Alternate Reality: The City

EASTER EGG: One area of the game (known as Price Commons in the 16-bit versions of the game) when mapped out, spells "Philip Price" (the creator of the series).

The game was originally to be a 6-part series – City, Dungeon, Arena, Palace, Wilderness, Revelation, and Destiny – but Price stopped work on it before Dungeon was completed (the version Datasoft released was an abbreviated version).  The main goal of the City is to create a map of it and to build up a strong character (at least level 10).  A map was available from Datasoft (and even a T-shirt!).

Although the manual states that 1 hour in the game equals 4 minutes in real time, the time elapse is different depending on which system you use (and none are 4 minutes) - on an 800 it’s 3 minutes; XL/XE is 2:50; PAL XL/XE is 3:50.

The Atari 8-bit version has subliminal messages that flash across the screen in large 25 point white text, with sayings such as: "This is the best game you have ever played", "Philip Price is a programming god", "This Atari version is far better than any other", "You are not tired of playing AR, you are having tons of fun, keep playing, nothing else matters", and "Ignore everything around you, focus on this game only!"

Modifying character stats: Load the game and select a temporary character. When the loading procedure ends, press RESET. Load a disk copier into memory and copy DISK2, SIDE 1 of the city to any blank disk. Next, load the game (using your original disks) as usual and create a new character. When you enter any Guild for the first time, you are given an increase in on of your stats. Enter any Guild, leave, press P to pause, insert the new disk, and press S to save your character. Your character will be able to enter Guilds and increase their stats as many times as they require.

The game doesn't decide what a potion is until it is unsealed. By saving your character before unsealing it, you can repeat this until you get a desired potion!  {A. K. Einbergs}

The maximum number of flasks and food packets you can have is 255.  If you purchase more than that, they won’t be counted.

Attempting to run a copy resulted in "the long arm of the law”, arresting you once you got your stats and entered. It even showed a graphic of "Men in Black" and then the game just shut down (on the ST/Amiga/PC versions, your character would be generated pure evil with no hope of redemption).

Scurvy was the result of a pirate copy not having subverted my weak bit check [or from the manufacturer error/ mistake of writing the weak bits on the edge of the allowed zone instead of the middle)Which meant higher false positive of pirating).  The concept was that pirate have been out to sea a long time...and well.. probably ran out of citrus and catch a really (and I mean really) bad case of scurvy, The scurvy would also help customer service know if the problem was due to pirating or a problem in the game itself. So my weak bit statistical analysis of the disk is done during boot, I purposely don't do anything with the statistics there since that makes it harder to realize what it did and what the results mean. I then have in the main game's init code a false set of code (So that anyone looking at it in memory or statically (if they decrypt) from the floppy will see something other than what actually happens...I then have a flag set, that my asynchronously running vblank routine sees as cause to add two rows of bytes and store the resulting vector of bytes. That add row and store vector is actually folding a code split(just like a key split) that overlays(i.e. this was my software folding technique) on top of the false code and it does the check of the weak bit statistics and if it detected weak bits where they should not be or doesn't detect weak bits where they should be (By looking at the statistical results from the early add during boot), then it updates the character to have a very deadly case of scurvy that will kill them in about three blocks(I wanted a pirate that made it his far to at least get a very short taste of the game).  {Philip Price}

BUG: The documentation says there are 14 Guilds but there’s only 12.

BUG: There are at least 2 1-way wall death traps that put you in a room you can’t get out of so you just starve to death.

BUG: I forgot to use the value12 in a compare and that cause the end of year banks to go bust.  {Philip Price}

BUG: I heard the data for the city had that one wall that led to a death trap, I assume I somehow corrupted that on whatever I had sent to production.  {Philip Price}

 


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