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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: QUADRALIEN

Ross spends yet another day trying to prevent a nuclear meltdown in space.

Link to game (abandonware):
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/quadralien-i2

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Here is the much-delayed next Game Dungeon! I'm not happy with how long this one ended up taking to make, but I think this is a good baseline episode. Game Dungeon can stray into different territories, but this is more or less the standard I want to keep it at. It's not necessarily the best episode, but it's very Ross's Game Dungeon. Assuming I don't wreck all my time estimates again, another Game Dungeon and more Freeman's Mind should be coming this month!

 

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This is the first EGA game I think I've seen that uses a custom palette. Although it's not very customized; looks like they just did away with the cyans and purples and replaced them with an extra shade of gray, a second pale blue, a duller red (seen mainly on the big red ball in the splash screen), and that dull purple that the floor switches to around halfway through the video. Also, I'm not sure why a game released in 1988 wouldn't have a VGA mode.

 

Any idea why the text in the manual constantly alternates between a regular font and a condensed one? It doesn't look like it was to save space, since the condensed lines have much wider spaces between the words.

 

On the subject of fonts, though, I'm kinda digging the lettering they used for the in-game instructions and the pager message at the end. And it looks like it has all 26 letters. I might have to hop onto FontStruct and make a proper font out of it.

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I can't help but wonder if this game was meant to be run at a much lower framerate, what with the super-sensitive controls, the jittery aliens (and jittery everything else I suppose) and the text moving insanely fast. Kind of like Test Drive 3 but with aliens. Or maybe this is just me being unfamiliar with DOS games (I am, after all, a filthy millenial).

 

Anyway, fun episode!

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A92f is hex for 43311. Pity there's no extra digit in there, might make for some kind of easter egg passcode. Unless 043311 counted.

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There's an error in the bit about confusing titles. Alien Rage says Alien Rampage under it. It does help to illustrate the point though.

I honestly thought that was intentional

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Spoiler talk for this game's story:

 

 

Parts of Quadralien's story, especially the entire ending for the game, really reminded me of SNK's 1990 Neo Geo game Cyber-Lip:

 

yd2sCzs.pngyJtV4Q6.jpg

 

And during the ending, once you destroyed Cyber-Lip:

9cNxhbS.pngabvVNxZ.png6fSgf5Q.pngblhnQdp.png

 

Just an observation is all.

 

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I can't help but wonder if this game was meant to be run at a much lower framerate, what with the super-sensitive controls, the jittery aliens (and jittery everything else I suppose) and the text moving insanely fast. Kind of like Test Drive 3 but with aliens.

It's possible. As late as the '90s they were putting "turbo" buttons on computers so people could run games that used the CPU clock as a timer (a habit the programmers probably picked up coding for microcomputers) and wouldn't run properly on faster hardware.

 

Though I feel like if that were the case here, Ross would have noticed a discrepancy with the Amiga version. Unless he really didn't play it any further than the footage we saw...?

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There's an error in the bit about confusing titles. Alien Rage says Alien Rampage under it. It does help to illustrate the point though.

 

I believe that's intentional to point out how confusing it all is. The next two screens have mixed up titles too. It could be an ironic mistake though.

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Anyone who likes "one track wonders", should look up beeper music (aka "1-bit music"), songs made using just the one pin out on the CPU. Tim Follin's a master at it:

It's funny how he's got more polyphony out of this one channel of zeroes and ones than the dedicated sound chip added to the Spectrum later on.

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