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Darklands Walkthrough, Part 1: Character Creation

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Uploaded on Mar 10, 2010

All videos are on Expert Difficulty.

This series of videos showcases a walkthrough of Darklands, a DOS-based role-playing game released in 1992 that was far ahead of its time in many aspects. The aim of this game was to accumulate as much Fame as possible; the main quest was to defeat the dastardly Baphomet in his own Citadel, before he brings the Apocalypse down on all mankind...

The Index details each video. Many of them also mention/demonstrate gameplay tips. Part 7 reveals a rare and extremely valuable tip (known to only a tiny handful of experts including myself, and is not mentioned in the online Darklands FAQ, which contains most of the tips on the game) and thus is marked *:

Part 1 - Character Creation
Part 2 - Early Training
Part 3 - Leaving the City, Part 1
Part 4 - Leaving the City, Part 2
Part 5 - Early Shopping
Part 6 - The First Robber-Knight
* Part 7 - Powering Up: The Dream, Saving the Schrat, and the use of Religion and Virtue
Part 8 - The Dragon
Part 9 - Mine Trouble
Part 10 - Mine Troubles solved
Part 11 - The Devil's Bridge
Part 12 - The High Sabbat
Part 13 - The Good Witch
Part 14 - The Great Monastery: Entering
Part 15 - The Great Monastery: Bosses
Part 16 - The Great Monastery: Aftermath
Part 17 - Baphomet's Citadel of the Apocalypse, Section 1/4
Part 18 - Baphomet's Citadel of the Apocalypse, Section 2/4
Part 19 - Baphomet's Citadel of the Apocalypse, Section 3/4
Part 20 - Baphomet and the Ending (Section 4/4)

Some players use a Character Editor to give their party maximum, superhuman statistics (e.g. 99 for all attributes) to beat the game. This is cheating (e.g. Endurance above 45 is impossible). Some have even posted videos of this online!

My videos on Darklands, like my other videos on other games, demonstrate the best tactics and choices to easily complete this game at the highest difficulty setting, without cheating.

Part 1 deals with Character Creation. Character Creation in Darklands is very rich and complex due to the sheer number of choices available. The Cluebook, available online, holds a detailed breakdown of this process and is generally accurate, though it contains a few errors. Here, I demonstrate creating a starting party that is quite balanced, though any expert player can complete this game regardless of choice of background or occupation.

First, backgrounds. The Rural background gives the most EPs which can be put into Attributes, and thus is the background of choice. The only other viable background is Nobility, if you wish to go the way of a Knight.

Second, attributes. The most important attributes to all characters are Endurance and Strength. Of these two, Strength is more vital. Why? Because high Strength increases weapon damage in every battle, makes it harder for your characters to die in combat, and is used in a few situations, such as climbing walls or cliffs. Endurance confers no lasting benefit. Most characters will have Endurance of 25+ and 30+; if you're taking enough punishment to lose that much in a fight, and you don't have the saintly aid/potions to heal up, that battle is far too hard for your party, and a few more points of Endurance won't make much difference. Thus, I skew my characters towards Strength, with just enough points into Endurance to take a few hits and keep going.

Third, occupations. The video shows the paths I recommend for each character:

Member 1: Party leader with high Charisma. Of all Occupations with Charisma bonuses and good Speak Common, only the Friar gives boosts to both Charisma and an important combat attribute, Endurance; the rest either require old characters (which are more fragile), or sacrifice Endurance/Strength. Thus, I suggest going a Male and picking Friar as the main occupation.

Member 2: Party artificer with high Perception (to spot traps early, which helps this member, when leading in combat, to disarm/avoid them). Only Craftsmen give Perception bonuses while boosting Artifice significantly at the same time.

Member 3: Party alchemist with high Intelligence. The academic occupations, especially Professor and Master Alchemist, are the best. Here, I create an Alchemist/Healer: by going Professor X2, I manage to optimize the bonuses to Intelligence, reach a Healing skill of 30 (the threshold for regaining 2 points/day instead of a low 1/day), and still have excellent Alchemy, R&W, and Speak Latin skills.

Member 4: Can fulfil any role. I chose to create a character with maximum combat attributes. The occupations that give bonuses to Endurance and Strength are: Laborer, Peasant, Hermit, Knight, and Recruit. Note, however, that only Laborer and Peasant can be readily chosen by a young character (Knight and Hermit come later on) and more than once. Laborer gives slightly better skills overall than Peasant. Thus I go Laborer, then end with Recruit to start out with some armor.

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