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The importance of endings


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Talking about adventure games made me think of Gabriel Knight series ... the first one was damn good (I have the Sierra collection and the CD version have voice acting with Gabe voice being Mark Hamill) as the last one was ... not as good, expecialy the end part.

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If pre gen characters ala FF/PST have a flaw it's that sometimes the character will put certain people off the game .

 

In FFX-2 having 3 female leads put a lot of people off.

Varn got some stick for looking effiminate etc.

PST , that ones kinda obvious. Not everyone wants to play a zombie.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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If pre gen characters ala FF/PST have a flaw it's that sometimes the character will put certain people off the game .

 

In FFX-2 having 3 female leads put a lot of people off.

Varn got some stick for looking effiminate etc.

PST , that ones kinda obvious. Not everyone wants to play a zombie.

 

Oh, I agree... that should go without saying. I might be in the minority though, because I like a game with characters that I hate. I don't mean "hate" as in I think they're badly made, but I hate them for what they stand for and such... like Kreia. I think she's a good character, because she's able to make me dislike her.

 

The problem with character's generated by the player though, is that... well it's hard for the developer to give them conversation lines and such. ;)

 

I personally think it's rather boring, from a storytelling perspective, to have player generated characters. While it gave the IWD games good tactical control over your party, it also made those games slightly more hollow or stiff.

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Oh, I agree... that should go without saying. I might be in the minority though, because I like a game with characters that I hate. I don't mean "hate" as in I think they're badly made, but I hate them for what they stand for and such... like Kreia. I think she's a good character, because she's able to make me dislike her.

 

The problem with character's generated by the player though, is that... well it's hard for the developer to give them conversation lines and such. ;)

 

I personally think it's rather boring, from a storytelling perspective, to have player generated characters. While it gave the IWD games good tactical control over your party, it also made those games slightly more hollow or stiff.

 

I try to put my preconceptions aside myself. I never liked Tidus starting out, but he grew to be an ok guy over the course of the story and by the end I was really moved. I think playing FFX first made it easier to play Yuna and Co. As did the fact that the "romance" was post game.

 

True, thats why you get things like KOTOR where they try to fool you with a false identity. It works in small doses, but you cant make every RPG that way.

 

I can take either. I love coming up with my own characters and filling in the blanks as they go through the story. Equally I enjoy playing the game and watching the story unfold according to what I do (anyone who thinks that dosnt apply in JRPGs is well, wrong). It's just a lot more subtle.

What I dont like is the oh look here is a character with no memory and we are going to fool you into thinking it's your character. So you can make all the pointless choices you want because our story is already written.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I try to put my preconceptions aside myself. I never liked Tidus starting out, but he grew to be an ok guy over the course of the story and by the end I was really moved. I think playing FFX first made it easier to play Yuna and Co. As did the fact that the "romance" was post game.

 

True, thats why you get things like KOTOR where they try to fool you with a false identity. It works in small doses, but you cant make every RPG that way.

 

I can take either. I love coming up with my own characters and filling in the blanks as they go through the story. Equally I enjoy playing the game and watching the story unfold according to what I do (anyone who thinks that dosnt apply in JRPGs is well, wrong). It's just a lot more subtle.

What I dont like is the oh look here is a character with no memory and we are going to fool you into thinking it's your character. So you can make all the pointless choices you want because our story is already written.

 

Oh! Sorry, I meant pre-generated NPC's. I personally prefer more control over the actual PC. But I can play either way, really. I just prefer if my party members have character, and I really do enjoy being able to initiate conversations with them.

 

EDIT: Not sure what you mean with preconceptions. I just meant that some people may be put off by having pre gen characters. I wasn't implying that I myself got put off by said characters. In fact, I even implied that I enjoy playing with NPC's that I don't particularly like ;)

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It's not just CRPGs that can let you down with their hasty endings. Rome: Total War gives you a ten-second cutscene of your faction marching through the Senate. Wow. I wanted a five-minute Spartacus style ending, a proper swords & sandals epic. Now, I grant you, R:TW isn't story-driven as it's simple premise is that you conquer the ancient world. Let's also remember that a big, all-action cutscene is quite expensive and resource intensive, so it's normally put at the beginning of the game (Joe Gamer seldom completes a CRPG).... look at Diablo 2 or ToEE which both had great opening sequences.

 

RPGs that did ENDINGS well:

 

Baldur's Gate 1: That big spinning chamber of avatars where Sarevok crumbles into dust really inrigues you and is mysterious enough to whet your appetite while still providing an element of closure.

 

Fallout 2: As has already been posted, it has a dynamic ending that slots directly into your characters actions/ skillz. Cool.

 

Icewind Dale: Because of the groovy plot-twist at the end, although it does hark back to a horror standard used in everything from Carrie to The Thing.

 

Baldur's Gate 2: I like the cutscene with the mysterious robed dudes and Irenicus getting rugby-tackled into hell by demons. Shame ToB didn't really run with the ball, although the NPC stories at the end were a nice touch.

 

Cheers

MC

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Baldur's Gate 2: I like the cutscene with the mysterious robed dudes and Irenicus getting rugby-tackled into hell by demons. Shame ToB didn't really run with the ball, although the NPC stories at the end were a nice touch.

 

Cheers

MC

I really wish that more games would tell you what happened to your companions after the end as ToB did. I've spent 50+ hours with those characters and usually end up wanting to know what happened to them. Even if they turn out to be of the sad kind.

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I agree, devs seem to think (at best) that an NPC is over and done with as soon as you've done their personal quest, which is just plain wrong.

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There are two reasons I see for not tying up the endings.

 

1. You may want to use the characters again and unless you already have something in mind this will cause continuity problems.

 

2. Once the character and they part company it's over unless they end up together.

 

Shadow Hearts II had a brilliant ending , with a twist.. At least the ending I had anyway.

 

There is another ending in there somewhere..

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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Baldur's Gate 1: That big spinning chamber of avatars where Sarevok crumbles into dust really inrigues you and is mysterious enough to whet your appetite while still providing an element of closure.

 

 

Its too bad they didn't follow up on that in the sequel that much. I would have liked to see a Bhaal kid luau or something.

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Don't have much to add, but I do find endings very important, and also agree that the freedom and choice of western RPGs often makes it hard to make a big cinematic ending like a Japanese RPG. However, most JRPG endings are horribly cliche - even the good ones - so that's fine.

 

Mafia did have a great ending, loved it. It had a lot of power behind it.

 

I also thought Vampire had a good ending (not near as good as Mafia, but that's irrelevant). I'm surprised people complained about it. My only complaint was all the fighting to get to that ending.

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Talking about adventure games made me think of Gabriel Knight series ... the first one was damn good (I have the Sierra collection and the CD version have voice acting with Gabe voice being Mark Hamill) as the last one was ... not as good, expecialy the end part.

Uh, no, Gabriel is voiced by Tim Curry. Lt. Mosely is Mark Hamill. My copy got stolen, but I do remember that part. And the big guy at the voodoo museum is Michael Dorn.

 

And indeed, the first two Fallout games had good endings, the second game being better than the first. Up until Fallout, I was not used to games where what I did could actually change the effect on the world, and it's something I put to good use in my Fallout PnP campaign.

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