The Fell Gard Codices

I’ve developed a habit, now I’m in my (very) late 30s, of revisiting things I enjoyed as a child or teen to see how they’ve changed; how my sense of them has changed, but also how the passage of time has put them in a new context. I mostly do this with things that I greatly enjoyed. I don’t necessarily expect great revelations. I’m more interested in seeing if I can get a sense of what I used to think, and so see how it is I’ve changed as I’ve gotten older. I wrote a piece on Black Gate a while ago about going back to some old Justice League comics I read when I was six. That’s the sort of thing I mean.

All of which is just to say that I’m playing around with an old video game, Wizard’s Crown. To give you a sense of how old it was, I originally played the thing on an Atari 400; we’re talking back in the late 80s, then. I understand the game has some historical significance, as some gameplay aspects were later incorporated into some of the first D&D video games. It’s a standard fantasy game; you put characters together, and send them into some ruins looking for dungeons, in one of which is a powerful artifact — the Wizard’s Crown — which is your ultimate goal. It’s fun, a lot like Angband with multiple characters. Which is to say a lot like D&D. It seems repetitive now, and the graphics are (as you might expect) pretty simplistic, but I can recall how gripping it was when I first played it — and how frustrating, as I tried to figure out combat tactics.

I haven’t come to any conclusions about it; I’m not very far into the game. But I will say this: twenty-plus years ago, the game seemed huge in its scope. Now, as I go through it, it seems limited, bare-bones in its structure and rules. It’s entertaining, but you can see the size of it, in a way that I at least could not when I came to it as a teenager. Youthful inexperience, or a function of the growth of gaming technology? Maybe a bit of both. But it interests me, that lack of a sense of outline that I used to have. Not a wholly bad thing. It meant that I saw the world as unbounded. Perhaps both the game world and the more real one beyond.

Comments are closed.

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © The Fell Gard Codices. All rights reserved.