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Old 07-23-2006, 02:09 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoriartyL
The day is much too short. There's not enough time to take the secret passageway, so I don't understand what it's there for in the first place. And if you visit the prisoners as a monk, you're condemning them to death.
You must be doing something wrong, because there's more than enough time to do everything you have to before the end of the day. You can complete the rescue mission by going to Nottingham castle, the abbey, the pub, back to the abbey, back to the pub, then free the prisoners, then escape.

If you just wander aimlessly between screens, time apparently passes more quickly. If you keep to your mission and actually accomplish something in each location you visit, you have more time.
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:15 PM   #202
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How can you free the prisoners in the monk's clothes?

Edit: Wait, I know what the problem was. I went through the maze again.
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Old 07-23-2006, 07:15 PM   #203
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Day 6... my least favorite part of the game.

Why?

Spoiler:
The gemstone riddles. Not that I think copy protection is unfair somehow, or that the riddles are too hard (although they can be tricky). No, it's the fact that Robin has no reason to know the lore on which the black monks test him. And that shatters my suspension of disbelief.

On Day 7, Christy Marx makes a point to show how Robin learns the Hand Code and remembers it. It thus makes sense, from a story point of view, that he can use it later on effortlessly, even though the actual players have to go searching for their manuals.

But on Day 6, Robin is asked to identify the gemstones out of the blue. It's never shown that he knows the lore, but he would have to in order to survive.

The gemstone lore is probably not common knowledge; why else would the Fens Monks use it as a way to identify one of their own? I'd think they would want a foolproof code. So how does Robin know it?

On the other hand, Robin is more educated than the rest of the Merry Men (Little John, for example, can't read). So maybe he has stumbled across the ancient knowledge in a book somewhere, before he became an outlaw. Still, if Christy Marx made the effort to rationalize the Hand Code, I would've expected her also to explain why Robin knows the gems' properties.

Same goes for the Druid tree names. Robin knows the trees by sight, surely, since he's so well acquainted with the woods, but is he really that much of a scholar to be able to name them in another language? The lamp puzzle in KQ6 bothered me for the same reasons.

Of course, it's Christy Marx. And it's copy protection. Quality game design, normally her trademark, goes out the window when you add the latter to the former. (I counted the number of times I had to look something up in my manual on a recent playthrough--it was about 11, and that rises to 19 if you count selecting the 9 proper gemstones individually. Dial-a-Pirate was SO much easier, and kinder to the player.)
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:25 PM   #204
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Not wanting to sound like an asshole, but I initially thought the way to fail Day 5 was rather sloppy, partially because I couldn't imagine that anyone would do it without specifically trying. Mori has partially redeemed that design decision in my eyes.

I'm not very far in Day 6 yet, but has anyone tried visiting St Mary's dressed as a Fens monk? It's great.
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:29 PM   #205
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Yeah. If we'd done Day 5 and Day 6 in the opposite order we could also have visited the castle and the sheriff, which is also good fun.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:23 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATMachine
Day 6... my least favorite part of the game.
That's funny. Day 6 has always been my favourite day, whereas I've never cared for Day 5 in the least. I love the atmosphere of the monastery, with the mists and great music, and all the manuscripts to read, and the gemstones riddles which I've always found lots of fun (what can I say, I've always loved looking things up in books / manuals, especially when it involves processing the info you find and not just try to find the right page).
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Old 07-24-2006, 07:46 AM   #207
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Now for the scores as I see them.

Day 6 max score: 3285
Day 6 min score: 435 - (50*N)

I gave the emerald to the Prior on Day 6, since giving it to the Abbot on Day 5 gives you 10 points for entering St. Mary's. As far as I know, there's no way to fail Day 6, short of getting killed, without retrieving the two scrolls and escaping the Monastery.

The "50 times N" refers to an interesting situation. When you go in the torture chamber and find Fulk strung up, you can leave the room and then reenter without letting him down first. Doing this (let's call it action N) gets you -50 points each time. You can do it repeatedly and keep losing points. I tried to see how much I could lose before the game counter broke, and gave up somewhere around -10000!

Day 7 max score: 3745 (or 3845 if you open the puzzle box on this day)
Day 7 min score: 845 - (50*N) (see above)

I don't think you can fail to show the scroll to Marian or meet the Green Man, and even if it were possible you'd then die on Day 9.

If anyone has corrections to these scores, or finds new ways to fail, please post them here.

Also, a quick comparison between some dialogue boxes in Christy Marx's Longbow files (on the left) and my copy (on the right):




I much prefer the colors in my copy.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:57 AM   #208
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Hmm. I wonder if you can give the abbot the water ring if you do the fens quest before the town quest? That might lose a few more points. Or maybe there are ways to get rid of the rings later in the game?
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:22 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by After a brisk nap
Hmm. I wonder if you can give the abbot the water ring if you do the fens quest before the town quest? That might lose a few more points. Or maybe there are ways to get rid of the rings later in the game?
Unfortunately you can't lose the ring by giving it to the Abbot and then play onward. I just played the game again and tried it; if you do, you get caught and summarily hanged. I guess it's because you need the ring to complete Day 13.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:13 PM   #210
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Oh, an Easter Egg: Go to the Fens dressed as an outlaw, and walk down to the shore of the water. Walk to the east, so that you end up on another screen of shoreline. Then go back to the west, where you were before. Do this repeatedly (about 7 times should do) and eventually something will happen.

Spoiler:
You'll meet Nessie, of Scotland fame. Seems she's in the wrong body of water! This easter egg can also be found in Quest for Glory I VGA, by the way.


If you don't see it, reload a saved game and try again.

Also, another Easter Egg is to shoot a pixie with your bow. Then open the pouch it leaves behind. Whoa! Don't worry, the effect wears off when you leave the screen.

Last edited by ATMachine; 07-24-2006 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:38 AM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATMachine
Now for the scores as I see them.

Day 6 max score: 3285
Day 6 min score: 435 - (50*N)

Day 7 max score: 3745 (or 3845 if you open the puzzle box on this day)
Day 7 min score: 845 - (50*N) (see above)

I don't think you can fail to show the scroll to Marian or meet the Green Man, and even if it were possible you'd then die on Day 9.
You beat me by 15 points on Day 6 (the max score). Any idea how? Other than that, I can confirm (or at least second) those points.

You're right about Marian. Try leaving without showing her the scroll, then going back, then leaving, then going back. She gets quite cross.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:46 AM   #212
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You may have missed the option to give Fulk some money just before Robin gets in the boat in the secret chamber. That's worth 25 points, though. Are you sure your score wasn't 3260 and not 3270?
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:22 AM   #213
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You're right. I miscalculated the difference. Giving money to Fulk, eh? Jeez, Robin, enough with the reverse kleptomania already!
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:14 PM   #214
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On another note, I've always been impressed with Day 7 and
Spoiler:
the tasteful handling of the Robin-Marian love scene. Most games either just avoid such matters like leprosy, or make them overly raunchy (playable sex scenes, anyone? )

Here, we see two consenting adults deciding to consummate their relationship, pledging themselves to each other despite the great danger of doing so - a beautiful moment. It's important to the story, too; the scene reinforces the declarations of love Robin has been making throughout the game, and drives home to the player that those feelings are real and not just words in the script.

Although I do wonder how Marian managed to avoid getting grass stains all over her pretty white dress.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:17 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATMachine
Although I do wonder how Marian managed to avoid getting grass stains all over her pretty white dress.
That's the good thing about being "one with the forest".
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:49 AM   #216
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Days 6 and 7 are really among my favourite days in this game. As I said, I love the quiet mood in the monastery, as well as the manuscripts to read; the scene between Robin and Marian on the next day is also superbly handled. The puzzle with the gargoyle heads is also one of my favourites; it's really cleverly clued. When I first played the game with my parents, 15 years ago, we of course had no idea how to open the gate at first. And then the prior arrived and got us killed, but not without dropping the name "Vocalis" first, which we knew we had read in one of the manuscripts upstairs. So we loaded a save, re-read the manuscript, and now understood its significance and found how to open the gate. And I'm sure that's exactly how Christy Marx envisioned the player's solving this puzzle. So that was brilliantly handled. (Of course, it might prove a slight problem for those people who only play with a single savegame; then again, no-one was dumb enough to do that at the time, and I have no pity whatsoever for those who are now.)

Speaking of puzzles, those two days show how much Christy Marx had progressed in her design between her two Conquests games. We here revisit two classics from Camelot (the fight and the riddles), but both are much better handled here. The fight with the monk is much funnier to play than the one against the Saracen, and part of it is due to its being much shorter; so you either win or lose, but at least you don't have to spend ten minutes on it every time you lose. And now the difficulty slider acts as it should, that is, as a way for the player to determine how hard he wants his action sequences to be, instead of the implementation in Camelot where you had to play with the highest difficulty setting (and never get hit a single time, at least in the fight at Glastonbury Tor) if you wanted to get full points. The riddles also play out much better, because you're allowed to fail. In Camelot, you had those five riddles, and no way to continue if you didn't solve all of them; here, you can skip a few. Furthermore, the game warns you, and encourages you to save, before the riddles start; thus, if you really can't solve the riddles you get, you can always return to that save, leave the screen and get another set of riddles when you return. In Camelot, you had no warning before the five riddles were randomly chosen, and were therefore often stuck with them.

Copy protection is also an area where Longbow did things better than Camelot. The gemstones puzzle is of course just the same thing as the flowers, and I think it works fine. But I'm glad the boring trivia questions about Aphrodite are gone and replaced with more elegant things, such as the hand code.

Another similarity is with the story and the introduction of pagan mysticism in it. Camelot also tried doing that, but I argued previously that those elements ended up clashing with the game's theme and making the game look like new-age hogwash. Here, on the other hand, it fits much better within the framework of the story. In all versions of the tale, there's always a bit of mystery about Marian, so it doesn't seem especially shocking that she might be some sort of secret priestess. Also, Sherwood forest has always been a very important element in Robin Hood's stories, so giving it a life of its own, a magic of its own, seems completely fitting*.

I've never been a big fan of innovation for innovation's sake (though I definitely want games to progress and explore new territories), and I've always thought that designers had better spend their time fixing what didn't really work in their previous game rather than just throw new, just as dysfunctional, stuff on top of it. I feel that Conquests of the Longbow achieves that: the recipe is almost exactly the same as in Conquests of Camelot, except that this time it is much more skilfully handled and ends up working a hundred times better (leaving, of course, Camelot looking in retrospect like no more than a preliminary sketch of Longbow's brilliance).

* By the way, I'm not sure I completely agree with Snarky's (faster to type, sorry ) earlier assertion that Celtic magic would be out of place in 12th-century England. The 12th century was when were written many of the early versions of the Arthurian legends (Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, Wace's Brut, Chrétien de Troyes's Lancelot, etc.), and those are full of Celtic influences. Sure, remembering Celtic myths does not mean believing in them. Sure, those stories were mostly written in Celtic lands (Wales, Brittany, France), not in England. But still, the Celts and their myths were far from forgotten in England in the late 12th century. So I'm not saying that England at the time was chock-full of druids howling at the moon, but a small (2 members, one of them retired!) vestigial Druidic cult in the vast Sherwood forest doesn't strike me as especially far-fetched.
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:21 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATMachine
On another note, I've always been impressed with Day 7 and
Spoiler:
the tasteful handling of the Robin-Marian love scene. Most games either just avoid such matters like leprosy, or make them overly raunchy (playable sex scenes, anyone? )

Here, we see two consenting adults deciding to consummate their relationship, pledging themselves to each other despite the great danger of doing so - a beautiful moment. It's important to the story, too; the scene reinforces the declarations of love Robin has been making throughout the game, and drives home to the player that those feelings are real and not just words in the script.

Although I do wonder how Marian managed to avoid getting grass stains all over her pretty white dress.
What the?

I didn't see that on day 7... For me, day 7 was:

Spoiler:
Give scroll to Marian.
Catch pixie and get Green Man's help

The End.
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:44 AM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninth
What the?

I didn't see that on day 7... For me, day 7 was:

Spoiler:
Give scroll to Marian.
Catch pixie and get Green Man's help

The End.
Spoiler:
I think you have to show her the emerald heart again.

I don't quite agree with ATMachine here. That "A man and a maid must have SOME privacy" line really irritates me for some reason.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:20 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkface
Spoiler:
I think you have to show her the emerald heart again.

I don't quite agree with ATMachine here. That "A man and a maid must have SOME privacy" line really irritates me for some reason.
Do you think the line is too cutesy? Or is it that it breaks the fourth wall? Either way, I can understand how it would bother some people. It doesn't keep me from enjoying the rest of the scene, though.

You're right about showing Marian the emerald heart on Day 7, but you only see the scene if you showed it to her on Day 4 as well. If you show it to her on Day 7 for the first time, the scene will play as it would have on Day 4.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:35 AM   #220
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Quote:
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You're right about showing Marian the emerald heart on Day 7, but you only see the scene if you showed it to her on Day 4 as well. If you show it to her on Day 7 for the first time, the scene will play as it would have on Day 4.
It did. Darn.
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