Let’s Play Promo – by DGM

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*Before I turn this over to DGM — who is talking about stuff my kids talk about but I don’t get at all (it’s not even age. I’m not a visual person. I feel the same bewilderment when husband goes on about movie actors. Mostly I read and write. Blame it on early training.  — let me explain he wrote this not only before Greebo died, but when I had no idea he’d leave us this soon. The emails have just made it impossible for me to get this post till now.  I told him to leave the references in, I figure the fuzzy buzzy would have enjoyed it.  Turns out his editorial enforcer is Havelock who, if you don’t write, licks your fingers with his sand paper tongue while shedding enough to make you die of asthma, so…. it’s not what we expected, but it’s not wrong. – SAH*

Let’s Play Promo – by DGM

Being somewhat overwhelmed by life recently, our beloved hostess has sent out the call for guest posts.  And so I find myself writing one for reasons that have nothing to do with Greebo the Editor and his hired leg-breakers (as said leg-breakers have instructed me to assure you).  So I’ve decided to do a variant on the Sunday book recommendation threads, but with let’s plays instead of books.

For those who don’t know, a let’s play is an art form in which you record or write about your experience playing a game for an audience.  They can range from dramatic to comedic to purely analytical.  Some even involve audience participation.  As with all art forms Sturgeon’s Law applies, but there are some good ones and – as someone who’s read a fair number of LPs – I can point you to some of them.

 

 

I’ll start with someone whose work I think will be of particular interest to this crowd.  He goes by Nweismuller and is a long-running LPer over at the Something Awful forums.  There are two reasons I think you’ll like him.

First, he’s what people here would consider a Human Wave writer.  He specializes in a genre of games known as 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) in which you control one of several factions and gradually build up an empire.  While the SA crowd often goes for chaos, silliness and outright evil for the lulz, Nweismuller runs his empires with an eye towards achieving peace, prosperity and individual liberty for his people.

Second, he has a very strong focus on lore and world-building.  He’ll take whatever elements the game provides and build on them, turning what might normally be a dry play-through into an epic, detailed story of a civilization’s rise.  He’s also very heavy into audience participation; not only do the readers get to make major policy decisions for him as he plays, but they’ll often spontaneously create and role-play characters whose actions sometimes even get incorporated into the LP.

The links for his LPs go to a database for completed SA lets plays, which are free to read.  These entries also include links to the original threads in which the LP took place, but you’ll need an SA forums account with the archives access upgrade to read those.  As of this writing it’s $9.95 for a basic account and the same again for the archives upgrade, so it’s not cheap.  But it’s a lifetime membership and there’s plenty to read there in just the gaming sub-forums alone.  And the Nweismuller threads might be of interest as there’s a lot of roleplaying and humor from the readers that doesn’t always make it into the LP proper.

But enough of that.  On to the games!

 

 

SID MEIER’S ALPHA CENTAURI

 

BACKSTORY: In the year 2060, the Unity – mankind’s first starship – leaves Earth bound for the Alpha Centauri system.  It’s mission: to deliver sleeping colonists to the planet Chiron.  But as the ship nears its destination 40 years later a malfunction forces the premature revival of the crew, leaving them trapped on a ship that was never meant to hold them all while awake.

Overcrowding is rampant and supplies are dwindling.  The captain is assassinated by an unknown party and the crew fractures into 7 opposing factions, divided along ideological lines.  There is no signal from Earth, suggesting not only disaster back home but that the colonists might even be the last humans left alive.  Worst of all, the damaged ship is locked on a collision course with Chiron and is doomed to break up in atmosphere.

Desperate to avoid extinction, the leaders come together and strike an uneasy truce.  Each faction will take one of the Unity’s landing vehicles and a share of the remaining supplies and make their own way down to the surface, to govern themselves as they see fit.  The colonists survive Planetfall but find that their troubles are only just beginning; Chiron is nothing like what they expected and there’s far more to its hostile, alien ecosystem than meets the eye…

LP NOTES: Nweismuller plays as Morgan Industries, a faction dedicated to free market economics and prosperity.  If you only read one of his LPs, I recommend this one.  Same goes if you decide to only read one of the original threads.

Here’s a video with the intro cutscene followed by a short piece of character-establishing dialogue for each of the seven faction leaders (plus a guy reciting a poem for some reason): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZxKDaOBMKc

And here’s the LP itself, with a link to the original thread near the top of the page: https://lparchive.org/Sid-Meiers-Alpha-Centauri-(by-nweismuller)/

 

MASTER OF ORION 2

 

BACKSTORY: Long ago, two races – the Orions and the Antarans – dominated the galaxy and made war on each other.  So advanced was their technology that it is said they hurled entire star systems as weapons.  In the end the Orions won and banished the surviving Antarans to a pocket dimension, where perhaps they live still and scheme to return.  But sometime afterwards the Orions themselves disappeared for reasons unknown.  They left behind nothing but their homeworld and a mighty, unmanned warship known only as the Guardian to protect its riches.

Aeons later, a new set of younger races have begun to reach the stars.  One of them is yours…

LP NOTES: Nweismuller plays as the humans, who have the Charismatic advantage and a representative democracy.  This makes them good at science, wealth production, diplomacy and assimilation of conquered populations (yeah, I know), although it does mean they’re weak against espionage and can’t just annihilate the people they conquer.

They also have Sean Connery as their chief scientist for some reason.  Don’t ask, I don’t know either.  It’s just there.

The LP is here: https://lparchive.org/Master-of-Orion-2-(by-nweismuller)/

He has a second MOO 2 LP in the database if you want to look it up, but this is the better one in my opinion.

 

MASTER OF MAGIC

 

BACKSTORY: Welcome to the parallel worlds of Arcanus and Myrror, where you are a fledgling wizard-king with the potential to become the greatest wielder of magic of all time.  Of course, you’re not the only one.  Others are competing with you to not only expand their own kingdoms but to discover the Spell of Mastery, which will give its caster total control over magic itself and render all others helpless before them.  With nothing less than living godhood at stake, don’t expect your rivals to play fair…

LP NOTES: Nweismuller plays as Queen Dagmaer Flodmarsdottir (a character he made up himself), a specialist in life/holy magic and ruler of the industrious dwarven race.

The LP is here: https://lparchive.org/Master-of-Magic/

 

 

Moving on, let’s turn to comedy for a bit and look at another LPer: Tom Francis.  Tom is a former game journalist who eventually turned game designer.  If you’ve ever heard of Gunpoint or Heat Signature, he’s the guy behind those.  He’s currently making a game called Tactical Breach Wizards.

Many years back he did two LPs for a game called Galactic Civilizations 2.  It’s a bit like MOO 2 in that it’s a space-based 4X game, but not having played it I can’t say much more about it.  But his LPs for it both become somewhat famous, and deservedly so.  In the first he plays a race of vicious, warmongering bunny rabbits who utterly fail at conquest and have to research their way out like good little nerds.  In the second he plays a race of pacifist rabbits who end up slaughtering half the galaxy.

 

Yeah, it’s as weird as it is entertaining.  But then, so is Tom.  I can’t help but think he’d fit right in here.

 

The first LP is easy to provide, as it’s all right here: https://www.pcgamer.com/tag/galactic-civilizations-2-diary/

The second is a bit trickier.  The original copy of the LP is gone but I’ve found a text-only copy on a site called Pastebin.  The images seem to be lost permanently, but you don’t really need them.  Interestingly, it seems there was also a book version that went out free with an old issue of PC Gamer.  It’s listed on Goodreads, but none of the online stores they link to seems to have it.  I’ve no idea where you could find a copy now.

Here’s the online, text-only version: https://pastebin.com/VAmetaDf

And here’s the Goodreads page, in case anyone wants to take a stab at finding a hard copy: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18067822-galactic-civilizations-ii

 

 

Anyway, that should be enough to keep you entertai- hang on, Greebo is insisting that I pad this out a bit more.  I want to tell him no but I just don’t have it in me; I never could resist a cat, especially when he’s menacing me with a switchblade.  I think it’s the eyes that just melt my heart.

Fine.  I’ll give an honorable mention to Chokes Mcgee and his let’s play of the original Wizardry.  Chokes is another Something Awful regular who focuses on CRPGs (computer role-playing games) and extremely oddball adventuring parties.  Wizardry 1 is an old game that helped father the CRPG genre, and it’s not a game you’d expect Lincoln Sternn and company to wander through.

Yes, THAT Sternn: the comedically corrupt space captain from Heavy Metal.  Wizardry is one of those games that lets you create your own adventuring party and Wizardry + Sternn is not a combination I would ever have expected to see.  This LP gets the honorable mention for the sheer weirdness of the concept.  You can find it here here: https://lparchive.org/Wizardry-Proving-Grounds-of-the-Mad-Overlord/

While I’m at it – and by that I mean “while Greebo is still glaring at me impatiently” – here’s a quick rundown of other notable CRPG LPs by Chokes in case you want more:

He has one for the first Final Fantasy Legend game for the original Gameboy.  It’s a heartwarming tale of a ragtag bunch of misfits banding together, climbing a strange tower that connects multiple dimensions and murdering God with a chainsaw.  It’s here: https://lparchive.org/Final-Fantasy-Legend-(by-Chokes-McGee)/

He also did the second Final Fantasy Legend game (also for the Gameboy).  It involves another group of misfits climbing a tower-like thing that connects dimensions, because apparently the multiverse is just lousy with those.  There’s less power tool-assisted deicide in this one, but there’s a robot and a murder-happy valley girl if you’re into that sort of thing.  And if you are into that, I probably don’t want to know why.  Here’s the link: https://lparchive.org/Final-Fantasy-Legend-II/

He also LPed Paper Sorcerer, which is actually a more modern game that’s sort of a love letter to old-school CRPGs (Wizardry 4 in particular).  You play an evil sorcerer who got captured and imprisoned inside a magic book and is trying to escape with the help of summoned minions.  One of said minions is even a minotaur, although his personality is nothing like our Orvan’s.  Sadly, Chokes didn’t actually finish this one, which is a shame as I think it was his best one so far.  But it went on long enough that it’s still worth reading.  Since it wasn’t finished it wasn’t put in the database, so you can only get it by reading the original thread (which requires an SA account with the archive upgrade).  But if you have access you can find it here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3763641

Finally, he’s got a currently-ongoing LP of several of SSI’s Gold Box games for the Advanced Dungeons and Dragon system.  The twist is that instead of making yet another weird party he’s shanghaied characters from his previous LPs (though you don’t need to have read them all to appreciate it).  Since this one’s still ongoing (as of this writing, at least) it’s not in the free database yet, but you’ll only need a basic SA account if you want to read it (or even participate in it).  The thread for it is here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3899403

 

 

…Okay, is THAT enough?

 

Good.  They’re finally letting me go so that will be all for now.  That turned out way longer than I expected, but I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got Greebo’s Editorial Mafia breathing down your neck and demanding content.  Please be sure to let Greebo know how much you hated this whole idea and never want to hear from me again so I don’t get another visit from him.

102 thoughts on “Let’s Play Promo – by DGM

  1. Wow. I do not have time to read all that. But I will say that Master of Magic is one of my favorite computer games of all time. I miss having time to play those games.

      1. Damn. If I do this again I’ll use MS Word next time.

        But in the meantime, can it be fixed on your end? If not, I could just copy it to Word right now, fix it up and – God and our email providers willing – send it to you for an easy replacement. Some of the triple line breaks I put in for readability ended up out of place on your side as well for some reason, so replacing the whole thing with a word file might take care of that as well.

              1. Screw it, I’m attaching both formats. And sending the email to both your hotmail and gmail accounts. And I’ll resend occasionally until you tell me you got a copy.

                The subject line is “guest post redone”

                  1. Yeah, sure. I can’t even get an email through in under half a year, but I’m dangerous. Tremble, mortal fools, for my might is transcendent. [rolls eyes]

                    Anyway, it looks like the italics and the links are all working and the extra line breaks are in the right place. So it’s an improvement. Only now it looks like an extra line or two been added after every paragraph. The gaps look ridiculous.

                    I swear, this infernal guest post has been cursed from the beginning.

                    It should be easy enough to fix, though; I just wasn’t expecting the editor I used to do that. Would that be quick and easy to tighten up yourself, or should I try again? If the latter, which format did you use?

                    1. That looks a lot better, thanks. There are a couple of spots you missed, though:

                      There’s extra space both above and below “Yeah, it’s as weird as it is entertaining. But then, so is Tom. I can’t help but think he’d fit right in here.”

                      And there’s extra space below “…Okay, is THAT enough?”

                      Other than that everything’s good enough.

                      Sorry I ended up making extra work for you; I meant for this to be something you could just cut, paste and forget about next time you got swamped. But if I do this again I’ll know how to get the formatting right next time.

  2. LPs to read now that’s some arcana. We’re still just watching them. The third and final season of Into the Airlock with DDRJake just wrapped: It’s favourite enough that we’ve re-watched Season 2 . Not sure if the Spiffing Brit counts, but they’re pretty good value as the LPs the exploits.

    Does Darths and Droids count was as a kind of meta LP?

    1. They’re making the Star Wars sequel trilogy seem entertaining. (The Min-Max player of the group is playing Rey. Which… fits very well.)

    1. I’ve participated in Nweismuller’s threads before but haven’t been following him recently. If you’re active in his current thread, say hi for me and tell him I gave him a plug here. Based on his writing he might like this place.

      1. I keep my SA account carefully segregated from everything else and don’t do anything there that could reveal my real name, because the SA forums are filled with people I absolutely do NOT trust. (Look at what people get probated and banned for, and you’ll see a HIGHLY leftist-who-can’t-tolerate-disagreement pattern to it.) So I can’t do as you suggest, as it would end up linking my SA account to my real name. But feel free to pop into the thread and do so yourself. I agree that nweismuller would probably fit in well here.

        1. Yeah, I understand. The only time I ever got in trouble with the mods was when a guy started ranting at me about Trump and his supporters and I told him to stop trying to shove his opinions down other people’s throats. Next thing I know, I’m on probation. No one said a word to or about him. I walked away from that thread.

          I’ve already notified Chokes’s current thread. I might take your suggestion and do the same for Nweismuller.

  3. By the way, Sarah, while these LPs do use screenshots they’re still primarily text. You can just treat them as books with occasional illustrations.

      1. A screenshot (also known as a screen capture) is just when you save whatever’s currently on your screen into an image file. So, a picture that looks like whatever your screen was showing at that moment.

      2. I understand everything except LP … also not a gamer.

        Rest of it is tech-speek. That I understand.

        Part of the reason why I was off so long with Eugene/Springfield being one center of small tech firms … most those tech firms are/were gaming software firms. Since I don’t game … Most my design & development, I may not have known the topic, but I at least I could have a clue as design & development progressed. Gaming … no clue.

      3. I’d recommend reading the Planescape: Torment one and see if you like the genre: https://lparchive.org/Planescape-Torment/

        The reason I recommend that one is because Planescape: Torment had some of the best writing I have ever seen in a videogame. It’s a computer role-playing game using the AD&D 2nd edition rules, and the setting is AD&D’s Planescape setting, where belief can change reality. The opening sounds a little clichéd: protagonist wakes up with amnesia, doesn’t know his own name, tries to discover his past — but I don’t know how many stories have the protagonist waking up in a morgue, and learning that he was actually dead, not just mistaken for dead. He then learns that he can’t die permanently — every time he dies, he comes back to life again, though this time, for reasons unknown, he doesn’t lose his memory on death. As he explores the hints to his past that he finds, he discovers that he did some pretty evil things in the past, and the player gets to choose whether he will continue to pursue evil, or try to find some redemption. The whole story has an arc question, “What can change the nature of a man?”

        It’s really, really good writing (one scene in a museum STILL sticks with me twenty years after I played the game, though I can’t say a thing about it because of MAJOR spoilers), and I think you should give this one a try. If you just bounce off the format, fair enough — but this is mostly words with occasional interspersed pictures, and I can’t repeat myself enough how good the writing is for that game. (And the framing story that the guy retelling the game put into it is rather decent, too.) Please do give this one a try sometime when you’re looking for something to read.

    1. BTW yes, I should have told you to resend as wordfile (It’s a known problem, yes) but frankly I was kind of terrified of trying to get you to send any files, anymore.
      I THINK I fixed the links. The italics, otoh aren’t even VISIBLE in text, so I don’t know what to do.

  4. I loved Master of Magic. Lords of Magic is also fantastic–slightly newer (as in, mid or late 90s vs early 90s)

    I was so thrilled when I discovered GOG (aka “Good Old Games”). They started out specializing in taking old, old games and getting them so they worked easily (or at least easiER) on new systems. They do a lot more now, but they still bring out older games.

    1. Even better is GOG’s “No DRM” policy. Instead of their games being glorified rentals (as with Steam) you can make a permanent copy and use it even if the service eventually goes out of business. I’ll buy from Steam if GOG doesn’t have what I want, but GOG always gets first crack at my money because of this.

      1. Really? I’ll definitely have to look into that.
        My complaint with Steam for a long time has been the constant need to be connected. I get a new machine, and use my old one offline for gaming, but games from Steam will only work sporadically.
        Thanks!

    2. Yeah. I’m going through their X-Wing games right now, while we are waiting for Squadrons to be released. They’re still fun, though some of the missions appear to have been designed by a masochist.

      Haven’t gotten around to doing the port of them on X-Wing Alliance. I need to figure out how to write hooks to change the Y-Wing’s engine behavior to match what they had in X-Wing, and, as it turns out, replacing logic in a game you don’t have the source code to involves more than a bit do the arcane than I’ve quite (or even remotely) mastered…

  5. I’ve played Alpha Centauri for years. I’d be playing it now if it ran consistently on Windows 7. (I’m told it won’t run on Win10 at all). I’ve even considered trying to find an old laptop with XP so I could play. Anyone know any workarounds, I’d be interested.

    1. Install VirtualBox (it’s free), Install WinXP into that. Install your doesn’t-like-WIn7/10 apps into that.

      Export your XP virtual machine as an .OVA so you can import it thereafter onto any computer running VBox, without bothering to reinstall it.

      There also exists a tool to export an existing WinXP install into a format for import into a virtual machine, but I’ve not yet tried it.

  6. I’ve been reading screenshot LPs on lp archive for some years now.

    Video LPs are more of a challenge with my issues.

    1. Or more fully at chizumatic.mee.nu, but that seems to be down.

      Also — Celia, you need an Amazon author page. Some chick from Florida with romance novels seems to have your Amazon author page.

  7. I honestly had no idea this was a thing. Having watched LP’s on Youtube for years now, I hadn’t realized that written versions were available.
    Though I would have expected you to use the term Let’s Role-Play, which is a slightly different version of Let’s Play.
    Or, at least, that’s what some of these sound like. I haven’t gone over to start reading them yet.
    I think I’ve just found a new time sump. Being a slow reader, these will keep me entertained for years to come; if I can find the time.
    Best LP’s and LRP’s on Youtube, (in my opinion) Gopher, Rycon Roleplays, and dilandaú3000 (for older stuff).

    1. The ones from Chokes are RPGs. The Nweismuller and Tom Francis LPs are of 4X games.

      Happy reading. 🙂

    1. I don’t know about Weber. But the naval portions of Clancy’s ‘Red Storm Rising’ were gamed out using Harpoon.

    2. David Weber and Steve White’s wrote a bunch of novels set in the Starfire sci-fi strategy game universe, which White continued, sometimes with other collaborators. Starfire wasn’t a computer game, though, and I don’t know if they used the game to actually simulate the battles, or just used the setting and tech as the basis for the stories.

      1. The only thing that the novels took from the game was the setting, afaik. And the post-Weber novels didn’t even do that.

        There was also some friction due to the game company (Task Force Games, iirc) adding some aliens (the Vestrii and the Corsairs) that Weber didn’t like. I don’t know the details, but apparently he was supposed to have some input rights that weren’t honored. I’ll merely note that as someone who played the game, and owned the last TFG-published edition, I liked the Vestrii more than Weber’s Earth-worshipping alien zealots. But everyone’s got their own opinions.

        1. Novels and games go by different logic.

          (I have a whole SLEW of posts on the DM vs. the novelists on my blog.)

  8. Been reading Something Awfuls Fatal and Friends reviews of tabletop RPG. They’re generally good, but the left wing slant can be infuriating at times. It’s hard to sum up for general readers, but the current thread has Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG. Which is literally rules for role playing Antifa and other communist revolutions. And the thread is either in support of it, or no comment.

    Considering this is how I pass my time while not working (I’m handling COVID patients at a rural clinic… so almost nothing to do), I would like new stuff to read, but the left wing slant of SA has been rather depressing.

    1. Yeah, I’ve run afoul of that. But not everyone over there is so bad. Chokes doesn’t seem to like Trump but doesn’t give people grief over it (or at least doesn’t drag it into his LPs). And given the way Nweismuller runs his 4X empires he probably leans our way. No doubt there are other reasonable ones I’m not aware of.

      1. Yes; I said in my earlier comment that SA is filled with people I absolutely do NOT trust, but it’s not 100% filled with such people. Nweismuller, for example, I would trust. But there are enough of them that I am very careful to post nothing on SA that could possibly reveal anything about my identity.

        1. I understand caution about revealing personal details. That said, I’m always happy to talk with people who enjoy reading my work, and I can certainly be discreet if you drop me a forum PM to discuss means of conversation outside of the SA forums. I happen to favor using Discord as a messaging platform (although regrettably I’m away from my home computer and don’t have my contact information on Discord memorised).

          It’s good to hear I’ve established some level of trust- I’d say that you’ve likely read me accurately from that. (Amusingly, I have heard from another friend that some people on Something Awful have apparently decided I am some sort of crypto-fascist based on my LPs, which is just really incredibly laughably inaccurate.)

          1. >> “some people on Something Awful have apparently decided I am some sort of crypto-fascist based on my LPs, which is just really incredibly laughably inaccurate.”

            To some people, “fascist” seems to mean “anyone doing something I don’t like.” Same as “racist.”

            1. For the Leftoids, ‘fascist’ means ‘Everybody doing exactly what we do who is not us’.

              ‘Nazi’ is anybody doing what Leftoids DREAM of doing.

              1. That would imply I’m doing the same thing as them in any sense- something which, I suspect, either DGM or Robin Munn could attest is not the case.

          1. I’m not Robin Munn, but I can directly attest to General Revil from the SA forums not sharing their overall political culture. There’s a couple of others that wouldn’t fit in as well here, politically, but at least maintain personal friendships with me despite any political differences (including the one who heard the accusation of me being a cryptofascist, which got him offended on my behalf).

            1. I don’t remember seeing anyone called General Revil, but I mainly stick to the LP subforum and pretty much never stray from the gaming section. And he doesn’t seem to have any LPs. I assume he hangs out in other parts of SA?

              1. He participated, at the very least, in my Stellaris and Stars in Shadow LPs, and was in the beginning of the current Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars LP before he got seriously hijacked by things keeping him busy and he fell behind. I wouldn’t know about him hanging out places other than the LP subforum.

          2. I don’t know; I only read the LP subforum at SA, and I’ve had less and less time recently to do that, so really, I don’t have much clue unless people’s politics jump out at me — and that’s almost always in a negative way.

    2. I still remember the GURPS discussion of what sort of games (and different levels of realism) you could play. They solemnly warned that players might not feel comfortable playing crusaders. They had just suggested jihadists without any such warning.

  9. Master of Magic was good. But I preferred Beyond Earth to Alpha Centauri. And I could never get into Master of Orion 2 because I thought the original was so much better.

    Wizardry was popular in the US, though I barely played any of it (I started the final game, but never finished it). The series *really* got popular in Japan, though, where there are a *lot* more Wizardry games than there are in the US, published by a local developer (who *probably* has the rights; something I read suggested that there might be some question whether the rights were purchased from the correct company). One of the Japanese games recently got a release in the US on Steam.

    1. >> “The series *really* got popular in Japan, though, where there are a *lot* more Wizardry games than there are in the US”

      Not just games, apparently. Via one of the commenters in Chokes’s LP of the game I learned someone over there did an entire 50-minute OVA based on Wizardry 1, and they took the time to make it faithful to the game in most details. It’s… kind of bad, but in that cheesy sort of way that makes you think it just needs a janitor and a pair of robots providing commentary to make it work.

      There are English subtitles, so for anyone who cares:

    2. >> “And I could never get into Master of Orion 2 because I thought the original was so much better.”

      There are games I played in childhood that I just can’t get back into because the interface is so bad by modern standards. The original MOO is one of them.

  10. We bought a copy of Beyond Earth and I tried to play it. The game system completely confused me and it was very slow. Decided to try again recently and found I’ve misplaced the disk. Bummer.

    Used to play a lot of Wizardry One. Which tells you how little we needed to have fun so far as graphics go.

    1. Wiz 1 was one of my first childhood computer games. Don’t think I ever beat it, but in my defense that was back before CRPG developers had a clue what constituted fair gameplay.

      As for graphics, yeah. I remember playing that sucker back on a monochrome green screen at first, and later on a color monitor but with the Apple 2 palette.

  11. Sigh. I miss Alpha Centauri. I used to play it all the time. “The drones need you. They look up to you!”. I quit playing when I transitioned away from Windoze to Linux. AC really didn’t play well on WINE.

  12. “Galactic Civilizations 2”? I used to play “Galactic Civilizations” back when it was about the only OS/2 game you could buy. I just got the latest incarnation of GalCiv on Steam and it’s too bad that the normal Steam compatibility to let you play under Linux doesn’t work.

    1. Just checked, and while the GOG versions of GalCiv are Windows-only they do have them and you can run them independently offline. And a quick search showed some comments that people have gotten the games to play through WINE. I’m not a Linux user myself but that might be an option for you.

      1. Yeah, I remember when the Stardock founder guy said he was abandoning OS/2 for Windows. He caught quite a bit of flack for that, but he made the right decision.

        I appreciate the suggestion, but Wine really hasn’t worked very well for me in the past, so I tend to steer people away from it. (The description I used about the experience goes something like “The only thing preventing it from being absolutely horrible is that it occasionally rises to the so-so.”)

        At some point, I’m going to try running Windows games virtually, and when I do GalCiv will be one of the first things I try. I’ve got a Windows 10 instance that I run when I really need Windows.

  13. Thanks for those FF Legends LPs! I had no idea that people did them in written form, and these were very amusing.

    I mostly watch YouTube LPs for the game background music and to see the story of games that either I don’t have the system or I don’t have sufficient interest to play.

    1. You’re welcome.

      I’m somewhat surprised by how many people here are already into LPs; I hoped I’d be introducing the super-readers here to something new. But I’m REALLY surprised that there are people who are into video LPs and never realized there would be written ones as well; you’re not the only one who’s mentioned that.

  14. Related only in that it appears to be a lockdown project like these, this via link on Insty is very cool:

    View at Medium.com

    I observe that LBJ was obviously undead Vespasian (top far right).

  15. My favorite Let’s Plays, which I re-read every few years, are Nakar’s Ultima 7 (both The Black Gate and Serpent Isle). They are roleplaying games that often make it onto the “top of all time” lists. He includes most of the actual game dialogue, and spruces it up with made-up bits from his female Avatar, Steve, and his version of the companions.

    I find them really funny, and you can get a good feel for the entire games by reading them. This is The Black Gate, and it has links to the Serpent Isle one. https://lparchive.org/Ultima-VII-The-Black-Gate/

  16. >> “his female Avatar, Steve”

    …Really.

    😉

    I was actually saving Nakar’s stuff for later in case I end up doing another one of these, but I’m not surprised someone brought them up. I think just about died laughing when Steve donated to the museum…

    1. Excellent. Everyone should know the joy of Steve and …friends?

      I’ll be checking out a couple of the ones you listed too, thanks for the great guest post!

  17. I’ve seen a few, and come to enjoy a few on YouTube on Twitch. (RedRocketTV, Sethorven, MissieMae and a few others.) Though I don’t often keep up very much. Mostly because watching others play takes away time from my own gaming.

  18. Hello, everybody. nweismuller here. It’s good to see I’m being plugged here, and hopes some readers enjoy what I’ve put out. I’m definitely honored by the attention, and would be happy to answer anybody’s questions, if they wanted.

    1. Actually, I’ve got one. Assuming Nweismuller isn’t your real name, where did you get it from and what does it mean?

      1. I’m interested in some RPGs and adventure games, as well as the occasional game of different sort. I think the games that can best benefit from my style of screenshots and writing are the elaboration on what’s happening in the history of a 4X, however- it’s not as clear to me I’d be doing something of real artistic merit with some other genres. You may find of some interest three partially-finished LPs I had to abandon for different reasons, each of which at least went long enough to have some interesting content. That’s an open question, though.

        1. Can you link them, or at least give the game/LP names so I can search for them?

          Note that WordPress won’t let you include more than one link per comment – just one of the many reasons “WordPress Delenda Est” is practically our equivalent of “good morning” around here – so if you want to give direct links you’ll need a separate comment for each LP.

  19. Anything about written LP series has to have a mention of Boatmurdered! It’s an early Lets Play of Dwarf Fortress back when it was still a 2D map and didn’t have layers. The game has gotten much more complex since that early version but the write up is hilarious without needing much knowledge of the game itself. Especially since it was played as a “succession game” where each player ran it for 1 in game calendar year then handed the save off to someone else to deal with the mess things became.

    https://lparchive.org/Dwarf-Fortress-Boatmurdered/Introduction/

    1. I second Boatmurdered. Dwarf Fortress is an insanely complex management game that requires immense amounts of detailed management by the player to keep the dwarfs (dwarves?) from starving, falling prey to local hazards or just plain going insane. One of DF’s Mottos is “Losing is fun” (https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Losing). You don’t have to play DF to enjoy Boatmurdered. I will note the language is SOLIDLY PG-13. However, if you have EVER played any management/ 4x type game where the Random Number Generator seems to have it in for you you will find it hilarious. To this day I can not read Boatmurdered without insane laughter. The situations are great and the sass is strong. As is the tradition of “screw the next guy” inherent in a succession based game.

  20. I have, incidentally, returned to my home computer and have my Discord contact information once again available. I can always field questions or talk to people as nweismuller#9148 on Discord.

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