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Alternate Reality: The City by Philip Price for Atari 800

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Seeking to remind myself why Alternate Reality: The City is one of my favorite games of all time, even amidst massively multiplayer game worlds and games approaching nearly life-like graphics, I recently started up a new character on an emulator and found the game still extremely challenging, mysterious, and lots of fun. Arriving at the mysterious Floating Gate in the center of the city you will hear the wind whistling through the town square, you will hear the commotion of a bustling town, and as you wander through the maze of streets you will see the sun slowly rising on the horizon and then gradually lighting the town as it climbs overhead. In short time you will discover how advanced and realistic this 1985 game is with permanent-death, inebriation, diet, reputation, disease, hunger, thirst, even exhaustion and the necessity of sleep! This game does not coddle you like the games of today; you will die and die often.


"Keeping track of characters' blood alcohol level, disease incubation time, neural and blood poison was not too difficult. It was fun to have a character's reaction time decrease as they became intoxicated, as was the wobbling and finally the blackouts." - Philip Price, developer of Alternate Reality: The City


One time, only after many months of playing, I recall one of my characters in the City suddenly getting Scurvy! Presumably this was from not eating any fruit, as all I ate was Food Packets & Water Flasks. I was blown away – a game aspect that would not be possible to discover until after months of consistent play and the remote chance that I did not eat any fruit at a tavern. This never happened to any of my other characters, and I have never seen any mention of it in any of the cluebooks, FAQs or websites about the game! What else waits to be discovered?


[Since writing this I have learned Scurvy was a part of Philip Price's copy protection scheme appropriately named and designed for pirates]


Currently I'm playing the Atari 8-bit version on my Windows PC with an emulator. Trying the City versions for the Commodore 64, PC, and more advanced computers of the time like the Atari ST and Amiga was a disappointment. I found the Atari 800 version is surprisingly superior. When third parties ported the City over to other computers they appear to have intentionally degraded the challenge and mystery of the game mechanics, likely in an attempt to make the game easier and normalize it with typical games of the time. Some of the complexity and graphics of Philip Price's original Atari 800 programming also appear to have been lost in translation resulting in sub-par conversions. The hardcore realism, pure open-ended nature, and custom graphics and sound of the original Atari 800 version of the City results in a more immersive and impressive experience overall.


Revisiting Alternate Reality: The Dungeon, the expansion to the City, I found that even the Atari 800 version of the Dungeon lacks the quality of the original City game. The Dungeon is a more conventional game in terms of design, with predetermined quests, easier survival, and more NPC interaction, but does this result in a better game? Not really, the Dungeon regresses into a more basic role-playing game design, moving away from the mysterious and innovative open-ended sandbox of the City. The Dungeon is a game to be completed and put back on the shelf and the City is literally an eternal alternate reality. Eventually I learned that the designer and original programmer of the City, Philip Price, did not code the Dungeon. So, Philip Price is the person to blame for the masterfully designed Atari 800 version of the City.

Dedicated AR Sites:
The Original Alternate Reality Homepage
The Alternate Reality Mailing List Archive
Alternate Reality Home Page
MarkTAW's Alternate Reality

AR Developers:
Philip Price

Philip Price Wikipedia

AtariAge welcomes Philip Price, creator/coder of 'Alternate reality'
Gary Gilbertson

Gary Gilbertson's AR Music on Demozoo

Gary Gilbertson's Music Site
Emails from Philip Price
Newsgroup posts by Philip Price

ALTERNATE REALITY The Classic CFRPG Is Returning, alternatereality.com
Datasoft's Alternate Reality Adventurer's Club newsletters
ZZAP!64 Interview of Sam Poole, Pres. of Datasoft & Kathi Tremblay, Marketing Project Mgr, April 20, 1986

Alternate Reality: The City (Atari 8-bit family) hidden developer message



Twitch Livestream videos
https://www.twitch.tv/search?term=alternate reality%3A the city&type=videos


Origins of the Open World: Alternate Reality by Pete Davison, US Gamer

Alternate Reality: The Video Game, Nobody can be Told what Alternate Reality Is, MarkTAW.com

COMING ADVENTURES - State-of-the-art interactive fiction, ANTIC VOL. 3, NO. 7 / NOVEMBER 1984

Alternate Reality Addiction, University of Chicago
Alternate Reality: The City / game / commercial by Lauren Emery, A.C.E.C. BBS
ZZAP!64 AR Commodore 64 Review
Coming Adventures, State-of-the-art interactive fiction, Antic magazine preview
Alternate Reality - The City, Reviewed by John Sweeney
Reminiscing: 8-bit Atari games
Could this be the best Atari 8-Bit game ever? By Ken Sarmiento, The Atari Times

Alternate Reality (series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Revisiting: Alternate Reality: The City (1985) by CRPG Addict

Tips & Cheats:

How to Survive - Alternate Reality: The City
by Niilo Paasivirta, AMINET September 2nd, 1995
Atari Homepage for Cheats and Tips

Atari 8-bit Emulator

Download AR Wrapper Now!

Atari 800WinPLus, The Atari 800 8-bit Emulator for Windows
Atari 8-bit ROM files for use with emulators

Downloads & Images:

Museum of Computer Adventure Game History - Datasoft
Alternate Reality Downloads at The Original AR Homepage
Mr.Bacardi's Datasoft archive

Another Dull Day? AR ad
Atarimania.com's game page on Alternate Reality: The City
The Legacy's game page on Alternate Reality: The City
Lemon64.com's game page for AR
Alternate Reality Gate
Archive of www.ksk.sala.se with news about Alternate Reality Online
XL Search FTP Alternate Reality files
AR: Dungeon True Type Font at MarkTAW.com
Alternate Reality City Sector Viewer SOURCE by Jim Norris
Jim Norris' website - Alternate Reality City Viewer

Thoreandan music by Gary Gilbertson
Price's Color Picture Painter by PHILIP PRICE, Antic Sept 1984




Edited by Xebec's Demise
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Play the original Alternate Reality on your Mac or PC!




Automate playing on PC using the Alternate Reality Wrapper
From Giors.com:
AR Wrapper is a brand new utility coded by Richard White. Richard has been kind enough to offer Giors.com an exclusive to host AR Wrapper V1.0!
  • Runs both Alternate Reality the City and Alternate Reality the Dungeon in the excellent Atari800Win emulator (8-bit Atari)

  • Easy installation, just unzip files into a folder and double click the program file. No complicated emulator setup!

  • Single click character creation. No more disk swapping to get started in the games!

  • Single click load and save features to quickly save your progress!

  • All disk swaps are handled by the wrapper!

  • Auto-Warp speeds disk access!

  • City to Dungeon transfer. Effortlessly transport your character from the City to the Dungeon, again without disk swaps!

  • A cheat button to help you out in a pinch, but for a Price!

  • Game reboot capabilities to ensure stable gameplay in the long run!

  • Documentation and box art!

  • EASTER EGGS!  Challenge yourself to discover hidden stuff. Shhh, we're not telling.

  • No joystick necessary.

AR Wrapper includes everything you need to play both The City and The Dungeon and can be downloaded from the attachment below or directly from archive here.
You may need to right click AR Wrapper and Atari800Win in subfolder, select Properties, Compatibility tab, select XP SP3 and Run as Admin on both if you have issues.

Atari 800 emulator for Mac



How to manually setup and play Alternate Reality: The City with Atari 800 emulator for Windows PC


Download and unzip Atari800win emulator for PC from here:

Atari800Win Plus for Windows


Download and unzip the Atari ROM files and put them in the Atari800win "ROM" sub-folder:

Atari 800 ROM files


Download and unzip Alternate Reality: The City from here:

The City (Atari 8-bit with character disk)


1. Run Atari800win.exe. The setup wizard should start. Click on Search button and select the Atari800win ROM folder where you unzipped the Atari ROM files from the above download. Then click Finish.


2. In Atari800win go to menu Atari>Memory size and select 128k.


3. Go to Atari>Disk drives…>D1: and locate and select the CITY11.ATR file from the unzipped Alternate Reality: The City folder you downloaded above, this is Disk 1 Side 1 of the game. Click D2: and select the CITY22.ATR file for drive 2. Alternate Reality only makes use of two disk drives, so you should just leave CITY22.ATR in D2: drive – you don't ever need to change D2:. You will swap the other disks in D1:, including the Character Disk, when prompted by the game.


4. The F2 key on your keyboard is the Atari Start key, F3 is Select, F4 is Option and F5 is Reset. Now that you have the CITY11.ATR disk loaded in drive D1: press F5 to Reset the Atari800win and load the game. Note: if you press F2 briefly, immediately following F5, when the game copyright text appears, then you will skip the game intro and go straight to the character login screen in a matter of a few seconds. If you miss it and get the spaceship doors closing, just press F5 and then F2 to try again. Don't press F2 before the game copyright text or you will boot into Basic. In this case you can push Shift+F5 to do a cold boot and try again.


5. Once you have booted to the character login screen, you will need to insert the CITYCHAR.ATR character disk under Atari>Disk drives…>D1: before creating your character. After creating your character, you will be asked to insert Disk 1 Side 2 and press Start (F2). Once again, just go to Atari>Disk drives…>D1: and select CITY12.ATR.


6. In order to move around The City, you will need to remember to hold down the right-hand Ctrl key on your keyboard while pressing either the left or right arrow key to turn. You do not need to hold it down to move forward or backwards. Press F3 (Select) to browse through your character inventory.




Finding your way around The City is simplified by use of a compass, available for

purchase at most Shops in The City. If you buy a compass, press the Select key (F3 in Atari800win) until you see it. The direction you're heading will always be the topmost on the compass (the arrow

always points North).


To play without a joystick, use the following keyboard commands; I=forward, K=Backwards, J=Left and L=Right


Note: You must use a joystick (keypad arrow key #2, Atari800win) to exit Banks and some other establishments.


The Joystick controls physical movement.

* Enter The City in the beginning scene by pushing up on the joystick.

* Move Forward by pushing up on the joystick.

* Move Back by pulling down on the joystick.

* To Turn Right or Left, press the Fire button while pushing the joystick to right or left.

* To Enter a shop or store, push up on the joystick. Follow the prompts. Pull down on the joystick to Exit. It's possible to back through a doorway.



* In Menus at the bottom of the screen, each option has a

flashing letter or number. To choose, press the appropriate flashing character. In

some situations, there is no flashing character.

* Press the Select key to get a full account of your condition. Repeat until you've

seen all the information and are back in normal operating mode.

* Defend yourself with either hand in an Encounter. Press U to switch hands.

* Press R to ready a weapon for use. Follow the prompts.

* Press D to Drop items. This is usually done to make rooms for new acquisitions,

since how much you can carry is limited.

* Press U to Use Potions in your possession. You can't Use Potions during an


* Press P to pause the game. Press P again to resume play.

* Press S to save a character. Follow the prompts.


There is a complete guidebook, clue book, FAQ and maps here:



Edited by Xebec's Demise
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Day 30 in the month of rains: Journal of Liah


I was just abducted by aliens today! Before I stepped through the gate into The City, I chose a name of Liah.


Some thoughts on stats and skills:


STR, INT, and CHR can be raised with potions and through skill use gain, 255 successful uses will raise the skill one point, so, I thought it would be a good idea to try to roll the best values that I could for STA, WIS, and SKL, since there are no potions to raise these skills and I am unsure about them raising through use. Does anybody know? I have a hunch that WIS might raise through identifying potions, but not sure. While getting hypnotized for a least an hour by the rolling numbers at the gate to the city of Xebec’s Demise, I noticed that there are very rarely 21s rolled for SKL. Could this mean that SKL is one of the most powerful stats and thus, given away sparingly?


Anyway, as you can see, I managed to get a 21 STA, 13 WIS and 20 SKL, not bad for what I wanted to do. But, at the same time you can see that I ended up being a weakling 8 STR and stupid 11 INT as a result. I hope my theory is right, and I can raise my STR and INT up quickly to catch up with my other skills. On the other hand, maybe my scrawny STR and stupid INT will end up getting me killed? We shall see…


I had another thought too. Could the base skills that you begin with be more significant than gained skill? For example, what is more effective, a base skill of 20 STR or a base skill of 8 STR +12? What do you think?




Amazingly on my first encounter as pictured above, with a Fighter, I managed to bop him with my bare hands for 1 point at a time until he killed over, and he only hit me once for 5 points. So I guess that 20 SKL is already paying off in helping me not get hit. Of course my 8 STR is only doing 1 point of damage against the Fighter, but hopefully that will change as I level up.


I did not want to fight him and risk dying, but I also did not want to try to Leave (Escape) and have him steal my food and money before having a chance to buy a dagger or stiletto. That would mean certain death also. So, I pressed Ignore instead. Of course, he Engaged me anyway! I waited for him to attack first before I attacked – I am playing a good aligned character and read that you can only attack evil creatures or monsters first otherwise you will lose Moral Alignment. Crossed my fingers, and won!


Now off to the smithy…


“Good Stamina is useful in surviving hardships. Charming an opponent, naturally, requires Charm (charisma). Strength gives you an advantage in a fight; Skill helps you avoid blows from an adversary. Intelligence is crucial for tricking your enemies, Wisdom for making decisions. Hit Points are very important: the more you have, the harder you are to kill! You are closely monitored! Don't think the Stats at the top of the screen make up the whole. Many things, including your personality, are constantly taken into account by the computer. To achieve your goals, be yourself!” - http://www.eobet.com/alternate-reality/doc..._guidebook.html

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I spent alot of time on this game mapping things out - PP did a great job utilizing the full extent of the 8bits abilities in producing a fun, colorful and musical game.


I was so happy when emus came out to play this on since the disk operations take alot of time - I was able to finish off the Dungeon (another great one!).

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One of your links has mentions this, but for those who might not have seen it, there is an Alternate Reality mailing list with some interesting

information on the game in the archives. I believe Philip price used

to visit it occasionally, though he hasn't been heard from in some time.

The list is not very active, but the archives are a great AR resource.




--The Eidolon

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ehmm.... read the FAQ and Philip's email regarding the other titles planned... esp. Destiny:


"Fighting with high tech equipment (from both revelation, destiny and

if you run into the aliens that politically are friendly to you plight, the

weapons the riddler has from the dungeon). Searching further this immense ship

you discover a chamber filled with metal cocoons. Using wit and knowledge gain

through other locations you decipher the controls and the display. You learn

that these cocoons hold bodies, the bodies of all of those captured. The

machines keep the bodies physically alive and fit, but imprisoned. The minds

of those entrapped are tapped and fed with images. The ships computer can even

permit the images to interact with solid/material components of the ship. You

are an image. What is reality? You body lies in a cocoon. Your mind sees what

the image sees. What is a soul? What is experience? You experience, you feel

what this image you have been controlling since you kidnapping feels. Again

there are choices to make. In the end you are left with many choices, continue

to live in you image body, a nearly immortal life, but knowning that these

aliens have done this to you and can watch, feel, experience whatever you do

whenever they want. You are their entertainment. They have become jadded by

luxury, power and knowledge and use lesser beings to regain some of the

passions of life. You can cut off this channel, though they may also destroy

the ship, or earth. You can escape in a smaller ship than the entertainment

world and go back to earth (hoping to evade the future capture ships these

beings send to gain more 'entertainment'. You could destroy the planet [and

hope that they are not a multiplanet race] You can take the entertainment

world (that was orbitting the alien's planet) and bring it back to earth to let

the scientist learn from it [and hope the aliens don't trace it]. You could

blackmail the aliens. You could sell out humanity. You could try to bluff

them. There are many choices, life isn't easy and some of the most important

decision are the hardest to find a best answer in."


ehm...to which motion picture blockbuster reminds me that???

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Apparently there is a weak thread between the Matrix producers and Philip Price I believe.


Huh? Can you expound on this a bit? The Alternate Reality games on the Atari 8-bit are among my favorite games of all time, on all platforms. I put many hours into both of these games, and was fully engrossed in the world they were able to create on this platform. I've played versions of AR on other platforms (such as the Atari ST) and they just didn't seem to be the same. Heck, the intro on the 8-bit is better than the ST. I'd love to see someone pick up this series again down the road, especially seeing as it was never resolved. So many questions were not answered, the primary being, "Who the hell kidnapped you and dropped you on this strange world?"



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I'm the same eobet who wrote the AR FAQ and who hosts the oldest AR fan site, btw. :)


Huge post, and I haven't read all of it, but I agree at least that AR is the grestest CRPG ever made.


Regarding Philip Price, he was a member of the mailing list (he even at one point tried remake the game for PC, with Gary Gilbertson who was also on the list), but we unfortunately lost track of him a few years ago, and nobody has heard of him (or Gary Gilberston) since. Ken Jordan and Dan Pinal (of The Dungeon fame) are still members of the mailing list, though.


The Matrix connection was heavily discussed a few years ago, where even Philip Price added to the conspiracy theories by mentioning that he pitched the AR concept to two brothers who were Hollywood directors (but I think he denied that it was the Wachowskis).


You can read a rather weak (sorry for that) comparison between AR and Matrix in the FAQ at section 6.15:




PS. Strange that the AR threads popped up just after I mentioned the lack of AR music in the SAP archives.


EDIT 1: Oh, someone replied to OLD threads... :|


EDIT 2: Also, to avoid having to link legally dubious Atari ROM files (though I used to do this myself), I'd suggest using the Atari++ emulator, as that one doesn't seem to need them.

Edited by eobet
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Hi, lots of info on your website! It's kind of cumbersome to search through the faq as one large text file though. But I am happy that you are maintaining such a nice site on AR.


I noticed one thing, you left out the color Violet in the clothing possibilities.




Have you ever figured out what clothing does? It seems like such an elaborate and major portion of the game for it to have no purpose. Imagine all the shops and the main purpose of them is to sell clothing. There are so many different variations of clothing too.


I started a spreadsheet today and began recording the different variations and costs. It seems that the value is associated with an article's attributes, i.e. quality, color, material and type.


It also seems there is one color for every guild in the city! Just a coincidence? Maybe. And then also black and white - pure evil and pure good?


I also noticed that a chracter's CHR affects the prices that are offered at shops and Smithys.


I am going to play around with clothing since it is such a major aspect of The City and there is very little info about it out there.


Very nice to hear from you!

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AR is also my all-time favorite game/RPG! I've been playing both the dungeon and the city recently, just yesterday in fact, as well as all last week (partly becuase I just got my system wet up adn working again after being down for a couple years with bad drives and no place to set it up, but I fixed the drives and made the room! I LOVE THESE GAMES! Even MorroWind on the Xbox, though fantastic, lacks something that AR has.... I have four disk drives just for these games so I don't have to swap as much! (the dungeon uses all four, the city will only recognize two drives, plus the dungeon will look for all extended memory and use it, 128k+! The city only checks for 48 or 64k. But I have always played these games with 2 or more drives and always use my 130XE for the most memory and less loading. GReat, great games that I am still, after 20 years of playing them, finding new things out about both AR: the city and dungeon! I ahve EVERYTHING mapped out on both and 10 disks (!) full of characters! this game HAS to be played on a REAL atari with ORIGINAL disks to work 100%, 100% of the time, I have tried it on emulators and with cracked copies and with SIO2PC simulated dirves and with real and simulated drives, but eventually it always crashes unless the real disks are used on real drives. But I don't mind at all, especially with 128K+ memory and 4 drives, not swapping at all except to save my character! It's the charm of it anyway,; using all origianl equipment to play. Definately the best game(s) of ALL TIME, and ONLY the ATARI 8-BIT versions will do!!!

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Day 30 in the month of Rains: Today I made it to Sharp Weaponsmiths alive! And with coppers in my pocket to spend! With only 14 Charisma, I was offered a stiletto for 149 coppers. I countered by offering 100. The smithy then asked me to consider 125, I considered it for about…one second and then counter-offered 110. The smithy looked me in the eye and said, “118.” I felt it was wise to accept at that point and AGREED!!!. With 17 coppers left to my name, I proceeded with caution to see if he would offer his second stiletto for any less, I did not tell him that my purse was nearly empty. I live dangerously! This time, I started by offering 90 coppers, and eventually he came down even lower, but I did not make a third offer for fear that he might accept, find that I only had 17 copper left, whack me on the head with his hammer and throw me out of his shop! Not wanting the imprint of a medieval smithy hammer on my head, I left on my own accord.



It’s a good thing I was able to purchase that stiletto, because as soon as I left the smithy it began to rain! I hurriedly armed myself, tightened up my Cheap Gray Breechcloth, covered my head with my Simple Gray Cloak and wrapped the cloak around my shivering body to make my way to the shelter of a tavern, any tavern!



Good thing I was armed with my stiletto and had tightened my breechcloth, because before I even took a single step down the Side Street in search for shelter, a Goblin Surprised me! I figured I was dead for sure at the hands of such a decently armed and ugly little beast, but only two slashes with my stiletto and 6 points of damage latter, he was slain. That was not so bad! I found 9 pieces of copper for my effort, bringing my total to 26! I gained 50 experience points from the goblin, but unfortunately I cannot spend those!



Searching for shelter, I bumped into this little guy, a Gremlin! Now this is a fair fight! No worries here. I drew my stiletto and quickly Attacked to dispense of this evil little creature!


With a couple of stabs, it lay dead and I found Treasure! A Potion!


I Examined the mysterious potion and found it to be Black. Carefully Tasting the potion, I was disgusted with a horrible Bitter taste. I Sipped the potion and felt that I could proceed with caution, so I held my nose and Quaffed it!


Invulnerability Fire! Cool! Now I can have a better chance at defeating an angry Green Dragon, a very slim better chance. :)



Turning to head down the Street I was Surprised by an Imp. Well, look at this cute little guy! Maybe he was traveling with the Gremlin that I had just been acquainted with? Nonetheless, I felt this little guy should fall just as easily as his friend, so I slashed out with my Stiletto!


Oh, no! This creature Claws back and I only did 1 point of damage with my trusty rusting blade! I am down to 2 Hit Points, how will I survive?! Should I try to Disengage and risk loosing my only Food Packets, Water Flasks and coins? Even then he still may claw me again as I am leaving, finishing me off. There is no hope! Thus, I shall fight!


Ouch, he got me again for another point! I have but one left and I am PARALYZED! I fear I am doomed!



Edited by Xebec's Demise
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Then I had a bright idea! I threw my cloak over the Imp and as he scrambled about trying to uncover himself, I stabbed the beast with my knife. Green goop came bubbling up from the slash in my cloak and I feared I would need to do some laundry soon. The good news is that I went up a level! I was rewarded one whole hit point! I am so glad I made it to level one! Now I have 2 Hit Points to work with again! Well, maybe this Potion will solve all that troubles me?




Aargh! One step forward and I run into this Gladiator bully! I swear I’m a good guy and try to Leave, but he does not listen and proceeds to help himself to my meager possessions!



Finally making my way to The Flaming Dragon Tavern, I fling open the door, skip in and saddle up at the Bar, promptly hailing the barkeep and Ordering a drink. Wheh! This has been a rough day! At least I still have some copper left to enjoy a drink and get some rest at an Inn.



After relaxing at the tavern, I headed over to the Inn, ah, the Sleeping Dragon Inn! There is nothing like sleeping for 12 Hours on the Common Area Floor! I gained my entire 6 Hit Points back! :)


Wakened by the rising sun and a terrible back ache from the hard cold marble Common Area Floor, I streached a bit, Checked The Time and stepped outside. What a nice morning in the city of Xebec’s Demise! I was hungry for breakfast and running low on food and water, though, so I headed off back to the tavern again to eat and try to re-supply…



Well good morning fine sir! Pardon me, but could I please get past you to get in the tavern behind you? You’re blocking the doorway.


I guess he thought I was rude! He Engaged me and intended to mug me! As I am striving to be good aligned, I waited for this neutral being to make the first move, giving him the benefit of doubt. But, sure enough, he Attacked, and as soon as he jabbed at me with his switchblade, which I quickly parried out of the way, I gave him my stiletto…buried into him. Good riddens! I wondered if I had come closer to dying than I realized, but I did not care. I am Alive! And, it’s a new day today in The City with much more to explore!


Stepping over the Mugger's body, I opened the door to the Flaming Dragon Tavern:





Journal of Liah, Day 5 in the month of Sowings: Trolling

Edited by Xebec's Demise
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I noticed one thing, you left out the color Violet in the clothing possibilities.


Thanks, I've added it (but who knows when I'll upload a new version, though).


Have you ever figured out what clothing does?


It supposedly affects a "dapper" stat, which nobody yet has found the memory location for. I guess it's for avoiding encounters with evil noblemen and such, but I'm not sure. Feel free to join the mailing list if you want to discuss this.


I started a spreadsheet today and began recording the different variations and costs.  It seems that the value is associated with an article's attributes, i.e. quality, color, material and type.


If you complete it, and manage to break down how each color/fabric affects the final price, I'd be interested in adding that to the FAQ (I've begun a few spreadsheets myself, to find out monster experience gain and so on, but never finished them).


It also seems there is one color for every guild in the city!  Just a coincidence?  Maybe.  And then also black and white - pure evil and pure good?


No idea, but sounds interesting. Evil and Good is replaced with Chaos and Order, at least in the Dungeon.


I also noticed that a chracter's CHR affects the prices that are offered at shops and Smithys.


Thanks, I actually hadn't put that in the FAQ when I searched for it. It's in the general tips for The City now.

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Great! I signed up for the mailing list.


I will keep posting as I discover more. The clothing really does seem interesting, you can tell that, comparitively, Philip put a lot of time, thought and work into the Shops and Clothing. What mystery does it hold?


I am also making a spreadsheet of smith prices, which is also affected by the CHR stat. Off the top of my head, I found that Occums Weaponsmiths prices are 23% cheaper than Sharp Weaponsmiths given the same CHR.


Lots to discover, and I am using your FAQ as a reference.

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Read here:


Nobody can be Told what Alternate Reality Is.


"In 1983 a video game was released that would change gaming forever. In 1999, a movie was released that changed movies forever. Was it a coincidence, or are they somehow related?"


Apparently there is a weak thread between the Matrix producers and Philip Price I believe.


Huh? Can you expound on this a bit? The Alternate Reality games on the Atari 8-bit are among my favorite games of all time, on all platforms. I put many hours into both of these games, and was fully engrossed in the world they were able to create on this platform. I've played versions of AR on other platforms (such as the Atari ST) and they just didn't seem to be the same. Heck, the intro on the 8-bit is better than the ST. I'd love to see someone pick up this series again down the road, especially seeing as it was never resolved. So many questions were not answered, the primary being, "Who the hell kidnapped you and dropped you on this strange world?"




Edited by Xebec's Demise
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You guys keep mentioning that Evil/Good guilds were replaced by Chaos/Law in the Dungeon, but there never was Evil/Good! It's Light&Dark and Chaos&Law, but ALL 4 ARE IN BOTH!

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I wasn't speaking of any of your posts about clothing, just that I've noticed in one or more of these A.R. threads the mention of guilds (names) changing between the city and dungeon and this isn't the case, every guild in the Dungeon is represented in the City, with the same names, though there *may* be one or two less in the Dungeon, I'd have to look into that further, but Light&Dark and Chaos&Law are all in both games, just a tidbit I wanted to clarify which had nothing to do with your clothing color suggestions being related to the guilds.

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CHR is your charisma, so naturally if you have high charisma you'll be treated better by shopkeeps. It also affects your haggling ability so you're more likely to be able to negotiate lower prices.


There were quite a few hidden attributes in AR -- and I doubt most of them were ever found. The only one I remember that was found was your speed stat.


From my own hazy memories and some modern-day hypothesizing, I figure there's a few unknows:


- Your constitution against poison. As mentioned in my other thread my high level character back in the day developed an immunity to poison, so there must be a stat that tracks how much your body has toughened itself against it based on how much and what strengths you've ingested. (From a programming standpoint that'd be pretty simple: One word to store a value between 0 and 65,535, and each consumption of a vial of poison will raise that number by, say, 1-5, depending on the strength of the poison you ingested. Once you reach a certain level, poison no longer affects you)


- Illness by abuse or neglect -- such as the aforementioned scurvy. I personally don't think this was caused by simply existing on water flasks and food packets, as my high level, poison-immune character almost never ate at inns and existed on them pretty consistently. Nevertheless there's a strong possibility that certain kinds of foods and drinks can have long term effects that the game tracks.


- The aforementioned "dapper" stat, which could affect encounters -- both the frequency, type, and outcome of them.


Has anyone tried to track memory locations in an emulator's monitor to figure out what's what? I'm sure with enough time and trial-and-error most of them could be mapped out.


Does the City save games use a checksum? I remember The Dungeon was a pain in the arse to write a character editor for because it calculated a checksum to protect against alteration. I wrote a basic character editor myself, but I couldn't find the checksum, so I fudged by requiring the user to subtract one from one thing when adding one to another. The funny thing about it though was that it counted bytewise, so you could take 10 gold from the low byte gold stat and add it to the high byte, effectively increasing your gold by 2,540.

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You guys keep mentioning that Evil/Good guilds were replaced by Chaos/Law in the Dungeon, but there never was Evil/Good! It's Light&Dark and Chaos&Law, but ALL 4 ARE IN BOTH!



Haha, oops... it was a while since I played it.


- The aforementioned "dapper" stat, which could affect encounters -- both the frequency, type, and outcome of them.



That's a good theory. I'll add it to the FAQ.

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- The aforementioned "dapper" stat, which could affect encounters -- both the frequency, type, and outcome of them.



That's a good theory. I'll add it to the FAQ.



Just to clarify, by "outcome" I wasn't referring to battle, but rather encounters where the potential opponent simply runs away, giving you no option to engage. Being dressed in finer clothing may give you a more imposing or noble appearance, which may scare off the more lowly characters you encounter (paupers, beggars, etc.)


On the other hand, they may also increase the frequency of such encounters, as more paupers and beggars may see you as a potential source for a handout.


It would be interesting to test that out.

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