPS titles. That is, there is a Z axis. So shooting below or above an enemy is very much possible. Seagulls are tiny targets, and are a pain to deal with. Fortunately, they drop gold, 2 coins worth. So even if you missed giving the crown to Gregor, or missed it entirely (its good for one trip) you can still win. It is painful for resting though. I am curious as to if this whole need to sleep thing will ever crop up. I rested back in the caves, since that had a few rooms I could safely rest in. Otherwise resting is insanity, because it is guaranteed that something will disturb your rest.
|This is a druid, not a ferryman, those curiously look like artiste types, beret, sweater and cigar included|
|Lime and limpid green/The second scene...|
Wandering around more, taking out more druids and seagulls, I start finding sea demons. They're not colored in and here they don't drop anything. But the real clever bit is when I find a dying druid, who I guess had the plague. He fills me in on what I need to do. Take the golden sickle and cut down some mistletoe. There's only one unique tree sprite, and this allows me to use the pillars as transportation.
|I'm guessing they just painted over the more impressive Amiga sprite|
Or rather, teleportation. Which causes the peasants in the place I teleport to to start attacking me. They drop shortbows, which curiously enough, use pebbles as ammo. I'm not sure that works. I'm nearly constantly near death, but because of the outside setting, I have no ability to rest, so I have to find food on the ground or stay away from enemies for a long enough time. I get an armband here, from another molehill. Seems like a strange choice for a continuous helper.
|Properly creepy looking|
|Why does this sexy dress include what looks like very '80s shoulder pads?|
|Its very hard capturing a shot of a seagull, as it turns out|
Okay, one more ferry. This island is supposed to be the biggest island. I see the druids again, and some pillars. And a man who looks like he's dying. Can't interact with...him...I've gone in a circle. Right...what am I missing?
|The islands in the distance are actually places you can travel to, though I missed this until nearly the end of this area|
I am curious as to how the game is going to continue being interesting. This is just before the halfway point, and the game's attempts at more diverse enemies is the kind of thing that blows up in game's faces. I still remember the spiders from Escape from Monster Manor, and including more small enemies like the seagull is an easy way down that path. Even taking out that mess with replaying the game 3 times, I'm still looking at roughly 7-8 more hours of game.
This Session: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes