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What if?

Assuming I was going to combine Quake and Legend of the Red Dragon, what would I do?

First, I would make sure to allow for the interactions that make LORD the number 1 BBS game (it is not at all uncommon for 20-40 people to play LORD when the next highest game on a BBS has 3-4 participants). Marriages, divorces, kids, messages, stealing from each other, bar and tavern conversations, etc.

Second, I would make use of the client/server aspect that both RIP graphics and Quake emphasize now. That would allow BBSes, DWANGO, Video Game Outlets, and personal computer play of the game.

Third, keep the "reborn every morning" approach and also keep levels/improving skills.

Finally, offer an optional "back door" approach that lets players start at ninth level so that they can just point and shoot if that is their preference.

I've a rough outline of the approach, which follows:

King of the City


The year 2001 was a magical year. Too magical as things turned out. The magic had never left, just gone into hiding, and in 2001 it returned. Change hit everything. Eventually a balance was established with the magical world and the natural world intersecting along a single line, as it had been before the magic had gone away.

The city is Cathay. On the edge of magic and normalcy, in what used to be the South of California. Over the ocean, to the west, is the realm of fairie and magic. To the east is life as it has always been.

You live in Cathay. A city of magic and danger, in bondage to an ancient resurgent evil.

Game Structure

King of the City has ten different character classes, each with its own powers and secrets. Players work their way up each character class, interacting with other players and with locals, and at the top of each class they face a quest and a boss. Once they win that quest, they are dropped back down to first level (but keeping all skills/spells even if they don't have the spell points/energy/mana to use them) and start again, either repeating the quest at a higher difficulty level or changing character class and trying a different quest.  At the end of the last quest they face a final quest and a final boss. If they succeed, they become the new king of the city.

Technical Aspects.

cursor key/mouse movement.

shift number pad attacks (start with one, gain one each level).

Of course I now realize that using the keyboard with the left hand and the mouse with the right hand is a better way to handle this.


Shifted and unshifted (use the caps lock key) allows for thirty "hot keys" while not pulling the left hand away from the home row.  That is a lot faster, cleaner, and better approach.

I'm still not sure what the best way is to handle inventory though.

alt number pad inventory

^ number pad special skills

client/server (both machines model the environment, with tasks split.

the server maintains the permanent record for the character and the

world, and current location, the client handles the graphics load

and updates)


  1. Fire mage/phoenix
  2. Cold mage/salamander
  3. Berserker/werewolf
  4. Samurai/swart alfar
  5. Fighter/troll
  6. Sorcerer/lios alfar
  7. Alchemist/dwarf
  8. Thief/human
  9. Technowizard/elf
  10. Thunderwalker/storm eagle


Each block of the city is available for third party IGMs or Doom style levels.

The basic framework includes a city roughly modeled on Los Angeles with towers, pathways, and urban wilderness areas.

Unallocated blocks randomly create and change their terrain. (Reality isn't stable).

Three central resurrection locations (city dump, beach, mountains).

Three central communication locations (dance hall, city bar, grand hotel).

Three central markets (flea market, gypsy camp, town hall).

Three central training areas (mountain top, seashore, urban jungle/zoo).

Three major encounter zones (the random urban jungle blocks, random mountain zones, random overgrown urban jungle blocks).

Ten "guild hall" locations (places where maps are available for each character class -- maps reflect the areas and any add-ins that take over an otherwise unallocated block).

Ten quests (similar to Diablo Dungeons, with the boss at the end. Each is matched to the special skills and such of the character classes). Each quest boss blocks one of the ten ways out of town. (1. Docks, 2-3. Highway 10 East/West, 4-5. Highway 5 South/North, 6-7. Highway 1 South/North, 8. Angeles Crest Highway, 9. Tunnels, Highway 15 NE).

The last boss's location is an alternate to City Hall.

Fighting the last boss you have access to all your prior skills (#1-0 calls up the character class, then skills used for the active class).


This is set up to allow third party expansions, one city block at a time. Also, a semi-randomized generate enemy set of files would allow easy import of new monsters for each level.

Further, the deeper "into the wild" one goes, the harder the encounters (one block from the core would be "easy"//first level all the way to ten+ blocks [most of the city] being ultra hard//tenth level).

King of the City II

The next version supports more classes, more levels, more inventory items, and more quests (those are obvious).

Also, KOTCII should allow for third party quests to be attached to each road out of town (complete with plots -- each road taking you to a world suited to the character class).


The game is, in some ways, a cross between the Origins Ultima series and Mortal Kombat.

It can be played solo, or in teams, either to progress through the game or to stay in one character class at the top level and to go for the gusto.

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