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Grendel's Cave Review

Grendel's Cave

   http://www.grendelscave.com

 

Review written by Daniel Green               http://lokiscamp.webs.com

                                                                           lokiodinson666@gmail.com

 

Platform

Internet access- Mac Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or any other internet provider works fine. Must have Cookies enabled. Any computer with the afore mentioned will play this game with the greatest of ease. I have even played on my IPod Touch, and accessed my account page with my Nintendo DSI.

 

Players

Multiple players, sometimes with hundreds of other characters all trying for the same goal. You can shun the other heroes, if you wish, kill them if that's your fancy, or work together towards a common goal. In-game communication possible in secret between 2 characters or to everyone in an area at once.

You can even play more than one character at once, store items on them, or whatever you want.

 

Difficulty

4 for some people, 7-8 for many like me.

 

Summary

Grendel's Cave is a free MUD style RPG based on the story of Beowulf, about a hero dispatched by the King of the Geats, Hrothgar, to kill the bloody monster Grendel, whom has been terrorizing the countryside. In this game, you create your character, equip weapons/armor/items, kill monsters, improve your stats, navigate a huge, seemingly bottomless cave, complete Norse quests, and try to slay the evil Grendel! Sign up with email, user/account name, and password is required, but gameplay is free with severe limitations on Premiums and lives. You can even win a cash prize or free lives upon the killing of Grendel!

This game has been online at the same website for most of 10 years or more, and from what I know, has changed hands once. Grendel's Cave was then upgraded to a Norse-ish style where Norse quests were available to complete before facing Grendel, the big baddy daddy mother of them all. GC was then finalized into GC 2.0 and the option to pay for lives and/or Premiums was added. Lives can be purchased a a small 50 cents per life and used to resurrect dead characters called Thanes, or converted to Premiums which are traded for special Thane types, a custom thane icon, or even purchase your very own kingdom to rule and play in!

Several Kingdom types exist that have different rules. In some, the cave is deeper or shallower, in others, killing of other players (PK) is allowed or not, and resurrection prices on dead thanes is lower, higher or free. There is even a Tournament kingdom where players are encouraged to grow in an environment where other players constantly duel them in a race to kill Grendel and rid the kingdom of his stinky butt.

Thane types include: Human, Elf, Fairy, Dwarf, Troll, Giant, Arachnid, and Ents, who are living trees who survive on sunlight for sustenance. You can pick two thane types, Mother Species and Father Species, changing the stats you start with, your appearance, size, and your natural spells. There are also Premium thane types, including: Wolf, Kali, Seer, Trickster, Berserker, and Valkyrie. Each has its own special set of exclusive natural abilities including Spying, Shapeshifting, Berserk, and even Teleport.

There is a Hall you begin in with the King Hrothgar and his Queen Weatheow, a store, a blacksmith, a Witch in her Hovel who teaches you spells or gives you items, a wise old Dragon guarding his Treasure, a small body of water covering a deep, horrible labyrinth of a cave, inhabited by powerful and weird monsters, as well as Grendel and worse. There are hidden places and other lands you must travel to and quest in in order to gain the ability to kill Grendel and ultimately beat the game.

I say, you can always tell a good RPG if it has the same basic 4 elements: quest driven plot, gaining experience and growing a powerful magical player, a time-consuming difficulty with long hours of gameplay, and fishing. Yes, you can even fish in this game. And swim. And throw lightning bolts. And explode heads with your mind powers.

Since I have not killed Grendel yet (Hey! It's really hard!!!) i cannot give this game a 10, but with the difficulty and the involvement with the quests, i can give this game a whopping 8.5 or 9.

*EDIT*

        I recently slayed Grendel and his Mother and the Dragon in easy kingdoms. All kills were overkill, one hit kills. Quests were at some times difficult, but easy to understand (the ones I did anyways). ALWAYS check everything before you do something that may screw you over!

 

Graphics

The graphics for Grendel's Cave are mud/text style. You get images and icons for people, places and things to help you navigate the depth of the cave and other areas. All images are still and somewhat small, making loading of the pages while playing is relatively quick, even on dial-up, and considering this game requires NO DOWNLOADS, this is worth the price of the lack of graphics most good games and RPG's typically have. The option to submit a custom image for your Thane is pretty cool and there is probably a way to submit a moving GIF image as your own thane's icon.

Backgrounds are neat, detailed, and repeating. You can tell what area you are in by looking at the page's background most of the time, unless you are navigating the cave. Facing can be a problem for most players but can be corrected with a Compass, which can be bought at the Barn for a mere 2 rings. 

 

Story

Grendel has set loose to terrorize the kingdom and terrify it's inhabitants! The King of the Geats, Hrothgar, has requested that an able-bodied hero emerge from the huddled masses to stand up and fight back this huge, stinky, hairy monster!

Riddles in the form of Runes and Runestones litter the world, each leading of a heroic quest. Quests to distant lands and near lands,searching a deep, torrential cave, learning the necessary spells, all of which lead up to the ultimatum: Obtaining the Cosmic Amulet and slaying the beast Grendel!

And now! Grendel has been Slain! Victory! Rejoice, the Kingdom is Free! But only when Grendel's Mother finally gets angry and seeks vengeance on the land for the death of her dumb, ugly son. After Mother is slain, the Dragon gets restless and begins a rampage as well… When will the destruction end??!!

Only YOU can pick up the sword and save the kingdom from these evil beings!

 

Gameplay

Gameplay is simple. Point and click. select from one of 3-4 menus to perform actions, one of each, or any mixture of 3-4 different commands. Inspect, Whisper, Kick, Swing (weapon), drop, eat, Fly, Hurt, Stomp and Improve are some examples of commands used in this game.

Click on an area icon to travel there, navigate through distinct passages, traverse passages upwards and downwards in the cave, click on a monster to attack it, or select some commands and then click an item/player/place/monster. Cast spells in defense, offense, or tap your magical boots together and spin away to a place far away of your choosing.

Pick up, drop, equip, give, buy and sell weapons and items, read books to learn spells.

Improve your stats from the Improve menu to increase one state at a time varying on your Value (experience) level and how improvements you have. Improvable stats include: Strength- your overall damage stat, Endurance- your health stat and percentage, Speed- how fast you attack, defend, Portage- how much you can carry overall, and Magic- strengthens your spells and effectiveness. Other stats include Gender- male or female, Size- small, medium, large, Arms- 2, 4, or 6 even!

Armor, Helmet, Shield, and Weapons equip-able to combat and defend against the impending doom and violence when entering the Cave.

Replayability

I've been playing playing this game off and on since high school when a friend showed it to me at the local library. That was about 10 years ago. Most people i talk to who play the game and have killed Grendel usually come back for another round or two, but there are a lot of Grendel-Slayers who still play to this day.

Game saves up to the moment you close browser, loose connection, or "Go to Sleep," your character goes inert and sleeps until you wake it up again to play.

 

Music and Sound

No sounds, other than the sound your browser makes when you click or perform an action.

 

Downloadable Content

None. No download required to play. Play setting is all web-browser based gameplay. Internet connection and browser capability are the only requirements for play.