Q: What is a CRPG?
A: It's a Computer Role Playing Game. Inspired by tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons, CRPG's have been a favorite of computer gamers since the 80's.
Q: How big is the game?
A: Unlike other CRPG's, Realms of Antiquity doesn't have a large world map with an easily definable size.
There are 245 individual maps in the game, ranging from 16x16 tiles to 64x64 tiles in size, spread out over two 360k disks. So I'd say that's pretty comparable to similar games such as Ultima V.
Q: How long is it?
A: Well, THAT's a bit of a personal question...
No! I mean how long is the game?!
A: It's difficult to judge, because every player plays at their own pace, and some are more experienced in CRPG play than others.
I would estimate the average number of hours of play for a typical player is 100 hours. Less for experienced players of CRPG's.
Q: Hey, there's a pop-up warning me about running this!
A: That's Windows Defender SmartScreen in action. Since the emulator doesn't go through a Windows installation process it considers any executable a potential threat.
You can click "More info" followed by "Run anyway" and it will not prompt you after that.
Q: What the heck is a TI-99/4a? Is that some kind of calculator?
A: Your confusion is understandable. Texas Instruments doesn't advertise the fact they were in the home computer business.
The TI-99/4a is occasionally spotted in old TV shows like Diff'rent Strokes. It's most recent mention in popular culture was in the AMC TV series Halt and Catch Fire. In fact, the fictional character Donna is the one who suggests that TI end support for the machine and get out of the home computer market.
Information on the TI-99/4a can be found on Wikipedia.
Q: Why write for an ancient retro computer nobody's heard about?
A: Please reference our company motto. "We create it because it's fun!"
Also, the TI-99/4a was my first computer ever, and it had a distinct lack of CRPG's due to a number of factors. I'm looking to balance the scales a bit there.
Q: But I can play this on my modern computer right?
A: Absolutely! It will run without any issue on a Windows PC.
Q: But I got a Mac. Or Linux. Something not Windows.
A: You can still play the game, but it's a bit more trouble.
The easiest thing to do is run the Classic99 application through a Windows emulator such as WINE.
Otherwise, your best bet is to use the MAME emulator. You can find some tips on this in Running the Game.
Q: Is it available in other languages?
A: At this time, there is only an english version of the game. As it was written for a classic ASCII-based system, different languages are a challenge to do because of the limited character set.
It's possible to translate the manual and reference card to other languages. Feel free to send me page by page text translations of them in the language of your choice and I can release PDF's of them.
Q: Is it available for other platforms, like the Commodore 64?
A: At this time, the only version available is for the TI-99/4a.
I have considered the idea of porting the game to a different platform. It would be a technical challenge since it would have to be entirely re-written in a different assembly language.
Q: How do I change the video settings?
A: All of the video options are controlled via the classic99.ini file. Please consult the Classic99 documentation at Harmless Lion for more information on emulator options.
Q: I just upgraded to a new version, can I move my saved game files?
A: Yes, if the version only incremented as a minor version. Check the Version History page for the details on what files will need to be copied for a minor version upgrade.
Major version changes are incompatible and saved games usually can't be moved. You'll have to start the game over from the beginning, or continue playing an older version.
It's possible a major version won't require a re-start; version notes should include the necessary information as to how to transfer games.