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The Final Spire

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Looks like I did find the time to play it after all.


Anyway, as the author says, this scenario is a fairly short, linear run-through with a pre-fab party. While I agree that this scenario is not for unexperienced BoE players, I thought it was rather easy : it's not nearly as hard as An Apology, or Heirs to Theseus, or Roots, or even Echoes : Assault.

The story was interesting, you play as a mage whose father was killed for using magic without permission, and you've got to get your revenge and save your homeland from tyranny. Actually it's slightly more complicated than that, but I can't tell you everything.


What's bad? Well, there were perhaps a bit too many useless items, you can cast most (if not all) special spells even if you haven't got enough SP (!), which can make the final fight too easy. Also, if you kill Okarion with Wound rather than special spells (it is possible), he'll still use his special attacks even when he's dead. Also also, really weird things can happen if you try to leave to the north after killing Okarion.


What's good? Pretty much everything else, really. Fun fights, nice dialogue, fun towns/dungeons, fun special spells, fun (and easy) puzzles.


Oh, and there's a secret town with some cameos, though I haven't found it yet (and by the way, Bain, stop portraying TM as a gruesome angry monster who uses a hundred exclamation points. Terror's Martyr almost never uses that many exclamation points, and he's not that 'odd', even in his own scenarios ).


Overall : Best. A fun short adventure, highly recommended.


EDIT : Okay, I've just replayed the game... It would seem that the whole "can cast special spells even if I only have 0 SP" thing is intentional, it's just that the special spells drain your SP. You'll still need reagents (and perhaps food) to be able to cast them. I still think the final fight might be a bit too easy, though. Also, BainIhrno said, quote, "All the cameos were meant to be exaggerated", unquote.


EDIT 2 : I've found all of the cameo books, yay! I also noticed that BainIhrno tried to 'implement' the six-PCs bug because of Gizmo's suggestion. I'm not sure whether it was that good an idea - admitting that it is a bug is more believable, honest. Alcritas admitted that the Empties in Falling Stars were a bug, this scenario should do the same, in my opinion. Fortunately Bain still mentions that it's a bug in the readme.

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The Final Spire is a marked improvement on Bain's previous scenarios. As per usual, the coding is solid with occasional flashes of innovation. However, this time around the storytelling is much more competent. It is still somewhat clunky and awkward at points, but there's nothing nonsensical, and there are even a few pleasing moments of subtlety.


Perhaps it's a scenario that attempts to go further than being merely "fun". If this is the case, one has to say that it falls short. On the other hand, you can't really call a scenario that does succeed at being fun a "failure".



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While the plot is certainly a step up from Bain's last scenarios, the actual writing still needs some work. Many of the dialogue and descriptions seemed awkward and inelegant. Also, there were a few nasty bugs here and there:


** Spoilers **

The Okarion fight in particular was buggy. Perhaps I missed something, but I wasn't able to use any of my special spells with the exception of the pure defensive ones. The others appeared to do nothing except waste my mana and reagents. Also, in the cutscene in which you diminish his power, when you are unstoned the other five default party members reappear. Oh, and if you try to exit the room, the cutscene occurs again.


And while we're in the nice little spoiler region, the fight with Eltus was far too easy. You can haste yourself, cast major poison on him and hide behind the wall and wait until the poison has worn off, and then repete until he dies.


** Spoilers **


That being said, I thought it was a very good scenario. I liked the way the introductory cutscene was handled, very nice job. I liked most of the custom graphics, with the exception of one of the sorcerer guards (I don't remember which one) that was partially transparent.


Overall, I give it a solid Good

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Well, Bain has really outdone himself this time. This scenario is very well done. I liked the design of Okarion's tower. I also liked the spell system with the reagents.


And Bain is right, the scenario is not for a beginner BOE player. You will get pummeled. I tried with a regular party, not the pre-fab and got pummeled by Okarion's special spells. Think of how I would be if I played with the pre-fab party. Then, I played with a God party, and was victorious.


I didn't find any secret towns.


Bain once again uses the lock click signal to indicate an impassable door, and he uses Alcrita's locked chest techinque. Very well done.


The introduction sequence was superb. The dialogue was also good.


As said previously by Arachnid, the last fight was buggy. The special spells used by the villain still were cast after he was dead and the offensive spells didn't do anything.

What a waste. Of course, due to this, the only way to beat Okarion is with the use of the Discharge Power spell.


But aside from that mild, yes very mild bug, this scenario was fun. Had great custom graphics, like the crystal barrier walls and the Sorcerer soldiers. I especially like the Televator technology.


So, putting to all that's been said into account:


My Rating: Good

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A very fun play, and plesantly more difficult than his previous works. (But not too hard)


I found a few tiny bugs and thought the big bug at the end could have been incorporated instead of ignored. The dialogue still lacks, seeming excessively redundant, though the story line is both believable and enjoyable. I personally found the introduction aukward, having to click on every word to make sure I didn't miss any information.


A step up from the past and a step forward to the future.



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This is the first scenario of Bain's that I've played, and I have to say I was unimpressed. It opens with a needlessly long exposition, made longer by the odd decision to convey all relevant information in NPC dialogue. For an epic, this type of beginning may have been more forgivable, but I was left with the feeling that I'd spent almost as much time wading through the plot of Bain's unfinished prequel as I did playing the scenario itself.


Both the long backstory and the story of the scenario itself fall flat. We have a group of antagonists, with no personality or characteristics except evil for evil's sake, each member of which is distinguished from the others only by having a different name. The good guys are similarly bland, and only around for about five minutes anyway.


EDIT: From a technical standpoint, The Final Spire is solid, and at times ambitious. The scenario has a wide variety of special spells, although you get limited chances to use them. My only complaint was one sequence in which is was very hard to figure out what to do next, but I may be the only one who had this problem.


My biggest problem with this scenario, however, was one of length. The story is meant to tell of the main character's revenge for her father's senseless murder, and a plot like that needs time to grow on the player. IMHO, the scenario ended much too quickly, and did not work nearly hard enough, for me to get into it at all.


On the bright side, the combat is reasonably challenging, and the plot does move forward at a brisk pace. It also takes a couple of unexpected twists and turns that help to liven things up. However, this alone is only enough for me to give The Final Spire Average

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