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[Let’s Play] Helherron #2: Character Creation (cont.)

Welcome back to the second article covering my palythrough of the excellent old school game Helherron.

When we last left off, we had whipped up the first half of our party, a relatively standard D&D style grouping of fighter, mage, healer and thief. While this sounds like a pretty competent mix, we sorely need some heavy hitting tanks, and more magical firepower than a single mage can provide.

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[Freeware] Mariovania

Let’s face it, Bowser is horribly incompetent. The number of times his plans for world domination have been thwarted by a overweight plumber from Brooklyn should be enough of a signal to call it quits. But what if Bowser… teamed up with Dracula? That is very the question Mariovania answers.

Die, Bowser! You don’t belong in this world! Not quite the same ring to it, but just go with it.

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Actually, considering Drac’s similarly lacklustre record, actually, probably not a whole lot would be different. But the combination of Mario platforming and Castlevania stlye exploration works surprisingly well.

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Sample Action Game 01

With a name like Sample Action Game 01, expectations aren’t exactly going to be high, but where it lacks in the creative naming department, Action Game 01 more than delivers in terms of actual game. There’s not just a completely full freeware game to be found here, no, there’s oh so so much more.

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New Retro Vault: Helherron

Ah, Helherron. A relatively hardcore tactics-RPG game. Treats you mean, but keeps you keen with amazing tactical combat, rewarding exploration, and satisfying character progression.

It was an old, tough beast, not dissimilar to Mum’s old mutton dinner, with an unforgiving difficulty curve and even more unforgiving U.I., but probably was the best tactical RPG out there. Hell, it probably still is.

Then the developer left it all behind to become a Buddhist monk in Japan. Yes, really.

But now, Helherron has been resurrected, as the developer – some 10 years later – returned to civilisation, adding innumerable bug fixes, balance adjustments, improved A.I. and, of course, more loot. And there’s more to come.

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Battle Princess Madelyn

Despite Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts being a classic example of the platforming arcade genre, we haven’t seen a whole lot of new retro-style imitations of out there.┬áThere have been other attempts, of course, but Battle Princess Madelyn is probably the first real notable one, oozing style and substance. The game feels like G’n’G, if a late Playstation-era developer picked it up – adding some more RPG-esque plot and adventure, and of course, a cute magical animal mascot.

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Chimera Crusader: Defender of Dominicus

Chimera Crusader: Defender of Dominicus, is an ultra retro-condensed RPG that harks back to the early days of DOS (or perhaps even earlier), CC:DD brings us back to a certain old school charm, of black screens and abrasive beeps, but then hammers it away by being about as forgiving as an offshore license tie-in NES cart.

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[Feeware] Infiroad

Infiroad contains some of the hallmarks of the so-called idle/incremental genres – that is, you take a back seat to the game itself and mostly just direct things. Things start off slow with limited options to choose from, but open up as you progress through the game.

Unlike many similar games, though, Infiroad isn’t afraid to get balls-to-wall-insane pretty fast, reaching Disgaea levels of ludicrousness. Welcome to bat country.

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[Freeware] Legend of Basement

In the fantasy dark ages, most household basements also contained giant rats, the lair of some horrible creature and probably an ancient world-ending cult or two. Legend of Basement takes a modern look at the question of what happened to all those vast subterranean networks after society moves on into the 21st century?

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A short cute adventure about cats – or a gameboy-styled dungeon crawler? Well, that all depends on how you play Legend of Basement.

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[Freeware] Fabled Quest: Return of Valnis

Fabled Quest: The Return of Valnis is a charming little retro RPG with cute pixel graphics and classical turned-based combat, though there’s not really much to it.

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not sure if error… or Zelda II reference

Fabled Quest comes with all the familiar JRPG trappings – explore, loot chests for equipment, kill monsters for XP, and find the big bad and end him. It’s pretty much as barebones as that, though the charming pixel art and quirky monsters elicit a sense of fun nostalgia.

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[Freeware] Ragnarok

One of the core drivers to starting this blog was to unearth and share unassuming freeware games that don’t get much coverage elsewhere. To some degree we’ve done this; at least – you won’t find many of the games we cover on Gamespot or Rockpapershotgun, but the rabbit hole goes a lot deeper… and its time we started digging into our vault a little more. I present: Hyuke Kigyouden, or, in its more easy to pronounce form: Ragnarok.

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An obvious Castlevania inspired indie effort, Ragnarok isn’t going to provide any surprises at first glance, and even though it probably won’t dethrone indie stars like Cave Story or La Mulana any time soon, it’s an interesting enough – if still formulaic – take on the formula.

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