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Corporeus


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KHOTH

 

Good

 

I'm not really sure what sort of scenario this is. It feels like a movie scenario, but it has puzzles. It is very short and linear, but this comes across as an advantage.

 

The plot seems to stand up on its own, despite being weird (TM tells me it's symbolic, but he is rather vague on what, if anything, it symbolises), except for the ending which links it into the rest of the Echoes series (ie insanely powerful characters do seemingly random things). A little more motivation for the characters' actions would be nice, though. ("It'll all be explained in the next scenario" does not count as a motivation)

 

The puzzles were the right difficulty. I did not breeze through them, but neither was I frustrated with them. And there is a thing with a blindfold that you can put on and remove that makes little sense but is worth seeing because it looks cool, and to my knowledge it has not been done before in Blades.

 

There is almost no combat, and the little there is is not at all difficult and serves to advance the plot.

 

It is worth mentioning that the scenario uses a custom character and requires editing the Blades graphics file. I can see why he wanted this, but I don't think TM does anything special enough with it to really justify it. Still, the main graphics file was provided in every conceivable format so there was no trouble with that like there is in so many scenarios.

 

Overall, it is short, well-made and well worth playing.

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THE GREAT MISTER

 

I'll start from 5 (seeing as this scenario was clearly over mediocre), adding points as I go.

 

+1 for the neat use of custom graphics. Some of them were too dark, but that's explained by the differences of MACs and PCs, so I won't take any points for that.

 

+2 for the blindfold-system. I was pretty positively surprised. That's something that really hasn't been seen used before in a BoE-scenario.

 

+1 for the fights. They were few and served on advancing the plot, like Khoth put it. They were a bit too easy, I think, but still, 2 points.

 

-1 for the confusing ending. I haven't played any of the Echoes-scenarios. Understanding the ending, I believe requires having played at least some of those scenarios.

 

Thus, Good

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MORGAN

 

Excellent

 

In a dramatic break from my experiences with TM's previous works, I actually really enjoyed this scenario. Innovative and fun, it felt like a movie/scenario hybrid, combining some of the best features from each genre.

 

However, I don't feel right giving this excellent scenario the rating it would have earnt from me if it had been twice as long. It could have been stretched out a bit and the themes could have been expanded upon.

 

Good

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THURYL

 

Take Quintessence, strip away the peripheral details and put its core through an industrial press, and what's left would look a lot like Corporeus.

 

Corporeus is part of what's fast becoming a distinct genre of singleton scenarios: much like Quintessence, Election and Emulations, the player is given a fixed party with limited capabilities and sent through a plot-heavy scenario where the puzzles and combat (if any) are often designed more to be interesting than challenging.

 

The custom graphics are generally well-made and well-used (although I don't particularly support TM's decision to require editing of the player character graphics file), and the blindfold thing and dream sequence are both undeniably pretty cool. Having said that, I wouldn't call Corporeus a shining example of what its genre can be; the characters' motivations (even those of the player character) are rarely explained, and the ending felt like a half-baked excuse to throw in the obligatory Echoes references. If Corporeus were a longer scenario, I might be more forgiving of its flaws, but as it is they stand out too much to give it more than Good

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WILD KARRDE SMUGGLER

 

This scenario could be the best short scenario I have ever played. The thing I liked best about it was that it could stand alone from the Echoes arc. This sense of stand-alone-ish-ness(<I invent a new word!) was spoiled in the end. Although I with my pitifully small knowledge of Echoes, was able to understand the ending, the overall effect would have been greater if it was kept out of the idiosyncratic Echoes plot.

Oh yeah... a rating... It's tough to give this scenario a numerical rating. I will rate it as the square root of seventy, thus 8.3666002653407554797817202578519 (also known as Good)

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THE CREATOR

 

The scenario claims to be highly symbolic, but I have no idea of what. It asks the player to "find his own meaning" or something. I tried, but any meaning was well hidden or non-existent. To me it's just a random mish-mash of concepts and events.

 

Possibly this wouldn't be such a problem if TM were a good writer. It can be easy to misunderstand him when he writes about comparatively mundane things, but when he starts going on about highly abstract ideas like the nature of existence, it's just a lot easier to completely ignore the text.

 

The puzzles were decent, but hardly logical. Essentially they consisted of being presented with a barrier and then trying stuff to get past it until something worked. Like headbanging, but without secret passages (thank TM for that at least). This wasn't too difficult as your abilities are pretty limited. Basically you can bash stuff, search around, use your blindfold, or some combination of those options. It's not too hard to find something that works, though you'll rarely understand why it worked.

 

Technically, it was very good, but nothing to really get excited about. Some very nice tricks were used - most notably the blindfold system - but none were used to any sort of emotional effect. Really, this scenario provokes no emotional reaction at all apart from mild curiosity. There's not enough danger for excitement, you don't understand enough to be suprised when something else bizarre happens, and you are given barely any reason for your own actions, so you don't feel any personal stake in the outcome.

 

I dunno. Maybe I completely missed the point. In fact, I'd be sure I did if I was sure there was a point. But as far as I can see, this is through no fault of my own.

 

In terms of the overall experience, this scenario does nothing wrong and does nothing right. I just spent some time without being bored. This would put it at a 5, but I raise the score a bit on the strength of the coding - really the only good thing about this scenario. Might give other designers ideas for better works. Average

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BOOTS

 

Average

 

For a scenario purportedly indifferent to "feelings," Corporeus spends a surprising amount of attention on the inner stirrings of its PC. If anything, the fellow is burdened by an excess, not a lack, of motivation. Which doesn't, in itself, make the motive consequential, though it could have driven a compelling story: a character mystified by the springs of his own fumbling desires -- good Shakespearean meat and potatoes. In fact, this might be the first short scenario I've played that strikes me as standing to have benefited from being longer, opening more room for its ideas to unfold through action in its "world" (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know . . .). There's a difference, after all, between a symbol and a conceptual schematic. Should you wish reminding on that score, play Corporeus, which promises the first and delivers the second: having characters slap each other with the word "existence" like it was so much salt cod does not a symbol for "existence" make (unless the ultimate ground of Being looks like an introductory continental philosophy seminar at a secluded college for Particularly Pampered Children of the Upper Middle Class -- not a fantasy one would have expected from TM.)

 

Maybe incorrectly, I assumed the ethical ambivalence to which Barcoorah objects was an intended effect. And I like the intent, just as I liked most of the premises of the scenario. The execution . . . well, whenever the Great Men of Echoes History (again, odd that TM supports that model of history) start talking, I no longer feel like I'm in a role-playing game. I feel like I'm overhearing a role-playing game: the guys playing Magic at the next table, tossing trademarked terms of art bloodlessly around ("I cast Identity Splitification!" "My automaton can take your level 10 Reality Generator any day"). More conceptual schematization. Ambivalence and ambiguity require some hard encounter with lived contradiction -- maybe this is a better way to put it than "emotional response" -- not just a staged contest of abstractly-opposed Powers.

 

Conceptual schemes have their uses though. There are, as usual for TM, plenty of interesting design ideas in Corporeus. It deserves to be played. The writing isn't exceptionally bad (though TM has unusual commitments to the word "grotto"). And though this is a minor point (and may not have been intended), I dug how Scilt's custom graphic seems a little too big for his world -- strangely fitting.

 

EDIT: On reading this thing, I realise that I wasn't nearly so annoyed the first time I played Corporeus -- and that was the beta, whose commitments to the English language were even more unusual -- so I suspect that playing it a second time has given me a case of the well-known Terror's Martyr Nearly Great Scenario Frustration Syndrome. The score is right -- I've never liked Blades movies -- but the aggravated tone is a bit off.

 

EDIT EDIT: Now I recall why the second time was so annoying. Surname: Parsons. Given name: Alan. Patronym: Suckovitch

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BRUCE MITCHELL

 

I thought the blindfold was a nice technical trick and could be used very effectively in a scenario. The symbol that most stood out for me was the light and darkness created by the use or not of the blindfold. That and the body/senses and through them the grandeur of existence. There may be

symbolism in here - but for me it passes me by. My impression is confusion. Any message is lost and I feel disconnected -and so despite the graphics and technical mastery I can only rate this Substandard. I do not find that the symbols are obvious to the player. Scilt seemed to be a blind instinctive part of the

psyche whilst Corporeus by his name seemed to imply the body - and these two (body and raw instinct) for me are symbolically connected, and so it was strange to see them trying to slay each other.

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DRAKEFYRE

 

Average

 

Props to TM for the working save and .meg files.

 

Some comments:

 

I liked the battles up until I noticed that you rigged it so that it was impossible to lose.

 

The blindfold effect was very cool - not seen anything like that anywhere else.

 

Not a big fan of the back and forth between Coroporeus and Scilt, especially when it's so hard to tell who's talking. I didn't feel like 'Scilt the Destroyer,' that part of the character was not fleshed out.

 

A little difficult to realize that the beer has the same graphic as a mug in Sensory Deprivation (whoops! on my part).

 

Very nice and tidy, but the ending, while it provides justification for the scenario, is a letdown.

 

Definitely felt like a movie, or a 'look what I can do' sort of scenario.

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MILU K

 

A premade party that works on Mac - cool.

 

Town design is very good. Blindfold use is a very interesting, fresh idea.

 

(Though when you have the blindfold and no sense in your hands, why can't you walk through walls...?)

 

At first, the metaphoric story seemed less confusing. Especially the first encounter with Corporeus conveyed (maybe more through action/things happening) a feeling of being in someone else's reality or illusion. However, I didn't get the ending. Therefore, I very probably didn't get the point of this scenario.

 

Otherwise, the word "balanced" describes this well.

 

EDIT: On a second thought, it's such a small scenario that the ending has more weight.

 

Good

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JEWELS

 

This scenario had a lot of firsts for me. First midi, first custom pcs file, and first complete two-fold town(which I am very curious to learn how it was noded). It stretched the imagination while not being overly difficult. My only real complaint is that the 'Staff of Illusion'(is that what it was called?) did not work on the machinery in the center room though it worked on the machinery in the same room it was recieved in. I wandered around quite a bit after getting it wondering what to do. Since the wand didn't work on the center machine it wouldn't/shouldn't work on any other machine. The storyline was a bit confusing, at least the end dialogue seemed to be. I don't think I came to the same conclusion as the author had in mind while making it.

 

That said: technically brilliant, bug free, good (and unique) use of custom graphics, original though confusing storyline.

 

Good

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