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Ess-Eschas

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  1. Ah well. You can't blame a slith for trying, can you? :)
  2. I’m happy to agree to disagree! I think this a definitely a point in which neither of us has enough evidence to back up their claims. Both explanations are plausible, and neither can be proven. I don’t buy your arguments, for good reason, and you don’t buy mine, for similarly good reasons – and that’s fine! That makes debates interesting. In any case, this is not hugely relevant to the topic at hand. You have convinced me that this is likely not an Easter Egg! As a brief aside, I do think an analogy to BoE is helpful. Blades is essentially acting as a front-end to ResEdit in this case, so what holds true for the Blades dialogue interface also holds true for strings placed in ResEdit: adding strings inbetween pre-existing strings is awkward (and dangerous, since array sizes are important) whereas overwriting strings is trivial by contrast. If you accept this, then my refuting of your comment about fish appearing at the end of the dialogue chains follows fairly naturally, I think. That wouldn’t refute your conclusion in that case of course, merely that particular premise. Perhaps an even more interesting question is this: why was Sastor (mostly) given the new name Kordaddis in the Avernum remakes?
  3. This is a good point, and I’d definitely buy it if this were a more modern Spiderweb engine. With the Exile engine, though, I’m not so sure. I appreciate that making analogies to Blades of Exile is dangerous, since Blades is a distinctly modified version of the Exile engine. However, my experience with Blades tells me that, when transferring dialogue from one place to another, the absolute position of a dialogue string is more important than its relative position. At least in Blades, if you are presented with a template dialogue chain, it’s not very easy to add information between pre-existing nodes in the chain. The engine is much more favourable to just overwriting what’s already there, or to adding dialogue nodes on to the end of the chain. As such, the only way I can really see this response being a copy-paste error is if Walby has fewer dialogue nodes than Goosenargh, with Jeff just overwriting one chain with another. However, perhaps surprisingly, Waldby has more dialogue nodes than the entirety of the Lava Dome put together, let alone Goosenargh. As things stand, I can’t see how this could be a simple copying error. From my perspective, it seems more likely that it was added deliberately. Herein’s a problem, I think. In order to have this proposed setup work in the Exile engine, the player has to report the password to Waldby, who then explains that he has a reward in the form of a second shop. This is fine so far. But how does the player access this second shop? The ‘skulls’ command (i.e. the password) has already been used to convey this information, and the ‘buy’ command is tied up with the first shop, so the player has to do something else to activate this second shop. Another response is needed. Here’s how I see it. Waldby’s intended response to receiving the password was to say that he will acquire more items in future and that, if the player or any of their friends wishes to see them, they should give him Waldby’s own special password: fish. Jeff had to think up something on the spot that would work, and chose something that he found funny, or related to the real-world Waldby in some way. However, in the remakes, this step is no longer necessary. The Avernum engine can just plonk the new shop right on the list of dialogue questions, so no fancy fish password is needed (and it didn’t actually get coded in in Exile anyway). Jeff removes it entirely. If I’m right about this, and I don’t think I can claim to have enough evidence to say anything definitive, I think I agree with you that this is probably not an Easter Egg, any more than the GIFTS’ propensity for saying ‘silly’ is an Egg. However, I do think it is a deliberate addition – even if it was left out because it slipped Jeff’s mind, or because he looked at it and thought the whole weird-password-giving-you-a-second-shop mechanic wasn’t to his liking. Incidentally, you might be interested to read the very final paragraph of this Wikipedia article. Another reference from Jeff, perhaps? Douglas Adams seems like someone he'd be familiar with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goosnargh
  4. It does indeed bring up a second shop! The shop has the same description as the first, explaining the shop number, but the sets of random items found in both shops are different. This is actually really useful, since you effectively have access to a random shop that’s twice the size of a normal shop. This doubles your chances of finding something particularly nice. Given that random shops can sport some very nice items, this is no bad thing. Using both shops, and visiting Waldby repeatedly (recall, he’s close to the exit point of Word of Recall) can result in some particularly satisfying inventory boosts – if you’re inclined to use the response of course! That’s a good explanation, but I have my doubts. I don’t have anything conclusive on this, but I do have a few observations. The Lava Dome, which features Goosenargh, is town 34, while the Little Vale, featuring Waldby’s Bazaar, is town number 117. If Jeff were copying resources from town to town, which is entirely reasonable, I would have expected the fish response to have been overwritten many, many towns ago. This of course assumes that Jeff was writing the towns in the order present in the data file, but that seems not unreasonable to me – particularly because Waldby’s Bazaar is found amongst a bunch of tiny towns that might have been added after the main bulk were completed. And if he copied files just for these, wouldn’t he have copied something a little closer to home number-wise? Also, Goosenargh’s fish response is string number 60, while Waldby’s fish response is string number 84. If this were the result of a dialogue artifact, I would have expected the string numbers to be the same – or else for the fish response to be overwritten. Finally, Goosenargh’s fish response calls, for want of a better term, a scenario special, while Waldby calls a fully functional shop script. The coding of these two responses is quite different, and must have required some input from Jeff – rather than merely being a copying artifact. So, why do I think there’s a fish response here? I have two thoughts. Firstly, it could be an in-joke from Jeff. After all, there are already two joking fish references in this game (Goosenargh and the goldfish string). Perhaps Waldby is a reference to one of Jeff’s friends, someone to whom the word ‘fish’ was especially important for some reason? Alternatively, it might be that it was originally intended to be linked directly from Waldby’s dialogue, but that this was never coded for some reason. For instance, Waldby asks about the Empire caches, and you can give him the password for accessing them – but you get no reward for doing so. Could it be that this was supposed to give you the fish command, so that you could have a greater selection of items to choose from? This is how the Bazaar is coded in both Avernum remakes, by the way: giving Waldby the password gives you access to a second shop. I had a quick check of this over the weekend, comparing v1.0.1 and v2.0.3, and these areas seem to be identical – even down to the text responses (which, incidentally, are hard-coded into the Exile II application) Ah yes, you’re quite right. My memory is not doing me much justice in comparison! For those reading the topic, this is because ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ give garbage responses for creatures that don’t have something explicitly coded for those responses. I’d like like to argue that this is on the Easter Egg side, though. After all, why would you try to buy something from a generic cow character? The game never suggests that you do so, after all ...
  5. Yes, this point is something of a borderline case. With something like this, the dividing line between an actual Easter Egg and general game humour is probably a little thin, or at least open to some interpretation! My reasoning behind classing this particular response as an Easter Egg is that it requires you to manually type an unrecognised response to a cow. Given the way Exile III runs its dialogue, the player very rarely ever needs to actually type in a response, since most of the dialogue flows naturally by clicking on relevant words. Typing in a response is reserved for special situations (such as asking about the special artifacts), and there’s certainly no reason to expect to do this for perfectly normal cows. So, in that sense, I would be tempted to class this as an Easter Egg. Incidentally, the little side comment I made there was specifically referring to making animal sounds back at animals (so, for instance, saying ‘moo’ to cows, or ‘baa’ to sheep). By contrast, I don’t think this constitutes an Easter Egg, but there are some fun little comments hidden away in there. I rather enjoy the little scene with dogs, where you can subvert the narrator by keeping on playing with them even after the game suggests that you have better things to do. Yes, it does! Most of the comments are humour, but there are a few that are more conventional. I've just included the more interesting comments in the post above, since there are quite a few, but you can see some of the more serious comments by opening and closing the dialogue box repeatedly. Yes, that is odd, isn’t it? Perhaps Jeff was anticipating his Crystal Souls remake, a mere 19 years in the future Never mind me. I'm being forgetful, here. Pressing B is a debug command in Exile II: it refreshes the items sold in random shops. Speaking of which, here's one more item which I think constitutes an Easter Egg. I think this qualifies, since there's no way to figure this out within the game, at least that I am aware of. Exile II: - Saying 'fish' to Waldby in his Bazaar (south of the Aranea Web) brings up a second random item shop.
  6. You need but ask, Krock. No need to worry unduly! Don't forget that, if in doubt, the Quest List is your friend! While it doesn't always tell you exactly what to do, such as in this case, it tends to give fairly decent hints as to the best way to progress. Also, when you're looking up information on these forums, it's worth just checking to make sure that the post you're looking at answers exactly the problem you're looking into. I'm guessing slightly here, but I think the problem you're facing is a little different from the one posted in this thread – with the result that the answer doesn't quite apply to you. Here's what you need to do:
  7. If it helps, there are a few necklaces mentioned in the large item list for this game. Would it be worth checking against this, and seeing if there are any in locations that you have yet to access? You can find the link below, and a text search will bring you to the appropriate items (without spoiling too much, hopefully!): http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/22363-avadon-3-item-location-and-quest-list-massive-spoilers/
  8. I have a few more to add to the list! I have a feeling there might be some more that I’ve forgotten, but here’s what I have for now: Exile II: – This game also has a &*() message. It reads: If Exile ... You want to save ... Back up your save slots ... Burma Shave. – At least in version 1.0.1, pressing B beings up this this in the log: 'Hmmm.' Maybe this used to be a debug command at one time? – There’s a very well hidden secret room in the Trapped Halls. You can find this by going to the library/dining area in the living quarters. The walls next to location x = 10, y = 35 can be broken using Move Mountains, but there’s no way to know this, since they look identical to normal walls. Inside is nothing of any importance – except the word HI, written boldly in white walls. See here: https://imgur.com/a/vGsH5GE Exile III: – Here’s another hidden string: ‘Your head gone, the creature sews the head of a small dog on the stump in its place. Boy, do you feel silly.’ – Find the tiny lizard that’s running around the main hall of Fort Emergence. If you say the following to it, something interesting will happen: ‘hoho’ Specifically: – There are some nice responses if you talk back to animals. Of particular note, perhaps, is that if you give a garbled comment to a normal cow, it will reply: ‘Mooo. Never heard of it. Mooo.’ – This is definitely a feature, so I’m not sure if it counts, but the ‘About Exile III’ dialogue contains a ‘Thought for the day’ box at the bottom. This thought is randomised, and is taken from a selection of tongue-in-cheek comments. Examples include: ‘This fine program was brought to you by coffee. "Coffee - it's what's for dinner."’ ‘No Vahnatai were harmed during the making of Exile III: Ruined World.’ ‘Exile III: Ruined World is a work of fiction. Any similarity between its characters and persons living or dead is coincidental. Unless, of course, it isn't.’ ‘Thirty Helens Agree: Honesty is the best policy.’ ‘Many thanks to all the fine role-playing games that preceded the Exile series, for providing many wonderful ideas to steal.’ ‘Over 200 double tall iced lattes were consumed during the making of Exile III: Ruined World. Chemical dependence can be your friend too!’ ‘A friendly warning. If you leave a message on Spiderweb Software, Inc's answering machine, don't leave a phone number or E-mail address, and mumble your name, please don't be surprised if I don't get back to you.’ Blades of Exile – The Valley of Dying Things – There’s a secret special hidden in the very southwest corner of the vale. You can get to it, but it requires some rather careful flying – and more range than the normal Flight spell, I believe. It reads: ‘Sorry, no Easter Eggs in this game.’ Avernum Remakes: – Just to confirm, all the major easter eggs in the second and third games return in the recent remakes: the Eas Ter Egg location of Exile/Avernum II appears once again, as does the Generic Dungeon of Exile/Avernum III. The ways of accessing these are essentially unchanged. Some additional bits of text have been added to take account of the release dates of the remakes. – The Eas Ter Egg location has some additional content in Crystal Souls. There’s a further room included which spells out ‘Miranda’ and ‘Cordelia’ on the floor. Hidden further back is an alcove containing a super special, priceless item for each of your four characters. This can only be accessed with the maximum level of Dispel Barrier and Move Mountains. You will find the mystic, invaluable:
  9. That is odd. Something here might not be behaving as it's supposed to. This is all the more peculiar, since the dialogue is coded very simply – there's just not all that much that can go wrong, here. Could I ask you to check a few more things for me? Firstly, go to your special items menu and check that you don't already have an item named 'Nisse Key'. I know this seems rather obvious, but in something like this it's better to be absolutely sure – we'll want to make sure that this didn't materialise in your possession by some other means, for instance. If you don't have the item, then go and speak to Sage Noyale, who is to the south-west of the throne room. Is there an option to talk to her about a 'message from King Borgen'? If both of these come up negative, then could I ask you to keep your save file in its current state – so that we can look at it – and save in a new slot. Then, press shift and d, and type the following into the text box that appears: sdf 30 22 1 Then speak to Sage Noyale again. You should now be able to progress! Of course, if there are further problems, let us know!
  10. Hmm. That could be a problem. Would you mind checking something for me? Could you go to the King and ask him 'How are things faring with the Borgen'? Do any relevant dialogue options appear when you do this?
  11. I’m not sure I understand this post, ladyonthemoon, or indeed several of your previous posts. No-one in this thread has made any claim that creatures in this engine cannot have innate slowness, least of all me. We are talking about a problem with monster positioning, which is entirely unrelated to monster speed. Both I and osnola have mentioned this to you. Please can I encourage you to read these forums carefully. Perhaps you misread my previous post. I stated that: This is still completely true. The majority of the creatures in this game have speed boosts. The one exception is the slime family, as you’ve mentioned here. But that doesn’t invalidate my point. For instance, most carrots are orange. That doesn’t mean that some of them aren’t purple, just that most of them aren't purple! Remember, this discussion is about a battle with a group of mire boars, which have a positive speed boost. I'm not sure that the speeds of slimes is a relevant commentary on it. There's a very practical reason for this. If you side with the Mascha, the Drowning Gaol is a friendly town, not a dungeon. Since you can just wander around in that case without much penalty, it stands to reason that some of the rewards should be a little harder to get. Would that make it a DoomSpecial? The most feared magical guardian of the most important secrets ...
  12. Not at all! To add to the ideas Randomizer posted, don't forget that you have the ability to remove shops from forts. You can do this by going into the shop placement window (via the Place Buildings and Shops button), selecting the shop you want to remove, and pressing the little button marked with an 'x'. You'll still be charged for the shop during the current round of upkeep, but after that, you'll no longer spend any resources on it. If you want to build up a set of resources quickly, simply remove a whole bunch of shops from your forts. Then, make time pass quickly by teleporting around the map, say from one end of Sacramentum to the other and back again. You'll build up a cache of resources in no time! Once you've built the portal, you can then place your shops back in your forts again – you've already paid for their construction once, so you don't need to do so a second time.
  13. Perhaps Beitris hasn't been made aware of the problem you're facing yet. If you can't speak to the Watchers, because they are angry with you, is there someone else in a position of power who might be able to help you? Perhaps someone you signed a vassalage agreement with? She might be able to pass on word of your plight to the appropriate parties.
  14. If you're specifically looking for the key from the Ahriel, then you might not be looking in the right place. The Watchers, quite rightly, don't want to talk to you. But they're unpredictable, so surely the key wouldn't have been given to them? Have you tried talking to other people in High Elhovo? Perhaps someone with an interest in history? Alternatively, if you can't find the solution here, the leaders of the other states will (mostly) also be able to help you. It's all about talking to the right people! The game will never lock you out of being able to get the key.
  15. Yes, I was thinking along these lines. This is something that's been mentioned a few times now, both by you and osnolo, and also by several people in this discussion over on the Steam forums: https://steamcommunity.com/app/1058130/discussions/0/2564160288798687727/ Curiously, it doesn't seem to tally with my experience. I paid a fair amount of attention to the timings of combat during the testing run, flagging up anything that caused a delay approaching anything like a second. This resulted in a few modifications to the combat script, and some streamlining. At least on my end, combat turns now seem to come through nice and smoothly regardless of the size or complexity of the dungeon (except for very specific niche situations, which it's likely the player will rarely if ever encounter). According to Jeff, all that should be happening to monsters outside of the 'nearby' field of view is the game cycling over characters and telling them not to act, with no extra calculations being involved. At least in theory, that shouldn't take any perceptible time at all. So something odd definitely seems to be going on here. It's possible that there's something based on hardware or the OS, or on something else entirely. It's also possible that I've just normalised the game's behaviour in my mind, so that it is happening for me, and I'm just not noticing it. I'm curious, so I'll have a delve into the game and see what I can find. In order to right-click on a trackpad, you need to press the active section of the pad (or the button portion) with two fingers simultaneously. I appreciate your enthusiasm, ladyonthemoon, but osnola has been reporting a problem with monster positioning here – the speed at which monsters attack is not really related if the monster is incapable of attacking their target. With apologies for the paraphrasing, but osnola has been describing a situation in the Ashen Foundry where most of the mire boars block the passage to the player, and therefore cannot attack. Generally, with careful party placement, only one or two can reach the party at a time, sometimes none of them if summons are placed carefully. Since most of them are melee attackers, they could have all the speed in the world, and they still can't attack if they can't reach the party! (Also, Mire Boars have speed boosts, rather than an innate slowness. Generally, most creatures in Queen's Wish will be faster than 0 speed, presumably to make up for the party's general tendency to increase in speed over the course of the game.)
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