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Riddle of the Spheres


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DRAKEFYRE

 

This was actually one of my favorite Brett scenarios. It has an atmosphere that's wonderfully set up and presented, and the plot's not half-bad either.

 

Riddle of the Spheres, RotS for future reference, is a magnificent epic by Brett Bixler. The first major scenario produced for Blades of Exile, it has become one of the standards that aspiring designers try to shoot for. In its entirety, the Spheres Trilogy is a marvelous epic. As individual scenarios, they still are some of the best scenarios around.

 

RotS introduces the player to the Realm of the Spheres, a land where Music reigns, a land nearly untouched by the Empire. As a mercenary, it is your job to recover the missing spheres of music, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, and Ti. To do so, you must traverse miles of outdoor sections, spanning the entire Realm of the Spheres. Along the way, you meet the D’kar, a foul species that evidently hates you and the spheres (or perhaps they’re Leatbles evangelists).

 

A lot of ingenuity went into the quests, dungeons, and monsters in RotS, and it’s evident. The towns and dialogue are crafted with expert skill, and this holds true in all but a few places.

 

It is impossible to talk about the Spheres Trilogy without mentioning the graphics. The bridges between islands are an excellent use of custom graphics, the graphics are used wisely and are of good quality. The outdoor setup is among the best I have ever seen, and for a scenario which takes up so many outdoor sections, it’s truly spectacular.

 

I have few gripes about this scenario, but one is of the utmost importance. In the fortress on the lake, it is possible to be stuck on the water, with no way to get back to your boat or to the floor. Besides this, however, there are relatively few things technically lacking about the scenario. Although the level of editor skill is not excellent, it is great for a first scenario, and is higher than that of most modern scenarios.

 

I believe that a few characters and towns could use more fleshing out, and some of the missions seemed a little forced. Also, the plot is showing some age. Were I to write this a year ago, my score would be higher. Overall, however, this is a model Blades of Exile scenario.

 

 

My score: Good

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TERROR'S MARTYR

 

I'm sure this scenario would be much higher rated, under the circumstances when it first came out. Then again, this is not the world of five years ago. While perspectives change, scenario quality stays the same. The sad truth is the sad truth. This scenario's plot is the best part, though- abeit clunckilly executed, it's still a neat concept. The D'kar aren't there, either, making for a much more interesting gameplay. Nodes and graphics; however, were lacking tremendously. While neither were in great use or availability at the time, it doesn't mean the scenario shouldn't be penalized more for it. The designer needs to take no faults here, because according to the times, this scenario was everything but just a hair short of revolutionary, and using all of what you know at the time is far from a sin. Then again, the fact that this scenario remains extremely outdated remains the same, and therefore, I give this scenario Substandard

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THE CREATOR

 

Wow. Alcritas has precognition!

 

If it were released now, I'd say that the scenario's not that great, but the author shows a lot of promise - which he has very much lived up to. I recommend playing this scenario as a background to Quests of the Spheres, a truly solid piece of work. Average

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STAREYE

 

Riddle of the Spheres was probably the best scenario of its time. However, these are not the times of today. I sincerely doubt it would make the solid adventures today. Despite the lack of quality, Brett Bixler is a very competent designer -- one of the best. Although not the best, I would still recommend it to get a complete view of the spheres trilogy, and if nothing else for the sheer novelty of it.

 

My Score: Substandard

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JAYNE

 

I agree with many of the above sentiments. I loved this scenario when it came out and still hold a lot of affection for it. Anyone playing it today for the first time will probably not feel the same way. However, it is still a fun scenario-- kind of sweet, actually-- and really should be played before the other two in the trilogy. Definitely worth the download. I give it Average

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YMA

 

I agree, this is a bit dated. Some of the nodes were clunky, and it's plot, I thought, wasn't that good. I'ts like 'find the spheres' and that's it, where as the follow ups, especially Quest of the Speres, were much better. But it did set the scean nicely, and is a fun scenario to play. So I give it Average

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THE ALMIGHTY DOER OF STUFF

 

Really good. There were a few things I didn't like (particularly the fight on Donut Island where the drake or whatever it was was being attacked and the encounter was not set to "Monsters Can't Flee Party" and the conveyor belt dungeon) but other than that, it's one of my favorites. There are a few minor things that are pet peeves of mine in there, but they are pet peeves, so they may not bother others. I give it Good

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S.M. ADVENTURER

 

Well, this was a pretty interesting scenario. The plot was very interesting, and there were some excellent custom graphics. The scenario provided a very interesting introduction to the world of the D'Kar. The puzzles were very well done. The Domain of the Master was very cool.

 

Overall, I had a good time playing this scenario. In the future I'll definitely have to play the sequels.

 

My Rating: Good

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