HomePLAYSTATIONBuilding a Retro Linux Gaming Computer - Part 17: The Llama Master

Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer – Part 17: The Llama Master

Continued from Half 16: We Are All Doomed

Whereas first particular person shooters dominated the Linux gaming scene within the late Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, there was nonetheless greater than a spot for the venerable technique style; it must be remembered that the primary sport Loki Software program ported over to Linux was the then newest iteration within the Civilization sequence. From this basis different technique titles quickly adopted, with Ubi Smooth getting into the fray due to the work of Linux pleasant Philos Laboratories.

Theocracy is a mixture of actual time and switch primarily based technique that sees you main an Aztec tribe within the century main as much as the arrival of Hernán Cortés, with the last word purpose being an alternate historical past situation the place the Aztecs are in a position to fend off the Spanish conquistadors. Past this the sport is fantastical, inventing tribes, magical sects, fabled heroes, and that includes a complete host of fauna alien to Mesoamerica, together with dragons, llamas, chickens, and probably the most inaccurate, pigs.

The sport total has an admirable depth of properly crafted lore solely introduced down by the Hungarian developer’s occasional lapse into damaged English; the worst offender being using the phrase “Cautious” to imply belligerent within the Diplomacy Panel. The narrator for the tutorial and situation briefings additionally has a manner with phrases that may be at greatest described as memorable, together with his use of the phrase “llama masters might be educated within the llama lair” being a selected earworm. 

Not like with video games from Loki Software program or comparable porting homes, Philos Laboratories bundled the Linux model alongside the Home windows retail launch, making Theocracy that a lot simpler to trace down. On the primary CD-ROM you’ll find a listing containing a textual content primarily based linux.inst installer, which units the file paths and copies over the related information information. From there the sport might be ran utilizing the /usr/video games/theocracy binary so long as the second disc is mounted.

The Linux model calls for the sport be launched at 16 bit color depth and reveals at a set 800×600 decision, both in windowed mode or borderless fullscreen. Cutscenes in the meantime are displayed at 640×480 with none sort of scaling. The choice for grabbing the mouse inside the sport window solely applies whereas in Province View, and I used to be unable to have the sport acknowledge the keyboard from Blackbox, forcing me to play Theocracy from Gnome as a substitute.


Launched in March 2000 with a historic theme and comparable artwork fashion, Theocracy was most frequently in comparison with and was largely overshadowed by Age of Empires, regardless that they’re very totally different video games. By way of my techniques I truly discovered extra in frequent with Infinity Engine titles akin to Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, with the emphasis on choke factors, crowd management, magical buffing, expertise leveling, and battle occasion formation whereas in fight.

I don’t suppose I ever received a battle by outnumbering the opposing military; as a substitute, most of my success got here from inflicting the enemy troops to journey over themselves, typically aided by the sport’s ropy path discovering. The sheer scale of the rival forces and the dearth of problem modes make Theocracy extra intimidating than it must be, however with effort I used to be in a position to defeat each the Iztahuacans and Teotitlans in 30 years in-game and had a near clear run to the Spanish.

Ultimately it was not the sport’s problem that felled me, however an unlucky bug. Upon exceeding 52 saved video games from the identical marketing campaign Theocracy will begin corrupting your save information, a laughable ceiling given how a lot trial and error is required to progress by the sport. Some have reported with the ability to get previous this level by correcting the quantity overflows within the save file utilizing a hex editor, however I’ve not managed this feat myself on the time of writing.

Aside from this although Theocracy solely froze for me as soon as, though the efficiency at instances left one thing to be desired. Regardless of the boast on the again of the field of “a tremendous sport engine” that may show “as much as 50000 items on the display screen with none slowdown”, the sport would nonetheless lag even with my {hardware} exceeding the really helpful specs. This was even worse beneath Home windows 98, with the Linux model operating noticeably smoother.

All of this stuff could make Theocracy really feel as if it has been misplaced to time, very like the Aztecs themselves. There was some success in getting the sport operating in a devoted X session on later variations of Linux, however few video games profit from getting access to retro {hardware} as a lot as this. I nonetheless have unfinished enterprise with Theocracy, and I’m not waving the white flag simply but, however for now I’m within the temper for one thing lighter, and far much less time consuming.

Carrying on in Half 18: Run Away and Be part of the Circus

Return to Half 1: Dumpster Diving

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.

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