Legend of the Green Dragon
Long, long ago, before hot and cold running internet could be piped right into your home, forward thinking citizens dialed into bulletin board systems (BBS) via modem to download files, read forums, look at ansi art or, of course, to play games.
Known as door games, these programs acted as a door from the BBS software to another program and often emphasized user interaction and competition. One of the most successful was Seth Able Robinson's Legend of the Red Dragon, an original and humorous RPG released when the author was only 14.
Legend of the Green Dragon (LoGD) is a free, browser based homage to, and extension of, the original. Eric Stevens has done an excellent job preserving Able's style while adding tons of new features, characters and monsters, as well as vastly enlarging the world to include multiple cities and an afterlife. LoGD is written in PHP and is highly extensible. Different servers can offer very different experiences, so this review refers only to the classic server. A large list of others is available here.
All action in the game is performed by clicking links in a toolbar or using convenient hotkeys. Turns, in the form of forest battles, are doled out every 12 hours, which is equivalent to one game day. Combat is simple but effective and PvP is allowed, though you may opt out. A flawless forest fight earns you a free turn; a good or lucky session of LoGD can be like riding a wave, each battle perpetuating the next.
As a new player you'll choose from a fairly typical selection of races and classes. There is a bit of hand-holding in the form of a beginners island with a helpful fairy, but the majority of LoGD is left for the player to discover. I won't reveal much more, as the distinct humor of the game makes the learning process appealing and fun. Don't be afraid to spend money, explore strange areas in the forest, or interact with bizarre NPCs. Very little you do can cause serious permanent damage, and there is a lot to gain by finding out what various people and places are for.
Analysis: Legend of the Green Dragon is a fitting tribute to a little known classic. However, the text based gameplay, fantasy setting and multiplayer environment make it important to note that LoGD is not an MMORPG, nor a MUD. Player interaction is minimal, limited to message boards and mail. The low number of levels available for advancement and limited forest fights per day make the maligned and potentially unhealthy level grind common to many MMORPGs impossible. In fact, though predating modern MMORPGs, LoGD seems designed as a response to current trends; limited by the number of turns each day, the player benefits by spending time efficiently and defeating the dragon as quickly as possible. Rather than simply rewarding those who have the most free time, everyone is on more equal footing. LoGDs simple gameplay and fun, well-writen encounters make sure the 15 or 20 minutes spent on each session are never a chore. Look for me as Moonside on the classic server!
grr...I didn't want to create a dwarf....I thought it was going to show a description >.<
LoGD is a nice concept but Lord of The Red Dragon still rules. The telnet approach makes it weirder and lots of more fun (for me).
Toft: What BBS do you play on? If anyone is interested, a quick search turned up these, but I haven't confirmed them yet -
Noah: I play at lord.stabs.org. Lots of players there.
This is great, thanks for posting it! I love the concept of having a limited number of turns per day, wich prevents it from becoming a time-sink. Well, unless you keep staring at the screen waiting for the next day to begin... 18 minutes left. :P
The day-based mechanic reminds me of Kingdom of Loathing
Except that Jick (the creator Kingdom of Loathing) has stated he will never make people donate in exchange for extra adventures per day.
Legend of the Green Dragon seems like it could support more turns per day, just so new players could get their feet wet. Kingdom of Loathing offers 80 on the first day, and 40 more each day afterwards, which can accumulate to a maximum of 200 if you let them rollover into the next day.
Indeed LSK, you'll find day based mechanics coming from BBS's.
Daily renewal of fights/turns etc were in all doorgames larger than say, snake.
This was because the number of phone lines the BBS had, that was the number of people who could be online at once - 5 people playing all day, or 100 people playing for 10 minutes a day?
Sitting there waiting for a connection on your favourite BBS at 11:45 before you lost your forest fights for the day could be pretty nailbiting!
Good ol' LoRD. That takes me back.
In many ways besides the day-based mechanic, LoRD was indeed the spiritual grandfather to Kingdom of Loathing.
Riff; I see KoL as a successor to LoRD as well.
I actually had a couple of sentences on Kingdom of Loathing in the review that I ended up cutting.
Moop; I really respect the donation system in LoGD (on the classic server at least, others probably server differently). When the monthly costs are exceeded, every single player gets extra turns. A direct exchange of money for turns would be unfair, but since everyone benefits when the total is reached I quite like it.
I just killed 'Daisy the Min-pin' *cries*
Does this mean I'm evil?
Interesting game! I like the strange array of things to fight, except the bat, the swallow, poor li'l Daisy... basically I'd rather kill monsters and keyboard-weilding toddlers than animals.
I'm level three! Go me.
Anyone interested in Legend of the Red Dragon:
acad.dynip.com (Acad's World)
This is, and has always been, one of the best places to access LoRD. Also, and trust me on this one, if you think LoGD is good, LoRD should just blow your mind.
Haha awesome game... Im lvl 14, took about a week or so... mebbe two... anyways totally awesome liek i said b4, LOL!
This game is my favorite of all of the Green Dragon servers. I've played most (plus LoRD) but I like how it limits itself. If you play for a while, then it gets good. Great game, I give it a 9.0 out of 10.0.
Hmm...I just started playing this again and it sure is a great game for small breaks.
Takes up less time than Kingdom of Loathing does :)