- Category: News Archive
- Written by BuckGB on May 18th, 2010
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Vampyr: Talisman of Invocation - This was a 1990 freeware EGA Ultima clone by high school students Brian Weston and Victor Shao. The plot was almost non-existent and I never played it too far, but I was always impressed by what these kids had written (I wasnâ€™t that long out of high school myself at this time). While it wasnâ€™t the first / only RPG out there at the time that might qualify as an indie, it actually achieved pretty decent distribution. I stumbled across it on my college libraryâ€™s â€œpublic domainâ€ collection, and on several bulletin boards. I saw posts and talked to many people who played it. I never heard of anybody ever finishing it (without cheating), however.He doesn't dabble in the 1980s, so I'll list my two favorite shareware titles from that decade: Moraff's Revenge and Swords of Glass. Great times, great times.
Why is it significant? This was an indie, homebrewed game that managed â€“ at least from a technical perspective â€“ not too short of the mark of that of a fairly contemporary title (Ultima IV, in this case). And it obtained fairly widespread distribution â€“ which wasnâ€™t saying much, back then.
Dungeons of Kairn â€“ Mike Lawrenceâ€™s 1991 shareware RPG was also very obviously inspired by the earlier classics â€“ the Ultima, Wizardry, and Might & Magic series are likely suspects. Like many earlier party-based games, you had a roster of characters from which you could compose a party. Like the 1980s-era Ultimas, the game featured a top-down overland travel view, and a pseudo-3D dungeon view.
Why is it significant? The game remains one of the few shareware RPGs still remembered and mentioned today from the early 1990s, and included a surprising level of complexity and detail.