Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Akalabeth: World of Doom (Apple II)

Hey is that guy teaming up with a mouse? I wonder if my dude gets to have a rodent sidekick.

Yeah, this one's pretty old. In fact it's about as old as they come for RPGs. Akalabeth! World of Doom!! eventually became known as Ultima 0, because it's the immediate predecessor to the legendary Ultima series, also made by Lord British (aka Richard Garriott.) So it's the foundation to one of the foundations of the entire genre.

Mr Doom's not going to be happy that someone's left muddy footprints all around his hobbit house.

I don't think I want to go into this dungeon anymore.

Right, so the climatic battle between good and evil already happened before we even turned up, and now our job is to clean up the last few monsters. Sounds simple enough.

The game let me reroll my stats stat's a few times so I could have a full set of double figures, and now I've got 22 gold to spend in the Adventure Shop. But which item shalt I buy?

There's no mouse pointer or cursor, I have to press the first letter of an item to purchase it. I decided to take a rapier, then spent the rest of the cash on food. Just to be on the safe side.

So, uh, is this the world map then? The collection of boxes at the center of the screen seems to be the adventure shop, the shapes to the left are impassable mountains, and the crosshair is my valiant hero.

Imagine there's a grid splitting the screen into 3x3 squares (I drew a picture to save you having to imagine too hard). I can step across to another square each turn, but I can only ever see the squares immediately adjacent to me so I have no idea where I'd be going.


I've been wandering for a while now and I still haven't found a dungeon. At least I don't think I have. To be honest I don't even know what a dungeon looks like. But I'm pretty sure it's not that square on the right.

Every step I take costs me one unit of food, and even if I find my dungeon full of treasure I'll need enough food left in the tank to get me back to town afterwards for a refill. I'm not feeling optimistic.


And so the gallant wannabe hero died of starvation in the wilderness, without even finding a single dungeon or slaying even a moderately sized rat. And I guess his computer starved too.

But hey, invoking resurrection ressurection sounds cool. I'll press ESC and give the game another shot.


Whoa, I was not expecting flick-screen first person dungeons. Shame it takes a few seconds for the screen to be redrawn every single time I take a step.

It turned out that X marks the dungeons on the world map, so I'd actually walked right past one earlier without even realising. But the world seems to be randomly generated each time I start a new game, so I had to stumble across a new X to plunder this time.

CHEST! Hmm, I think my next command will be to step forward and collect my prize.

And the treasure turned out to be 1 gold and a magic amulet I can't use or sell. There's nothing else even in this dungeon, so I'm going to have to make it back to the world map and find another dungeon before my 72.2 food runs out. At least my gluttonous hero only munches through .1 of a food each step while he's inside a dungeon.


I've finally found another dungeon, but I'm running dangerously low on food. I'm going to have to find some treasure fast, because I've only got enough rations left to take 14 steps on the world map, and it's ticking down as I go.

Well maybe 'fast' was the wrong word. Nothing's fast in this game. It takes forever just to walk down a corridor.

Oh shit! It's a horrifically abstract orc! Uh, attack! I command you to attack. I tried pressing 'a' and that seemed to get the point across.

Huh, what do you mean "which weapon"? Perhaps you could try the only one I'm holding. Okay fine, what was it I bought at the shop? It was a type of sword. Oh right, I'll press 'r' for rapier.

Excellent, I've made a single attack. The blocky orc makes his move, and then the command prompt comes back up again. Now I've got to repeat that every turn, until either I kill it or my dude keels over from hunger.


I ran from the dungeon with the cash I stole from the dead orc, and got a H.P. bonus at the exit for making it out alive. With 3 steps worth of food to spare I make to the nearest adventure shop, and spend all my cash on snacks.

Back to the dungeon then.


Shit, I fell through the floor to the third level of this maze. I'm not sure I wanted to be this far down quite yet. I'm clearing out each floor as I go (sketching out a map as a guide so I know where I've been), and I don't really want to be fighting tougher enemies until I have to.

Okay should I go through the door to the left, or around the corner to the right? Actually I feel like doing something wild and spontaneous, so I'm going to spin around and go backwards.

Oh shit, there was a creepy angular rat sitting behind me. Staring at me.

I chased the rat and beat it up for its 6 gold, but now I've kinda gotten myself lost. That's the ladder leading down to level 4, not the one I was next to a second ago.


Well it took me an embarrassingly long time, but I found my way back up to level 2 and... oh shit, he fell back down to level 3 again? Well how the hell am I supposed to get out then, if the floor trap is between this ladder and the dungeon exit?

Maybe there's more than one ladder leading back up to level 1.

That cheeky son of a bitch just stole my weapon right out of my hands! How am I meant to kill him now, beat him to death with my empty fists?

I chased the bastard down and beat him to death with my empty fists, but not before he stole some of my precious food. And I didn't get a single thing back from him when he died.

So I'm still trapped, only now I have less food, less health, and no weapons.

Well, it was worth another shot.

Oh shit, is that an orc coming at me now?

I actually put up a decent fight against this guy. He started off well by knocking me down to 4 health, but then he lost his nerve and started to miss over and over again. I missed a few times myself, but eventually I managed to chip away at him until we were neck and neck. 4 H.P. each.

And then he got the lucky shot and put my hero out of his misery. Though at least I can spell 'resurrection' correctly, so I have the final laugh. HAH.

Man, I'm a terrible hero.

1 comment:

  1. Well written, good sir. May the peasant starve nevermore!


Semi-Random Game Box