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ROSS’S GAME DUNGEON: APOCALYPTICA

Merry Christmas from the Game Dungeon! Maybe someday I’ll actually have a Christmas episode out a few days in advance, but that’s not happening this year. I think this one came out pretty well for what I had to work with. It certainly is a game.

Freeman’s Mind will be coming ASAP, but it will still be a few days due to me prioritizing this video to make it out in time. I hope to have streaming of something on my birthday on the 28th and a play session with fans (probably of Planetside 2) on Saturday 29th, but things are still a bit tight at the moment. 

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Merry Christmas Ross!

"I don't trust a man that doesn't have something strange going on about him, cause that means he's hiding it from you. If a man's wearing his pants on his head or if he says his words backwards from time to time, you know it's all laid out there for you. But if he's friendly to strangers and keeps his home spick-and-span, more often than not he's done something even his own ma couldn't forgive." -No-bark Noonan

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Merry Christmas to you too Ross!

 

And that "lets not give evil a head start" line was a masterpiece!

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Oh hey, a Game Dungeon episode of a game I actually have a copy of (well ok, I also have a copy of Puzzle Agent, but still). I never really got that far in Apocalyptica though.

 

As for the thing about the bible pickups, I tried checking the manual and it doesn't even mention them. In fact it doesn't seem to say anything about any of the pickups. I guess the character bios were clearly more important.

Edited by Mr Nutt (see edit history)

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The first two games are probably just asset flips, that explains them being almost identical. That third "Sint Nicolaas" game isn't really Christmas-related. It's related to St. Nicholas Day instead, but I guess it was worth it for the tangent about cookies. Also, I am amazed at Neo-Satan being the actual name for the antagonist in Apocalyptica.

 

I would have liked to hear more about the game's music (after all, the "Let's talk about the music!" segment is a long-standing tradition that should be preserved). Having the music be in the background would've helped with the episode's atmosphere, since it felt a little like a Let's Play at parts.

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3 hours ago, ekket said:

The first two games are probably just asset flips, that explains them being almost identical. 

Quite literally so.  😂

I think they were both made with the old "Pie in the sky"  game creation kit.  Something between a Game maker and a game engine.

 

Both were probably made simply by using the same stock assets that came with the software.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_in_the_Sky_(game_engine)#Terror_in_Christmas_Town

Edited by Gorilla
Spleling and garmmar (see edit history)

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I really did not expect to ever see a Pie in the Sky game ever again.  Seeing that circulatory system hud element in the bottom right made me think "I've seen this before, somewhere, but it was a long and drawn out experience, and fairly unpleasant.  Kind of like a medieval execution, but not as deadly."  Then I saw the doubled-barreled shotgun firing one barrel at a time and the reload animation, and said "Oh, it's Pie in the Sky."  That single neuron keeping my memory of that alive for that last 25 years was on life support after all those years of boxing, drinking, and mobile games.

 

At the time it was interesting for the creative types - you could make an FPS without programming, and unlike with a doom mod, you could sell your creation as a standalone copy.  But I think "selling" implies that someone would have to buy it, so that might have been misleading advertising.  Anyway, I remember buying it in the mid-90's and making some stuff with it.  I'm pretty sure all of that is gone now, and that's probably for the best.

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RaTcHeT302: While I'm aware of tonal or presentation differences between some episodes, I can honestly say I'm not aware why this one wouldn't live up to the style, while something like Revenant would.  Maybe I'm forgetting things, but I don't recall much of a difference in my approach.  The main difference I can think of is the content of the game itself is more vibrant in Revenant with the colors and the music really has top notch tracks in that one.   In that case, there's not really anything I can do on my end aside from covering different games, but I thought this one was worthy and as I got deeper into it, it kept surprising me.

 

I've found a similar feeling from some Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes.  Some movies are so bad even the cast can't save them compared to ones that are more enjoyably bad.

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Merry Christmas Ross. And where do I begin with this one...

 

Ok, I don't know what's the weirdest part about this game. The fact that this looks like it was going to be a Warhammer 40k game but they lost the license isn't so weird since we have Warcraft (which was going to be a Warhammer Fantasy game at some point), what's weird is that they ripped-off too much stuff and apparently didn't got sued (I mean, the robot character even look like a Tau to me), because Games Workshop had a really bad reputation regarding copyright claims (dunno if that changed nowadays). Maybe the fact that this game was unsuccessful helped them to dodge that bullet. (it was even going to have a Xbox version but it was scrapped for this reason)

 

According to Wikipedia, this was made by British developers, which explains a lot about the 40k influences. The big surprise here to me is that this game was published by Konami of all people, that's the name I least expect to be associated with a 40kish game.

 

As for the game itself, it looks like it was made to capitalize on the success of Quake and Unreal Tournament. The big cast of playable characters and the levels having objectives like capture points also makes me think this was going to be multiplayer focused and the singleplayer was shoehorned. Actually, the buggy AI and the buggy... Everything, makes me think that this game was rushed in development. Which is a shame really, because I kind of see potential in this one.

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I've looked into the game's files and the music is not encrypted at all, it's just encoded in DVI IMA ADPCM. I've extracted the files from music.xfs (the format is somewhat confusing) and converted the music with vgmstream. Here's all the ripped music in MP3 and FLAC:

https://mega.nz/#F!XcgmgQjQ!74S9uJs433f-ubpS4Hg07w

No file names, you'll have to sort through this yourself.

Edited by Nicknine (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, Nicknine said:

I've looked into the game's files and the music is not encrypted at all, it's just encoded in DVI IMA ADPCM. I've extracted the files from music.xfs (the format is somewhat confusing) and converted the music with vgmstream. Here's all the ripped music in MP3 and FLAC:

https://mega.nz/#F!XcgmgQjQ!74S9uJs433f-ubpS4Hg07w

No file names, you'll have to sort through this yourself.

 
Spoiler

hackerman-1024x576.thumb.png.7147190c40801af921a393a8bc75aec6.png

 

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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On 12/25/2018 at 5:44 AM, RaTcHeT302 said:

 

gotta wash off the pain somehow 
 

Wash the pain away. Wash the pain away.

 

What else is in the flosses of Rosses?

"You don't get to bring friends."

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A really good episode Ross.  Lots of story telling, kept me engaged.  Sorry this game was such a pain on your end, I hope there's not a correlation between pain and video quality :(

 

Make way for Neo-Ross!  All watchers must be shackled in the dungeon.

 

Atmosphere of Apocalyptica

It's a bit too disconnected from reality for my tastes.  Why build these castles or those beautiful terratzo floors if there are no people to enjoy it?  Where are the people?  Not everyone can be an armoured soldier.

 

What's really needed are hundreds of 'normal people' milling around the levels.  They're small and get accidentally killed all the time (due to sword swings and bullets), but are immaterial enough to not affect the gameplay or dialog in any way.   Who are you really saving?

 

And with that the universe would become a much more interesting place, especially playing as "the good guys", all without uttering a single word more of dialog. 

 

You're doing it wrong Ross!

 

Have you ever played something and felt like you must be misunderstanding the genre?  A weird feeling that you are missing key knowledge that everyone else knows.  Like playing an FPS but not realising you can use the mouse instead of the arrow keys, or never learning about double-jump and instead spending hours trying to glitch up places.

 

I can imagine it for this game.   "What do you mean you have to crouch whilst jumping to dash?  It does what to your velocity and damage?  There are commands to tell your team where to stand?  Enemy spawn points can be disabled by chanting hail Mary three times whilst holding a gun?"

 

I had this discovery playing Star Wars Pod Racer.  As a kid I could never get far into the game on N64, everyone would overtake me, there would be no money for upgrades, and the races became unwinnable. 

 

I recently bought a PC copy of this game and it turns out there's a boost mechanic that you need to do a certain combo of input to use.  You really needed the manual.    Suddenly the game was cheese easy and my entire mental asylum built around it fell into the void.

 

sem2ighjl8911.png

 

So remember Ross: you're playing it wrong.

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This might be the longest cold open in any Game Dungeon episode yet. 6 minutes!

twitter: @muddyboue

steam: muddyboue

"If an idea isn't daft, it isn't worth thinking about." -Karl Pilkington

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On 12/25/2018 at 1:38 PM, Gorilla said:

Quite literally so.  😂

I think they were both made with the old "Pie in the sky"  game creation kit.  Something between a Game maker and a game engine.

 

Both were probably made simply by using the same stock assets that came with the software.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_in_the_Sky_(game_engine)#Terror_in_Christmas_Town

I love how both games are considered notable enough to be featured on Wikipedia, despite being on the level of your typical Unity asset flip on Steam. Maybe someone should tell them? Also, TIL asset flips were already a thing over 20 years ago.

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Happy birthday, Ross. It's a pity you couldn't do a stream today :-(

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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I can't help but mention that there is a band called Apocalyptica. They started by playing cello covers of Metallica (hence the name, I guess), then created their own style (see albums Cult, Apocalyptica, Worlds Collide) of instrumental (and quite tuneful at that) metal. Long time ago, I first found them by accidentally guessing the name after mishearing another band name. Funny coincidence.

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The bible at 10:30 caught my eye... The text is Tamil.

To get a better look, I rigged up a script to dump the data from the game as best I could, and found the textures.

It's just the same block of text repeated across the pages. Here's my attempt at transcription:

 


டஸஙஹஸஹஸடஙஹ
எதஹமஒதஹமமறட
டஹஹலங
டஙஹடலங,ஹலஙஹஹ
ஹட்ஹட்ஹகஇரஎஞவ
ரயரயஙஹறசஙஜஜஙதஎ
எதயஎதயஉஇஜ்றசஷ

 

I have no idea how this was created. It's not real Tamil, and it's probably just someone slamming the keyboard. Even if that's the case, however, it would still count as a substitution cipher, encoding a message like "asdfasfgsadfgdghf", which would still be pretty funny.

Mapping the letters onto Tamil keyboard layouts and then the keystrokes back to an English keyboard did not yield anything of the like however, so whether or not it encodes an actually legible message, or just nonsense letters, or both (which the distribution leads me to believe), is hitherto uncertain.

page1.png

page2.png

python code.txt

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