Title: Double Dungeons
Released: Dec. 1990 (Sep. 1989 JP)
Genre: RPG (dungeon crawl)
Exploration - First-person
Combat - Active turns
Series - Standalone
I imagine this game came about from a short description of a dungeon crawler boiled down to a one-line pitch. Maybe less. You explore a dungeon, level your character, buy equipment, and fight enemies. Done. Ship it. Actually, you explore 22 dungeon scenarios, all using this same formula. Variation? Who needs that? For those curious, and because I did the math, the game scores a 10 or 11 (depending on how generous I'm feeling) out of 19 on my "is it an RPG" scale. Just over the line, so let's do this.
|Only dungeon 22 requires a password to enter|
|Each dungeon has a short reason for the warrior entering|
The first step in any speedrun is to play the game. Become intimately familiar with the mechanics so that if any problems come up adapting to the current situation becomes second nature. This means playing the game a lot. In the case of Double Dungeons I've already run through the first three dungeons multiple times, and completed the entire game once.
Each dungeon begins the same way, start at level 1 with a dagger and pan lid, grind on low level enemies until I can purchase the best weapon in the shop (so far a long sword), continue to grind until I can afford the best armor (wooden armor currently), and lastly attack the boss (might require healing items). Sounds simple enough, right? Right. There really isn't anything difficult about this game.
|Must be an RPG, there's a slime right there|
I haven't quite figured this part out yet, and if I could, then I would definitely increase my chances of optimizing a speedrun closer to the second. As it stands I've noted the respawn times can range from 11 - 29 seconds, except for those monsters that never respawn. Since I can't depend on enemies always being around I've decided on a hunting path that takes me through multiple enemies in a short amount of time. As an example, here are the first three dungeons.
|Random suggestions by the game|
Each time I start a new dungeon I list out the monsters, how much exp and gold they give, and at what level I can competently dispatch them. As an example here are the monsters for the first dungeon:
Green Slime - 2/1 - L1 (1)
Killer Bee - 4/4 - L1 (2 - 4)
Death Spider - 6/6 - L2 (3 - 6)
Sorcerer - 14/8 - L3 (6)
Skeleton - 8/10 - L4 (10)
Giant Leech - 10/6 - ??
Marsh Snake - 32/24 - L7 w/ LS (70)
Hawk - 17/16 - L7 w/ LS (30 - 40)
This notation allows me to quickly glance at what monsters I should take on when, and quickly add up the gold I'd get from clearing out a specific section a number of times. The #/# is experience and gold, and the L# is the base level I tested and following that the weapon or armor I had equipped. The last value is the average HP I can expect to lose. This last value goes down dramatically with more levels, and only somewhat with better equipment. Something I've considered adding to this list is the average time it takes to kill the monster. It's possible killing more slimes, bees, and spiders will make skeletons obsolete since it takes longer to kill it even at level 5.
|Purchasing the wooden armor; equipment doesn't take item slots|
HP is refilled at every level up (strangely calculated before max HP is increased), and it's one of the keys to continuing a good run. There are limited healing items, and a stay at the inn costs 100 gold (too much for the 400 - 600 I expect to get throughout a dungeon). At this early stage in the game only level ups are reliable for healing. There are also random items dropped from monsters like a healing potion (40 - 60 HP) or apples (5 HP), which typically help to offset some of the riskier fights.
|The missing treasure is actually a mimic!|
|At the end of each scenario you get one part of the password for dungeon 22|
|I like my interpretation better|
Dungeons often share a number of monster types. Green slimes, killer bees, death spiders, sorcerers, and skeletons appear again and again. Their stats remain the same. New to dungeon 2 are the following:
Goblin - 5/5 - L4 (10 - 20)
Killer Ant - equivalent to a Killer Bee
King Spider - 12/8 - L3 (4 - 6)
Iron Head - 24/40 - L5 (10 - 20)
Death Crow - 19/38 - L6 w/ LS (20 - 40)
Guarder - 36/42 - L8 w/ LS + WA (170 - death)
|Thanks to nirexine for the original. My additions are marked by red (Source: GameFAQs)|
|Testing out the new monsters I find I'm a little under-powered for this guy|
|Trading blows is quick, and timing healing items is tricky... here I could have perished|
|Here I tested level 7 w/ LS and died to a Guarder earlier|
Red Slime - 2/2 - L1 (1)
Mummy - 20/12 - L8 (150) or L8 w/ LS (<50)
Pumpkinhead - 27/31 - L8 (140) or L8 w/ LS (<40)
Killer Wolf - 25/38 - L5 (20)
The map for dungeon 3 is a little more restricted than the others. Only slimes, skeletons (too powerful), and a single sorcerer are options. There's a killer wolf nearby, and I clear all of them out once I reach level 5. The pumpkinheads and especially the mummies are definitely not worth the trouble. Unfortunately a mummy blocks the way to the store, and a pumpkinhead blocks the key. There's a second mummy before the boss, but easily dealt with by the time I reach level 9 with LS + WA. Once again the boss easily falls at level 9 (I've actually been reaching him at level 10 for some reason) with the LS + WA and four healing potions.
|The game is supposed to measure the general strength of enemies, but the game lies|
|The translation is... strange; anyone know what "Bacad" could mean?|
I'm not sure I'll continue the in-depth analysis on each dungeon, but I hope this gave some insight into the game mechanics and the process I use for speedrunning a game. Next time I'll write a little more on honing a route from the general plan. Then I'll follow that up with a post on glitches, and I'll take a closer look at the glitch. If necessary I'll wrap it all up with a nice talk on the community. Unfortunately I didn't have much time to play over the past week, but that should change now that I've finished posting for Ultima and cut Final Lap Twin. I don't plan to spend too long on this game.
|Tried out 2-player... I can't decide if it's head-to-head or co-op|