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dead-ends in king's quest

posted by shaygol on - last edited - Viewed by 2.3K users

The thing I remember most about sierra games are the dead ends.

This usually happens when you got to a certain place in the game and you can't move on no matter what you do. Then, when you look at a walkthrough you see you forgot to pick up a certain item and you need to restore or restart to get to that point in the game.

This is something both lucasarts and telltale (till now) avoided.

But if they're remaking king's quest what will happen?

I prefer it if they will continue to avoid those dead ends. I didn't like them - they seemed so unfair, it was the main reason i preferred lucasarts games to sierra.

85 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • In the large majority of cases, if you hit a dead end you would not have to go back too far to overcome the problem before you were aware that a mistake had been made. I get not wanting to play everything over. That is why it is important to save often. This is a huge reason why I personally do not like auto saves and retries. In order for them to work, you can never have a dead end. To me, saving the game is part of playing the game, but this discussion has been had many times already. At the end of the day, I don't want the game to be changed because it doesn't fit the traditional tell tale style. I would much rather them be true to the game, but the is very little chance of this actually happening. I agree with multiple solutions to puzzles. This was made clear in the very first KQ game. Almost every puzzle had multiple solutions, and if you wanted to obtain a max score, you had to solve the puzzles in the "most honorable" way.

  • @DAISHI said: Here's my point. To a person that wants a fair and honest trip to the end, they just want to solve puzzles and get there. They don't want a bug stopping them any more than a programmed dead end because they are in all practical ways the same thing: A stop to the game that forces them to restart. I want to play a game, solve the puzzles, and get to the end.

    You say that you just want to solve puzzles, but a dead-end means that you failed to solve a puzzle. I don't buy the argument that because the result of a player having failed to solve a puzzle resembles the unintended result of a programming error the puzzle is therefore unfair or illegitimate or lazily designed.

    @DAISHI said: I usually like to play a game and finish it within a week's time. Why? Because my life is so hustle bustle and crazy that I don't have time to invest in a game for more than a week. Artificially stopping my progress because I forget something is not different to me than a bug, because they both keep me from finishing the game in a way that has nothing to do with whether I was solving the puzzles or not. Artificial extensions to the game's length only come across as cheap and hackneyed without any attention to real gameplay.

    How is a dead-end artificial or cheap? In video-gaming, it is generally the case that when you fail to meet the challenges presented in a game-world, the game takes longer to complete. A dead-end is well within the bounds of this concept, it's just an extreme example.

    I have long since given up arguing that games "should" have dead-ends or are "better" with dead-ends. (One has to pick and choose one's battles.) I agree that they can be replaced with other kinds of puzzles and still have a fun and challenging game. It's fine if people don't want to accept dead-ends as "fair game" in their personal video-game choices. I understand they don't want their video-game time spent on repeating large sections. But I have to object when they make the jump from personal dislike to declaring dead-ends invalid or illegitimate or unfair or lazy puzzle design -- it just doesn't wash. chucklas' point is worth repeating:

    @DAISHI said: I'm not a big fan of Call of Duty, but that doesn't mean they should change it up because it doesn't fit what I think is good game design. I just shouldn't play it. The same goes for you if you don't like the way the game is designed.

  • As fond as I am of the dead ends in old Sierra games, which I suspect has a lot to do with nostalgia... it's not something I think they should put in new releases.
    For one thing, the vast majority of gamers will find it unacceptable, and also - even though it's something I've grown fond of, I still have to admit it's not good design.

  • Well, first off, one of my favorite things about Sierra games is dying in them. I specifically TRY to get every death animation in the game because they amuse me!

    Dead ends, on the other hand, are part of the reason why I never cared for Sierra too much (though I love Space Quest 4!). They were always vague, so you never knew if you were just not getting an obscure puzzle, or if you had actually found a dead end. They don't make the games more challenging, as let's face it, once you know what to do when playing an adventure game, there's NO challenge. It simply wastes your time. It's not like the deaths either, where you get a funny animation. There's nothing but frustration and bad game padding.

    I think that for the general crowd of gamers, they would hate the dead ends, but the select group of die-hard adventure game fans (which unfortunately, I can't really class myself into) may get a nostalgic kick out of it. I think overall they'd put far more people off than draw people to the game.

  • @thom-22 said: You say that you just want to solve puzzles, but a dead-end means that you failed to solve a puzzle. I don't buy the argument that because the result of a player having failed to solve a puzzle resembles the unintended result of a programming error the puzzle is therefore unfair or illegitimate or lazily designed.

    How is a dead-end artificial or cheap? In video-gaming, it is generally the case that when you fail to meet the challenges presented in a game-world, the game takes longer to complete. A dead-end is well within the bounds of this concept, it's just an extreme example.

    I have long since given up arguing that games "should" have dead-ends or are "better" with dead-ends. (One has to pick and choose one's battles.) I agree that they can be replaced with other kinds of puzzles and still have a fun and challenging game. It's fine if people don't want to accept dead-ends as "fair game" in their personal video-game choices. I understand they don't want their video-game time spent on repeating large sections. But I have to object when they make the jump from personal dislike to declaring dead-ends invalid or illegitimate or unfair or lazy puzzle design -- it just doesn't wash. chucklas' point is worth repeating:

    You don't have to play most of CoD over if you lost in the final fight. It's not the only example of a genre that's had to drop a frustrating mechanic as the years have rolled, either. You couldn't save in Castlevania I and if you died right before the final boss, you'd still have to play from scratch. There are a few hardcore gamers who long for that day, but it's not one that's going to come back.

  • @DAISHI said: ...if you died right before the final boss, you'd still have to play from scratch.

    My my, how far we've fallen. Those were the DAYS.

  • Actually that was one thing I never liked, even back when it was normal... having to keep replaying the earlier stages over and over... I always found that got boring fast.

    By the way, if you want a real 'old-school challenge', you should try out the Shadow of the Beast games for the Amiga (the two first ones anyway).

    Those games have some obscure puzzles (they're sidescrolling 'platformer' games but they have some puzzles, especially the second one), you have to restart from scratch when you die (and you only have one life), and they have plenty of dead ends (again, mostly the second game) :D

  • @Armakuni said: Actually that was one thing I never liked, even back when it was normal... having to keep replaying the earlier stages over and over... I always found that got boring fast.

    By the way, if you want a real 'old-school challenge', you should try out the Shadow of the Beast games for the Amiga (the two first ones anyway).

    Those games have some obscure puzzles (they're sidescrolling 'platformer' games but they have some puzzles, especially the second one), you have to restart from scratch when you die (and you only have one life), and they have plenty of dead ends (again, mostly the second game) :D

    Shadow of the Beast was a pretty good game, with especially fantastic music, but it was cryptic as heck! Making you go left at the start instead of right (the usual for side-scrollers, of course) really did throw you off, and that was just the very start!

    Ah, old school games are so sadistic. Isn't it kind of odd that often we like old school games for being so cruel though? Plus, a game that's an actual challenge is nice when you're sick of the difficulty of newer games. I just never really understood what some old-school games considered a "puzzle", though. I guess more than anything, that put me off a lot of really old point & clicks.

  • You know I hate to beat a dead horse but the whole scenario being postulated here could be fixed with a difficulty setting. In a normal setting Graham announces there's something important you've missed in the room (something that could lead to a dead end, not for just any item. A truly critical item). In an old school setting, the game just lets you leave.

  • Another thing that could be done on an easy difficult setting would be to warn you from using items incorrectly. Graham could say in KQV, "I think an eagle might prefer something other than pie" so you don't waste it on the eagle. On a hard setting it would just let you do it.

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