And here we go. I have been planning to play this game for a long time. I actually tried playing the second opus on the Nintendo Switch, but this is the kind of game I like to play on an actual computer; not on a console.

So I finally bought a gaming laptop, to play it correctly on. Turns out I really hate using Windows, and I haven't yet found a way to take screenshots of part of the screen, and also type my thoughts easily on windows. I might have to either dedicate some time to make Windows work the way I want (I'm not looking forward to that), or actually play the game back on Linux.

Friends have been telling me about Proton, the DirectX/Linux interface developed by Valve and now part of Steam. I activated it, and it seems that DOS can now run on my Linux machine. It's not a very powerful one, so the fans are at maximum and I can sense that just with the title screen open and this markdown editor, it's already showing some slowness. I don't think I'll be able to play a full game on that. Maybe with lower settings?

I even tried to take a screenshot of the whole screen, but it seems I ran out of memory and I couldn't paste it...


This is the CPU/RAM usage with only the game running on the title screen.


I changed the screen resolution (somehow it was higher than my desktop resolution). Hope it will make it better. Taking a screenshot still takes a couple seconds, which it shouldn't do.


I'm in the "Very Low" quality preset, and I already are maxing out my laptop capacity. I don't think I'll be able to play on that machine. Gonna find another one.


For the record, here are my laptop specs.


So let's install Ubuntu on the gaming laptop I bought. That way at least I'll be able to use all the software I'm used to. I'll still have to get used to the new keyboard configuration (there is a numpad, and so the keys are actually slightly offset to the left and smaller). And maybe I'll have compatibility issues, but at least it will be more powerful than this one.

The new laptop also only have 16Go of RAM, but with a dedicated GPU I hope it will run better. Installing Ubuntu is not so easy when there is already a Windows installed. Turns out when you "Turn Off" Windows, it does not really turn off the computer and you can't access the BIOS as it boots on Windows directly. Also, one need to turn off disk encryption (BitLocker) to be able to install Ubuntu side by side with Windows.

A few hours later, I'm now under Ubuntu, on the gaming laptop. I'll have to get used to this keyboard, with its smaller keys, but at least I have all the things I need here. I still need to remap a few keys, but at least it's easy to do on Linux now that I know the tools.


It's downloading, we'll wait. During that time I remapped Windows+RightCtrl to selective print screen, which is close the shortcut my muscle memory has. Technically, I should be using the key located on the Fn key, but those seem dead keys and I can't access them.


Oh, and by the way, here are the gaming laptop specs. Three times more CPU, and a dedicated GPU. It should be a bit better.


Almost there.


While I waited, I also added a few more games to my list.

It's 3pm, I'll have to leave in 2 hours. Let's see how far I can go in two hours. My bet is that I won't be able to get past the character creation screen.


Ok, so first it loads WAY faster than on the previous laptop.


It stills considers I'm on a Very Low setting though. I already find it pretty, so we'll see if I need to update it or not.


I'll play Classic. For a first playthrough I don't want to be discouraged by harder difficulty modes just yet.


So, it's a game where you play two characters. I like that, because I tend to play those RPGs with a small party anyway. Now let's see how to name them and what kind of mechanics I'd like to have.

I know I usually play by trying to understand the game mechanics and then break them. What usually works best are spellcasters (as they get access to a wide range of mechanics-altering spells) and rogues (as they can sneak and bypass triggers).


So picking a class is not only about the abilities, it's also about the background of the character. That's interesting.


Speed seems like the most important ability for me. I tend to think that improving movement speed always yields exponential results against enemies that were scripted against an average speed.


So, all classes have the same +1 distribution of Abilities, but not on the same ones. I guess every class will then be able to learn new Abilities later, or maybe this initial list defines what they'll ever be able to do? The description doesn't explain much what each do, so I'll assume it's secondary.


Talents are also per-class, but with overlap. So, same, I'll assume we can learn new talents later, even if they were not in the initial distribution.


Hmm, no all classes start with the same Attributes either. Ok, this actually makes it easier to chose as I'll just assume the base stat attribute has been picked as the best per class, and I'll just focus on the main abilities.


So, one can actually completely change the Abilities, Talents and Attributes by Customizing the character. Which might mean that those classes are nothing more than predefined templates? (Quick check on the Wiki and that's right, they are only templates.)

image-20230705150017430 I found the list of Skills and Spells. I'm gonna read that to see what is possible.
image-20230705150309302 This is interesting, as it allows movement on the battlefield, and deals damage based on the weapon, so it will scale well. It can also Knockdown, which seems a powerful effect.
image-20230705150408609 This one also seem to be interesting to hit several enemies at once.
image-20230705150445076 This is what I want. Movement speed is always good.
image-20230705150511286 Also with a DoT effect, comboed with me moving away could be interesting.
image-20230705150728260 Stealth FTW
image-20230705150800975 Fire DoT
image-20230705150833287 Seems to have some impact on terrain tactics. Not sure how it plays out, but I like the idea.
image-20230705150922735 Freezing someone might put it out of combat for a while
image-20230705150948915 Makes characters wet, which makes them more vulnerable to Air, but less to Fire. Interesting.
image-20230705151024886 Nice HoT
image-20230705151055730 This seems a better version of Freezing Touch, does not do damage, but can be set from further away.
image-20230705151144143 Electrifying someone stuns them, which seem to be similar to Freezing them, without giving them the protection bonus.
image-20230705151220000 What? This seems a door to so many combos and exploits. I like that.
image-20230705151256559 I like that.
image-20230705151452844 Creating oil? I can see the combos. I can't wait to try that for real.
image-20230705151532846 Oh, there are even some summoning; that's another interesting angle.
image-20230705151629096 Debuff to decrease hit chance and damage.
image-20230705151658974 Buff on damage. I really start to see all the different ways of playing. It's gonna be hard to pick one.
image-20230705151740372 Even a way to leech health
image-20230705151805745 What? This seems really good, and scales. I'll need that.


After "I don't even know how long" time spent in the character creation menu, I couldn't find a combo I liked, so I went with this. A Shadowblade (that I will mostly use as a pure Rogue for now, but I took Shadowblade so the points are correctly assigned if I want to go on more magic later) and a Witch, because why not.


I like the design here


The depth of field is pretty narrow, it's hard to see where I go.


Seems like I can't attribute keys from my keyboard to the controls. Only some keys (like arrows) seem to be understood. Maybe it's a tutorial thing?


I also have the Ubuntu dock overlaying the game, preventing me from panning on the left.


Found the option in Extension Manager.


Well, seems like none of the keyboard shortcut actually work. I can't open the inventory with I, etc.

And to be honest, I'm also not very enthusiastic about playing this game. I might try another one :/


I've actually moved a little bit later in the story. I like the combat (as it's turned based) but I don't like not being to set shortcuts. I'll try a reboot to see if it fixes things. Even pressing Space does not skip my turn.

After a good night sleep, I rebooted. Let's see if the keyboard thing got fixed.


So I can type in the local chat.


But pressing it in game does not actually open any window, and when I try to remap it, it does not register my keypress.

I think I'll really give up now. I can't find any mention of that issue online. The game is 10 years old, I'll just move to another one.