Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Silver (PC)

Today I'm playing Silver, one of the ultimate RPGs of the last millennium. Uh, I mean it was released in late 1999, I don't know if it's actually any good. Logo's nice though. Very shiny.

I'm playing the PC version, though it was also released the next year on Dreamcast and Mac.

Whoa, that's a pretty widescreen intro cutscene. Must be around 2.85:1.

Anyway the intro starts with a door slamming shut and a slow pan across some bookshelves.

There's no narration or anything, just books. Shelves and shelves of books. And sometimes a spider or two crawling around. Crawling around the books.


Suddenly, a pair of ghostly hands burst in through the window!

Sadly it's too little, too late, as by this point even the books are losing the will to live, and have started throwing themselves off the shelves in despair.

Three minutes into the intro the ghostly hands open a book, and we finally get some standard edition RPG narration.

The mysterious narrator informs us of a dark chronicle so disturbing that it had to be sealed away for a hundred decades (so, a thousand years then?) to protect the innocent. But the story has to be told apparently, even if it's to an empty room. And so he reads aloud the sinister tome, which turns out to tell the tale of a guy called Silver, known in his day for being a bit of an asshole.
"His warped body was a testament to the pain he consumed and even his blood curdled as it seeped through his hollow veins keeping his vacuous heart pumping."
In fact he chokes his own wife to death for cheating on him with his nemesis, a man called... Nemesis.

Nemesis, as you'd imagine, isn't too happy about this. He saturates his soul with vengeance and sets up an ingenious trap to ensure our villain's demise and obtain ultimate retribution.

First he invites Silver to an art exhibition depicting scenes from his life, knowing that he'd be too vain to miss out.

Silver murders the first guy he sees for absolutely no reason, and destroys a painting or two, but other than that things are actually going pretty well.

But then Nemesis leaps out from a painting... and proceeds to get his ass handed to him by Silver's magic missile. And that's how the intro ends.

Okay and now we're onto the game. Lord Fuge is in town to proclaim that the Emperor is looking for a new bride, and it'd be much more convenient for him if every woman in the land was shipped over to his fortress. Oh and by the way the emperor is Silver, I think the intro forgot to mention that.

The game has full speech, and the acting doesn't seem that bad, but it won't let me turn subtitles on at the same time. It's either voice or text, so for your benefit I'll be playing in silence.

Lord FugeThe DukeGruntWilliam
Have a clearer look at Fuge and friends. The portrait art seems fine to me, though I think William should have probably gone with a different hair colour. The guy looks like a Lemming.

Cut to: A small house by the river, where our hero David lives in domestic bliss with his wife Jennifer. It looks a little bit like Final Fantasy VII, with the 3d characters walking over pre-rendered backgrounds, but in this I'm steering Dave around with the mouse.

Anyway, I just popped in here to grab my sword for some fencing practice with grandpa.

I found my sword and shield in the chest upstairs. Right mouse button brought up this pop up menu wheel, and I was able to figure out enough of the icons to get my gear equipped. I've never been a fan of radial menus in mouse driven games, but this gets the job done I suppose.

Huh, I have to slash and stab with mouse movements? But my character's so small! I'll be lucky if I can tell which way around he's facing.

Oh great, that bastard Lord Fuge has finally gotten around to our house, and he's kidnapped Dave's wife! David is smart enough not to charge straight in and take on a boss at level 1, but we follow them as they head back to their ship.


The combat is a bit awkward, but it does work. Fortunately clicking on an enemy turns David around to face them, so I can usually get a few hits on target. And my AI sidekick seems to be capable enough of holding his own.

Crap, so much for that daring rescue then. Our poor heroes can't continue the chase because they have no idea where the boat is heading to. Well okay I'm sure they have an idea, but they'd look pretty stupid if they raced off to Silver's dark fortress, only to find out when they get there that the ship was actually heading to his villa by the beach.

But we do know where the angry townsfolk have gone, and maybe they've got a plan. Time to turn around and head back through the town to Haven.

It's our friendly local save point! Actually he's not that friendly, as we only get the one save game out of him before he disappears from that spot forever. I tried walking off screen and back here again and he was still gone.

Which seems like a bloody stupid idea in a game like this if you ask me. It means I can't backtrack to the last save point when I want to turn the game off, so I either have to keep playing and hope I'm close to the next Chronicler, or turn it off and lose all my progress since the last one.

Hey, I've found a shop. Shame I can't sell anything, or even see what the stuff I'm buying does. I'm pretty sure these are all healing items, in ascending order of health restoration, but even the pop up menu I bring up to use the items is vague on what they actually do.

I'll stock up on apples, I've heard they're good at keeping the doctor away. Though then again carrots are good for eyesight...


Sorry mate, only the pure of heart can pass Haven's Gates. The rest of Lord Fuge's men are wise enough to stay on their side of the wall, so we'll be safe now for a while. Well from them anyway, I'm sure there's all kinds of evil forest creatures out for our blood.


I didn't run into any evil squirrels, though we were captured by the rebel townsfolk, who have already set up a camp and are training to take on Silver. Fortunately they soon realise we're on the same side and I'm able to learn a new super attack, the WEB OF DEATH... which I have no idea how to use.

Anyway now we have a plan. If we get to the telescope in the library we can see where the ship is going. Fortunately the library was just down the road. I didn't even have to fight a single enemy on the way there.


What, I have to wait for more enemies to spawn before I'm allowed to leave? I'm used to the exits being locked until I've cleared the screen, but having to wait for the next wave to turn up is getting a bit ridiculous.

I've almost cleared this room out, but this little bastard up here keeps shooting us and the game won't let me leave the room until I've dealt with him.

Come on Dave, just throw a book at him or pull the bookcase over or something.

There has to be something in my inventory I can use here. Well there's my WEB OF DEATH special, still got no clue how that works. But no, the closest thing I've got here to a ranged weapon is the apples, and Dave will just eat them.

Well I can't leave the room, so the solution has to be in here somewhere. I suppose I'll just start sweeping my mouse pointer across the room until the cursor changes.


AHA, there you are! My salvation, sitting on the table this whole time. Yep, apparently there was a catapult hidden inside the book.

To be fair there's a character in the room that says I'm rubbish and that I should read a book, which is apparently the hint for this puzzle. But I'm in a library, there's a thousand books in here!

Excellent, cash and bread. Exactly what I was hoping to find in a chest in an abandoned library hallway. Hey, with this camera angle I can actually get a look at my hero's model.

There he is, Dave Protagonist. If they gave him a last name in game I must have missed it. They haven't even given his grandfather a first name yet.

I wish these little assholes would stand still. They only take one hit to kill, but actually managing to hit them can take a while.

At least we seem to be getting pretty high up now. Hopefully the telescope isn't far from here.


Sorry dude, but unless you're planning to transform into some kind of giant demon I don't think you're gonna stop us opening this chest.

Well, shit.

I gave it a few more tries, but it crashed the same way at the same point each time. Then I tried patching it and running fixes, but nothing worked. It seems the game just doesn't like modern OSs (ie. anything newer than Windows 98), though I've heard the version on might have this fixed. So that's that then.

I have to be honest, this game totally failed to hold my interest, and I'm not sure my defective attention span is entirely to blame this time. But the graphics seem fairly decent for its time, the music's good, the characters are likeable, and though it's a little awkward to control it's not overly frustrating (so far). It's not actually a bad game so far, it's just not my kind of thing.


  1. Does someone has a link where i can download the game (Silver) saves or send the saves to me in :

  2. you didn't even finish the tutorial =))))
    give the version on a try, it's one of the best games ever

    1. Annoyingly my video game funds are very limited, so I should only really be buying games I don't own yet and haven't played for the site already.

  3. does the version at free from bell bug and other bugs?

  4. Great game, actually. one of the best RPGs. A true masterpiece for Dreamcast. The controls are nice, for a change, and it requires a bit of strategy in action combat, too.

    The GOG version is fixed, you just need to reinstall K-lite codec pack and select FFshow over LAV, works like a charm on Win7 64.

    Controls for the mouse are something that you have to learn along the way. I never understood why there wasn't TEXT + SPEECH option, like there was in Dreamcast version automatically. I'll snoop around, try to find a patch of sorts.

    Still, finishing this game is an amazing experience since it only gets better and better. Eventually you master the fighting and the way that your companions fight. You end up leading 4 (+1) people around which you may switch by the numeric value on keyboard, while the tilde ~ button works as a selector of the entire party (or simply use the mouse to square-select them).
    Still, the fighting was much faster on Dreamcast itself and, even though I played it a decade ago or more, the Dreamcast version looked better I think.
    The point of the game is to survive long enough and get things done. Soon enough you'll be collecting the orbs around and one of the worst parts of the game is to go from one location up to another, gets tedious after a while, similar to that screen switching (street view) like in Resident Evil 3.
    Still, the game uses a lot of different camera angles which makes it an enjoyable experience, alongside with some pretty neat gothic concepts for the architecture. Clearly the 1999.-2000. was a good game for these sorts of games. You got Soul Reaver, Silver and Planescape : Torment. Epic.


Semi-Random Game Box