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Revenge (Creator)

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Some amazing code sequences, the explosion was one of the (if not _the_ ) coolest things I've seen done with the Blades engine. Story and plot were much better than the Creator's previous work, but still a bit linear and forced (look around, dream, look around, dream, etc . . until the end).


Still well done, enjoyable and not very long. Good


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In my top three...


...which is funny for a person who claims to adore scenarios with lots of well-designed friendly towns and happytalk NPCs. I'm hopeless at designing node sequences, so I actually think I got the most benefit out of the ones in Revenge. Reason: other designers will sit back and say 'my, that's well done, I wonder how the guy did it?' and then figure it out. I sit back and think 'my, that's well done, this guy is great!' and don't bother pontificating on the matter, but keep going through stunning sequence after sequence. I loved the change of setting. As for memorable NPCs - uh, TM, I thought the ones there were all exceptionally well done.


Possibly this was because the Creator didn't take them from a stock set. One of my biggest problems with AtG was that ALL the NPCs - right down to Zaine - were straight from the BoE cliche handbook;the stressed official, the fatigued widow, the wise old wizard. No wonder - there were hundreds of 'em in the epic. Because of the environment, obviously Creator could not do this, and the result was the exact opposite - maybe one friendly NPC in an entire outdoor section, but the one there was really unique.


Problem: humour did not work. Sorry. Having a stand-up comic rise up from a bed of decomposing carcasses is not going to make anybody laugh, however funny the comic is. Pick your mood and keep it. I personally think that the Creator could write a 'Farmhands' type scenario very well - except he'd probably have to put in a few bony hands.


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Revenge, the third scenario by Creator (discounting his two movies). If you're not up for spoilers, then don't read further (or alternatively, just read the ending paragraph). If you've already played the scenario or don't mind being spoiled, then read onward.


Revenge has fairly poor NPCs. Wait, did I say NPCs? Whoops, I forgot, there is one friendly NPC (I forgot his name). He had loved ones and they got killed, now he's angry. (He? It? Do liches even have gender? Regardless.) He wants to kill someone. His "development" consists of scenes of him doing things in his past, but His (or Her) Circumstances aren't particularilly unique, and his motives have already been beaten into the dust in the player's mind if he/she has read over ten lines of text in his/her life. The telling was hardly revolutionary, and as little as the party knows about him from Isle of Boredom, the party hardly learns anything new about him here. He's just not someone who I would waste my time on unless I was forced to (which in this case I am, thus providing ample albeit backhanded motives). There is one hostile baddie who wanders around in dreams and seems to exist for the only purpose of giving the friendly NPC a scapegoat to extract his revenge upon. The plot never brings up any interesting points, and the "tragedy" of the friendly NPC is laughable. The party should absolutely know by the end of the scenario that the friendly NPC's entire "waah I'll never get them back" was coming to him for years. The only reason I could possibly have for sympathizing with him is the Charm Foe spell the party is forced into in Kurnis.


And plus, two things- the "Dreaming" sequences are optional (checking with the editor, I noticed at least two that I missed), and whenever you aren't in the dream sequence, the narrative is dead. I meandered through the "bats" dungeon, "crypt" dungeon and others I have since forgoten (or in the case of the "bash your head against rocks in the tower ruins" dungeon, ones I have purposefully attempted to forget) with my only motivation being to finish the scenario. The absolute extraneousness of some of those dungeons made them empty even if you discount the fact that they were empty in their own right. I'd expect more from Creator when it comes to making sure that a dungeon doesn't feel barren, but sometimes you have to roll over and accept when you're wrong. Oh, wait! He does put something in them. The "Dream Nightmare" thingie that uses the same graphic as the demon lord in An Apology's rune battle. Why is it hunting you? Because it wants to eat your soul (or something to that extent, it's non-sapient and thus has no tangible motives). Why is it there? Because some Kuja mage goofed up. I would have preferred it if Creator could have at least used these places to revive the scenario's narrative, or at least not to divert the player's attention 180 degrees away from the main plot in order to pit the party against a big, blue beastie (and in a heinously difficult battle with it, its helpers). After wiping my blades clean of ethereal goop (or whatever dream-eating beasts have in lieu of ichor), I stood there for a whole minute asking myself why I was still here. The answer? More quirky little frame animations.


Combat? It was always a tactical pinch, but I just never saw Creator employing creative techniques in his battles, with the far-from-exemplary exception of the final guy, who had a magical shield, much like the Goblin Wizard from Deadly Goblins. Saying that Creator has a mastery of how to use nodes is a fair statement, saying that Creator knows how to tactically challenge the player is a fair statement, and equally valid is that Creator has at least a fair ammount of creativity when dealing with nodes. Why this ammounted to the dull and uninteresting combat seen here is beyond me. Right from the beginning, Creator shows that combat is not what this scenario is designed for. No Rune battles from An Apology here. (Although as an aside, the beginning combat did present a rather interesting way to introduce the scenario through multiple dialog nodes without shoving them in the party's face all at one time. I actually tried to see how I could copy this trick in Bandits 2, but I just couldn't see how it would be feasible. Simple, but also nice.)


What's good about this scenario? Simple. Revenge isn't 1917 to the way BoE'ers will look at designing like Doom Moon 2: Dragon's Revenge, but it does have neat bits that you will want to stick around for. There's the enchantment of Kujabane (perhaps the only pronoun I remember from the scenario other than "Kuja" itself), which was neat. Did I say neat? I meant to say it was awesome. The idea wasn't wholly foreign to me at the time and I was trying to get it down to an extent myself, but if Amazonian Saga beat Alcritas to the punch in many of its mechanisms, then Revenge beat me to the punch here. I never got to see the "Exploding Tower" scene, but after seeing it in the editor, I was already impressed. There's a portion in the crypt where the party has to use a magical barrier on a sarcophagus to hurl themselves against a wall in order to reach another crypt- nice. There's a little section at the beginning where the party "sweats blood"- Also neat. Creator found an alternative use for the Portal node. While I didn't check it for errors while in the scenario, I did find a reason why I myself would not use this technique. (Namely, the node called after the Generic Portal will be triggered even if the party choses "No". I just don't see an elegant way to deal with that, even if the way to exploit it didn't occur to me at the time.) Somewhat similar to Brett's need of water in Destiny of the Spheres, Creator makes it so that you will need the occasional rest, and that if you fall asleep or take too long to go back to your poison-free bedroom, you die. This could have been okay if the geography of Uganta wasn't so plain, boring, and difficult to navigate. I remember dying at least once wandering the damned thing, trying to find the friendly NPC's town. Graphics weren't all eye candy, but all were at least to the standards of the defaults, and there were alot of them.


I didn't play for the lich guy- I never gave a damn about him or his dead family. I played for the dream sequences, to see what Creator would pull out of his hat next. As far as I'm concerned, this scenario should be treated as an excuse for the dream sequences. Most (if not all) were interesting. If this scenario was scant more than dream sequences or if it was anything more than one big dream, I would have been a much happier player. If Creator could have made each combat at least slightly related to the combat or not draw the player away from the plot, I would have been a much happier player. The main reason why I give it a fairly good rating (rather than a lower score) is that the dream sequences were indeed quite often, and most were good. It's merely the Nightmare-eating beast and the relative frivolty of the "villain" that got me. Creator is good at dreams, and the dreams are all the high points of this scenario. Everything else whenever it's included, however, never seems to serve in making this scenario much better and thus makes this scenario worse.


Do I recommend this scenario to a player? Yeah. But dream often, and try to catch them all- it will definitely be the high point of the adventure. Will you enjoy this scenario? Yeah, whenever you're dreaming. I don't know if there's much for you outside of that, but that alone makes this a worthwhile scenario to play. Revenge on its own is pretty good, but if Creator could find a way to shorten up the parts outside of dreaming, this scenario would probably be twice as good. As it stands, it's still well-worth the download, and I think it completely deserves the score I'm going to give it.




(Euh. That was an awful pun, to those of you who catch it.


I started writing a rant, but halfway through, I realized that I was instead writing a review. I'll probably end up submitting this to Al.)

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I enjoyed this scenario. I didn't really care about the lich's sob story, but I did care about the bad guy trying to kill me, which was enough of a plot for me.


When I left the first dream, I ended up outdoors with no explanation, so I thought I was still dreaming and I didn't know where the lich or the safe room were, which was annoying.


And I was really cursing Creator's evil mind while I wandered about on the island being simultaneously tired, poisoned by the air and hit with disease and HP loss every few turns.



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So I've been promising Nathan since forever that I was gonna play one of his scenarios, and I finally did. I haven't played a lot of BoE, I always thought the graphics for it were old and quite bad. But here we are.


The fighting was pretty hard, even with nate by my side, but once I got the hang of it it was pretty fun. I liked that stuff kept happening instead of the bad guys just sitting around and waiting for the hero to come and beat them up. I liked that you had the parts when you're awake and search around and try and find secrets and figure out what's going on, but then whenever you sleep BAM! a dream sequence hits and it's all crazy exciting. The story was a little confusing but then it made sense after a while (i.e. after I bugged nathan about it). I felt so sorry for the weird little purple thing though. You see it once looking all scared and freaked out, and then it's been killed.


The characters were really good and helped make the game much more interesting. I like that Kassand wasn't just a "go here, do this" guy, he kept secrets from the player and was complicated. The Nightmare Guardian was scary, even though it didn't speak, just the way you always felt it was about to burst through the wall and the way it would keep trying new things. And even though they were the bad guys, the journals made me feel so sorry for Sunal and the mages. Especially Trolp, even though he was such a pussy.


Anyway, I haven't played many scenarios to compare this one to, but I think that anything that's this good needs to get rewarded. I give it 9.8, just taking off a little for some of the fighting because seriously, what's with you guys and the torment fighting?



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Top rated scenario to include Warrior's Grove...


It's true. tongue


I'll admit I cheated a little to get to the Black Amethysts - it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn't get Kassand to tell me/make the dungeon visible. So I went into the scenario editor to force him.


Anyway, this was a very hard scenario - you can't rest or wait without dying. There's a fatique system - if you don't get back to your bed in time, you die. Combat was tough as well. This is very innotative. At some parts it bothered me, at other parts I thought it was a fun challenge.


Animations here were awesome, especially the tower sequence. The scenario is very cleverly coded.


Plot was pretty good too, although most of the stuff involving Kassand's past seemed a bit pointless.


I didn't like the dream in the temple - it was annoying to have to hear repeated sounds of fireballs and clinging swords.


I liked the gray graphics, but the land itself wasn't really that interesting to explore, and I hated having to walk through large swamps.


Isn't 'Uganta' one letter off from being the name of a real country? I have to admit, that bothers me a bit.


Skree fangs don't stack and they really should.


Overall, good scenario. A bit too hard for my taste, but some parts were pretty fun. The story was good as well as its technical mastery.



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