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Marsport - Dead Space for the 80's

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So continuing my nostalgia fest on the CPC464 emulator, I've once again taken the elevator from the Spacefield into the wonderful Marsport:

MarsportLoadingScreen.png

Marsport%20(E)_2.png

Now I'd played Tir Na Nog and Dun Darach of course, and loved them. But only from an atmospheric and graphical perspective, because like many people I got absolutely nowhere in them. I've read a solution to Dun Darach since those days, and I don't know how anyone was ever meant to work out what you're supposed to do.

Anyway, the point is that Marsport is a lot, lot better than both the preceding games. Why? Because, frankly, it's much simpler, and you get a gun. The gun is great, as you get to relieve the tension by shooting up the Sept Warriors (little Alien peeps) or the Warden Robot.

I never saw these bad boys though!

Marsport%20(E)_3.png

The puzzles are also much simpler, but they still make you feel fairly clever when you've worked them out. It's all about simple wordplay and lateral thinking, so for example to get into the Chemists you put the BOOTS in the key slot. You can also combine objects such as Flour, Water and a Baking Tin to make a CAKE to enter the Bakery. Nice!

There's very little sound, but somehow it has an amazing atmosphere and really does feel like the Dead Space of its time. The walking animation, mostly cribbed of course from the previous two games, is still one of my favourites and really makes you feel like you're stomping around in a big space suit.

I never did finish it, and a quick glance at maps online tells me that I probably only made it about 25% of the way through, but with modern emulators enabling easy snapshot saves, and also upping the CPU speed a bit to make our hero walk faster, I reckon Space Year 2011 could be the year I finally complete it.

For some reason there are no vids on youtube that I can find, although there are plenty of Tir Na Nog and Dun Darach. Well worth checking out though if you remember it or if you don't - it even has mini games!

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Tir Na Nog was the first game I got on the Specrtrum I think. In fact I think I got it before I had a Spectrum and played it at a mates. I imagined free-roaming beautiful vistas with total control over everything. Well, it wasn't quite like that to play but just walking about was fun.

Dun Darach had a real rpg vibe with the shops and interactions, in fact looking back it reminds me a bit of a pre-history Flashback. My major achievement in Marsport was just finding the gun, which took more effort than completing most modern games. After that I just shot stuff and never played it again. Heavy on the Magick's my absolute favourite though, it was so immersive for the time.

I never had much of a clue what I was doing, where I was going in any of these games, but they all transported me off to their little worlds with great effect.

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Davros, these retro threads of yours are some of my favourite on the forum.

Jus' sayin'

:wub:

Aw, they're nothing much really - but thanks.

Womblingfree, I think you'd be surprised if you played Marsport now, as it's really quite playable and progress is definitely achievable. You'll have the gun in about 2 minutes (you just grab the Gun Permit and go get it). I must admit though that upping the CPU speed on the emulator to 150% is helping somewhat.

Heavy on the Magick and I have unfinished business. It should be the sort of game I rave about, but I find it both intriguing and impenetrable. Watch this space though.

As for Marsport, I can't seem to beat the 2nd Checkers-style mini-game...

MarsportGame.png

You have to get your little guy at the bottom to the other side. The three white knights can "take" you like in Checkers though...

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A-ha! Cracked it. My reward? Nowt. Tis the 8-bit way.

Went through a door marked DANGER! Oh noes, a bomb! Er, I'll just pop it in the bin. No effect. Sorted.

Remember to visit the Games Completed in 2011 thread http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=237405&st=0 and show the rest of us that retro love. Some might even be inspired to go back to an old 8 bit game and finally finish it.

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I posted this in the Great Towns thread - but the map in Crash for Dun Darach was truly a thing of beauty, and I have more vivid memories of the map than I do of the game itself.

DunDarach.jpg

There's something about those street and district names that just seems absolutely right, like there are stories there waiting to be uncovered. It looks and feels like a real place. The game itself was atmospheric too, I remember going through the whole thing with a walkthrough one afternoon and it was still very good fun.

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There will be pozzes for you later.

That map is a thing of great beauty, and as you say the atmosphere was tremendous. It's just that I got absolutely nowhere with it, whereas I am making gradual progress with Marsport.

Talking of which, I've faced up to the fact that I'm going to have to map it. So I have been, with the darts on in the background and a nice glass of wine.

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Man, this is addictive. I've been mapping the game all flippin' day, although I confess I did occasionally glance at an early bit of solution as I hadn't annotated a bit properly.

I don't know if anyone remembers the map I did in TAR's House of Hell thread, but I'm going to rustle up something similar for this I think. Watch this space!

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That map is a thing of great beauty, and as you say the atmosphere was tremendous. It's just that I got absolutely nowhere with it, whereas I am making gradual progress with Marsport.

I spent ages playing Dun Darach in my early teens, and made my own map. I got to a point where a cryptic message appeared at the bottom of the screen: "verit ghoom". I had no idea what that meant, and after much head-banging, eventually decided that I would need to learn Gaelic or Latin or something in order to progress, so gave up. It's probably something ridiculously simple though.

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The only reference to that I could find online was a detailed run through of the game - IN RUSSIAN!

Google (very roughly) translates the relevant passage thus:

Now how to get shields:

SHIELD DANU

In the bookstore on King Street you can buy the book "VERIT GHOOM". If you give her character MHOR, then we return the book "LOOK FOR MY REST". With it you can enter into an invisible door on the street Nyre Street. Location doors indicate two torches hanging on the wall. Behind the door is a room where the table is SHIELD DANU.

There is nothing as complicated as that in Marsport thankfully. The toughest thing I've come across is combining a LUTE and a DAIS to get a LEAD SUIT. Anagram innit.

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Amazing scenes after a whole afternoon of mapping and note making:

MarsportMCentral.png

I never, ever got as far as this back in the day. There's something genuinely satisfying about the spatial awareness and gentle lateral thinking required to play these old games, something I really think has been lost. Just the intricacies of merely getting about is an enjoyable meta game. No in game map of course, no magic blue line on the floor. If I want to get to the BYER level say, I have to study my map and plan out my route. FARR > ELIS > IAXA > GILL > ALBA > BYER. And I write it down for future reference. With a pen. On some paper.

Anyone want to buy an Xbox360, Wii, and PS3? :wub:

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I'm fussy really, I like some, I don't like others. My personal benchmark is Ultima Underworld 2 still, after all these years (it let you type notes on the map). But I will certainly check that out.

Edit: Ooh, it's on the DS. And it looks lovely. And I'll be able to play it on the train. Ordered! :)

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I don't think I ever played that, but it looks intriguing:

Valhalla.png

Typing in a swear word would generate the message "Mary is not amused..." and a dwarf would dash onto the screen to punch the player

I like the sound of it.

Not much progress with Marsport today, although I have been tinkering with the beginnings of a proper map in Powerpoint. I'm sort of savouring the fact that I'm at the start of part 2 of the game - can there be any more satisfying and tempting message than "All RESTRICTED doors are now open"? :wub:

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Doing some lunchtime reading up on Gargoyle games I came across this nice map of Tir Na Nog:

tirmap.jpg

Not quite as gorgeous as the Oli Frey Dun Darach map above, but still pretty juicy.

I remember using that very map to try and get round Tir Na Nog, still got lost and never got anywhere with the game.

When we were kids there was a dog we called 'Sid Vicious' that used to chase us all the time and sometimes we shouted 'Look out! Siddle!' when it appeared. So we got hours of fun shouting 'Look out! Siddle!' at Tir Na Nog everytime a sidhe appeared and chased us round the map.

EDIT: And all I used to do in Valhalla was swear at Mary then end up getting lost in Asghard. I had original copies of both games with the lovely big boxes, but I still couldn't get anywhere with either of them. Kokotoni Wilf was more my thing - and I could complete the Airwolf game, I can't even get past the first wall these days.

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I remember these games from back in the day. Never really got into them and just wandered around the town. Probably a bit too young to 'get it' at the time.

Looking forward to the new map, just from an aesthetic point of view of course :coffee:

EDIT: And all I used to do in Valhalla was swear at Mary then end up getting lost in Asghard. I had original copies of both games with the lovely big boxes, but I still couldn't get anywhere with either of them. Kokotoni Wilf was more my thing - and I could complete the Airwolf game, I can't even get past the first wall these days.

You finished Airwolf? :hat: I was lucky to mamange a handful of screens before having to restrain myself from lauching my precious speccy across the room :angry:

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I remember these games fomr back in the day. Never really got into them and just wandered around the town. Probably a bit too young to 'get it' at the time.

Looking forward to the new map, just from an aesthetic point of view of course :coffee:

I think that's certainly the case. I definitely lacked the patience to play these games properly back in the day when I was 11. However, I still don't "get" the puzzles in Tir Na nog or Dun Darach, they just seem really obscure! Whereas I think most people might be able to figure out that to get into the BAR in Marsport you use the MARS Map. Once you know the puzzles are often simple puns they're not hard to work out.

As for the map, what I really want is to emulate the colours and graphical style of the game. Does anyone know a font which most closely approximates the text in the game?

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You finished Airwolf? :hat: I was lucky to mamange a handful of screens before having to restrain myself from lauching my precious speccy across the room :angry:

Wow. I thought Airwolf was designed to be so impossibly hard that it couldn't be finished, due to the game being rushed out in an incomplete state. Or was that just a myth?

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Wow. I thought Airwolf was designed to be so impossibly hard that it couldn't be finished, due to the game being rushed out in an incomplete state. Or was that just a myth?

It was almost impossibly hard, I don't recall it having a great deal of screens and once you rescued Borgnine you went back to the start. The worst bit was a shoot-straight-down wall with a shield across that was on the border of a flick-screen and it was well harsh when you tried to fly back up because you had to hover with a 2-pixel margin without forcing the screen to change.

I can't believe some of the games we used to complete, we finished Dynamite Dan once because it placed the dynamite (I think it was randomised) really close to the start making it slightly easier.

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Dammit, I had to look at a solution. Door marked DANGER containing a VIRUS. A sign says I must be equipped with a suitable ANTIDOTE. I have some TEA, an INSECT, and a SYRINGE.

Great, I think - ANT-TEA-DOTE. I combine the three objects thinking I've cracked another terrible pun.

No dice.

I try various other objects, to no avail. Turns out I had to also use something called a POINTE which is found in the business district with a PROJECTOR and other things. I've no idea what it is, or why it's needed to make the antidote. Perhaps it's the "point" of the needle, I dunno.

Anyway, most annoying. Get Greg Follis in here, stat! I want to remonstrate with him.

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