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I'll just put this sword in my bag.
December 27, 2011 4:51 AM   Subscribe

Cardinal Quest [Flash] is an 8-bit tribute to Gauntlet, Roguelikes and the 2E D&D core rule-set. Open chests, battle opponents and descend the stairs in an effort to find the Amulet Shield of Yendor Malificent Minotaur!
posted by Smart Dalek (15 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why do the status and menu boxes cover a good portion of the playing screen? I can't see where I am half the time.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:18 AM on December 27, 2011


Thanks for posting - was kinda fun. My problem was the lack of self-healing - I reached about floor 4 with the warrior, but couldn't heal myself and could see no way to spend the coins (which made them useless to me).
Need more items, and a much higher potion drop rate.
posted by YAMWAK at 8:07 AM on December 27, 2011


One design decision here I thought was very interesting was how Cardinal Quest automates away most of the inventory management aspects of the typical CRPG. If you find an item that's better than what you're using, it auto-equips. Items inferior to (or which duplicate) your current equipment are converted to coins.

No shops, no weight, no going through three screens to see if the pants from the kobold you just murdered are slightly better than your current pants (along any one of the seventeen axes on which pants statistics are measured).

Contrast that with nethack, wherein any death while burdened is YASD, regardless of specifics, and where you probably spend about as much time managing stashes as you do fighting monsters.

Or, for another contrasting example, take the 100+ hours of Skyrim I just played. Apparently, it's a game about a sneaky but altruistic lizard guy who wanders around looking at various bits of grot and trying to figure out if the value-to-weight ratio means they're worth hauling into town to sell.
posted by sourcequench at 8:32 AM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Got as far as level 7 this next run (wizard). Very stupid death - had seven heal potions, six mana potions and I choose to try and hack the sourcery elemental to death. Probably could have blinked out too.

Much luckier run as far as health pots concerned and the heal spell was interesting - recharging by killing monsters. Annoying, but a valid mechanic seeing how stingy the game is with health.

Oh - warning, minotaurs are tough.

I agree with sourcequench to a degree, but a variety different drops could have made the fifteenth 'I have one of these already' slightly less irritating. Making coins useful for something would have been nice. Having a scoreboard at the end would have been nice too.

Overall, an interesting game but it could have been so much more with a little more development time. Still, for a free game, I can hardly argue.
posted by YAMWAK at 9:00 AM on December 27, 2011


Third life - rogue. Won the game. More demanding technique required, but skill plays a greater part in victory. Bit of a let down at the end though.
posted by YAMWAK at 10:29 AM on December 27, 2011


I had a go and appreciated the effort but after just watching the Zelda no-sword playthrough, I'm reflecting that the graphic simplicity in the older game belies really intricate game balancing with relatively few elements interfering chaotically to create a surprising depth, whereas the far nicer nice graphics in this one don't indicate any similar level of inner polish. It seems that dude basically did difficulty balancing of his game by restricting health... which is, uh, not how you do it.

Still, it's pretty for the genre.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:49 AM on December 27, 2011


Or, for another contrasting example, take the 100+ hours of Skyrim I just played. Apparently, it's a game about a sneaky but altruistic lizard guy who wanders around looking at various bits of grot and trying to figure out if the value-to-weight ratio means they're worth hauling into town to sell.

The one thing I did that increased my enjoyment of Skyrim immensely was to use the console command to increase my carry weight to 2500. I will never again have to spend 1/2 hour going between my house and various merchants just because I want to do actual fun stuff, like killing things in dungeons.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:32 AM on December 27, 2011


On the one hand I find the weight limit in games, such as in Skyrim or (sort of) nethack, to be annoying. OTOH it serves both realism purposes, and game balance purposes.

If your inventory is effectively infinite than there's no need to balance carrying more healing potions with a bigger weapon, or what have you. For me that adds a very minor, but often beneficial, degree of complexity to the game. Obviously others will disagree or have other positions.

I'd have found the auto inventory feature of this game to be a bit more useful if there had been shops. I got coins, but nothing to spend them on.
posted by sotonohito at 12:06 PM on December 27, 2011


Hey wow, I know this guy. He's one of the contributors to Roguelike Radio, that podcast thing I'm occaisionally on. He's pretty swell.
posted by JHarris at 12:30 PM on December 27, 2011


Woah, when did Ido port Cardinal Quest to Flash from HTML5 canvas?
posted by SemiSophos at 3:54 PM on December 27, 2011


Contrast that with nethack, wherein any death while burdened is YASD, regardless of specifics, and where you probably spend about as much time managing stashes as you do fighting monsters.

It depends on the game. Classic RP gaming, computer or pen-and-paper, is as much about character maintence as combat. In Nethack, many of the items are not obviously better than another, or at least not to a beginning character. Many items are particularly useful in certain cases and not much most of ther rest of the time.

Cardinal Quest's items follow an upgrade path that makes it easy for the game to determine if something is better or worse. That limits strategic depth, but it also gets that kind of decision-making out of the way. He's chosen to emphasize combat action over inventory decisions.
posted by JHarris at 10:00 PM on December 27, 2011


Woah, when did Ido port Cardinal Quest to Flash from HTML5 canvas?

It looks like the developers chose Flash for its game distribution license; they were also worried with in-browser performance.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:21 AM on December 28, 2011


Best game! semple and funny !! :-)
posted by techno blogger at 2:53 AM on December 28, 2011


@YAMWAK As far as self-healing goes, you're largely at the mercy of the random number god. There is a healing spell, and like any spell it can be cast by any class, but whether or not you find one is purely a matter for the RNG to decide.

I'll also note that you can equip two, or more, of the same spell which can often be handy.
posted by sotonohito at 6:43 AM on December 28, 2011


Yeah - know what you mean. The problem is the fighter. The other two classes have a technique at start that allows them to kill a mob without risk of damage - wizards can fight at range and thieves can fight and run. Both wizards and thieves also have a guaranteed method of doing damage - fireball doesn't miss and isn't resisted. Backstab from invisibility doesn't seem to miss and does lots of damage too.
Melee damage is otherwise unreliable (misses are common, even with the largely useless and very short duration combat buffs) leading to the fighter taking damage which the other toons can avoid.
Doubling up spells is a very powerful tactic - each spell only seems to drop once, so if you are a thief you can have two invisibility spells (you can have effectively permanent invisibility and the ability to backstab and then disappear) and if you are a mage you can have two fireball spells. Having two beserk spells is pretty much pointless.
Overall, I seem to be able to win the game reliably with wizard and thief - can't get close with fighter without a lot of luck.
Most powerful combo: thief with two invis, heal, charm and fireball.
posted by YAMWAK at 2:39 PM on December 28, 2011


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