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Solstice Manual Randomizer

Hack of Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos

Description:

This rom hack shuffles around almost all items in the game. This is done manually, so it’s not an actual randomizer, yet. Think it as proof-of-concept.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Solstice - The Quest for the Staff of Demnos (USA).nes
  • No-Intro
  • CRC32: 1D60732E
  • MD5: A42E31D875D0573BA858DE365628F608
  • SHA-1: 992DA7FAC9248204CDDCDF2E37412007359603BA
  • SGA-256: BCE351F5C84DFAC92C3B97BB5F59DBCD116CA2E3984DBA205041BE42161567AC

Links:

Screenshots:


RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image

Credits:

User Review Information

Breaks puzzle design and flow

Reviewed By: Shad0WeN on 13 Oct 2022

On the surface it’s an interesting idea but in practice I don’t feel it works that well. The thing with this game is that the castle and its various locations are designed with specific puzzles to solve for particular items in mind for any given room – and the quest items are also used as a gating mechanism for where you can explore and progression as a whole in very specific ways. And the issue with messing with that formula is that it can impact that careful balance and design in a way that may be seen as detrimental to the gameplay.

As one example, in the original game there is an area in the caves consisting of a pathway through several rooms that can only be accessed by finding the appropriate hidden detonator. In this ROM hack the first part of that carefully designed (secret) pathway can just be bypassed simply because the detonator is now placed elsewhere. There are other instances like this that break puzzle design and room flow.

Another glaring issue is that I managed to assemble all the pieces of the staff way too early, with many of the rooms not yet traversed or completed – and with the game being coded to give you invincibility (from everything other than spikes) and infinite potions at that point it made the remainder of the game moot. I think the reason that the original design team gave you these powers after picking up the last staff piece at the very end was so that it would assist with going back to explore and uncover or pick up any remnants that you may have missed to reach that 100% completion rate.

So now this segues and plays into my next point. With the way this ROM hack is designed you don’t even have to do the final tower challenge to finish the game. The door to the end room is already open when you get there and all you have to do is walk in. One of the best puzzle areas in the game doesn’t even have to be attempted. Talk about anti-climactic.

I just can’t recommend this hack in its current state. That’s not to say that I don’t think changing the locations of some items in the game could potentially work well but it would have to be very carefully planned and more thought out than this.

Version 1.0 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommend
Breaks puzzle design and flowShad0WeN13 Oct 20221.0No
Very nice!Kellybug05 May 20221.0Yes