.GS WorldView: Winter 2003-2004
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 The Return
 .        Try the newly improved
         Phantasie (I-III) created by Winston Douglas Wood
                     Released by SSI 1982-1987

     Phantasie is a multi-character Map & Maze adventure series featuring
Ultima-look countryside explorations and Wizardry style combats. If you
played Ultima, Questron, Wizardy, and Bard's Tale in the 1980's,
you probably played Phantasie, too. Even today, the three long-play
quests against the evil sorcerer, Nikademus continue to attract players.

     When a poster on the comp.emulators.apple2 newsgroup (Chris)
mentioned that there were problems with currently available versions of
Phantasie II, it seemed like a good idea to check them out. This led to
a few suprising discoveries.


     As far as I could tell, there was no unflawed copy of the game
available for downloading. Someone had uploaded a pretty decent
cracked version to Asimov; but, it came with all of the maps pre-
explored and completely visible.

     The wilderness maps are supposed to start as blanks. As your party
moves through an area you encounter and battle monsters and, also,
reveal forests, mountains, coasts, islands, etc., as well as roads,
inns, towns, ruins, and dungeons (as in the above pic). Once revealed,
the map features remain visible for the rest of the game.

     Starting with all of the wilderness maps filled in spoils the challenge
and fun of exploration. Yet, in neither Phantasie I nor Phantasie II
does the Utilities "New Game" option bother to clear the maps!


     Another problem, as Chris pointed out, was a glitch which could
embed your party in the walls of a dungeon with no way to move.
This turned out to be due to a corrupted dungeon map save on the
particular Phantasie II disk.

     All of the Phantasies allow you to save the map you create during
the exploration of a dungeon. But, there is space for saving just one
such map. The saved map (and status) lasts as long as you do not enter
another dungeon and save it. (In Phantasie III, it lasts until you enter
and leave another dungeon, whether or not you save the new dungeon's

     In most cases, a new player would enter some other Phantasie II
dungeon first and save its map. That would replace the corrupted map.
There would be no problem with entering any of the dungeons for the
rest of the game because saves would always be fresh. However, if a
player happened to enter the 'bad' dungeon first, the old messed up
save would be retrieved and the player's party would be stuck.

     Again, the ultimate culprit is a "New Game" routine which fails
to actually produce a new game-- i.e. the single-byte DNGCHK
file (which holds the number of the dungeon for which mapping
progress is currently saved) is not cleared.

Version 1.11

     Anyway, what began as a fairly simple repair project turned into
"Version 1.11", a mini overhaul involving Phantasie I through
Phantasie III (P1-P3). Details are included in Phantasie_info.txt.
Here is a summary of the chief features ...

o- The Utilities "Set up for New Game" option now produces a
genuine new set of game disks (P1-P3).

o- Characters may be transferred between P1 and P2 (v1.11 and
other versions which use non-protected RDOS 2.1).

o- Characters may be transferred from P1 and P2 (any A2 version
or format)  to P3.

o- Original start screens are restored. Crack credits are displayed in
Text in the Intro program.

o- Assorted minor glitches are fixed.

o- Phantasie III offers several new features, including ...

    - More informative Trade, Buy, and Distribute displays
    - Characters can now change class
    - Characters can increase Strength, Dexterity, and other attributes
    - Better feedback on spell casting
    - All weapons and armors are now obtainable during play

Playing Phantasie

     Each of the Phantasie I, II, and III v1.11 .zip files includes the
Boot Disk, Dungeon Disk, and a Text file which supplies essential
documentation. Besides that info, it may be helpful to know ...

o- You can easily back up a game by copying the disks

o- If you want to maintain maps of two or more dungeons, you
can use multiple copies of the Dungeon Disk.

o- Phantasie I and II favor moderately balanced parties; whereas,
Phantasie III favors having more good spell casters and fewer plain
Fighters or split classes (like Monk or Ranger).  At least one good
Thief is essential in all of the Phantasies.

o- When it comes to spell casting in combats, the best defense is
a good offense.

o- Characters are saved when you leave a town. A Reset while
in the countryside or a dungeon will cost you whatever items
and experience you've gained since leaving the town plus any gold
you are carrying; but, (as long as the disk isn't being written to) it
will not wipe your characters or affect gold in the Bank.

o- Phantasie is not speed intensive. You won't gain much going
beyond 2x or so the base 1MHz speed and may find it difficult
to read time-delayed messages.

o- Emulators do a 'just fair' job of displaying hires and playing
'old Apple II' sound. At least for now, the Phantasies, especially
Phantasie III, look and sound notably better on a real Apple II
connected to a composite color monitor.

     If you find a serious glitch, be sure to send an email or post
something on comp.emulators.apple2 or comp.sys.apple2.
Otherwise ...

Have fun!


Phantasie I
Phantasie II
Phantasie III

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