Reported information about Chaos Strikes Back by Russ Boelhauf (October 16, 1989)

Note: SDACE stands for San Diego Atari Computer Enthusiasts

I just got back from the local S.D.A.C.E meeting where our featured guest was Russ Boelhauf (marketing whiz) from FTL. He had many interesting things to say about Chaos Strikes Back (the official title of the long-awaited "sequel" to Dungeon Master):

  • This is a stand-alone game. Despite what the box says, it does not require Dungeon Master at all. This decision was reached after the artwork went out for the box.
  • There are around 13 NEW MONSTERS! The playtesters were unanimous: more monsters!!! So they had to move away from the "expansion set" approach they had been following, and move to a stand-alone game.
  • No news on spells. No one asked, and he didn't volunteer. Sorry!
  • Shipping between November 6 and November 15!!! (Yes, that's this year :-) Suggested retail $39.95. Just like DM.
  • Chaos is not a sequential games as was DM. You can apparently wander around and solve the various "predicaments" piece by piece. So you can concentrate on one part of the dungeon and then go back later and work on another part.

Some of the goodies in Chaos Strikes Back are:

  • A character editor. Now you can draw or edit your characters just the way you like! Included are artistic renditions of the way your favorite characters would look after years of adventuring. (Russ's favorite addition was a pair of sunglasses to protect from that fireball glare :-) You can save your artwork, and trade with your friends!
  • You can use old characters off of a Dungeon Master save disk, or build a new party out of characters they provide. You should have made it through at least half of Dungeon Master for your characters to survive more than 30 seconds :-) They will enter the world naked! (No firestaff or armor :-)
  • A hint "oracle". You insert your saved disk, and get context-sensitive help. That way there are no "spoilers".
  • For completeness, I will mention the animated "cartoon" sequence you can optionally view.
  • Some really mean situations. Russ normally gets blown away in about sixty seconds! You enter the dungeon "naked and with your pants down" as Russ says :-) (How can you have pants if you're naked? :-) He says the monsters are *mean*! When you open the door, you'd better be ready!

Some neat points, ideas, etc.:

  • The copy protection on Dungeon Master has been patented! They are "thinking" about having some means of individually registering a copy and at the same time, removing the copy protection. The idea is that if they see pirated copies, they will know where it came from.
  • Other ideas for other games from FTL include a sci-fi adventure, a Stephen King style horror, and a haunted house, all first person-style adventures a la DM. Don't hold your breath! These are just "ideas"!
  • He felt that he experienced less piracy on the ST than any other machine. Gillman Louie take note!
  • 2/3 of the total sales of DM were in Europe, which he considers to be a much more "boom and bust" market. Most of the european sales were in a very short period of time immediately after announcement.

Note: Russ gave us permission to post whatever he said on GEnie, etc. Thanks to FTL for giving us the info we've been waiting for! Thanks to our club newsletter editor for the coup!

Paul Close paul@cacilj.CTS.COM ...!{uunet, ucsd, crash}!cacilj!paul
The Obi-wan Kenobi method: "Use the Source, Luke" -Jim Fulton