My Black Cauldron playthrough

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notbobsmith
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My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by notbobsmith » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:27 pm

There doesn't seem to be a dedicated forum, so I will put my comments here.

So I am actually a bit stuck fairly early in the game. I'm at only 30 points. I've found the hut in the bog, but I can't seem to do anything there. I think I'm supposed to climb the mountain, but haven't figured out how. No help just yet.

It's hard to judge the game at this time. Using the function keys for commands took a little getting used to, but it does simplify things. Just walk up to an object and hit F6 and see if it does anything without having to hunt for the words.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by Tawmis » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:41 pm

notbobsmith wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:27 pm
There doesn't seem to be a dedicated forum, so I will put my comments here.
So I am actually a bit stuck fairly early in the game. I'm at only 30 points. I've found the hut in the bog, but I can't seem to do anything there. I think I'm supposed to climb the mountain, but haven't figured out how. No help just yet.
It's hard to judge the game at this time. Using the function keys for commands took a little getting used to, but it does simplify things. Just walk up to an object and hit F6 and see if it does anything without having to hunt for the words.
I told you that the function key thing would be wonky - but you're right - it does remove the "hunt for the correct thing to name the damn thing I see glistening on the floor" problem. :lol:

There's quite a few things to pick up/open/look at/get before you get too far...

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by notbobsmith » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Tawmis wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:41 pm
notbobsmith wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:27 pm
There doesn't seem to be a dedicated forum, so I will put my comments here.
So I am actually a bit stuck fairly early in the game. I'm at only 30 points. I've found the hut in the bog, but I can't seem to do anything there. I think I'm supposed to climb the mountain, but haven't figured out how. No help just yet.
It's hard to judge the game at this time. Using the function keys for commands took a little getting used to, but it does simplify things. Just walk up to an object and hit F6 and see if it does anything without having to hunt for the words.
I told you that the function key thing would be wonky - but you're right - it does remove the "hunt for the correct thing to name the damn thing I see glistening on the floor" problem. :lol:

There's quite a few things to pick up/open/look at/get before you get too far...
Okay. I'll keep looking.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by Datadog » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:20 pm

I started up a game on the side as well. It's a little different from what I remember as a kid, especially with the game's survival mechanics I forgot about. I remember a lot of where the game starts and where it goes, but not how to get there. :D

For fun, I tried adding it to my Steam library and mapping the keys onto a controller. With the game's minimal interface, it's very playable this way and feels a little like the 2015 King's Quest. Navigation's a bit of a hassle since my muscle memory wants to hold the joystick to move instead of tap it like a keyboard. I uploaded the bindings to the Steam community if anyone wants to try/edit it.
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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by adeyke » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:32 pm

The AGI interpreter has native joystick support. When I use my Xbox controller through DOSBox, the left stick is for movement, and it works normally: hold it to move (in one of the eight directions), recenter to stop.

The native button support isn't great though:
Button 1: open menu
Double-press button 1: look
Button 2: interact
Double-press button 2: use item

And this potential of double-press creates some latency. So if you could have the native stick control while replacing the button functionality, that would be the best of both worlds. A gamepad would certainly feel better than the function keys.

It may also be worth mentioning the point and click fan remake.

As for the game itself, its design is rather similar to KQ1: there are only a handful of actions necessary to progress the plot and beat the game, but you're in a sizeable open world from the start, with lots of things to find and encounters to avoid.
Last edited by adeyke on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by Tawmis » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:39 pm

adeyke wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:32 pm
It may also be worth mentioning the point and click fan remake.
That's pretty cool. So they made it point and click - but the screen shots look exactly the same to the original (according to my ancient memory), is that correct?

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by adeyke » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Yes. As I understand it, the intent is that it's still just the exact same game, only with a mouse control. BC seems perfect for such a remake, since it already frames all its interactions in terms of just "look", "do", and "use item". I can't vouch for how well the remake pulls this off, however.

Also, the remake is in SCI0 (same engine as KQ4, for example). LSL2 also has point and click remake that retains the original graphics, but that's done in AGS (same engine as the AGDI remakes).

I did give the BC remake a try just now. One thing I immediately noticed is the lack of sound. the original BC is also mostly silent, but not even the intro music played for me here. I also noticed that some of the graphics aren't 100% the same as the original. There are some extra flourishes added (e.g. a separate screen for the cupboard, water dripping into a barrel, an animated butterfly, death scene animations). Also, the remake takes away north-south map looping of the original. The changes can be identified by the lack of double-wide pixels characteristic of AGI games.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by adeyke » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:29 pm

Quick update regarding gamepad: I'd been thinking about it wrong. I was thinking in terms of JoyToKey, which wouldn't work, since the mapping are additive (i.e. if you map button 1 to F6, it'll send both F6 and button 1 to the game). However, DOSBox has its own key mapper which works perfectly. You can make it so that analog stick still works as is, but the gamepad buttons map to only the various function keys. Further, you can make it so button 1 sends both F6 and enter, so you can use it to interact with things but also close message windows or select something from the menu.

If I were to play BC again, I think it would definitely be via the gamepad.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by Collector » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:29 pm

Cloudee just ripped the AGI graphics and used them in his SCI0 remake. It has been a while since I looked at it, but I believe he also used his SCI0 P&C interface, too.
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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by adeyke » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:29 am

Here's the mapping I came up with:
A: interact/confirm
B: menu/cancel
X: use item
Y: look
LB or RB: select item
LT: save
RT: restore
back: quit
start: change game speed

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by notbobsmith » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:35 pm

Finally. After being stuck for a bit, I've made some progress. (I've also been a bit busy this week.) I found the cottage hidden in the woods. I do find it helpful to start over sometimes. Especially when I'm this early in the game.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by Tawmis » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:50 am

notbobsmith wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:35 pm
Finally. After being stuck for a bit, I've made some progress. (I've also been a bit busy this week.) I found the cottage hidden in the woods. I do find it helpful to start over sometimes. Especially when I'm this early in the game.
Nice! I think the hardest part (replaying BC) for me is the controls. So used to the other controls. But I remember playing BC when it first came out and being a bit puzzled by the controls, even then.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by notbobsmith » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:52 pm

This is actually a bit harder than I thought. I'm making progress, but it still feels like a slog. Most recently, I found the Fair Folk and gave the King the lute. Now I'm supposed to actually find the Black Cauldron. I went to the three witches and gave them the magic mirror but they want more for the cauldron. Anyway, I'm still working on it. It's just taking longer than I thought.

Some observations:
I think I got the hang of the function keys. At first I thought using the function keys for actions limits the actions that you can take, like being able to ask Dallben questions. But then I realized that that level of interaction wasn't typical for the AGI era of games.

Why was the magic word just some jumble of letters? It's not randomly generated, and since it's an inventory item, you can't cheat and use the magic word before you are supposed to.

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by notbobsmith » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:10 pm

And of course minutes after I post do I finally figure out how to climb the mountain! I swear I was here a bunch of times and couldn't figure out what to do and then it sort of just happens!

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Re: My Black Cauldron playthrough

Post by Tawmis » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:35 am

Excellent! I remember enjoying The Black Cauldron way back when - I think I've only replayed it a few times, eons ago - which is why I made my Let's Play Sierra Games channel - which I have been pretty lame about - I am still playing KQVI... and have been off and on, for months now. :roll:

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