The Dink Network

Crazy Old Tim Plays All the DMODs of 2007

December 3rd 2014, 07:42 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
--Crazy Old Tim Plays All the DMODs--

1998 | HTML version
1999 | HTML version
2000 | HTML version
2001 | Article version
2002 | Article version

Any discrepancies between this and the chart I made in the first topic are mistakes that I made and have since corrected.

Don't call it a comeback; Dink's been here for years.

In a wild deviation from the overall downward trend, 35 DMODs were released in 2007, putting it up there with the highest peak of four years earlier. Put another way, 2007 accounts for a little over a third of all DMOD releases between the end of 2006 and the present. This may be partially accounted for by the fact that Skull released a record-breaking TEN DMODs (!!) in 2007, some under various alternate pseudonyms. Skull has been warning me about these DMODs since I started, so this could get a little... bumpy.

I'll actually be covering 36 DMODs in this topic because of yet another mistake that I've made.

247: Dink Goes Beachcombing Author: RadFrog Release Date: January 8, 2007
"WARNING, No life guard on duty"

All of the DMODs on the site are supposed to be in the .dmod format nowadays, and so far, that's been true. It's odd to encounter an exception in a DMOD that came out AFTER the site settled on the .dmod standard, but "Dink Goes Beachcombing" inexplicably comes in .zip form.

A rare one-button title screen.

The author states in the description and readme that this DMOD is "not a real adventure" and was only created to learn about DinkC and WinDinkEdit. Indeed, there's not much of a point and no win condition. The map is just a series of nearly identical beach screens laid out horizontally, and there's no music. Each screen contains some sort of event that the author used to learn something like variable use, cutscenes with walking and speaking characters, visions, or implementing a custom graphic.

This is the new graphic, the "Slippery Dee." It is godawful ugly. It's also composed mainly of sprites from Dink. See the dead girl body?

It's a good idea to create a "test DMOD" to get experience before making a real one. I wish I had done something like this before releasing the likes of "Dink Forever." Actually releasing it, though, is a bizarre thing to do. There's no value to this except the value that the author got from making it.

Furthermore, there are a few problems. When Dink examines an inanimate object, his remarks appear above the object rather than Dink, making it look like the bowl or whatever is talking. Dink is supposed to get hung up on the "Slippery Dee" when heading east and have to turn around and go west before eventually coming back, but there's a gap in the hardness that allows you to walk right past the Dee. The author knew about this (he said so in the readme) but didn't bother to fix it.

If you do walk all the way east, there's a chest that dispenses dragons when you punch it. The dragons don't cast spells, but their touch damage will wipe Dink out instantly. This is the only way to end the game besides quitting.

Releasing this was a bad idea, and I really ought to be giving it the DFMAOB, but I dunno. Something about the author's open self-awareness, the enjoyment they seemed to get out of learning, and a certain good-natured goofiness about the mod makes me want to stay my vengeful hand... this time. But there's really no reason for anybody to play this. Ever.

An example of goofiness: this is the "map."

248: I, Kara Gu Author: Neil Troughton (Arik) Release Date: February 6, 2007
"Man, they've really got it in for me, haven't they?"

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is one of the select group with a score of 9.0 or better (9.2) on The Dink Network.

Wow. Why didn't anybody tell me about this one? I guess I should be glad I didn't play it until now. If I'd known a DMOD like this existed before making "Malachi the Jerk," I probably would have given up on the idea of making a DMOD that was going to impress anybody.

"I, Kara Gu" does more to change the basic Dink Smallwood gameplay than any other DMOD that doesn't just throw out the genre entirely and make a completely different kind of game. You play as Kara, a young initiate of a magical society called the Gu. Kara is not an adventurer like Dink and just about every alternate hero we've played as. She doesn't carry an inventory and won't even try to punch things. Instead, she uses fire and water magic.

The new magic system is the center of this DMOD. You can cast spells in rapid succession, or you can wait for the magic meter to fill and cast a more powerful version of the spell. The fire spells are similar to the fireball and hellfire and the water spells are similar to the acid rain spell from the original game, but the spells have been carefully tweaked and improved. The balance is much better than it was in the original. The fireball's damage has been made consistent, making it more useful. The water magic is a revelation, taking the usually ignored acid rain and making it great. The damage has been increased, and as long as you've still got water magic equipped, the rain no longer damages you. The strong version of the spell does even more damage, moves forward slowly (great to ensure repeated hits on a lot of enemies) and has a neat "thunderstorm" look. It's so boss.

Kara strikes down her enemies with powerful water.

You don't switch magic by using the inventory screen. Instead, the attack button is used to cast spells, and you press the magic button to switch between fire and water. This also changes the color of Kara's dress and the color of her text. Arik uses a function new to 1.08 (set_font_color) to make Fire Kara's text red, which is not one of the default colors. I didn't realize how much Dink Smallwood had been missing red text until I saw it in this game. It is beautiful.

I did, so you may more easily admire the red text. Well, that's a lie. But still.

Most enemies and attacks in "I, Kara Gu" have a fire or water element. Enemies take more damage from the spell whose element is opposite theirs. Attacking an enemy with its own element will cause it to become much faster, so you're usually (but not always) better off avoiding it. Kara herself is immune to damage from non-melee attacks with the same form, creating an interesting dynamic in which you have to balance doing more damage to enemies against the fact that you're more vulnerable to their attacks if you're the opposite element from them. Taking advantage of your immunity to damage from same-colored attacks is key to doing well in this game.

Flames don't bother Fire Kara, but a puddle is deadly.

You can only change forms when your magic meter is full, a fact that is very important to the way the game is played. There are puzzles involving giant red and blue laser beams, and you have to plan ahead so you'll be able to switch at a key moment to avoid damage. Especially in later sections, the screen is frequently full of various attacks, and staying in the path of the same-colored attacks is a lot easier than just trying to avoid them all. At times, this DMOD feels like playing a "bullet hell" shoot 'em up. Actually, the colored damage mechanic strongly reminds me of Ikaruga. I wonder if Arik was inspired by that game.

Well, that answers THAT question.

Many DMODs have tried to vary the combat by introducing new magic attacks, but I've never seen any new spells or attacks that were as carefully considered as the magic in "I, Kara Gu." Usually, even in a good DMOD my reaction to at least one of the new abilities is "that's neat, but it isn't very useful." Here, everything matters. You might think that you're better off waiting for the magic meter to fill to use your more powerful attacks, but it's actually dependent on the specific situation you're in. It's important to get a feel for when you should use the quick magic (most of the time) and when it's a good idea to wait for the full magic (there are times when it's a great idea). It all feels so damn good. It felt like I was playing a different game than Dink Smallwood. A better one, frankly.

What a rush!

"I, Kara Gu" features branching paths and multiple endings. This is always a risky thing to do, as you're making it impossible to see all of your game in one play, and you risk trying the player's patience. "Friends Beyond 2" tried to do this, but in that game, it was confusing, horribly unbalanced and seemed oddly disconnected from the player's actions. Here, it's handled much better. The branching points are handled in a smart way, making it very clear to the player that they have a decision to make without obtrusively pointing it out. Small clues are presented to what a certain path is going to entail without breaking immersion at all.

Up or down? Bloody conflict, or a meadow?

The first and final sections are the same whatever path you take, but there are completely separate areas to play as the game splits once early on and then again later. Each path reveals different aspects of the story. Each path also features different bosses.

This graphic works much better as a Gradius-style "core" boss than it ever did as an alternate save machine.

Ah, those bosses. Each one has a name that slides onto the screen just before you fight them (I love touches of presentation like this). Arik showed in "Cloud Castle 2" what impressive variety can be achieved with bosses in a more "normal" DMOD, but the bosses here are taken to a new level. People often complain in reviews on the Dink Network about boss fights that they consider overly long, and although that criticism has been directed at my own work, I can see where they're coming from. Most fights in DMODs are pretty monotonous, after all. Dink Smallwood is all about hitting and running, and there's a limit to how well you can do at that. When you get close to the enemy to deliver a hit, you risk getting smacked even if you're doing everything right. But in "I, Kara Gu," the combat is different. Boss fights are complex and involve a high level of skill from the player. The length of the fights allows them to build tension to a maddening degree as you struggle to keep going without messing up, and I think this is mostly a good thing.

There are many different bosses, like these "guardian spirits." One of them shoots wildly and the other follows you closely.

The gameplay is the focus of this arcade-like game, but the story is also well-executed. Kara is sixteen, and it's her day of initiation into the Gu. She was left at the secluded order's enclave as a child. It's easy to identify with her discomfort at the path she's been forced onto. I like the village, too. Before the action starts (at which point there is rarely a break), you get some time to explore it, and it develops a personality. It seems like the sort of place Dink would encounter during one of his epic adventures, and there is in fact a monument stating that Dink visited the place at some point. Depending on which path you take through the game, different elements of the story that are set up at the start will be resolved. On one path, you'll learn about Kara's real mother; another path resolves the conflict between Kara and Samantha, a Milder-type character who's always been a thorn in her side.

The decoration in this game is really cool. Look at those sparking effects. A lot of the background elements seem to make sense as machines or mystical objects.

On my first play through the game, I took the path that ends with Kara turning evil. There's a delightful ending (my favorite) in which she becomes an evil overlord and we see various scenes from a Dink Smallwood quest that ends with Dink confronting her. They have some typical hero-villain dialogue (with a bit more self-awareness than usual from the villain), and it fades down just as the battle between Dink and Kara begins. Perfect.

"I have an inkling."

I found this path particularly interesting because I didn't really set out to be evil. Usually, games that allow you to go down some kind of "evil path" require a conscious decision from the player to just go around being a dick to people. Here, Kara starts down that path by reacting in a pretty natural way to people who are trying to destroy her for reasons that aren't her fault and which she doesn't fully understand yet. Before you know it, she's mowing down hordes of supposedly good wizards. This doesn't come out of nowhere - in an example of how clever the branching system is, you have to murder a wizard who's standing in your way, threatening you but not attacking, before you're on the "evil" path - but it's a pretty seamless transition.


At the start you're allowed to choose between "Easy" and "Normal" difficulty. I never learn my lesson. I played on normal on my first run, and the game does not mess around. It wasn't easy getting to the end, but nothing could prepare me for the final boss. She's the "holy mother" of the Gu gone rogue, and she has a hojillion phases. The bitch just WILL NOT DIE.

I am feeling genuine hatred just looking at this screenshot.

Most video games nowadays are pretty easy. The predominant school of thought seems to be that pretty much everybody ought to be able to win. I'm not saying this is entirely a bad thing. After all, people finish the games they buy pretty infrequently anyway, and you don't want your players giving up. The difficulty of old games wasn't necessarily a good thing, either. A lot of old games were straight up horsesh*t. I'm talking monstrously unfair, designed to make children cry. The worst cases of this - games that are willing to make you redo whole levels on a coin flip - are rightly remembered as terrible, but even a lot of "classics" are full of fake or unfair difficulty that is just wretched, fun-murdering design.

But there is something special about that masochistic experience of an unyielding, yet fair video game challenge. It seems insurmountable, but when you lose, you know that it's ultimately your fault for not being good enough. I've run into quite a few DMODs that were too hard for me to beat, but I never had this sort of experience with one until now.

I'm not great at video games. It kind of sucks that I'm not more skilled at something I've spent (some would say wasted) so much of my life doing, but I guess my potential just isn't very high. But you know, there's another way besides skill to win at difficult video games.

This is Shinya Arino, the star of the Japanese TV show Game Center CX. He is not good at video games. Actually, he's considerably worse at them than I am. But in each episode, he is challenged to beat a different retro game, and he usually ends up winning. Even though he kind of sucks at games, he's beaten some of the hardest ones out there. Battletoads. Contra (no Konami code). Mighty Bomb Jack. Tough, tough games. And he beats them because this man is indomitable. He never gives up, and he always keeps a positive attitude. It is inspiring to watch. "100% Persistence" is his motto.

Drawing upon my inner Arino, I doggedly pursued the ending of "I, Kara Gu" on normal difficulty. I don't know how long it took me to beat the boss. More than an hour, I know that. Probably more than two. It's standard procedure on the Internet to tell people who say they struggled at a game that they suck and it's easy, but hey, I already said I'm not so great at games, and I meant it. Your words cannot hurt me.

Do you know what it's like? Let me try to explain. At first, it doesn't bother you much when you lose. You're just getting your bearings. There's a long road ahead. You get further with each attempt. Things seem to be going well. You're sure that you'll reach the end soon.

But there's another form, and another, and another. Surely THIS is the last one, you think... but it isn't. And that's when you hit the Wall. You plateau. You die on the same part, over and over.

The frustration starts to build. Your pulse quickens, your focus tightens. You begin to take your task - your alleged entertainment - very seriously. You won't be beaten. Finally, you break through the Wall. You break your old record. Hell, you shatter it. Nervous and slightly giddy at how well you're doing, you can't believe how much more there was after the Wall or how little any of it is bothering you. You get very, very close to actually winning - within a hit or two, although you might not know it yet. This part is always removed from your eventual victory by at LEAST half an hour.

After that, you get worse. You can't maintain the focus. You don't even approach the old Wall anymore. You die on the easy parts, the parts you had considered a joke from attempt one. Depression sets in. "I suck at this." "Why am I trying so hard at this video game?" "I shouldn't be playing a game where I'm not having fun." "I'll never win; I should give up." But you don't. For some reason, you don't.

Then you enter the Numb Zone. It's not quite that you don't care anymore, but you've been beaten down so many times that you no longer feel it. It's almost serene. Robotically, you repeat the same motions again and again. Then, you decide to try something different. You haven't tried it yet because it seems like a dumb idea, but at this point, you're so numb that you'll try anything. And it turns out to not be as dumb an idea as you thought. Maybe it's not the best strategy, but it seems to be the best strategy for you and your brain's particular set of flaws. In this case, I decided to stop trying to stay ahead of the boss's element changes and just stay one element almost all of the time.

This didn't yield results immediately - the Crazy New Strategy always makes you worse at first - but when I broke through, I had room to spare.


I played again (on Easy!) and found a second ending, a more standard "good" ending. I went for a third, but got stuck on a certain part and ran, at last, out of patience. I watched the rest of it on DSPT.

You know, I don't have much to criticize. The early section of the game where you have either a fire or water item and have to take a different path depending on which your carrying could have used clearer indication of which path was which. I was mildly annoyed when I went the wrong way and had to backtrack. But come on, that is one Hell of a nit to pick. "I, Kara Gu" is the best DMOD. You guys have been holding out on me.
December 3rd 2014, 11:11 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
A lot of people seem to have difficulties at the last boss of I, Kara Gu. I always found it very easy, so it's hard for me to understand why. It shows off some awesome scripting and provides a fun and challenging battle. And the music is epic, too! I just found it really entertaining. Sometimes I actually used to play the boss for fun when I had nothing better to do.
December 3rd 2014, 02:54 PM
Noble He/Him United Kingdom
I would back up I, Kara Gu being the best d-mod.

It blows away absolutely everything else. Arik is too modest about his achievements with this one.
December 3rd 2014, 03:50 PM
The sad part is that I couldn't really make myself play all the way through I, Kara Gu when I first played it. I don't remember exactly what happened but I remember being stuck and frustrated (I'm good at that), but I also remember thinking the magic system was really cool. I'll have to give it another shot when I get the time.

Coincidentally, there's a Samantha in the DMOD I'm making... I'm not changing the name now!
December 3rd 2014, 07:54 PM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
I can honestly say I'm in agreement to the above, IKG for best Dmod of 2007!!
As well as all-time. Kind of surprising it didn't get as much hype, but in a way, that made your experience even better...
... We totally did that on purpose!

It was a heck of a lot of fun replaying it just to record the Let's Play videos as well, though I get the feeling there's something that I missed though, but I'm glad I put all the endings up there once I got the hang of it (there'es even an episode or two with joint commentary).

You weren't the only one to sucker down Normal mode, I can't recall if I stuck with Normal throughout the entire LP or not though without going back and watching it myself, though with my LP style there are in fact some failed attempts in there. Blind honesty in some cases with the way I do things.
December 3rd 2014, 08:11 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Also, I checked out that Game Center CX show you mentioned. Really funny and interesting.
December 4th 2014, 08:04 PM
Peasant He/Him United States
The world could always use more heroes 
I, Kara Gu is a D-mod I have downloaded and been meaning to check out but I haven't put aside some time to play (or make) D-mods for a long time. It sounds like I might not be playing it any time soon. I don't like games with ridiculously difficult boss fights, which is why I don't play games like Final Fantasy anymore.
December 5th 2014, 04:39 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
249: Picnic Perils Author: RadFrog Release Date: March 1, 2007
"That don't happen in this DMOD. Our boncas don't have any gold coins."

I had to let this one sit in my mind for a while. It pissed me off when I was playing it to such a degree that I would have been unfairly harsh if I wrote about it right away. Really, it isn't THAT bad. If it were more focused, it'd be an okay romp. Well, it would still have some major problems, but it wouldn't have made me make rude gestures at my computer monitor.

"Picnic Perils" is RadFrog's first attempt at a "real" DMOD, and it has an unaccountably gigantic map. There are over three hundred screens, and not an awful lot in them - Big Empty Map Syndrome is back. It took me over an hour to reach the end, and most of that was spent wandering around being lost or not knowing what to do. It was very frustrating. Most screens look very similar, and there's a big maze and a lot of mazelike paths. The things you actually DO are quite simple, and could easily have taken place much closer together.

The mapping has problems aside from BEMS. Some of the tiling is really bad, especially the water. Bad water tiling bothers me the most because the water animates and looks extra terrible. Dink is always clipping in front of or behind objects, and doors appear to open to reveal another closed door behind them. There are hardness errors that enable you to go places you shouldn't, including several errors that let you walk on water.

I like the swimming duck, but look at that water.

I've never seen this before. The hardness for the trees is normal, and the depth dot is fine by default. How? How does this happen?

Oh yes, a plot and such. Dink is asked by Milder (who is alive for some reason) to go and collect four food items for a big town picnic. This is a big problem for Dink, who is so broke that he pawned his sword a while ago and has been sleeping under a bridge. Even when he finally manages to get his hands on a bit of cash, he has to use most of it to buy his sword out of hock, and he ends up buying all the cheapest foods available.

You're almost never given a clear idea of what to do next, so most of the "action" consists of wandering despondently until you stumble into the next plot event. I wasn't even clear on what the four items Dink needed were until I actually found them because the cutscene where Milder tells you what to get is so poorly directed.

Yes, I said "poorly directed." I can't believe this is an issue in a DMOD, either.

Lots of DMODs have featured a bar where patrons converse in the background, cribbing the idea from the original game. It usually works just fine. In "Picnic Perils," unfortunately, these ambient bar chats are worked into a cutscene in an awful way. There are, including Dink and Milder's conversation, four conversations going on at once, all of them bringing everything to a halt with say_stop. Somebody from conversation A will speak, then somebody from conversation B will say a line, etc. Each of these conversations is completely independent from the others; they're only responding to the last line in their own conversation, which (trust me) you will have forgotten. It is completely impossible for the human mind to comprehend something like this. I couldn't make head or tail of what anybody was saying. It's almost worth downloading "Picnic Perils" just to marvel at how poorly this cutscene is constructed. It's a special, unique kind of bad.

Everybody shut up for a second! Geez!

Actually, nearly all of the dialogue in this mod comes in cutscene form. For some reason, any conversation Dink ever needs to have will happen immediately upon entering a room. When you can move again, the NPCs will, without exception, become completely unresponsive to you. It's bizarre, and it makes the scenes feel like a series of fake sets.

The DMOD does have a redeeming feature: a bunch of really juvenile jokes. For example, Dink has named his sword Farts, which stands for "Fearsome And Reliable Terrible Scimiter" [sic]. This leads to a bunch of amazingly dumb lines like "I just came in to look at Farts." Don't get too excited about the idea of slaying enemies with Farts - you won't use it. You get bowling balls that are equivalent to the throwing axe, a much better weapon, for free. There are also plenty of puns and other japery.

Now I understand why China is trying to ban puns.

Get it? Because there's a SAVE machine?

There are several sets of signs like this in the DMOD. Some of them have Burma Shave slogans, others have the first line or two of a dirty limerick followed by signs that just say "Censored by the KCPD," which stands for King's Commission on Public Decency.

"I found that much funnier than I should have." - My charming wife, immediately after recovering from a fit of laughter

She's going to hit me for that caption, but it's true.

I found this rambling wreck of a discussion thread about this DMOD that makes even less sense than the DMOD itself. That lance is quite a character, but my favorite part is learning that somebody - in 2007 - was burning DMODs to CD-Rs, 30 at a time, in order to play them.

By the way, after all that trouble, the picnic never really happens. It seems to be just Milder pulling one over on Dink again. Dink takes it in stride, though.

I wish people would stop putting lines like this one at the end of DMODs.

Funny extra detail: "Picnic Perils" comes with the readme and update text files from "Cloud Castle 2: Scarab."

250: Adventures with Jani - Part 1 Author: Skull Release Date: March 24, 2007
"He's a bar dancer..."


"Adventures with Jani..." Oh man, you guys.

*********This DMOD, "Adventures with Jani,"********
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 4, 2014*********

I owe Instalite an apology.

Wow. This... wow.


Okay, let's back up. This is the first DMOD by Skull, who has fifteen DMODs on this website, a few of which are still under a different name. Some of the later ones, I understand, are pretty well-regarded.

The moment I saw the screenshots on the download page, I recognized that the intro screen was copied from "A Knight's Tale" by SabreTrout.

"A Knight's Tale"

"Adventures with Jani"

But that's a pretty simple screen, so it's not that big of a deal. Then I read the dmod.diz, which says that the DMOD is "based on AKT1." What this seems to mean is that "Adventures with Jani" was made by editing "A Knight's Tale," leaving it mostly intact. The version I played is an update that attempts to skirt these concerns by skipping from the intro to a few original screens followed by a boss. However, there are saves included that let you access the "A Knight's Tale" map, which is still there. Even much of the dialogue hasn't been changed.

I know Jarvis, and you, "sir," are no Jarvis.

Let's talk about that hero sprite. All previous DMODs with MS Paint graphics - "Bloop the Fish," for example - now look great by comparison. When I opened this DMOD, I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt and tears squeezed out of my eyes. Sure, I had seen the screenshots, but I was unprepared to see them in motion. Not only does Jani not even pass muster as a stick figure, but each frame of animation doesn't even come close to looking like the one before it. He jitters insanely with every step. Lines splay dangerously out in seemingly every direction - are they supposed to be limbs? Hair? When you try to move this poor creature, he resembles nothing so much as a horrid, squished spider from a dimension where the only physical law is unrelenting cruelty. Walking in some directions inexplicably turns Jani into some kind of abstract character accompanied by text. Oh, and he turns into Dink when he pushes things, raising the awful possibility that Dink has been cursed into this form by a sadistic wizard. No, that's too horrible even to think about.

To kill this shambling, piteous wraith would be an act of mercy.

Jani wears sunglasses and carries two guns; that's how you know he's the "Ultimate Warrior." It's like somebody saw The Matrix and treated it as if it were a holy text on what it means to be cool and badass. It would be nice if his guns were capable of shooting anything - even shooting a pistol in each hand like a moron, he might accidentally hit something once in a while. Sadly, the guns have the same range as a Dink Smallwood punch.

The real punchline is that Skull has seen fit to release this guy as a graphics pack. Don't everybody line up to use him in their DMOD at once, now.

In this very short DMOD, Jani is supposed to rescue his dad from a stone giant named Rockie. Rockie moves way too fast and hits hard, so I failed to beat him in three tries. I might have kept trying if it weren't for the fact that every loss meant sitting through the entire intro again, including Jani and Rockie spending over an entire minute grunting at each other and saying things like "COME ON!" You can't skip the text because you aren't frozen.

I had thought that bottom-of-the-barrel DMODs had lost the ability to surprise me, but I didn't see this coming. This probably isn't the worst DMOD ever - at the very least, my "All Out Brawl" is worse - but it definitely presents a new angle on the ill-considered DMOD.

251: Crystal of the Gu Author: Endy Release Date: March 25, 2007
"If you want to see real magic then just watch this."

This is a quickie based around an obscure "brain" for sprite behavior in the Dink engine. Brain 2, which makes a sprite bounce back and forth, wasn't used in the original game. A handful of DMODs have used it, usually as a trap for Dink to avoid. That's how it's used here. You have to navigate through ten screens that have damaging stars bouncing around all over the place.

There's a lot of them about, so you do have to take some care.

There's a tiny little bit of story. As you may have guessed, "The Gu" is a reference to "I, Kara Gu," of which the author is a big fan. The story seems to take place before Arik's DMOD. The wizard Egdirtam (another Martridge anagram, like in "Attack of the Evil Wizard") has stolen a magical crystal from the Gu and is trying to use it. It gets out of his control, and it somehow creates all the bouncing stars that molest Dink.


There are some gold hearts to collect along the way, and you're given herb boots for the last few screens. None of the screens have a complicated path to travel, so it's not hard to make it through. I did it on my first try. Egdirtam is punished by the Holy Mother in the ending, but not as harshly as you'd think from her behavior in "I, Kara Gu."

This one is kind of charming with its cute little story and colorful screens, but the challenge is maybe a little bit too simple. I like the idea, though.

252: Honor of the Cast: Slimes Author: Skull Release Date: March 31, 2007
"Arh... they've got Charlie! I have to follow them..."

Skull released this under the alias "Slime." This seems to have fooled people into thinking it wasn't him for a very brief time. Actually, the mod is attributed to "Slime and Dertin," with Skull as a beta tester. Both Slime and Dertin were just Skull alts. He talks at length about the subject here, if you're wondering what could motivate somebody to pretend to be other people while releasing a DMOD.

Speaking of things that are very brief, this DMOD sure is. This writeup is probably going to be, too.

******This DMOD, "Honor of the Cast: Slimes,"******
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 5, 2014*********

I finished this DMOD in under a minute. Most of that time was spent watching the short intro. In it, Dink wants to buy a giant house from Charlie, the realtor mentioned in the original game. Unfortunately, Charlie is kidnapped by the Cast. Oh no! Dink must rescue him, or he'll never close that sale!

Dialogue is attributed in this unusual manner. Why didn't he just have the text appear above characters' heads as usual?

The playable portion consists of several very similar screens with a handful of slimes you don't have to fight. There's a big hardness hole in the wall and an inexplicable pattern of hardness on the floor. Some of the slimes get stuck in this hardness and can't move.

The slimes have force fields now! We're doomed!

After a few screens like this and one screen with a big slime you also don't have to fight, you arrive on a screen with a very poor "to be continued" message. There's nothing else. You have to quit manually.

Thought you could talk to the old guy, huh? Nope.

The entire map for "Cloud Castle" is included, but not used. All this does is make the file size unnecessarily huge.

I think this one is even worse than "Adventures with Jani." At least that one had a boss to fight, even if it was too hard. In this one, after the intro there's really nothing at all. If Skull was trying to get a fresh start by pretending to be somebody else, this probably wasn't the best way to go about it.


With that, there are now 100 DMODs left to cover. 31 of those are still left in 2007.

Anybody planning to finish their big DMOD before I get to the end in order to make sure it's covered might wanna step it up.
December 5th 2014, 05:25 AM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
Just a hundred left to go? You're almost there!
Keep it up!
December 5th 2014, 08:54 AM
Peasant He/Him United States
The world could always use more heroes 
Anybody planning to finish their big DMOD before I get to the end in order to make sure it's covered might wanna step it up.

Well, if you insist, I could start working on my epic again. As a matter of fact, today I was contemplating the idea of mapping out the entire rest of my D-mod sometime soon, to try to get me back into it.

But more on topic, this is still "Crazy Old Tim Plays All The D-Mods." That means you still have to play whatever is released after this project is "finished", otherwise you won't have played all the D-mods
December 5th 2014, 10:31 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
I warned you. And it's not gonna get any better until The Rise of the Goblins. You see, the sad thing is, I actually tried with these D-Mods, but there are D-Mods up ahead that I didn't even attempt to properly work on. I guess the only redeeming thing is how much my best D-Mod of 2007 improved from my worst. Although there's at least one horrible one from 2008 too, cause I just released that a year after it was made, for some reason.

Also, the reason my first D-Mods are built on other D-Mods is because when I first asked about it, I got tricked (or perhaps trolled) that it's how D-Mods are always made. After Slimes, I realized that's not the case, but nobody ever told me about Skeletons at this point, so I continued to do it for a while.

EDIT: I actually always wanted everything from before RoG removed, but people kept saying if I was sure about that, and that they do still hold a place in Dink history. I thought about it, and it is kinda cool to look back at them and see how much I've improved.
December 5th 2014, 12:45 PM
Man... Just 100 to go. I don't think there's a chance to finish my DMOD in that time. Maybe a demo, though (I hate demos!).
December 5th 2014, 02:30 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
you still have to play whatever is released after this project is "finished"

haha, no

I'm pretty sure when people told you about editing other DMODs, Skull, what they meant was copying another DMOD and erasing all the maps and other identifying elements to use it as a skeleton.
December 5th 2014, 03:07 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
I'm pretty sure when people told you about editing other DMODs, Skull, what they meant was copying another DMOD and erasing all the maps and other identifying elements to use it as a skeleton.

Probably. I was using DinkEdit at the time though, and you can't delete screens with that. Whatever he meant, it wasn't very helpful at all. Should've told me about Skeletons. Not that it would've helped my early D-Mods from being sucky, but at least they wouldn't have taken so much space.
December 5th 2014, 10:23 PM
You can delete map.dat and dink.dat, and have a completely fresh map. (Rather than being forced to use screen 400 as the first screen. Stupid skeletons.)

Anyway, it's a pretty funny bit of miscommunication. A cautionary tale about the careless handling of n00bs. ('Just take another dmod and change the map and scripts' -> BOOM, author plagiarizes AKT.)
December 6th 2014, 02:21 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
253: The Lost Amulet Author: Carrie Ann Burton Release Date: April 2, 2007
"Oww! Ewok hater!"

"The Lost Amulet" follows the same very simple pattern as Carrie's other DMODs, except that you're not playing as that lame old Dink Smallwood guy. You are... Dinkorro!

A hero! A man's man! Dinkorro!

Dink in a silly Zorro costume, complete with rapier. It's so ridiculous, you have to like it. This graphic was actually released back in 2006. It's good for a laugh with that cute little cape. Dink does jitter a bit when walking from side to side with the rapier equipped.

Dinkorro (it's a better name than Zorrink, I'll say that much) is commanded by the angel Raphael to retrieve an amulet he has lost. He soon tracks it down to one of those pesky elves of Rathor. Along the way, he encounters a treetop village full of Ewoks (why not?) and has a fun boat ride.

These dandelion huts with grass growing over them are interesting. The decoration in this mod is really eye-catching.

I love this treetop village! What a neat idea.

Once again, it's just a case of find the boss, kill the boss, and return, but great gameplay doesn't really seem to be the point of Carrie's mods. They just each provide an amusing new little world for Dink to mess around in. Given how similar many DMODs are, I am totally fine with this.

I was amused by some of the MIDI selections, including "The Tide Is High" and "More Than a Feeling," but unfortunately, you don't really get the time to listen to them. The exception is Dinkorro's rowboat singalongs, where you get plenty of time to watch our hero enthusiastically sing "YMCA" and his own self-aggrandizing version of "Row, row, row your boat."

There are some of Rabidwolf9's wasps in the dandelion village, but they don't seem to have a special (attack) frame set, so they can't really hurt you. There's a casino in the Ewok village, but you can find all the money to buy the only thing you might want (the rapier) in barrels anyway.

One thing that kind of bothered me is that you're required to proceed through a gap in the trees that is really difficult to tell is a gap. I didn't get stuck, since an NPC tells you to go east, but it wouldn't surprise me if somebody did.

Here's the gap in question. Carrie also made these strange blue pillbugs. They look like gel capsule medicine. I expect them to ooze a dark blue liquid when you poke them.

The joke's on Dink - excuse me, Dinkorro - in the end, as the angel wanted the amulet so that he could bring about Armageddon. Whoooops! (sad trombone plays)

254: Honor of the Cast: The Honor's Time Author: Skull Release Date: April 4, 2007
"Honor??? I didn't know that Cast have honor..."

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is part of the incredibly select group to have a rating of less than 1.0 (0.5) on The Dink Network.

Four days after the previous one, we're back. I'm not surprised; it doesn't take long to make this kind of thing. I speak from experience.

At this point, the jig was already up on Skull's duplicate accounts, as he uploaded this under his main account. He tried to claim that Slime "asked" him to upload it, but nobody was buying it. The IP addresses were all the same, after all.

*This DMOD, "Honor of the Cast: The Honor's Time,"*
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 5, 2014*********

Again, there's really nothing to do. Again, the "Cloud Castle" map is included but not used. SabreTrout and Arik's email addresses have even been left in the readme.

Dink cussed a swear!

Continuing from the previous installment, Dink tracks the Cast to some kind of hideout of theirs, I guess. There's a cutscene with more of that weird text attribution. All it does is add confusion. How am I supposed to know which Cast Knight is speaking?

Anyway, The Cast soldiers somehow summon a fence to block Dink and turn into boncas (actually, both of these things are accomplished by changing the screen without a fade). At this point, you naturally think, "Finally, a battle you actually have to fight. Obviously the fence will go away when you win, or something like that." You aren't really given sufficient strength to fight the boncas, but it's still easy enough to win if you get them to fight each other. Of course, this accomplishes nothing. What you actually have to do is walk through a part of the fence that isn't hard for some reason. I guess the Cast are fans of security measures that don't work.

Also, the status bar is never properly redrawn after the cutscene.

There are a couple more screens that you can safely ignore, and then another cutscene. Having a proper ending is certainly an improvement over the previous installment, so Skull gets some points for that. Dink saves a girl, but the Cast kill the rest of their captives, including Charlie, by making them burst into flame somehow. Those old meany heads!

I laughed out loud at this line. But damn it, I'd be in my angers too.

Dink isn't about to take this lying down. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of "Honor of the Cast!"

255: Honor of the Cast: The March of Army Author: Skull Release Date: April 22, 2007
"Water? Noobs drink water! Are you kid? Lol"

Previously, on "Honor of the Cast..."

Captain Cast soldier: You don't have anything, if you are good, anymore...
Dink: Arh....!
Captain Cast soldier: Turn to Cast soldier!!

And now, the conclusion.


No prizes for guessing which DMOD by SabreTrout and Arik has its entire map included in this DMOD. I am amazed - flabbergasted, really - that Skull didn't get a clue about this by this point. It seems he finally got it shortly afterward, promising SabreTrout that he wouldn't use his map anymore in the news thread for "The Honor's Time" several days after releasing this one. So this should be the last we see of phantom "Cloud Castle" maps... hopefully.

**********This DMOD, "The March of Army,"**********
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 5, 2014*********

You might think that I'm automatically handing out these Awards of Badness to all of Skull's DMODs - this is not so. I genuinely hoped not to give it to this one when I saw that it had a large number of scripts (unsurprisingly, it turns out that most of them are from "Cloud Castle") and may have had a somewhat longer development time. I didn't expect it to be any good, but I thought I'd be able to give the DFMAOB a break - my standards for it are so low. But this DMOD doesn't work at all. I don't even know what to make of this.

It begins with the strangest introduction a DMOD has ever had. On a black screen, Dink immediately walks left into the wall and furiously walks in place at the edge of the screen as a narrator talks about the exciting cliffhanger from the previous installment. There's a fade down, and some MS Paint white ellipses appear. Then it fades back up. Yep, they're white ellipses, all right. Dink continues to walk into the side of the screen as hard as he can.


It fades back down, and the pattern of dots changes, then it fades back up. It does all of this one more time before moving on to the plot. This takes quite a while to happen, and there's no dialogue or anything. I couldn't believe or understand what I was seeing. What the Hell is this supposed to be? It was like I was watching a terrible experimental film by a pretentious college student.

It gets a bit more normal after that. We see Dink being held prisoner at a Cast camp. He has refused to join their army (or "turn into a Cast soldier" as the game puts it). I don't understand at all how he goes from being held at the point of an axe and told to join the Cast to being free to wander around as he does when the game starts.

You guys think you have Dink captive, but look! He's still walking furiously against that screen edge. Walk on, Dink. Maybe this represents Dink's spirit, running free as his body is held prisoner.

By the way, that is a remarkably alive carcass you've got there.

This DMOD is a mess. Right at the start, you're supposed to get some wizards some vodka (here, "vodga") for some reason. This involves an odd puzzle in which the booze seller refuses to sell alcohol to Dink unless he's frustrated, so Dink has to go hit something to become frustrated (call me crazy, but this does not sound like the smartest of alcohol-selling policies). That's all well and good, but the script for the wizards doesn't work. They never send you off to the next part of the game like they're supposed to when you give them their "vodga." An unavoidable, fatal bug this early on practically earns the DFMAOB by itself.

The wizards have catheters? No wonder they never seem to move.

A Greek hero by the name of dinkinfreak posted a Fixed version of the script that allowed me to continue. Unfortunately, it didn't fix an additional bug in which you're left frozen if you select the "leave" option in the conversation. There are multiple bugs of this type in the DMOD.

That was the biggest problem I ran into, but far from the only one. Hardness errors are common, and screens are matched very poorly. I constantly ended up walking through walls without even trying. Some of the later enemies (yes, you have to fight enemies in this one) are unreasonably difficult. The Cast Knights in this DMOD are quite tough because their range is much longer than Dink's, but I managed to handle them until I got to a series of screens where you have to fight knights without having enough room to dodge their attacks. I had to cheat to get by.

This ain't happening, folks. Sure, I can get past one screen like this, but there are five in a row.

Still, "March of Army" would have avoided the DFMAOB if it weren't so broken. Like I said, the bar is low, and this would clear it if it worked. It feels quite a bit more like an actual DMOD - it's a reasonable length, there are a reasonable number of screens, there are real NPCs to talk to and there are real monsters to fight. There's an attempt made to tell a story - something about a coming war between the Cast and the rest of humanity. It's still quite bad, but it's a step in the right direction.
December 6th 2014, 08:55 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
There was supposed to be another Honor of the Cast D-Mod to end it. Still sucked ass but was a huge improvement over the previous ones. It took over an hour, had multiple endings and was overall much better. But I never uploaded it cause I realized it was still awful. Kinda ironic, out of all my early D-Mods, that was the only one that'd have been reasonable to upload. Now it's gone lol

Also, I'm kinda surprised I had Dink swear. I generally don't like doing that very much. Guess back then I didn't care so much. And I have to say, I found reading about the vodka quest slightly amusing. I had completely forgotten that.
December 6th 2014, 10:55 AM
Peasant He/Him Sweden bloop
Life? What's that? Can I download it?! 
Hey Skull, what does those white ellipses represent during the intro?
December 6th 2014, 11:22 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Hell if I know!
December 6th 2014, 06:30 PM
Peasant She/Her Canada
I am loving these reviews. I had forgotten how funny many of the games are. Nice job, Tim.
December 6th 2014, 06:35 PM
Peasant She/Her Canada
I have to admit, though, it's a little weird that you keep calling me Carrie Ann Burton instead of carrie2004. I think I only wrote my full name on my comic site, not the games. But I keep hearing my mothers voice every time I see it 'Carrie Ann Burton you clean up your room right this instant!!' So it kinda makes me shudder. And no, I don't wanna clean up my room.
December 6th 2014, 06:41 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
Haha, you had your name in some of the dmod.diz files. I'll change it if you want.
December 6th 2014, 06:45 PM
Peasant She/Her Canada
It's fine. Just weird.
December 6th 2014, 10:25 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
So Carrie... when will we get another cool D-Mod from you?
December 7th 2014, 12:24 AM
Peasant He/Him Australia
(Tag Line) How long is this line. 
I cant wait 2013 LOL! 1 D-mod
December 7th 2014, 12:29 AM
Peasant He/Him Australia
(Tag Line) How long is this line. 
A lot of people seem to have difficulties at the last boss of I, Kara Gu. I always found it very easy, so it's hard for me to understand why. It shows off some awesome scripting and provides a fun and challenging battle. And the music is epic, too! I just found it really entertaining. Sometimes I actually used to play the boss for fun when I had nothing better to do

Play it on Normal the final boss is really hard on normal

Easy on the other hand is pretty easy and had no trouble on easy.
December 7th 2014, 12:25 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Well, I never had a hard time with it. On normal or easy. That's obviously why I said I don't get why so many others seem to have so much trouble with it. I found the hardest part of I, Kara Gu to be the Pillbug swarm thing, and even that was of reasonable difficulty.
December 7th 2014, 01:02 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
We can't all be Dink playing gods like you, Skull.
December 7th 2014, 01:11 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
I know.

But I'm just curious why exactly that particular boss seems to be so difficult for so many. I watched ExD's Let's Play and he had a hard time with it, too. But then these same people don't have any trouble with much more difficult bosses in D-Mods. It's odd.
December 7th 2014, 02:19 PM
My theory is that you are proficient at different skills which come in handy for different parts of the game. I really must play it sometime so I can see how I fare against her.
December 7th 2014, 03:12 PM
I, Kara Gu is memorable for me because it had just been released and was a recent news item when I first joined TDN. I only actually played it some time later.
December 7th 2014, 04:24 PM
Peasant He/Him Netherlands
The Voice in the back of your head! 
seen a lot where bosses are said to be hard and i found ,m too easy yet bosses that were deemed easy i found though as nails. so guess as said is dependant on which ingame skills you have
December 7th 2014, 07:20 PM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
Not just skills, but playstyle in general.
Even normal level stretches gave me trouble at times because one of my habbits is to murder everything on every screen I come across most of the time, and lack of care easily leads to health loss as I go.

I had trouble with March of the Pillbugs as well, died a couple times in the video as you'll have seen. One of the other risks you take with a game like IKG is not being prepared (which is quite easy) for the mechanics of how the boss moves and attacks. With the Holy Mother, not only does she completely change tactics as you progress, but you're given only 2 seconds (sometimes less) to respond and prepare, and with so many changes in tactic it can take a few minutes to memorize them if you want to come up with an almost 'foolproof' strategy. Actually implementing a plan doesn't always work either, mistakes are easy to make.

I feel this little discussion just goes to support I, Kara Gu as the best Dmod.
December 8th 2014, 02:31 AM
Peasant He/Him Australia
(Tag Line) How long is this line. 
March of the pillbugs is pretty easy for me
Holy mother was dam hard on Normal.

I manage to beat the two elemental cloud bosses by getting one stcuk behind a wall at the top middle of the screen while I take out the other one.

I recon CC2 and Cast awakening are the best D-mods better then I Kara gu
December 8th 2014, 04:51 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
Just a heads up: I'm going to be covering one fewer DMOD in 2007 than I said I was. I had something on my list that turned out to be a "development DMOD" with nothing to do in terms of gameplay. I don't think I'd have much to say about Survival that you couldn't read in its description.

256: Bill & Kill 1: *SIGH* Author: Skull Release Date: April 22, 2007
"Arh... I think I'll just kill myself!"

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is part of the incredibly select group to have a rating of less than 1.0 (0.4) on The Dink Network.

"The March of Army" promised a fourth "Honor of the Cast" installment, but it never came out. Instead, we get this, released the same day as HOC3 under a different author name. Skull, a big fan of "Cloud Castle 2: Scarab," decided to call himself Jameil for some reason. Unlike the "Honor of the Cast" DMODs, this series is still credited to "Jameil" on the site.

Let's take a glance at the description:

The game with fight. Believe me!! This game is NOT for those who doesn't have a long patience. I did try 13 times before I got past the second screen. It took me (if I remember right) 543 tries to finish it.

This is gonna suuuuuuck. At least the appropriate reaction is built right into the title.

I mean, what else is there to say? It's named "*SIGH*" because that's what you do when you realize you've been trolled by this stupid DMOD.

********This DMOD, "Bill & Kill 1: *SIGH*,"********
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 6, 2014*********

So much for the minor progress Skull had made; this might be his worst DMOD yet. Actually, I'm sure it is. You can blame something like "Honor of the Cast: Slimes" on immaturity, impatience and incompetence; THIS load of crap could only be made by somebody who deliberately wants players to suffer.

Our protagonist Bill, the winner of the 2007 Dink Smallwood Lookalike Contest (OK, so I made that up), is out to steal the treasure of a bonca pirate named x6x (good luck pronouncing that). This story is only told on a loading screen that didn't even display when I played the game. Even back when computers were slow enough that it would display, I can't imagine you had enough time to read it.

There's nothing here but hordes of knights who are so strong that one hit will kill poor Bill several times over. Thanks to the ability to make enemies hit each other, it probably isn't impossible to win (I got past the first screen legitimately, for a giggle), but I wasn't about to waste my time. I cheated my way through. There are so many knights that, at 120 experience points each, I got to level 13 by killing them all with the Ultimate Cheat. Level 13!


There are a few save points along the way. Their script has been altered to require you to wait around several seconds after you choose to save, just to annoy you a little more.

When you finally get to x6x, he declares, "This will be an interesting battle!" There is no battle. After a fade, x6x is dead. Bill tries to claim his treasure, but the treasure chest is locked, so he commits suicide instead. There's an alternate ending in the script where you get the gold, but there's no way to actually see it ingame. The scripts also contain fragments from "Cloud Castle." At least the map is free of CC screens this time.


There's no excuse for releasing something like this as your fifth DMOD, and Skull knew it. He clearly was not even trying at this point. He changed names to try and avoid the blame, but I can't understand why he'd make this at all. My guess is that he was getting his jollies off of people's disgust and disappointment.

I doubt anybody's ever beaten this legitimately. As Dan "The Man" Walma wrote in response to the author's claim that he'd beaten it himself:

I'm pretty sure he is lying like a cow does under the bitter moonlight of January... when the sun shines too slow in the day, and the touch of death lurks in frigid shadows. "Moo", says the cow to the moon, "Moo"... if only he could make an 'en' sound, then at least he could voice his discontent to the heartless glow. He tries to stand up on undernourished legs, but its last vestiges of body heat melted the snow under its craggy, matted belly, and he's frozen to the ground. Lying there, unable to get up under any effort, hoping that someone invents a gentle, cow-proof flamethrower in the next 3 minutes.

That sums up the experience of playing "Bill & Kill" better than I ever could.

On the bright side, this experience is making me feel a lot better about my August 1998 releases. At least I stopped after a month or so.

257: The Legend of the Dink: The Beginning Author: GOKUSSJ6 Release Date: May 21, 2007
"And I f*** pigs! Now I'm really pissed off!"

GOKUSSJ6 is a Polish fellow with a name that takes me back to bygone days when kids seemed to think it was cool to name themselves after a character from Dragon Ball Z and append "SSJ" and some crazy number. "SSJ" stands for "Super Saiya-jin," despite the fact that "Saiyan," a perfectly reasonable English translation, is used in the official localizations of the series and in any halfway sane fan translations. I saw a "SoN GoHaN SSJ9" once. Ah, those bygone days. This is the first of five DMODs from Mr. Goku, all in 2007.

"The Legend of the Dink" ("the" Dink? Is Dink a title now?) is almost as generic as a DMOD can get, starting with Dink getting sent on a mission by King Daniel and ending with a battle against Seth in a different body. Seth, of course, rants in an out-of-character fashion about how Dink only destroyed his body, but not his spirit. Not only is this a lame plot, it's tired. It's been done over and over again.

The only thing that makes this one stand out at all is the letter the King reads to Dink at the start. It's from Seth, under some pseudonym I've already forgotten, and it accuses Dink of what I'm going to call "animal husbandry" (see the header quote if you are confused about what I mean). It was such an obnoxiously stupid joke that I couldn't help but laugh a little.

All you really do in "Legend" is walk from left to right. The town you start in is laid out on a thin horizontal strip. It opens out onto a rather large box-shaped area, but you won't find anything of consequence by exploring around. The map is pretty plain, and when you reach the end of it, the entire right side of the map just cuts off with an invisible wall.

Enjoy this rather odd shelf of bloody objects. It's the most interesting sight in the DMOD.

When you get to Seth, he'll probably destroy you instantly. You could do an awful lot of grinding to beat him, but you're better off finding the secret area. If you walk straight through what looks like a solid treeline at a certain spot, you'll find some powerups. There's no hint leading the player to this; I found out by looking in the editor. Anyway, with the powerups and one elixir from the healing shop, I was able to beat "Seth" at level 2. Killing him doesn't seem to do any good, though, as his soul just escapes again.

It must smell pretty bad in there.

258: Adventures of Dink Smallwood Part 2: The Song of an Ancient Wind (Demo) Author: Lunacre Release Date: May 21, 2007
"Help! The spirits of dead bodies are attacking us!"

This one has an even longer title than the first installment. Good grief.

I had to go back to the 2005 topic and re-read my own writeup in order to remember what AODS Part 1 was about, but it came back to me. Dink went to a town called Rakuna and fought Firamin, the "Ancient of Fire." This time out, he's taking on Aramin, the Ancient of Air. Of course, since this is just a demo, you never actually fight him. It's quite substantial for a demo, though. I ended up spending almost an hour and a half on it.

"Adventures of Dink Smallwood Part 2" begins with a long, mostly silent intro in which Dink decides to just "go for a walk" but ends up walking for thousands of miles and witnessing all kinds of horrible things, all set to whimsical music. I found the contrast kind of amusing. The cutscenes are good throughout the DMOD. Characters move expressively, stopping and turning in a natural way. It reminds me of JRPGs from the SNES/Genesis era.

A nice, relaxing walk. Ah.

At the end of his walk, Dink finds himself trapped on a strange island haunted by ghosts. The ghosts are controlled by a being known as the Spirit King. You start near a small town whose mayor is almost too hospitable to Dink. Amazingly enough, Dink's old neighbor Ethel also lives there.

Hey, what? You can't prove I killed Quackers! As far as you know, I'm as innocent as the driven snow!

Most of the DMOD is spent underground, fighting ghosts. The ghosts are represented by new graphics that look okay, although I've seen better versions.

You ghosts need to come up with more things to say. It's just hard to feel appropriately terrified by such repetitive haunting.

It gets a little tedious fighting screen after screen of the same two types of ghost. There's also an error at the start of this area: you see the entrance blocked off by a big rock and Dink makes a point of saying he'll have to find another way out, but if you leave the screen and return, the rock is gone and you can leave just fine. Anyway, the next section is a little more interesting. Weaponized ghosts fall from the top of the screen, and you have to balance avoiding the ghosts with making it to the end of this section in the allotted time.

When I said, "I wish it would rain spirits," this wasn't what I meant.

When you reach the Spirit King, after plenty of ominous buildup and some minibosses, he reveals his true form: a duck. But this isn't a "Slaughterhouse"-style fakeout: Ducky is a mean fighter.

This is the meanest poultry Smallwood has ever faced.

The Spirit King boss is very easy, and I don't understand why everyone keeps saying that it's hard... whoops, sorry. For a second there, I thought that I was Skull. What I meant to say is that it's basically impossible. The duck moves too fast, does too much touch damage, and is always filling the room with projectiles. Realizing I couldn't win, I went back to the start and got a weapon I had missed, but that only provided an increase of 2 attack. I tried three more times to beat the Spirit King, but finally gave up and cheated up some better stats. I might have kept trying if it weren't for the fact that there isn't a save point anywhere near the boss, and each loss means spending at least several minutes getting back.

When Dink beats the Spirit King, the defeated duck gives Dink an extremely long, expository speech. He tells Dink that he is descended from the Ancients. He tells him that he isn't actually behind the spirits attacking the island. He drops hints about Dink's father and tells Dink to believe in himself and follow his heart. And all the time I can't stop snickering, because these heartfelt words are all coming to me from a headless duck with blood spraying from its neck-hole. What the Hell?

You'd probably think that a boss like that would mark the ending of a demo, but it doesn't. In the next section, Dink is trapped in a haunted village. There's a riddle that tells Dink how to find his way out. It seems like a clever puzzle, but the riddle itself is quite easy to figure out. It speaks of a "green one covered in red and pain" and you can find a tree coated in blood. Okay, but how do you get to it? This is why I got stuck. I scoured the topics about the game, but nobody seemed to have the answer. Eventually, I figured it out myself.


Oh, come ON.

Yeah, I dunno if I missed something in the riddle, but it seems odd to require the player to examine something that's usually just decoration. Oh well.

So you find your way out of the town, but even that's not the end. The mayor of the first town turns out to be Aramin, and there's a whole section of Dink escaping from his prison. Dink gets out of his cell by constructing an atomic bomb from things he finds lying around. Sure.

Ooh, I love it when they do this. Okay, so "Adventures of Dink Smallwood Part 2" officially takes place in or around Chad.

After escaping, Dink is transported to a snowy land. You wander around a bit there and find another village... and THAT'S where the demo ends. Whew!

There's an alternate ending early on. When you talk to the mayor, the game asks you if you've played "Adventures of Dink Smallwood Part 1." If you say no, it tells you to go play it and kills the game! Then, it asks you if you've beaten it. Again, an answer of "no" ends the game, but you can also select whether you got the good ending or the bad one where Dink joins forces with Firamin. That gets Dink thrown in prison. The game tells you to press ALT+F4 to exit, and there's a long pause... but then the voice of the author shows up. Lunacre admits that he needs Dink, and gives him ridiculous stats to help him escape! I think I like this ending more than the real one.

These are record non-cheating stats. Not even Dinkzilla was this buff.

This one might be a bit overrated. It drags on a bit, and the Spirit King is definitely too hard. I'm not alone on this - I saw several people state that they cheated to get past him even though they didn't want to. It's not a bad effort, though - heck, as of this point it was probably the second-best mod of 2007.

Here's a bit of insider trivia for you. I was shocked when I opened up the story folder for this one and found it full of compiled ".d" files. It was once very common - almost standard practice - to do this to your scripts to prevent people from peeking, but over time, fewer and fewer authors saw any point in doing so. This is the first time I've seen .d scripts since "Quest for the Gems" in May of 2005!

259: Bill & Kill 2: The Unknown Boy Author: Skull Release Date: May 23, 2007
"Yep! We came to kill you!"

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is part of the incredibly select group to have a rating of less than 1.0 (0.3) on The Dink Network.

This title screen makes this DMOD look more exciting than it actually is. It's a screenshot; the map screen used to set it up is still in the DMOD, unused.

Mooo. The cow waves its legs pointlessly, but it can't change its fate. Mooooo.

****This DMOD, "Bill & Kill 2: The Unknown Boy,"***
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 8, 2014*********

Again, Skull released this as "Jameil." At this point, Redink1 decided he'd had enough of the charade (read this, it's a hoot).

As for the DMOD, it's the same sort of thing as the first one: A bunch of similar screens full of enemies that are too hard to beat. In this case, they're toned down to the point where I could believe people have legitimately done it, but why would you want to put all that effort into playing this? I didn't hesitate to cheat. This time, the enemies are odd, doll-sized children rather than knights.

Careful, Bill. Kids are dirty fighters.

Notice the white backgrounds? they've all been tiled with the "empty" tile, so they'll display whatever the previous background was - nothing, if you've loaded a game.

There's an actual boss in this one. After you beat him (I cheated again, of course) there's a strange ending in which a couple of old people stumble upon the aftermath of Bill's rampage and say they'll never find him, that he will remain "the unknown boy," hence the title. They say some other things, too, but it's nonsense.

Bill cussed a swear too! These rapscallion adventurers.

It's easy to understand a young person showing up and making some bad DMODs, but as time passes, continuing to release things like this to universal dislike becomes a stranger and stranger thing to do. I find myself coming up with convoluted explanations. Maybe Skull made these mods so poorly under a different name so that "his" DMODs would look better by comparison? But that doesn't make any sense, because the only thing he laid claim to at this point was "Adventures with Jani," a blatant "A Knight's Tale" ripoff. Of course, the truth is simpler: he just wanted to piss people off, a noble and storied motive for many a creative endeavor. Honestly, I think people were more confused than mad.
December 8th 2014, 09:22 AM
Peasant He/Him Poland
Everyone should get a pizza for free in each week. 
The moment i saw my 1st DMOD ya played. I've instantly laughed, in a sad way while saying "Oh no...".

Now when i think about it. I think I should reboot it.
December 8th 2014, 11:21 AM
Peasant He/Him Sweden bloop
Life? What's that? Can I download it?! 
When I was a kid, I too went on sites and made duplicate accounts. Mainly to raise votes on custom maps I made for a game called N: Way of the Ninja or something. Seems like they're still going.

So I was a little evil back then, but I learned my lesson the same way Skull did here. A public, humiliating announcement but I got a permanent ban from that site. I had to do something to get back on the site so I made up a lame excuse about friends using the same computer that didn't help at all. Finally after many excuses and sorrys later, I got back in.

As for the early DMODs Skull made, they're very bad, but you gotta start somewhere! Right? They get better!
December 8th 2014, 12:00 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Meh, I'd still rather play Bill & Kill than watch the Kill Bill -series.

Heh, I can't even look back at these D-Mods with hate, cause I have such a merry time thinking how obvious it is that they were made bad on purpose. It's funny how any common person would realize these D-Mods are a complete troll. Still, there were some people who actually bought that it was possible to beat them. And it amused me to no end. xD Hmm, maybe I should go make Bill & Kill 4, for old times' sakes.
December 8th 2014, 01:48 PM
Noble He/Him United Kingdom
TBS influenced the creation of another d-mod? That's really cool. I had no idea!
December 8th 2014, 02:23 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
I forgot to mention something about .d files: it's not like they stop me from peeking. A decompiler is built into WinDinkEdit+2.
December 9th 2014, 04:04 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
260: The Legend of the Dink II: The Ancient Book Author: GOKUSSJ6 Release Date: June 20, 2007
"Dink listen to me Seth is resurrecting evil mens that you killed!"

"Legend of the Dink II" picks up right where its predecessor left off. Dink has just killed Seth again, but as long as his spirit remains, he'll be able to keep coming back. Dink also notes that he's mysteriously lost the sword and fireball spell that he had seconds ago - of course, this happens for no reason other than the fact that it's the start of a new DMOD. The DMOD cliché parade continues as Martridge shows up, explains the plot like the cuddly ball of beard and exposition we all know and love, and teleports Dink to a new location. As always, Dink complains that Martridge didn't teleport him to quite the right place. Less worn-out is the implication the intro gives that Martridge is a womanizer, but even that was previously seen in "Honor Quest." I have a slight suspicion that ol' Goku might have played a few other DMODs before making this one.

Actually, I wouldn't mind if this became an established part of Martridge's character. He could use another dimension or two.

There's definitely a lot more to this DMOD than the first in the series, which you could play almost entirely from left to right. There are two towns, a couple of dungeons and a series of little fetch quests you have to complete to progress. Outside of the town and dungeon areas, however, "The Ancient Book" has the same problem as "The Beginning:" Most of the map is just large boxes with a bunch of enemies thrown in. Dink is left to wander through these areas, and it feels purposeless. Usually, once you find the road you can follow it and safely ignore everything else. There is a part near the end where you have to go a long way out of your way to find a guy who's just standing in a bush at the edge of the forest. I'm glad somebody on an old discussion thread mentioned to look for this guy, because the DMOD itself doesn't give you the slightest clue what to do.

Trees and bushes are placed a bit haphazardly, but at least the map doesn't look plain.

The map also has some visual problems related to depth dot and hardness.

Depth dot errors are common. You can "stand on the roof" of the majority of the houses.

It looks like Dink and the monsters can walk on water.

Dink's quest is to find the "ancient book" referred to in the title in order to learn how to defeat Seth. He finds it in yet another place called the Temple of the Ancients (if I remember correctly, everybody is probably cribbing this from Final Fantasy VII), but somebody else has gotten there first... It's Bishop Nelson, the leader of the Dead Dragon Carcass Cult from the original game! Okay, that one's new. He's been brought back to life by Seth and put into a wizard's body. There is a genuinely funny moment when Dink tries to figure out who this mysterious figure is. Nelson drops a hint about the DDC Cult, and...


Unfortunately, the frustrating trend of excessively hard bosses continues here. Although the DMOD is full of monsters, you're not required to fight anything before the boss. Still, I had found a few hidden powerup caches and had pretty impressive stats. Still, I got my butt whooped by Nelson. He has two forms. In the first, he summons a ridiculous number of ghost knights to assist him; in the second, he's a stone giant.

He just keeps summoning them!

I didn't want to give up and cheat again, so I went back and did some serious grinding, going from level 4 to level 9. At this point, the boss and the minions he summoned couldn't do more than 1 damage to me, but I still couldn't win after several tries. Both forms (and the ghost knights) move much more quickly than Dink, so the usual hit and run tactics don't work. The forms have a ridiculous amount of hit points (500 for the first form, 550 for the second), so they were easily able to outlast me. Again, I gave up and cheated. Does anybody playtest these games? Yes, I know, "you just suck." Fine, whatever.

In the ending, Dink meets back up with Martridge, who tells him that that Seth has resurrected "two great mens." The DMOD doesn't leave us in suspense on who that is - it's Mog. A goblin then starts banging on the door, setting the next part up nicely.

261: The Legend of the Dink Special Edition: Rand's Quest for Axe Author: GOKUSSJ6 Release Date: June 27, 2007
"Cause GOKUSSJ6 wanted to make a quest about idiotic Rand and his axe."

The words "special edition" usually refer to some kind of remake or repackaging, but this is actually a side-story to the "Legend of the Dink" series. Goku-san is obviously a fan of Japanese media, so he could have called it "Legend of the Dink Gaiden."

You might be wondering who this Rand person is. He's a very minor character from "Legend of the Dink II," a guard who was paranoid about people trying to steal his axe.

Here's a shot of Rand from "Legend of the Dink II."

This is a silly romp, obviously intended as a comedy. I did think the intro was pretty funny. Rand is convinced he's lost his axe, even though his partner keeps telling him that it's in his chest (he says "on" his chest, but he means inside it). Rand is such an idiot that he's convinced himself that his partner's chest is his own and refuses to even check the other one. Rand embarks on a Quest for his Axe. The other residents of his village are so happy the lunatic is leaving that they throw a party.

It looks to me like he's CARRYING his axe, but I guess he must mean a different axe.

The forest area you start out in and a "town" of two enterable houses it leads to are all a red herring. The actual way forward is hidden under some random bush. That's, uh, not great design, but okay. This leads to a cameo of Skull and some other guy named Rajesh.

Heh, he's literally a skull. Good choice.

Rand travels to a strange land with no screen borders and no hardness to do battle with a villain known as the "Spammer King." I have to admit I cringed a bit when Rand told this guy he was going to rape his ass. The "Legend of the Dink" mods already have a lot of foul language, but this one goes even further. I guess the idea is that profanity equals comedy. I don't usually mind swearing, but it seems a little excessive here. When you defeat the Spammer King, nothing happens; this is intentional, oddly enough. You just have to go back the way you came. Don't return to the screen where you fought SK; if you do, the game will freeze.

This is the only savebot in the DMOD. As you can see, it doesn't work.

Rand eventually gets a wizard to magically divine the location of his axe: it's in the chest at the beginning of the game, of course. He returns home, but is still too stubborn to look in his own chest. The other guard, who must know him pretty well, has anticipated this and moved the axe to his own chest. And all was well. Hey, I've seen worse attempts at humor.

Oh, and like 95% of alternative heroes, Rand turns into Dink when you push. Argh, it is so easy to fix!

262: Attack of the Mutant Veggies Author: Radfrog Release Date: June 28, 2007
"In the meantime, eat your veggies... BEFORE THEY EAT YOU!"

"Attack of the Mutant Veggies" grabbed me from the beginning, but almost lost me by the end. I actually quit the game at one point with the intention of giving up, but I changed my mind and went back and finished it. My final time was 1 hour and 17 minutes, but it honestly felt a lot longer. That's a shame, because some parts of this DMOD are funny and interesting.

For example, check out this title screen with the chomping head of lettuce. It's hilarious in motion and with a dramatic music sting.

A couple of bored Ancients named Rhatt and Maous (get it?) have decided to entertain themselves by wreaking havoc upon Dink's plane of existence. Specifically, they have altered the DNA of various plants to make them into creatures that attack and maim. The evil veggies encountered by Dink during the adventure include lettuce, celery, carrots, potatoes, radishes, and a watermelon as the final boss. Most of these are all-new graphics, and some of those that aren't, like the lettuce, have new animations where they hop up to bite Dink. It actually looks quite good! It's a hoot seeing all the veggies hop around.


The Ancients don't actually enter Dink's world. They communicate from their own through sparkles. They use a variety of machines to exert their influence on the lower plane, such as the "transdeeinayer" used to mutate the vegetables. Dink also speaks to a "good" Ancient, but they're unwilling or unable to help apart from scattering gold and relatively useless potions all across the land. The potions look like stat increasers, but they're actually equivalent to a small heart, a large heart, and a less powerful golden heart.

The dialogue is whip-smart and there are a lot of cool story ideas. I liked the arrogant yet cowardly (and unusually skinny) King, who isn't a damn bit of help to Dink. He says that he can't help with swords or gold because the Visigoths have kidnapped the queen, and they demand a large ransom each month... or they'll return her.

The King jokes about a possible furniture uprising, not yet realizing the seriousness of the vegetable threat.

Another character I liked early on was an oracle who has to "breathe fumes from a mystical source" (clearly, he is actually using narcotics) in order to use his psychic powers. Oh, and this DMOD also features "the dancing baby." Does anybody remember that? I remember seeing it on Ally McBeal. It was already as old as the hills when this DMOD came out.

The game opens up when you get access to a teleporter. You can choose from four destinations, with a fifth locked until you've explored the other four. Again, some of the concepts behind the areas are pretty interesting. Briefly, I thought that this DMOD finally achieved what I was hoping to do with "Crossroads" back in 2000 - to make a spiritual successor to "The Quest for Cheese." For a moment, all the elements seemed in place - a lazy king, some smart humor, a variety of quirky locales. It ended up being a lot less fun than all of that, unfortunately.

One thing that "Quest for Cheese" had going for it that "Mutant Veggies" doesn't: compact maps. I ended up doing a lot of aimless wandering around through big, empty areas. It's the same problem the author's previous DMOD, "Picnic Perils," had - it'd be a lot better if there wasn't so much walking. Mind you, this is a much better DMOD than that one, since there's a lot more to do, but the same basic criticism applies.

Also returning from "Picnic Perils:" the author's unusual treatment of NPCs. Conversations happen in cutscenes; afterward, most NPCs become unresponsive. I don't like this at all. It makes the game feel less interactive.

Those aren't the only problem with "Attack of the Mutant Veggies," however. A big one is the enemies. You're given a chance to play in easy mode at the start, and I took it. It made the enemies wimps in most ways, but their defense is still sky-high. In an effort to catch up, I put all of my points into attack, but this turned out to be futile. Enemies' defense scales with your attack. Most enemies, including all vegetables, will always take either 1 or 0 damage from you. On Easy, this is compensated for by the fact that they haven't got much health, but this is still awful, awful design. I can't imagine what the point is in the first place of having enemy defense scale with player offense, thus rendering the latter completely useless, but even allowing that, WHY would you set it so high that the player can't do real damage to the enemies? It killed my fun just as surely as a bunch of celery sticks killed the King's weak-ass knights. I'll say it again, for emphasis: this is baffling, awful design.

The maps are better than in "Picnic Perils," but there are still tiling problems, especially concerning water. However, I do really like the new grass tiles. I think they look better and more organic than the default grass.

Nobody ever told RadFrog that water isn't supposed to have abs.

With the complaining out of the way, let's take a quick look at the locations Dink visits:

The main attraction in Oddland is a tourist trap where you pay a substantial fee to gawk at a village of tiny people. Dink learns that the people and village are really normal size, and that it's a trick done with mirrors.

Y'know - damn it, I'm gonna complain some more - another problem with this DMOD is that you aren't given very clear objectives in these locations. You just kind of bum around these places until you feel like you've accomplished something and then leave. Although you know what your overall goal is (to destroy a device the Ancients need to keep making veggie monsters), there's never a sense of how your adventures in these locations contribute to that goal. Even a rote "collect the four pieces of the broken teleport device" type plot would give the player a sense of purpose. It's important to give the player a sense of purpose, or they'll feel that they're wasting their time. I did.

Okay, back to the locations.

In Stoneledge, Dink meets people in conflict with some stone giants. The stone giants are retaliating because the people have ruined their land and greedily chopped down all the trees. They won't fight their own battles - they insist they're pacifists, but it seems more like a cover for cowardice. Dink helps them, but begrudgingly.

The substance that looks like mud in Caustica on Avon is actually sulfuric acid. In addition to avoiding the edges of the paths, Dink must take care not to walk into barrels full of the stuff that are sitting all around the place. At the end, there's a wishing well, but the only wishes it offers are kind of lame.

Phantasmagoria features a "teacher" who quizzes Dink endlessly - the solution to the puzzle is to simply walk away in the middle of his quiz (clever!). After that, there are a series of tough physical challenges where quick reflexes are required to dodge traps, but it's not so bad once you realize that you don't have to do them all at once and can save after beating each challenge. Dink seems to accomplish even less here than usual, unfortunately. The trigger for "winning" the area seems to be meeting a guy who sells fireball magic... but Dink doesn't buy it, because it's a dud. What was the point of coming here?

One of the challenges in Phantasmagoria.

In the final area, Alta Vista, you climb a lot of stairs to reach the "highest point in the world," where the final boss and the dreaded machine await. This place seems to be a tourist attraction too, despite the monsters around.

"Attack of the Mutant Veggies" is a very interesting mod with some especially frustrating flaws. I'm still interested to see RadFrog's other DMOD, which is... it's coming right up, actually, after another "Legend of the Dink" DMOD.
December 9th 2014, 10:55 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Mutant Veggies is one of the most forgotten D-Mods ever released. You barely ever see anybody mention it. It's really odd cause it's actually a pretty great D-Mod, despite having its flaws. But this was still a time when a lot of old people were leaving and new people joining, so it got left in the shadows of all that, unfortunately.

Also, I remember Rajesh! And I remember that D-Mod scene. Man, I might've been a bugger back then, but that guy was one kind of a special. Somewhat reminiscent of a few certain people we have on the site these days, except... more unique. Instead of spamming, the guy literally hated spam so much that his hate towards it turned into spam. Most people have forgotten him cause he was left in the shadow of the mighty Asshats, soon after.
December 10th 2014, 03:31 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
263: The Legend of the Dink III: The Fall of Imperial Seth (Demo) Author: GOKUSSJ6 Release Date: July 12, 2007
"I can't belive it!That slayer took Bob's wallet!"

This is a pretty short demo. It took me twenty minutes, but that's only because I got confused by some unintuitive puzzle design.

Like "Legend of the Dink II," this starts right where the last one left off, with Dink and Martridge surrounded by goblins. I like this approach, and I wonder why it hasn't been seen more often in DMOD series. Dink even starts with the light sword and hellfire spell that he got in the previous installment.

Dink escapes through a hidden passage while Marty stays behind to hold off the goblins. Martridge tells Dink that Seth has made Stonebrook his base of operations, although I wonder when he had the chance to learn this.

Probably! I just happen to be exactly right about this!

Dink soon makes his way to "Port Village," where he must buy a boat in order to travel to Stonebrook and defeat Seth once and for all. It turns out that most of the characters from the original game have escaped to this town, including Mr. SmileStein, Ethel and Quackers, Nadine and Mary, and Dink's aunt Maria. He asks her what happened to Jack, which seems odd. I mean, you don't have to kill him, but I was under the impression that most players did.

Although it looks a little rough, I like the port in Port Village. It looks better than I would have expected for being cobbled together from graphics intended for something else. Unfortunately, Dink clips under the bridges as he walks over them.

Dink's "quest" in this demo consists of retrieving a few things for some guy in order to make enough money to buy a boat. The first thing he wants is for Dink to find his lost wallet. He has no idea where it is. It seems reasonable to go looking for it, right? Nope, you have to talk to another NPC first, or the wallet will never appear. This obviously makes no sense - if he's telling you he lost his wallet, surely the wallet should already be where he left it. Every step in this DMOD ends up involving going around and talking to everybody, because there's no way to know whom the DMOD wants you to talk to next.

The wallet quest culminates in this battle with a big slayer. It's not too tough.

The English in this game is kind of a mess. It hasn't been good in any of the "Legend of the Dink" DMODs, and of course I've been allowing for the fact that it isn't the author's first language, but early on, this installment seems to be trying to tell a serious story, and it's hard to take it seriously. Of course, it goes on to abandon all pretense of seriousness. The last thing the guy wants is some bonca dung, and Dink has a lot of lines about needing poop or s***. He has to "scare the poop out of" Quackers, and ends up yelling things at the duck that make Rand's threat to the Spammer King in "Rand's Quest for Axe" look cute and cuddly by comparison. It's, um, vulgar. I think it was supposed to be funny, but I wasn't laughing.

There are some hardness and depth dot errors in this one, too. One hardness error lets you walk straight into a treeline, and Dink tends to clip behind doorways. As for the decoration, while the screens look nice enough, solid objects have been stamped excessively to the point where navigating is a real pain.

It's like a constant obstacle course.

This seems to have been an ambitious project. The ending sets up an epic-sounding final crusade against Seth. The escape menu has been rewritten, including a new "Help" menu (I told you I notice these things). It may be just as well that it wasn't finished. Having to go talk to everybody for each step in a puzzle was mildly annoying in this short demo, but it would have been torture in a big, long DMOD.

264: Marco Polo Author: RadFrog Release Date: July 14, 2007
"Its a really stupid game."

Apparently I haven't covered all of the Weird DMOD Contest entries yet - just all of the eligible ones. According to the description:

I made this D-MOD for entry in the Weird D-MOD Contest. It is really weird, since I missed the entry deadline by several years. But, I wasn't a "Dinker" during the time of the contest. I should get special consideration.

You've got to admit, it's pretty weird to submit an entry to a contest that ended more than three years ago.

"Marco Polo" stars a pair of sisters known as the "Glitz twins," who appeared in "Picnic Perils" and were mentioned in "Attack of the Mutant Veggies." Dink is always trying to get with them and failing. Their names are Chastity and Virginia, and I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be ironic.

In case you've never heard of the game of Marco Polo, I'll explain it. One player wears a blindfold and has to find the other(s) by following the sound of their voice. When the blindfolded player calls out, "Marco!" the other player must answer, "Polo!" That's all there is to it.

Virginia gets the gist of it.

As Virginia, you have to find Chastity. You press the Z key to shout, "Marco!" and figure out where to go by where the text shows up on the screen. Since you're wearing a bag over your head, your surroundings are dark. You do have a vague idea of where objects are, indicated by dark rectangles, but you're still going to be walking around bumping into things.

It's abstract, but it's not a bad way to simulate stumbling around blindly.

When you find Chastity, the girls give up on the game to go get loaded at the pub. It can't take more than a couple of minutes from start to finish. The only other thing I can comment on is the music, which includes songs like the Winnie the Pooh theme and "It's a Small World" to set a silly, childish mood. This DMOD is pretty good at accomplishing the very simple thing it tries to do, though. And RadFrog gets extra points for Virginia not turning into Dink when you push, which happens a lot because you can't see where you're going.

265: Tears of the Devil (Beta) Author: Merder Release Date: July 19, 2007
"My Chauncy you are the first human ever to challenge me at all. die"

The setup for this one is kind of cool. The "Tears of the Devil" are literal tears cried by the Devil, which turned into gems which hold great power. If either a good person or an evil one gets one of these gems, it will drag the moral balance of the world toward them, which will be a disaster in either case:

The balance now is shifted towards Good.
The side of the heroes, honest people and the kids.
And it also is the side of the sun, warmth and the gentle breeze.
If the valence isn't restored all polar ice will melt.
All water will vaporize and because of that all plants will die.
And though Evil is the side of the criminals, lies and harsh cold.
It also is the side for the cool shade, life giving rain and the Moon.
If balance isn't restored the world will become a giant wasteland.

This is mumbo-jumbo with no application to the real world, of course, but I like it anyway. It's evocative, especially the associations with the sun and moon. I'm also impressed that the author commits to the idea of balance. Most stories that talk about balance nonsensically treat "balance" as good wiping out evil. I mean, technically Anakin did bring balance to the force - two Jedi, two Sith, right? Balanced.

In "Tears of the Devil," there are two ways to prevent disaster - either kill the person who found the gem, or kill the devil. Of course, only the latter really solves the problem permanently.

Good King Albert has found one of the Devil's Tears. You, his knight Chauncy, must solve the problem. I'm not sure how Chauncy figures out exactly what the problem is - the King doesn't know, and nobody really tells him. I guess he watched the intro. As soon as you find the other Devil's Tear, which is lying in plain sight not far from the castle, you can choose to kill Albert or the Devil. The former option leads to a bad ending, the latter to a final area. I guess the idea is that you grind in the initial area until you feel ready, then go take on the Devil, but there's not much to do in the initial area. Not in easy mode, at least.

All of the maps in this DMOD are very plain. Chauncy, unfortunately, turns into Dink when pushing or dying.

There are four difficulty modes in "Tears of the Devil:" easy, medium, hard and !nsane. On easy and medium, you can stroll right up to the Devil, but on harder difficulties, you're interrupted by midbosses on the way.

I played on easy. On this difficulty, the Devil wasn't a big problem, although she was very annoying. Yes, I said 'she' - for some reason, the Devil takes the form of a girl. Anyway, in lower difficulties the Devil doesn't do anything but walk around slowly, but she has 1000 hit points. I chopped away at her for over ten minutes before she went down. No, that isn't hyperbole. It sucked. It just cuts straight to the (very short) credits when you win.

To amuse myself, I decided to see how much of the abyss I could coat in blood.

The author seems to have been very proud of !nsane mode. It's where most of the content is. There's a "bonus cave" on that mode that actually makes up most of the DMOD's map, and several extra bosses. This difficulty isn't even remotely fair, but that isn't exactly a complaint. I mean, the game warns you about that.


Still, I can't imagine anybody having the patience to play through !nsane mode, which features such delights as a boss with 30,000 hit points, itself part of a long sequence of bosses that you have to fight without a break. Yeah, no thanks.

266: A Monstery Dimension (Demo) Author: Undink1 Release Date: July 20, 2007
"So Dinkers Donot Wait Its time for enjoyment"

There isn't really a story or quest here, just a simple map with a bunch of pillbugs and boncas, both of which have been nicely recolored by the author. Every time you kill a monster, Dink announces the number of monsters he's killed so far.

The boncas look neat. I actually used this blue pillbug sprite in "Malachi the Jerk."

There are a few "secret" screens that are quite easy to find. One gives you some stat potions and a gold heart. The other nets you some herb boots (oddly, they use the light sword inventory graphic) and Dan "O B" Walma's Dinksaber. It looks like it's supposed to give you a throwing axe too, but it doesn't. The third secret screen contains, surprisingly enough, an ending of sorts. If you kill at least 44 enemies and talk to the Milder-looking person on that screen, he'll congratulate you, encourage you to write to the author and demand a full version, and stroll off through solid rocks. What fun.

There are a couple of problems. Some screens are tiled quite poorly, and the author's decision to make the monsters-killed variable "&s" messes up the default savebot script.


A DMOD without a goal or story isn't very impressive unless it does something special, and "Monstery Dimension" does not. Even if you just want the simple fun of beating up monsters, something like "Dink Arena" has more options. Still, the secrets are nice, and the way Dink keeps count might make you feel like you're achieving something. If nothing else, this DMOD gave us a spiffy bonca recolor. Wanting to use that recolor would be the only real reason to download this one, but its existence as a DMOD doesn't offend me.
December 10th 2014, 04:23 AM
Those boncas are really nice looking.

This series is excellent for D-Mod authors to see some of the common mistakes in game design that keep cropping up. Some are avoidable by anyone just by doing a bit of playtesting but others can be harder to find if you don't think of it, eg, turning into Dink when pushing. Odd story elements (how does Chauncy know what's going on?) are also easy to miss when writing the thing.

Also, this has entered a whole new level of interest now that I actually remember these D-Mods being released
December 10th 2014, 11:00 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Some are avoidable by anyone just by doing a bit of playtesting but others can be harder to find if you don't think of it, eg, turning into Dink when pushing.

The Dink push thing is not that hard to fix, though. Although I didn't fix it in Middle Night 2 either, cause I couldn't be bothered. I think that's the same case with most people, cause it's not something that anyhow breaks the game. And anyway, it's the player's own fault if he keeps walking into things.
December 10th 2014, 11:38 AM
Peasant He/Him Sweden bloop
Life? What's that? Can I download it?! 
If I see a rock in a DMOD, there's a high chance that I'll make Dink push it. It's a game mechanic after all.
December 10th 2014, 11:56 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
If I see a rock in a DMOD, there's a high chance that I'll make Dink push it.

Gee, you're such a slave-driver, Quiztis.
December 10th 2014, 05:47 PM
Peasant He/Him Sweden bloop
Life? What's that? Can I download it?! 
Hehe, all I miss is a HNNRRGG-sound everytime Dink pushes something. Then I would push everything just to hear it.
December 10th 2014, 07:02 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
267: Bill & Kill 3: The Terrible End Author: Skull Release Date: July 22, 2007
"Time to kill, says Bill!"

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is part of the incredibly select group to have a rating of less than 1.0 (0.2) on The Dink Network.

What is there to say at this point? Well, let me get the obvious step out of the way...

***This DMOD, "Bill & Kill 3: The Terrible End,"***
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 10, 2014********

As you already know, the enemies are too hard. It's goblins this time. They don't do much damage, but they do move too fast and have too much HP, and that does the job of making them impossible just as well. The intro plays every time you visit the first screen, which includes loading a save from the savebot there, making that savebot totally pointless. Then again, you do get a new clawsword every time the intro plays. Why not fill your inventory with them? Oh, the intro also has multiple swear words in it. Skull's anti-swearing stance is not reflected in his work so far, that's for sure.

I didn't make it past the first screen. Nobody ever has without cheating, I'm sure. I didn't bother cheating.

Same s***, different DMOD.

I'm mentioned in the news thread. Striker comments, "'Jameil' is his generation's Tim Maurer." Arik replies, "That's a gross injustice against Tim Maurer." That was nice of you, Arik. Redink1 also did a funny thing with the author link.

But it's all just going through the motions at this point, isn't it? Another carbon copy of the same concept. The description says, "Eh, typical Bill & Kill game." Everybody knew the drill. Gone was the spirit of the gleeful middle finger to the Dink community that was "Bill & Kill: *SIGH*." The joke was never funny to anybody but Skull himself, but I don't see how even he could have been enjoying it at this point. A good practical joke requires surprise. At least a few people probably opened the first one expecting... well, something other than what they got. "The Terrible End" surprised nobody. Neither did "The Unknown Boy." They're both unnecessary dilutions of a concept that was, if I'm honest, executed perfectly for what it was the first time.

So let's forget about "Bill & Kill 3" and go back to the first one. You know, nothing negative I say can hurt these DMODs. They were never supposed to be anything but bad. How could I possibly spite something made for spite?

I have found a way. Very much in the spirit of "Bill & Kill," I have decided to do something stupid.

I am going to attempt to become the first person ever to legitimately clear "Bill & Kill 1: *SIGH*." In the author's initial lie, a crucial part of the prank he played upon Dinkdom, he claimed that he beat it after 543 tries (if he remembers right). That is how many tries I am going to allow myself. Let's see if it can be done.

I feel like something should be riding on the attempt, so how about this: if I don't manage to beat "Bill & Kill 1," I will not go back and cheat to see the ending of "Bill & Kill 3." And I don't just mean for this writeup. I swear to you that, if this attempt is not successful, I will go to my grave not knowing how the "Bill & Kill" series ends. That bit of unfinished business will make me a spooky ghost for sure.

You don't think I'm serious? I'm dead serious. Let's go.

I'm going see you a lot, Mr. Death. How appropriate.

Attempt 1: The only valid strategy is to walk in circles around the knights until they kill each other. The last knight is the hard part. I failed to beat the first screen on this attempt.

My first death.

Attempt 2: I'm not going write about EVERY attempt. But this one went even worse: no knights died. One hit is enough to kill Dink, y'know.

Attempt 3: I did better this time. I made it past the first AND the second screen - a new record for me. Sadly, I died against the final knight on screen 3. Incidentally, this means I'm doing much better than "Jameil," who claimed it took him 19 tries to get past screen 2.

Attempt 5: Son of a bitch! I died on screen 7. This is the last one before the first save point. Still, I have to admit that this is going better than I'd thought it would.

Attempt 6: Died on the first screen again. I've been playing for exactly half an hour at this death. I usually listen to the game when I play Dink, but I'm listening to my music collection to avoid potentially fatal boredom.

Attempt 7: Died on screen 4. It hurts, y'know. It hurts when it happens. Incidentally, I've been putting level up points into Attack, but I don't think it makes any difference. No attack or defense points I get will do me any good.

Attempt 10: I'm getting worse. Three attempts in a row have ended on the first screen.

Attempt 13: My God, this was such a bad idea.

Attempt 14: Look, the blood formed a tortured mask of mirthless laughter. This game is evil.

Attempt 15: It's so tense when you're trying to fight the straggler at the end of a screen. I've definitely gotten worse at it. Second screen this time. I haven't been past the fourth screen since attempt 5.

Attempt 16: Hahaha, I walked right into the group of knights. That's never happened before.

Attempt 17: Had the last two knights on a screen kill each other for the first time. Funny thing: right before it happened, I was wondering when I'd see that.

Attempt 18: I made it. I beat screen 7 (I'm only counting screens that have knights on them, by the way) and made it to the FIRST SAVEBOT. Take THAT, fake Jameil who took 19 tries just to get past the second screen. It does a weird thing where it makes you wait several seconds, but it works. I get to see my ingame time: 17 minutes. That's just for THIS attempt. It's been almost an hour and a half total.

You damn tease.

My approach has gotten really cautious. I keep my distance. Sometimes a whole minute will pass between scoring actual hits on a straggler.

Now comes... can't believe I'm saying this... the hard part. There are a lot more knights on the remaining screens. It could be difficult to avoid them long enough to get into my routine. Worse, there are 11 more screens of them before the second savebot. There are 15 more screens of them total.

I decided to try something different. There are hardness errors to exploit, and that's not cheating. Skull directly advised somebody to use this method to beat his awful DMOD "Fall of Darkness" (due to a release date mixup, I've already written up - and trashed - that one). It's fair game.

Life on the edge!

It didn't go well. Attempt 18 ended on the 8th screen of knights. Hmm. Should I keep trying to exploit hardness, or try to tough it out normally?

Attempt 19: Damn it.

Attempt 20: Well, this is a disaster. All this method does is trap me in range of the knights' attacks. So much for my cunning plan.

Attempt 22: Staying on the outside edge of the screen is a little better, but still dangerous. Nope, I'm going to have to try and do this the regular way.

Attempt 23: A new record: I made it to screen 9 of 22, but died immediately. Welp.

Attempt 25: I had a fantasy in which the knights were set not to regenerate, so I could work through this one screen at a time. Of course they're set to the standard five minutes. I hate this DMOD.

Attempt 26: Shortest attempt yet. I died in roughly five seconds.

Attempt 28: Made it to screen 10. Wheee.

Attempt 30: You know what I really hate? I hate the way that a knight will occasionally break away from the group. I have to try and corral them back in to avoid the straggler at the end having lots of HP left. This problem gets worse as the screens have more and more knights.

Attempt 32: Here's a way I've been saving myself a little work: Every time I beat the knights on screen 8, I go back and save. This buys me a couple of attempts with an empty screen 8.

Attempt 36: I just realized that this has a side effect: I'm accumulating experience. What fun. I wonder how high my level will get? Too bad the knights have 80 defense and 70 attack, so no amount of points to attack or defense will help.

Attempt 38: I'm learning things about Dink Smallwood. The Knights have more defense than attack, so they should never be able to do more than 1 damage to each other, but I've seen numbers as high as 8. It turns out that if a sprite gets hit by multiple things at once, the engine adds them together in the number it displays.

Attempt 39: I made it to screen 11 of 22 for the first time, died immediately. That's halfway through the DMOD, but ages from the second savebot that comes after screen 18. I've been doing this for about two and a half hours.

Attempt 40: Reached level 4. I put my point in defense. It doesn't help, but it makes me feel better.

Attempt 45: the carnage becomes a Rorschach test. What do you see?

Attempt 50: Worried about getting a blister on my thumb, I switched to the keyboard, but I think I'm worse at the game this way.

Attempt 51: I survived a hit from a knight on this run. After getting fatally hit in Dink Smallwood, if you manage to restore your health before the bar moves all the way down, you'll be okay. This can be used with already-equipped elixirs to badly sequence break certain DMODs. Here, I was able to grab a small heart in the very short time before dying. Come to think of it, the only benefit of leveling up in this DMOD is that you get slightly more time to try to pull this off.

Ha HA!

Still died on screen 9. Welp.

Attempt 66: Hi again.

I died on this attempt on screen 11, after a bitter struggle with the last knight on that screen. I did ten damage to him, but he still didn't die. The damn knights only have 30 hit points in the first place. Ugh.

It's been three and a half hours; I'm going to take a break. You know what, I'll just post these as I go along. Maybe you can make bets on whether I'll make it, what's the furthest screen I'll make it to, or whether I'll give up.

[Edit: I had that attempt recorded as 61. It was actually attempt number 66.]
December 10th 2014, 07:24 PM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
I say persistence wins in the end; GO COCO GO!!

If it makes you feel any better, you've inspirted me to attempt the same thing. I'm gonna be worse at it than you, but it'll still be worth it to try.
December 10th 2014, 07:32 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
The joke was never funny to anybody but Skull himself, but I don't see how even he could have been enjoying it at this point.

Hey, I still enjoy it. I wonder how many of these I could have published to-date if I kept making them? And it's degrading to call this a prank. A prank is a joke that people aren't supposed to figure out until you tell them. I really couldn't have made this thing more obvious if I tried to. I suppose it could be a relief to hear I was simultaneously working on actual attempts at D-Mods, while doing these just as a troll.

Skull's anti-swearing stance is not reflected in his work so far, that's for sure.

I probably didn't care about it so much back then. When you play my later D-Mods, you'll notice I dropped the habit. I really find it unfitting these days. Big part of why I never finished Middle Night 3 was cause it required a lot of swearing, and I just couldn't make it work in the Dink environment.

Also, I won't believe you beat Bill & Kill until I see video proof!
December 10th 2014, 07:39 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
Believe what you want, I ain't recording hours of video on the off chance I manage to win.
December 10th 2014, 07:44 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Just so you know, ExD requested Bill & Kill 4. Maybe I'll manage to release that before you reach the end of writing these articles.
December 11th 2014, 05:05 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
Bill & Kill Challenge: Part Two

Attempt 67: I got back to this after 1 AM. Hey, I've got a lot of ground to cover, especially if I don't end up winning. I died on screen 8 this attempt, which is as bad as you can do from the save point.

Attempt 72: At last, I made it to screen 12 for the first time. I died right away. This is where the screen really starts to get filled with knights. Keep in mind, I have to beat screen 18 to save. I'm really not any closer to winning than I was after attempt 18.

Attempt 77: I made it to screen 13. You can guess how it went. I think you see the pattern by now.

There's three distinct parts to this odd thing I'm doing.

Figure 1: The Corral.

In step one, The Corral, Dink (excuse me, "Bill"), facing what seems to be a wall of enemies, must manage to make one complete loop around them without getting hit. The best strategy involves hugging the top of the screen and walking from one side to the other, then going straight down. This turns the wall into a cluster.

Figure 2: The Promenade.

In The Promenade, Bill circles around the cluster again and again, moving subtly toward and away from the crowd in the curves of his movements. Each time, the hive, inhuman and mindless, erupts rapturously in a spray of blood, a hail of axes, a cloud of numbers. They will not turn on each other; they do not even notice each other. In this stage, they are one being, with only one purpose. An occasional confused element will fly off in some random direction, but Bill does a miniature Corral to return them to the cluster, which gets smaller and smaller.

Figure 3: The Fandango.

By random chance, one of them is chosen to be elevated to this stage. Paradoxically, that one becomes a far greater foe than all of them had been together. The opponent is endowed with personhood. He is dangerous. Stages one and two are just chores; stage 3 is a battle. Most runs end here.

I lick the air in front of the opponent with my sword, hoping that he will walk into the end of my hitbox. I don't dare to go in for a strike - too dangerous. I can't tell if I'm hitting him or not, but I do it over and over.

Attempt 78: Reached level 5.

Attempt 88: The frustrating thing is that I only have to do something I've proven I can do. The issue is doing it a lot of times in a row.

Attempt 90: Hey ExDeath, are you really gonna do this? Are you sure you know what you're getting into?

If it's gonna be a video, I'll co-commentate.

Attempt 92: I didn't beat screen 13 this time, but I at least got to the last knight there for the first time.

Attempt 100: Not much progress, but I've gotten pretty good at the recovering from damage trick. I managed it twice against the same knight on screen 12 this attempt. Still didn't beat him, though.

Attempt 101: Reached level 6. I just noticed that the cluster of knights casts one black shadow. It looks rather strange.

Attempt 110: Holy crap, you guys. I did it. I mean, I didn't win quite yet, but I broke through screen 18 of 22 and reached the SECOND SAVEBOT.


It's crazy. I was actually starting to despair. I had never made it past screen 13, and there were five more screens after that one... I thought I'd never get them all in one go, but I did. It helped that I mastered the heart trick. It was just an occasional boost at first, but I got it down to the point where it was like having an extra health bar on each screen. Two, if I got lucky with heart drops.

Oh man, you guys, I was so nervous on screen 18. I was shaky and had a couple of close calls. My heart felt like it was trying to pound out of my chest. I mean, I could have lost all of that flawless play in one second.

All right. I wanted to show off something in this DMOD's source, so I edited the mod before I started this. Don't worry, I didn't edit the mod to make it one iota easier to win. It's just that you end up with a bad ending because Bill doesn't have the key to x6x's gold... but Skull scripted a good ending AND wrote a script that gives you the key. I just fixed a couple of bugs in the script and attached it to a chest sprite on a screen that previously had no purpose.

What's this?

I don't know what he means by a "chicken's foot key," but he's got it now.

I did try to just push straight through to the end on this attempt. I beat screens 19 and 20, but died on screen 21. My ultimate triumph will have to wait.

Attempt 112: I made it to screen 22 on this attempt. Next time I break my record, I'm done.

Attempt 113: It's 5 AM, and I don't think I've got the energy left to make it through. Total time at this point is something like 7 hours. I'll update again when I win (I am assuming I won't get so stuck on these last four screens that I'll take over 400 more attempts on them).
December 11th 2014, 05:22 AM
Peasant He/Him Sweden bloop
Life? What's that? Can I download it?! 

Also, the promenade, best part lol1
December 11th 2014, 05:37 AM
7 hours so far! I guess this D-Mod can now be recategorised as an epic
December 11th 2014, 06:40 AM
Wow, this is surprisingly riveting. I don't know what possessed you to do this, but I'm impressed with the resolve to subject yourself to such incomprehensible torture.

I just played through the whole Bill & Kill trilogy, and found it oddly amusing. With that said, it's amazing that there are even worse dmods on TDN. (Braggable achievements of Bill & Kill: Music, story, screen borders and tiling that doesn't look like vomit.)
December 11th 2014, 07:21 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Wow, this is surprisingly riveting. I don't know what possessed you to do this, but I'm impressed with the resolve to subject yourself to such incomprehensible torture.

I just played through the whole Bill & Kill trilogy, and found it oddly amusing.

Yes. I'm getting into it. This is actually what Bill & Kill was originally kind of meant for. For an insane challenge that'd have people interested in who would beat it first. At least, that's what it was before the point when I decided to make it more into a troll thing. I don't think any of them actually are completely impossible to beat, but I did make them so hard I believed nobody would ever bother to try. The amusing part comes from how stupid every single thing in the trilogy is. And really, there's nothing broken in there. It works just as intended. Too bad my intentions were bad.

Attempt 90: Hey ExDeath, are you really gonna do this? Are you sure you know what you're getting into?

If it's gonna be a video, I'll co-commentate.

Hell ExD, if you're gonna do that, I can co-commentate for a part or two too, if you want me to. Maybe it'll take so many parts you can have the entire network as guests during the LP. xD
December 11th 2014, 08:36 AM
Hell ExD, if you're gonna do that, I can co-commentate for a part or two too, if you want me to. Maybe it'll take so many parts you can have the entire network as guests during the LP. xD

December 11th 2014, 09:04 AM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
Not sure I'll record, but I may see about trying to stream it when I get around to it (so there'll be a Vod I guess). Especially since it took Coco 7 hours to progress to where he is so far.
December 11th 2014, 12:24 PM
Noble He/Him United Kingdom
Would be interested to know whether you've seen any trends over the d-mod years, Tim? Particular styles of mapping or use of certain enemies... things like that?
December 11th 2014, 02:39 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
I think maps early on tended to be more spread out, and later came to be more focused, generally speaking. There's also an increasing trend to make bosses really hard, which I generally don't like.
December 11th 2014, 03:02 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
But even if you don't like tough boss battles, Tim, you gotta admit that the early D-Mods' level of challenge was not very fun. They were far too easy. In fact, I can't think of many D-Mods from before Legend of Tenjin, that made defeating enemies feel likes something, other than perhaps the Boncas in the Quest for Arithia -series and Seth from the original game.

I always preferred bosses to feel like you're fighting something bigger than just a regular enemy. Maybe it's just me. I've never really ever heard too many Dinkers throw their 2 cents in about it. Do you guys like bosses that you have to try a few times to get through, or the kind where you actually have to really use all your skills to win?
December 11th 2014, 03:31 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
It varies. There were some tough DMODs early on. I do like bosses to have some sort of gimmick, rather than just having big stats. Ideally, they'll involve having to come up with some sort of strategy. But I don't like having to try more than a handful of times. "I, Kara Gu" was an exception because the boss design was so good that it was fun to keep trying. Well, fun in a masochistic sort of way.


Bill & Kill Challenge - Finale

Attempt 119: This thing isn't done with me. It took me this long just to get back to screen 21.

Attempt 120: Never mind, I won.

Presenting the long lost good ending:

*sniff* Yes. Yes it is.

Oh right, the story was a pirate thing.


Well, there we have it. Back in my original writeup, I said that it "probably wasn't impossible;" now, I have proof. I really didn't think I'd win when I started. It goes to show that you never know what you're capable of until you give yourself a large, arbitrary number of attempts to do it in.

It took me 7 hours and 20 minutes of real time to beat "Bill & Kill 1: Sigh." The time on my save (which should have started from attempt 18) reads 4:24. So I guess we should reclassify this as an epic.

Now, I have earned the right to cheat at "Bill & Kill 3." Let's do that.

I've shown that "Bill & Kill 1" is possible to beat, and I suspect that "Bill & Kill 2" might be, but I'm very confident that "Bill & Kill 3" can't be beaten without cheating. Hey, prove me wrong, I dare you.

Yeah, good luck with that.

After fighting his way through swarms of goblins (enough to get him to level 12), Mega-Bill fought a boss called the "Avatar," an old person who bounces around like crazy and has so much health that he took four whole hits.

Truly, a terrible end.

Thank goodness I got to see the ending. I'd have hated to have that hanging over my head for the rest of my life.
December 11th 2014, 04:53 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Well, I'll be darned. Congrats, I guess. You must feel so accomplished now. xD

I think everyone missed the jist in Bill & Kill 3. The whole thing was kind of throwing fun at how everybody always seemed to want to make a trilogy out of their D-Mods. At that time, there literally wasn't a single D-Mod that wasn't going to be a trilogy, according to their authors. Thus Bill & Kill obviously needed to be a three-parter too. It sort of poked fun at the mentality of authors and their concept of how every D-Mod needed to be a trilogy, even before they had made the first screen in the first installment. Even D-Mods that really had no point of being one: trilogies. I wonder why D-Mod authors have always loved trilogies so much? Why not more quadrilogies or duologies? I mean, I was kinda guilty of doing this too with Honor of the Cast, but at least I was aiming to make a fourth part for that one.

Come to think of it, I think Bill & Kill is the only D-Mod trilogy that was actually realised during that era of D-Mods. No surprise since they were obviously very easy to make, but still. I think that's worth noting. xD
December 11th 2014, 07:49 PM
Peasant He/Him United States
The world could always use more heroes 
Congrats Coco! You finished an 'impossible' D-mod out of spite! Yay!

I think D-mod authors decide on making trilogies because they get this grand idea where they come up with a story where they can easily split it into three parts, instead of making one huge D-mod, because actually completing something that epic is usually pretty unlikely. But then the trilogy is also unlikely to be finished as well because it'd still be the same amount of work. A lot of it. For me, I wasn't originally planning on Dink and the Bonca to be a trilogy, it was originally just two parts. The romp, then the epic. But eventually I came up with a great idea for a cliffhanger ending for the epic which evolved into needing a part three to finish the storyline. I can't speak for anyone else, but this is my reasoning for a trilogy.
December 12th 2014, 12:47 AM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
Hell of an effort, proving it's possible.
Now I just have to make a start and see if I can beat your attempts record
December 12th 2014, 02:59 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
268: Trapped Author: GOKUSSJ6 Release Date: September 1, 2007
"Mwahahaha! You're trapped Mr. Smallwood!You'll never get out from this house!"

Dink, still living with his aunt and her husband (who is still a jerk), is looking to buy a house. Incredibly, he finds an ad for a house in Windermere for just 500 gold! He departs immediately.

A touching farewell.

As soon as Dink enters his new home, however, the guy he bought it from (his name is "Githra") locks him inside. I can't imagine what his motivation for doing this is. Regardless, Dink has to escape, and he has to do it quickly, or he'll starve to death. Dink's health bar ticks down periodically, like in the development DMOD "Survival," but even faster.

"Trapped" is a very short DMOD. There are only six screens, only three of which are used for gameplay, and I finished it in three minutes.

There are several steps to the puzzle, and they're all logical enough. Dink finds an axe, but it's too dull to use. He wants to sharpen it, but he needs to find some metal. He has to fuse pieces of metal together, so he needs to find fuel for a fire, and so on. All you really do is go up to the objects in the house and examine them - the only thing that requires any thought is which order to examine them in, and it's not hard to figure out. Still, the diminishing health bar is a good way to make your situation feel urgent.

Dink's keen skills of observation save the day.

I kind of like this one. The puzzle could have been more involved, and I would have preferred a better explanation for the time limit than "Dink will starve in five minutes," but it has a good concept, and executes it efficiently.

269: Fall of Darkness: Battlefield (Demo) Authors: Skull, Dan Wesley Release Date: September 2, 2007
"That is the easiest place to die"

Whoops again. My 2007 DMOD count is now down to 33. I had counted Skull and Dan Wesley's "Fall of Darkness" twice: once for a trailer released in July, and again for the demo released in September.

So... this DMOD.


How does this keep happening?

****This DMOD, "Fall of Darkness: Battlefield"*****
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 9, 2014*********

Yes, I wrote this one out of order. See the above confusion regarding the trailer vs. the demo.

I can't understand why this DMOD is as terrible as it is. It's bad for the same reason that the "Bill & Kill" series is bad - you're immediately presented with enemies that are pretty much unbeatable (appropriately, the enemies are themselves skulls). Mind you, it isn't as bad as "Bill & Kill" because there's an attempt at substance here, but in a way, that almost makes it worse. I mean, B&K at least has an easy explanation for having broken difficulty - Skull was just trolling people. It's kind of dumb, but at least it's an easily digestible explanation. Here, I'm pretty sure that somebody wanted this one to succeed. Compounding the issue is that Skull has quite a bit of experience making DMODs at this point. If this were somebody's first DMOD, I might not give it the DFMAOB, but as it is, there's no excuse for this at all.

He didn't take criticism on the difficulty issue well at the time. Skull made fun of people for not being able to beat the impossible enemies in his impossible, terrible DMOD. He actually advised somebody to exploit the screenlock hardness problem to walk into the wall in order to beat the enemies. Never mind that their sky-high defense and HP means that you would have to hit the enemies over 150 times each to kill them. Never mind that, once you've done this, there's no easy way to get back out of the wall. "So, should I make them have 1. defense and 1. strength?" he quipped sarcastically. Yikes. I hope I wasn't that bad back in my day. I guess I should be glad the evidence of my old behavior (from the old board run by Medar) no longer exists for me to link to.

(Okay, after my experience with "Bill & Kill," I have to admit that "impossible" might not be the right word. "Unreasonable," let's say.)

Dan Wesley was an online friend of Skull's; he apparently contributed the story. Said story threatens to be intriguing at times, but there isn't enough information to ever really figure out what's going on. You play as Qiu, a member of a race (or order, or something) called the Knews. A character called the "Oldest One" sends you into a cave to retrieve something called the "Diamond of Light," which is apparently crucial to the Knews' survival. Why? We're not told. Who are these Knews, anyway, and what are they like? We're not told. Why should we care? I never found out.

The Knews are represented by Simon Klaebe's alternate hero graphics, which look fantastic. To be fair, they're well-implemented here.

It took me six minutes to finish this demo while cheating like crazy, and a lot happened in that time. Qiu confronts an alternate version of himself with seemingly opposite motivations (where does this other Qiu come from? We never find out). He gets captured - twice, in fact - and breaks out of prison. The other Qiu summons some kind of demon God to give him power, but the God is dissatisfied with him and attacks both Qius. None of the story events are adequately explained. Still, there were a couple of things I liked a little bit. One of the groups that captures Qiu takes him to see a leader called "the Fryer." Surely, I thought, they meant "Friar," but he turns out to be a dragon. That's not a bad pun. I also enjoyed the fact that the goblins were after the Diamond for the silly reason that being near it fixes their speech. The moment when they lose the diamond is amusing.


Overall, though, even the story was a mess, and a few redeeming moments aren't enough to override the fact that continuing to release DMODs filled with totally unreasonable enemies was a terrible idea. Skull knew what people thought of this sort of thing by now; he just didn't care.

270: The Rise of the Goblins Authors: Skull, Skull's Dad Release Date: October 7, 2007
"My name is George Sylvester Hubert Sebastian Butterhead, and I come from Koorna..."

Skull worked on this one together with his dad. They called themselves "The Legend Factory." I think this is the last DMOD Skull released under an alternate name, although this time he wasn't trying to pretend to be somebody else. Skull's dad is credited as "Jameil."

Oh no, it's the credits screen from "Bill & Kill!" And it makes the start and quit buttons really hard to see.

Hey, notice what didn't come after that paragraph? It took nine tries, but here at last is a Skull DMOD that I'm not giving the Award of Badness! Hooray!

This DMOD is really packed with cutscenes, especially in the first half. At a certain point there are longer gameplay sections, but for much of the DMOD long cutscenes are only broken up by very short bits of gameplay. I haven't seen a DMOD rely this heavily on cutscenes since "Bishop's Quest;" fortunately, the cutscenes here actually work and are much easier to understand. The grammar, spelling and word choice have some problems, but at least it's comprehensible. I had NO idea what hance was going on about. Some cutscenes in "Rise of the Goblins" won't let you skip text, which can be annoying, but at least they don't freeze up if you press the talk button like "Bishop's Quest."

This is another story in which a charismatic leader brings the goblins to war against the humans. This time, it's all being orchestrated by an immortal being (she calls herself an angel) who bears the child of a goblin warrior in order to bring a new goblin king into the world. They soon overrun the castle of King Christiaan (ha), King Daniel's brother. Dink, of course, has to try to do something about the goblin invasion. I really like the "angel" as a villain. She can assume any form (switching between them with a well-executed explosion effect), and uses this ability effectively to manipulate people. Her contempt for everybody, even those on her own side (to be fair to her, they ARE really stupid) makes her nice and hateable. I would have liked to see the ultimate confrontation against this character, but this is just part one of an intended series. Bummer.

The story isn't bad, but this opening cutscene is kind of hard to read because of the goblin wandering around ranting about how bad their situation is. Sometimes his looping text cuts in front of the text you actually want to read.

The villain (did she have a name? I can't remember) takes the form of an apparently gorgeous woman named July in order to mislead Dink. You're not told it's her until the ending, but I figured it out pretty quickly. Dink, at least in this DMOD, is none too bright and easily swayed by a pretty face. You'd think it'd tip him off when, despite her claims of being Christiaan's daughter, the King informs Dink that he has no daughter. Just a little hint there.

It doesn't help matters that a lot of the humans are really incompetent. The knight usually just known as Butterhead (see the header quote for his full name) is a sniveling coward used for comic relief. There was a joke or two in the DMOD that was pretty funny, such as Dink's reaction when a pig he encounters turns out to be wizard Martridge.

The mysterious wizard/pig connection continues.

There are a couple of missteps in the storytelling. There's an odd scene where all the humans are fleeing a huge goblin army, but one guard insists on staying behind to fight. He makes an impassioned speech about how he has to do this because it's his choice, and "every choise, makes us what we are!" Well, be that as it may, dude, you're still staying behind to die for absolutely no reason.

This DMOD features a guest appearance by SabreTrout's Jarvis the Knight, who naturally saves the day by being a bad ass.

The maps have some problems. Decorative features like trees are often clustered in the middle of the screen, often in places that make no sense. There are a lot of hardness errors, making it easy to go places you're not supposed to. Another bug I ran into was an Inn that leaves you frozen if you choose not to stay there.

What's the point of even having a road if you're going to let trees grow on it?

There are a lot of powerups to find, making most of the combat very easy. The final boss did give me a little bit of trouble because he moves absurdly fast. Anyway, after what I've been through lately, I'll happily take too easy over too hard.

King Christiaan dies in the ending, and Dink, as stupid as ever, continues to insist that he had a daughter and that she should inherit the throne. He sets off to prove it, setting himself on a path that could very well bring ruin to humanity. It's an interesting direction for the plot. It's too bad that Skull's sequel was never finished.

271: Dink's Extremely Short Adventure (Unfinished) Author: Fireball5 Release Date: October 10, 2007
"You stepped inside the castrator booth"

There was already a DMOD called "Dink's Short Adventure" back in 2003. It consisted entirely of an unfinished, broken tutorial. With the added superlative, you'd expect this DMOD to be even shorter than that one (I imagine it starting up, Dink saying, "I am Dink Smallwood and-" and then closing). You'd also expect it to be terrible.

In fact, "Dink's Extremely Short Adventure," while short, definitely isn't extremely so. It could take you twenty minutes or more to really explore it. It is a terrible DMOD, but I'm not giving it the DFMAOB because it has a rather nice new and original status bar. If nothing else, you could take it and use it in your own DMOD.

I rather like the status bar. I think this cave recolor is also new.

I've been doing nothing for over an hour but sitting here trying and failing to think of a way to describe this DMOD. I don't think that text can do it. I really think it would take a video to make you understand this strange... thing. But I'll try.

DESA might be even weirder than "Ex-Peppermint," without trying nearly as hard to be. "Ex-Peppermint" still had a structure that was clearly recognizable as a game. I'm not sure "game" is the right word for DESA. Right now, my brain is working with the phrase "thing that makes you stare at your monitor for a while" in reference to this DMOD.

Well, to start with, it is aggressively, nightmarishly broken. It is broken in just about every way it could be broken, starting with the title screen, where the "Credits" button displays all of the credits at once, so that it's impossible to read any of them.

My emotions are reflected in the emoticon in the third image.

Then you press the "Start" button, and the intro has the same problem. As a new twist, there's a sprite saying the same things, but you can't read the intro there either because it's cut off by the side of the screen. The text, which I read by opening up the script, says that Dink's house in a place called "Land of Peacefulness" has been broken into and that Dink is about to be kidnapped.

I don't know what to say about this. Any of it.

Then the actual game starts, and it is a wreck. Hardness errors are all over the place - not just missing hardness, but also hardness where there shouldn't be any. Many NPCs don't respond. There's an enormous map, but almost nothing in the great majority of the screens. There's a section where a snowy area is followed by screens tiled with grass, cave floor, darklands, and fire, which doesn't animate except for one badly-tiled edge. You start with a fireball spell, but if you attempt to equip it, the game crashes. There's another spell you can find that you can equip, but if you try to use it, the game crashes again. Various things leave you frozen if you interact with them.

So does playing this DMOD.

Worst of all, you can't even make it out of the intro area. The script that is supposed to warp you to the main map is attached to an invisible sprite. As anybody who's worked on a DMOD knows, invisible sprites can't execute scripts. I had to make the sprite into a regular person/creature sprite in the editor in order to get much of anywhere. The script is for a "castration booth," not that the player would have any way of knowing that, or of even knowing it's a thing to interact with.

That's the castration booth. I'm serious. You're given no indication that talking to it is supposed to be how you proceed.

The player is never given any kind of idea about what they should do. All this DMOD ever does is warp you around to a variety of bizarre locations. To even get to the castration booth, you have to walk into the side of a rock. In a "quick walkthrough" on the forum, the author refers to this rock as "stairs." I... I can't even. I'm sorry. Words fail me.

At this point you are probably wondering: "Wait, CASTRATION BOOTH?" Yes, violence to Dink's "Smallwood" is the closest thing I can identify to a theme in this DMOD. In another area, you can talk to a girl who shouts, "It's yankee yankee time," pulls down Dink's pants and (we're told) yanks very hard upon his jimmy. Dink does not enjoy this.

I... you guys are seeing this, right?

There then follows a cutscene which, if it worked correctly (it doesn't, of course), would contain this exchange:

Girl's mother: What's going on over here?
Girl: Nothing
Mom: Oh, there was something!
Girl: I was just, err, pulling this guy's, err, penis
Mom: You know what I said about pulling on men's genitals!
Dink: Phew!
Girl: Yes, mother

Dink and the two women are then transported to a screen filled with spikes and the corpses of monsters. I guess this is... their S&M dungeon, or something? I have no idea.

Moving away from the subject of penile torture (always a good thing to do), I'm just scratching the surface of the weirdness and brokenness of this DMOD. Many screens have no edges, and you can walk straight from them to other, totally unrelated screens. You can even get back to the intro screen in this way and see the intro again. And then there's the portal the game warns you not to go into. It warps you to an inescapable land of lava where the tiles around the edges constantly change back and forth between lava and snow.

Uh... that's a good question.

The only normal enemy you can encounter is a single pillbug. There's a boss to be found, but you can't beat him. Even though he's stuck in his own hardness and can't move, he wipes Dink out in seconds with constant harm spells. I tried to cheat to get around this, but both of the keys I use for cheating are overwritten by the DMOD. C makes Dink comment about cheating, and Z causes him to take a nap. Many keys, it turns out, do something. H has Dink tell you how many hitpoints you've got, G reports gold, E experience... B makes him say, "B for bonca. Grrrr!" P makes Dink do an odd little hop.

Moskau! Moskau! Oh ho ho ho ho!

I, uh... I don't recommend playing "Dink's Extremely Short Adventure."
December 12th 2014, 03:39 PM
Peasant They/Them Netherlands duck
Mmmm, pizza. 
And another song I now have stuck in my head. Durnit.
December 12th 2014, 05:54 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
I feel bad about Fall of Darkness. It should have been better. It WAS better. The demo was nearly finished when I lost a lot of progress. I had to restart from almost the beginning which made me rush and just throw it together. After I released the demo, I fixed most of it up and continued making the full D-Mod, but lost it again, this time due to a virus that also destroyed the sequel to The Rise of the Goblins, that was going to be called The North's Pilgrim.

As far as The Rise of the Goblins goes, it might not be my best, but it still is my favourite D-Mod I've made to-date. Too bad many of the jokes are lost on people. For example, King Zaldemar was somewhat of a parody of Hitler. Hujyk is the typical right-hand-man with the least original invention of all time: THE MONSTER ARMY!! Ooh, scary. Dink being out of money is kind of a change of pace from the typical stuff. And the dramatic speech of the knight is a spoof of all the typical dramatic speeches, and is just plain stupid in the middle of such a silly D-Mod. Generally, there's lots of stupid stuff in there, that unfortunately probably work as inside jokes only. But still, the D-Mod is all thanks to my father, really. I could never come up with such good characters and ideas. He's a much better storyteller than me. I always wanted to go back and improve RoG, so that it'd involve a better map, fixed English and more gameplay. And I still kind of want to make The North's Pilgrim, if I only had the time and willpower. It was gonna continue with Dink going north in search of July. Meanwhile Hujyk was searching for The Holy Grail. The final game in the series was going to include more about the Council of Wizards and end in Dink fighting Enduramundor and The Great Spirit of Goblins. Maybe I can still make it one day, if the Dink community will still be around in 20+ years.

You've pretty much reached the end of my awful D-Mods. There'll be one more bad demo from me, but that was made before Fall of Darkness and released a year late, cause I figured I might as well upload it before deleting it from my computer.
December 13th 2014, 01:43 PM
Peasant He/Him Poland
Everyone should get a pizza for free in each week. 
I am not sure if it was written in here about the Dink Smallwood being a hit-and-run game but it's not actually true. You just need to take advantage of the environment, good stats and equipment and one exploit that i think no one knows about it, which basically lets you attack "faster". Why in quotes? Well that is because it reduces the pause between attacks and it is pretty easy to perform.

All you have to do is to move and then at the same time press the opposing direction and hold it, then keep tapping the Ctrl. In good timing you can swing/hit faster than normally. If ya don't understand how to execute it, i'll just give an example:

Let's say the monster is at the right side. Move to the right with Right Arrow and when you are about to get near him, hold down the Left Arrow. Dink will stop and still in walking motion, but the sequence pauses at the last frame. Then keep pressing Ctrl. You may notice that it somehow you manage to hit him 2 times or more in some moments. Once you know in what moment to press the button, you can pretty much kill the monster faster than 1 hit-and-run.

Hell, FreeDink's Fast Forward function buffs this thing so much. That is if you have required defense/life to survive the fight.

Fun fact, Bishop Nelson's 1st form is actually pretty easy to deal, although ya may have to ration your potions, since you have to lure him into Ghost Knights and let them beat him (So much for his servants). After a while, he will die. The next form pretty much requires some good defense, at least 15.

It is pretty fun to fight once you do that. In fact i've seen other DMODs to require you in order to take advantage of surroundings. Such as the fireball machine in Cast Awakening Part 1.
December 13th 2014, 01:53 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
Luring Bishop Nelson's first form into the ghost knights was how I beat it, actually, although I couldn't do it without taking lots of damage, since there were too many of them to really dodge. It was the second form I ended up having to cheat on.
December 13th 2014, 02:46 PM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
Let's say the monster is at the right side. Move to the right with Right Arrow and when you are about to get near him, hold down the Left Arrow. Dink will stop and still in walking motion, but the sequence pauses at the last frame. Then keep pressing Ctrl. You may notice that it somehow you manage to hit him 2 times or more in some moments. Once you know in what moment to press the button, you can pretty much kill the monster faster than 1 hit-and-run.

Dink will attack even faster if you just hold down the direction you are swinging at, and hit control fast enough for him to not move. This is how I always attack, provided the enemy doesn't have too high an attack/touch damage itself. It works especially well with throwing axes, making Dink throw them about three times as fast. Even helps with spells, if you have high enough magic for it to recharge immediately.
December 13th 2014, 08:41 PM
I always just hold down both left and right arrows (or up and down) at the same time while I attack if I don't need to move (I know you can't really do that with a gamepad as easily, though). I can let go of the direction I don't want to go once I actually want to move and it lets me control my facing easily. It has the same effect as the script edit I did of the weapons which makes it so there are no extra attack frames past what there is programmed to be, but it requires a little extra work and isn't very gamepad friendly.

It's basically the same thing Skull mentions but you won't accidentally move closer to your enemy if you don't attack fast enough.
December 14th 2014, 04:34 AM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
272: Of Life - Black Guild Author: Blackguard Release Date: October 12, 2007
"Go away Dink, I have jobs."

"Of Life - Black Guild" is just kind of boring, honestly. There isn't much to it. The story seems to be no deeper than "Dink met an evil guy and ran away, but now he wants to find him and kill him." You don't find this out until Dink talks to a certain character, which is an odd way to set up your plot. The only things to make this DMOD stand out are a few new graphics.

There's a new status bar and inventory. I don't really like it, but it's competently done.

The map looks okay, if plain and a bit odd in places. There are some depth dot errors and some invisible walls. The main part of the game is a really dull cave maze. There's gold in the cave, but once you've gotten there, it's impossible to return and spend it. The level of excitement is not helped by the fact that there's no music in the DMOD. It's also not helped by the fact that all of the enemies are basic pillbugs except for one slayer.

At least there's a new death graphic for the pillbugs. There's a new blood graphic too.

When you finally catch up to the evil guy du jour (to get to him, you have to walk right into an ordinary cave corner, which somehow warps you), he's a joke. Actually, you don't even have to fight him, but you may as well. It would be tough to lose.

The boss casts acid rain at you. It never hit me, but that's kind of novel, I guess.

There are a lot of unused, modified graphics in the graphics folder of this DMOD. Some of them are from other DMODs, but quite a few of them are new. There are some complex recolors, a fire vortex effect, and an animation of the red barrel breaking like the brown one. If you were to release this stuff as a graphics pack, it'd have a better rating than the DMOD. Blackguard must have had big plans for "Of Life" at some point.

Other than that, there isn't much to say about this one. It is, at least, much better than the author's first DMOD, "Island of Hell." Next.

273: Happy Sunshine Land Author: Pillbug Release Date: October 21, 2007
"I'm ready for the tea party!"

"Happy Sunshine Land" is the sort of day-glo MS Paint world we haven't seen since "Bloop the Fish." Just look at it.

It's like injecting happy sunshine directly into your eyeballs!

There's no combat, no hardness except an attempt to keep you out of the "sky" that is easy to get around, and no screen borders. This is one of the shortest DMODs I've ever played. There's just four screens, each with an NPC who has a brief conversation with Dink. Dink himself is presented as an unbelievably polite young man, nice to a fault. This serves him fine until you get to the fourth screen.

I didn't for a second think that this pillbug was going to attack me; I walked right up and talked to it. By the third screen, I knew how this world worked.

Dink tells a woman, a "POliceman" and a pillbug that he's going to a tea party, but fate has other plans. It turns out that the dude who invited him is actually a demon! No tea awaits our unlucky hero - only death.

The spell can even reach you in the sky! There is no escape.

It, uh... isn't much of a game, but considering that Pillbug was only 11 years old at the time, it could be worse. The grammar and spelling aren't perfect, but they're better than I'd expect. The central joke - super-happy Dink expects friendly tea party, gets killed by a demon instead - is just amusing enough that I don't quite feel like handing out the DFMAOB. I mean, at least this one isn't impossible (or nearly so) to finish.

The reviews are interesting. Some people hate it and give it a rock-bottom rating, and I can't blame them. Other people found it amusing and give it a decent rating, and it's hard to fault that either. The standout is an enormous wall of text by yeoldetoast. Like my writeup of the second "Ghosts of the Cast," it pretends to investigate the mod's deeper meaning as a work of fine art, awarding a score of 9.5 that drags the average up to 4.0. It is a masterclass in bulls***, and I tip my hat. Toast expertly comes up with an overthought explanation for each of the DMOD's sloppy elements in order to argue that they're all not only intentional, but carry symbolic or allegorical meaning. My favorite part is his treatment of the ending: "Dink starts walking towards the table for the tea party, but even when faced with the horrible truth, the truth that there is no tea party and that he is going to die, he refuses to believe it and still is incredibly friendly towards the bringer of his impending doom. This demon at the table suggests that the end of Dink's tale is a biblical story of how one loses their innocence when faced with an event that changes one's world view." I am furiously applauding right now. He even uses the word "Bildungsroman," which I am man enough to admit I had to look up.

Pillbug (who must be 18 by now) is developing a sequel to this that is apparently a more serious DMOD and features a neat-looking achievements system. I'm looking forward to it.

274: One Screen D-Mod Compilation Authors: Sparrowhawk, Ciprian "Cypry" Oprisa, Beuc, Adam "DinkDude95" Bisset, Joshriot Release Date: October 21, 2007

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is one of the select group with a score of 9.0 or better (9.5) on The Dink Network.

I've played this one before. I admit, the name and rating got me too curious to wait, and I played it back around the time I started this project. There are only two reviews, but they're both extremely positive, giving this compilation a unique place among the top-rated DMODs.

Joshriot continues to do somewhat unusual things with title screens.

This was the result of a little contest announced by Joshriot on September 2nd. Entrants submitted a DMOD with only one screen, and Josh compiled them all into one DMOD. This would have been more involved than a simple copy and paste job. He had to make sure they all work together, which included making mouse control available to some of them but not others. The winners were decided exclusively by Joshriot. As with the other DMOD contests, I'll cover them from last place to first.

4th place: The Three Barrels by DinkDude95

In a tiny dungeon with no obvious exits, "some random old guy" challenges Dink to pick one of three barrels. If you choose the right barrel, as I did on my first try, the game is over as soon as it starts. If you choose a different barrel, you have to go to the Room of Doom to fight a bonca.

The "Room of Doom" is actually just that enclosed space on the right. Hey, it had to be one screen.

The bonca isn't terribly difficult, and after you win, you get the same ending you get by choosing the correct barrel: Dink is transported into the room of gold, but there's no way out. How did Dink get in here, anyway?

There are a couple of minor problems with this tiny DMOD. Dink can clip behind the wall at the top, and although the fireball is equipped automatically, the inventory graphic won't display unless you go into the inventory and re-equip it.

It's pretty barebones as a game, but Dink's silly interactions with the ornery old guy are kind of fun.

3rd place: Dink Mines by Beuc

This is a Dink implementation of the game Minesweeper, which everybody knows. You use numbers to figure out where the mines are. This version is missing some features that other versions have, most notably flags. It does have something the Windows version doesn't - a catchy little tune backing it up. It's still bopping around in my head.


The game works well, although it does take quite a while sometimes to update the field after you click. It has to check and update all the involved squares one at a time. It's not difficult because of the low number of mines, but it still took me a few tries to win. Unlike the Windows version, the location of the mines is set before you click, so the first click isn't safe. I got unlucky and clicked a bomb first twice!

It's always fun to see a familiar game remade in Dink. This one took some tricky scripting due to DinkC's lack of some common programming features. Beuc writes in an included readme that in an early attempt he quickly ran out of variable space, a problem I can't imagine DMOD authors run into that often.

2nd place: Bugmania by Sparrowhawk

In "Bugmania," you squash pillbugs by clicking on them. Your mouse pointer is replaced with a mallet.

There are four levels. Because of the one-screen limit, the level is changed using visions. The last level also changes the grass background to a wooden floor; I'm really not sure how this is accomplished. In the first level, pillbugs pop up and disappear like a game of "Whack-A-Mole." Level two has you saving a girl from the pillbugs, in level three you have to kill the pillbugs and avoid the rabbits and ducks, and in level four you (the mallet) have to escape from a bar by finding a "secret" passage.

Eww, bugs.

I kind of suck at quickly clicking on things, but it's fun to mash madly away at everything. There's also some humor to this one. The girl in level two isn't so enthusiastic about being saved because of the mess. If you save all the ducks and rabbits in level 3, those ever-scheming ducks turn out to not be so innocent, and in level 4, you can go ballistic all over the bar if you feel like it.


There are a couple of pillbugs who get stuck on hardness, but other than that, I'm impressed with the level of polish "Bugmania" has. There's even a nice credits sequence where pillbug-and-hammer antics happen as the words scroll by.

1st place: Hit the Pillbugs by Cypry

Here's another game where you click on pillbugs. This time, your cursor looks like a fist. It's actually a very different sort of game from "Bugmania." Before each level, you're instructed to click on the different-colored pillbugs in a certain order. You have to do this without making a mistake under a strict time limit. As you reach higher levels, the colorful isopods start using tricks on you, like moving each time you click them or changing color when your cursor is over them.

If you fail to beat a level, you get sent back to the minigame's title screen, but you can start from level 5 once you've reached it. There may also be other milestones.

The big stone tells you when you've passed or failed a level.

I don't know how many levels there are in "Hit the Pillbugs," because even after many tries I never got past level 7, where you have to hit a green pillbug ten times in ten different locations. Actually, I never even managed to hit the pillbug nine times. Like I said, my reflexes for this sort of thing are not good. It's a neat idea, though.

The "One Screen DMOD Contest" seems to have encouraged some interesting new thinking. It would be cool to do this sort of thing again.

275: Escape Author: LadyValoveer Release Date: October 24, 2007

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is one of the select group with a score of 9.0 or better (9.4) on The Dink Network.

The author's name starts with "Lady," and they're represented in the game by a sprite that looks like a woman, but they have a male symbol on their forum account. That's interesting.

Here's a great plot for a DMOD: Dink has developed a kind of cosmic awareness of his situation. He's told that he's just a pig farmer setting off on a quest for the first time, but he knows better. Although he doesn't have specific memories, he feels that he's done this sort of thing before many times, and he's weary of it. He resolves to somehow escape the cycle.

Dink is especially sick of fighting pillbugs.

Of course, Dink's effort to escape his endless series of quests takes on a form pretty similar to most of them. The DMOD effectively pokes fun at some common elements of DMODs. Dink complains every time he has to run an errand for somebody, and there's a great scene where Dink hides behind something to hear some evil villains conspire about their plan, like he does in any number of other DMODs. There's a strong implication that this is only happening because it's how things are done (Dink comments, "I think I'll hide behind these boxes for no reason!"). Dink soon gets fed up, refuses to do this sort of thing again, and walks out on the scene. One of the villains wonders forlornly, "But who will foil us?"

Let me tell you, for someone who has played as many DMODs as I have, this is satisfying.

Dink's goal leads him to oppose the author, of course. The "author as main villain," like most concepts that were used in the original game (come to think of it, the "hiding and hearing plans" thing is one of these too!), has been done to death. Here, though, it just makes sense. Also, "Escape" confronts some of the contradictions in this idea. If the author controls everything, how can Dink possibly oppose them? Dink questions this point to an NPC, and they don't have an answer. Another character comes from a different world, and arranges for Dink to meet her outside of this world, where she gives him something that prevents the author from simply controlling his mind.

Dink confronts Lady Valoveer.

Although Dink defeats the author in combat, he fails to escape. Ultimately, believing he has won just allows the author to control him even more easily, and the cycle begins anew. "Well, that was one heck of a waste of time," remarks the character from another world who helped Dink at great personal risk. I suppose that an ending where Dink escapes the cycle would ring false. How could he, when DMODs continue to come out? Dink is as trapped as ever. He'll be our plaything until we all get bored.

General silliness abounds in this DMOD in addition to the main plot. You meet a tree full of skulls that calls itself the "MIGHTY TREE OF DEATH," and you have to help it romance another tree that it's got a crush on. This is accomplished by finding a bag of magic duck poop. It's actually pretty funny. "I'll accept his pollen any day," says the other tree upon receiving his gift.

Aww, that's adorable.

And then there's the giant, talking turnip. Doing IT a favor got me "turnip magic," a more powerful fireball. It's possible to get a "turnip sword" instead, but I think the magic is probably better.

Behold the turnip magic. It even burns down trees.

"Escape" has some hardness errors, and there's a cutscene where a character is supposed to turn into a bonca, but turns invisible instead. The final boss is a laugher, at least if you got the turnip magic. Still, I really liked this one for a great concept and for having funny and entertaining writing.
December 14th 2014, 08:34 AM
Peasant He/Him New Zealand rumble
"Skinny Legend" 
Ahh, Happy Sunshine land... Y'know we have two playthrough video's for that one on the DSPT channel with three-person joint commentary? Don't ask me how or why we ended up with two, but we did. It was fun.
Part 1 and Part 2 here.

The One-Screen Dmod Compilation was a good file too, and I think there's a separate "Bugmania!" Dmod that expands on the one included there if I remember correctly (See here, though it's probably on your list).

As for Escape, I think I remember playing that one but not Of Life.
December 14th 2014, 11:34 AM
Peasant He/Him Finland bloop
A Disembodied Sod 
It's kinda funny how both of Blackguard's files are rated 4.8. Also, I could be totally wrong on this, but I think those dead Pillbug graphics are originally from Outlander, not Of Life.

Escape is another great D-Mod that doesn't get talked about nearly enough. I remember it's one of those D-Mods I finished in a very short time after its release (could've even been on the same day). That's pretty rare.
December 14th 2014, 02:25 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
Hahaha, Part 2 of that sunshine land LP is not available in my country. Too good for America, is it?
December 14th 2014, 09:55 PM
Bard He/Him United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
276: Red Shield (Unfinished) Author: Someone Release Date: March 2, 2001
"When you touch an enemy, you get launched into combat mode."

Yep, I screwed up again. Hey, at least I realized this one quite a while ago. "Red Shield" was released unfinished in 2001, but received an update on December 4, 2007. It's uncommon for unfinished DMODs to be updated, so when I was making the list I assumed that the update was the "finished" version, and thus was appropriate to treat as the release. I was wrong, it's still unfinished. The main reason for the update seems to have been to fix things that were broken by 1.08. Oops.

The readme thanks "Kyle and Tim" for beta testing. This is old enough that "Tim" might have been me, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't.

"Red Shield" is the first DMOD (remember, 2001) to have a turn-based combat system. When you touch a monster, you get sent to the combat screen.

Which looks like this.

Dink, his party members (if any) and the monsters all have two numbers displayed next to them. The bottom number is their remaining health. The top number counts up from 0 to 10, at which point that character's turn comes up. It's kind of similar to the "ATB" system from Final Fantasy, but in this case, everybody else's timer is paused while you make a decision. I don't see any difference between this and a more traditional initiative system except that it makes you wait around a bit more.

All you can do in combat is attack, and it makes the most sense to just keep targeting the same enemy until it dies, so it really comes down to hammering the button. There isn't any strategy to speak of. Still, it works well, and could serve as the backbone for a more involved system in a finished DMOD.

Here's the new inventory screen featured in "Red Shield."

There is a little story. Dink is recruited into the King's elite "Red Shield" squad. After a bit of training, they assign him a couple of companions and send him out on a mission to investigate a forest where the monsters have become violent. Most of the battles take place against pillbugs. There's a definite unfinished look to the DMOD, as a lot of screens are empty or nearly so. There are some screens where even the tiling looks unfinished. When you do find the boss of this mission, the turn-based system is oddly abandoned.

You have to punch the pillbugs to send them flying into the goblin. It's not hard, but if you do get close to the goblin, you'll die instantly.

Afterward, Dink finally - FINALLY - gets a little vacation. This means lying on a beach towel and wearing shades.


When he's done being a beach bum, Dink has to do a bit of "stealth training," where you have to avoid a guard's line of sight (this is extremely simple). He's then sent out on a mission to a nearby village, where everyone has been killed by goblins... at which point, we run out of DMOD.

"Red Shield" is a pretty good example of how a turn-based DMOD might work. Its combat system works better than the one in "Legend of TerraEarth." I've gone in a different direction with a turn-based mod I made for an upcoming contest, so we'll see how that goes. The biggest problem I encountered in "Red Shield" is that you can get caught in a spot where enemies generate on the map. If this happens, you'll keep getting into fights until you lose. This is nothing that couldn't be fixed by adding a little delay before the monsters start coming out, though.

277: Dink's Christmas Adventure Author: Carrie2004 Release Date: December 11, 2007
"Santa! Come back. I don't want socks this year!"

Well, we've reached the last DMOD by the silly romp factory known as Carrie. Treasure those beavers while you can.

What do you do when Santa brings you socks every year? Hunt that fat old jerk down and MAKE him give you everything you want. Well, Dink initially plans to "ask" Santa, but that's the way it turns out.

This has got to be the most festive-looking Christmas DMOD I've seen yet.

Even the logo is strung up with lights!

Most of the snowy graphics are Binirit's, but there are some new graphics as well.

There's quite a bit of Christmassy combat to be found here. Dink fights bats and boncas, but pillbugs are replaced by killer snowmen, apparently created "accidentally" by the Wizard Martridge. Oops!

These guys crack me up, the way they wave their stick arms up and down.

Dink has to find a secret passage to the North Pole. It's in a house, mostly hidden by the front wall. When you get to Santa, he declares Dink to be naughty, and Dink has had enough. It turns out that he's a tough old cuss, though. I don't recall having much trouble with a boss in a Carrie2004 DMOD before, but Santa gave me a jolly old butt-whooping until I went and bought a bunch of elixirs.

The trend of cosplay goblin bosses reaches its silliest point yet.

This one was thrown together pretty quickly, so it has a lot of depth dot problems. Dink can go behind fireplaces and doorways and stand "on top" of Christmas trees. A fountain in the village can be walked straight through. It's good for a quick, holiday-themed laugh, though. Anyway, playing this is the most Christmassy thing I've done this holiday season. Ho ho ho.

278: Project A.N.Y. Author: Sergthegod Release Date: December 31, 2007
"Damn! That's the Linguistic University!"

REPUTATION NOTE: This DMOD is tied for last with a score of 0.1 on The Dink Network.

This is a very personal story.

************This DMOD, "Project A.N.Y.,"***********
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   ********On this day December 14, 2014********

In "Project A.N.Y.," Sergie gets sick of his English teacher trying to quiz him on early 20th century British literature and decides to kill him. His teacher's name is Alexander Nickolaevich Yarzhemsky, hence the title.

It is anybody's guess why "Linguistic University" holds classes (or tutoring sessions, or whatever this is supposed to be) in a cave.

The dialogue is full of specific details of things Serge hates about his teacher: his moustache, his long fingernails, his apparent high opinion of his teaching skills. It must really have been a blast for the author to make and play, but it's meaningless to anybody else. I don't think it's quite as bad as its rating, but only because I had fun imagining the author cackling with glee as he took out his frustration in this manner.

There's only one screen. Every time you punch Mr. Yarzhemsky, there's a short, randomly selected exchange between the two characters. Nothing happens when you kill him, although you do get 10,000 experience points. Serge is left on his own, with no way out. Maybe this symbolizes the way that Serge is trapped in this moment, haunted by guilt over what he's done. Yarzhemsky only wanted to help him learn, but in his childish rage, he killed a man. Now, there's nothing he can do but dwell on it.

Oh wait, never mind. There's a spot in the bottom right corner of the screen that "warps" you to another copy of the only screen, so you can kill him over and over again. Suck it, Yarzhemsky! This might be the quickest way to get to the maximum level without cheating.

279: Dink Smallwood at the City of the Dead (Demo) Author: Castman Release Date: December 31, 2007
"DIE!! Don't you have something more original??"

This DMOD is not listed in the files section. I have no idea why. Anyway, you can download it from the link up there.

Dink finds himself in a huge ruined city full of zombies, corpses and gore. Why? I'unno.

This is the entire intro. Things don't really get any clearer by the end.

There are no NPCs to meet or talk to except for one rather late in the game. Everybody's a mindless zombie. It's kind of a drag; they're rude and bitey. You can punch the zombies to "death," but I wouldn't recommend it. They do a lot of touch damage and only give you 5 experience points each.

Here's one of those custom inventory screens that have been so popular lately.

You're left to figure out for yourself what to do. One house contains a pillar that starts a 45-second timer when you examine it. If you hurry up and walk around the outside of the city (which is surrounded by "invisible wall" screen edges), you can just make it to another part of the city, normally closed off, before the timer ends. There, you can get a bomb that enables you to access another new part of the map. Don't try saving after blowing up the rock that's in your way, though - it comes back if you leave the screen. Sigh.

Incidentally, you save in this DMOD by examining the fountain in a church. The help option in the escape menu has been revised to tell you this.

Dink then meets a knight who wants to kill him and sacrifice him to some kind of dark lord. This guy does over 700 damage, so all you can do is run away through the darkness that suddenly falls over the city.


This mofo will chase you through quite a few screens, and brambles start littering the ground as you go. If you run into one of them, Dink will get permanently stuck. If you're lucky, the knight will catch up to you shortly thereafter and kill you; if you're unlucky, he won't quite make it and you'll have to exit the game. This is a bug. According to the author, the brambles are only supposed to trap you for a second or two.

After several attempts, I finally escaped the chase. I soon met Death, the only NPC you can really go up and talk to in the whole DMOD. He's happy to give Dink a powerful sword to take out the zombies; he says that if he claims enough souls, he earns points to take a vacation. The sword Death gives you increases in strength by a point every time you kill a zombie, giving you a good reason to wipe out the suckers. I must admit, this is a cool and fun idea.

There are some creatively arranged dead bodies throughout the city. I guess only the ones sufficiently maimed were lucky enough not to become zombies.

The boss is a wizard who teleports when you hit him. He's not too tough if you've been keeping up on your campaign of zombie destruction. Then you walk out of the city and the demo ends.

I wasn't a big fan of this one. There are hints of a plot, but you never really find out exactly what's going on or why. I don't like not having anybody to talk to, and you're not given a good idea of what to do. There were some good ideas and memorable moments, however. At least this isn't one that I'll soon forget.


That's it for 2007. There were a lot of DMODs, but they were mostly quite short, and I was able to get through them in less than two weeks. The DFMAOB sure got a workout this year, with an incredible nine recipients. At least not quite all of them were Skull.

I think I can pick out my favorites this time.

The Bronze Pig: One Screen DMOD Compilation, by various authors

I still think this is a really neat idea and that we could stand to see another one of these. With just one screen, I think people are more likely to participate.

The Silver Duck: Escape, by LadyValoveer

"Escape" just has a great concept. It's especially enjoyable for anybody who's played a lot of DMODs.

The Golden Pillbug: I, Kara Gu, by Arik

"I, Kara Gu" transcends the format like nothing I've seen before. Every design decision is well thought out. The switching mechanic works flawlessly and allows for complicated and frantic action-puzzles. It's a totally new kind of gameplay, and it's fun as Hell.
December 14th 2014, 10:37 PM
King He/Him United States bloop
A mother ducking wizard 
Dink Smallwood at the City of the Dead now shows up in the Files section; it was classified as a Demo (instead of a D-Mod Demo).
December 19th 2014, 12:49 AM
Peasant They/Them Australia
>It does have something the Windows version doesn't - a catchy little tune backing it up

In case you're wondering it's Close to Me by The Cure. It's still pretty interesting that he went and analysed the Dink source code in order to develop it though.