Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Freudian Noose

      Logging in   05/10/2017

      If you had an account and can't log in as of 5/9/17, this may be because of a change in logins with new forum software. You can log in using your publicly displayed name (not your username) or your email address and the password you used before.   If you have problems with this, please ask any of the mods or admins. 

Recommended Posts

Ephesos   

Emerald Mountain

Mac/Windows

 

Author: Terror's Martyr

Difficulty: 15-20

Version: 1.0.0

 

[composite=eyJ0aXRsZSI6IkVtZXJhbGQgTW91bnRhaW4iLCJ0aWQiOiIxMjM0NSIsInRhZ3MiOlsiZGVzaWduZXItc3BlY2lmaWMgdW5pdmVyc2UiLCJkaWZmaWN1bHQiLCJsaW5lYXIiLCJtdWx0aXBsZSBlbmRpbmdzIiwic2VyaW91cyIsInNob3J0Il0sImJnYXNwIjp7IjUiOjIsIjQiOjE0LCIzIjo1LCIyIjoxLCIxIjowfX0=]

Composite Score: 3.8/5.0

 

Best: 9.09% (2/22)

Good: 63.64% (14/22)

Average: 22.73% (5/22)

Substandard: 4.55% (1/22)

Poor: 0.00% (0/22)

[encouragenecro]

 

[/composite]

 

Keywords: Designer-Specific Universe, Difficult, Multiple Endings, Linear, Serious, Short

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Emerald Mountain is an interesting scenario, but very mediocre. It is very short, and besides some goblin fights, not really that challenging. The plotline was okay, and had a reasonably interesting twist at the end. The premise is that you are guarding the Aquos Gem (a rather silly name, IMO) and it was stolen by a fellow guard, and you have to recover it.

 

Past this, the scenario just seemed like a standard single dungeon scenario. There's not really much to say.

 

I rate this scenario [rating]Substandard[/rating].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

A very good scenario, kinda short, but good. The town design is great, I loved the design of the main village it's great and it gave a very good atmosphere to the scenario.

 

The bad things about this scenario, not many. Maybe that is short and sometimes I felt like if I had no more choice than following a certain path.

 

Good scenario and maybe the best scenario not made by JV so far for BoA. I really recommend it.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Imban on the CSR:

 

Neat terraining and graphics use, if a bit quirky in places - the end effect is something very different and very nifty.

 

The game sure told me I was going the wrong way a lot, even when I only stepped to the side of the road in some places.

 

Plot is engaging, if short. Unlike RoR, I didn't feel that the villains were lame or that words were being stuffed into my mouth.

 

Was painfully difficult at times - something you expect from TM, really.

 

Better than VoDT, I'd say, but still, it's only 3 towns - most of my time was spent reloading as I kept getting killed by slimes.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

 

This scenario is a nice little story. It's small (as is every other BoA scenario right now), but it has a coherent and engaging plot and doesn't seem overly clipped. Well, only a little bit clipped, anyway: I wished I could do something in that dungeon underneath the goblin town, something like shut off the machinery and kill the dark beast thing, but that doesn't appear possible.

 

Anyway, the use of height in this scenario is top-notch, and the first town is gorgeous. The scripting is pretty good -- although half of the custom creature scripts could have been done away with through use of memory cells, but meh -- and the end boss is pretty tough. I suspected that the scenario was about to end and just let him kill half my party.... :b

 

The combat is a little on the tough side, but it's definitely beatable without excessive effort or reloading. It was interesting, for sure, and I learned the use of Capture Mind and Simulacrum.

 

The scen does a pretty good job of directing the player where to go, too. It's linear in form, and it doesn't ever become confusing.

 

It's short, sweet, and worth the hour that it takes to play through it, although there just isn't very much to it.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Morgan on the CSR:

 

Mixed feelings about this one. The plot didn't really engage me though there wasn't anything particularly wrong with it (I actually preferred RoR's plot). While the only combat that presented me with a real challenge was the first two outdoor encounters, this was the most fun I've had with combat in BoA, period - the final fight in particular is top notch.

 

I'll have to go with Imban on this one

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

The most impressive of all BoA scenarios released, graphically. Fitting custom graphics (even though some of the splash screens were quite hilarious ), and well-used default graphics, added to the marvelous manipulating of heights. Mmh..

 

Also, the story was quite enjoyable, even though short. TM's best BoA scenario, as of now.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating](because I expect still better works from the author)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Lilith on the CSR:

 

As mentioned, this scenario, like all third-party BoA scenarios so far, is very short: just one town and one two-level dungeon. Items feel a little on the generous side; the party can find weapons as good as anything to be found in DwtD. High-level spells are similarly readily available, although in this scenario they're not unbalancing; rather, not having the good sense to buy some of them would make the (optional) final battle unbalancingly difficult.

 

Combat balance overall felt a little slapdash; whilst the Corrosives posed an interesting tactical challenge, the goblins were mostly just a nuisance, requiring repeated trips in and out of the fort to exterminate them. Goblin Assassins were particularly annoying, and the goblin chief is arguably overpowered. The invulnerable monster under the goblin fort doesn't really qualify as "combat" since you're not meant to fight it, but still detracts from the scenario, since there's too little in-game warning given about its location.

 

The plot is probably a strong point of the scenario, but is not without its flaws. Wihcaser's actions in particular feel contrary to what we're told about his character. Perhaps they wouldn't if we were given more time to get to know the characters, but we weren't.

 

I won't penalise the scenario for being short as such, but overall it feels a little hastily put together. Competent, but flawed.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Linthar on the CSR:

 

To find a score I'll start with 5.5 (Median of a range between 1.0 and 10.0) and add and subtract points from there.

 

First the good.

Emerald Mountain (The first town not the scenario) looked incredible. Best looking town I've seen in a scenario. +.5

 

Certain combats presented interesting situations. (The slimes, and the golems.) (although not that great a challange see below) +.5

 

The finish/win element was nice although I ended up with the win without any problems figuring out how +.5

 

The tribe come off as a distinctly different culture then what you usually see. +1

 

Now the bad.

 

I found the combat all in all easy. There were a few reloads, but it only happened when I stumbled into a fight, without knowing it was there. Any time I knew there was a fight coming up, it was fairly easy affair, of using battle rage on both my fighters, and they would be able to kill everything with a little healing from my priest. In fact my mage seemed mostly useless, the goblins hitpoints were high enough that magic didn't do much to them yet my fighters would just smash them. Speaking of which for some reason my fighters (this one from my save after a small rebellion) were doing immense amounts of damage to their enemies, (often in the 3 digits) more then I did even in Dwtd. -.5

 

A found the beginning slightly annoying as I wanted to first find where the shops were but I had to go see everyone before I could go anywhere. -.3

 

The plot seemed like it could be fleshed out more. Maybe I missed it but I never found out what was going on in the second level of the dungeon for instance. -.3

 

Now when you add that up. It comes out to a 6.9, but I'm going to boost that up to a 7.2 for just the general fun I had.

 

So the total is 7.2 ([rating]GOOD[/rating])

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

It was incredibly hardI had to go in with a level 40 party and still almost didn't beat it. To be expected. tongueold.gif

 

Eh, the whole story was good, design was good, fun, etc.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

 

-Nothing can be said about TM's mastery especially if that's not a word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

 

Another plot scenario, but this one is passably entertaining with the appropriate suspension of disbelief. The problem is the characters did not act consistently from what you had been told by the omniscient narrator. The opening scene was a pointless excuse to include a cut-scene -- why couldn't the MacGuffin be stolen without having the party tag along? And why does the thief zoom by the dumbstruck party? To get the plot moving, of course, but that means an altogether different approach should have been taken.

 

Also annoying was all the hints being dropped before the initial cut-scene, yet being unable to do anything about it. How about making the foreshadowing much more subtle? Or just making the theft a surprise? After that the dialogue continued to lack subtlety, repeatedly emphasizing your moral prime directives in Capital Letters.

 

The scenario was very linear. This did have the advantage that you couldn't get stuck, but the annoying thing that you kept being told you couldn't go somewhere right now. It made it feel more like a movie scenario. A nice point of the scenario was checking for exceptions -- if you didn't have the move mountains spell, or just had one character. That was a nice bit of detail work.

 

Treasure was rather excessive, though not hideously so. But an item should not give +15 to any attribute, even one as lowly as Rune Reading. Some of the items did have interesting trade-offs. There were a few too many available skills and spells for sale.

 

The combats were interesting, if a bit difficult for the recommended party levels. Though putting in an unkillable, instant-death monster without some sort of _in-game_ foreshadowing or warning was just rude.

 

The artistic design of the first town was very nice, yet didn't make it hard to get from one place to another. The dungeons had character. There was interesting stuff to explore. The large pictures were gratuitous, with the exception of the death scene which I really would rather not have seen altogether. I can see worse things with large pictures happening in the future.

 

Still, a vast improvement over Roses of Reckoning.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From The Creator on the CSR:

 

This scenario is flawed. To be honest, it's badly flawed. But I don't want to harp on that too much, because I really did enjoy it.

 

The issue is that the plot suffers from a few logical problems. The bad guy's exposition of his diabolical plan was silly - if you know so much he has to kill you, why not just kill you without explaining things first? Or better yet, start talking and then strike in mid-flow while you aren't ready? The people accept your explanation of events very quickly and easily, and as Orggg mentioned, the theft at the beginning has it's own issues.

 

But what was really nice was that I could understand the plot! Emerald Mountain does contain hints of TM philosophical stuff, but it's nothing that interrupts or detracts from the scenario, and that's a wonderful change. Instead of going Out There, TM keeps evertything reasonably down to earth - no wars being waged for incomprehensible philosophical motives. Emerald Mountain is, well, normal. Now, if he can just put together a solid storyline in this style, I'll be thrilled.

 

Aside from that? Well, there's good stuff and there's bad stuff. The town design was great, the combat was poor, the item balance was a bit off, the dialogue tricks were cool... but really, that's all fluff. The important thing is to get the core of the scenario right, and TM is getting closer to doing that.

 

I give Emerald Mountain a [rating]GOOD[/rating] rating. While I enjoyed it more than Bandits 2, it was much smaller and less ambitious, so it gets a lower score.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Boots on the CSR:

For the first time, TM's lo-fi gonzo results in a scenario that could be called routine rather than kaleidoscopically tetched. There's nothing wrong with Emerald Mountain, but there's also little in it you won't have seen before. So, sure, a You-Go-Die-Now node is prowling around, and the bad dude has done more than his share of cogitating on the subject of political economy cogitating he won't shy from sharing with you between thrust and parry but mostly, things in EM run by the book (in some cases, by the Book of Vogel, which is odd).

 

The combat mixes in a few tactical curves and changes and, had Enduring Barrier not been added to BoA, would make for a filthy hard time. Things being what they are, however, it proves (for a TM scenario) unexpectedly forgiving but still good fun. In places, town design is disdainfully prepackaged: one gets the feeling that TM doesn't think much of this particular addition to his offspring. He keeps teasing it by dangling and then snatching away glimpses of scenarios it could have been (those machines, etc., which Kel mentions).

 

Taken altogether, it is short, solid and clean, with catchy, recognizable hooks: as close as TM is likely going to come to writing a three minute pop song for Blades. I kind of missed the glassy, Thunderbird blear in the eyes of RoR, but it's not likely many others will.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From S M Adventurer on the CSR:

 

Emerald Mountain is a pretty interesting scenario, as it does not suffer from TMUS (Too Much Undead Syndrome).

The story played out well, and the design of the towns looked pretty nice.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

TM must be an intrinsic film producer, thus he treats us with shortcuts. Amazing, but ... Before the story actually starts, we have to walk through a serial row of shortcuts and dialogues, and we feel strongly guided into directions. Its rather tedious. The prologue is nice to see once or twice, its no gameplay.

 

The whole plot is a construct with rather unusual turns, Licgans and Whicasers behaving is just unbelievable it has been mentioned before from Thuryl, Orggg and The Creator. But I appreciate the moral in the story, specially Licgans last words.

 

The town design is pretty cool - the veneered stone wall in the Goblins' Village puzzled me awful

But why are most of the lockers, chests and barrels empty? No surprises for curious adventurers ;_;

Another why: The smith sells only crude and iron arrows - not very equalized to the power of the foes. Also there are neither potions nor herbs or a healer. Well, only details ...

 

I like the shocking effect when Wihcaser's body pops up (and later the gem). Although ... Wihcaser "has slice marks all over his body", says the text window. What we see is a beautiful, unhurt body ... kind of aesthetical refinement

 

Fights and strong enemies are big fun - the party needs strategy to defeat. TM implemented a lot of improved monsters (ay, the Corrosive Slimes ...) and the last fight with Licgan is a fulminant, gripping challenge.

And Lyfan ... as mentioned ...it would be nice, if that described steam power turbine (we even can see), could be deactivated. To leave Lyfan alive is like an unfinished quest. Like TM had submitted an unfinished scenario. He has an undoubted talent for high tension but hes lazy with loving details.

 

I would say: EM is a straight one way street with thrilling fights, delightful rewards and a neat town design. "A three minute pop song" hits the mark, yeah.

 

[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Buttered Toast on the CSR:

 

 

Emerald Mountain by Terrors Martyr.

 

This is Terrors Martyrs second Blades of Avernum Scenario. The scenario starts with the tribe of Speres.

The opening splash scenes are very interesting.

 

It starts off in a unique setting a village set into the side of a mountain. All of the houses are caves. The graphics for the tribesmen and the chief are new.

 

The plot is not original but it has some new elements in it. Stealing a gem and having to retrieve it is a fairly standad plot element. However, creating a moral tone-- honor, tradition, and conviction makes the story interesting.

 

There are numerous special graphics within this scenario. These range from computer generated images like the image at the holy mountain, and photographs like the Aquos Gem and the photograph of Wihcaser. This is an innovation which could lead to some very interesting scenarios.

 

The fights are well done. There are a number of new monsters including goblin assassins, corrosive slimes, and sentient corrosives. The fight with the slimes is well done because many of the slimes split.

 

The undefeatable Lyfan is a nice touch. It is good to have a monster which cannot be defeated. Also having the hill goblin join your party is the first time a monster has been used as an npc in Blades of Avernum.

 

There are numerous new items. Axes, cudgels, and claymores are new weapons. There are a number of powerful items including the Blessed Claymore, Blessed Axe, Sol Imperial, Iron Bangle, and others. Some of the items are a little overpowered for a 15-22nd level party.

 

This scenario was very fun to play. I highly recommend it.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Smoo on the CSR:

 

Emerald Mountain is kinda short and too linear. Linear in this case meaning the player can't even step off the road without someone pointing out to go that way instead.

 

When I first played EM I was dreading that this would be an epic quest around the world to retrieve the Aquos Gem. Fortunately it wasn't. A one town and one two-part dungeon is enough for this kind of scenario.

 

The fights weren't easy. I repeatedly got killed in the outdoor fights and it didn't get much easier after that.

 

Not bad, not good, but worth a look.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an unknown reviewer on the CSR:

 

Honestly, this is the first of TM's scenarios that I have ever played to completion. However, I am rating this based only upon the merits of this scenario and not upon my opinions of some of his other work.

 

Emerald Mountain was a fine scenario. Generally speaking, I hesitate to give any scenario higher than a 5.0 after panning Lamentations so long ago; however, this scenario was made under different circumstances and by a different author. My expectations for this scenario were much lower. So, TM, for exceeding my expectations: +1

 

For not interspersing the fights with opaque philosophical dialogue: +.75

 

For not having a random picture of Jesus Christ at the beginning of the scenario: +.1

 

For the exceptionally complicated design of the Spere town: +.75

 

For the difficulty of the battles: -.3

 

For the readme, which actually gives explicit instructions on how best to win the battles: +.3

 

For the "absence of Barbarus" bug: -.3

 

For the length: -.5

 

For making a decently fun scenario: +.5

 

If my math is correct, that makes a 7.3 ([rating]GOOD[/rating])

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Wizcozski on the CSR:

 

Briefly put, I really liked Emerald Mountain. It's also the first of TM's scenarios that I've played. I just recently got into BoA, and so far I have a handful of players' scenarios and the default scenarios under my belt (have yet to write reviews on a good number of them).

 

TM did a beautiful job creating the hills and waterfalls in the town, and I was quite impressed with the story itself. THAT was quite a bit of effort well spent. The custom pictures made it more exciting then just reading a little dialogue bubble that says "THE GEM!" or something. Battling the goblins didn't get tiresome -- yay improving strategy!

 

All in all, I'm looking forward to playing more of TM's scenarios, as well as everyone else's over time, and not just Kel's. While I am immensly impressed by TM's scenario and likewise have enjoyed various other scenarios, I honestly haven't been convinced otherwise to change my scores for Kel's scenarios. TM is extremely talented. I like his imagination a lot.

 

[rating]BEST[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Andrew on the CSR:

 

I really enjoyed this scenario. The town design for the main town was great! I particularly enjoyed how over the course of the adventure, the party came across technology and historical details that could turn the tribe's world upside-down, were they to be explored further. The characters were definitely more compelling than any of JV's.

 

I thought it was a shame that the scenario was so short. The questions generated by the plot - What does the gem really do? What could the creature in the dungeon be guarding? What bigger role may the gem that this tribe venerates play in the world? - allow for all sorts of possible sequels down the road, though admittedly, gems/crystals have been featured prominently in many other games that are generally disdained <cough - Final Fantasy - cough>

 

With a little tinkering, I think this scenario could easily be adjusted to be a beginner's scenario - goblins made their normal wimpy selves, the slimes made easier, items nerfed, etc. - and so serve as the start of a very interesting series. A larger scenerio in which the tribals go on to encounter a world they don't understand (whether persuing the gem or not) and in the process learning the history/truth/awful secret of their history would be cool, especially if town design and the feel continue to be on par with this scenario's.

 

My only real complaint was that the items seemed too powerful, though many of the items were quite innovative.

 

A great pop song. Kudos, TM

 

[rating]BEST[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Nioca on the CSR:

 

My only complaint is how shepherded the party is throughout the scenario. I mean, seriously, can't I look around a minute before rushing off to save the gem? Combat keeps varying drastically for me. One run through, its all I can do to stay alive; next run through, I'm the angel of death for goblins. Also, for some reason, every time I nabbed the Aquos Gem, it would grab Licgan's attention and it would rush over to kill me. I'd constantly have to leave a PC to his or her death so that the rest of the party can make it out alive.

 

And I'm docking a point for the wizard bug. Yes, a full point. sadold.gif

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Excalibur on SV:

 

Combat - Substandard - This scenario is terribly under leveled. My party was decimated on many occasions, and the goblins had way too much skill with simple bashing weapons.

 

Visual design - Good - It wasn't eye candy like some scenarios, but it was really suitable with the story

 

Story/Plot - Average - I think TM went into too much detail about the whole tribal business. The story worked, but the combat didn't make it very fun.

 

Writing - Poor - I have reasons, but I'd rather not say

 

Technical design - Good - I don't think a scenario doesn't have to have wondrous feats in scripting. What matters is how it intertwines with the scenario, and I think TM does an excellent job at doing just that.

 

Overall - [rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Jewels on SV:

 

Knowing how challenging TM likes to make his combat AND knowing that I was not up to hour long combats, I did go in with a higher level party then recommended. It allowed me to enjoy the story and I did enjoy it very much. The home village design was beautiful to look at if a bit annoying. "No, for the tenth time, I do not want to jump off the ledge." I suppose I should just stick to the path. Rewards were nice, though I haven't looked at what the gloves are yet. The uber-death construct did make me strategize for a while. Happy to report, I made it out with all my stuff. I did find one grammar mistake in the second starting dialogue. ("related" not "rated")

 

All in all it was much fun.

 

[rating]GOOD[/rating]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×