Friday, September 12, 2014

Are there trolls in this tunnel?

Well it's been a pretty monumental week this one - Kim and Kayne came to Melbourne to do...er...something, a bloke in Queensland who was thought to have Ebola actually didn't have Ebola, Jeremy Clarkson pointed out that unless he was ripped apart by a pack of wild dogs he would be back to host the next series of Top Gear and in no relation to any of those other events, I wondered this week what ever happened to the role playing game system Tunnels and Trolls.

What ever happened to Naked Doom??

I mean did Tunnels and Trolls ever become a video game? And if not, why the hell not?

Yes I know that's a truly bizarre thought after a truly exhaustive week battling against a cold, an army of emails and the return of Big Brother on my TV but if you read these books as a kid you'd understand, they were awesome.

I used to borrow them from Carringbush library (now Richmond and Abbortsford Library) and while away many hours as a kid creating wizard warriors who could swing the most dangerous weapon available (the Battleaxe from memory) or blast baddies with their minds ('Take that you fiend' was a spell that particularly comes to mind) while traveling through exotic locations, earning a hand made of crystal, a body made of gold and a chest full of whatever the random jewel generator could give me.

So many saving throws, so little time.

Of course in my time leaving that library vicinity (that's a good 15 years now), I have only seen ONE of these books floating around and that was in a second hand bookstore about five years ago. As much as I wanted to add it to my collection for nostalgia sake, the owner of the store also realized their rarity and priced it out of reach accordingly.
Did they just die out or have I just been everywhere they have not?

Well..I've just stumbled across the official website and according to one of the latest updates from earlier this year, they're working on a new version!
Tunnels and Trolls live on from 1975!!
Yes Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls beta is out courtesy of a recent Kickstarter effort and the team have been busy updating a few classics including the awesome Deathtrap Equalizer! Everything old is revised again! (And if I didn't have a mortgage I know where most of my money would be going...)

And for the ultimate question, did T&T ever become a video game I didn't ever hear about or stumble across? Well yes it did, but not recently. According to wikipediaIn the 1980s, a ColecoVision adaptation was announced but never released.
In 1990 a computer version (Crusaders of Khazan) was published by New World Computing, which embedded portions of many of the favorite old solo modules. Crusaders of Khazan is included in the 30th Anniversary Edition tin, but not the PDF version.
They don't make games like this anymore!
A quick Googling reveals that it's now Freeware and if you have a spare 30 seconds you can download it here. I'm really hoping that someone updates it like they have with the books as my laptop would probably refuse to even look at it being from the turn of the 90s. 
Still, it's all good news for Hit Points and Monster ratings and I feel like I can be a little kid again, awesome!
Now to find out what happened to the Final Fantasy series...

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