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The Strangest

First person dungeon crawlers

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I’ve been interested in the “roots” of RPGs for awhile now and first person dungeon crawlers (Wizardry, etc.) are a favorite of mine.

The ones I’ve been playing lately are:

Wizardry 6 (PC/GOG)

Dark Spire (DS)

Orcs and Elves (DS)

I’ve also played some of the various Vita dungeon crawlers, but they haven’t hooked me as much. Maybe I’ll give them another shot. I think I’m going to get Etrian Odyssey V soon, and I’d kill for a CIB copy of Fighting Fantasy (DS).

Okay, clearly I’ve spent most of my dungeon crawling on Nintendo’s handhelds. What are some of your favorites?

Edited by The Strangest
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Loved Stonekeep back in the day

The Might and Magic series is basically dungeon crawling.

PersonaQ is my favorite "Etrian" game

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6 minutes ago, PineappleLawnchair said:

If hell had a video game, it'd be First Person Dungeon crawler.

 

Hell actually has an infinite amount of video games, but they’re all half baked indie titles with a retro aesthetic.

And they’re all on Wii U.

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The two Wizardry games on the NES are fantastic.  Swords and Serpents (NES) was my first FP dungeon crawler, but I think it holds up well to multiple replays even now.  

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The first Phantasy Star for the Master System was fun but only turned into a first person dungeon crawler in the dungeons themselves, otherwise it played like any other RPG.

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3 hours ago, The Strangest said:

“roots”

If you’re interested in history, check out 3D Monster Maze

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6 hours ago, Link said:

If you’re interested in history, check out 3D Monster Maze

This is probably a really dumb question, but is Monster Maze for Atari 8-bit computers the same game, or similar with the same name?

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2 hours ago, The Strangest said:

This is probably a really dumb question, but is Monster Maze for Atari 8-bit computers the same game, or similar with the same name?

Not a dumb question at all. Given the names and period, that is an easy thing to wonder.

I was not familiar with the Atari/Epyx game until you asked. After a little digging here is what I can say: They are not the same nor related, but they do have similar visual style. I think the Epyx-developed game is closer to 3-Demon than to 3DMM. There is also no specific connection there, although I would not be surprised to hear that any of the earlier games influenced the later games.

I played 3DMM on a ZX81 emulator for Windows. I think the game and emulator were packaged together. This was well over 10 years ago, so I can’t give you a specific resource right now. But if you need help finding, I can try later on.

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Wizardry 7 is still the best dungeon crawler ever made IMO. You are already playing 6, which might be the second best ever, and you can import your characters into 7 from 6 and keep some of their items.

It sounds like you want traditional first person dungeon exploring games, which are usually what people refer to as "dungeon crawlers". Here are a few amazing ones from the Golden Age of RPGs that you might not know about. I'm guessing that most, if not all, are available on GOG.

Dungeon Master - The first game (I think) to use "real time" combat where you click a button to attack or cast a spell and that button stays depressed for a period of time until you can click it again. This was used in many games going forward, such as the Eye of the Beholder trilogy, but Dungeon Master is a better game.

The Black Crypt - expands upon the Dungeon Master gameplay and is a great game. Better than other more popular releases (this one was only released for the Amiga)

The Dark Heart of Uukrul - A very under appreciated game, probably because it sold terribly. Great all around, but heavy on puzzle solving. You may need to check a guide a few times throughout the game. That's true for many dungeon crawlers, but this one more than most.

Wasteland - The precursor to the Fallout games, and a great game itself. Good character creation and advancement, good combat, and a good story. If you enjoy it, also try Fountain of Dreams, which was originally planned to be a sequel to Wasteland. For some reason EA decided to make it a new standalone game instead.

All of The Bard's Tale games are solid

All of the SSI gold box games are solid. Death Knights of Krynn is my favorite.

 

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I've never been a huge fan but you nailed it on one I do like Orcs & Elves.

SInce you noted GOG.com I have a strong recommendation for a two pack they have.  Ultima Underworld.  Grab it, even I can get into that one and it's just not my thing.

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I like Shining in the Darkness and Might & Magic III a lot. I could never get into the Wizardry games, but maybe I was playing the wrong ones. I was always more into isometric games.

In terms of mobile games, I remember the game Legacy being a huge release for Palm OS (Ported to PC as "The Quest"). Doom RPG (and Doom RPG II) were perhaps the first good mobile phone games. The controls worked well, they were decently long, lots of secrets, and in 2005 virtually every other phone game was crap. It's essentially the same as Orcs 'n Elves but I liked it better and it's way more impressive because it was on your stupid flip phone.

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I remember playing Persona on the original PlayStation and being so confused when I got to the first-person dungeons. I had never played any game in that style before and thought those sections were just horrendous in both gameplay and appearance. Why would they ruin this great RPG with such garbage? It didn't help that the PlayStation was awful at rendering polygons from a first-person perspective.

It wasn't until many years later that I realized the entire genre was built upon games that used that style. 🤣 Ahh, the folly of youth. 

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I don't think I have a favorite but when I was a kid one of the very first games I had on NES was Swords and Serpents. I had no idea what I was getting into with that one but I played it a lot (I had like 6 games, I played what I had). I don't think I ever made it any further than maybe floor 3. I didn't really understand that I needed to map the floors myself on paper or something and try to find the exits. If I played it now I could figure it out. 

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Sometimes I think if I tried to like get into the Etrian Odyssey games I'd probably have listed that as a great one as I think that fits the mold.  I'd want to say Shin Megami Tensei but they're third person if I remember right.  I had SMT4 on 3DS years ago but I forget entirely.

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4 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

Sometimes I think if I tried to like get into the Etrian Odyssey games I'd probably have listed that as a great one as I think that fits the mold.  I'd want to say Shin Megami Tensei but they're third person if I remember right.  I had SMT4 on 3DS years ago but I forget entirely.

Some Shin Megami Tensei games are third person, such as persona 2, 3 and 4(and 5), or SMT: Nocturne. But megami tensei, Megami tensei 2, SMT1, SMT2, SMT:IF, and SMT: Strange Journey... are first person, as well as the original 2 devil summoner games, if I'm not mistaken.

SMT4 is third person when going into a dungeon, but its an aerial view when on the world map and third person in some dungeons.

Once you complete SMT: Nocturne, there is a first person mode as well.

Etrian Oddyssey is a first person view game series from what I understand.

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7 minutes ago, kuriatsu said:

Some Shin Megami Tensei games are third person, such as persona 2, 3 and 4(and 5), or SMT: Nocturne. But megami tensei, Megami tensei 2, SMT1, SMT2, SMT:IF, and SMT: Strange Journey... are first person, as well as the original 2 devil summoner games, if I'm not mistaken.

SMT4 is third person when going into a dungeon, but its an aerial view when on the world map and third person in some dungeons.

Once you complete SMT: Nocturne, there is a first person mode as well.

Etrian Oddyssey is a first person view game series from what I understand.

That's what got me, I knew some/enough of SMT was first person just didn't know where it deviated.  EO though I know of that from the DS and it always was of that style.  I've wanted to try it out for so many years but I figured it was a time sucking game which I wouldn't be able to give fair justice to bother buying it.

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7 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

That's what got me, I knew some/enough of SMT was first person just didn't know where it deviated.  EO though I know of that from the DS and it always was of that style.  I've wanted to try it out for so many years but I figured it was a time sucking game which I wouldn't be able to give fair justice to bother buying it.

Etrian Odyssey is actually partly based on SMT's FPS viewmode sort of.

There are a ton of similarities, and they could just be generic.

(an example is the moon physics, where it goes from 0 to 8, at 0 is a new moon and at 8 is a full moon when demons won't talk, this mechanic is also in Etrian Odyssey sort of) 

If you start on Etrian Odyssey, I suggest starting with EO: V. EO: V has a plotline and decent characters, whereas while EO: IV does have that, it does not have decent party characters as they are all player made, from what I understand(though I may be wrong)

Persona Q and Q2 are also first person dungeon crawlers and are based (sort of) on Etrian Odyssey.(an example is the unique type of map drawing system which was started with EO 1 on the DS from what I understand.)

Edited by kuriatsu

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I'll take any suggestion, as long as it's on the DS.  I'm in the process of unloading all my PSP and New3DS stuff right now.  I'm really trying to scale back on unused/backlog I have no hope of touching.  Mind you if it would (if I loved it) harm my ability to enjoy an earlier title I'd rather start back than work backwards.

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Etrian Odyssey V was what I started with, I bought it a few days ago. I’m enjoying it so far, the party customization is top notch and the artwork is really, really good looking. I guess that’s to be expected from an extremely late 3DS game.

I’ve got some new games to try from this thread. Swords and Serpents looks great and it’s cheap, as does Arcana. I’ll be on the look out for those at my local game store. Quite a few mentioned here are on GOG too. 

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Back in the day, Dungeon Hack was my jam. I am not sure how it holds up now, but the fact that it was all random generated dungeons really worked for me. 

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17 minutes ago, The Strangest said:

I’ve got some new games to try from this thread. Swords and Serpents looks great and it’s cheap, as does Arcana. I’ll be on the look out for those at my local game store. Quite a few mentioned here are on GOG too. 

Swords and Serpents has some interesting unique features, between the 4-player option (and I think you can mix-and-match party members, with each member getting their own password) and the combat dynamics (it is slightly more involved than just pressing "attack")

 

Arcana is one of the few first-person dungeon crawls of that era that is story-rich.

It breaks each of the dungeons into much more manageable chunks, as well.  Very good for newbies to the genre.

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