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The Reliques of Tolti-Aph

by Graham Nelson

Fantasy/RPG
2006

Web Site

(based on 12 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

Not so much an old-school dungeon crawl as an old school Dungeons & Dragons adventure: you are an apprentice mage wandering the streets of a deserted city in search of items, spells and experience. Expect fiendish traps, diabolical puzzles and lots of enemies to slaughter.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
IFID: AC736F19-3C4D-461E-9C84-49A759C72F42
TUID: nnhm4yp172oivtd9

Editorial Reviews

SPAG
The Reliques of Tolti-Aph is the latest game by Graham Nelson, written to showcase some of the new features of Inform 7. It is not traditional IF, rather an RPG with IF elements. It implements a modified D&D engine referred to as Woodpulp & Wyverns (W&W). The implementation of the engine is impressive, but the gameplay itself falls a little short: it fails to adhere to its own conventions and several of the puzzles have unconventional solutions. (Thank goodness for David Welbourn's walkthrough!) It's not balanced, it's not fair, and it can be very frustrating for the player. Play at your own risk!
-- Dark Star
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Reviews Exchange

The combat system that is at the heart of the game is pretty cringe worthy. I'm a big fan of RPG on the whole - Baldurís Game II and Diablo II and Morrowind - but the combat system here is lame. There's not even a proper combat system as such because all that seems to happen is that someone attacks you and you just bang the RETURN key a few times until the combat is over. Exciting it isnít. During the first combat in the game, between myself and a harpy, I tried doing things like ATTACK HARPY or KILL HARPY only to be told that I couldnít because I was already in combat. Ho hum. My opinion of the game, already low, sunk a bit further.
-- David Whyld
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IF Stuff
Craft In Practice: a detailed game-design analysis of The Reliques of Tolti-Aph
I realize that tastes differ and people like different stuff in IF and all that, but I think that The Reliques of Tolti-Aph is a very, very bad game. Unlike most bad games, it has a perfectly serviceable premise and setting and so on, and of course Graham Nelson is a fine writer. But the actual game design is ghastly.
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
Charming Unfairness, January 2, 2008
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Related reviews: dungeon crawl, random death, unfair
The Reliques of Tolti-Aph has been given very negative reviews. Reviewers almost invariably tell us that it is a game with unfair puzzles, too much random death and even--gasp--a huge maze; and therefore, frustrating and not fun. Although I would hesitate to call The Reliques of Tolti-Aph a good game, I believe it is charming and fun, but to enjoy it, you need to be in the right mindset.

What mindset is that? The same mindset which you need to appreciate the first edition Dungeon & Dragons scenario's. These scenario's are often insanely difficult and grossly unfair, so your character is almost certain to die. But, hey, rolling up a new character is a matter of 60 seconds, and with your new-found knowledge that behind the second door on the left is a monster that deals 8d10 damage as soon as you enter its domain, you might actually have a chance of finding the fabled gem! And who knows, perhaps you'll manage find out what that magical staff does without losing more than 4 ability points?

This game is unfair. You will die random deaths. So sit back and relax: rolling a new character (so to speak) is not just allowed, it is expected. Enjoy the ride! You will not survive your first play-through of The Reliques of Tolti-Aph. You will not survive the second or the third or even the tenth. But getting further each time is fun; the puzzles actually have solutions (and you can always peek behind the GMs screen, that is, consult a walkthrough); the locations are well-thought out and well-described; and the maze is very cool indeed.

The only places where I feel the GM (that is, Graham Nelson) went beyond the bounds of fair play is with the stone you absentmindedly picked up and the two spells you learn from the gods. Those should have been described in a more explicit manner. The GM shouldn't write on my character sheet when I'm not looking!

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Polls

The following polls include votes for The Reliques of Tolti-Aph:

Once More, With Feelies by Ghalev
I'm polling to learn of modern (post-commercial-era) IF that revels in the tradition of providing additional documentation & related materials which are evocative and deepen your enjoyment of the game. What games have gone that extra...

Games with good magic system by RedHatter
I'm looking for some games with a good magic system. Doesn't have to be at brilliant as Savoir-Faire but consistency would be nice.

Games that inspired you to MAKE a game. by MyTheory
Whether it was the witty dialogue, the charming atmosphere, or the cleverness of the puzzle - you played "this" game and it inspired you to write your own. Selfishly, I'm looking for my own inspiration, but I am also very, very curious...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 31 August 2013 at 5:55am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item