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Download Last Half of Darkness

Last Half of Darkness
 
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338 kb
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The Story:

The Last Half of Darkness is a text-styled horror adventure, with simple but effective VGA graphics to make life more interesting. Before you start have a glance at the manual included with the game files as it contains the back-story, plus information on the character you're playing. The basic idea is that you've inherited a mansion - along with crudely drawn priceless antiques - from your aunt, a witchy lady who used spells and potions to help people. The catch to receiving your inheritance is that you must carry on her work. Nice idea for a game story, I thought, hoping it wouldn't be all downhill from there.

The game opened onto a screen called 'Front Yard' and was accompanied by loud beeps supposed to resemble haunting music. Reminding myself this was a 17-year-old game made by an independent game-maker, I set off towards a typically creepy mansion, which, of course, was surrounded by dark, skeletal trees. You'll encounter a few more haunted house clichés along the way. The atmosphere and graphics weren't scary enough to give the heebie-jeebies, but enough surprises popped up to keep things suspenseful.

At first the storyline was a little disappointing. I'd have preferred it to have some semblance of believability, but there's little effort made to give any realism, rhyme or reason to what happens, other than the explanation that your aunt was a witch. You could compare it to a superficial comic book take on the supernatural. I decided to accept the game for what it was and concentrated on playing for fun and quirky surprises, rather than for anything immersive and meaningful. There are a few silly ways to die in the game, but if you save in nearly every screen you can resurrect back to the moment before your demise.

Game Play and Configuration

To activate the game, double-click on an exe file called 'lasthalf'. The first screen opens onto a black background overlaid with white writing. Type 'n' to go to the next screen. The second screen offers a simple setup process. The only way I could get the game operational in DOSbox was to choose option A - Keyboard Controls instead of the mouse controls. I advise choosing option 'C' for Sounds - No sound. The few sounds are horrible musical (?) beeps.

Even though you have the advantage of being able to use the mouse controls in VDMsound and Windows, I found the game to be not really playable with these two because of the many bugs. XP was the worst as the command interface was the least cooperative here. (I changed the compatibility to Windows 95, but to no effect.) To give an example, when you want to use one item on another, no amount of clicking the 'operate' command, or the items, seems to give any result, so you can't solve puzzles or proceed any further. It seems that Windows XP is too fast a system for the way this game was designed. However, when you select the 'operate' command in VDMSound and then click on one of the inventory items, up pops helpful text asking what you want to use that item with. You can then click on the object you wish to use the inventory item with in the gameplay window. But in VDMsound when you click 'operate' and then the watering can, it empties before you pour the water on anything. I tried several times but the same thing happened each time which makes the game unplayable in this program, too. Btw, in VDMsound I tried using the option: 'Try Limiting CPU usage' and turned the slider down to 'Low Usage' but it didn't make any difference with the speed or bugs in the game play. Perhaps someone skilled using this program will have more luck slowing it down to eliminate the quirks.

You can eliminate most of the bugs if you use DOSbox and select Keyboard Controls during the setup process. DOSbox didn't work for me if I selected the Mouse Controls. You can then slow down the game to 1000 cycles in the configuration file. But using the keyboard controls makes for cumbersome navigation and gameplay. Firstly, the red cursor arrow has to be moved with the right hand side keys onto an object or destination. Then you hit one of the function keys to command something to happen, e.g., 'Go' and then you hit 'Enter" to move to a new screen. However a simple action like walking through a doorway requires a lot of work if it has to be 'Opened' first.

I might be sounding a titch grumpy at this stage; however, I've collected a few inventory items, and visited a few interesting places, so lured on by this and some curious information gleaned along the way, I'm determined to reach the end of this surreal adventure.

Like to join in? Then download the game from the 'get the game here' spot above. Let us know what you thought in the forum. The game can be tricky in parts, so if you're needing some hints, try the link below:

http://www.the-spoiler.com/ADVENTURE/Capstone/The.last.half.of.darkness.html

Trivia:

The game was made by William R Fisher (WRF Studios) - an independent game maker. He has just released Shadows of The Servants - the third game in the Last Half of Darkness series. Apparently this version has photo-realistic graphics, a point and click interface, sound effects and music. The demo and CD rom version are available from the game-maker's site at:

http://www.lasthalfofdarkness.com/start.htm


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Reviewed by: wendymaree / Screenshots by: wendymaree / Uploaded by: wendymaree / share on facebook
 

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