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Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Tuesday 03 June 2014

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BEGINNINGS

Robert Cath trying to board the train he missed in the intriguing opening scenes of The Last Express, a game Kurufinwe loves unconditionally. Or so it seems.

Smile

Mysterious intros are the kind I like best. When the actual game starts you don’t know who you are and why you went to such lengths to get on this particular train. Ever since Myst I love being dumped somewhere without a clue. So the first time I played The Last Express I was thrilled to explore the train, spy on my fellow passengers and find out what my murdered friend has been up to. A fantastic game!

     
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Karlok - 03 June 2014 06:42 AM

When the actual game starts you don’t know who you are and why you went to such lengths to get on this particular train.

Except Robert Cath does, which is the part that doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a great game (slightly overrated) except I wish it were me that had a starring role and less of Robert, especially since it is me that controls almost everything he does. Which is something that Myst does right, for all the criticism against it.

     
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You have just reminded me, Zifnab, of an old interview with Al Lowe, at early 90’s he was asked what is his dream for the genre is/was, and his answer was the availability of an option for capturing your face image and ‘implant’ it for the game’s character.
heh, imagine! though that shouldn’t be a problem by now.

anyone tried TLE on tablet, is worthy playing on an iPad, or the mouse rules anyhow?

     
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One of these days (or in some other reincarnation) I’m going to play The Last Express.
As for now, it’s Roland Garros (It’s not an adventure game, silly!).

     

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zobraks - 03 June 2014 07:26 AM

I’m going to play The Last Express.

Sick (suddenly, I feel nice with my adventure sins and all those game I haven’t finished)

Zifnab - 03 June 2014 06:49 AM

Except Robert Cath does, which is the part that doesn’t make sense to me.

Seriously? The Last Express is a mix between the Myst-like view and the traditional character-driven game like every 3rd-person out there. The fact that you begin with a 1st-person view shouldn’t be confused with the fact that like in Monkey Island, Indiana Jones… you don’t need to know everything your character has done previously. We’re not explained how Indy did all those research and diggings previously once we step into his shoes.

Karlok - 03 June 2014 06:42 AM

I was thrilled to explore the train, spy on my fellow passengers and find out what my murdered friend has been up to.

Haven’t you heard? Tongue

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Zifnab - 03 June 2014 06:49 AM
Karlok - 03 June 2014 06:42 AM

When the actual game starts you don’t know who you are and why you went to such lengths to get on this particular train.

Except Robert Cath does, which is the part that doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a great game (slightly overrated) except I wish it were me that had a starring role and less of Robert, especially since it is me that controls almost everything he does. Which is something that Myst does right, for all the criticism against it.

True. It’s also weird to watch “yourself” in cut scenes until you get used to it. That goes for Tex Murphy and many other games as well. I don’t mind Tex talking to himself all the time, because I don’t feel I am Tex. But it’s a problem that can’t be avoided in story-driven games. There will always be a real-person-you and a video-game-you. Changing the Robert Cath perspective to 3rd-person (and ruining my immersion!) is no solution. Controlling a talking avatar with a mind of its own is just as weird when you think about it, and in TLE it would be an avatar with a secret history. Unless you delete Robert’s background, which would turn him into an investigator like Jim Pearson in Black Dahlia and make the game less interesting.

The Myst series sort of gets away with it because you are AFGNCAAP. You play no part in the story and past events. Sure, you may rescue Catherine, and she even looks you straight in the eye and thanks you. But don’t you find it jarring that you can’t say anything to her or to Gehn before he kills you? 

IMO, all story-driven 1st-person adventures with people talking to the protagonist fail to solve this problem. In Temujin you don’t know who you are and you can’t speak. I liked the game, but that’s ridiculous. In Dark Side of the Moon you don’t appear in cut scenes, so you’re spared the shock of seeing yourself in someone else’s body. But you do have a name, a voice, a history and your sister talks to you on a vidphone. (At least nobody on the train knows Robert Cath).

Diego, LOL! I should visit that thread more often.  Thumbs Up

     
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Karlok - 03 June 2014 06:42 AM

When the actual game starts you don’t know who you are and why you went to such lengths to get on this particular train.

Or who’s that girl, driving around with you?:

Grin

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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zobraks - 03 June 2014 07:26 AM

One of these days (or in some other reincarnation) I’m going to play The Last Express.
As for now, it’s[s]Roland Garros[/s]World Cup

This. Except for the tennis because everybody knows who wins in France.

I tried playing it once but it’s kind of intimidating at first and I lost track, but i’m sure It will be rewarding when I finally get around to it.

     

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diego - 03 June 2014 10:26 AM

Or who’s that girl, driving around with you?:

Grin

Don’t expect a womanizer like Robert Cath to remember the name of every girl who falls for him.  Tongue

     
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Zifnab - 03 June 2014 06:49 AM
Karlok - 03 June 2014 06:42 AM

When the actual game starts you don’t know who you are and why you went to such lengths to get on this particular train.

Except Robert Cath does, which is the part that doesn’t make sense to me.

Which made it doubly important to visit the (now sadly defunct) official site and read the background info on the main characters there before playing the game.
I agree that it should either have been included in the game, or at least in the game’s manual, though. You shouldn’t be dumped somewhere lacking critical info which the character you’re playing does have…

except I wish it were me that had a starring role and less of Robert, especially since it is me that controls almost everything he does. Which is something that Myst does right, for all the criticism against it.

But the difference is that you’re playing an actual character here, and not an AFGNCAAP like in Myst. There’s only a few games where you’re really playing “as yourself”.
Do you also wish that you had a starring role instead of, for instance, Gabriel Knight or Guybrush Threepwood??? *

* I realize that these are 3rd person characters and that you’re playing Robert Cath in 1st person here. When playing as a specific character, the view point shouldn’t really matter, though.

     

Last played: Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | 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

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TimovieMan - 03 June 2014 12:53 PM
Zifnab - 03 June 2014 06:49 AM
Karlok - 03 June 2014 06:42 AM

When the actual game starts you don’t know who you are and why you went to such lengths to get on this particular train.

Except Robert Cath does, which is the part that doesn’t make sense to me.

Which made it doubly important to visit the (now sadly defunct) official site and read the background info on the main characters there before playing the game.
I agree that it should either have been included in the game, or at least in the game’s manual, though. You shouldn’t be dumped somewhere lacking critical info which the character you’re playing does have…

You haven’t played the game. Background info is not needed. The information who you are and why you are on this particular train is immediately available. All you have to do is check two things in your inventory when the game starts: Read a telegram from a friend who requests your presence on the train (names!) and read the newspaper clipping about an American fugitive sought by the police, who fled to Paris. You will find your reply to your friend in his suitcase. That’s all you need to know. The mystery what your dead friend has been up to is a different matter.

     
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Karlok - 03 June 2014 02:02 PM

You haven’t played the game.

But I have started the game before and read both the telegram and newspaper clipping. Wink
It’s the minimal amount of info that should be given, and I still feel that the info from the official site (which I’ve read as well, before it disappeared) should’ve at least be contained in the manual…

     

Last played: Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | 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

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You don’t give up easily…  Smile

So you played two minutes of the game, you know who and why, and you’re still complaining. But you either don’t have the manual or haven’t read it. So I’ll quote the damned thing for you:

You are Robert Cath, a young American doctor. You have joined the train at the request of an old friend, Tyler Whitney, whom you have not seen in some time.

Tongue

     
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TimovieMan - 03 June 2014 12:53 PM

You shouldn’t be dumped somewhere lacking critical info which the character you’re playing does have…

Unless you discover it along the way, if designers wanted it that way. You’re “dumped” in “The Curse” on Plunder Island, but only later you learn of your past relation with LeChuck etc.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Karlok - 03 June 2014 04:56 PM

But you either don’t have the manual or haven’t read it. So I’ll quote the damned thing for you:

You are Robert Cath, a young American doctor. You have joined the train at the request of an old friend, Tyler Whitney, whom you have not seen in some time.

That’s a lot less info than you got at the official site. It’s a shame I can’t link to it anymore. Darn thing was still live last year…
It explains your proficiency with languages, and gave you a rundown of the major characters (including a short bio for each of them) - things you’d often find in a game manual anyway, just not in this one. And yes, I do have the manual AND I’ve read it. It just contains less info than the site did, which is odd…

Edit: Wayback Machine to the rescue!

diego - 03 June 2014 04:59 PM

Unless you discover it along the way, if designers wanted it that way. You’re “dumped” in “The Curse” on Plunder Island, but only later you learn of your past relation with LeChuck etc.

You’re not “dumped” on Plunder Island, the intro movie has a long sequence of exposition regarding who you are and how you got into that position... Wink

     

Last played: Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | 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

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TimovieMan - 03 June 2014 06:10 PM

You’re not “dumped” on Plunder Island, the intro movie has a long sequence of exposition regarding who you are and how you got into that position... Wink

OK, but Guybrush still knows a lot more of “critical” information than the player (if you didn’t play previous games). But here’s an even better example - in Syberia, you’re practically dumped in the middle of nowhere without any info - who you are, why you’re here, WHERE are you… but I thought it worked great to compliment the mystery.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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