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May 31st 2014, 06:43 PM
Bard Male United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
124: Three New Heroes (Demo) Author: Martijn van Sliedregt Release Date: June 23, 2002

"I am Baal, the master of evil"
"So what?"

Well, here's an oddity. This demo from the creator of the baffling "Gorack, Umtar and Shreik" is much more highly regarded on TDN than anything else he's ever done. Whereas all his other stuff has very poor marks, the average rating for "Three New Heroes" is over 8! I think it's quite overrated, but it's still better than I would have guessed a followup from the author of that mess would be.

Something that may have impressed the reviewers is the fact that this DMOD starts out with some very fancy title screens/effects. I enjoyed the opening credits; never before have I seen Microsoft Paint recognized under 'Special Thanks.' Martijn also credits SimonK for graphics, which is good because there's a lot of stuff from Stone of Balance here. Even though the added graphics aren't original, more variety over the stock stuff is rarely a bad idea.

Unlike "GUS," this has a discernible, if loosely established, plot. Dink and two other heroes are forced by somebody who is totally Baal, you guys to retrieve runes for him. There are some problems with this and the title. First, if Dink is one of the heroes in question, we don't have 'three new heroes' here, just two. Second, working for Baal is hardly what I'd call heroic. But third and most importantly, Dink is the only hero in this DMOD. The other two are represented only as knight sprites on the initial screen that don't move or talk at any point. Actually, after the intro, even Baal won't respond to your attempts to talk to or hit him. It took me a while to even figure out that those knight statues are the two other heroes that would presumably have playable segments if this weren't just a demo.

It's an okay little Dink adventure with some interesting points of presentation, such as sound effects and the ability to choose your font (unfortunately, I lacked the alternate fonts). The maps are kind of awkward in places, but it's not too bad. There are some bad depth que issues, like a bridge you have to cross that Dink walks "under" instead. A few design elements are annoying - there are volcano sprites made into "anthills" that spawn lots of pillbugs for you to fight, for example - kind of a neat concept, but it does this and locks the screen every single time you pass one, which is a drag.

I had a hard time figuring out what to do toward the end, after Dink takes a magical gate of sorts to "Egypt" (okay). If you didn't read a certain sign in an out of the way spot toward the beginning, have fun figuring out that you have to go back and do that. Like many demos, there isn't a proper ending - this is one of the cases where your reward for victory is death. Hurray!

This is a strange DMOD, but it's okay. I award it not last place. Oh and, don't shoot the piano player, he's doing his best.