Umax RPGs - Where to find?/Worth looking for?

By siddy6581

Expert (112)

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12-05-2018, 12:00

Hi there.
So I enjoyed Pumkin adventure 3 recently (except for the dialouge, dude) and I looked around for other Umax RPG-titels and got curious about "Realms of Adventure", "The Lost World" and "The Witch's Revenge".
Are these titles available anywhere (download/buying)?
And are they complete games?
I read fourm threads where ROA is mention as something that was never finished but on gen-msx there is a release listed with both box and diskette.

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By Algorythms

Champion (285)

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12-05-2018, 13:08

Can't help you on where to get a hold of them, but I can say that I love to play Witch's revenge with my wife and a couple of friends. It takes some nights to complete. It's a turn based dice-throw RPG like Rune Master, but much bigger.
Realms of Adventure was released, but there were supposed to be add-on disks which never were released.

At least Witch's Revenge was on the MCCM Millennium CD with the copy protection removed, so I guess there is a possibility it's considered freeware now. But I only have the original disks.

By FiXato

Scribe (1520)

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12-05-2018, 13:16

RoA was intended as a multi-disk RPG with episodic releases. The base game with the first chapter basically was released, but the subsequent episodes were unfortunately never finished nor released.
There were some plans at some point to continue it, even with some new music iirc, but afaik this also soon died a quiet death.

The Witch's Revenge is more of a dice RPG, similar to Runemaster and DuckTales, with multi-player support.

I know I have The Lost World and I played it for a bit, but IIRC I never got far in it. Not quite sure if it was the storyline, the gameplay, or just losing interest in MSX at the time and spending more time on other systems such as the SNES.

Having said that, I've always enjoyed playing UMAX games, and I'll likely never part with my original boxed/sleeved copies. Smile
AFAIK they were originally (planned to be) available through Sunrise's webshop, but since Sunrise discontinued their activities, that no longer is an option anymore. I'm guessing that Umax's license terms with Sunrise prevents them from finding another distributor (though I could be wrong), so your best bet at getting them officially would be through second-hand stores / auction sites like eBay and Marktplaats.

I'm still hoping UMAX will be able to some day add them to our downloads database. Smile Or maybe release polished versions on Steam. Wink

By siddy6581

Expert (112)

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12-05-2018, 13:36

Algorythms wrote:

At least Witch's Revenge was on the MCCM Millennium CD with the copy protection removed, so I guess there is a possibility it's considered freeware now. But I only have the original disks.

Thanks for the tip, I'll go hunt for the M-M CD Smile

By Manuel

Ascended (15750)

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12-05-2018, 14:35

I really enjoyed The Lost World, actually...

By FiXato

Scribe (1520)

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12-05-2018, 18:39

Not saying it can't be enjoyed, or even that I didn't enjoy it; just that I don't have vivid memories of playing it. Smile

By Henkie

Supporter (1)

Henkie's picture

14-07-2018, 20:58

I'm looking for the Witch's revenge from Umax, have played it in the past and would love to relive it!
Unfortunately I have no luck finding any rom or original containing the game.

Any suggestions or people who can extract it for me from the MCCM CD?

By wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

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14-07-2018, 21:21

Wish this topic were posted a few months ago! I sent my copy of The Witch's Revenge to a friend in Japan, who sold it to... I think BEEP in Akihabara, maybe? Or it might have been Surugaya in Shizuoka.

Either way, it's on the Japanese marketplace now!

I have a base-model Japanese MSX2+ with 64 KB RAM, and while I have a Musical Memory Mapper cartridge that expands that by 1 MB, I couldn't get Witch's Revenge running even with that cartridge inserted -- the game doesn't seem to be programmed to support extended memory like that on my machine (it's a Panasonic FS-A1WX, which I hear has some issues with memory management in certain cases). So since I couldn't play the game, and don't think I'll be able to extend my base RAM anytime soon, I figured I'd send it to my friend in Japan to sell on my behalf, since foreign games tend to go for a decent price there as curiosities.

I do have Lost World as well, though, which I acquired... as part of Bombaman! If you can track down a copy of the homebrew MSX2 game Bombaman, it comes with a CD containing a ton of bonus materials, including the full soundtrack to Bombaman in OPL4/Moonsound format (which is supremely awesome!), as well as several other complete MSX games in .dsk format. Among them is Lost World, which also includes a PDF of the game's manual.

As much as I adored Pumpkin Adventure 3, though, I really can't get into Lost World. I tried, but it has a few issues that really kept me from enjoying it even half as much, the most notable being its difficulty balance. PA3 was really well-balanced: when you entered a new area, the enemies there would give you a real challenge at first, and you might find yourself draining resources a little until you gain a few levels, but overall, you could manage to explore the new area right away, without having to grind. You'd level-up naturally as you explore the area, and find yourself at exactly the level you needed to be by the time you encountered a boss battle. And if you were caught off-guard and killed, no problem: PA3 allowed you to continue from the start of the battle, so you never had to worry about losing game progress.

Lost World, on the other hand, will kill you every chance it gets. When you enter a new area, basically EVERY ENEMY but one will just completely kick your ass, often killing you before you even get a single turn in. After dying 3 or 4 times, you'll figure out the one enemy you're able to JUST BARELY kill, and can spend some time grinding that enemy over and over, frequently returning to town to heal, in order to level-up enough times that you can fight the other enemies... and eventually, once you level-up even more, you can take down any enemy in that area with ease. But then you get to a new area, and all the enemies absolutely kick your ass again!

And the worst part is, there's no continue feature in Lost World. If you die in battle, it's back to the title screen. So you'd better save every chance you get!

After PA3's perfectly balanced experience, LW felt really lopsided to me, and that's the reason I ultimately stopped playing it. Though it's also worth noting that the writing is full of typos and grammar problems again, just as in PA3 -- but unlike PA3, which had a comedic style to it (so the typos kind of fit the mood, weirdly), Lost World is a very serious game that's designed to project a sense of epic scale and sophistication. So in a game like Lost World, the typos and grammar errors really stand out, taking you out of the experience a little. And while I understand it was written by a non-native speaker of English, it's definitely the type of game that I feel could've used a thorough editing pass before it was released, as even the names of locations within the game are typoed with startling frequency (the manual spells the name of the game's world two different ways within the first few pages -- Ysseria in the table of contents, then Ysserria, with two Rs, on the map).

The game options are also a little weird. I forget what it is, but I know at least one of the options from PA3 was removed for LW -- I think it was fast-battle. And man, the game is so much slower without that.

I don't mean to make it sound like the game is bad, because it isn't! And in fact, if the typos don't bother you and you enjoy really challenging grind-heavy RPGs (which I know a lot of people do), you may find yourself liking it much better than Pumpkin Adventure 3, as it is clearly a game that saw a lot of time, effort, and passion go into it. But for me personally, I find it to be a real step down from PA3, which quickly won me over with its ambition, its strange setting, and its interesting and complex dungeon designs... not to mention its music (which is a positive Lost World shares, though I still think PA3's soundtrack is at least slightly better).

...Anyway! This has all been a bit of a ramble on my part, but the tl;dr takeaway is that if you want a copy of The Witch's Revenge, there may be one floating around in the Japanese Tokyo-area retro game scene right now. And if you want a copy of The Lost World, be on the lookout for a complete copy of Bombaman with the included CD.

-Tom

By Manuel

Ascended (15750)

Manuel's picture

15-07-2018, 00:41

I tried Witches Revenge in openMSX with that configuration and indeed, it's a bit messed up. So there must be some bugs in it, perhaps related to the memory management, not sure.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

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15-07-2018, 02:45

It's not uncommon, as quite a few European games that ordinarily require 128 KB RAM behave in this manner (though most just freeze instantly on bootup, rather than getting partway through the intro or freezing when you try to start a new game like Witch's Revenge). Others, then, work perfectly as long as I have the Musical Memory Mapper cartridge inserted -- including the other three games I mentioned (Pumpkin Adventure 3, The Lost World, and Bombaman), as well as Akin and its unfinished sequel.

Really, I've come to realize it's a bit of a crap-shoot whenever I buy a European game on disk or cassette. Every game seems to have about a 50/50 chance of working. So I only buy European titles when the price is right.

On topic, I've confirmed with my friend Michelle that she sold my copy of The Witch's Revenge to BEEP in Akihabara. So if anyone is looking for that game, be sure to check there -- and if you don't see it on the shelf, ask about it, as they might have it in a back room or something. (The store is small, so I imagine they rotate the titles they display there pretty regularly.)

-Tom