The Dink Network

I, Kara Gu

From the COTPATD project.
December 10th, 2007
Score : 9.7 exceptional
Peasant He/Him Australia
I, Kara Gu is very much an original DMOD. The focus of the author seemed to be on the gameplay, which has been clearly more carefully considered than any other DMOD.

The DMOD has a new hero(ine) who uses magic missiles that function a little different to normal. Thanks to this, IKG starts its story on new ground and avoids the problem of most DMODs that try to add new pieces to the already contradictory character and world of Dink.

There are only a few cutscenes and dialog, which I think complements the game's emphasis on speed and adrenaline.

IKG adds new levels of complexity to Dink. Two, that is, and both very small:
- there are two types of elemental monsters and the heroine is capable of swapping between her element.
- she is capable of shooting weak or strong missiles depending on how long her magic has been charging.
The latter doesn't make too much of a difference, as most of the time the weak missiles are more than satisfactory and often superior. The former, although small, adds a great deal to the standard fighting system that is far too simple.

However, the difficulty is not quite tweaked right. A big problem is that it takes a little while to get used to the new things in the gameplay. So, at first it's too hard. Then when you figure out the best way to go about your destruction, most enemies can be killed pretty easily. Except for one; the hardest enemy in the game... the slimer. Because they are fast and have small hitboxes, that don't get hit as much by the strong missiles. They also have a reasonable amount of health, so they are therefore capable of surviving multiple attacks. Combine this with their speed, and it's pretty hard not to get hit. Now factor in only small health pickups are ever dropped by enemies, the regularity of slimers and their non-trivial touch damage, and you end up with the equation you = screwed. Not even mentioning the annoying slime they leave about that hurts you. In contrast to how easy all other enemies are when you figure out the right strategies, something is wrong.

There are some other small issues. For one, missiles always do the same damage. Secondly, for about half the enemies, staying as their elemental type was either fairly irrelevant (unless you needed health) or actually a superior strategy. Thirdly, as a result of the dependency on hellfire type magic (i.e. magic that does not self-destruct immediately when it hits something) the difficulty of the game is quite dependent on the speed of your computer. Perhaps on slower computers slimers are not so tough. Finally, the difficulty of enemies and areas is not consistent and does not follow a linear progression.

Although gameplay was the most tweaked area of IKG, due to its action-orientation the sound is perhaps the most important component in considering its playability. The midis are excellent; however, they lack variety which means they soon fail to induce energy and atmosphere after the first time hearing them.

The first time I played this I thought it was the most quality DMOD ever made. The music, sound effects and special effects are excellent. The second time as I sought after another ending I started to see the flaws. However, it is still perhaps of the highest quality seen in a DMOD, and is definitely one of the few DMODs that are must-play.
February 10th, 2007
Score : 8.0 good
This dmod is definitely a refreshing change from the usual. It's highly action-oriented, and the gameplay is somewhat different than normal. You don't have weapons, only magic, magic resistances play a major role in the game, and boss fights require you to use different techniques to win.

Those fights are both the dmod's greatest strength and biggest weakness. While they're definitely fun, they seem to take ages simply because most of the bosses have a crapload of HP. The areas in between the fights, levels if you will, were also very easy in comparison since some of the bosses are extremely hard on the default difficulty level, normal. There is also an easy difficulty level, but I didn't like it since it didn't seem to do anything besides giving the heroine extra defence, making avoiding some of the early bosses needless because they couldn't damage her anyway.

The music, new graphics, and map were all done quite well. It was fun looking and reading papers scattered around, and there were many little sequences that took place, like riding a raft to get over a stream, beams of destruction coming from the sky, that sort of thing. The story wasn't anything spectacular, but better than the average dmod, anyhow.

There were 4 different endings, depending on what paths you decided to use. I'm not into that sort of thing (I'd just scrap the different areas together to make a longer dmod), but for those players that appreciate replayability and alternative scenarios a lot, it's a nice feature.
February 9th, 2007
Score : 9.7 exceptional
Peasant He/Him India
I, Kara Gu by Arik

This is the best alternative hero Dmod in my opinion. If not better, this certainly matches up to other alternative hero Dmods such as Lyna's story and Cycles of Evil. This module certainly is one of the best ever made. Hope Arik continues to release excellent Dmods such as this.

The story is quite good with a few twists and turns in the plot. I would say that this story is unique in its own way. I haven't really seen stories similar to this before, so even Dinker's like me who are bored of playing the same old 'Dink saving the world' Dmods are attracted to play this one in hope of finding something new . I can assure you, that you won't be disappointed after playing this module. So basically the main story as Arik says is that Kara, a young initiate has to take some important decisions that will shape her future. There are four endings, each achieved through a different path. Like the other guys who have reviewed this file before me, I too have only managed to see only two of the four endings. You'll have to play this Dmod again and again in order to really see what lies in each path you choose.

Now we are getting into something serious. Frankly, I would say that this module is incomparable when it comes to gameplay. A lot different from the usual style, there is no inventory. You get six magical attacks three fire ones, three of which are water. Magical attacks are casted using the Control key. Magic can also be casted even before the gauge is full. Though it won't be as strong as it would be when casted with a filled gauge one.
Kara hasn't got any physical attacks, she can only use magic. There is clever use of resistance against elements. For example, if you are wearing a costume of the fire element, you will be immune to any fire attacks . Same goes for the blue costume.

I wouldn't go into further details as it would spoil any player's fun as this module contains so many new ideas implemented beautifully. I think the real reason is that, I myself after hours of playing haven't been able to really cover each aspect of the gameplay. So you can imagine what lies in this Dmod for you.

Its really inexplicable that such a great Dmod, miles away from other ones has been made with the same old boring graphics. Arik really has given life to them, using them in a completely different manner in which no Dmod author has ever done before. I'm not saying that you will not find new graphics, this Dmod has plenty of them but the beauty of the way in which the graphics from the original Dink have been used overshadows the fact that there really are some skillfully crafted new graphics!

The map is also as beautiful as it can get. Not exactly decorated with lots of scenery which I adore so much, this map is perfect for the kind of environment that the author is trying to develop to keep the player stuck to his computer.

There are few new sounds and midis. I haven't played may other Dmod's so I am not quite sure whether they are brand new or taken from other modules. Well, it doesn't matter as they fit with the environment exactly. I haven't got much to say in this column so let's say that sounds and midis are perfect and there is no cause for concern here.

Ending words:
So this covers most of what is there in this Dmod. In few words it is astounding, will blow you away, full of surprises and a must play for any Dinker. If you are looking for something new, something which is bug less , interesting and enchanting, this is the thing!
February 7th, 2007
Score : 9.8 exceptional
Peasant He/Him United States 
I, Kara Guu

This is one of the most fun DMODs I have ever played
I tend to get bored with just the basic "Dink style" DMODs that most of them are (including the one I'm making), but this... it's like a whole 'nother game. I recomend this to everyone!

There was a story, unlike some DMODs While it isn't an amazing storyline, it is still pretty good. You'd probably expect that there are plot twists, and there are. But still, there's more. When Arik says "and the decisions she makes during her trials will determine the course of her life," he means it. There is more than one way through this story, and also 4 different endings. You also get a choice right from the beginning. I myself to this point have completed one path, and gotten one of the endings. But I am working on another path I found, and this other "path" leads you to a whole new area. You'll definitely want to replay this because it definitely feels like there's more than one DMOD packed in here.

There are new .wav sounds as well as midis. While you probably have heard most of the midis in previous games and midi packs, they fit quite well in most places. In other places I found a little humorous. For example hearing joshriot's "downhill on a scooter" (I think) in a fairly challenging level seemed to lighten the tension of continuous dying. I must also say that the wav sounds were very good. He put sounds for everything that seemed appropriate to, and the new ones were just good. Although I'm not so sure about the new grunts, they seem alittle too young for the character, but that may just be me.

There weren't a ton of new ones, but there were some new ones. Elemental monsters, a new magic (sort of), a sort of magical attack used by the enemy, and some stained glass were most of what I came by so far. But there is more to graphics than just new ones. The author made excellent use of the ones already in the game as well as the new ones. It seems that there is always some sort of sequence going on, whether it be during the fight, or for decoration. You will be very pleased with the map.

Here is the strongest point in the game. It isn't normal gameplay, so it may take a few tries to get used to the controls and everything.

Your character has no physical attacks, but only magic. You won't have an inventory either. So how does it work? You get two, well six, magical attacks. Three of which are fire, three of which are water. Your magical attacks are casted by "control" instead of "shift". You can also cast magic before your magic gauge is fully charged. When your magic gauge is fully charged, you unleash your more powerful elemental attacks (automatically). Switching between the two elements is accomplished by "shift". You must wait until your magic meter is fully charged though. Along with switching between elements, there is more. Your costume changes and you become immune to elemental attacks of the element you are (not physical). Along with the 4 attacks mentioned (the 2 elements in weaker/stronger versions), there are two special attacks (one for each element). They are called bombs. Bombs fire your strong elemental attack in all directions. You must acquire them by killing enemies and they are limited. When you have one, you can use it by pressing M, 6, B, or Z. They may very well save your hide in a tight situation. Bombs take the place of gold on the status bar.

Your stats are pretty much static and you don't get anything more than a number and a bomb from leveling. There aren't any standard powerups eiter, but there are 2 new ones you find. They are time limited, but also very helpful. One is a temporary magic boost, and the other gives you a little sidekick that attacks using the element you have equipped. I should also add that you don't use savebots to save. Sometimes you'll get a gold heart that fills your life and prompts you to save, and other times it'll just be from entering a new area.

I've only scratched the surface on gameplay, there is so much here, like the new bosses and enemies with special attacks. This DMOD has the best gameplay I've come across. The only downside here is that it is a hard game. Expect to die, because you will. But to me that hardly takes from the DMOD and there is even an easy mode (which I haven't tried yet.) Gameplay is just awsome.

The gameplay is outstanding, sounds and graphics are good, multiple endings and levels for replay value, and there is just a surplus of innovation and creativity to put it lightly. This is the best DMOD I've played to date and it seems flawless. So download this DMOD, it is a must have and if you don't you are truly missing out!
February 16th, 2007
Score : 8.0 good
This Dmod has the potential of being up there with the best of them. However; I felt the level of difficulty was far to extreme.

Concept: I loved this new take on things. Purely a magical adventure!

Story: Storyline was above par but not excellent.

Scripting: Very good, perhaps excellent.

Mapping: Attention to detail is quite good. Again, perhaps excellent.

Gameplay: This is where I find the only real problem with this dmod. And perhaps the most important part of any dmod. While it's fun to play (or would be), it's far too difficult. Even playing on the "Easy" setting it became extremely difficult after the first cave. Perhaps I didn't level up enough but that didn't seem to provide much help. I resorted to using the Ultimate Cheat to get through this one.
Bugs: Only one possible that I came accross and that was when trying to change from water to fire or visa versa. At times it took several trys.

In all I think this dmod is well written and again I love the idea. But the difficulty of it has to take the score down for me, What could have been a 9.5 becomes 8.0.

February 13th, 2007
Score : 9.7 exceptional
This dmod, is, in fact, rock.

Style: 10
IKG looks great and has nice sounds (although I can't recall the music.)

Gameplay: 10
IKG has lots of interesting battles and requires some tactical thinking.

Story: 9
IKG has multiple endings but is also rather short.

Overall: 9.7
If you at all like Dink combat, play this dmod.
February 7th, 2007
Score : 9.8 exceptional
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Wow! Arik sure knows how to make a d-mod...

Story: Very good. Some girl named Kara lives with her... I don´t know but they aren´t her parents. But then she´s ready to do some test which I don´t have a clue. The end was a little suprise.

Map: Great!

Good: Levels were done very nicely. And some other things like holy mother, and magic. And weapons were magic.

Bad: I don´t know what to say.

Well here you play as woman, but I don´t care! Nice work Arik! If here is coming: I, Kara Gu 2, I´d be very pleased.