Gates of Delirium is probably the most ambitious RPG (Role Playing Game) for the Coco 1 and 2 every made (Paladin's Legacy is the only other one that might qualify). Based somewhat on the Ultima game series on other platforms, the game features a quest to unlock the 8 gate keys to reveal the Gates of Delirium. Like Ultima, this involves traveling around an expansive world of an animated map, fighting off monsters, pirate ships, etc. while also building up your party (to a maximum of 8, if you can find everyone) while also maintaining your supplies, weapons, armor and spells. You get to explore worlds, towns and dungeons and can travel to parts of the map that are normally inaccessible by traveling through the six Moon gates (you can see their phases at the bottom of the gameplay screen) which appear at fixed locations when their moon is in full phase, connecting you to another gate. You also have different character classes (as do your other party members as you find them), and build up your strength and spells as you go. The game save feature is a must; it is easy to get attacked randomly by large bodies of monsters and die, especially early in the game. The game is completely keyboard driven, features weeks of gameplay, a "shadowing" effect (where you can't see through thicker items like walls, thick forest, etc.), and a "hollow earth" scenario, where you have two worlds (and all of their respective towns and dungeons) to explore to win the game. There are dozens of commands, including some that you have to learn along the way; most are single keystrokes, but others are typed in words.
It should be noted that the earliest Rainbow advertisements (from early 1987) show screenshots from an early, in development version of the game, and the screen layout by the time it was released was quite different. It was also rather unique in that the game gave you a secret code if you completed it, and you could use that code to enter a contest to win a free Coco 3 as the grand prize, or a free game or Diecom baseball cap as other prizes. The original manual made sure to not explain everything you needed to know to win; you discover things by talking to characters and reading signposts as you progress. An excellent game to rival Ultima 1 through 3 on other platforms. For a complete description, including insider information, the above mentioned ads, complete maps of EVERY world, town, dungeon, as well as a TON of other stuff, please CLICK HERE to enter the Gates of Delirium Archive. This was a huge effort done between 2004 and 2006 by Andrew Ayers, Michael Crawford, Tim Lindner and John Riddle, and was hosted by one of them on the web for awhile, but disappeared quite some time ago. I finally found my backup of the entire website that I had made, and am restoring it here so that all can check it out. Dave Dies had also given permission to them to release the game for download (which you can find in the pages linked to above), and given me permission as well (for the entire Diecom line), so a big thank you to him in helping preserve Coco game history. PLEASE NOTE: If you choose to view the maps, they are quite large, and you will likely have to scroll through some of them to see the entire map.
Title: Gates of Delirium
Author: Roland Knight, Dave Shewchun, Dave Dies
Publisher: Diecom Products Inc.
Requires: Color Computer 1/2/3, 64K RAM, disk.
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