Star Wars RPing is still lurching back into gear, both off-line and online. The Renegade game has picked up some pace, which is good, and we can confidently expect the start of the new major storylines soon, with the current interludes being small distractions.
As promised, here is this year's Christmas bonus- a new episode in my brother's Inform-based 'Choose your own Adventure' series, set in his own take on a Knights of the Old Republic-style background. Although thousands of years before the current SW games, they are set in the same continuity and a certain amount of shared background can be discovered.
Last year, an unnamed Jedi found himself caught on the frontlines of a massive invasion by the Sith. His story will continue in the third episode, 'Generals of the Republic', which will follow next year. For now, though, we change perspective as we deal with the consequences of what that Jedi did...
The Sith invasion of the Republic has begun. The massed, elite forces of the Jovano warriors are smashing the borders of the Republic to pieces. Dozens of worlds fell on the first day, and hundreds more are following.
The Jovano owe complete allegiance to their revered living god Darth Malphas, the Lord of the Sith. It is he who commands the invasion. It is his first and greatest apprentice, Darth Varus, who leads it.
Yet Malphas has many apprentices- the Darths that run his empire. And in these days of triumph for the Sith, there has been one setback. One of his most talented Darths, Trayas, was entrusted by Malphas with a secret mission in the invasion of Damaria. On Damaria, resistance was led by a Jedi, caught up in the fighting by coincidence. Damaria fell- but Trayas' mission was not fulfilled. The Jedi killed Trayas (though reports on how he did it are somewhat confused...) and escaped the world along with a large number of refugees and the entire ruling council.
Trayas has failed- but the invasion goes on. And now, Trayas is to be replaced. His is the first death of a Darth by Jedi hands in an age. Normally, a Darth is replaced by the one who killed him. But what will Malphas do now?
Malphas' Sith empire has attracted many hopeful talent. One of them will be selected to be the new Darth. Malphas has put out news of a contest to be held to decide who it will be- only those willing to prove themselves need apply.
In 'Island of Fire', you play one of the new hopefuls that seeks to take the position of Darth.
Take a skilled Marauder, reasonably talented in all areas, competent in sabre and force alike. His additional talent with a gun may be looked down upon by others, but could be a real edge on the island- that is, if he can find one.
Or take a mighty Brute, an alien fiend of great strength and power. Lethal in a duel and with a regenerative physiology entirely immune to many of the environmental hazards on the island, he looks like a good candidate, if he can overcome his weakness with the force.
Or take a cunning Adept. His sabre skills are inferior to many other competitors. His skills with the Force are good... but not legendary. But he is armed with a quick mind, and a comprehensive knowledge of all things Sith that might come surprisingly in handy with a series of deathtraps built by a scholar such as Malphas...
Only one can survive the Island, and your competitors each have their great skills. Yet one being towers above them all. A more deadly duellist than you can be. Greater in body than the Brute. Greater in the Force than any rival. He is feared, he is the favourite... and most think he cannot lose.
Certainly no-one thinks you will be the one to beat him. Even your trainer was written you off. They don't even think you will survive long enough to meet him. Yet just one person- the most surprising of all- thinks there is more to you than others see.
Now it is your time to prove yourself. Can you survive Malphas' deadly traps? Can you fight through the skilled opponents and beasts that seek to kill you every step of the way? Can you find your way to the goal before the rising lava burns you to nothing? And at the end- how can you beat the unbeatable Dedrax Zeng?
The Island of Fire awaits...
Welcome to the Island of Fire, the first Dark Side game in this series. Where 'Fall of Damaria' was a relatively lightweight romp of fun and heroism as you took on Trayas and saved the day (and got a hold of a particular crystal that the current game Dark Siders end up with millennia later...), this game is a vicious bastard that will take you by the throat and crush you mercilessly. The Dark Side is harsh and unforgiving, and so is this game. The Island is hideously dangerous and will kill you repeatedly, and the death descriptions have become more intense in order to match this darker mood.
The game structure is more complex. Whilst Fall of Damaria had a series of alternate paths that connected various waypoints, island of Fire has a large open area that you can wonder back and forth about at your will. The main programming difficulties have related to getting this persistence working correctly without, say, dead things coming back to life due to issues with the event flags in the programming. The further you get, the smaller the explorable area becomes... though that's only because if you take too long, you've taken a lava bath. Hope you find a way up quickly! Though if you get up without finding what you needed down below either. Then that was not much good for you either...
Good Luck! Or, I suppose, may the Force be with you...
"We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into Jawa burgers and not one of you buds has the midi-chlorians to stop her!"
contains several folders of interpreters containing absolutely anything you could need. For example, 'Filfre' for Windows (in the 'multi' folder) is a relatively new fancy multi-platform interpreter, and probably provides more features than Windows Frotz (for example, upon opening the game, Filfre gives you the intro panel, which Windows Frontz does not).
All that remains, then, is the game file- which this year comes with the instructions as a separate pdf file, done as there was a max file size issue for the game during development, That issue no longer exists, but it only ceeased to be an issue... yesterday, so the majority of the game is written with the limit in mind.
The instructions are exactly the same as appeared in last year's game.