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Three the Hard Way

General storyline:

Many years ago, a mysterious group of monsters called "Kaibutsu" appeared in Durham Kingdom and ravaged the land. No one was able to resist their power, that is, until a hero named Carolus emerged. He was able to defeat the Kaibutsu leader, who happened to be his sister, and save the nation. After this, the people made him their king. However, 65 years have passed since his victory, and gradually, as he has aged, he has surrendered more of his political power to his vassal dukes, who have very different ideas on how the kingdom should be run.

All of this is trivial background noise for a certain bartender from a backwoods forest town. Vance, the bartender in question, is bored with life, and decides he needs some excitement and some big money. The less actual hard work involved, the better. And nothing will stand in his way ...


Three the Hard Way's gameplay is pretty typical as far as Rm2k games go, but there are a few wrinkles here and there ( such as leveling up ) that may throw you for a loop; pretty much everything you need to know is explained in game when you need to know it. A few tips:

1) Save early and often. You never know what perils you might run into, or what shop might swindle you, which brings me to point #2:

2) Money in this game is very scarce. Don't buy stuff simply because you have the cash to. Use your money wisely.

3) There are a number of sidequests in this game that you might either miss or want to do after you beat the game. So it's advised to keep multiple saves so you won't have to start all the way back from the beginning or some other out of the way point to play those one or two sidequests you missed.

Author's Reflection:

Some rambling thoughts:

Three the Hard Way has, with the possible exception of the Gaming World community, been an overwhelming success since its completed release in 2003. Its popularity both in America and overseas across the internet has been far more than I could ever hope for an game which basically started as a junk file for another project ( which has since long been cancelled ).

I started playing a little bit of it again not too long ago, after not touching it for well over a year. I realized how much I missed working with Vance and the other characters. This isn't to say that I dislike the current cast I'm working with in The Queen's Court, or even that I'm forever done with writing about the TTHW group. But there was just something special when I got a fresh look at the game; it felt like going back to your old neighborhood after you've been gone for a few years and instantly feeling at home again. There was a "rebel", "underground" vibe that seemed to make the game unique to me. I can't say that that's what a player might feel, but after some time away, that's how the game felt to me.

Do I miss working on Three the Hard Way? To a certain degree, yes. The Queen's Court presents its own challenges and joys, so the urge to, say, open it back up and remake it in RmXP, doesn't really exist.

Download Links:

Port Town of Campobello
Typical mission
Our virtuous hero

Hosted Projects:
Miaka's Great Adventure
The Queen's Court
Three the Hard Way
Plot and character concepts presented on this site
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