So I’ve just spent about half an hour trying to remember how to work DOSBox in order to play a game that I remember spending so much time on as a kid more than 20 years ago.
But I came across a mention of it in a book I’m reading about the early days of RPGs called Dungeons and Dreamers (which is really good so far, hopefully I’ll do a cheeky review of it once finished) as one of the forerunners of first-person 3D gaming. I remember getting it for the Amiga 600 and playing the crap out of it.
Trouble was, as an 8- or 9-year old, I didn’t really understand what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Due to the whole new 3D first-person perspective offered by this game, its attempt at realism which involved controlling a human (or elf, or dwarf) as opposed to say, I don’t know, an aquatic spy or a frog with superpowers in a 2D side-scroller completely threw me.
I remember there being loads of guards wandering about, and every so often they would just run up and attack me. I’m sure that the attacks weren’t warranted, and that maybe I’d done or said something I wasn’t supposed to, but again, at that age I couldn’t conceive of anything as complicated as…well, cause and effect within the limits of a video game.
But there’s something in the book I’m reading about Richard Garriott, who created the Ultima series of games, and how he implemented a unique system into the later sequels which rewarded or punished you accordingly for the good or evil decisions you made earlier. I’m not saying that loudly announcing a plan (or going ahead with one) to steal from a tavern is what got me attacked by guards every time I walked in there, but nonetheless perhaps Legends of Valour also possessed such a system which was just a little bit too involved for my tiny mind before I got back to playing as the ninja of the Nth Dimension.
So I eventually get the hang of DOSBox, start the game just now, and a man comes up to me saying I should look at the notices in the Custom House. I ask his name, he replies, I get bored and attack him.
So that was me, really. All nostalgia’d out. Or maybe it was just that the game played so very slowly and the graphics looked bloody awful in what turns out to be the PC emulation rather than the Amiga version I remember looked and played a hell of a lot better (and in fact was reviewed as such by the mags at the time according to my research). I can’t actually find an Amiga version online though so sadly I’ll have to miss out on what, to be fair, I shouldn’t expect to be an all-conquering gaming experience.