Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Ess-Eschas

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Ess-Eschas

    Queen's Wish - Romance

    I also tend to prefer Curses somewhat over Jigsaw (and Graham Nelson's other games), but I think that's just personal preference. There's much to like in both games, and they both made quite an impression on me when I was younger. I fear I'll have to agree with Slarty on this one. When I first played through Curses, the ending didn't come across as a joke to me. It felt quite satisfying, as if it nicely wound up the themes explored in the work as a whole. In fact, I find the ending to be quite sad. The inherent magic surrounding the player character and their surroundings is broken, and the magical devices used throughout the entire game are no longer functional (with a couple of exceptions, granted). The surroundings return to banality, and you return to normal life – exactly what the force of the curse was trying to prevent. It feels like the wonder experienced during the game has evaporated, and I'm sure that's deliberate. I think I disagree with you about the map, though. This gets into some specifics, so I'll put this in a spoiler block: I also feel it's a little unfair to judge Curses on that 'last lousy point' mechanic, although I fully concede that it's a frustrating feature. That mechanic was hugely popular at the time of the release of Curses, and Curses was Graham Nelson's first game. I suspect he included it to make the game as complete and 'current' as possible. Nelson, incidentally, disliked the mechanic, and wrote about it negatively a few years later. I'm sure the point's in there somewhere, though. Perhaps someone will find it one day. I have a suspicion there might actually be three mutually exclusive points depending on the player's choices, but that's only speculation. I really hope it isn't that old don't-save-the-game trick. Incidentally, did either of you find out how to be turned into a constellation? I always wondered about that. It is possible to bring this topic full-circle again. Jigsaw was praised at the time it was released because of the novel way it handles the romance between Black at White (although I have one minor quibble about how it's done). As someone who is a fan of Jigsaw, googoogjoob, I'm curious as to your reactions to the inclusion of that romance. In your option, do you think Nelson does a decent job in writing it?
  2. Ess-Eschas

    BoE Scenarios Archive? And BoE Version

    Hello BainIhrno, I'm not aware of any complete port that will run on Intel Macs, I'm afraid. One of the new experimental builds can open old scenarios, so you can use it to browse through scenarios if needed, but you won't be able to save any changes. I do have a pre-Intel version that works like a charm, but it sounds like that won't be useful for you. This might not be a helpful suggestion, but have you looked into going back even earlier in time and emulating Mac Classic? It is a little bit of a pain to set up, but I feel it's easier than setting up Windows or PowerPC emulators – at least if you're not paying money to do it. I can run the editor this way using the program 'SheepShaver' to emulate Mac OS 7.5.5, and it works like a dream. The advantage of setting up the system this way is that you can also run Blades in its original environment, so you're getting the full experience as Jeff originally wrote it! However, it's also easy to move scenario files to and from the 'fake' Classic machine, so you can always use the scenario editor in Classic and move the files over to your Intel machine to play them there – so you can use the editor and enjoy the quality-of-life improvements that have been added in newer versions. A number of people have set up convenient Classic emulators using SheepShaver over the years, so you should be able to find some good advice by searching online. If you're having problems, I might be able to give you some pointers. One other, much easier, option is to see if you can get hold of Tyranicus. He made a Wineskin version of the editor back in 2013. The link he posted seems to be down now, and it's not on the Archive, but he (or indeed some others on the forums) might still have a copy floating around for you. That won't require any porting – the editor will behave just like a normal Mac application, but it's actually pretending to be Windows. It can run straight out of the box!
  3. Hello Muscleguy, It seems that this is a bug that can happen occasionally. It's something that's appeared on these forums before: http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/24462-quest-to-kill-garzahd/ Unfortunately, the solution posted above – replaying the fight – might not work out if you don't have a save handy, and it's extra work! Since this has popped up a few times, I had a dig into the scripts to see if I could figure out the cause. Unfortunately, the part of the program that registers Garzahd's defeat seems to be hard-coded, so coming up with a fix isn't entirely straightforward. If you're interested, there's one flag that logs Garzahd's death, and another that lets Avernum 'know' that he's dead. Only the first (oddly) is set by actually defeating Garzahd. That other one is hard-coded. However, I have a suggestion that might work, although it's based on a little guesswork. Try going back to Garzahd's fortress and entering it again (I'm hoping this will still be possible). There's something in the scripts that looks like a sanity check for a situation like yours. With luck, when you enter, you'll get the ending picture and dialogue for the Garzahd major quest. If you don't – let me know what happens. I might be able to use that information to come up with a fix that works! If all else fails – try the above method first! – I can at least get you the quest reward, although probably not things such as achievements. Hold down 'shift' and press 'd'. A dialogue box will appear. Type the following: sdf 16 11 1 Avernum's people will then recognise your feat. Interestingly, there are actually quite a few people who have things to say about this (e. g. Thompson, Solberg, Caffren-Bok etc.). In fact, Limoncelli even has a dialogue option removed if Garzahd is defeated. That's good foresight!
  4. Ess-Eschas

    Homeland: The Stone of Night...anyone?

    I think you might have misunderstood fractalnavel, River Linden. The posted link is a working link to Homeland. Also, and I hope you don't think I mean to be rude in pointing this out, but the daughter of the game's creator posted earlier in this thread. I'm all for positive criticism, but I'm not sure this is the best place to be plugging those old Homeland memes ... In fact, why not download the game yourself and give it a try? You might be pleasantly surprised! Greetings, siennilox. You are very welcome on these boards!
  5. It's possible that I'm misunderstanding you entirely, here, but Avernum 4 is really quite old now. The original game was released back in 2005, which was several years before even the first iPhones were released. There wasn't any original iOS port, and I don't think Spiderweb has made one since then. Avernum 4 was the first game in a completely new engine, one that was a sort of amalgam between the old Avernum games and Geneforge. It has some significant changes compared to the previous Avernum games, since Jeff was going in a slightly different direction. It was a first attempt, so it doesn't have some of the small improvements made to some of the later installments. That lack of a talking command is one (although you can still get part of the 'A' effect by using Tab to highlight the names of people). Generally, the game is a little more mouse-focused. That's not because it was a port – it was a deliberate design choice! Your issue with the trackpad is an odd one. I seem to be able to move about with a quick tap on my end, but that's probably not very helpful to you. Have you tried playing around with your settings? Also, it shouldn't be possible to break the difficulty settings in the way you describe, no matter what operating system a player is using. If I understand how the engine works, the game itself would break completely long before something like the difficulty settings would go wonky. Again, Avernum 4 was a new engine, so the balance might be a little different compared to what you're used to. Just keep on going, and I'm sure things will hot up! Still, as a sanity check, it might be worth checking to see that your difficulty setting in the Preferences is set to Tricky. If it says Tricky, then that's what the difficulty should be. On the original topic, I feel that Avernum 4 was something of an experiment. It added quite a lot of changes compared to the earlier games, such as the different use of AP, the way item weight is handled and the different approach to the outdoors. That tends to make it a little harder to get into for players used to the other Avernum games. I insist that, under all these points, there is really quite a good game in Avernum 4. Sure, it's different to the other games, but that just means it's a different sort of Avernum – not necessarily a worse one. For my part, I feel that there are some really nice, memorable moments in this game. There are also good, novel things this game does that don't appear in subsequent games – a 'non-violent' way of dealing with the threat to Avernum, for instance. Now, I'm clearly in the minority here, and this isn't an argument I will make any attempt to win. But, still, I would really suggest that people give Avernum 4 a chance. If you get past the engine differences, it's the same old Jeff Vogel, the same old set of caves, even most of the same characters (even Pathass!). You might have more fun than you think!
  6. Yes, bugs in how the party moves outdoors do seem to occur every so often. I've had it happen naturally to me about once per playthrough of each game, which probably says something about how I move my party around. Actually, I've had this bug happen several times around those same lava fields. There is a version of this bug that's reproducible, although I think it's slightly different from the one you describe. Next time you're in Avernum, try clicking on an inaccessible area of ground while your party is already walking. Good candidates are spots behind closed secret doors. Note that it has to be ground that your party could stand on if the way to it was not obstructed. The first character in your party will stay fixed where they were at the moment you clicked, but the rest of the party will obediently keep walking to their original destination. They'll also have their masks removed, so you'll be able to see your characters through things like cave walls. When you click again, the party will reunite. I suppose it's the opposite of what happened to you. I've had that bug happen too, but I can't reproduce it yet. It seems to like narrow tunnels, at least ... I've always assumed that there's one piece of code governing how the first party member moves, and some slightly different code for all the rest. If these pieces of code behave slightly differently, it might account for some of the confusion that the game is displaying! Still, as a bug, at least it's nice and harmless!
  7. Ess-Eschas

    'Crystal doors' in GF2 Infested woods

    Hello ruppert29, Each of those doors needs to be activated by a switch before they'll open normally. Each door has a switch, but only on one side – usually one that's harder to get to. If you're near the spawner, there should be a switch nearby!
  8. Hello txmimi, This is a little strange, and I’m not quite sure why you’re seeing this behaviour. It sounds like a flag has broken somewhere. The game is coded to try and make it so that you simply can’t walk through into the castle unless very specific requirements are met. I think I can fix this for you but, just to try and figure out what has happened, could you answer me a few questions? 1. When you walked into the little foyer area with windows on either side right at the entrance of the castle, did any text or dialogue come up at all? If so, what was it? 2. What specifically are the first dialogue options you are presented with when you meet the King? To fix this, enter the castle from the outdoors. Hold down ‘shift’ and ‘d’, and a prompt to enter some text should appear. Type this: sdf 28 8 0 Now, exit the castle to the outdoors and enter again, but don't move the party any further. Sorry about that – it slightly reduces the number of changes you need to make! Use shift-d again and enter these codes, one at a time: sdf 28 12 0 sdf 28 17 1 sdf 28 16 1 sdf 28 13 0 Now, walk into the foyer. A message should come up, and you should be taken to see the king. You’ll skip the part with the history scroll, I’m afraid, but the encounter should play as normal after that. Don’t save until you’re sure everything is working as it should! It might be best to use a separate save slot if you have one available. Let me know if you have any problems. This should work, but there might be complications if, say, the game isn’t recognising your diplomatic papers. I’ll need to come up with another workaround if that’s the case, or if the cause of your problem is something unusual.
  9. Hello Muscleguy, Jeff has coded the Avernum games so that the meat of their content – the scripts – is the same regardless of what platform you're using. It's really quite a nice system! The advantage is that, if someone makes a mod like this, it will work in exactly the same way for all platforms. The only difference between a PC and Mac user is that they'll be putting the files in a slightly different place. You're right that, as a Mac user, you'll want to put these scripts in the Resources folder inside the application. Before making any changes, I highly recommend making a backup of the entire Avernum 2 application, just to make sure you can go back to it if something goes wrong, or if you don't want to use the mod any more. All you then need to do is to drag the several text files that make up the mod into the Resources folder. These will overwrite the originals (which is why I recommend making a backup!), and the game will then be modded. I haven't used this mod myself, but all the text files it provides are also included in the standard Mac version of the game. The PC and Mac versions use the same set of text files! In order to make big changes like this, only a couple of important scripts need to be changed. That's why you're not seeing hundreds of text files. In fact, most of the files in the mod are just changes to the help dialogues – it's only 'a2itemschars' and 'a2objsmisc' that carry all the gameplay changes. Just drag all the text files over and see what changes the modder has made to the engine!
  10. Ess-Eschas

    Geneforge 1: Place to stash items

    Hmm, that's interesting! I think it makes sense that spawned and dropped items have different 'behaviours' for a situation like this. Items that the player drops already exist somewhere in the game's memory and are just being shunted about, but spawned items have to actively take up a new address. Perhaps dropped items don't mind overwriting old items, but spawned items do? Either way, I shall have to be more careful with item piles in future, just to be on the safe side! Have fun! I have a soft spot for the first Geneforge, and I'm sure you'll have a great time. Try to solve the mystery of the ancient pylons later on in the game if you can – you learn something quite interesting about the island for doing so!
  11. Ess-Eschas

    Geneforge 1: Place to stash items

    If my memory serves, items start disappearing when you go over the item limit for an area. It's hard to do, but not impossible; some towns already have quite a few items as it is. Generally, Jeff's coding is really very solid. In my experience, it's pretty rare to find something that actually crashes his games. I wouldn't worry too much about it, Chopkinsca. Just leave items where you feel most convenient. If you start piling up lots and lots of items, just make a second pile somewhere else! No zones in Geneforge 1 are ever overwritten completely, so if you leave items somewhere, they will stay there forever.
  12. Ess-Eschas

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Yes! But did you know that this rakshasa was also magically pretending to be Pyrog in Exile I? And that she initiated an emergency teleportation to the surface after the party ‘defeated’ the ‘dragon’? After all, Prazac and Pyrog are never in the same game. Their names even start with the same letter! Coincidence? I think not. I thought it was unusual that you didn’t comment on the link the first time. I wonder what the problem is? Maybe it's something odd with the permissions? In any case, to get around it, I’ve downloaded the files and uploaded them elsewhere, briefly. Here they are for your perusing delectation: https://we.tl/526MBGlLhz
  13. Ess-Eschas

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    I still think it's problematic to try to get anything too concrete about of this one statement. Your idea that the sculptors made the Empress's statue look older than she is is perfectly valid, but it's an extrapolation. My counter-idea that they made the statue look younger than her is equally valid and, like yours, has a basis in human history. I can't see that there's any way to distinguish between the two ideas based on what the game says. However, all is not lost! Your text dumps are alive and well. So far as I can see, all of Aran's webspace is back up, and has been for a little while, I think. Here's a link to the text dumps: http://stuff.ermarian.net/slartucker/dump/ Have a look and see if you can find something I missed!
  14. Ess-Eschas

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    This does seem to be a fairly common idea, and it would stand to reason that it stemmed from content in the games themselves. However, much like with Pyrog's cruelty, I think it is possible that this might have become lore without any real basis. Essentially, the problem I have is that I can't find any reference whatsoever to any comments that say that Prazac is a child during Exile II. I don't remember any from when I've played through the games before, and checking the games and the text dumps doesn't reveal anything either. Of course, I may be missing something, and I wouldn't mind being proven wrong! So far as I can see, the only references are the two statues in Exile II, which describe her as a 'young woman'. Now, I know we've discussed the accuracy of these statues before. However, for a bit of fun, I thought it would be interesting to see the types of people Jeff describes as young women in the games. There are actually quite a few in Exile II. One of them is Nance. One of them is Linda. Now, meaning no disrespect to Linda, she doesn't seem to be a teenager by the time of Exile I, let alone Exile II. Also, here's some text describing Julie the fletcher in Dharmon: There is a surprisingly young woman sitting behind the counter - only in her late twenties. Now, this is hardly proof that the statue – taken at face value – shows someone in their late twenties. But I think it casts some doubt on the idea that Prazac is a youngster. If Prazac is a child during Exile II, I don't think I am convinced based solely on these two statues. I need more evidence from the games, and I can't come across any. If there is some text in the Exile series that describes Prazac as being a child, then show me! I'm happy to be proven wrong! If I have the time, I'll see if I can test this. Hopefully, zipping through Footracer again won't involve huge amounts of work, although dealing with Rentar probably will!
  15. Ess-Eschas

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Hmm, I like this too! I'm finding it hard to come up with a decent motivation for her attacking the surface, but that didn't stop Rentar when framing the others! :) Sorry about that! I am not always entirely clear in the thrust of my arguments, a bad habit I still fall into every now and again. Before I say any more, Slarty, I want to make it clear that I’m agreeing with you here. I just want to clarify a few points. The idea I was trying to put forward was that the sort of emergency teleportation I had in mind for Erika was not entirely uncommon in Exile. I tried to put forward some examples of this. I was focusing more on the ‘without portals’ side of things, mainly because I thought that the idea of ‘preparation’ was less of an issue. In coming up with some sort of emergency teleportation technique, I would (and did) argue that Erika has had plenty of time to prepare. She has been cursed for decades, and I feel that she would have put something in place during that time, just as a precaution. I would also argue that, if Aydin and Josie could make preparations to teleport back to their tower from a dangerous place, why might Erika not do the same? In terms of Garzahd’s minions, yes, they do teleport out: As his anguished dying scream echoes through the halls, you hear his few remaining servants teleporting away. It’s vague, but I would interpret that as the minions actively choosing to teleport, rather than being dragged away by another power. As for the Word of Recall sorts of teleportation, I was trying to use those more as an indication that teleportation over large distances can occur without using too much power. As you rightly point out, and as I tried unsuccessfully to imply, these exact spells cannot be used. The games state that Word of Recall is limited – not just in combat mode – but in town, because of the difficulty of controlling teleportation through twisty little passages. I hope it’s not unreasonable to use this spell as an indication of what a more powerful magic-user, and one who is more adept at controlling their magic, might in principle be able to do. However, you make a very good point in the amount of time teleportation takes to take effect. This isn’t clear, but it’s quite reasonable to assume that it’s by no means instantaneous. That would be crucial for the sort of battle situation being considered. Since there’s doubt there, and there’s further doubt in my idea that Rentar might block any teleportation out of her fortress anyway, it’s hard to argue the Erika can escape simply through teleportation. And, if that’s the case, there’s no basis for ascribing reckless pride to Erika. You have your argument, I think! This was a genuine mistake on my part. I simply misread the text when I was checking the passage of time. The four/five year window occurs between Exile II and the nation deciding to go to the surface. Presumably, this predates the discovery of Upper Exile, the building of its towns and the shuttling of people up to Fort Emergence. That would take many years. If anything, 10 years sounds like almost an underestimate. With that part of my argument gone, I can’t really place any stock on the party’s experience of the Empress in Exile III. Enough time has passed that I feel she could be a wide range of ages in Exile II and not elicit comment for her age in the sequel. I think that leaves the Empress’s age as a problem of interpretation. There just doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to come to a really valid conclusion, much as in my thoughts about Pyrog. The Empress might have been a young teenager, and you give a nice explanation of events given that. But I don’t think it disproves my thoughts about the Empress being a little older, either. If I was was being particularly adversarial, I could even come up with exactly the opposite argument: the Empress is actually already into middle-age by Exile II, and the statues deliberately make her look younger and more innocent than she really is. After all, a leader who is a young adult comes across as a better figurehead (and there are plenty of historical allegories for this type of artistic treatment). I could even argue that this older Empress deliberately shoves the responsibility of the war onto Garzahd – it keeps her hands seemingly free of the blood spilled in the war, and gives an easy scapegoat if (as it did) it happens to go wrong. Is this a stretch? Yes. But does it contradict the facts in the Exile trilogy? I’m not sure it does. As it is, I’m not convinced it’s possible to give the Empress a definitive age. Perhaps the Dragons might assassinate her, or perhaps they wouldn’t. Either way, the plot of this new Avernum 5 would still be valid, just with some differences in detail! This is going to sound like I'm being deliberately contrary, but I'm really not. Are you sure? I have a distinct recollection that she doesn't teleport in without the amulet, and I can't seem to find anything in the game's text that talks about Erika appearing in that situation. Annoyingly, though, the saved games I have for the end of that playthrough are lost, so I'd have to play through the entirety of Footracer again in order to find out for myself. That's not a quick test!