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Of Good and Evil

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This has always been one of my favorite BoE scenarios. While it may not be as technically advanced as some of Alcritas' later efforts, it still has a good storyline with the plot fork well worked in (by far the best 'plot fork' scenario in BoE in my opinion), and has lots of things to discover and do. I would definitely put it on the top ten, as with many of Alcritas' other scenarios. Out of all the BOE scenarios, this scenario has my favorite storyline.


I rate this scenario Best.


And soon I hope to release it for BoA (and maybe someday it will be a major motion picture.... Okay, wishful thinking....)

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  • 2 weeks later...





Well, the plot of this scenario is definitely good. Much like Falling Stars, there are many hidden areas. Combat is... ...well, it wasn't all that great. Nodework was decent enough to carry the scenario. Graphics used were fairly decent, albeit Alcritas' messing up the entry dialog pic in the first town. I'd type more, but I'm bored.



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I too preferred it to Redemption


Nice, smooth branching. One of the few 'branch' scenarios where the paths are equally fun to play. Most solid, consistent writing in any of Alcritas' scenarios yet.

Other than OaStA, this is the only one in the Arc where you don't have to read an eighteen-paragraph history (which you are then expected to remember all of) at the beginning! Also, Alcritas is particularly good at evoking rather than telling. His gift shows here.



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Being not a scenario designer, I still can see that there's much work put in this scenario and it's done professionally. Maybe one of the best things I noticed is that the player is being put into a dynamic, quickly-changing situations, when he must react fast and make decisions fast. This is definitely not a scenario where player can spend as much time as he wants to just look around, or to spend time to build experience before he choses to continue with the main plotline. But the plotline itself demands innovative thinking (especially some of the traps, which are quite original.)


I really enjoy "war" based plots, and this scenario indeed gives me a sense of war and conflict; the events and places are perfectly situated to achieve this. What I basically seek in a scenario, is something to be able to make me "be inside it", enter into a unique world. "Of Good and Evil" manages this.


Plotline: There are two "branches" the player can chose; I played only one of them, since I don't use to play the other "choice" just to see how it goes if I don't agree with the way I should chose. I still can't comprehend, however, to what degree there is actually a real, independant choice. It seems that in the end the "creator's voice" on the background states his own opinion, kinda "if you had chosen otherwise, it would have been more benefical". But I am satistifed with the ending of the branch I chose.


The choice itself is also very interesting - honor vs morality (or humanity). It made me think a lot. But as I notice that in previous reviews the plot is not being discussed, I'll abstain.



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Of Good and Evil is mostly good.


This was a good, fast paced scenario with some very tough combat in a few places. An especially exciting escape from the doomed Godan Fortress was a highlight for me. Unfortunately, it was marred by a few things that bothered me.


City design does not seem to be Alcritas' forte as almost every "city" was just a small collection of buildings. As I entered each one, I was greeted by a message that usually contained the phrase "barely a city at all" or something similar. The central city of Genmar contained little more than a tavern, barracks and a couple shops. There were also quite a few spelling errors and typos throughout the scenario. These are minor complaints I realize, but my biggest has to do with the plot.


Would the Faeries really launch a war over the fact that one of their own was sacrificed to keep the peace? A task that she herself agreed to do? If the dryad woman had been forced, I might understand this, but as this wasn't the case, I thought it wasn't realistic. I also hit a major bug as I escaped from the Temple during the Phoenix battle to rest up, only to return later to find the Phoenix gone and the scenario unwinnable. I was told to destroy the altar and then run, so I did!


I'd have to say that I REALLY enjoyed the first half, but was disappointed with the second. I enjoyed many of the characters, especially Protagorus, the jealous mage who was never content to be the SECOND best.


I think most people will enjoy this one. I give it a rating of Good

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OG&E left me uninspired. Not the masterpiece it is often made out to be - by Alcritas's standards, anyway; it represents little substantial improvement in atmospheric terms from his previous efforts, but thankfully his later works improve and build upon it.


It is a stepping stone to the present from the past. An important scenario. A decent scenario. But not as damn fine of one as Alcritas has become known for.



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Well, I hadn’t played a scenario for quite a while and when I heard about this one I had my doubts. Many scenarios try to interest you by giving you a save the world and make money quest and leave you standing there gaping and wondering what to do next when you don’t even know or care why you should.


When I started up GaE, I was afraid I had stumbled upon yet another of these linear, pull-off-a-shelf scenarios. But I soon learned I was greatly mistaken. I noticed several things at once: I wasn’t doing missions to make money, but to continue my very survival. I wasn’t playing the role of a mercenary. Most importantly I found that I was having fun. Many scenarios can interest me but very few actually have fun while playing it.


As I traveled inwards the plot started to grow on me, and things began to make more sense. And, though the plot is nothing we haven’t seen before, it was presented in a very interesting, well written way. The author even threw in a few twists and surprises to keep the suspense up.


As for more technical details, the spelling and grammar were excellent; I found no mistakes along those lines. The custom graphics were similarly good, they complemented the scenario very well. GaE also has several choices which influence the outcome of the scenario, thus providing excellent replay value. The scenario very-hard rating stems mostly from the fact that it contains an extremely hard dragon to fight near the end. I managed to win the other fights fairly easily with a LV15 party.


In conclusion I must say I enjoyed playing this scenario very much. There is a few places where the story weakened slightly but, other than small blurbs, this is an excellent, well-made scenario that almost everyone should enjoy. I give it a solid Good

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Of Good And Evil is by Ian Klinkhamer, and is certainly one of the best scenarios around. Also, be warned, this review contains major spoilers.


I’ll start with the problems I experienced. For one thing, the gems needed to get Kothas-Onar are waaaaay too difficult to find — to the point of absurdity even. Bugs were few and far between; those that I did find were minor enough to ignore (i.e., the Hill Fort terrain was actually “Hills w. Special”). Finally, the last problem, those evil Hobgoblins. I can’t even begin to express my hate for those little critters. I will point out that scenarios are meant to be fun, and designers too often overstep the borders of Fun and accidentally stumble into the Annoying zone. With the Hobgoblins, Of Good And Evil manages to annoy the player a lot, or at least they did to me. Ian should at least have provided a way to get rid of them, and if he has it’s too difficult to find.


Now on to the good points. The town-appearing-with-time trick was a good one; remember those brigands on the bridge? They weren’t triggered by anything but a timer. The renowned Karma Flag which I never actually managed to notice in my three or four times of playing through Of Good And Evil is a good idea, even if it does fly by unnoticed.


Possibly the thing I liked most about Of Good And Evil was the “The End Justifies The Means” part of the scenario. On the other hand from that is the Gods. In the Grand Temple, several priests say that you should do as your heart tells you, for that is the way of the gods, or words to that effect. I think this may have been a subtle nudging about your decision towards the sacrifice of Ithikotita by the priests. If you accept the orders, then the sacrifices continue, Genmar’s best are lost, and in addition many more men die fighting the faeries, but the Vale survives, and so do so many thousands of others. If you refuse the orders, then you save about thirty of Genmar’s best, but the Vale falls and thousands upon thousands die. A most definitely tough decision — and on your head be it. In addition to all that, of course, is the fact that if you refuse the orders, you know that what you are doing is right. And in the end of the scenario, if you accept the orders, you feel somewhat like a pawn in a game of chess — used, small and insignificant. Either that or you think, “The bastards!”


Beyond that, the scenario has many, many other things in its favour. The “2-in-1 scenario” is handled very well by Alcritas, although I can see it being one of the easier things to master in scenario designing, if you also know how to use variable town entry. Special nodes, also, are well-executed and used. Dialogue is well-written and clear; particularly the battle against Varnoth and the escape from his lair; that was very well done and a good tactical challenge (the escape from his lair, that is). The battle against Varnoth himself is just a very nasty tactical challenge, especially without antimagic cloud. Ouch!


Of Good And Evil’s plot, if somewhat... overused, is well-presented, and, of course, has a very good scenario to back it up! I have to say, I never thought that the plot in Of Good And Evil was a failing; everything else was so good that I never actually noticed. And of course! The plot twists — the torching of Genmar/Evergreen or Molidax being attacked by the Phoenix — were absolutely brilliant. If a scenario’s plot does what you expect it to do too often, then it suffers (from a somewhat under-the-weather review by me).


NPC dialogue is interesting in one way — Alcritas makes an effort in that regard. Every friendly NPC I met spoke, even if it was just a Townsperson saying “Do I know you?” and other comments to that effect. Other, more important, NPCs talk quite a bit, but not quite as much as you’d like. Another point in favour is the fact that I never once encountered the too-much-dialogue problem on my Mac. Joy!


Of Good And Evil didn’t have much of an atmosphere, except at key points, such as the battle against Varnoth and subsequent escape from his lair. The atmosphere in the escape from Varnoth’s lair, even if not intentional, was there, and it was a very good one. Especially the hydra place. I had a very clear image in my head of what was happening and what it was like; at points, my thoughts were along the lines of, “Oh hell, a hydra is about to find me! It’s coming, I’ve run out of spell points and I’ve only got 50 hit points...”


Finally, it was a very well-named scenario. It sure grabbed me. And so, all of the above points considered, I give Of Good And Evil a score of Best. Of Good And Evil is for High level parties and is rated PG-13.

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I really don't see what so many people find so great about this scenario, but that could partly be just because I didn't like the town design, or all the many times where I had to re-explore them. Granted, he did some cool things, but it didn't really stand out.


Town design in particular REALLY annoyed me. I like towns with clearly defined borders, not all this go-around-through-trees, accidentally-exit-town-seventeen-times-and-still-not-find-the-wretched-wizard type things.


The story was okay, and there weren't too many significant bugs, but overall, I found it to be nothing spectacular and extremely forgettable.



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  • 4 months later...

Man, what a depressing scenario! It doesn't matter whose side you take, because Genmar loses out in the end. The philosophy of this scenario focuses on the foresight of choice and consequences; "Would it have been better if I picked the other choice?". Myself, I ask whether it was worth selling your soul to a devilish Dragon whose being has corrupted most of the Sliths that worship him.


Combat is pretty boring though and there's too much of it (I guess this is because BoE's combat system has aged horribly) and the towns aren't pretty impressive. I still recommend this to those who like Alcritas's works.



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