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Author: Lazarus

Difficulty: Custom

Version: 1.0.2



Composite Score: 4.3/5.0


Best: 38.46% (5/13)

Good: 53.85% (7/13)

Average: 7.69% (1/13)

Substandard: 0.00% (0/13)

Poor: 0.00% (0/13)






Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium
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By far the best scenario made for Blades of Avernum. It had a reasonably interesting story which got scarier as the scenario went along, and great combat challenges. The graphics were very good, and unlike other scenarios with cool graphics, they really added something to the atmosphere of the scenario.


The scenario is about a soldier on a mission to hunt down a beast, simple, but creepy. While the premise stays the same throughout the scenario, unexpected things happen adding a layer of depth to it. I almost could feel like I was in the scenario.


My only real complaint is that the Beast itself came off as disappointing. Not showing the Beast throughout most of the scenario, and it only making a few appearances made it much more scary. If the fight was handled a similar way, it would be great.


That said, this is a great scenario. It won the Second 1/10 Contest and the 9th Contest, being the first scenario made for a themed contest to win an annual contest. Both wins were well deserved.


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

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(ported from SV)


Good lord... this was such a disappointment. Let me break this down. The first time I played, I was turned off by the difficulty and gave up at the last banshee fight. Then, a few days ago, I picked it up again and decided I'd give it another go. I made it a ways into the game, even clearing the banshee fight that took me out of it last time. I was loving it, from the characters to the innovative combat to the story to the terraining. BUT... little did I know it was all downhill from there (ironic since I had to keep climbing). It just... kept... going, and I eventually gave up and read the ending in the scripts, 'cause I just couldn't do it anymore. So now, I'm just going to break down the pluses and minuses.




-Too many needless story detours. Why make me search every cupboard in the basement of Amon Sul until I get to the very last one of them? Note: This is after I lost patience with the playthrough, so I never actually got to the Cryoprev myself.

-The Abomination things were an interesting touch, but at that point I'd had more than enough of the combat... too many of them for a building that'd been abandoned so long ago.

-I lost track of the times that one of my fellows would die, only to be magically revived at the next story-necessitated point. I'm looking specifically at the 'surrounded by a completely unreasonable number of wargback goblins' segment, where everyone except myself and Fabian bit the dust, only to reappear seconds later as if everything was okay. As if they hadn't just died.

-On that note, the bit with running away from the warg-riders was a little insane. It took me way too many tries to figure out what it wanted from me, and then a bunch more to actually kill the riders in the seemingly-random number of turns necessary.

-This has come up in a lot of reviews, but I ran out of potions many many times. I managed to scrape by until I hit the hobgoblins, which was a whole other story altogether.

-Similarly, it's very easy to be misled by the potion system. I know that on my first time through, I made a lot of poultices, which suck. A lot. Then you end up losing out on the rejuvenation potions, which are the only really useful healing in the game (First Aid? Really?).

-The only potions I ever really used were rejuvenation, anti-magic, choking dust, and frost grenades. The rest weren't worth making (and I mostly wound up giving myself the potions via editor).

-Why can't I throw an anti-magic potion? That would've been kinda nice in the banshee section.

-The hobgoblin portion was enjoyable, but I could've used another torch or two... this was also where I wish I could've warmed myself by one of the fires they had. Oh, and I felt awful making Orrin do all the fighting... couldn't he have had a spare dagger or something? Punching goblins is fun once, but painful after the twentieth time.

-Cryoprev as a plot device was lame. At the end, I realized I'd seen it somewhere before, but didn't care enough to look for it. Can't believe Erasmus never thought it prudent to mention any of it.

-The ending... well, first I couldn't get to it. Second, when I looked for it, I was disappointed. I mean, once you kill off all the characters, I realize there's not really anywhere else to go, but still. Ouch, man... is that the best you've got?

-By the time I was crawling through the basement of Amon Sul, I was starting to really worry about my hypothermia, but I never really seemed to get to the point of death... and I feel like I should've.






+Some of the potions were a lot of fun. Looking at you, Choking Dust! Seriously, awesome.

+Punching hobgoblins was fun at first, and that section was actually pretty fun. See above for the annoyances.

+Terrain was pretty awesome, and Amon Sul (topside only) in particular stands out.

+Characters were excellent all-around, highly developed, and easily sympathized with.

+The story was almost perfectly-executed (right about up until Amon Sul). I really did care about how the story turned out.

+Anything that uses those potion graphics from Luz is fine by me.

+The pre-fab element was well-balanced in my trial. Again, this was less apparent as the scenario dragged on.

+Before the combat got impossible, the majority of the fights were excellent.

+I did care about the hypothermia thing, which is good... it didn't feel like I could just run around in the snow naked and not care.

+Deep snow segments were excellent, except for not being able to see my allies' health bars, but there's not much of a way around that.

+Technically speaking, it was excellent. Not exactly ground-breakingly innovative, but solidly impressive all around.



...okay, that's all I can think of. But I'm highly disappointed in how this crashed to earth, considering I was thinking it merited a 9. Mind you, it's not terrible, but it could've been so much better. Now, I'm just growing increasingly bitter about my contest losses, because I honestly think Shades of Gray was better than this. In the end, a resounding 'meh' from me.


Rating: [rating]Good[/rating]

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  • 4 weeks later...

For the record, I loved Frostbite when I first played it, but I have not played it a second time. Maybe that says something about the scenario. Anyways...


The intro alone had me captivated: This is going to be good. I am always glad when I am right. Be it the snow or the use of height but there's just something hauntingly beautiful about the scenery which Frostbite provides. I can't really say that I went "meh" at all. Even the goblin caves were interesting.


Be warned that Frostbite forces the player to use a singleton. If the scenario is entered with a party that has more than one character, the rest are erased. The player should also use the "Prefabricate party" special ability so that the combat is rightly balanced. Although I must confess that I did not use that ability. Ahem.


Speaking of the combat: Yes, it is hard. Like in Dilecia I chose to quit playing for close to a week on several places because I was frustrated about the combat. But there's nothing more rewarding than FINALLY beating a battle after the umpteenth attempt. If there's one thing that truly bugged me about the combat is that at the beginning the fights consist mostly of, what I like to call, "Now-the-enemies-are-suddenly-all-around-you" - fights. There is really no way to be prepared other than loading a previous save game and trying again, this time knowing when the enemy will appear. In the final fight against the banshees Lazarus felt that it was necessary to point out that I was surrounded by the baddies, but seriously: when wasn't I surrounded?


That final banshee fight taught me one thing: the new alchemy system is my friend. While some potions are indeed quite useless, the rest can be real life savers in certain situations. The scarceness of some of the ingredients makes it important to figure out what potions are most useful. Overall the alchemy was very fun!


Even though combat is a prominent part of Frostbite, I still consider it a story-first scenario. The premise is that the player is a part of a group of soldiers/volunteers who are hunting a mythical beast on the frozen mountains. What makes Frostbite enjoyable for me is that it's a survival story. Right on the starting line the beast kills a couple of the group members, in fact the player never even sees them. After that scene I was a little concerned: will Lazarus kill enough party members to satisfy my need of slaughter?


But slaughtering characters is boring if they're soulless, 1-dimensional dummies. Fortunately every NPC has a personality and some back story. I was actually hoping for the deaths of some while wishing others would survive. While some plot twists were unexpected and entertaining (the wake up after using Cryoprev comes to mind.), the fates of some characters was predictable.



Sir Rowly's fate was obvious and when I first talked to Minsc... I mean Orrin I knew he was going to go one on one with the beast at one point or another.


While Lazarus does reveal the origin of the Beast and it is satisfying, the Beast still remains the weakest character.


I was going to complain about the hypothermia/fatigue system but it works reasonably well. I'll finish by saying who should NOT play Frostbite. If you absolutely hate it when you have to try a fight more than two times, you should not download Frostbite. If dying is not a problem then I wholeheartedly recommend this scenario.


Rating: [rating]BEST[/rating]

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  • 4 months later...

I loved this scenario, and it's definitely head-and-shoulders above the rest of the 2nd 1/10 entries, and firmly places Lazarus as one of the big players in BoA design.


The best idea in FB, in my opinion, was the hypothermia thing. This had lots of potential, and while it wasn't perfectly executed in FB (I mean, I didn't actually care about getting hypothermia since the health losses weren't too disastrous - in future, could designers please make it EASIER to die?!), it definitely gets brownie points.


The character development was great too - you really felt as if you were part of a close-knit group, which just added to the atmosphere, and helped drive the plot onwards.


The scenario, though, is let down by the ending. It just seemed a bit of a let down when I managed to bring the Beast down with a few frost grenades and some choking dust, and although the last move the player makes was very good, and well done, I just felt as though it wouldn't be something I'd do... The Beast was a weak character, and the twist seemed too cheap.


Combat seemed fair - the banshees were maybe a little too hard, and the disrupters a shade too easy (especially by the time you get to them), but I had no real problems really.


Score: [rating]GOOD[/rating]

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  • 3 weeks later...

(Ported from SV)


This scenario isn't for everyone. If you like an actual challenge, then you'll like this scenario. If you prefer to be able to rest everytime you take damage, then you'll hate this scenario.


You can lose in this scenario, which is enough to drive most of the rabble away. Once you run out of potions and health, it's game over. It forces stingy players to actually use potions, and teaches wasteful players how to conserve their items. It also makes the scenario much more enjoyable.


The combat in this scenario is frustrating, but appropriately so. As the scenario progresses, the monsters get weaker, but the conditions become harsher. You start cursing yourself for wasting those alchemical ingredients on useless potions (like the fire drought).


The custom alchemy is fun and almost balanced. Fire draughts are useless as they waste precious ingredients and hypothermia isn't that bad (I only found a use for the fire draught maybe once). Some potions, like Frost Grenades, though useful, aren't worth the cost. Due to the lack of ingredients, the first healing potion isn't worth the cost either. Dispel magic is a lifesaver verse the undead (if you're smart, one potion kills them all at once.)


This scenario has a driving plot and well planned characters. The only problem here is that some cutscenes feel like they're ripped off from Predator.


This scenario is extremely difficult, but that's the reason it's fun. It makes good use of the BoA engine, and shows that the game can actually be difficult.



- You can lose in this scenario!!!

- It's short enough for many playthroughs

- Driving plot

- Good character development

- Interesting combat based on conditions versus powerful monsters

- Custom alchemy



- Useless potion (Fire Draught)

- You become way too cold, way too fast.

- Hypothermia and exhaustion aren't crippling enough.

- Some ingredients are too rare

- Plot sometimes felt like the movie Predator



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  • 5 months later...

(Partially ported from SV)


Frostbite is my favorite BoA scenario. I definitely suggest playing this if you haven't already.


Rating: [rating]Best[/rating]



Combat - Average: The combat is extremely challenging. Normally that would be a negative, but the challenge come from using proper tactics and taking advantage of all resources. Nonetheless, the fight with the banshees is too difficult, so play the scenario on easy. It's still fun though.


Design - Best: The goblin caves and the ruins are very well designed. The outdoors are convincing and make use of the snow graphics set well. It's eye candy the whole way through.


Story - Best: Superb. This scenario plays like a best-selling novel. This is probably the only scenario I've played in which I felt a high level of suspense, and one of the few to get me completely engrossed in the story. I <3 the ending. The survival aspect of the scenario is extremely apparent.


Technical/Balance - Best: I haven't looked at the script, but there must be a ton of SDFs, not to mention the numerous cutscenes and other effects. The story is different depending upon the deaths/lives of each character. There are a myriad little things which I found impressive, such as the NPCs sinking through the snow.


The scenario has its own alchemy system. There aren't many herbs for it, so you have to conserve and use wisely, but that ties in with the survival aspect. Every resource must be taken advantage of, but there's enough to make the scenario playable. The pre-fab character works well.


Replay Value - Best: Terrific. Next time I play I'll probably try it on a higher difficulty level to further feel the survival aspect. I will certainly play this again.


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  • 11 months later...

From Nioca on the CSR:



This is the first scenario I've played which uses a prefabricated party, and I have to say I'm impressed. It had a very interesting story, and provided an interesting experience, actually integrating me into part of the expedition. The story was seamless, all the way up to Cryoprev. Then, for some reason, the story just started bottoming out. It just seemed a bit like overkill. I'm also torn on whether I love or hate the ending; it seemed fitting, but it makes me wish there was a better resolution to it.


The combat was... ow. Seriously, while good, the combat was EXTREMELY difficult, even on easy. I constantly found myself resorting to the character editor just to survive. Fighting on anything greater than normal would likely lead to great frustration, aggravation, and frequent reloading. The Hypothermia/Exhaustion meter was interesting, but also highly irritating as well. I spent most of the scenario in a state of Advanced Hypothermia, according to it. What does that mean? Well, it means you're taking cold damage on a very frequent basis. It adds to the realism but, in my opinion, detracts from the gameplay. The custom potions were interesting, and most of them found use at one point or another. However, the final boss fight was very disappointing. I was able to kill the ever-touted 'super deadly' Beast of the Rim without it ever getting a single blow in.


Graphically, this scenario was amazing. It didn't use a bunch of technical flash, but it still looked very polished. The dialogue was also decent and interesting, though it possessed several typos along the way. The expeditions journey from confidence to despair was definitely an interesting technique.


Overall, it was fun, it was frustrating, it was intriguing.



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From the Lurker on the CSR:


This is a linear scenario with a pretty good plot that borders on tragedy. It also has a pre-fab party. The alchemy system, while potentially very good, is utterly crippled by terrible combat balance and combats with randomized outcomes. And that's all you need to know.


No, wait. Maybe you need to know a bit more. You play as a man who is part of a group of, shall we say, adventurers/soldiers, who are sent on a mission to kill a super deadly beast that's killing people in the mountains of Aizo. Actually it's a bit more complicated, but you get the idea. Of course, as Nioca said, it's pretty cold out there, and so the scenario has a fatigue/body temperature system. Hey, neat idea. Lazarus also made an alchemy feature like that of Areni, with recipes and ingredients. Yay.


... The problem is, Frostbite feels rushed and extremely unbalanced. While both Areni and Nebulous Times Hence suffer a bit from the "these potions/runes could have been more useful" syndrome, Frostbite suffers a lot from it. First aid? Almost useless. Fire Draught? A waste of ingredients. Frost grenades? Don't do nearly enough damage to be of any real use. Dispel magic? Most likely a waste of ingredients as well, and it doesn't even prevent Goblin shamans from using their spells. Strength potions? Bah. Both strength and speed potions require Frost Shrooms, and given how rare Frost Shrooms are, speed potions virtualy make strength potions useless.


Combat is bad. The scenario starts out extremely easy (wolves) and quickly becomes much harder (banshees) to the point of becoming incredibly hard (timed fights with some Warg riders), and then it becomes pretty dull (disruptors, The Beast). Fights are *way* too randomized. Luck (as in "blind luck", not as in "Luck points") plays way too important a part in the scenario. Way too many reloads are required, and you'll find that fighting in town mode can help in quite a few fights (wolves, disruptors, goblins and sometimes banshees). Fights felt way too repetitive most of the time. If Frosbite's combat required some *real* tactics, such as in Roots, it could have been more interesting. As it is, though :


-too repetitive.

-too short to make good use of all those potions.

-too unbalanced.

-too many random elements in fights.


And that pretty much sums it up. The gameplay has quite a bit of potential, but not much more. While it was fun at times, it could and should have been better. Maybe the BoA engine just isn't as good as the BoE engine for this kind of scenario, maybe it needed more testing, maybe both. Still, it's worth playing, and if you find the combat to be as disappointing as I did, you can always cheat and enjoy the plot (EDIT : though I did finish it without cheating, being the stubborn masochist that I am).



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From Pinchy the Crab on the CSR:


The problem with this scenario is that its frustrating at best, and f-bomb dropping difficult at worst. A scenario can be really hard and fun at the same time, but this one just came off as annoying. I didnt have too hard a time with this with a party at the lower end of the recommended level, but it was nerve wracking.


A shame smirk.gif



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From Arachnid on the CSR:


I really liked this scenario. Lots of dialogue between the various expedition members; I love this. It moved at a good pace all the way through and the snow terrain was a nice change of scenery.


My biggest complaint is that you got cold too quickly. Either Fire Draught should be more effective or it should take longer to get hypothermia. Other than that, I would shuffle the combat difficulty a little; the banshees were the hardest part while the Disruptors were just irritating.



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From VCH on the CSR:


I really enjoyed this scenario. I liked how I was basically taken through a story from beginning to end. It's a refreshing change from just killing random monsters. I am a fan of Northern settings already so this scenario was especially enjoyable.


Excellent, Excellent dialogue and text! There are many typos that should be removed some time in the future. I also found that very long dialogue boxes tended to extended below my visible screen, so that I couldn't read the complete text. Maybe it was just my system. The combat was good. The banshees are too hard if you don't think to make a dispel magic potion. I didn't like how I was always sent off alone to clear the way. Why can't my companions help. I mean why should one soldier be killing everything. "Help me people"!


There could be more potion ingredients scattered around. I was running low by endgame. But overall I loved the atmosphere of this scenario. The hypothermia stuff was just annoying. Every time I took cold damage all I thought was "well what can I do about it?", there's no place to rest and nothing to warm up with. I liked the story book element of the scenario the driving plot and the extensive involvement of the party members in the story. It really did seem like I was on an expedition. The scenario actually made me feel something. At the beginning I was confident that the group should just continue on and kill the beast. But by the goblin prison cells I felt it was all hopeless and the whole thing should be abandoned. The ending was also well done. Jump or live. Overall I really liked this one. A+



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From Jewels on SV:


I loved it. By the end of the scenario, I was so in touch with the characters that I was really upset they all died(even though the story said they would from the beginning). The technicality was great, beautiful cutscenes and graphics.



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From Ackrovan on SV:



Ackrovan's review of Frostbite


I was reading the begining of the intro text, and I was getting incredibly excited. Being stuck in the mountains Aizo(a nice change of pace) with nothing but you and your fellow adventures being given vague orders to hunt down a "Strange Beast" really set the mood for a real adventure. When I found out I was to be forced to use a predesigned singleton, however, my heart faded.


When ever I play a scenario that forces me to play a certain type of character, I get seriously annoyed. I feel that after all my hard work and detection to molding my beloved characters, giving them personalities and a history, only to be taken away and be given anything the designer wants. While I regonize and understand the need for some sort of control of what a player has, it seriously cuts down on the fun factor, which is the first and foremost the designer should concentrate on. So for me, it took away from the fun. Now about the singleton. When I try to make a party, I like to have options on how I want to mold and groom my party into something to my tasting. Like forced parties, singletons do not allow for that. I found I have a very narrow choice of playing styles, which is bad. I'm forced to stupefy my way of playing to meet the way the game "should" play. Which is bad. And yes, I am aware I can play with my own singleton, but the way I build my parties is so everyone is useful. No one person can stand on their own. So I was literally forced to use the pre created character.


Now back to the scenario itself; immediately after the plot really started to kick off and your friends started dying, things got very interesting. I was soon intertwined into the plot, which kept the suspense and the drama very, very strong. I was also very glad to see that each of your fellow adventures had their own stories and personalities. This made me wish certain characters would die and other characters would survive. If you have the skills to do that, then you can put a gay smile on your face and start to sing lull-a-byes. Or you can consider it a job very well done. Either or.


The combat was a challenge. Fortunately, it wasn't impossible and left me very satisfied after each trip to hell was completed. While this does scare off otherwise less skilled players, I found it a happy change of pace then the "Kill the goblins. I think there's a bout a 100 of them. Oh, you took some damage after killing three? Just step ouside for a minute and rest" syndrome. Otherwise known as MPAOR. The Banshee fights were a favorite part of the scenario. On the bad side, even with the potions I felt that I was given a much smaller choice of fighting style than I would of liked, because of a pre designed singleton.


Now lets move on to the potions. This was probably the hardest to properly talk about. On one hand, a terribly significant portion of the potions were, well, useless(Fire drought). I found I was forced to throw vile and inhumane insults toward the screen, which scared the neighbors. Other potions(Like Frost grenade) could of been absolutely amazing, but just didn't deliver the punch I would have wished for. What I did love about the potions, however, were the scarcity of the ingredients. It really made me think thrice about which potions to make, and if it would be my last. Which is good.


The graphics were quite pleasing. A snow scenario is one thing, but a well done snow graphic(s) is something different. In fact, your Archon orders Lazarus to plan his next ski trip. Other than that, nothing really stands out. There was also a few grammar and spelling errors. But I could honestly care less about spelling and grammar, so they didn't and never will bother me. Hell, there's probably some spelling errors in this review.


One particular thing of notice was the Hypothermia meter or whatever. This was seriously an incredible idea and only further pushed the player into an already breathtaking rush. Nice one


Finally, lets talk about the ending. Or endgame, rather. When I finally confronted the endgame boss, it felt a good deal anti-climatic. Which is a shame, compared to the hype and suspense that was building throughout the scenario. The ending itself was decent. Not really as interesting as I thought it would be, but an okay ending all on its own. However, it doesn't inspire me to try to play the game again


So all and all this was a very good scenario, good enough that I have no problems with it winning last summers Blades contest. Though focing me to play a certain style with only one character, having next to usless potions, lack of replay value, and the rather anti-climatic ending do bring its score down. However, it is immediately brought back up with a deep, original plot, very well thought out characters, nice graphics, and okay combat. And, oh yes, I this scenario did make me want to watch Predator.


*Note to the Player- If you want to be able to be completely unchallenged and suffer from MPAOR, you will not want to play this scenario. If you also want to be able to play a scenario without using some pre designed stuff, and having to deal with being forced to play a game someone elses way, then skip this one. If you do, however, want a challenge, wish for a heart stomping plot, huge dept in characters, and don't mind playing someone elses playing style, give this a try.


*Note to the Desinger- If your goal was to attract unskilled BoA players, you failed miserably. I would recomend concentraiting on player compatability, and to give the player a little more playing style. Oh yeah, Methinks singletons are no fun, offer no options for gameplay and combat, and should only be used for rare, special encounters. A predesigned one makes this even worse, as I was constantly being forced to play the scenario you wanted me to play, which seriously cuts down on the fun as far as PC's are concerned. Still, the plot is excellent, the graphics steller, characters awsome, and provided a good challenge for seasoned players. I must also say, that Hypothermia meter was one of the best yet simple idea I've yet to come across for BoA. *claps*


A job well done indeed. Be proud, damn you.



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