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Monday, January 22, 2007

Good And Evil In Angband

I love this - because I think it's actually a constant point in similar games:

What *I* want to know is this: who is *really* the good guy in *band? Morgy sits clear down at the bottom of that place & never bothers the townsfolk at all. Neither do the other monsters. OTOH, the player is *always* killing off townsfolk--even 'pitiful looking beggars'! He's so psychotic, he can't push his way through a crowd without killing someone
(something even the monsters can do, as they push weaker ones out of the way; though they do kill their fellow monsters by accident, trying to kill the player). Heck, the player can't be very nice--he even kills off *angels* ... Go figure?
-- Angband moments we want to see (found via The Unangband Development Blog)

The Girl and I officially declared war against the "Conspiracy of Barrels" that must be behind some kind of evil in dungeon hack games like Baldur's Gate and Champions Of Norrath ... since the heroes are constantly intent on destroying all such containers with extreme prejudice. At one point during Justice League Heroes it seems just justified to attack the "good" guys just to keep them from trashing the place (and in that game - you don't even get anything really ... it's just habit). Lego Star Wars features Jedis which ransack the local bar in search of coins. Just like this poster above, while playing Angband I routinely stab townsfolk because it is so much faster than walking around them.

Is this an important component of immersion - or just a side effect of the genre's setup?

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Weefz said...

Less genre-specific and more the fact that violence is a simple and easy solution to implement, I should think. Bring in penalties for wanton vandalism!

Josh said...

It's a very entertaining way to open a "chest", I'll grant. I've played roguelikes where killing townsfolk will annoy the locals - least there's a flair of realism there.