Archive for February, 2009

Indra

Posted in Religion on February 21, 2009 by Eathanu

Indra is a special case among the gods. She is the goddess of chaos, and unlike any of the other gods, cannot speak. Rather, she does not care to, and doesn’t seem to understand anything said to her. Nothing any of the other gods do to her affects anything she does, and even to them she is a complete mystery.

Naturally, mortals also find this being fascinating. Indra usually drifts around the cosmos in the form of a celestial dragon ghost, a creature of every colour of the visible spectrum and most of those off of it. She spends most of her time in the Reaches and beyond, and finding her can be dangerous at times. Those who do find that the danger is well worth the spectacle; seeing the dragon up close is one of the most beautiful things a limited mind can imagine. A very lucky few have even flown through the apparition.

Indra has also mostly stayed out of everyone’s way, and has not directly impacted any major event in history, save perhaps for inspiring development in art and science with her sheer majesty. Only Indra herself could possibly know exactly what it is she wants, and at The End of time that secret, whatever it was, was lost forever.

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Graal: The Adventure

Posted in Graal on February 10, 2009 by Eathanu

Graal The Adventure Demo 2
So, I recently started working on a fun little project that some of you have seen me mention. Basically, I’m making a single player game out of Graal, with a story pretty much identical to that of the original Graal. Basically, “Oh, look, a Golden Gate, let’s crack this sumbitch open and see what’s inside,” but I’m also trying to link everything together logically. Features of the finished product will include:
*Eight LttP-style dungeons
*A total of eight full hearts to be found
*A 9×12 overworld map (helpfully generated by MapMaker)
*Familiar characters from the original Graal level packs (Fox, Sardon, Masters Lee and Wong)
*Some kinda linking story

I do need to make a disclaimer: I’m not a great mapper. I won’t pretend to be a great mapper, and I think that any amount of speed I’ll have with this project relies on that fact. My maps will seem a bit barren to some people, but to me at least I think they look fine. There’s not much in terms of clever usage of the tiles, and the cliffs I make are mostly straight lines, but for someone like me with eyes that get really tired when they’re looking at a mess of “realistic” tiling, it’s refreshing to see a few straight lines.

This demo contains the swamp lands, the first area in the game, including the first two dungeons. It also has the first two heart quests completed, though one of them you technically can’t finish unless you use the editor. To start up the main quest, just speak to the Elder across the table in Swamp Town and he’ll tell you everything else you need to know for now.

Also included is the character maker thing utility monster beast contraption. It’s kinda buggy, but you can use any of the heads in the folder to create a character to use right from the get-go, without the need of adding an npc in the editor. Everything else a new player needs to know should be in the readme.

–Download–

For the most recent update, go to this page instead.

Graal Reborn

Posted in Graal on February 10, 2009 by Eathanu

Graal. That name springs to mind so many memories for me, good and bad. Those last couple good years for me before everything fell apart.

At its heart, Graal is just an inferior remake of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The basis of the game is that you are some kind of generic adventurer hunting for the four graals to open the golden gate and enter Midas’ realm. There you find the Golden Sword and two fullhearts (which do two hearts of damage and add two hearts to your maximum health, respectively). And that’s really it. The thing that made Graal great was its community-created levels and items. Graal, at its peak, was huge. The main quest took about an hour to complete if you were slow, but exploring all of Big City and seeing all there was to do there? Two, three hours, easily. And it’s just an island in the upper-left corner of the map.

That was offline Graal. There was an online mode, too. I never played it as much, as most of the levels were set so that you could be killed by other players, and kill they did. I never held on to cash, since you lost 1000 of it every time you died, but luckily there were only a few things that required it. Either way, online wasn’t ever really my thing, but watching my brother play online was. Every night he played was.. well, something interesting. Cut to 2001.

It sucked, in short. I had mostly stopped playing Graal by then, but it still crushed me to learn that the old servers no longer existed, just this shadow known as “Graal Classic,” which wasn’t the same since all of my favourite places were gone or perverted beyond repair, and Graal 2001, which was pay to play. End of story. Worse, on Graal Classic, if you didn’t have the P2P account, it wouldn’t save your data, so you wouldn’t hold on to things like the level 2 sword that you basically needed to stay alive (player-killers hunted people who only had the level 1 sword because it took six hits just to kill a player with the minimum number of hearts).

So obviously I didn’t play that long. I played around with my own levels, but again, the offline had been crippled. You couldn’t get the old levelpacks anymore unless you REALLY dug, you couldn’t save your game offline at all, and there was no longer offline multiplayer, which was pretty much what I had subsisted on before. I left it behind a long time.

Several times I got the urge to get back into Graal, and just kinda let it taper off because it was always so hard to track things down again (and still is, even now, if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I’m STILL searching for a level pack that may be gone forever). Not any more, however.

Graal Reborn. Wait, hold on:
logo3

Yeah. This is a community (link) dedicated to their own little servers in Graal, remembering the Old Ways on some of them, others just new content or recreations of old, once P2P servers. All free, all somehow legal, though I don’t know the specifics. I toyed around with them a while ago as well, but due to a lack of content I kinda… ditched them for shinier things. This time, I came in with a different outlook, namely, “fuck that.”

So I made my own level pack. Graal Reborn is busy taking on the online servers of Graal, and Agret released the Ultimate Graal DVD, which is a DVD image with everything and a half relating to Graal he could get his hands on (unfortunately missing a few things I wish I had). They have their bases covered, even if all of the other servers severely lack content (something about a lack of an NPC server makes it hard to do things). It’s still fun to hang around Waffles and see who drops by, and Elven Lands even has little things you can do and places to explore.

What they lack is someone to do all the offline stuff, of course. It’s much easier to code offline, because you don’t have to account for multiple players unless you’re making something specifically for that. So, I’m working on something I call Graal: The Adventure, after Graal’s original title. It’s more akin to A Link to the Past than Graal ever was, with a real story and eight dungeons where you get items that get you into other dungeons and all that. So far its only in demo stages, but things are going well. Today I’m releasing Demo 2.

You see, Demo 1 was just for the Reborn people. They loved it (lie: It’s had zero downloads since I posted it a little under a week ago). Demo 2 has far more content, and the levels don’t just end in black blocks you can’t walk into because I haven’t gotten that far.

See the post in the downloads section for the rest of the info and the box.net link. I want to keep it pretty clean there, so having the entire backstory would be a bad idea.