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AG Community Playthrough #61: Anna’s Quest

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Lady Kestrel - 30 August 2020 11:20 PM

but those lake ladies are really creepy.😳

Oh! Good opportunity to discuss something Grin

I am always hugely inspired by music I listen to, and as an avid Radiohead fan I was digging into their catalogue to find the right mood for what I wanted for different story beats I had in mind. The mood of Pyramid Song jumped out at me in a big way, and the lyrics just struck a chord with visuals I was building - black eyed angels underwater felt so nightmarish, but gentle at the same time… I knew there was something there I wanted to explore. Some research later and I found folktales around the Weisse Frauen. The combination of mood and lyrics from the song felt like a perfect fit, and they quickly became an integral part of the story.

Big ending spoiler: I had this song on repeat when I was drawing the ending cutscene keyframes and backgrounds with Winfriede diving in after Hans

     
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Lady Kestrel - 30 August 2020 11:20 PM

I’m getting there!

Nice! I honestly thought you were out of the picture! Smile
Yes, you will be in the dungeon for a while, but it has its very nice moments, especially near the end, is very satisfying. I doubt you will be in need of any hint, the game’s difficulty is medium at best. But there is lots of discussion and analysis regarding the story and the characters on each chapter that you probably do not want to miss. Wink

     
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I find very interesting Dane how you managed to combine tales from various sources (Grimm Brothers, the 3 Bears, etc) with folklore elements like the Weisse Frauen or the Dragon and finally implemented them in your story. Were there any more characters/elements that you would like to include but for any reason you didn’t?

     
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Sughly - 30 August 2020 11:05 PM

The title is very much indicative of the deeper themes going on, while at the same time paying homage to detective titles that inspire it (The Big Nowhere, The Big Sleep, The Big Never etc).

Excellent titles for inspiration!

Sughly - 30 August 2020 11:05 PM

I was also somewhat pushed towards this because of a beautiful song I really hope I can use, if you want to keep researching Smile

There seems to be a few possible alternatives available. I’m not going to start guessing, but will try to hear if you managed to get the rights (when I get to play the game).

Sughly - 31 August 2020 12:23 AM

Big ending spoiler: I had this song on repeat when I was drawing the ending cutscene keyframes and backgrounds with Winfriede diving in after Hans

I can totally see this now that you’ve told us. It’s a great song!

     
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Sefir - 31 August 2020 06:56 AM

I find very interesting Dane how you managed to combine tales from various sources (Grimm Brothers, the 3 Bears, etc) with folklore elements like the Weisse Frauen or the Dragon and finally implemented them in your story. Were there any more characters/elements that you would like to include but for any reason you didn’t?

Thanks! Of course there were plenty of characters, whether big and important or small and more of a side character, which didn’t make it in because of whatever reason - either there just was too much already, or they didn’t really gel with the world.

One that I was a little bummed about not fitting in was the Mother Holle tale. Essentially there’s a girl who jumps into this well, and finds herself in an impossible dream-like land where she’s tested by a very creepy witch to get back out. I was really excited by this, the idea that there was an old well that the Wunderhorn villagers would tell you to stay away from (it was on the other side of a cliff with a broken bridge you would have to try and cross before entering). The trickiest idea was - if you can’t solve this dream-like place, you’re essentially stuck there - no going back and forth until you have an idea! I already had this with the Mill Witch so… too many witches spoiled it.

Another one included a giant - I considered having a room he was stuck inside within the dungeon. In a tale called Fitcher’s Bird there were some interesting characters (an evil wizard for one) and a great puzzle involving hiding in a sack of gold to escape him, but alas there just wasn’t the right space for it. For a while I was going to use this for getting TO the wizard in the dungeon. I was going to change the sack of gold to a postal sack, and every time you want to visit him you essentially mail yourself to his cell! The guard would have made some comments about how much mail this guy gets Grin but in the end I preferred the bureaucracy angle (fit better with the idea of Anna feeling guilty about some of her actions, and you-know-who playing on that).

Those are at least some more prominent ones from memory!

     
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I can see why that music inspired you, Sughly.  The video itself made me think of what lies in the depths of the lake.

     

Life isn’t just the front page.  It’s the comics, too.

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I finished chapter 4 late last night.  I thought using the executioner as a game show host was very funny.  For a while I wondered how I would get the paperwork from the clerk because I hadn’t tried to spill the ink.  I had looked at and tried to pick up the ink pot earlier, but I did a head slap when I realized I had forgotten Anna’s power move.  I really do like the different ways Anna can react to people and objects, but I just have to remember to use them all on everything.

After further confusing the already confused king, Anna is now exploring the rooms of the castle and is looking for the pieces of her flower girl outfit

Oh, and I have to mention how much I like the way the dialogue fonts match the characters who are talking.  It’s pleasing visually, but could be a real boon for someone who is hard of hearing. Thumbs Up

     

Life isn’t just the front page.  It’s the comics, too.

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Lady Kestrel - 01 September 2020 04:24 PM

I finished chapter 4 late last night.  I thought using the executioner as a game show host was very funny.

Ah, another inside story! That was voiced by the art director, Gunnar! He would allocate which animator was working on what, and did a LOT of extra art contributions himself. He’s an avid voice artist himself, so when he mentioned this to me I knew we had to get him in the game somewhere. His deep, booming voice seemed like a perfect fit for the executioner Smile I sat in the booth with him one day to record these and really had to work at not laughing over them!

One more side note - Poki, the director of the Deponia games (and Edna and Harvey) has a band with his partner and Gunnar. The musical interludes in Deponia is a good example of the kind of stuff they do Smile

     
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One other thing that I try to find is the small animation of Anna in the end of Volume 1 that pleaded the players to support the game, etc. I remember I found it extremely cute back in the day. Do you still have it Dane? Smile

     
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I finished the game tonight, and I have to say that I’m very impressed by the ending.  It made me sad that Winnie might have turned out very differently if her father had survived to support her interests.  She needed an advocate, not someone constantly telling her how bad she was, especially compared to her sister.  And then, when she needed support the most, her mother believed the worst and turned her back on her.  (Of course we know who helped that scenario along.)

Chapter 5 was fun to play, although I did get a bit stuck combining the written bits to find the whole spell to free Jannike, and I spent quite a bit of time looking for a coin until I examined the dress again.  I really liked the pigeon puzzle.  As soon as I realized which box belonged to that particular pigeon, it was easy to do. 

This was a wonderful game, and I’m glad I had a chance to participate in this playthrough.  Thank you so much, Sefir, for setting it up and guiding us through it all.  Also, kudos to you, Dane, for all the insights and personal stories you gave us along the way.  It made your special game even more special. Thumbs Up

     

Life isn’t just the front page.  It’s the comics, too.

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Sefir - 04 September 2020 07:59 AM

One other thing that I try to find is the small animation of Anna in the end of Volume 1 that pleaded the players to support the game, etc. I remember I found it extremely cute back in the day. Do you still have it Dane? Smile

Ohhhh boy, I forgot all about that!! I’m sure I could get it as I have that build of the game still. Work has me totally snowed under again though, so might be a few days before I can look sorry Cry

Lady Kestrel - 05 September 2020 12:45 AM

This was a wonderful game, and I’m glad I had a chance to participate in this playthrough.  Thank you so much, Sefir, for setting it up and guiding us through it all.  Also, kudos to you, Dane, for all the insights and personal stories you gave us along the way.  It made your special game even more special. Thumbs Up

Thank you so much for playing!! I’m really glad you enjoyed it Heart

     
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It is with great sorrow that I must announce the end of the playthrough. All of the participants have finished the game and it is time to give the (pinned) space to the next one. Again, a big thnk you to all participants and Dane for joining us with his trivia and enthusiasm. It was a blast!

     
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Unstickied.

And as usual, anyone still playing can always come in and comment.
And anyone who wants to try the game can always follow the CPT thread along with their playing. That’s also fun - I’ve done so myself for a few games!

     

Last played: Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5

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