Subm.: Realms of Arkania: The Star Trail

Discussion in '50 RPGs per Hour' started by The_Onesin, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. The_Onesin

    The_Onesin First time out of the vault

    43
    Oct 3, 2013



    What is this game?


    - Realms of Arkania: The Star Trail is second installment of legendary Realms of Arkania trilogy, based on the popular TRPG called 'The Dark Eye'. It is a cRPG game with heavy emphasis on traveling, exploring, and solving a main quest.



    The setting?



    - The setting is on realms of Arkania (obviously), in one particular region with a massive world map which the player can navigate throughout. The background story is that apparently after the first game (which I have not played :/), the player is assigned with the new quest of finding 'Salamander stone' and bring it back to either the elves or the humans. On the way to the main quest, the player learns about the legendary throwing axe called 'The Star Trail', and also undertakes mission to retrieve it.



    Features



    - Realms of Arkania features complicated world map travel system in which the day and night are expressed as a turn, and during the duration of a turn, the play can move several steps which may also depend on which terrain the player is on. For example, the party will not be able to move as much on the mountain as they do in the open field. At the end of each night, the player's party will set up an encampment, and each party members can be assigned to play different roles. For example, a warrior can guard the tent while a hunter goes out and hunt for some food, and the magicians can explore the area to find and gather some herbs. Players may encounter certain dangers while they travel along the map or at the end of the night.



    The game also features turn-based combat, which is quite complex and fun to play around with. Regarding the release date of the game which is 1994, the combat system is excellent with many tactical choices and odds.




    Character making system is also complicated and there are alot of dice rollings involved in making one character. interestingly there are also some 'phobias' which are randomly rolled, and these phobias can add some negative values to the character. For example, a necrophobic score of 7 or 8 can mean that the character will virtually shit his pant every time he sees an undead and have very ineffective dice rolls against them.



    Some problems along the way


    - Dungeon exploration in this game is BRUTAL. What I mean by this is that one mistake in dungeon can lock you up forever, puzzles which make no sense whatsoever, dungeons which you cannot get out of until you find the alternative exit, and finding your way around those dungeons can be torture.

    The world map system also takes time to get used to, and although there are so many skills to choose from, about half the skills are not actually used in game. The game needed some extra polish on that area.

    Also this game does not hold your hand. It will throw you out there, and smile as you suffer. Unless you take a peek at guides and expect what's coming, you will have no idea what the game has for you at the points of your journey. You will have to be meticulous on interpreting NPC chatters, and you will need to be really patient to find your way around things. Inside the game, don't expect to find hints. This game tortures you.


    Overall..

    - This is one of the best cRPG games I have ever played. Amount of complexity and options were enough to blow me away, and the game makes sure to reward you with hefty prize when you do complete a section.

    Also I have never seen such a well implemented world map system, and I would truly love to see more RPGs getting influenced by this. Although sadly the closest thing I saw was in a game called Expeditions: conquistador.