Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Memorable PC Games Part I: RTK & Dune

Romance of Three Kingdom III (RTK)

RTK is probably one of the early most significant games running on my first PC, a 386 with 20 MB of Hard Disk, and 512K RAM. I probably had played this game over a hundred times, and it had been my favorite and most played game for a period of 2 years (an unbreakable record as expectation grows and quality of competitive games get better). I can still remember the days where my brother and I played this game in 2 players’ mode in turn-based, one after another.

We can remember almost all the names of the Generals, and which province they are located and which ruler they served. We could even roughly know when a new quality general would appear and where. The most exciting aspect of the game is to recruit as much high quality generals to serve under us. We don’t actually focus much on war strategy or expansion (this is our secondary objective), but to use all tactics and plots to lure famous general to serve under us. Even though the opponents' general might have perfect loyalty (100 points), but we are persistent as well. We would actually choose to attack a province because they have good generals there, rather than for land and glory. So, we basically played as a collector. With good generals in hand, an army of 5000 could defeat an army of 10K or more. There are a variety of war techniques such as setting fire, betrayal, simultaneous attack and spy. There have Chinese translated name of some of the tactics (such as Tiger, Dragon or something, I couldn’t quite recall), but it is really fun using all these simple tactics.

RTK is probably my most memorable games of all time, as it is the early ones (not many options around at that time) and super addictive (or izzit I am easy to be satisfied at that time). I did try many of the sequels; some are good while some are really bad. I hope there would be some major improvements and breakthrough in terms of game play for future RTK releases, just like what Sid Meier did for the Civilization Franchise.

Dune I & II

Dune II is probably one of the early RTS (Real Time Strategy) games around, where it is freaking amazing and exciting at the time. We have 3 tribes to choose from: Atreides (Good Guys), Harkonen (Evil) and Ordos (Sneaky Fella). Actually Dune is based on a Novel, but I didn’t read about it (I am not much of a novel reader, except for a few exceptions). Romance of the Three Kingdoms (RTK) is based on a Chinese Novel as well.

First experience with RTS kept the adrenaline pumping hard, controlling all those little war machines one by one. It had that nasty sandworm which popup from time to time to swallow your machines positioned on sands. These worms are pretty hard to die actually, I tried very hard to kill them but fail. I still remember the Sonic Tank of Atreides, the T-Bone Chopter (Carryall) to carry damage vehicle to repair factory, the super Rocket Launcher which can shoot further than defensive turret from a certain angle, Nuclear Missile (Death Hand) of the Harkonen and many more. Other good RTS after this include Command & Conquer, Total Annihilation (cool 3D Polygon at its time), Empire Earth (this game is insanely crazy at nuclear age!), Age of Empire (Nifty), Warcraft (Well Polished) and Starcraft (Addictive).

After I got enough of Dune II, I went to look for Dune. Dune is not a RTS, but an adventure game with some strategy element. It is pretty unique actually, still remembering riding sandworm and asking the Freeman to do agriculture on sand land.

Others memorable games include the following (will blog about them if I have the time)

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