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POWDER 117



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About POWDER
To understand POWDER, you should first understand roguelikes. "Roguelike" is a term applied to a wide variety of games which share a common inspiration from the game Rogue. A non-exhaustive list of such games would be: ADOM, Nethack, Crawl, Diablo (I & II), Moria, and Angband. My apologies to the many excellent roguelikes I didn't list. What characterizes these games? The exact specifications are a matter of debate - indeed, I may receive hate mail for including Diablo - but I shall try to write a few:
Tactical play. The unit of action is based on the individual adventurer. The game is not twitch oriented (like Quake, rewarding reflexes & well trained actions) nor is it strategy oriented (like Civilizations or Warcraft, requiring working on the large picture)
Based in Hack and Slash. A roguelike isn't primarily about plot development or telling a story. It is about killing things and acquiring treasure.
Random games. A roguelike is a dungeon crawler where no two games are the same. The maps are different, the items are different, there are no guaranteed win paths.
Permadeath. You die, that is it. No restoring a savegame. Good roguelikes delete your save game after loading them. This is compensated by the replayability of the game.
Complex interactions of properties. While the commands for a roguelike are simple, the potential interactions are not. My favourite example is equipping a silver ring as a weapon in order to damage a creature vulnerable to silver, but not one's other weapons. [Editor: This matches the Hack branch of the roguelike tree, not the Angband branch]
Steam rolling monsters. If a critter is in your way, and weak, you shouldn't even notice it is there.
For more information about roguelikes there is the Rogue Basin, a Wiki documenting this genre, and the Temple of the Roguelike, a newsite tracking developments in the field.

Having defined Roguelike, POWDER is easy to describe: A Roguelike designed for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS.



How to Win
Descend into the depths of the dungeon until you reach the foul daemon known as "He who the author cannot spell consistently", or, Baezl'bub. When you have slain Baezl'bub in heroic combat, or, if Baezl'bub dies in any way, retrieve his black heart and bring it to the surface world.
You may then go the nearest newsgroup such as rec.games.roguelike.misc, and post YAAP (Yet Another Ascension Post).



How to Install
Note: Some POWDER files are packed with .tar.gz. Linux users can use tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz to unpack. Windows users can use 7-Zip to unpack.
Gameboy Advance Version
The released files are merely the .gba rom. To play it, you can use an emulator. I personally use VisualBoyAdvance for debugging. I do not recommend this for playing the game, however, as if you have a real PC you should really take advantage of the full keyboard.
Flash solutions have advanced a lot since I first released POWDER. Modern solutions use normal flash cards to transfer the file - you can just copy powder123.gba to your flash card and it is ready to play. Unfortunately, being homebrew, you can't "patch" POWDER with any of your card's special saving abilities. This might make it difficult to save games as they need to be written from the local SRAM onto the flash card. With a Supercard Mini SD I had luck with the "Quick Power Cycle" method, but I have seen cartridges for which this doesn't work.



Change log (117):
True aim is now in the book of blades, so you can learn it without an extra skill book. (Robert Barber)
Forgetting a spell while wielding a staff that imbues it will now properly fail. (Paul Strickland)
Failing to forget no longer uses a turn.
Unenchanted weapons and armor which you have found the enchantment of now report +0. (Mike Ratzlaff)
Objects collapsing into meatballs now properly state if the result is multiple meatballs. (Nathan Bogue)
Tutorial for signpost for kiwis now mentions the hostile tag on the look description. (Claudio)
Signpost added to surace world. (SilverAnalyst)
Someone to greet you on the surface world. (Andrew Walker)
Unequippable item slots say No Item slot rather than Empty slot. Empty body slots report the appendage name (left hand, radula, etc)
+ and * by the god reports when praying lets you know how much they like your fashion sense. (hotpoo)
Frogs have a bonus to attack vs insects. (Robert Barber)
Silver and gold weapons will occasionally dull if used against non-vulnerable targets.
Finally added the cute and cuddly triceratops!
If you id the enchantment of an item by throwing it, now the stack you threw it from wil also be ided. (Mike Ratzlaff)
Sleeping creatures have a visual indication. (Mike Ratzlaff)
Swapping worn armour with wielded sword no longer causes you to wear the sword. (Mike Ratzlaff)
Rolling boulder works on some monsters.
Fix minor spelling errors (Gurkan Sengun)
Full AI state was being cleared when nothing was edible rather than just the single edible bit. (Don Collins)
Dipping nothing into a potion no longer crashes, provided you figured a way to do that in the first place. (Richard Quirk)
Two or more equipped items with extra attacks now properly stack the chance of invoking the attacks, rather than jumping straight to a 99% chance. (Richard Quirk)
One new room type.
Mountain and Hills in Ibson The Grey's tileset are now in their correct positions.
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