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BobbyZero

The Predator in Avernum?!

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I might be wrong but... I think I found the Predator in Avernum EfTP :) Not just any predator but The Predator (Yautja) from the movies. It's far to the utmost north, northwest of Fort Draco in the Aranea caves behind two secret doors / switches. When you enter the small room you find: "There is a skeleton hidden at the end of this passage. It's very old, and it's definitely not human. It's a tall, very thin humanoid with a huge skull. You've never seen a creature like this before, and the bones are so old that they're practically crumbling to dust before your eyes. Very strange."

 

This description in itself does not imply that it is a Predator but what you find next to the remains is a "Strange cloak: a shimmering, translucent cloak, made for someone very tall and thin. You've never seen fabric like this before" and six Razordisks: "A disk with a razor-edge, made for throwing. It doesn't look like any human-made blade you've vere seen."

 

What do you think, am I reading too much into it? :D

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While Jeff does put in pop culture references, that is definitely a Vahnatai corpse to help tie into the rest of the series.

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I still need to learn about Vahnahtai in game, so far I hadn't run across any references about them except this corpse, I look forward to seeing who they are.

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You won't find any more in Avernum 1, but Avernum 2 is significantly about them and from then on they're series regulars.

 

—Alorael, who is almost certain that the reference there didn't exist way back in Exile 1, as the idea of the vahnatai and sequels wasn't there yet.

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Haven’t played Avernum, but in Exile: EftP there are 2 vahnatai dungeons (which reappeared in Exile 2) and a reference to them in the hint books.  Since I’m assuming E2 took more than a year to complete, I think Jeff was well aware of the sequels while designing E1.

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5 minutes ago, Xiarrel-Te said:

Haven’t played Avernum, but in Exile: EftP there are 2 vahnatai dungeons (which reappeared in Exile 2) and a reference to them in the hint books.  Since I’m assuming E2 took more than a year to complete, I think Jeff was well aware of the sequels while designing E1.

 

Was that the original Exile: Escape from the Pit or the version with the updated graphics?

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If someone who has played the original happens to read this, maybe they can enlighten us on the existence of the Vahnatai references.

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There were actually two explicit Vahnatai references in Exile I (all versions, AFAIK):

 

1. The "Dark Cavern" dungeon (near Sss-Thsss) has Brethis, a shade, hidden in a secret passage.  He introduces himself as a member of the Vahnatai race.  (Brethis further identifies the undead in that dungeon as consisting of many debauched Vahnatai.)

 

2. There is a small dungeon in the Abyss (the same, IIRC, which connects Fort Haledon and Ornotha Ziggurat in E2) which contains a giant, impassable magic barrier along with the self-translating message: "HERE IS THE GRAVE AND HIDING PLACE OF THE VAHNATAI RACE - ONE DAY WE MAY RETURN TO RECLAIM OUR HOME WITH LOVE. UNTIL THEN WE SLEEP."

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Gotta like the Predator idea though. Alien Beast vs. Predator, anybody?

 

I love all the foreshadowing in Avernum. Huge bonus to atmosphere. Of course, referencing the past also. It works both ways.

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Having recently replayed the original game, I can attest that not only are the above clearly spoken two, there's also the barrier cave and the crypt of drath as inferred I think. On completion of the game, it also outright states that the Vahnatai will be explored in a follow up but I haven't seen the original-original games; when when I was a kid, I saw them in their post-Exile 3 iterations. Out of curiosity, is there anywhere the earlier versions can be found? I'm very curious to see their original forms.

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16 hours ago, Samael101 said:

Out of curiosity, is there anywhere the earlier versions can be found? I'm very curious to see their original forms.

 

You can find links to the original versions of Exile I and II here:

 

Mac: http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/8259-old-versions-of-exile-exile-ii/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-278123
Windows: http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/8259-old-versions-of-exile-exile-ii/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-294941

 

Everything with version number 1 (that is, 1.[something]) has the original graphics. I recommend going for the latest version 1 in both cases; these are closest to the Exile experience you will remember from version 2. The very early versions of Exile I had no AP system; each party member and each enemy had only one move per turn! You’ll also be able to listen to the inbuilt music, which wasn’t present either in the very early versions, or in version 2.

 

These links are for the demo versions. However, since Spiderweb has released the games for free, you can email support@spiderwebsoftware.com and ask for registration codes for the games for no charge. Be aware that the registration system for Exile I version 1 is different from all subsequent Spiderweb games, so make sure to be clear that you’re asking for a code for an early version of that game.

 

Because these games herald from the middle of the 1990s, you’ll probably need to use an emulator to run them. Something like DOSBox should work for the Windows versions, and Sheepshaver or Basilisk (an appropriate name!) should work for the Mac versions. I can testify that Sheepshaver emulates the Mac versions of Exile beautifully.

 

On the subject of the vahnatai, I think it’s implied that most of the old structures you see in Exile that aren’t built by the sliths are built by the vahnatai. After all, the nation of Exile is still quite young by the time of Exile I. There are a number of references to odd writing and spindly humanoids, especially in the areas around the barrier tunnel (just ‘Cave’ in Exile I) and the Crypt of Drath, as Samael101 mentioned. Don't forget the alien blade, too! Interestingly, Exile II adds a few more references in the main body of the caves, including an obelisk in the Great Cave itself, implying that the vahnatai had quite an expansive empire in the caves that we know from the games. However, the only explicit references are those that Slarty pointed out above.

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Oh, thank you! And no worries on getting them running; my partner set up a windows 3.1 computer recently and we've been playing through the trilogy's final releases on it. I came in with Exile 3 as a kid - but they remember the original versions and I've been hoping to source them ever since.

 

On topic though, I believe the origins of the restorative crystals, the emerald of Fort Emerald (I think this was confirmed in the latest remake of 2) and possibly the piercing crystals also have vahnatai origin. I know its a longstanding debate as to whether the Avernites invented the glowing mushrooms or the glowing lichen (Erika sure takes credit for a lot of things) but everything beyond the animals and the vahnatai seem external to Avernum itself - the humans, the nephil and even the slith. I am curious about the demons though - did they always call the caves home? I don't remember if we ever get much information on them.

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There are various implications throughout the series that demons come from another dimension reachable through summoning magic or portals (although actually going through a portal to their realm would be a pretty bad idea). It'd be reasonable to speculate that many if not most of the demons in Avernum were probably summoned by the sliths under Sss-Thsss and his predecessors.

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There are definitely implications of extradimensionality, but it is quite clear that demons (including haakai) were in Avernum before the First Expedition.  Sss-Thoss and Sss-Thsss didn't have any humans to fight until then, so while I guess they could have done a bunch of summoning, I'm not sure it seems more likely than "these caves are deep and hot and have lava and are just a place demons like to hang out."  There are also demons on the surface, demons in the Vahnatai caves, demons Motrax fought, the Shareware Demon... demons just sort of seem like a fact of life.

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