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November 6th 2014, 07:02 PM
Bard Male United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
219: Dink Vs. Milder Author: Ciprian Oprisa (Cypry) Release Date: June 15, 2005
"Your are creep, Milder"

What an unusual title screen.

Milder must have really struck a nerve with players of Dink Smallwood. It's not enough that Milder dies and Dink is the hero - people must have felt slighted that they never got the chance to knock his smug jerk block off. Again and again, DMODs give us the chance to make him pay for asking whether pig farming is fun.

In this DMOD, though, Milder really is a terrible person. "Dink Vs. Milder" isn't in continuity with the original game in any way. It takes place in a strange little village that definitely isn't Stonebrook. Milder is the only knight in this village, and as such, he reasons that everything in the village belongs to him, including "all the [chicks]."

But the only women in the village are Libby and Dink's mom... oh, that is it. You are going DOWN, Milder. I bet you're responsible for that awful floor tiling, too.

It actually is a tiny bit disturbing, despite the crummy text. As Libby says to Dink, "This is not right. This has to stop." And Dink has to stop it.

But Dink is just a pig farmer, despite the lack of any apparent pigs in his vicinity. To challenge Milder, he must become a knight. Luckily, the mayor has the authority to knight people for some reason. All Dink has to do is go kill a bonca, and then he can become a knight and fight Milder to the death. All of this took me less than five minutes.

I understand, Mr. Big Giant Developer's Head! And I must say that you are well-dressed for this occasion!

There's very little to this DMOD. There are some hardness errors, and two of the screens have no borders on the sides. Milder runs around at an impressive speed, but isn't much of a challenge. There's nothing in this one to recommend it, but at least pretty much everything works and the plot isn't a load of confusing nonsense. That puts it ahead of a surprising amount of first efforts.

I do wonder how Cypry justified making a sequel to this. As far as I can tell, Dink has killed Milder at the end of it. Maybe Milder comes back from the dead in the sequel! Eh, it's more likely that he'll just inexplicably be alive. "You thought you killed me, but you didn't!" That kind of thing.

220: Dink Learns Music Author: Metatarasal Release Date: June 26, 2005
"In the end it all went well, so nobody has to complain..."

In Metatarasal's second DMOD, crazy old King Daniel orders Dink to play music at a royal party. Why he'd ask Dink instead of somebody who can actually play an instrument is anybody's guess, but at least he didn't order Dink to save yet another town with an old mine full of monsters. Anyway, Dink travels to the small town of Ryth to learn how to make tunes.

Yes, "Happy Soundy."

To no big surprise, Dink's attempt to instantly pick up the trumpet goes less than well.

Well, duh.

Dink has to magically learn an instrument instead. To earn a magical instrument and lesson, he has to do a bunch of mildly silly chores, like delivering a pizza to a hermit and going around to everybody and asking if they want to buy a barrel filled with beer. Dink then learns to play the 'tiny piano,' which is conveniently too small for the player to see, and all is well. Personally, I think going on the quest at all was a bad idea. It's only gonna make King Dan think he can ask for stupid, impossible things and have them done anyway.

This is a simple non-combat DMOD that I finished in about nine minutes. The map was fine, but there were some depth que problems (mostly Dink clipping behind doors) and one weird case where, when you walk into a door, a second door appears beside it, and THAT one opens. "Dink Learns Music" probably isn't gonna set anybody's world on fire, but it's mostly well put-together and the silly main story idea is kind of amusing.

221: Adventures of Dink Smallwood Part 1: The Town of Rakuna Author: Lunacre Release Date: June 27, 2005
"NO!! It would be a suicide!!"

"AODSP1:TTOR," which I am going to call "Rakuna" for short because Cheese A'mighty that is a long title, features a relatively large, open map. There was a time when this was the norm for DMODs, but most of the mods I've played lately have had smaller, more confined maps. Actually, I've just now noticed this shift. In general it's one I like (recall my early complaints about Big Empty Map Syndrome), but it can be nice to do some exploring sometimes. "Rakuna" also felt more like the original game than anything I'd played in a while, mostly due to the look of the screens and the prominent use of MIDIs from the original.

Check out this indoor garden. How they manage it without so much as a window is a mystery to me.

All we're told at the start is that Dink is going on vacation. "Dink on vacation" is a well-worn setup by this point. Something always goes wrong, requiring Dink to delay his vacation yet again to do more heroics. In this DMOD, however, Dink seems to be on some sort of quest right away. It's not at all clear what he was expecting to do on vacation. We're left with the impression that Dink vacations by doing the exact sort of thing he does all the time: beating up pillbugs, boncas and goblins and saving villages.

There's a really weird moment early on where Dink is a jerk to some random guy for no reason. He calls the dude a "queer boy" and beats him up. I thought Dink was going to be portrayed as some kind of horrible bully, but there isn't another moment like it in the rest of the DMOD. I don't get it.

Rather than come up with a variety of different obstacles to "gate" off Dink's progress, the author went ahead and used literal gates every time. In "Rakuna," you'll come across several fences (at least 4 or 5) and have to find a different key to "open" each of them. There is at least a fakeout on the last fence where you fall through the floor when you use the key. I didn't see that coming. It doesn't make much sense, though, because you end up "falling" to a place that is just a few feet in front of you and at the same elevation.

Most of the maps are quite plain, so I was surprised by this colorful section late in the game.

Oh yes, a plot and such. Dink has to save Rakuna from goblins who are being controlled by a demon named Firamin. It's stated that Firamin is just one of several demons that Dink will presumably have to defeat in future installments of "Adventures of Dink Smallwood." There's plenty of fighting to do, but thanks to the great many potions scattered around, it isn't too difficult.

You can choose to join Firamin, become evil and take over the world. The game calls it the "bad ending," but I guess it's a matter of perspective.

The only NPC who made any kind of impression on me was the mayor of Rakuna, a crazy man who is obsessed with his collection of huge rocks and uses an amount of exclamation points that probably should be illegal.

Well, I wouldn't say it's THAT bad.

There's a really bad bug where one of the buildings in town just warps you to a blank screen with a black background. Saved games are also included (accidentally, I assume). A lot of the locked screens will unlock after you defeat just one enemy, which may have been intentional but is more likely just due to lazy scripting.

"Rakuna" is just another decent DMOD. It has a bit of a throwback feel to it, in case that's the sort of thing you're looking for.