The Dink Network

Valhalla

February 12th, 2012
v0.10
Score : 7.1 good
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Skull
Peasant Male Finland bloop
"I'd like to be a tree..." 
So, Valhalla is apparently an old unfinished D-Mod by SabreTrout. After all these years, he decided to upload it as an apology for failing in his "October experiment". SabreTrout is known to release some quality files. When he puts time and effort into these files, we've seen his files can end up being the second-to-best D-Mods ever. Of course, he has some less-quality files too. I was expecting Valhalla to be one of these, somewhere around the level of Plane Walker. However, Valhalla pleasantly surprised me. It's definitely not one of Sabre's best, but also not one of his weakest. It's somewhere in the middle.

Story:
The story is about an evil wizard turning King Daniel into stone. Martridge then asks Dink to find a way to save the King. Dink travels through different towns and forests and constantly finds out more about this evil plot. He finds the wizard, but is sent into a prison. This is where the demo ends. Just like every other D-Mod's demo, it seems to end at the best and most exciting moment.

I wasn't expecting the story to be as capturing as it was. Like many other things in Valhalla, it was one of the first things in a long time, that really made we want to continue playing this D-Mod. The story had some weird moments too. When you sort of were just wandering around until you happened to walk into the right screen (which took me a helluva long time, considering the length of the D-Mod). You'll also easily forget the main storyline (the king turned to stone). Lots of stuff seems to unfold. I really don't know whether this was a good thing or not. Perhaps it would have been better, if the main storyline was kept going with everything else, just a tiny bit more. Not as a constant reminder, but not either as little as it was here.

Gameplay:
The gameplay was very smooth. The monsters were well balanced, and created that challenging feeling without being too hard. There were lots of things to do, especially in the last town. I was really surprised at this, thinking it was just an ordinary demo with not much to do. There were lots of side-quests on top of the main quest, which alone already had many twists. Plus, there were lots of other things to do, such as knight training and stuff. Everything is kept well in pieces. You can do all these side-missions, for the sake of fun, since they don't seem to give you anything, but you can also just skip these and go straight to the main story. There seemed to be some unfinished side-quests laying around plus some things that looked like the author got bored while making, such as the knight blocking the way into the final house.

Oh and I loved how in the cave behind the waterfall, the sound of the waterfall could be heard. It was great.

There seemed to be some very few errors in there, which Sabre already stated he isn't going to fix. Oh well.

Map:
The map in this one ain't typical SabreTrout. It wasn't clearly as "neat and sweet" as in almost every other of Sabre's D-Mods. In short, the map is something you can always praise in Sabre's D-Mods, in this one it wasn't. It wasn't horrible, but worse than in many other D-Mods. There were also numerous errors in the map, and things I'm not really sure were supposed to be there. For instance, every house seemed to have a table in the doorway. I'm not really sure were they supposed to be "doors" or had the author just forgotten to put them on invisible. It got better towards the end. The map is also pretty big and confusing, so you might wander around for quite some time to find every screen and get a clear picture of the area. This especially makes those "finding certain screen" moments harder. But it's not that bad.

The map's area is used pretty well. There were towns, plains, woods, caves and dungeons. You go to one place wondering what's there. Then you'll find something or someone in there. This seems totally weird and irrelevant yet interesting to you. Then you'll find out later that you need this thing or character to get further in the quest or in a side-quest. It seemed like every character was real, just living their life, yet they all had some sort of a part in your quest. I liked this a lot. You also had to go back and forward a little bit, which was great, so it wasn't all just linear.

Music:
The music is mostly familiar. From the original game and other D-Mods. I didn't spot any new MIDIs. I was quite surprised, that I can pretty much tell around what tme this D-Mod was made, simply by the music. The music itself was good, and fit the scenery pretty well. Maybe not as well as it could have, but still mostly. Like always, Sabre has picked great tunes for his D-Mod. The music in this one sure gave me a nostalgic feeling.

Good:
Storyline is mostly good. Gameplay was excellent with very little to complain about. The music was pretty good. The mapping ain't great, but it slides along well with the storyline and different quests.

Bad:
The mapping isn't by far one of Sabre's greatest performs with lots of errors and the whole map not being that great. The storyline had some weak points. Although gameplay was good, there were some small errors and mistakes in there. The overall "find the correct screen" thing was a bit of an annoyance, and didn't work well with the storyline. The worst thing however is, that it was a demo, instead of a full version. Darn!

Overall:
It's a good demo for what would be an awesome complete D-Mod. I haven't had so much fun playing and such drive to finish a D-Mod in years. It really gave me that awesome, nostalgic feeling. Wish these type of D-Mods were released every week like they used to be (although not demos ). It's a good file and I give it a 7.1.

Fit for:
These kinda D-Mods are rare these days. Everybody seems to put more effort into new, interesting coding and ideas and graphics. In other words, the files that used to belong to the Weird D-Mods -section are now becoming normal, regular D-Mods. However, if you want to check out a very normal, simple Dink adventure, which it used to be all about, you'll definitely want to download this one. For Sabre's D-Mod, it may or may not disappoint you, depending on which of his D-Mods you've played, but it sure gives you a fun little one hour ride.