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Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest




The Eye of the Beholder series is a trilogy of first-person dungeon crawler RPGs, in the vein of 1987's Dungeon Master. They're officially liscenced AD&D games published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) using 2nd edition rules. The first two games were first released in 1991, with the third coming in 1993. All three were released for DOS and PC-98. The first two have Amiga versions, and the original has console versions by Capcom for SNES and Sega CD. That latter version adds more cutscenes to the game, complete with voice acting. I will be playing the DOS versions that are buyable from GOG. After this LP got to the third game, they also became available on Steam.

The first task of each game is to make a party of four characters. The sequels also allow importing from the previous game and come with quick start save files. Each game also has recruitable NPCs and a maximum party size of 6. You can even have those NPCs replace your own characters, which is what I plan to do in this LP. It'll work like this:
1. As soon as I can get four new recruits in a game, drop any remaining members of the previous party.
2. Finish each game with a certain NPC party.
No particular rules about what happens before/between then. This won't result in the most powerful parties, but they'll be adequate to finish the games.

Spoiler Policy
There's not really a whole lot to spoil in these games. My only request will be to not discuss enemies that aren't listed in the manuals. If it Any outside Forgotten Realms lore is fine with me.

LP Beach Crosspost

Table of Contents

Eye of the Beholder
Intro
Character Generation Station
1: Rocks Fall, Nobody Dies
2: Sewer of the Dead
3: Curated Fishman rear end
4: Walking Through Webs
5: Dwarf Plot Dump
6: Putting All Our Eggs in One Basket
7: Ate Nine
8: Magic Stones, Swords, and Darts
9: Moss, Mantis Men, Meetings, Mind Flayers
10: End of the Beholder
Bonus Update

Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon
Intro
1: Pilgrimage
2: Cata-Cata-Cata-Comb
3: Assembling a New Party
4: Nightmarish
5: Burglary and Vandalism
6: Tour of Insect Nests
7: Mouths to Feed
8: Hand-Eye Coordination
9: Bulette Buffet
10: Dozens of Daemons
11: Mirrors, Mirrors, on the Walls
12: Imprisoned Giants
13: Fire Breath and Dran's Death

Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor
Intro
1: Boning Down in the Cemetery
2: Draining, Training, Trailing
3: Out on the Town
4: Pages by the Mages from Those Ages
5: Acwelemental
6: A Temple in Shambles
7: The Dark Fraud

Alpha3KV fucked around with this message at 23:20 on May 20, 2022

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Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest




The first game was also one of the very first RPGs I played at a young age.



As an aside, the SNES version used different box art from the others. I bet you'll never guess what kind of monster the final boss is!

You can watch the voice-acted Sega CD version of the intro here




The plot is very basic.




It seems that their meeting is being... beheld. :rimshot:




The party, which may or may not resemble the one you create, is given this letter to read in the manual:



Time to gear up.






I'm kind of amused by the cleric praying rather than getting any type of equipment.





That's right, we're starting with a sewer level, baby!



Uh oh, looks like the heroes are about to be the victims of some major orb poo poo. This line is excluded from the Sega CD version.



The only way out is through now.

Alpha3KV fucked around with this message at 20:58 on Sep 16, 2021

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


Character Generation Station

I intend to have the final party be made of recruitable NPCs. In this case the ones who can be revived from their bones found throughout the game. You can get an early peek at them here.
Before that, we'll need to create an initial party to get through the first quarter of the game before anybody else can be recruited. That's where you all come in.

Dwarf
Stat adjustments: CHA -2, CON +1, DEX -1

Notes: Can read dwarven writing, though you can recruit a dwarf the very instant you enter the part where that's relevant.

Elf
Stat adjustments: CON -1, DEX +1

Notes: Supposedly have a hit bonus with bows and one-handed swords. Cannot be revived after death. They can also read Drow writing found in the third quarter of the game, at exactly one spot.

Gnome
Stat adjustments: INT +1, WIS -1

Notes: Limited to level 9 cleric. They also get a bonus to hit kobolds and can read kobold runes, both of which only appear in the first level.

Half-Elf
Stat adjustments: None

Notes: Unlike full elves, I'm fairly sure they can't read Drow writing.

Halfling
Stat adjustments: DEX +1, STR -1, WIS -1

Notes: Have a hit bonus with slings, if the manual is accurate (it may well not be). Limited to fighter 9 and cleric 8, which is the lowest racial level limit.

Human
Stat adjustments: None

Notes: No dual-classing in this series.

Gender affects portrait selection and nothing else.







Those last 3 faces are usable by both genders. Different characters cannot use the same portrait.

As with all of SSI's AD&D games, there is nothing preventing you from doing this with every character:



Alignment
Thieves cannot be lawful good.
Rangers can only have good alignments.
Paladins must be lawful good, and are mutually exclusive with evil characters. That's the only real effect alignment has.

Names have a limit of 10 characters.

What I need:
Elf
Cleric
Single-class warrior who is not an elf.

Alpha3KV fucked around with this message at 23:16 on May 20, 2022

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Clearly we're going to need a Dwarven Fighter, gotta stick with the classics.

How hard do the AD&D racial level limits bite you in the rear end here? Are you likely to bump against those limits at some point?

bbcisdabomb
Jan 14, 2008

SHEESH


Go with a Gnome Cleric so you have a good excuse to get rid of them at the first opportunity. Use that first unisex portrait for someone, as well. That purple robe rules.

BraveLittleToaster
May 5, 2019


Iíve gained an appreciation for these old first person RPGs and dungeon crawlers through LPs on here. So I will enjoy seeing more of those like yours here, indeed.

Take an Elf Thief/Mage, with that second portrait on the third row, thatís my suggestion.

mercenarynuker
Sep 10, 2008

i am the bruce of the willis


I have no strong preference on our minions, but SOMEONE has gotta use the Dave Grohl male portrait

Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






Elf Thief-Mage
Dwarf Cleric
Halfling Fighter

Arcanuse
Mar 14, 2019



Gnome Cleric, green hat gnome(?) portrait. Might as well get the most use out of em while their thing is relevant :v

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


I just edited in something rather important I forgot: Names are limited to 10 characters, though nobody's given any yet. I had a thought of naming them after the Ninja Turtles, since they're sewer heroes. I did get a name from my crosspost on LPBeach, which I'll consider since that's honestly more engagement than I expected from there. Since nobody's suggested alignments or a paladin, I might make them evil for the hell of it.

Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User




Name them Redshirt 1, Redshirt 2 and Redshirt 3.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


My aunt had Darkmoon on her computer when I was very young and I'd always try to play it when I was there and die extremely rapidly. That and Civilization were the games she had that I was extremely fascinated by but completely unable to play successfully. Once I was a few years older I had Civilization pretty well figured out, but to this day I have no idea how to get through more than about the first ten minutes of Darkmoon.

My usual selection when I made a new party included Mr "I'm Definitely an Evil Wizard (Just Look at Me)" here:



As well as this mysterious purple person:



And, to maintain the theme, the fortune teller in blue:



and Ms Timid here:




And definitely, at no time, not ever, this loving astronaut:



Get the gently caress out of here, you're in the wrong game.


But looking at them now I've gone in a completely different direction.



We've got Paul F Tompkins, a pirate, and a pair of roguishly charming ne'er-do-wells. I don't have an opinion on any of the decisions that actually matter to gameplay, but that's my vote for party portraits (and in the first case, name).

BraveLittleToaster
May 5, 2019


Iím gonna throw the possible names of Hewson, Dwieye, and Llewelyn out there as well, in case suggestions are still needed.

sb hermit
Dec 13, 2016




I played EoB on the original dos and had a spectacular time. One interesting tidbit that I remember from the manual is that there is an apology from the developer in regards to the lack of music. There is only one music track in the entire game.

In a similar vein, the Sega CD version of EoB had music by Yuzo Koshiro, who is a prolific composer that made the legendary tracks for Streets of Rage for the Genesis.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


A party of all elves, so that you can justify replacing them when permadeath sets in.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



Alpha3KV posted:


Alignment
Thieves cannot be lawful good.
Rangers can only have good alignments.
Paladins must be lawful good, and are mutually exclusive with evil characters. That's the only real effect alignment has.

Names have a limit of 10 characters.

What I need:
Elf
Cleric
Single-class warrior who is not an elf.



Alpha3KV posted:

I had a thought of naming them after the Ninja Turtles, since they're sewer heroes.


LEONERDO, CG Gnome Fighter


RAFAIL, LG Elf Ranger


MOCHACCINO, CN Human Cleric


REMBRANDT, LE Half-Elf Thief-Mage

That Italian Guy
Jul 25, 2012

We need the equivalent of the shrimp = small pastry avatar, but for ambulances and their mysteries now.

Comrade Koba posted:


LEONERDO, CG Gnome Fighter


RAFAIL, LG Elf Ranger


MOCHACCINO, CN Human Cleric


REMBRANDT, LE Half-Elf Thief-Mage
:yeah:

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


For some reason the MYSTERIOUS PURPLE MAGE's image always parses weird in my head, as, unless I focus on it, my brain reads the visible lower face as a giant pair of kissy lips.

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007

It's okay if you have any questions.
:fart:



Where are all the bearded dwarven women?

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES

:dogout:
of SA-Mart forever

I had the French version of EoB3 many years ago and really enjoyed it. I didn't get to play 1 or 2 until years later, but I enjoyed them all equally. I've never understood why 3 is the black sheep.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to suggest the All-Seeing Eye utility to make this easier to play.

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


After looking at suggestions, I think I have my party composition. I altered things a bit to give unique multi-class combinations that future recruits won't have:
Dwarf Fighter
Half-elf Cleric/Ranger
Elf Fighter/Mage/Thief
Gnome Cleric/Thief
(the first to be replaced).
Still considering names and portraits.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


The Dwarf should have the Dave Grohl portrait, and be named Dave Grohl.

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007

It's okay if you have any questions.
:fart:



Dave, Grohl, Gave and Drohl.

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


PurpleXVI posted:

How hard do the AD&D racial level limits bite you in the rear end here? Are you likely to bump against those limits at some point?

Sorry for the delayed response to this. Racial level limits are only truly relevant for halfling fighters (level 9) and clerics of any "shorty" race (Halfling 8, Gnome 9, Dwarf 10). EOB1 has level limits of 10 for cleric and 11 for all other classes. 8-9 is about what your party members would be after doing everything without any intentional grinding. EOB2 has several more racial level limits at 12 in a game with a limit of 13. It is still the only one where that might cause any type of issue for me since its recruitable clerics are both dwarves, but I'll manage. EOB3 increases all racial level limits by 3. It has a limit of 20, but 15 is already higher than any character is likely to reach without grinding.

Anyway, I've created the party and should probably have the first real update posted sometime this weekend.

dervinosdoom
Jan 23, 2014

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2022




I never thought about just using NPCs.

Extremely interested!

Tylana
May 5, 2011



Pillbug

My Dad got me a shady PC copy of this from Hong Kong on a business trip (back in the 90s). Huge photocopied manual and all. Never got very far, so curious to see a Goon go in with proper knowledge and rip it open.

The real-time (ish?) combat always drove me up the wall.

dervinosdoom
Jan 23, 2014

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2022




It's a part of old 2.5d rpgs I like to call square dancing rpgs. All the EOBs, Land of Lore, Dungeon Masters 1 & 2, and a few other games I can't think of right now.

I'm still quick on the numpad & arrow keys because of these games.

sb hermit
Dec 13, 2016




Fun fact. Lands of Lore was developed by the same people that made EOB 1 and 2, after they lost the D&D license.

Kite Pride Worldwide
Apr 20, 2009




Tylana posted:

My Dad got me a shady PC copy of this from Hong Kong on a business trip (back in the 90s). Huge photocopied manual and all. Never got very far, so curious to see a Goon go in with proper knowledge and rip it open.

The real-time (ish?) combat always drove me up the wall.

The SNES version of this is a trip since you have to manually navigate all the combat and movement with just your crappy d-pad :puke:

I actually got this game at a garage sale for free when I was like, 8. Trying to understand 2ED D&D with no manual or foreknowledge of the series was some hell, let me tell you.

dismas
Jul 31, 2008




dervinosdoom posted:

It's a part of old 2.5d rpgs I like to call square dancing rpgs. All the EOBs, Land of Lore, Dungeon Masters 1 & 2, and a few other games I can't think of right now.

I'm still quick on the numpad & arrow keys because of these games.

same

ugh time to download dungeon master 2 again. i loved that game. Our mac could barely run it but that sort of made it easier because you could basically buffer spells and get like eight fireballs off at once

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES

:dogout:
of SA-Mart forever

sb hermit posted:

Fun fact. Lands of Lore was developed by the same people that made EOB 1 and 2, after they lost the D&D license.

Another fun fact: There is a port of EoB1 for Game Boy Advance that has tactical RPG elements from an overhead view. I know because I have a copy, and I'm not sure if that's really great or really awful. It might be a 'between madness and genius lies ????' situation.

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


Kite Pride Worldwide posted:

The SNES version of this is a trip since you have to manually navigate all the combat and movement with just your crappy d-pad :puke:

On a somewhat related note, it's possible to play the Sega CD version with a mouse by using ScummVM. I'm pretty sure that's not transferable and the engine is different in ways some people might find important, but it's an option.

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES

:dogout:
of SA-Mart forever

Alpha3KV posted:

On a somewhat related note, it's possible to play the Sega CD version with a mouse by using ScummVM. I'm pretty sure that's not transferable and the engine is different in ways some people might find important, but it's an option.

Not entirely proud of this, but I have a CDX and I bought a mouse for this game only. The only other games that I own for it are the Lunar games and NHL '94, which do not support the mouse.

Fake Edit: Just remembered that I have Dungeon Master II. That also obviously uses the mouse.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


JustJeff88 posted:

Another fun fact: There is a port of EoB1 for Game Boy Advance that has tactical RPG elements from an overhead view. I know because I have a copy, and I'm not sure if that's really great or really awful. It might be a 'between madness and genius lies ????' situation.
I tried to LP it, once upon a time. Best I can tell you is that it sure is a game! Ambitious, in a way it couldnít really live up to with the shoestring budget it clearly had, running off a very simplified version of 3.5e. Basically the entire budget probably went into getting the license.

Itís really not even a port so much as it is aÖ reimagining. Iíll probably be going back to it and trying to LP it again at some point.

girl dick energy fucked around with this message at 11:32 on Jul 10, 2021

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES

:dogout:
of SA-Mart forever

girl dick energy posted:

I tried to LP it, once upon a time. Best I can tell you is that it sure is a game! Ambitious, in a way it couldnít really live up to with the shoestring budget it clearly had, running off a very simplified version of 3.5e. Basically the entire budget probably went into getting the license.

Itís really not even a port so much as it is aÖ reimagining. Iíll probably be going back to it and trying to LP it again at some point.

For some reason, it's just such a jarring shift from the classic 1st-person exploration mode to the tactical map. I've played plenty of games like early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest where the travel view and the combat view were in two different universes, but something about this EoB 'port' is just incredible to me. Can anyone name any other games that jump from 1st to 3rd person like that? I can't.

sb hermit
Dec 13, 2016




JustJeff88 posted:

For some reason, it's just such a jarring shift from the classic 1st-person exploration mode to the tactical map. I've played plenty of games like early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest where the travel view and the combat view were in two different universes, but something about this EoB 'port' is just incredible to me. Can anyone name any other games that jump from 1st to 3rd person like that? I can't.

it's a bit of a stretch, but I would say the dungeon portions of the early ultimas did that (I only played 3 and 4, but I'm sure 5 also had that aspect). You would traverse the dungeon in first person, then switch to 3rd person for battles.

dervinosdoom
Jan 23, 2014

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2022




dismas posted:

same

ugh time to download dungeon master 2 again. i loved that game. Our mac could barely run it but that sort of made it easier because you could basically buffer spells and get like eight fireballs off at once

I don't know if it works on the Mac version, but I always ran with the no torham mod so you could choose all 4 champions! I mean if you want Torham, he's there.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


JustJeff88 posted:

For some reason, it's just such a jarring shift from the classic 1st-person exploration mode to the tactical map. I've played plenty of games like early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest where the travel view and the combat view were in two different universes, but something about this EoB 'port' is just incredible to me. Can anyone name any other games that jump from 1st to 3rd person like that? I can't.


Yes, actually, and it's still D&D! Specifically, the Gold Box series by SSI, based on the 1st edition rules. The game boy version of EoB is like a visitor from an alternate timeline where the gold box games kept on going right into 3e.

Now where's the universe with Gold Box 4e goddamit

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Iím looking at GBA EotB again and good lord. There are some incredible bugs in that game, and because nobody really cares enough to dig in deep and fully decompile it, there are probably a ton more.

The best armor in the game is a set of +1 half-plate that mistakenly has the weight and downsides of padded armor. You need to regularly unequip and reequip your gear in combat because sometimes the bonuses fall off for no reason. If you put on and take off a certain ring enough times, you can use it to underflow your stats to 255. Many items just straight up donít do anything. Several skills literally have no use. Fixed ďambushĒ encounters can be countered by walking backwards into the location. The max level is 7 instead of 10. The final boss is still a monster thatís expected to be ďextremely tough but doableĒ for a level 10 party. Many of the prebuilt characters are illegal in bizarre ways.

Itís a loving goldmine, and thatís just a few examples.

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Black Robe
Sep 12, 2017

Generic Magic User




girl dick energy posted:

Iím looking at GBA EotB again and good lord. There are some incredible bugs in that game, and because nobody really cares enough to dig in deep and fully decompile it, there are probably a ton more.

The best armor in the game is a set of +1 half-plate that mistakenly has the weight and downsides of padded armor. You need to regularly unequip and reequip your gear in combat because sometimes the bonuses fall off for no reason. If you put on and take off a certain ring enough times, you can use it to underflow your stats to 255. Many items just straight up donít do anything. Several skills literally have no use. Fixed ďambushĒ encounters can be countered by walking backwards into the location. The max level is 7 instead of 10. The final boss is still a monster thatís expected to be ďextremely tough but doableĒ for a level 10 party. Many of the prebuilt characters are illegal in bizarre ways.

Itís a loving goldmine, and thatís just a few examples.

okay but that all sounds like the best kind of amazing bullshit :allears:

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