Journey to Rooted Hold

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Journey to Rooted Hold
The main title screen of Journey to Rooted Hold

Developer(s) Caravel Games
Publisher(s) Caravel Games
Designer(s) Erik Hermansen
Platform(s) PC - Windows,

Linux, Mac OS X

Release date(s) 2005
Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player, Editor
Distribution CD, Download

Journey to Rooted Hold is the second computer puzzle game in Deadly Rooms of Death series published by Caravel Games. It was released on April 1, 2005 for Windows. The Linux port was developed simultaneously with the Windows port and was released on April 2.

Also called DROD 2.0, the game includes many new additions and improvements, such as an expanded plot complete with in-game dialogue, higher resolution graphics; better user interfaces in both the editor and in game; new monsters and puzzle elements; additional customizability for holds, such as including custom images and sound; a new scripting system; and connectivity to an online DROD database.

Story[edit]

After the conclusion of the original DROD, Beethro opened up a restaurant primarily serving roach meat. He made a modest living and decided to retire from smitemitery, however Dugan sent him a letter accusing him of seeding and Beethro knows that this is a result of the unopenable door on level 10. [1]

Beethro goes to Mobley, a DAA member and a resident of Dugandy. After an argument Mobley gives Beethro a portable orb to open the door. [2]

Meanwhile, Beethro's sister Vonnifa is having trouble with her son Halph, Beethro's nephew. Halph wants to become a smiter and Vonnifa requests that Beethro takes him to Dugan's dungeon to discourage him. [3]

Beethro and Halph arrive in Dugan's 10th level which has suffered a recent cave-in. Halph wanders off with a goblin and Beethro has no choice but to follow him deeper into the secret passage behind the door.

Beethro soon finds Halph and, with his help, uncovers an underground bureaucracy. The desk clerk attempts to explain to Beethro about the bureaucracy and why he must leave. However, after being told that explaining why he isn't supposed to go into the Empire's territory would take several months, he stops listening and wanders off deeper into the dungeon.

The bureaucracy (known at this point only as "The Rooted Empire") sends 39th Slayer to kill Beethro.

After several close encounters, Beethro decides to escape to Blorn after finding he is in the city's sewer system, however the stairway is blocked by the Slayer. Lacking other options, he instead ventures deeper into The Empire...

Game Features[edit]

New Elements[edit]

The engine offers many new features including an improved level editor, an improved interface, an undo feature and dialogue and voice-acting support along with integrated CaravelNet support.

New Monsters[edit]

Journey to the Rooted Hold includes all the monsters previously encountered in Deadly Rooms of Death and more. New monsters include, among others:

  • The Awakened Mud - A material similar to tar except that its edges are invulnerable and its corners cuttable.
  • Rattlesnakes - Blue versions of serpents that will not shrink when they are trapped. Instead, their tail is vulnerable, shrinking down every time it is hit by a sword.
  • Rock Golems - Monsters too stupid to traverse corners, they leave behind piles of rubble when they die (thereby blocking the player's movement into that square).
  • Wubbas - Incapable of directly harming Beethro, but also immune to his sword, they can block his movement. They cannot traverse corners, this can both help or hinder Beethro.
  • Seep - Monsters that live in the walls. They move similar to roaches, but can only move through walls (and similar elements, like doors). When Beethro is next to them they can jump out and kill him.
  • Decoys - Clones of Beethro that do not move but attract nearby monsters.
  • Halph - As Beethro's young nephew and sidekick, he can be given simple tasks like opening doors or blocking corridors.
  • The 39th Slayer - Intelligent boss enemy that tracks Beethro with a trail called the wisp, and wields a hook which is just as deadly as Beethro's sword. The Slayer can move and rotate his hook together in one turn, making him virtually unassailable. The challenge is therefore to solve the rooms while running away from him. Note that, with the right circumstances, there are some ways to kill The Slayer.
  • Guards - Enemies that wield a short sword and attempt to kill Beethro with it. They are easily defeated due to their tendency to ignore Beethro's sword, unlike the more intelligent Slayer.
  • NPCs - Scriptable characters that allow architects to create numerous different puzzles that go above and beyond the simple functionality of the monsters available in-game. The storyline of Journey to Rooted Hold and other holds is created using scripted characters.

With the exception of the Slayer and NPCs, no other creature can react to an event such as Beethro reaching a certain part of the room beyond its basic logical programming.

CaravelNet[edit]

In DROD 2.0, an organization system known as CaravelNet was released. CaravelNet is an online service offered by Caravel Games for players of its games, and it costs $12 per year. An internet connection is required. [4]

With a CaravelNet subscription one has access to the following features:

  • Competing against other players for high-scores. CaravelNet tracks any progress made by the user, and these statistics can be seen on the CaravelNet highscores page. Upon completing a room, if the result is good enough a message such as "1st place!" will be displayed, and your demo will be stored and potentially viewed later by others.
  • Once a room has been completed, CaravelNet allows the user to download any top-score demos for that room and watch them. The intent is promoting healthy competition for highscores.
  • CaravelNet's Hints and Solutions system on the CaravelNet forum allows a player who is stuck to find a thread dedicated to the room and request hints from more experienced players.
  • Downloading any of the user-submitted holds directly from inside the game. In addition it shows how the hold is rated for difficulty and overall fun by users prior to downloading. Holds can be rated on the main site.
  • Allows creating your own holds and submitting them to the system.
  • A newsfeed line inside the main game screen keeps the player up to date with CaravelNet community events, such as new patches, contests and holds.
  • Access to downloads for full versions of purchased games.

Smitemaster's Selections[edit]

The Smitemaster's Selections are top holds picked by Caravel Games and enhanced with additional features such as speech and more scripting. The list of Smitemaster's Selections is as follows:

  • Perfection
  • King Dugan's Dungeon 2.0
  • The Choice
  • Halph Has a Bad Day
  • Beethro and the Secret Society
  • Beethro's Teacher
  • Smitemastery 101
  • Master Locks
  • Master Locks Expert

About four Smitemaster's Selections are released each year and they are available as downloads for CaravelNet members and as CDs with many other extras. Perfection and Beethro's Teacher are both available on their own, while King Dugan's Dungeon 2.0 and The Choice, Halph Has a Bad Day and Beethro and the Secret Society, as well as Smitemastery 101, Master Locks and Master Locks Expert are purchased in pairs.

Smitemaster's Selections continue to be released, now in the 3.0 engine.

It has been announced that starting from 3/31/2007 Smitemaster's Selections will be separated from CaravelNet and will only be available as stand-alone purchases. [5]

License[edit]

The library which handles connections to the online database (CaravelNet) is closed-source, although the rest of the game remains open-source under the Mozilla Public License and a fully functional executable (minus the CaravelNet connectivity features) can be made with the released source.

Additionally, the artwork and levels composing the new content of Journey to Rooted Hold are sold commercially with rights reserved. Most of the game is still free. The source code, engine and level editor are still open source, a complete set of artwork is distributed with the demo version, and users can still download and build user holds without having to buy the full game.

Critical reception[edit]

External links[edit]