When [stylist] and I started discussing the possibility of a classic game club, I thought of all of my favorite games during my formative gaming years, and, needless to say, I was excited. At least once a year, I pull out an old favorite and re-play it, and, aside from comparisons of my game expectations now and those from when I was a teenager, I enjoy the playthrough.
What I didn’t think about was the fact that I would most likely be playing games I didn’t play growing up. When I replay a favorite, I know what to expect. The old mechanics creep back in, and, slowly, I remember the tempo and pace. I know nothing about games I haven’t played, and, while games nowadays come with built-in tutorials, that wasn’t always the case.
Since this has already been discussed, I won’t wallow, but, man, it’s frustrating. The frustration of discovery is made worse by the sheer amount of patience you need to play a nineties-era CRPG.
Take, for example, my experience in the Nashkel Mines. I enter with a full party, all at level one and slightly tired from the wolves encountered on the journey. After doing a quick Google search for the hidden Rest Button, we rest amongst the miners. When we wake, all spells have been replenished, but our health remains the same.
What the …?
I use my healer to heal everyone, and we rest again so she can regain her mighty three spells. A few battles later, everyone’s depleted of spells and half of the party needs healing. We rest, heal, rest again, and head to Dungeon Level 2. We make pinatas out of all of the scurrying kobolds, and we’re due for another rest.
Our rest is interrupted by a gaggle of kobolds, who we easily smite. But our spells are still gone! Another attempt at rest brings more kobolds. After their demise, we walk – ever so slowly – back to the entrance and rest on Dungeon Level 1. Heal. Rest again. Walk slowly back to where we left off.
Get the idea?
There are four levels to this dungeon. We entered the mines around Day5 and emerged on Day 10. Everyone in town cried “Hero!” when we returned, but our heads hung low in the shame of our slow pace. We had some ale, rested, healed, rested, then set out to explore the valley.