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Northwest Corners!


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There's an interesting consitency to the general direction of travel, and location of the final dungeons/bosses, in Spiderweb games.  Most of the time, you start in the south and/or east, and the endgame stuff is to the north and/or west, and usually the far NW corner.

 

E/A1: Start SE, Grah-Hoth in NW corner.

E/A2: Start NE, Garzahd in NW corner.

E/A3: Start S, Rentar in NW corner.

A4: Start NE, Rentar in NW corner.

G1: Start SW, Geneforge in NE corner.

G2: Start SE, Geneforge in NW corner (Ghaldring even in NW corner of NW corner).

G3: Start E, Akhari Blaze in W end.

G4: Start SE, Northforge Citadel in NE.

QW2: Start SE, final fight in NW corner.

 

This doesn't apply so well to Nethergate, Avadon, Queen's Wish, or to A5/A6, which are all less definite geographically.  But I think G5 is the only game that really goes against it entirely, where you start in the NW and travel largely south.

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Avadon is centrally located in the game map so you start there in the first game and slightly east in another, but go there soon.

 

Queen's Wish has the same start, but the second game does follow the pattern of stating in the southeast area and finishing for the final fight in the northwest, before going home.

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Doesn't the pattern kind of break down when you account for elements that hinge on player choice? E.g., the order in which you tackle the major quests of E1/A1. There's no reason Grah-Hoth has to be the endgame. You could defeat him first and still have the find-an-exit and kill-Hawthorne quest lines to tackle. Faction alignment in the Geneforge games can also change the endgame geography. Like in G3, yes, if you play as a Shaper, your path is a straightforward east-to-west trek, but if you play as a rebel, your route to the final boss (Rahul) goes eastern start-> all the way to the west-> back east to the middle for the endgame.

I think the point about starting in the south and/or east is more compelling. There does seem to be a broad pattern of games starting in either the south or east. On that front, you could even add A6 to the list, since you start in the central south IIRC. Nethergate (the town) and Shadow Valley Fort are both in the east, and even Valley of Dying Things (the "beginning" of BoE) starts in the south.

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The pattern doesn't break down.  These exceptions aren't actually exceptions.

 

In E/A1, the kill-Hawthorne quest also wraps up in the northwestern ninth of the map, and even the find-an-exit quest wraps up in the central part of the far western area.  So I'm not even sure what you were trying to suggest here.

 

In G3 you progress through the islands east to west.  Full stop.  Nothing changes that.  Yes, as a Rebel you loop back to finish the game doing 1 thing in a zone you've already visited, but the other 95% of the endgame is in the far west.  Similarly, in G2 your actual "last quest" could in theory be anywhere, but the point is that the far NW zones are the last ones you're likely to reach, and certainly the zones stocked with the most challenging foes (outside of the actual challenge zones).  And in the other Geneforges, factions have limited impact on even final destinations.

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On 4/7/2024 at 9:02 PM, Slarzahl said:

The thing is... Jeff didn't live in the Pacific Northwest when the first of these NW corners was created.

clearly, moving to the pacific northwest was due to his unconscious desire to become an evil boss himself

 

More seriously: if this trend hadn't started with the Exile games, I would have assumed it was due to the isometric display: hills look better in SW's isometric games when the summit is to the north and/or west.

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