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Posts tagged “Oblivion

Video Game Review: The Elder Scrolls III – Morrowind

Remember the days where slashing at a Mudcrab was infuriating? Me neither. If you’ve ever been through the realm of Tamriel before, but you haven’t experienced Morrowind, then you’re in for a treat. However, I thought I would do something different for this review. Welcome to Morrowind, made much prettier with the Morrowind Graphics Extender.

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Top 10 – Rituals

It starts with an incantation, sometimes followed with some sophisticated dance. Often requiring some form of reagents, other times it requires sacrifice, we can only be on about one of the most complex types of magics. A mix between pure voodoo, religion and powerful forces unseen in the physical realm, today we’re delving deep in the world of rituals.

To lay some ground rules down for this, a ritual can be anything involving some complex mantra, activity or set-up. It can be easy enough to understand in principle, so long as there’s a reason behind the simplicity, these are rituals which have been prominently displayed in a series, a franchise, or even just as a one off in an episode. It also can feature in a video game, an RPG or otherwise.


Top 10

10) The Rite of Ash’Kente – Discworld

Click for original artist Puggdogg

Click for original artist Puggdogg

Not even the wizards of Unseen University know everything, but they do know a way to contact someone who does. It’s very inconvenient to drag Death from his eternal duties whenever you need an urgent question answered like “What’s that massive new star that keeps getting bigger?” or “What the hell just happened?” and He regularly appears in a bad mood, on one notable occasion still holding the pineapple-cheese stick from the party He’d just been abducted from.

Death is of course subject to wandering off and leaving His family to do THE DUTY, and they also take His place in the circle should the Rite be performed. There are many ways Ash’Kente can be conducted, many of which involve something dying and therefore summon Death by default. The most basic method requires three sticks and 4cc of mouse blood or an egg, but is often dressed up with dribbly candles and octagrams, for the look of the thing.

9) Eidolon Extraction & Cleyra’s Protective Dance – Final Fantasy IX

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Final Fantasy IX, or FF9 as many people know of it, is one of those games that I talk about a lot. Sorry, not sorry. However in this particular instance, it’s worth noting that the game has many different rituals scattered throughout. These are just two of the main ones that affect the game in huge ways:

The Eidolon Extraction ritual is conducted by Zorn and Thorn, the two court jesters to Queen Brahne (and later working for Kuja). They do this to extract the power of the Eidolon’s so their masters can use the power of these beings to wage war across Gaia. They are successful at first, by taking away Princess Garnet’s Eidolons right at the start of the game. They try this at a later point in the game, too.

Cleyra is a settlement of the rat-people, the same species as one of the main protagonists, Freya Crescent. Cleyra is surrounded by an ancient sand storm which keeps their peaceful town safe from all outsiders. To keep the sand storm safe, occasionally they must perform a sacred dance, with music played from their harp. If the sand storm were to disappear, they would be open for attack and thus… war. See how these are all linked, now?

8) Anveena’s Sacrifice – World of Warcraft

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I’d not like to go into too much detail with this one, but this is a condensed version of what this is about. She’s a manifestation of pure energy and was captured and corrupted by Kil’Jaeden’s minions. With the energy of Sunwell Plateau captured and their intent of using all of her existing life force to summon Kil’Jaeden himself into Azeroth via a portal that she would be opening with her own power.

However, true to all heroic characters form, she snaps out of it and she was almost too late. She’s already opened the portal and the humongous demon Kil’Jaeden was already on his way through it. When she realises this, she uses the last of her strength and powers to make the ultimate sacrifice. She seals the portal around his torso, allowing the heroes of Azeroth to unite against this serious danger to their planet. So in short, Anveena both summons and weakens Kil’Jaeden, allowing Azeroth to hold off from disaster and even prevent it… Until Legion happened but we’ll have to wait and see what dangers from the Burning Legion this presents.

7) Summoning Exodia – YuGiOh

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The theory – In order to summon the great Forbidden One you must gather his parts, head and body, and each chained limb. With his entire collection before you he is made whole and you automatically win the game.

The practice – Decks are basically built so that you can do a short series of delay tactics, all while ensuring that the parts come to you quickly and easily so that you slam the lot down on the table and claim a weak victory that no one enjoys.

So far as instant-wins in card games go it’s got a rather nice theory behind it, but sadly Exodia can be readily exploited. If you’re looking for a more interesting instant win then look up M:tG’s Hedron Alignment for something requiring a bit more effort. If you want an enjoyable experience with Exodia it’s readily found in the Abridged Series.

6) Rary’s Telepathic Bond – Dungeons & Dragons Wizard Ritual

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Oh did we ever have some choices here. Amongst the catalogue of spells for all classes and all occasions in the D&D rulebooks, the magic mouths, the unseen servants and floating disks we eventually settled on one that any right minded wizard would have prepped and ready to go every damn day. You see only a right minded wizard should be allowed to do all of the planning and tactical decision making, these stick-waving imbeciles in metal underpants don’t have a clue!

What better way to make your thoughts known (and only amongst your allies) than to have them implanted directly into their minds? The Telepathic Bond allows for immediate mental communication between a full party anywhere in the world (other planes may incur roaming charges) to swiftly and accurately allow the wizard to share his/her ingenious insights into the situation, and to have those insights ignored more profoundly than ever before. A must have for anyone level 10 or above.

5) Summoning Shenron – DragonBall

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Ah yes, summoning Shenron himself can be considered to be a type of ritual. When you think about what a ritual is, it’s something that should be quite hard to obtain, perhaps because of time constraints, perhaps due to resource, or perhaps due to rarity of the objects being used. When you think of it like this, Shenron is in fact a ritual – but how does one simply summon a dragon that will grant you a wish?

You have to go across the Earth and collect all of the DragonBalls. I mean later on, they go off Earth and go to places like Namek and if you count DragonBall GT as canon, then across the freakin’ universe to summon a Dragon. Once you’ve collected all of the DragonBalls, you then have to say an incantation to summon the great and powerful dragon. Only then will you have satisfied the criteria to unleash this massive all-powerful being. I’d wish for unlimited wishes.

4) Human Sacrifice – Goat Simulator

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All shall kneel before Goat.

These days it’s fairly common knowledge that Coffee Stain Studios is built downhill from a ritual circle devoted to the great Hellgoat, whose powers are terrible, and whose physics are all kinds of broke. How else could such a success be made of a dumb little simulator game that doesn’t even work properly? But to activate the power yourself you must first have corpses, delicious corpses to feed the circle!

The most basic setting for Goat Simulator features some of the most interesting locales, like the gravity pit, the skate park, and the Tower, and within each are terrible secrets, but none require such devotion to activate as the circle. Oh sure, you could summon a bunch of lesser goats and do it, but where’s the fun when you could just snatch up the bodies of the screaming and insignificant peasantry to feed your unnatural hunger for power? Goats man, I’m telling you, they’re evil.

3) C’Thulhu Fhtagn – Lovecraft

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Between the dates of March 23  and April 2 every year, those who consider themselves particularly “psychically hypersensitive” and those of a particularly artistic disposition are visited by feverish dreams of sunken cities, ancient temples, and the slumbering gods who wait there. During the investigations of Inspector LeGrasse into related phenomena and the shocking similarities to the bas-reliefs and idols worshipped by disparate cults across the world he is shown a wide variety of nightmarish worship of elder and unworldly things.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

It’s a phrase uttered on degenerate tongues, a fallen band of New Orleans voodoo priests, devil worshipping Esquimaux, in the hasty scribbles of mad artists and the most impassioned verses of drug-addled poets. Those who worship the idols and keep Its name alive are known to practice terrible rituals of blood, and they’re not alone. The people-smugglers of Red Hook demonstrate similar necromantic rites before a squat demonic entity in deep cellars, and in forgotten times the ancient de la Poer family ancestry sacrificed humans in terrible volumes.

2) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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This is a stretch, but bare with us on this one. Oblivion is a game about the whole game leading up to the climactic moment when the big baddy comes out and you fight it off. So far, so standard. But I want you to seriously think for a moment here and let us know what you think in the comments as well. The Elder Scrolls IV is about the summoning of the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon.

Now that’s pretty cool and the game was universally praised (Even with the silliness of some of the glitches and voice issues that characters had)… However, if the whole game was about the summoning of Mehrunes Dagon, then how? Why? Do you remember those portals scattered across Cyrodil? Yes, you’re absolutely right… The whole game was actually a giant ritual to summon the Daedric Prince himself. You’re literally fighting against a massive demonic ritual… And when you stop to think about it, that’s kind of awesome!

1) Nationwide Transmutation Circle – Fullmetal Alchemist

NWTC

SPOILERS: Be warned, if you’ve not watched all of Fullmetal Alchemist and fully intend to, then this is a bit spoiler-y. You have been forewarned.

So it turns out the entire nation, the entire place the series is set in, all of it… Was a great big transmutation circle. A massively forbidden one which would see all that was within the circle destroyed. This was something that was put together by the government of the series, much to the chagrin of all of the protagonists. This was a group they had served (although somewhat unwillingly from Edward Elrics case) – and if this transmutation circle was triggered, it would see the destruction of all life within Amestris.

Why on Earth would anybody want to make this massive underground tunnel based transmutation circle, I hear you cry out? Why, of course, it was put together not because they wanted to eradicate life per se, but instead to create a massive, all powerful philosophers stone for the original Homunculus, Father. This was the ultimate plan for the Homunculi throughout… And when you think about a political power having someone that corrupt in charge, it’s enough to make you cringe.


Honourable Mentions

Rituals are one thing, but magic is a realm of almost unlimited possibilities. Although these next two didn’t quite make the cut for our Top 10 list, we felt they needed to at the very least be mentioned. After all, it’s not every day that you get to see powers like these…

Dice Superstitions

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We are creatures of habit and bizarre superstitions. For all that geeks tend towards logic and reason we also tend to observe patterns rather quickly, especially when it comes to dice. We all have that one dice that you can never ever use because it’s cursed, or a particular bag that’s lucky to keep dice in, one person at the table who can never roll a decent number until there’s some obscurely dramatic moment where they get that impossible critical.

Dice, cards, lucky controllers and mouse-mats, little habits and tics like not looking when you roll or stacking them up. We know it doesn’t make a difference, we know that they’re basically all the same, but… it is different, somehow, it’s yours and it’s special in its own way, and we hang on to them… almost ritualistically.

Rituals

Rituals

If I were to be very honest with you, the reason we picked this for our honourable mentions is because it’s literally called Rituals. We were running out of ideas at first, but when I saw this title, I decided to have a read through and you know what? It sounds pretty interesting. It’s something I’m going to pick up and do a full review on.

Rituals is a game about exploration and the eery connection between civilisation and nature. It looks like it’s quite a short game, but it’s certainly intriguing enough to make me want to get it, play it, record it and share it with you all… But what do you think? Let us know if you’ve played this in the comments below.


Incantations finished, our reagents are expended. That’s it, we’re done, we’ve used up our surplus of supplies and the demand for our next list is just coming through. Sheesh, but we’re spent for this week, so now it’s over to all of you. Help us decide what we do for next weeks’ Top 10 list. You can bet we can conjure up something great from any of the below choices.

Abra kadabra! Hey ho, it looks like we’ve gotten to the end of our ritualistic list of enchanting words and imagery. Nevermind, that’s just the end of the list, but it needn’t be the end of the discussions. How did we do on our list of rituals? Do you think we got the best ones, or did we miss that important ritual in your life? As always, please remember to leave us a message in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Top 10 – Orcs

GeekOut Top 10s

Lok’tar Ogar! Victory or death to you scrubs, we had a tie during our last Top 10 poll and we knew we needed to make a decisive call as to which of the lists we would be doing. We had Armour and we had Orcs and we did the most decisive thing of all: We tossed a coin and it said we’re writing our Top 10 Orcs this week!

Orcs are big, they’re strong, they’re downright scary and sometimes they have really bad breath. They’re ferocious fighters with natural fighting instincts; some go as far as to being pretty adept at magics as well. But one thing is for certain: Orcs aren’t a pushover, no matter how many Orcish Peons you smack. So without further adieu, this week we’re looking at our Top 10 favourite Orcs in all media. (more…)


The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Video Game Review

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Title Screen

The Elder Scrolls, one of Bethesda’s biggest franchises. During its tenure, this series has had 5 single player games, an MMO that has seen two expansions and of course all of the single player expansions as well. It’s no fluke either, as The Elder Scrolls games are constantly known for delivering excellence in video games, no matter how buggy some of them can be. But with this in mind, are they actually any good?

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Top 10 – Short Lived Characters

“A candle the burns twice as bright burns half as long… Mmm hmm”
– Scruffy, The Janitor

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The most precious things in life are those that last the briefest, a snowflake, a rose blossom, the career of Fred Savage. They twinkle in the darkness before being swallowed by it, reminding us of our mortality and marking the passage of time. Is it their brevity that makes them so wondrous? Or does the memory of their shortcomings fade before that of their successes? Who can say for sure, but it is these brightest of flashes in an otherwise dull and listless life of successful stars and beloved characters that endure for years that we celebrate in the first Top 10 of the New Year! (more…)


Top 10 Worthless NPCs

GeekOut Top 10s

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Have you ever sat through a game and you just happened to come across what you feel is the most worthless NPC of all time? I mean it’s not to say they have no purpose, nor are they useless, but they’re just absolutely worthless.

I mean do you even know his or her name? Is it a damn dog? What’s the point of it!? Just to cause us endless frustration, or just to be there? This week in our Top 10, we’re joined by Phil from 1001-Up as we run through our Top 10 Worthless NPCs in gaming.


Top 10

10. Mankrik’s Wife – World of Warcraft

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You are sent on a quest to go and find Mankrik’s wife. This is a simple quest and of course you’re emotionally invested in this quest because this is someone’s loved one. Horde or Alliance, it doesn’t matter: Love is love. This quest is exclusively for Horde who adventure around The Barrens area, also infamous for Barrens chat… But that’s a story for another day.

No, instead you’re sent to find someone’s loved one and… Oh. She’s already dead. What was her name? Oh yeah, Mankrik’s Wife.

Great.

9.  – Milla Vodello and Sasha Nein – Psychonauts


Spoiler Warning
This pair of elite-Psychonauts are highly trained field operatives with highly disciplined minds that are capable of constructing elaborate and carefully controlled training grounds for powerful young minds to be educated in. And even though the same can be said of the game’s antagonist, Morceau Oleander, you’d think his villainy would have come to light when put under a little scrutiny. KIDS WERE BEING LOBOTOMISED! NOBODY THOUGHT “Hey, there are a lot of very powerful psychics here, let’s check them out quickly, just in case.”

Milla and Sasha have a small degree of input early in the game before vanishing off on a distraction while Oleander’s dastardly scheme unfolds, only to be thwarted by the protagonist, Raz. Great game, but really guys? So many kids nearly died because you were just a little too caught up in “That thing over there….”

8. Pedestrians – Grand Theft Auto

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If you forced me to come up with a reason why Grand Theft Auto pedestrians were worth anything it would be to gain wanted stars. They do have their entertainment value with their crazy catchphrases and peculiar habits but other than that they only serve to ruin your success on a job by orbiting your vehicle on a suicide mission. In more recent versions of the Grand Theft Auto series they now have the ability to call the police if they spot the player getting up to no good which simply wastes everybody’s time by having to run them over.

7. Treavor Pendleton – Dishonored

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What to say on the subject of Treavor Pendleton? Well let’s start with the fact that he’s so damn memorable I had to google him to remember exactly who he was. The entirety of his story input was to ask Corvo (the main character) to kill his brothers, and then to stand around getting drunk. Just constantly swilling whiskey and wandering around moping.

Correction, he does do something else. He functions as a sounding board for other NPCs to talk to about things you need to hear (or overhear). Without him there they’d have very few choices, and Trev just loves to talk. He loves to talk to you… even when you’re clearly trying to get past him.

6. Old Man – Pokemon Red/Blue

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Now we are just wrong to include this old man, we hear you say. He teaches you about catching Pokemon as well as helping you unlock the secret glitches of the game. How could anyone possibly call him worthless?!

Because he spends ages at the beginning of the game begging to have coffee, before he will let you pass (with no rhyme or reason!) He then not only lets you pass after a certain point in the game, he teaches you how to catch Pokemon. Meanwhile, you’re sat there with a full party of 6 Pokemon in your bag. Um, Old Man, are you feeling okay? Well let me go and fly to Cinnabar Island now to get away from you… Oh gosh what have you done to my game!?

5. Black Mesa Scientists – Half Life

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The overwhelming majority of population in the Black Mesa facility were scientists and until the fatal day of the resonance cascade arrived. Until this point they were extremely worthwhile NPCs carrying out their daily research activities for the greater good. Once hell literally broke loose their worth plummeted to zero, just like their health levels, as they became headcrab fodder.

Sure, there may have been one or two that helped open doors but even if they were dead Gordon would only need to drag their corpses over to the eye scanner to continue serving their purpose.

4. Error – The Legend of Zelda II

Error
He is Error.

Thanks, Error. Just thanks. Nothing else to add? I mean is your name symbolic of who you are? An error within the game? Error!? Want to add something to the mix?!

Yes, he’s in arguably one of the most frustrating video games of all time and he just has to tell you that he is Error. What a worthless NPC.

3. Dog – Duck Hunt

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Do I even have to say anything? Look at that stupid grin! How many of you tried to shoot the dog? I know it’s a terrible thing to do and you shouldn’t want to shoot a dog, but dammit that thing is so smug! He contributes nothing to the game except to bounce around snatching up your ducks! And laughing when you fail.

If the dog serves any purpose, it is to be hated and to make Duck Hunt famous because people are talking… about… the dog…

DAMMIT

2.Adoring Fan – Oblivion

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This fan is so useless that he serves two major functions: Follow. Wait. That’s basically it. True to an adoring fan though, he offers useless quibble in the form of offering back-rubs, boot polishing and more.

Add to this the Adoring Fans horrible sense of hair fashion and that he doesn’t even give your character said back rubs or boot polishes… Adoring Fan, you are worthless. Time to hit you off the highest cliff in Oblivion.

… Stop running back up the hill when I hit you off.

1. Butler – Tomb Raider

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Also known as Winston Smith, Lara’s butler is painfully remembered by Tomb Raider fans as not only being utterly worthless in-game but also a complete pain in the backside as he stalked our favourite Tomb Raider around the house. Most players will remember the feeling of dread as he slowly hunts Lara while groaning about his backache and his rattling tea tray, some zombie games could learn a lot of from the Croft Manor level in Tomb Raider II.

If you ever mention Lara’s butler to a Tomb Raider fan they will immediately tell you stories about how they locked him in the freezer not for fun but just to get rid of him – if that’s not the definition of the most worthless NPC ever then I don’t know what is.


Honourable mentions

These next two deserved to be noticed for their worthless endeavours. They don’t quite make the cut for our Top 10, but let’s be honest: It doesn’t make it any better that they have been recognised as worthless in some way, shape or form!

Trader – Killing Floor

Trader

You would think that having a trader in the game wouldn’t ever really make a Top 10 most Worthless NPCs list… but think about this from the point of view of a frustrated zombie killer such as Kevo the Chav.

This trader makes snarky remarks about people not being Frank Bruno if they can’t carry something. She laughs at players pitiful attempts to buy zombie killing devices from her if they’re too poor. She doesn’t stay in one location. She has a plethora of weapons and just keeps herself locked away so no zombies can get to her. She could literally just give all of the guys and girls a weapon to stop the zeds and still have enough weapons to sell afterwards.

Announcers – Every game that has announcers

Seriously, Unreal Tournament is super memorable because of its high-paced action and it’s awesomely voice-acted announcers. However, this doesn’t make them worth a damn penny. They’re just there. But at least they make themselves known with their constantly expressive voices. M-M-M-M-MONSTER KILL.

Oh but what about the Administrator in Team Fortress 2? Effectively worthless. She gives you sass and snark like there’s no tomorrow.

Don’t even get me started with you three, JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry “the King” Lawler!

But the games are made better with your presence, announcers. You’re worthless, but you’re our favourite kind of worthless: the worthless that adds feeling. Keep it worthless, voices!


That’s all for our Top 10 today. If you have any suggestions for a future Top 10, then do let us know as we are all ears. Also, if you want to get involved, just let us know! We’d love to have more guests such as Phil today.

What did you think of our decision of our Top 10 Worthless NPCs in gaming? We figured these ones were pretty worthless, but I bet you all know one that deserves at least a mention. Did we get our order around the right direction? Let us know in the comments below!


Blogversation – Chatty protagonists

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A protagonist can go one of two ways really in terms of extremes. Last week, Joel spoke about the silent protagonist which is common place in Role Playing Game’s and First Person Shooters. Today I want to talk about the exact opposite to the silent protagonist: The chatty protagonist.

Done correctly, a chatty protagonist can make your game much more exciting. In video gaming, there’s a whole bunch of silent protagonists but we’ve completely ignored the chatty protagonist: Characters such as one of my all time favourite video game characters, Zidane Tribal. This is a character that chats when spoken to, giving him much more depth. I feel that the purpose of good dialogue is to make characters more likeable, relate-able and above all memorable.

Zidane Tribal – Main Character of Final Fantasy IX

He talks a lot, but not too much. Just right, if you ask me.

But then we go down the extremes and some characters talk for reasons you just can’t comprehend. Take, for example, the humble people of Oblivion.

They mean well but they won’t shut up. Really, I don’t need to know about your adventures, your home life, your missing children or anything. You’re impressing no one and you’re actually slightly breaking my feeling for the game.

Sometimes, it works really well, but like in the above video you can see that it doesn’t always work. In fact, in this case we see Foul Fagus go from being a beggar with a voice befitting his character, to a well spoken gentleman. Okay, that’s just broken, but there’s a reason why we don’t need so much complexity all the time. The human condition is complex, but probably nothing nearly as complex what they accidentally made.

But then sometimes, we get a character that talks so much and says the same things over and over again. I could once more go back to Oblivion even though I truly love the game. But instead, let’s find another source to point the finger at.

No, you blow it out yer…

Yes Duke Nukem is a character that spouts the same repetitive catchphrases constantly. It’s a constant reminder of the limitations of technology. You can’t have something too fluid, ultimately: Something is looping. Be it a loop of: if (alienx=null) then { say “eat bubblegum.” else Duke=”all outta gum” }. Okay, that’s a dreadful piece of pseudo-code, but you get the point.

There’s a point where the sound waves loop and you just think: Huh, okay. A bit weird you’d say that again. For the record except Duke Nukem Forever, I’ve not played a Duke Nukem game (merely seen videos) and I’m not trashing the games themselves. As far as I can see, they appear to be great fun! But with this being said, there’s still that constant reminder: You’re in a video game. There’s technology to be taken into account. Are you ready to have technology limit the creativity of the character?

This is why I prefer RPGs myself. A characters depth isn’t by its catchy battlephrases. Instead, it’s an invested interest in the character throughout. They tell you a story, they get involved in the story and you are that protagonist.

Aw thank you for making this real, ThinkGeek.

But don’t be fooled by the fact I’ve only spoken about video game characters: This can happen with protagonist of traditional games too.

It’s usually just some players in particular, when they want to take centre stage. When this happens, they come up with all sorts of elaborate plans and their characters are looked up to by the other players. Or, more likely: It breaks the flow of the game drastically. It can be brilliant when a player decides to step to the mark and become the hero he or she should be, but at the same time it can be to the behest of the rest of the group.

An instance I have of this is when I was playing as a sort of “knight” character. He was basically just a standard warrior, but he was honourable and as such he would say things like “To arms, my noble companions!” Simple, showed how he was a simple character and everything I did with him was for the point of: This is him. Take note then that one of my fellow companions was a rogue.

Yeah, you’re fooling no one, rogue. That dragon’s got more sharp edges than that little poky sword of yours.

Rogues are known to stand back and be stealthy. They’re supposed to deliver damage before anyone knows they’ve done it. Pray tell then: Why did this rogue decide to announce everything he was going to do in game to all of the other characters? “I’m going to go behind the enemy and flank him. You, Sir Elbert, keep him distracted from the front while I go around behind him to sink my blade deep into its skull.” Our DM found it equally as asinine as I did, so the DM decided that often: The enemy heard the conspiracy! Often, Sir Elbert and the mage were able to take out whatever they were fighting before the rogues plans had finished…

Perhaps this was an incredibly good bit of character development however? See, the best thing here was that our DM was able to teach this rogue how to be a rogue without telling him what he was doing wrong. The rogue slowly figured out: Not everything had to be explained. Not everything had to be told to the whole team. My character, Sir Elbert, announced his intentions because he was an in your face, sword and shield knight. He was the “tank”, as it were. He had to make enemies feel inferior and threatened yet his team mates safe and in control.

This rogue needed to make his enemies unaware of his presence. It couldn’t be done while he blathered on about his plans. Remember then: a chatty protagonist is the key in character and even story advancement. But sometimes, they really should just shut up.

What do you all think of chatty protagonists? Do they help to involve you in a game? Do you have any examples of chatty protagonists in either video games or traditional gaming? Until the next piece in our blogversation; take care all!


Blog-versation: Bad Level Design

“Level” is an increasingly ambiguous term. With the rise of sandbox games, and the increasing power of home PCs and consoles, games are becoming increasingly free-flowing, breaking down by chapter, quest and location more than what we would have once called level. A good level is memorable, compelling, and can really drive a game forward. A bad level design is often memorable in it’s own right.

Bad levels can drive us from otherwise enjoyable games. Invisible walls and insurmountable obstacles, even slow paced or dull levels can make us put down our controllers and walk away.

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