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Gemstone IV - Dastardly Review #014

Updated: Jul 2, 2018

Gemstone III and IV ate up 1,000’s of hours of my life. Starting wayback when you could hear your modem connecting with a system Gemstone captured many a gamer into a sleepless night. It continues today as one of the longest running online games. Gemstone is purely a text based system although many graphical front ends or consoles have been created.

Gemstone is set in the world of Elanthia which is comprised of many realms and adventures. You roll up a character similar to many Role Playing Games. Your class and race give you modifiers and determine what spells you can use. Elanthia seemed boundless as Simultronics continued to expand the game. It was one of the very first MMORPGs.

In addition to the normal lairs and wondering monsters, Elanthia was subject to invasions of various hordes of creatures. These normally occurred over a weekend. Lower level characters did best to stay in protected areas during invasions or their dead body would get dragged back into town for healing and resurrection.

Characters can build houses and join guilds. The social aspect of the game grew early on with gamers organizing online parties. Characters even got married and other characters were invited to attend.

My character Bealz was a very high level Empath who hung out by the big tree in TSC (Town Square Center) although he did go out adventuring. Bealz could heal any wounds and turned down most ‘tips’. He could ‘transfer’ any wounds from other characters to himself and then heal up. He was often very scarred. Empaths ‘borrow’ wounds from each other to clean up scars.

I haven’t tried Gemstone IV since 2012 but am sure if you like RPGs you will love exploring Elanthia and hanging out at TSC. Who might find Bealz under that tree someday!

The Good: Elanthia is huge and getting bigger and the game runs smooth. They have a method of installing updates without taking the game down for maintenance.

The Bad: It is 100% text based. Some people might not like it. Other people will use their imagination!

The Dastardly: I started writing a similar type of game system in the late 1980s and took a proposal to my boss to use hours from their computer system. He refused...didn’t think there was any future to online gaming.


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