I had a plan to re-read a chapter today, but alas! time doth fly, and with visitors and work and this and that and also that that, I just couldn't fit it in. Will try to get a new post up soon.
Meanwhile I am about halfway through classic Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos. Last night, struggling through the maze forests of the kingdom, I came upon a white tower, and upon entering it I got a good kicking of nostalgia - it was like playing Eye of the Beholder II: Legend of Darkmoon all over again, wondering what's behind the next door, fighting horrible creatures, finding keys and the locks to match, and generally having a blast adventuring through this. I admit it became too difficult not to look up some help on the Interweb, especially when I somehow ended up in a hallway with only a pit to exit through, a pit which threw me right into a room so crowded with monsters I could barely move. Since I'm stubbornly playing with only one save game, it looked like the adventure was definitely over. However, the Interweb told me there was a button in one of the walls of said monster-infested chamber, and so I managed to hack my way there, hit the button, reveal a new passageway, and get out of there. That's what I both love and hate about these old school games. They don't exactly hold your hand. I remember being stuck for months in aforementioned Eye of the Beholder II, and no one knew what I had to do to get on with the adventure. One night, while heavily affected by beer, I suddenly got the solution right, but when I woke up the next day I hadn't saved the game and had forgotten what I did to open that pesky door. Fortunately, a week or so later, I finally got the combination right that opened that pesky, pesky door. I remember it vividly; especially that great feeling of accomplishment and to know the adventure could finally continue. It's the same now, with Lands of Lore, although it is slightly more difficult as this game requires you to move up and down between dungeon levels a lot more. Harder to keep track of the puzzles and such. But I am trying to play it almost without looking at solutions, but these days I can't muster the patience the way I was able to before (simply because I didn't have access to help). Anyway, running through the adventure keeps my fantasy fix need in check, which is good as the three-day tabletop session I was supposed to run in a few weeks has been cancelled. Sad face.
Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos (and its sequels, Guardians of Destiny, which I never liked, and III, which I never tried) is available on the great site GOG, along with a host of other videogame classics. Could my sudden urge to play Lands be because I am waiting for my pre-order of Legend of Grimrock II? Possibly. Man, I love games like this. I so want some company to build more games like this, based on classic D&D modules for example, or to reboot those old gold box games like Pools of Darkness and Secrets of the Silver Blades. Now I'm off to see if I can get back those phantoms guarding the second level of the White Tower. I just have to beat this game now, at the cost of other geekery.
Oh, Ice & Fire. Martin's put up a post about the upcoming The World of Ice & Fire. I've been quite negative about this release before (both here and at Tower of the Hand), but I have to admit that I have caved in and pre-ordered a physical copy of this tome of lore, so expect a review soon after it has arrived sometime near the end of October. I kind of feel dirty throwing this money at the people who have treated me and many other fans badly, and who did a pretty lousy job editing/typo-checking A Dance with Dragons, but I need, well, that Westerosi fix as well.