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You wake up outside, in a forest, with no memory of what happened. The only thing you know is your name, the name of your dog and that you came that strange fog bank right behind you. After walking around for a bit you arrive at a house and find an old man in there telling you his life story of having been thrown off the throne as a duke by a vampire.

Implausible, you say? Not if you're playing Unterwegs in Duesterburg, a German RPG Maker 2000 Game released in 2003. While it's prized in the German RPG Maker communities for its atmosphere and graphics, the story is relatively clichéd, but not in a bad way.

The game displays, largely due to the RPG Maker engine, a mix of Western and Eastern RPG elements, where the setting has more in common with the Western stereotype (vaguely European Middle Ages, with Vampires, Orcs, Ogres etc., but also some Magitek in the mix), but the gameplay with its turn-based battle system and relatively linear progress (at least in the beginning) is closer to Eastern RPGs.

Unterwegs in Duesterburg provides examples of:

  • Broken Bridge - The game is full of it. Some of those look like Beef Gates though (e.g. Harkon Lukasz, he makes you go Game Over if you actually manage to defeat him). On the other hand, there are also some Beef Gates that look like Broken Bridges (The demon guard in the town)
  • Cute Mute - Tarious begins speaking again as he regains his memories.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything - If you use the RPG Maker cheat mode to get to inaccessible places and take the items placed there, your EXP is reduced or you may even go Game Over. Also, there is a way to either please or piss of just about every faction in the game (Orc clans, Werevolves, Medusas etc.) which slightly influences the ending.
  • Heel Face Turn - Malthur, centuries before the game starts
  • Killer Rabbit - The dreaded "Killerkarnickel" are this.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Lovecraft Lite
  • Magitek - Dankwart's machines are this.
  • Money Spider - Averted, as you generally only get items from enemies.
  • No Export for You - An English translation is in the works.
  • Nominal Importance - Averted, each and every NPC has a name and most are involved in at least one side quest in one way or another.
  • One Size Fits All - Averted. It's quite difficult to find good equipment for some party members.
  • Our Orcs Are Different - Rather rude and brutal but quite intelligent pig people.
  • Party in My Pocket - likely due to the engine (it requires some extra scripting to make the other party members visible)
  • Pamphlet Shelf - Averted, as there are several books with much more than one page (they mostly lie on tables). On the other hand, if you walk up to a bookshelf, the hero reads the book titles there, but not the books themselves.
  • Random Encounters - Averted. All enemies are visible on the game maps.
  • Relationship Values - The "Malthurmeter"
  • Save Point - You are allowed to save anywhere on the outside, but as soon as you enter a building or cave, saving is disabled and only possible at a few save points that can often be used only once.
  • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear - When Dankwart leaves the party.
  • Standard RPG Items - Basically renamed versions of the default RPG Maker Items (which in turn were probably "inspired by" FF6).
  • Talk to Everyone - Several times, especially in the town of Duesterburg.
  • Team Pet - Julie, the dog.
  • The Cameo - Too many to count...
  • There Are No Tents - ... but there are some opportunities to get a bed for free.
  • You All Look Familiar - Averted, each NPC has a different graphic.
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