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War-ish, blood-related, and deathy.

War-ish, blood-related, and deathy. published on

Remember my post like twelve days ago where I abused a crappy MMO, and said I’d have another one to review later? Yeah.

First off, the game is called “Gothador.”

Go ahead, get it all out of your system.

The game is very serious about this. The programmers are not at all embarrassed by this name, and in fact seem feel that it lends a certain solemnity and gravitas to the gaming experience:

“As he begins the story you feel yourself drift off into a deep sleep. Thoughts of war, blood and death slip through your mind until you finally awaken.

This is Gothador; yet not.

Something terrible has happened here.”

Something terrible. Something… warlike, bloody, and death-intensive.

There actually was a semi-reason that I put off posting about Gothador (ah-hee-hee-hee it’s still funny) this long. This was that it took me two weeks to work through the tutorial sequence.

Or rather, technically, three days of that were spent getting to the tutorial sequence. But let us not nitpick.

Where BiteFight wants you to repeat the same three or four brainless, poorly-spelled tasks over and over until you are the bestest ever at them, Gothador contains about three million pretentiously-worded (though still misspelled) one-time tasks, all of which are impossible.

There are two main reasons for this. First, absolutely everything you do in the game – taking a step, picking up an item, putting on pants – uses up an “Action Point,” and you get only forty of these each day. When I started the game (I believe the starting location is randomized within a certain area, though I could be wrong), I was, I think, about thirty-five steps away from the place where you can access the tutorial. Even optimistically, I’d have used up nearly all of my actions for my first day just getting over there. But one learns quickly the folly of trusting to providence… in Gothador.

(murfle snort HEE)

Second, the game does not discriminate between a naked level-zero player (you start out naked in the middle of the wilderness, and your avatar reflects this accurately) and a level-8-on-its-side player who’s wearing the Holy Grail for a hat. Monsters appropriate for a newbie to fight show up in the same places as crazy evil boss-type monsters, and there is no way to tell which is which except by the names and icons.

Sometimes it is kind of obvious. “Okay, so that thing’s called a “Planewalker,” and it’s sort of glowing blue. My feeling is that perhaps – speaking as a barefoot naked chick – it might outclass me somewhat.” Sometimes, however, they do not. “Okay, I killed a rat, so surely I can deal with this maggot – goddamnit! It was a maggot! It wasn’t even a fly yet! What’d it even do, gross me out so hard I died?

This is why it took me three days to get to the tutorial – I kept getting killed by things with names like “Snoofy McWussypants” and “Annabelle.” Nearly every square has a monster in it, so I couldn’t really avoid them. And every time I got attacked, I died immediately.

When your character dies, you get a tiny message in the corner of the screen – which, if your monitor resolution is 1024×768 or lower, you won’t notice without scrolling down. You also get teleported to the nearest hospital. The hospital will be in a random gray square that looks exactly like the random gray square you were standing in just before you teleported, except with slightly different numbers at the top. You will not realize that you have moved.

The only thing that will visibly alert you to the fact that you’ve just died is the change in your health bar. The screen is so cluttered (JPG, 97 K) that you probably won’t notice. I’m not sure how many times I got killed, got sent to the hospital, failed to notice, took a couple steps, and got killed again. It was at least two.

(Also, you don’t automatically get healed when you’re sent to the hospital. You have to use an Action Point for that. It’s a standard video game thing that the hospital can fix being dead – however, I don’t consider that, as a naked dead chick, I ought to be required to “act.” It’s an unfortunate, misogynistic attitude which I’ve doubtless picked up from comic books and other such male-dominated media, but I think I’ve got to stand by it here. If I am dead and naked, I expect the Green Lantern or the hospital staff or someone to handle shit for me for a while.)

The reason for all this bullshit is to get people to pay money for extra Action Points and special items, which will presumably make the game playable. People who do that even get a special name – they’re “Gothador Supporters.” I imagine a negative political ad calling Your State Representative “a liberal activist, a supporter of a bill to put more pedophiles behind the wheel (drunk), and a Gothador Supporter.” Incumbent’d have to retaliate.

I ranted a lot about the graphics for BiteFight, so I guess I’d better mention them here, too. Here you go:

When there are graphics, they’re okay.

As previously indicated, most areas are just big gray blanks, but I’ve found a couple of towns (JPG, 31 K) and castles that aren’t too bad-looking – they’re just really boring. It’s what you’d get if Thomas Kinkade was into “Vampire: The Masquerade” and was teaching himself to use Maya.

The graphics that there are get re-used a lot, though, making the game’s impossible navigation slightly more impossible (I can’t remember the math joke that logically follows that statement – does it have to do with derivatives?), because you keep running into the same angsty little house and ominous little campsite everywhere. The designers also seem to occasionally use the wrong image – viz, this description:

Northern Caravan – You find an opening leading to the Frozen North.

That doesn’t make sense anyway (they think “caravan” is the same as “cavern,” I guess? But how does a cavern… how does your character even know – yeah.), but when the actual graphic for the place you’re standing looks like this (JPG, 4 K), the game has contradicted itself one too many times in one 1/9th of the screen.

And if they’d plugged in their generic campsite image instead, I actually would have accepted this. I’d just have assumed that, you know, maybe the caravan was carrying around a teleporter that gets you to the Frozen North. (I finished Final Fantasy VII – I can put up with a lot of confused text.) This, though, was too lazy even for me.

There’s also a message saying you need to be a Supporter to get access to this area. I didn’t really feel compelled to shell out money to learn the truth of the mystery of the caravan and Bleak House and the Frozen North.

And now I will give you two quotes from Kingdom of Loathing to make the pain go away:

“You’re fighting a decent lumberjack

This lumberjack is only okay. I mean, you get a full day’s work out of him, and everything, but he has some strange habits.”

“You’re fighting a senile lihc

Some necromancers, in a desperate final bid for immortality, perform dire rituals to become lihces. This one did it by accident, while trying to make some breakfast.”