Author Topic: Over Hyping TSL  (Read 25748 times)

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2010, 01:10:37 AM »
Yah, it was a tough call, oberonqa.  I do see what you are saying.  Were the shoes reversed, I probably would have leaned toward the same decision.

But again, it really is hard to explain the lack of communication to both the TSL community and the multitude of gaming websites about the nature of episode one.  It would have greatly helped tamp down expectations.  Especially since it is a first offering from a new gaming company.  I just don't understand how a group of people collectively don't realize that it probably isn't the greatest idea that after 8 years... let's ummm not adequately prepare people for episode one.  Not only should we not adequately prepare them, let's start a two-week countdown with all the ritual fanfare that came with it.  I didn't mean for those last remarks to come off as bitter.  It is just in retrospect, what happened was really bizarre.

I don't think Phoenix telling all of the gaming websites that Episode 1 is just an introduction to the series is the kind of publicity that Activision would expect from a company that just survived their C&D. I think that's why the explanation for Episode 1 is present on the message boards, but not in the interviews and IGN articles. Phoenix is going to deliver a great experience. I know this because their reason for starting this project was due to them being fans of King's Quest. If they were fans of the series, they wouldn't strive for mediocrity. That's why I'm waiting for Episode 2.
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Offline liggy002

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2010, 01:16:54 AM »
I would have to agree that no one should pass judgement on this game until they have played all 5 episodes.  Not even just the first 2, ALL of them.  Just think for a second about movies you see in which you have no idea what is going on and then everything comes together beautifully at the end.  In  fact, even judging a game after playing it for just the first time can be harsh.  You'd be surprised.... play the entire game again and you might find that you enjoy it.  Maybe you missed something that you didn't find before.  Maybe you misunderstood the message that the story was trying to convey.  IMO, giving the game the guillotine at this point is premature and not logical.

Offline Kimmie

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2010, 01:20:33 AM »
Expectations are funny things because everybody will have a different one! How you imagined KQ to be or how you wanted the story to unfold will be different for everyone.

I agree with liggy, play them all and see how you feel. Everyone is entitled to an opinion good or bad because thats what makes us human after all! We aren't all confoming sheep but it'd be nice to see what pans out, after all the team have worked so hard and ask for so little in return :)
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Offline Erpy

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2010, 03:42:12 AM »
It's true that by the time Activision acquired VU Games, KQ1VGA, KQ2VGA and QFG2VGA were already out and that djinni couldn't be put back into the bottle again, but they could have prevented us from tying up loose ends and stuff (like KQ2VGA's updated new version which was still in production back then) which they didn't. They said they weren't really excited about our license, but wanted to honor it for the time being. I guess they felt revoking our license just like that was a bit asshattish. With TSL there was no finalized license yet, so they felt less of a threshold for pulling the plug.

If it's implied here that Episode 1 was released as quickly as possible out of fear that Activision would reconsider and revoke the license within a few months...I'm not certain if I agree with that reasoning. First of all, it's true that fan licenses can be pulled, but unless you're suspect of violating the contract, this kind of thing isn't done on a moment's notice. Due to stuff like monthly/annual web hosting fees and loose ends, it's customary that if the license is revoked without provocation on the team's account, they're being informed about a month before it goes into effect. (obviously, if there's a contract violation, the license is usually immediately pulled) If they told you they'd be revoking the license within 30 days, you still could have released everything you had. Second of all, it wouldn't make sense for Activision to put time and manhours (lawyers' manhours are expensive) into setting up a license and then revoking it a month later. I don't think they'd go through the trouble if they were still waffling on the decision to allow the game to be released. So I think the odds of Activision revoking your license in the short term are (unless this was specifically said) very low.

I feel what peacock said is true. People downloaded episode 1 expecting to have a game to play until episode 2 came out. That's the ideal schedule when working with episodic releases...release an episode, give people time to experience it and then release the next one before their attention span falters. And yes, people will judge the big picture with what they're given, that's the way things work. They consider episode 1 a pilot...something that makes or breaks their interest in the project as a whole and something that they expect to accurately reflect what the game will be about. I don't think it was made clear when announcing the first episode or upon downloading the game that it was just a short introduction , so naturally people feel let down.

Nobody's suggesting merging episode 1 and 2 into one whole, that'd be a waste of time and effort indeed. What would be more realistic was announcing the revokal of the C&D and the imminent release of the first part of the game and then either:

- Release episode 1 and 2 at the same time as separate downloads so people can immediately move on to the good stuff as part of their all-important first impression.

or

- Release episode 1 as "episode 0" or "prologue" (implying immediately it's shorter and an introduction) and release episode 2 a week later.

Both options involve pushing the first episode's release date back, but I don't think that would have been a problem for people and I don't think Activision's sword of Damocles would have descended during that time (unless there's stuff I'm unaware of), so in my opinion either option above would have been the lesser of the two evils, rather than the way things were done now. It's fairly easy to predict that most people go in expecting to have the first 20% of the game to play around with until the release of the second episode. Of course, I'm pretty certain the team's well aware of this by now.

Unless of course Activision stated they were 100% sure the KQ IP would change hands between May and the end of the summer.

Offline B'rrr

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2010, 06:03:25 AM »
If it's implied here that Episode 1 was released as quickly as possible out of fear that Activision would reconsider and revoke the license within a few months...I'm not certain if I agree with that reasoning.

Was this really the case? I was under the impression that episode 1 was already ready and was already send to activision before (or about the same time) as the C&D came. could be wrong though.

I can fully understand that people have other expectations of episode 1, that it would be longer and more puzzles (common critic) I was a bit disappointed it was over so soon aswell (and it was all new to me since I did not play the demo), but you can hold on to your disappointment and rant about it/express it to as many people as possible, or you can just put it aside and view episode 1 as a really nice teaser episode that can get you excited for what to come.

I think it is a pretty good decision of the team to bring episode 1 out already, the development has been quite some years and it would be a great motivation for both the team and the fans to have something concrete, a milestone. True, a heads up could have been given that it was more of an introduction and not many puzzles in it so people might not be disappointed when they are done so fast, but I rather see it in the form it is now then for example a bit more puzzles but lacking in other ways(worse graphics/music/etc/etc).
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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2010, 06:44:37 AM »
Episode 1 was pretty much ready to go when we got the C&D, yes. We released it now because, well, it was ready and we wanted to finally release the first piece of the game. :) We've done so, we've learned quite a bit from that already...and we're moving forward. Can't correct mistakes that may have already been made, after all, you can only try and course-correct in the future.

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Offline Storm

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2010, 06:52:31 AM »
I don't think the Episode 1 release should have been postponed for the sake of releasing it closer to Episode 2. The release was delayed for several months over the C&D as it is, and everyone was itching to get the first completed episode out the door. The team already said in several C&D interviews that the first episode was ready to go, so they felt obliged to release it soon after announcing the C&D reversal instead of telling the fans "hey, we're back, expect the first episode in... I dunno... maybe 3 months from now" and have the enthusiasm die down and people complaining why they're not getting the episode that's finished already :-\

Frankly, I don't think anyone expected releasing a short introductory Episode 1 would be such a huge deal. If you played Episode 1 and liked it, you'd wait a couple of months for Episode 2. After all, you'll be getting the exact same game, only in smaller bites. Live and learn, I guess.


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Offline tripp6sic6

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2010, 08:06:11 AM »
Quote
One of the greatest critiques about TSL's delayed releases in hindsight has been the team took too long to get something released.  And yet, now that we have released something, there's a group of people that just aren't happy.  They were expecting a feast and instead they got a cheeseburger.  Now I can't say as I blame that group of people for being unhappy.... but I think most of these people are just ignorant to the fact that they got what they wanted.  The door has been opened.  The remaining episodes will be released and that is because the door has been opened.  The window of opportunity has been opened and there's nothing that can be done to stop it.  As one poster in the C&D thread put it, once TSL is leaked into the wild, it cannot be unleaked.
You aren't going to please everyone and I'm not saying you should shoot to. But, outside of this site, where the die hards are who will support this project through it all, I haven't seen many reviews or expressed opinions that did not include a little bit of disappointment by the length of the game or by the fact that it was billed as an "Episode" when it was clearly an introduction or prologue.

The expections will always be high for a game that was so long in the making, you can't expect people who have waited as long as the followers of this project have to be happy with an improved version of the same demo that was released years ago as a full episode, unless you communicate that that is what it is.

Think about it this way, the demo was released at least a year ago (probably more, I don't know the exact timeline) and then we get our hands on what is supposed to be the finished game and all we get is more cutscenes and steering the boat to a new island. How disappointed would you be? More importantly, how much faith would you lose in the development team over this? For most of us, the answer to both is a lot! When all that was needed was a little bit of communication to make this all blow over much better. Consider the whole thing a learning experience and move on.

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This all being said, I am sticking around for Episode 2, which I am excited for. I hope that I'm not disappointed again.

Offline darthkiwi

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2010, 09:04:44 AM »
The way I see it, any story needs a set-up: the narrative arc has to be able to rise in the first place. If you take the first 30 pages of most novels, they will be interesting but won't necessarily be a great indicator of where the rest of the book is going. If you take the first section of Heart of Darkness or The Castle or VALIS or The Call of Cthulhu (to name whatever I happen to glance at on my bookshelf), they're certainly interesting and engaging, but shouldn't necessarily be taken as forecasts for what the rest of the book will be like. When all five episodes are done, I'm sure they'll form a shapely narrative arc of which episode 1 is only the first piece.

Also, regarding what DMD posted a few pages back:

Quote
Remember, KQ was essentially supposed to be a mish-mash of fairy tales and myths creating something original and fairy tales aren't exactly known for their emotional or character depth. Why does every character have to have a ten page long back story or psychological profile?

What happened to just having fun? What happened to simplicity?

The KQ series did start out as just mashing fairy tales together: troll bridge + dragon + beanstalk + leprechauns = KQ1. But as the series has progressed, I like to think that the storytelling has become more complex: KQ3 is darker, and Manannan is more fleshed out as a character than any of the NPCs were in KQ1 or 2. KQ4 incorporated complex ties of loyalty, to Rosella's family, to Genesta, to Edgar and even to Lolotte.

(After all, should you really be finding all these treasures for her? Giving her Pandora's Box is surely not a morally acceptable move. And Edgar is very nice to you, but is still turned down when he proposes: on the one hand, that's a bitter moment for him, because he would have been married to Rosella, against her will, had he obeyed his mother; having done the right thing, he's actually been punished. Rosella's refusal of marriage in a fairytale adventure game is also an unusual feminist statement in a world where men are the ones who must kill things and women are the ones who must marry them.)

By the time we get to KQ6, I think there's enough complexity to the plot and characters that the game has, if not broken away from the "mashing farytales" mentality, at least evolved it to such an extent that it's capable of mature and emotionally engaging scenes. The underworld section, with its confrontation against the Lord of the Dead, where the key to solving the puzzle is the realisation that Death's existence is essentially a reworking of the Lucifer story with all its eternal bitterness and envy for humankind, is one of my favourite sequences from the entire series not only because it reworks myths (Charon and a riddling gatekeeper, and even the little internal game-myth of seeing the "tickets to the underworld" sequence when you die), but also because it climaxes with an understanding of an emotionally charged sequence (the Lord of the Dead section) which is essentially the summary of the Lord's tragic arc.

Yes, King's Quest is a jumble of fairytales, but it matured beyond that into coherent and emotional storytelling. Personally, I'd rather have deeply thought out character development to fiendish puzzles; many people won't agree with me, but that's beside the point because you can have both! But to say "I want to have fun; scrap the characters" seems a bit simplistic, to me.
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Offline Enchantermon

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2010, 11:55:09 AM »
Everything that darthkiwi just said is part of why I like KQ2VGA more than the original. There's a lot more meat to it than just hitting purée on a blender full of fairy tales. And that meat is what makes it more than just another adventure game; it's one of the things that pulls us in and keeps our attention the whole time we're playing, and then it's the biggest thing that keeps us thinking about it even after the credits roll. One of the reasons KQ6 is my favorite out of all of the games is because the story is so rich and wonderful.
Now, I'm not saying that all games have to be like this. Sam and Max is a good example. Because of its lighthearted tone, the characters aren't immensely deep and the stories aren't philosophical, but the games are still great fun. Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle are great, but they're not deep either.
Anyway, as long as the whole of TSL isn't dark and depressing (and it's already been stated that it won't be), then I don't have any qualms with it being so for a little while. Every King's Quest game since KQ3 has had those moments, and I think they did the games a service.
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Offline Baggins

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2010, 11:59:12 AM »
Different tastes... it was the bizarre changes, and the fact that it didn't stay true to the original, that makes me not like it as much as the original... I still enjoy it, and think its fun for what it is, but I don't consider it as good as the classic.

Whereas, if I was comparing KQ1 to KQ1 SCI to KQ1 VGA, I like them nearly equally. Sci added things, but stayed pretty true to the original. KQ1 VGA is just sci with better graphics. For nostalgia reasons I prefer playing through the sci version though (that and I like using the parser, and prefer the official graphics).
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Offline crayauchtin

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2010, 02:33:13 PM »
First of all, every King's Quest had dark moments -- even KQ2 had a poison lake and vampirism in it! These are the things of the horror genre, NOT of fairy tales. In fact, not since KQ2 have we had a game that mostly a mix-up of fairy tales (and other legends) -- KQ3 all the way through MoE had plotlines that had increasing amounts of depth. It would defy the tradition of the series NOT to add more maturity and depth to the story in this installment. King's Quest has always grown alongside its fans... and we're all pretty mature at this point.

As for being more in-depth with the characters... isn't that the point of having characters who appear in multiple installments of a series? To have them grow and have more depth? Otherwise, shouldn't we have had new characters every single game?
In KQ7 Rosella is selfish -- not wholly selfish -- but think about it. She's full of shallowness, and she isn't trying to save Etheria for the sake of Etheria. She's trying to save Etheria because she's stuck there. That's not to say she's a bad person, and she does help people who need it, but she clearly has a selfish side of her that is *very* evident in that game.
And Alexander's cheerfulness has always defied logic -- he was enslaved by an evil wizard. He's obviously been through *some* trauma!

To summarize, I think you need to play through the series again. This is not so far-fetched from the base material as you are implying.
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Offline liggy002

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2010, 02:46:16 PM »
What makes a great King's Quest game in my opinion is the following:

Deep, engaging, and complex story- not too complex but complex enough that makes it more engaging.  I always prefer a sub-villain or multiple sub-villains who work for the main villain, for instance, this evens the playing field and up the stakes of the story instead of the entire royal family versus one bad guy- lets kill the poor man with the ball who doesn't have any helpers.  Since Cesar has his own take on the story, I don't have a problem with that.  I think it's a great thing that he has his own style.

Interesting Puzzles that are not too easy to figure out and make you rack your brain

At least one labyrinth, preferably 2 this time around

Meshing fairytales together and even bringing in new ones that have not been used before- note the reference to Icarus and Daedalus, which I fully enjoyed.   You might even say that there is a reference to a fictional movie called "Dreamscape" in which Dennis Quade must enter the dreams of patients in order to help them.

Multiple endings if possible.  That's what made King's Quest 6 so great- the multiple paths you could take to finish the game.  Star Ocean 2, for instance, had somewhere around 60 endings, this is just a guess- but they had a lot of endings!  Tell  me that isn't awesome!

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2010, 02:51:34 PM »
First of all, every King's Quest had dark moments -- even KQ2 had a poison lake and vampirism in it! These are the things of the horror genre, NOT of fairy tales. In fact, not since KQ2 have we had a game that mostly a mix-up of fairy tales (and other legends) -- KQ3 all the way through MoE had plotlines that had increasing amounts of depth. It would defy the tradition of the series NOT to add more maturity and depth to the story in this installment. King's Quest has always grown alongside its fans... and we're all pretty mature at this point.

As for being more in-depth with the characters... isn't that the point of having characters who appear in multiple installments of a series? To have them grow and have more depth? Otherwise, shouldn't we have had new characters every single game?
In KQ7 Rosella is selfish -- not wholly selfish -- but think about it. She's full of shallowness, and she isn't trying to save Etheria for the sake of Etheria. She's trying to save Etheria because she's stuck there. That's not to say she's a bad person, and she does help people who need it, but she clearly has a selfish side of her that is *very* evident in that game.
And Alexander's cheerfulness has always defied logic -- he was enslaved by an evil wizard. He's obviously been through *some* trauma!

To summarize, I think you need to play through the series again. This is not so far-fetched from the base material as you are implying.

They had darkness, but not soap opera angsty Twilight-ness.
There's a difference.

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2010, 02:56:22 PM »
They had darkness, but not soap opera angsty Twilight-ness.
There's a difference.

I think we're playing a different game, cause the plot of TSL can't be compared to a story about whiny teenagers falling in love with mystical creatures.
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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2010, 03:00:46 PM »
They had darkness, but not soap opera angsty Twilight-ness.
There's a difference.

I think we're playing a different game, cause the plot of TSL can't be compared to a story about whiny teenagers falling in love with mystical creatures.

Not the plot. The over-dramatic and dreary tone and melodramatic dialogue. There's just an "Emo" feel to the atmosphere of the game.
And you can't say it's because of what happened to Alex and Rosella, because look at KQ5--Graham's whole family is stolen and the game doesn't feel depressing or dreary or ''emo.''

Offline oberonqa

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2010, 03:07:57 PM »
They had darkness, but not soap opera angsty Twilight-ness.
There's a difference.

I think we're playing a different game, cause the plot of TSL can't be compared to a story about whiny teenagers falling in love with mystical creatures.

I think DMD is trying (unsuccessfully) to be sarcastic.  

And for the record, I don't see any angst-ness in TSL.  You have something happen to your children and let's see how you respond to the situation.  Stories that revolve around bad things happening to children and how their parents cope is actually not a new concept.  It's been around in assorted creative outlets for decades.  

Or are you going to tell me that Mel Gibson's portrayal of a father who stops at nothing to save his kidnapped son in the movie Ransom was angsty?  I ask because I see a lot of similarities between Ransom and TSL.  Or do you consider Liam Neelson's performance in Taken to be angsty because he does what is necessary to save his daughter who had been kidnapped?

It's called empathy folks.  Stories such as this require some kind of empathatic response from the audience in order to do it's job and be compelling.  If you were King Graham and you are forced to deal with the reality that both of your children have been cursed by an evil entity... how would you feel?  Would you be a wooden robot that goes through the motions and feels nothing?  Or would you perhaps experience an emotional rollercoaster ranging from guilt and sorrow to anger and rage?

If this is angst.... then I pity those of you who think so.... because clearly those of you who think that are not capable of feeling empathy for a parent who has been thrust into a situation where his children are in danger and he has to cope with it.
 
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Offline crayauchtin

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2010, 03:13:05 PM »
Not the plot. The over-dramatic and dreary tone and melodramatic dialogue. There's just an "Emo" feel to the atmosphere of the game.
And you can't say it's because of what happened to Alex and Rosella, because look at KQ5--Graham's whole family is stolen and the game doesn't feel depressing or dreary or ''emo.''

And I think Graham's lack of strong emotion regarding that is a SERIOUS flaw in that game. Didn't you lose sympathy for him? He very rarely distraught in that game -- in fact, he only mentions the situation when he is trying to get sympathy or specifically asked what his quest is. Obviously it doesn't bother him *that* much -- and, for me anyways, that's a major problem with the game. (Along with the terrible voice acting, the laziness in regards to describing things, and Cedric. Ugh!)
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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2010, 03:18:41 PM »
Not the plot. The over-dramatic and dreary tone and melodramatic dialogue. There's just an "Emo" feel to the atmosphere of the game.
And you can't say it's because of what happened to Alex and Rosella, because look at KQ5--Graham's whole family is stolen and the game doesn't feel depressing or dreary or ''emo.''

And I think Graham's lack of strong emotion regarding that is a SERIOUS flaw in that game. Didn't you lose sympathy for him? He very rarely distraught in that game -- in fact, he only mentions the situation when he is trying to get sympathy or specifically asked what his quest is. Obviously it doesn't bother him *that* much -- and, for me anyways, that's a major problem with the game. (Along with the terrible voice acting, the laziness in regards to describing things, and Cedric. Ugh!)

Not really. It's an unfortunate situation, but it's also a  simple story. I don't think KQ was about exploring the psychological conditions or feelings of the characters. It's just a fun game, with the unfortunate plot of a king having to rescue his family. Even beyond Graham's attitude, the atmosphere of the game itself is very upbeat, from the music to Graham's adventures--It's enchanting and it doesn't bog you down on the sadness of the story.  King's Quest is like the 1966 Batman; I don't believe the Batman in the '66 series focused on Batman's psychology or the scars left by the murder of his parents--It was just fun escapism. That's what KQ is to me, fun escapsim. Graham is a stoic hero.

 Really in all of the games except maybe four and six (which was just a dolled up remake of II) the plot or emotion of it came secondary to the puzzles, atmosphere, colorful characters and fantasy setting. We're not working with Shakespeare or the Sopranos here. King's Quest was never a deep soap opera which fixated on the scars of the characters, and it shouldn't be. It's a fairy tale.

Offline oberonqa

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Re: Over Hyping TSL
« Reply #59 on: July 18, 2010, 03:26:12 PM »
Not the plot. The over-dramatic and dreary tone and melodramatic dialogue. There's just an "Emo" feel to the atmosphere of the game.
And you can't say it's because of what happened to Alex and Rosella, because look at KQ5--Graham's whole family is stolen and the game doesn't feel depressing or dreary or ''emo.''

And I think Graham's lack of strong emotion regarding that is a SERIOUS flaw in that game. Didn't you lose sympathy for him? He very rarely distraught in that game -- in fact, he only mentions the situation when he is trying to get sympathy or specifically asked what his quest is. Obviously it doesn't bother him *that* much -- and, for me anyways, that's a major problem with the game. (Along with the terrible voice acting, the laziness in regards to describing things, and Cedric. Ugh!)

Not really. It's an unfortunate situation, but it's also a  simple story. I don't think KQ was about exploring the psychological conditions or feelings of the characters. It's just a fun game, with the unfortunate plot of a king having to rescue his family. Even beyond Graham's attitude, the atmosphere of the game itself is very upbeat, from the music to Graham's adventures--It's enchanting and it doesn't bog you down on the sadness of the story.  King's Quest is like the 1966 Batman; I don't believe the Batman in the '66 series focused on Batman's psychology or the scars left by the murder of his parents--It was just fun escapism. That's what KQ is to me, fun escapsim. Graham is a stoic hero.

 Really in all of the games except maybe four and six (which was just a dolled up remake of II) the plot or emotion of it came secondary to the puzzles, atmosphere, colorful characters and fantasy setting. We're not working with Shakespeare or the Sopranos here. King's Quest was never a deep soap opera which fixated on the scars of the characters, and it shouldn't be. It's a fairy tale.

King's Quest was also marketed for many years as a family-oriented series for children of all ages.  Those same children who grew up playing King's Quest are now adults and as such a more mature story is required.  TSL has it's whimsy and it's lighthearted moments.... but the subject matter and character development is based around the concept that your average player isn't a child or a family.... it's an adult who grew up playing King's Quest.

And the later King's Quest games did tackle with more mature storylines as they went along.  Especially King's Quest 6 with Alhazared murdering Cassima's parents, location-based prejudice between the citizens of the different isles, etc.  KQ6 was still a family-oriented game, but it was clearly catered to an older family than KQ2 and 3, which were much lighter in tone and significantly downplayed the darker tones (even Manannon in KQ3 was downplayed as a villian... he could have been portrayed as much darker).
 
Chronicling the history of Sierra through the conversion of it's premiere magazine into an easy-to-use, searchable wiki format.
 

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