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A Perfect Forest

Avernum Universe Beginner Linear Puzzles

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*i *i

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:06 PM #1 A Perfect Forest

A Perfect Forest
Mac/Windows

Author: Stareye
Difficulty: Beginner
Version: 1.0


Composite Score: 4.0/5.0

Best: 4.17% (1/24)
Good: 87.50% (21/24)
Average: 8.33% (2/24)
Substandard: 0.00% (0/24)
Poor: 0.00% (0/24)




Keywords: Beginner, Linear, Puzzles, Avernum Universe

Edited by SylaeBot, 10 February 2015 - 12:20 PM.
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/IRIDIUM

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BainIhrno BainIhrno

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:09 PM #2 A Perfect Forest

I think A Perfect Forest is a very good scenario, definitely one of the better scenarios to come out for BoA. I liked the idea of it taking place in a non-human setting, and thought it made good use of cut-scenes and graphics. The end, however, was disappointing in that the laser puzzle was obnoxious and slowed the pace down, and I didn't feel that I accomplished much after I finished. Still, it had a good atmosphere, good graphics (by BoA standards), reasonably interesting characters, and a reasonably good story. Definitely deserved a higher rank in the 8th Contest, and very worth playing.

I rate this scenario Average (unfortunately, the laser puzzle and lack of things to do really brought it down.)

BJearles BJearles

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:32 AM #3 A Perfect Forest

Story:
APF's story is very good.  The plot is captivating and believable, and I like the way it unfolds and the amount of detail in it.  The main characters are well written, and there are a number of minor characters that greatly add to the details of the story.  The ending is somewhat unsatisfying.  I would like to know what happened to the spirit at the end, not to mention how to destroy it. graemlins/tongueold.gif

Combat:
I've played this scenario with a new party before.  I wouldn't recommend it.  The combat can be difficult, but not to difficult for a level 5 party.  Most of the combat is average, but there are a few interesting fights.
The final fight can be difficult.  I found myself dieing in the latter parts of it, before the laser puzzle, mostly due to the enemy's hasting ability combined with a strong physical attack.

Design:
Nowhere did I find a place to purchase lockpicks or first-aid kits.  I ended up stealing a set of lockpicks in the first major town to open a few doors.
I noticed that gold was rather scarce.  This isn't really a bad thing, it just meant I had to be more careful with how I spent it.  I could have used some more, as there were a lot of things I really wanted to buy but didn't have any gold left over.  Of course, that's partly my fault.  I really wanted that ruby. graemlins/tongueold.gif
I enjoyed the final dungeon.  Normally I don't like seeing charming effects in low level scenarios, but in this case I didn't mind to much as I was able to wait outside of combat until it wore off.  Also, the laser puzzle was fun, if a little difficult to navigate.

Scripting:
I was very impressed by the scripting for the spirit in the final dungeon.  That was a very cool effect.  Also, the cut-scenes were good.  The dialog went a little fast, but the simulated battles were fun to watch.  Well done overall.

The final score for A Perfect Forest is Good.  I would recommend this scenario for all players.  If you aren't good at combat, enter at the higher end of the level range.

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:29 AM #4 A Perfect Forest

From Buttered Toast on the CSR:

This is a great scenario. It was very fun to betatesting. There is an excellent plot. It flows seemlessly throughout the game. The dialog follows from section to section in a logical interesting manner.

There are a number of cool new items-- Silver Cross Bracelet, Klinger's Bow, Regeneration shard are only a few of them. The graphics for the items are very nicely done.

The monster fights are well done. The only thing which suffers is the too many undead syndrome. The terrain is easy to maneuver through. There are several outdoor encounters which are interesting-- you find herbs, shops, and special encounters throughout.

We get a whole bunch of new background for the Nephilim in Avernum. There is a scroll of Nephilim History. We don't get to read it this time, maybe in the next scenario.

The splash screens are well done, also there are a number of animations throughout the scenario which are very interesting to watch, especially the fight scenes between the two different groups of Nephilim.

The fight with spirit is very interesting. Also the sequence to destroy and escape from the final dungeon is well done. However, it may be a little bit complicated to get it done right the first time.

There is an excellent ending cut scene with the empire.

Also there are numerous hints and indicators that the scenario will have a followup. Hints about Aizo and the other side of the world and 'Zyon" indicate the Nephilim aren't exactly from around here.

BEST

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:30 AM #5 A Perfect Forest

From TM on the CSR:

Well, it's not bad. It's probably the best BoA scenario out thusfar. I'll save the better aspects for later, and attack what I feel are some core problems of the scenario. (SPOILERS are ahead, read at your own peril.)

Well, the "philosophizing" here is basically done in a fashion that makes Two Strands appear both subtle and applicable (FYI- it ain't). Every character who you stumble upon will give you their life's philosophy at the drop of a pin, and for much of the scenario, you'll think you're in a student union of a pampered, upper-middle-class campus. Well, the scenario's better than that.

Still, the device for juxtaposing these abstractions on the forested island is just that- a device. So essentially, the violent, philisophical debate between limousine liberals is one that isn't even "real," and the excuse for the philosophy that is essentially labeled as being "wrong," and the motive for the villains in this scenario becomes "the Devil made me do it!" Well, the plot isn't very courageous in that aspect. There went its chances of being a TM scenario- but most people view that as an inimitable bonus, so take that as you will.

Another complaint is the end dungeon- it kills the plot both narratively and game-play wise in its own unique ways. Nobody likes mirrors, and this scenario is sadly no exception. The final dungeon is definitely a work of genius in terms of monster AI, but after the fights are done, we find two problems- Mirrors and lethal HP drain. I don't like the wandering, and would have preferred less. (Although admittedly, the suggestions I made to Stareye to replace mirrors were also sorta lame. Not sure how else one could fix this problem.)

Well, there went my major complaints. The plot moves rapidly enough through most of the scenario that you'll be too busy with it to bother with thinking about the philosophy inside. Essentially, you run from one place to another in a one-way path with "reprieves" along the way where you can scan for dungeons and pick up a few nifty-but-not-unbalancing artifacts. There are a few Stareye "secrets" laid into the plot here and there, but overall, gameplay is written to the book of Vogel in many ways, except for a few instances of competent boss AI.

Why, then, is this scenario receiving scores of 9.0 and above? The same reason that rap music is popular- clicks and whistles, and the desire to follow a strict paradigm that might have been avant garde twenty years ago. (In fact, when trying to think about what I remembered most about this work, my initial response was "That part in the cave where stuff blew up.") This work ain't ambitious, neither is it extraordinary. But don't misunderstand me- It's not bad, but it's not nearly as good as people are making it out to be. It's still the best BoA scenario of its time, but honestly- that just doesn't say much.

A Perfect Forest it ain't.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:31 AM #6 A Perfect Forest

From The Creator on the CSR:

Note: The last version I played was the final beta. There may be some final changes in the scenario I haven't taken into account.

While the first couple of posters do give the impression that they've never played a seriously great scenario, A Perfect Forest doesn't have half as many problems as TM lets on. Philosophy? Sure. But it's philosophizing on the part of the characters rather than on the part of the scenario. It's relevant, because it's what drives the characters to do what they do - without, there would be no conflict and no scenario. And it's accessible, because the scenario deals with the effects of those philosophies in the real world (or as close as you can get in BoA), rather than keeping them as abstract notions.

Characters are indeed pretty eager to tell you just about everything on their minds. That's the price you pay for playing a Stareye scenario. Scientists aren't great at subtlety. And it's not that serious a problem.

On the other hand, it also means you're going to see some cool coding and some really nice use of cutscenes. The story is one of Stareye's best, so these really help to amplify the tension.

Alas, the ending does have it's problems. It's not that it doesn't resolve the conflict or anything, it's just that it feels like you've walked into a completely different scenario. It stops being about the Nephilim and their problems and becomes another impersonal technomagobabble puzzle-type affair. Sorta like the shift in Emulations, but less so and later in the scenario.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:32 AM #7 A Perfect Forest

From Morgan on the CSR:

I'm going to have to side with TM on this one. It's by no means a bad scenario, but it's hardly the masterpiece that ButteredToast and co are painting it to be.

There is always a tendency to give those scenarios that come out at the beginning really high scores. But far, far better scenarios will come out.

As for the scenario - this is a step down from AtG, Spears and Emulations. While I loved the first battle against Valzier (which vexed my singleton for quite some time) and loved the atmosphere of the Dead Mine (and I disagree with TM here - the introduction of the nasty spirit draining my HP gave a great sense of suspense to the mirror sequence), it's not the stuff of legend.

There's nothing actively wrong with this scenario. The plot, however, failed to inspire me - from the cliched philosophies that TM noted to the lack of motivation many characters seemed to have. I think that the speed the plot moves at is one of its greatest faults - some time needs to be spent fleshing out motives and reasons that courses of action are taken. As it is, the only motivation I have to help the Nephils out is that I'm lost.

The combat was very variable - in places it was ridculously easy, at other places it was the hardest combat I've had yet as a singleton in BoA - specifically, the battle with Valzier.

Overall, I never got the feeling that the idea that was behind this scenario was something Stareye cared enough about. There just wasn't a reason for this scenario to exist.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:32 AM #8 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

This scenario is definitely a qualitative change from anything I have played before in that your progress through the game is guided at every step, rather than having the characters rummage around territory looking for dungeons, artifacts, and conversation.

Whether I liked it is another matter. I felt constricted and that there was a lack of freedom of choice in the play. But Stareye is definitely on to something here and I look forward to his further development of the genre. Perhaps also the town layouts could be improved. Emerald Mountain shows that the Blades engine with its three dimensional space is capable of much more than what was done in this scenario.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:33 AM #9 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:


The first thing one notices about it is that it is very cinematically driven. There are several characters who play important roles in the plot and are very well fleshed out considering the time they are with you. There is a surprising number of cutscenes, including some very well-animated battles, and a lot of dialogue between the characters which gives them more depth than one would have expected. The main plot arc begins relatively soon and does not languish until the scenario is complete, giving A Perfect Forest a very cohesive and complete feel.

On the other hand, the plot-driven nature tends to leave one feeling rushed at times. There is always something urgent to be done, which discourages wandering and may lead one to miss the various subquests along the way.

While some may dismiss the philosophy in A Perfect Forest as overly blatant, the goal of this scenario is not to present the player with a new world view. It tells a story, and a very good one at that, by incorporating a concept we are all familiar with. The conclusion, rather than being a deus ex machina, is hinted at quite regularly throughout the scenario.

Overall, a highly recommended scenario with a very well-designed plot. It feels as though there is even more untapped potential in this storyline; perhaps we'll see more.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:34 AM #10 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

Check Stareye's site for the latest version since there seems to be problems with BoA engine v1.0.1 handling some macros.

A Perfect Forest is an excellent scenario that begins to demonstrate why Stareye is held in such high esteem by the BoE crowd. The story itself is well written and executed. It is possible to deadend the story by not finding Klinger before making paths to more areas. My only misgivings about it are that the sidequests are easily missed because of the compartmentalization of the forest and the one direction teleporting. So save often under descriptive names to scour the scenario for hidden dungeons and side prizes.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:34 AM #11 A Perfect Forest

From Linthar on the CSR:

There's not much to say that hasn't been said. First I'll mention the cut-scenes which were the most impressive I've seen in a boa scenario so far. The final dungeon was great, and the mirror puzzle was quite tense with the hitpoint drain. In the end I had about 8 spellpoints on my priest, and had already used up all the spellpoint restoring abilities I had.

Interesting little thing happened with the scenario. I accidently placed the folder for the scenario inside the folder of another scenario, and Blades of Avernum still ran the scenario just fine, but when I midway found the error and corrected it, the saves wouldn't work until I moved the scenario folder back into the scenario folder I had dropped it in.

Would I recommend you play this, Yes. It is a good scenario, especially compared to the other blades of avernum scenarios out there.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:35 AM #12 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

For what's out right now, APF is excellent. I love the new items. The story was a bit far from my personal tastes, but well done considering what we know and can do with BoA so far.

It gets mah kudos.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:36 AM #13 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

Slight spoiler in this post. I can't refer to what I mean without giving SOMETHING away.

I agree with Kelandon about the puzzle, to some extent, except I had a different problem: I knew what my objective was, and how to go about it, but the scenario wouldn't let me until I'd fulfilled a completely arbitrary condition (killing the spirit "X" times). I had to edit the script to realise that I was supposed to do that. There was nothing to suggest that you had to kill the spirit a certain number of times. If anything, all evidence seemed to suggest that doing so was pointless.

The puzzle itself wasn't very interesting either. Mirror puzzles get old fast.

Plus the combat in the final dungeon was way too hard for me until I used the character editor; but that's what I get for using a level 1 party.  My fault, so no marks off for that.

The other point where I got stuck was earlier on in the scenario. I missed the main plot, wandered up to the beach, and got a "There must be more to find here" type message, causing me to wander all over the scenario for a few hours before giving up and consulting the Scenario Help forum. I would have liked a bit more direction at that point.

Reading over Kelandon's review again, I mostly agree with him, especially about the two main problems he mentioned; namely, Klinger and the lost mine. No, Kel, you're not the only one. As I mentioned above, though, I did realise what I was supposed to do with the machinery. That wasn't too hard to guess if you read the spirit's dialogue thoroughly.

Overall, A Perfect Forest is a good, but not overwhelmingly excellent scenario.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:36 AM #14 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:


Avast! A few spoilers.

A Perfect Forest was a pretty entertaining scenario. The plotline was interesting and held my attention almost the whole way home. Technically, the scenario was excellent. It may take me years to figure out how to properly mimic Mr. Kiedrowski's scripting, which is a lot to say this early in the game.

There were relatively few mistakes in the scenario, a couple of misspellings that you have to expect in any scenario, but no serious coding errors. However, given the vast amount of playtesting that seems to have been done on this scenario, I wonder:

1) Why was this scenario ridiculously easy in the early going and then ridiculously hard later on? There was a logical progression, but the curve was too steep at the end and too shallow early on. I easily trounced every early encounter with my 1-PC party mostly because of my NPC's. Later on, sans the NPC's, some encounters required about 30 attempts to get lucky or be careful enough to survive. The traitor encounter was particularly troublesome for my singleton. My advice to anyone who goes this with a 1-PC party is to make that 1 PC an Archer/Priest (and being Divinely Touched might be worth a look). Archery combined with clever use of my only hasting potion and a couple of scrolls is the only way that I won this encounter, and then only after a dozen and more tries.

2) I too agree that the Lost Mine was confusing. I had no earthly clue where to go to find the machinery, and died while wandering blindly in darkness about 40 times. But my frustration was primarily due to my 1-PC fetish and the fact that I had to exit the mine, exit the city, and rest in between every manifestation of the Spirit.

These two encounters, well done as they were, nearly ruined it for me. Yet objectively I have to say that this scenario was exceptional for a first BoA effort, and about what I expect out of *I's post-Spy's Quest work.

That said, I'm the Romanian judge. I don't intend on giving any scenario that isn't qualifiable brilliance higher than the 7.5 that I give this.

GOOD

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:37 AM #15 A Perfect Forest

From Smoo on the CSR:

I entered this scenario with a level thirty singleton so when I played APF I concentrated on the plot and such. Much has been said about APF already so I'll just say this was worth playing but not that great.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:38 AM #16 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

I haven't tested the other boa scenari yet but as I've read before this one is one the best.
I found the intro was excellent and totally exciting but I soon understood that there wasn't a lot of terrain to explore and that I was in the hand of the story ( many animations and "running time" keep you in a one way line story ).
I haven't finished the story yet as I am stranded in that boring "mirror puzzle".
Stop mirror puzzles.>: That's boring.
If there wasn't that mirror puzzle I would certainly have given the best note.

GOOD

PS : Excuse my poor english as I'm french native!

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:39 AM #17 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

A perfect forest begins with a feeling that is a nice scenario. However, it ends to fast for my taste.

I think everything about this has been said, but I want to say that the mirror puzzle would've been enjoyable if it hadn't had the orb draining you. I always hate when you have to "think" and you are being constantly harassed by some random condition (in this case the orb).

Good scenario, but *i can do better.

GOOD

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:40 AM #18 A Perfect Forest

From Arachnid on the CSR:

A Perfect Forest is a relatively entertaining scenario, though I was expecting more from such an experienced author. The scenario itself is worthy of a 7.5 or so, but unfortunately, there are a number of problems that really stood out to me.

* NPCs look too much alike. I often found it hard to tell in cutscenes who was who.
* The Mirror Puzzle - Good GOD, the Mirror puzzle was awful. That whole last sequence could have been really cool, but ended up being kind of irritating instead.
* I thought the whole ending was kind of lame, actually, though not for any particular reason.
* Finding Klinger wasn't exactly obvious.

These, along with the fact that Stareye is a MUCH better designer than this force me to give A Perfect Forest a rating of GOOD, though I would like to give it much higher.

Tyranicus Tyranicus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:41 AM #19 A Perfect Forest

From Lazarus on the CSR:

I liked APF, and think that it is still one of the better scenarios out there. The plot moves quickly and is well told, as is to be expected from a designer like *i. Unfortunately the final dungeon was not only a fairly annoying puzzle, it also seemed distant from the plot up to this point. It left me with a sour taste when I left the scenario.

But the last dungeon doesn't negate the good things in APF. It had several good cutscenes and interesting encounters. The outdoors, while quite bland in the way of terrain, has plenty of sidequests and areas to explore. As I mentioned earlier, the story is well told and kept me interested up until the final dungeon.

GOOD

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:41 AM #20 A Perfect Forest

From Kelandon on the CSR:

Let me begin by saying that this scenario is about 7-worthy. It has the hallmarks of a 7: clear but somewhat uninspired plot, flashes of greatness held back by significant problems. Problems first.

Am I the only one who couldn't find Klinger in order to make the plot progress? It would've been really nice to have someone mention him somewhere, instead of having to break down random doors until I found someone who could tell me what to do next. That was the first serious blow to the fun of playing this scenario: I was curious about this strange bunch of nephilim on a supposedly uninhabited island, and I was curious about these stories of a rebellion, but I couldn't figure out what to do next in order to make something happen. Excitement = dead.

Then it picked back up again, and I have to say that the next part was well-done. The cut scenes, particularly the battle ones, showed good technique, and they kept the pace quick and exciting. The combat was not too difficult but not too easy, and I found myself progressing through fairly well. Then BOOM, problem number two: the Lost Mine.

This town reminded me rather forcibly that certain things are cool ideas, present interesting challenges in coding, require innovations that are pretty neat and absolutely should not ever be done. Killing the same creature SIX TIMES, getting harder each time, and then rushing around through swarms of ghosts trying to move mirrors... well, I admit it: I cheated. I used the character editor to beef up my party significantly so that I could handle this dungeon, which was in difficulty far out of line with the rest of the scenario. The fast pace was again dead.

And if I hadn't opened up the scripts and the town and looked at them, I wouldn't've figured out what to do. It is by no means obvious, and there are no hints anywhere. You have to go to different parts of a town, under time pressure, in a particular order, after having done a very specific thing... and there are no clues. This was a bad idea.

Okay, having said that, APF is a good scenario. I would claim that EM, VoDT, and ASR are all about on the same level as it, give or take. APF has good dialogue, good coding, limited but good use of custom graphics, and overall decently good use of the elements of Blades design. It just has those one or two long stretches of painfulness that kill instead of climax the rest of the scenario.

GOOD

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:42 AM #21 A Perfect Forest

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

I'll risk being repetitive to say that this scenario was vastly overrated. The beginning was mysterious and cool, but the difficulty fluctuated too much. There also too many absurd parts, such as the alien craft (?) and the laser turrets. Even with all the viewpoints and beliefs flying at you, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed and not care.

My biggest issue with this scenario is that is is pointless. No matter who wins, the outcome is the same. The party makes it back to the empire, mentions nephils, and the empire kills them all. Even if the party doesnt make it out alive, the empire will send more scouts and kill them eventually. I realize that the author can do whatever they want creatively, but it was very hard to become engrossed in the story when the player doesnt care about the fate of the people theyre trying to save (?).

Aside from that, it was alright. The tech-levels were a tad retarded, but I would give it a rating of AVERAGE.

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:43 AM #22 A Perfect Forest

From Thralni on the CSR:

I won't make it perfect, but it was entertaining and good. It was not outstanding, and I didn't like the machinery bit, because machinery is getting old. However, I do feel the urge to say that that machinery puzzle in the mines was not difficult, rather straightforward and simple. I didn't have any difficulty solving it. Just walk around, find the machine, and later, when you sense the outcries of the ghost about some machinery, it is easy: find mirrors and destroy that machinery you found earlier.

I'll give it a rating of GOOD: it wasn't outstanding, yet not bad, entertaining, yet not something that made me want more.

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:43 AM #23 A Perfect Forest

From Nioca on the CSR:

This was a good scenario. I liked the combat, plot, and character development. There was just a couple things that bugged me. First was that it was incredibly difficult to find Klinger. I honestly thought for a while that the plot was to leave the village, kill a few nephilim, speak with the blue nephil chieftain, and then leave. Second, a spaceship?! I mean, seriously, it had very little connection to the plot whatsoever, and seemed to have no purpose for existing. Admittedly, you don't need to find it, but that seems to further indicate the uselessness of it. I just think that you shouldn't do something that big unless you plan to use it in some important way.

I enjoyed the last fight, though I wish I could have taken a couple last swings at the Perfected Spirit before it disappeared.

GOOD

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:44 AM #24 A Perfect Forest

From Enraged Slith on the CSR:

When I first played this scenario a few years back, I thought it was incredible. Now, going through this scenario again, I'd call it decent. It shows a lot of talent, but it feels more like Stareye was just experimenting with the editor.

Town and outdoor design was simple and bland.
Combat was easy, but not annoyingly so.

This scenario's best qualities were its pace and the feeling of depth of the plot. I never felt rushed, every action and advance in the plotline felt appropriate. I can't quite describe it, but there was a depth behind the plot that I'm constantly failing to achieve whenever I design. Despite the scenario's mediocre outer shell, these two elements are a testament to Stareye's talent, and I'm disappointed that he's only made one scenario for BoA.

GOOD

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:44 AM #25 A Perfect Forest

From Jewels on SV:


Enjoyable, technically sound, didn't make me say wow or anything but it deserves to be played.

GOOD





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