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waterstrider's Achievements

Tenderfoot Thahd

Tenderfoot Thahd (2/17)

  1. I totally forgot about the razordisks. The only connection to Asian culture that I had been able to remember is that Crystal Souls are sort of like if Asian-style ancestor worship actually worked (now I'm seeing a resemblance between the Shrine of Crystals and all the spritis arguing with each other in Mulan's family shrine...). Also I sort of remember a description that they sit at low tables but I could be misremembering that. These were not exactly striking coincidences, which is why I didn't bother mentioning them in OP. But really I think Edgwyn is right that Jeff was drawing on a very large variety of sources to create a feeling of foreign-ness and contrast to the medieval fantasy setting. I guess I mainly just think it's interesting how many Avernites are interested in studying and imitating the Vahnatai. It's not something you see in, for example, Lord of the Rings: nobody's trying to dress in Elvish styles, or reverse-engineer lembas-bread. I have to admit, that's probably just because magic in the Avernum setting is much more scientific than in Lord of the Rings. But it's also interesting that the original game was written at a time when Americans were very open to learning lessons from a very foreign culture, namely Japan. (unlike today when American anxiety about China expresses itself with dismissal and condemnation, and it doesn't occur to them they might have something to learn)
  2. Playing Avernum 2, one thing I notice is that the moment you contact the Vahnatai, a horde of Vahnatai weebs appear. Patrick and the Totem Tunnel dervish redecorate in Vahnatai style, and they're not the only ones I think. And there's two quests bringing people Vahnatai cloaks. And, maybe I'm just making insane connections, but the Exile games are from the 90s. And in the 80s, Japan became established in the American imagination as an exotic place with superior technology. People were interested at the time in understanding how they were able to achieve what they did in the automobile and electronics industries. And the Vahnatai are also from an exotic place with superior magic. Do you think there's anything to this resemblance, intentional or not? I mean there are more obvious influences on the Vahnatai: they're like elves, but also greys. Anyway, just something that occurred to me.
  3. Wondering if Elemental Focus helps Divine Retribution.
  4. Yeah, they're not supposed to be easy, but I wish the difficulty was ordinary combat, rather than gaming the mechanisms for the conversion from "friendly townsfolk" to hostiles. In any case, those ideas sound better than what I was doing, thanks.
  5. I played Exile as a little kid, and the huge variety of spells was just fun. Now it's 20 years later and I guess I'm more practical, since I like having a smaller selection of spells that are actually useful. I do have a complaint about the named bosses though. Which is that some of them, you can't attack them until you've talked to them. Like, in Avernum 2, the bandit leader under Fort Draco. I want to line up three characters outside her door, so the bandits in the room have to fight me one at a time. But if I do that, they won't move, and I can't hit them with ranged weapons. I have to forget everything I know about tactics, walk in and introduce myself, and instantly be surrounded by enemies. It was the same with the Faang clan chief. Very annoying to have to throw away tactics precisely in the hardest battles. Unless there's some way to activate the event at a distance?
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