Author Topic: Mask of Eternity troubles  (Read 18409 times)

Offline Rosella

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2012, 09:50:46 AM »
Yes. Maria and Draco. I've never played it, but yes. XD
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2012, 11:07:24 AM »
Is FFVI the one with the opera song people gush over?

Yeah, but that's not why the game is great.  It's just overall the tightest classic Final Fantasy game--combat, story, production values--it's a beast of an SNES game.  For my money, it's even better than the much beloved FFVII (which personally, I found kinda boring.)  I DO think Crono Trigger is just a little bit better/more unique/memorable, but FFVI is still very very good.  The two games are definitely birds of a feather.

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2012, 11:25:42 AM »
As opposed to the weird, crazy, overdone and totally lacking logic or cohesiveness stories FF does nowadays? (From what I hear--I haven't REALLY played any since FF9)

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Offline Bludshot

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2012, 12:40:48 PM »
I played FF10, don't play it.  From a production standpoint it is perfectly par for the series, but it is basically the things I didn't like about FF7 shoved into the spotlight, with a bland linear walk through levels fighting jellies.

The plot is also all over the place, I know that seems kind of normal for FF but it is a glaring issue here.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2012, 01:32:37 PM »
I think that's 7, not 6.

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2012, 02:40:53 PM »
The opera song? It isn't 7, I have played that one a few times.
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2012, 08:03:25 PM »
Yeah, the opera song is definitely FFVI (originally released in the U.S. as FFIII, despite all logic.)

I skipped all the PS1 FFs, played FFVII much later, didn't care for it.  It hasn't aged well.

I agree about FFX being obnoxious.  I f****** LOVED FFXII though.  That game was amazing.

**Just so we're clear, I mean I loved Final Fantasy Twelve, not Final Fantasy X2.  *shudder*

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2012, 08:43:52 PM »
Can't speak to it aging well or not I played it maybe a few years after it came out, at the time I thought it was better than sliced bread, I played it again, still liked it but I think there were a lot story elements that are pretty silly/dumb.

I knew how the game worked then so I definitely have rose shades concerning the gameplay, what did you find dated about it?  Also what do you like about 12? I never got the impression it was particularly praised.
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2012, 09:44:11 PM »
I didn't HATE FFVII, I just found myself not being captivated enough with it to actually play through it after the first couple of hours.  I dunno--I just think the story didn't grab me.  Plus, I found the battle sequences to be pretty tedious.

As for FFXII--man, where to begin?  It's been a while since I played it, but at the time, it was hands down the best looking game on the PS2, so it had that going for it right out of the gate.  The story seemed a lot more sophisticated than in FFX, which was the most recent FF game I had played at the time--a lot more political intrigue, a lot less "mystical chosen one" cliche.  What I absolutely LOVED about it though, was the fact that most battles were avoidable--you could see most monsters coming before the battle was thrust upon you, combat was more along the lines of Knights of the Old Republic than traditional Final Fantasy, which was a huge improvement, in my opinion.  The characters were a lot more memorable and developed--less one dimensional than in some of the previous games.  The music was f****** awesome; the leveling system was really cool, it had an utterly badass game-spanning monster hunting side quest with amazing pay-offs.  I dunno, I just loved pretty much everything about it.

In my opinion it was a VASTLY underrated game.  Final Fantasy purists weren't happy with it, but pretty much for all of the reasons that I thought it was spectacular, so go figure.  By comparison, Final Fantasy X seemed really derivative; FFXII was a revelation.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:48:28 PM by Lambonius »

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2012, 09:48:31 PM »
Well the purists are a vocal bunch.  I like FF7 but honestly, I could care less about Sephiroth, a few cutscenes and somehow is he the bestest game villain ever or something.

Nevermind you only fight his clone...thing the whole time.
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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #50 on: July 28, 2012, 09:12:48 AM »
I'm with Darthkiwi -- I have two problems with Mask of Eternity.

1) I just don't think it was ever *finished* -- it just doesn't feel like they were ready to release it when they did. Some parts are polished nicely, but most of them aren't at all.

2) It got called a King's Quest. Like, an extension of the series. It should have been a standalone game or the beginning of a total separate spin-off series, so they could have marketed it as a standalone game AND marketed to King's Quest fans. But that's not what they did -- and that's probably the biggest downfall of the game.

To address point 1...According to Ken Williams, the game kinda wasn't finished. It was, but it also wasn't. Roberta was a perfectionist, and was still tinkering with the game almost up to the release date. She felt that along the way (after Ken left Sierra) she'd lost total creative control over her game, and was trying to reassert it and bring it back to the way she wanted it to be. Sierra's lawyers apparently floated the idea of suing her if she didn't hand over the game, and she had some negotiations with them and they allowed her to make some changes, at which point she felt comfortable in letting it go.

To address point 2...Mask was considered by Roberta a KQ game from the beginning. She never considered it a spin off, nor was the name simply slapped on. It was referred to as KQ8 by her and Sierra all throughout the design process. All of the core elements which people tend to loathe (Lack of Royal Family as protagonists, violence, etc) were decided by Roberta early on. She went into KQ8 with the intention of starting anew. She felt that it was time to unload the Royal Family, that there wasn't much more she could do with them (Graham was older, Alex was King of the Green Isles, Rosella was in Etheria) and so it was time to introduce a new character. At the time, many people actually agreed with her---There is a gamespot preview from '96 where she talks about unloading the Royal Family, and the people in the room--the game reporters she was speaking to--breathed a sigh of relief to hear that a new protagonist would be in KQ8. The idea was to take KQ and bring it beyond what it had already been, to create a mix of the adventure genre with the other then popular genres.

The game's story in and of itself is probably Roberta's best, and she labored 3 years and spent 3 million making it....I think it was worth it in the end. It's a game I myself at least greatly enjoy and I do consider it a King's Quest.

The only reason it was branded as "King's Quest: Mask of Eternity" rather than "KQ8: Mask of Eternity" was she felt having 8 in the title might offput new players who'd never played a KQ game before. She considered having KQ7 be simply labelled "King's Quest: The Prince-less Bride" for the same reason.

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2012, 09:57:10 AM »
I don't think the contention is whether or not it was officially KQ8--it's just whether, in retrospect, some people here think it would have been a better idea to do it as a spin-off rather than a direct sequel and part of the existing series, for the reasons stated ad nauseum.

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2012, 10:08:44 AM »
I don't think the contention is whether or not it was officially KQ8--it's just whether, in retrospect, some people here think it would have been a better idea to do it as a spin-off rather than a direct sequel and part of the existing series, for the reasons stated ad nauseum.

I think it should be viewed the same way as say, Star Trek: The Next Generation is, compared to Star Trek. Sort of a new beginning. Both Star Trek, just different.. Both the same universe, same sort of thing, just a new generation. Not a spin off per se...I think a problem is that it stopped at KQ8. Had the series continued with Roberta, KQ8 might not have felt so much like the odd man out and people might've become more accepting over time if there were more games like KQ8 albeit with refinements and tweaks. I view KQ8 as a transitional game like KQ5 was. It's like, imagine if the KQ series had stopped at KQ5...A game very different in gameplay and whatnot from the rest of the series. It'd feel like the odd brother, and it'd have left the series at an anticlimax like KQ8 did.

Offline crayauchtin

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2012, 07:38:46 PM »
I don't think the contention is whether or not it was officially KQ8--it's just whether, in retrospect, some people here think it would have been a better idea to do it as a spin-off rather than a direct sequel and part of the existing series, for the reasons stated ad nauseum.
Precisely.

Honestly -- and I know this is going to earn me a lot of heat -- I think Roberta's best decisions when it comes to the KQ series tended to come from other people. She created a good world, good characters, good games.... but I don't think storytelling is her strong suit most of the time and that's probably a big reason why she thought that it was a good idea to unload the main characters and create a new main character and *not* make it a spinoff or sequel series.
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Offline Bludshot

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2012, 08:27:23 PM »
Honestly I think Roberta's input lost value after the initial breakthrough with the first games.  She had an idea for a "3D adventure" at a time when PC games were really only text adventures, and she should be applauded for that.  That said I don't think Roberta understood her own series, and I think you are absolutely right that a lot of great KQ moments came from the Sierra team in general.

When you look at the older KQs, 5-7, I think this really shows.  It wasn't enough to just slap some fairy tales and draconian puzzles into a game anymore.  When she hired outside help for the story in KQ6, the expanded story element worked while still feeling like a KQ game.

I'm guessing she must not have understood that, because she proceeded to make two games that were considered oversimplified and lacking in engaging stories.

In fact I really don't understand her creative process, maybe someone with more Sierra knowledge can enlighten me, but from little I know of her she never seems to have a stable idea of what she wants out of a project.

"Back when I got started, which sounds like ancient history, back then the demographics of people who were into computer games, was totally different, in my opinion, than they are today. Back then, computers were more expensive, which made them more exclusive to people who were maybe at a certain income level, or education level. So the people that played computer games 15 years ago were that type of person. They probably didn't watch television as much, and the instant gratification era hadn't quite grown the way it has lately. I think in the last 5 or 6 years, the demographics have really changed, now this is my opinion, because computers are less expensive so more people can afford them. More "average" people now feel they should own one."

For such scorn of the "average" people, I find it weird that she gave this interview in 1999, after she made MOE, a game where you stab things until cartoon blood spurts out of them.

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Offline Neonivek

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2012, 11:33:05 PM »
Well one thing you learn about Roberta if you play all her games (If Roberta is a him, I appologise. I never looked at a photo) is that she isn't always right.

Roberta if I had to give her one fault, and I have to guess as I don't read a lot of what she has written, is that she doesn't think on the same wavelength as the audiance and for Kings Quest that has been a booming success as the fantasy atmosphere is one of the major draws.

Now for Phantasmagoria 2 however Roberta actually attributed its failure, if the rumors are correct, to its timing. Ignoring the game's poor gameplay and story elements so terrible that it is "So bad its good". The game would have failed no matter when it was released. (Don't get me wrong, the game does some things very well and even revolutionary... but as a whole it would be enjoyable if the gameplay wasn't so bad)

It wouldn't surprise me to hear that many of the worst story and gameplay elements of Mask of Eternity was genuinly Roberta's idea.

Now the biggest problem with Kings Quest Mask of Eternity was that it was a terrible slogging wretch of a game that also needlessly uses the WORST of the WORST of point and click elements. Fans will forgive anything so long as it is good.

A game that takes place in the Kings Quest world could have even worked but it uses so little and ignores everything else it might as well have been a solo game. Even Daventry seemed alien to anyone who played the games and knew it well.

Quote
In fact I really don't understand her creative process, maybe someone with more Sierra knowledge can enlighten me, but from little I know of her she never seems to have a stable idea of what she wants out of a project.

I have a lot of respect for her, but it may be best to think of her as a very creative person who isn't on the same wavelength as everyone else. Sort of in her own little world.

Quote
When she hired outside help for the story in KQ6, the expanded story element worked while still feeling like a KQ game

Yeah, in my oppinion KQ6 was where Point and clicks started to reach their point of perfection. Where the puzzles in the game weren't just there for padding but where they actually expanded on the setting, plot, or even character. Some of the solutions don't just feel like puzzle solving but completing the story itself making Alexander somewhat of a studious and intelligent hero who prefers to use his virtue, wit, and compassion to solve his problems in order to save his beloved.

It was where point and clicks started to become more then just an alternate version of a puzzle game. It is where they almost started to become something akin to a visual novel where you just happen to solve puzzles. It elevated the games.

Five did this too but Six is where it started to hit home. It is why when I judge point and clicks I actually also judge it on its merits as a story. It is why I think the loss of the popularity of point and click adventures (not entirely accurate, if I remember correctly its failure was because they became too costly for their success rate. Not because interest wasn't there) was quite tragic to me. It was a story driven genre where I tend to play a witty intelligent hero who solves great problems with wit rather then raw strength.

What Mask of Eternity needed to do with its story was either seperate itself from Kings Quest or use it to its advantage. What little story the game had did not work for an action/adventure, and what it chose to ignore has created aggrivation.

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Mask of Eternity troubles
« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2012, 08:21:25 AM »
So this is mostly related to an earlier discussion in the thread I actually started playing FFVI, I think I'm about 10 hours in. 

I'm liking it so far, and I really appreciate that nothing needlessly convoluted or downright stupid has worked it's way into the plot (no one is a dream spirit/Alien baby...clone/or trying to compress time).

At the same time the beginning of the game is really bland, it really irks me when RPGs, being a genre that is usually telling an epic saga, don't make any effort to engage you until you'll several hours in, how many players do you lose doing that?

So far I'm digging combat and the magic system, better than that drawing nonsense anyway.  I think I like it better than materia too.
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