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Author Topic: Best dungeon(s) in a PC game  (Read 4063 times)
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Vinda-Lou
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« on: May 18, 2008, 02:51:46 PM »

I made a thread like this a long time ago at OO.  I'm itching for a good dungeon crawl with cool places to explore and more than just a twisty corridor.  I've played both UW games, and Oblivion dungeons were just there.  I'd rather find a first person perspective, and it doesn't matter how old the game is, as long as it can run.  I can't get Stonekeep to run, but it looks like every level is gray and pretty much straight corridors.

What are your favorite dungeons?  I could use some inspiration. 

I'll start.  Even though the game gets beat up by critics and fans daily, I thought Ultima 9 had some cool dungeon designs.  Of course the Underworld games have amazing dungeons, but the whole game world is the dungeon.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 02:54:03 PM »

Dungeons are actually my least favorite part of RPGs these days. They just don't make any sense.

That said, roguelikes seem to have some good dungeons.
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morlac
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 03:00:02 PM »

Wizardry 8 has some decent dungeons.
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Tscott
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 03:08:43 PM »

Neverwinter Nights - Shadows of Undrentide Hordes of the Underdark

Icewind Dale

and of course Diablo
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 12:32:57 AM by Tscott » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 03:12:49 PM »

Ultima IV. I liked how the dungeons had rooms that went back down to the top down view.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 04:07:56 PM »

The best dungeons are the ones you make yourself: Dungeon Keeper 2!  Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 04:09:58 PM »

I haven't played it, but maybe Arx Fatalis?
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Blackadar
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2008, 04:26:33 PM »

Quote from: Vinda-Lou on May 18, 2008, 02:51:46 PM

I made a thread like this a long time ago at OO.  I'm itching for a good dungeon crawl with cool places to explore and more than just a twisty corridor.  I've played both UW games, and Oblivion dungeons were just there.  I'd rather find a first person perspective, and it doesn't matter how old the game is, as long as it can run.  I can't get Stonekeep to run, but it looks like every level is gray and pretty much straight corridors.

What are your favorite dungeons?  I could use some inspiration. 

I'll start.  Even though the game gets beat up by critics and fans daily, I thought Ultima 9 had some cool dungeon designs.  Of course the Underworld games have amazing dungeons, but the whole game world is the dungeon.

Despise, Despair and Deceit from U7.

Stratholme from WoW.

Tomb of Horrors from D&D.

Anything from Baldur's Gate, though the BGII expansion Shadows of Amn hell dungeon (the last one) was particularly memorable.
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DArtagnan
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2008, 05:41:54 PM »

Anvil of Dawn
Black Crypt
System Shock 1+2 (not technically dungeons, but much the same concept, really)
Realms of the Haunting (more action and adventure than straight up dungeon crawling, but plenty of good mazes and puzzles)
Stonekeep (it's actually not always gray)
Lands of Lore 1+2
Eye of the Beholder 1+2
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Gwar21
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008, 06:52:45 PM »

My favorite dungeon was one from Icewind Dale: the fortress of Severed Hand, containing the ghosts of battling elves & orcs.  I just enjoyed design of it and the story behind it.  I also liked the haunted castle from the free "Trials of the Luremaster" expansion.

I can't think of any dungeons in first-person games that have made a real impression on me.  I dimly recall enjoying some of the dungeons in the old Elder Scrolls: Arena game (hearing the baying ice hounds and hell hounds always unnerved me), but I doubt they'd hold up well today.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 06:54:39 PM by Gwar21 » Logged
Daehawk
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2008, 07:36:29 PM »

Loved the dungeons in Ultima Online.
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2008, 07:55:49 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on May 18, 2008, 04:26:33 PM

Anything from Baldur's Gate, though the BGII expansion Shadows of Amn hell dungeon (the last one) was particularly memorable.

Anything from BG? The dungeon I remember best had very narrow hallways so it drove the AI nuts as it tried to get your party through the place. Ended up having to move each character manually, it was horrible.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2008, 08:05:28 PM »

Quote from: Tscott on May 18, 2008, 03:08:43 PM

Icewind Dale

Seconded.  Some of them are really, really long but from a design perspective there are several in that game that are unrivaled.

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baelthazar
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 08:46:15 PM »

Hellgate London provides a nice dungeon crawl experience with random dungeons is a MMORPG style. The game is pretty patched up now, and is less bawlz than it was at release. About all there is in modern dungeon crawling.

Look at Eschalon: Book I, it is a good, old-school RPG. Also, you might try Titan's Quest for dungeon crawling, if your computer runs it. Some of the best dungeons I have seen were in Oblivion: Shivering Isles. There was this one that was a "lab" of this mad scientist. Creepy.

My favorite dungeon runs:
Ultima 7 Dungeons - so classic, so cool - I also liked the dungeons in UO
I agree with Stratholme. Man, I led so many Baron runs that I could have done that in my sleep.
The Egyptian area of Diablo II, finding the Cube was so awesome.
Dungeon Hack, back in the day, gave me tons of endless fun.
Bioshock and System Shock II are great "dungeon" experiences too.

All I can think of, off the top of my head.

SoM
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drifter
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 08:53:42 PM »

The Dungeon Keeper games.  Nothing beats taking down Heroes while smacking your minions around...
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TiLT
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2008, 09:00:11 PM »

Eye of the Beholder 2 and Lands of Lore 1. They are classics for very good reason. smile

Even though they're both pretty old by now, they're still fun to play today and are going to keep you hooked from start to end.
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Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2008, 09:37:21 PM »

I always felt that a good dungeon should make you feel like you're under massive amounts of earth. They should feel heavy, damp, and claustrophobic.

I'm sure they would look ancient now, but I loved the atmosphere of some of the dungeons in Daggerfall. Sounds, wall art, monsters all constantly gave me the feeling that I was hacking my way deep through the earth.

Until you'd hit a bug in the program that caused you to fall through a tiny crack in the walls and go floating around in some sort of 3D Matrix, that is.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2008, 09:42:38 PM »

Or better yet, the bug in Daggerfall that made the exit or the kill target be in a room behind an impenetrable wall. That was always fun.

Bael
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Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2008, 11:03:27 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on May 18, 2008, 09:42:38 PM

Or better yet, the bug in Daggerfall that made the exit or the kill target be in a room behind an impenetrable wall. That was always fun.

Bael

Har! Good one! Yup. But that's what the tiny cracks in the walls were for!

I also used to have fun getting stuck in a corner and spinning around for a length of time directly proportional to how far back my last save was.
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2008, 11:28:34 PM »

Quote from: Freezer-TPF- on May 18, 2008, 04:09:58 PM

I haven't played it, but maybe Arx Fatalis?

That'd be a good choice.  The whole game takes place in an underground world.  And it's in first-person.  And it's dirt-cheap and is even on Steam.
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Tscott
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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2008, 12:32:23 AM »

Quote from: Tscott on May 18, 2008, 03:08:43 PM

Neverwinter Nights - Shadows of Undrentide

Oops, scratch that.  I mixed up my expansions.  I meant "Hordes of the Underdark" and all the tricks and traps of Undermountain.  One of the best campaigns I've played.
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Atragon
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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2008, 05:26:35 AM »

While technically not a 'dungeon' per say, I have to mention the lairs that one could create in Evil Genius... seriously, who doesn't like having jet engines throwing enemy agents into pit traps?
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Zekester
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« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2008, 07:43:34 AM »

Again, Icewind Dale. Loved it.

Nox had some decent ones as well.
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« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2008, 11:39:29 AM »

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on May 18, 2008, 11:03:27 PM

Quote from: baelthazar on May 18, 2008, 09:42:38 PM

Or better yet, the bug in Daggerfall that made the exit or the kill target be in a room behind an impenetrable wall. That was always fun.

Bael

Har! Good one! Yup. But that's what the tiny cracks in the walls were for!

I also used to have fun getting stuck in a corner and spinning around for a length of time directly proportional to how far back my last save was.

That's what [ and ] are for smile
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Razgon
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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2008, 11:58:22 AM »

Gods how I loved the dungeons in both Ultima IV and Daggerfall...even though Daggerfall was just random, it was insanely fun still...

Dungeon Master was pretty cool as well!
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wonderpug
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2008, 01:06:13 PM »

If it was open to console games I'd nominate the fire dungeon in the Wind Waker Zelda.  The cel shaded lava pillar effects were just incredible.

On the PC front, I feel like I want to nominate something from Thief but it's been so long I can't think of a particular dungeon.

If it counts as having dungeons, I'll nominate System Shock 2.  Still the king as far as invoking tension, fear, and a deep feeling of isolation.
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rshetts2
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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2008, 01:17:38 PM »

The Might and Magic series had some great dungeon crawls.   IIRC  M&M 7 had a massive pyramid type dungeon that was quite fun.
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Razgon
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2008, 01:19:17 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 19, 2008, 01:06:13 PM



On the PC front, I feel like I want to nominate something from Thief but it's been so long I can't think of a particular dungeon.

If it counts as having dungeons, I'll nominate System Shock 2.  Still the king as far as invoking tension, fear, and a deep feeling of isolation.

ohh - I'd forgotten Thief! now I need to play that one again! Wasnt it in thief one, that you had to go get a sword, in some wierd botanicists croocked garden-castle? I had a lot of fun in that one! or!! the monestary!! loved that!
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Moliere
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2008, 11:19:27 PM »

The original Bard's Tale on my Apple IIc.
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« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2008, 11:29:44 PM »

It's a bit unfair to compare it to more modern games, but back when it came out and for a long time after that there was nothing that could compare to Ultima Underworld.  It's shocking how far ahead of it's time that game was.
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Vinda-Lou
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2008, 11:39:16 PM »

I recently re-installed IW Dale with the two expansions, but have yet to start.  I heard it is a great dungeon-romp game.  A peek at the maps here have me drooling.  Any good ideas for a party?

On the 3d front, is Stonekeep worth the struggle to play?  I am having a hell of a time getting it to run in dosbox or out. 

Another good game for "dungeons" and I use the word loosely here, is the original Unreal.  There are some levels that seem to be set in a dungeon, and are lots of fun.  The graphics haven't aged too badly considering how old it is now.
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2008, 11:49:00 PM »

Quote from: Vinda-Lou on May 19, 2008, 11:39:16 PM

I recently re-installed IW Dale with the two expansions, but have yet to start.  I heard it is a great dungeon-romp game.  A peek at the maps here have me drooling.  Any good ideas for a party?

i played through Icewind Dale (and expansions) and IWD2 both with pretty much the same party and kicked ass through both of them.  i've always enjoyed playing a ranger, then i added a fighter, druid, mage, thief, and bard to round out the party.  my goal was always to have a party that brough pretty much every ability into the game.  the ranger/fighter combo provides plenty of melee power and can even be helped by the druid if you set them up right.  the druid/mage/bard mix provides plenty of magic ability, and they can all use ranged weapons well.  last but not least, every party needs a thief...especially when exploring the trap-filled dungeons of IWD.  that's also pretty much the same party i carried through BG2+ToB and it worked great there as well...highly recommended icon_cool
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baelthazar
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2008, 12:00:33 AM »

Quote from: Sepiche on May 19, 2008, 11:29:44 PM

It's a bit unfair to compare it to more modern games, but back when it came out and for a long time after that there was nothing that could compare to Ultima Underworld.  It's shocking how far ahead of it's time that game was.

I agree, there was this really weird level in Ultima Underworld II that had some strange blue shapes and futuristic weirdness. And I still remember binding the air elemental to me so that I could use that horn to break the blackrock sphere around the castle. So classic.

Bael
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2008, 01:59:58 AM »

Morrowind's dungeons were SOOOOOOOO much better than Oblivion's, there's simply no comparing the two.  Particularly in those caverns which added height (often a whole lot of it) to the exploration.  I spent so much time clambering around the one north of Teldrassil that I can still picture it vividly.
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2008, 02:31:10 AM »

Stonekeep was pretty fun, though I found it hard. Definitely better than all the reviews made it seem, but also not really a classic. Not sure how it would age...
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DArtagnan
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« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2008, 05:36:52 AM »

Quote from: Randomayhem on May 20, 2008, 01:59:58 AM

Morrowind's dungeons were SOOOOOOOO much better than Oblivion's, there's simply no comparing the two.  Particularly in those caverns which added height (often a whole lot of it) to the exploration.  I spent so much time clambering around the one north of Teldrassil that I can still picture it vividly.

Really?

Now, I never played the expansions so maybe that's where the good dungeons were.

But as I remember them, they were almost ALL completely cookie-cutter dungeons with almost nothing to set them apart - except textures. Oblivion was exactly the same, however, and I consider this issue one of the worst parts of both games - apart from the incredibly overrated character system which is perhaps the most dull CRPG system in existence (ok, Dungeon Siege was worse  icon_twisted).

I guess tastes differ even in terms of dungeon design. Apart from Arx Fatalis, I don't seem to remember any first person game in the last near-decade that even remotely approaches the dungeon designs of Ultima Underword, System Shock, Black Crypt, Dungeon Master, etc. Maybe it's because I'm overly fond of riddles and puzzles, fiendish traps, non-linearity, and strong variation in level design, but to me that's what dungeons should be all about.

Otherwise, it's just a first person shooter with sword and spell, instead of assault rifles.
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Vinda-Lou
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« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2008, 09:58:49 PM »

Quote from: DArtagnan on May 20, 2008, 05:36:52 AM


Maybe it's because I'm overly fond of riddles and puzzles, fiendish traps, non-linearity, and strong variation in level design, but to me that's what dungeons should be all about.

Otherwise, it's just a first person shooter with sword and spell, instead of assault rifles.

You hit the nail on the head.  I couldn't agree more.  Many rpgs are slightly more complicated versions of those Starcraft missions where you only have a few guys to run through a maze.  Kill, heal, kill, heal, etc.  I love the UW dungeons and some of the Infinity Engine (BG, IW, etc.) because many of the dungeons had their own stories and plenty of traps, puzzles, etc.
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« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2008, 12:22:15 AM »

For dungeons in a standalone SP RPG, the 2 that immediately come to mind are:

NWN: Hordes of the Underdark
BGII: Shadows of Amn

For a MMORPG, I don't think you can beat the dungeons in DAoC, especially after the Catacombs expansion was added.
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« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2008, 03:56:50 PM »

Many in the NWN and Diablo series, but my favorite dungeons were from the original Lineage MMO
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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2008, 12:44:20 AM »

Of the ones mentioned here, I'm particularly fond of:

The Thief games. Thief 1 and 2 are my favorite games ever, bar none.

Arx Fatalis (I've only got an hour into it, but it's great so far).

Realms Of The Haunting. This game reeks atmosphere (though the graphics are dated), and to me it was difficult. I resorted to walkthroughs several times. Really does a nice job of creating a real-feeling world. A real unsung classic.

System Shock 2. I re-installed this for the umpteenth time a few weeks ago and FINALLY made it past the area I got stuck in every single time I tried it before. I'm loving it, but not as much as the Thiefs.

Note: All of those I mentioned are currently running beautifully on various legacy Win98 machines. I have absolutely no experience with DOSBox.
Wait...Arx I have on an XP machine.
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