Finished the game. Story feedback and appreciation

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ninjamelody
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About being shy, I do feel that a bit, for me it's like "Am I making guesses and missing some obvious information? How could you miss that?"
I think it's because the game already has contradicting information, and others may view it different than you, maybe?

I just started a second playthrough, I felt entirely different after entering the old temple (after being washed up at the shore). It's a damn tample with ANOTHER BEACON!!! Which nation is it, for sure it's not the Pyreans, and there were visions of those who were trying to light the beacon, and betrayals too!
BigElectricCat
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ninjamelody hat geschrieben:
"Am I making guesses and missing some obvious information? How could you miss that?"
Yeah that could be part of it, but usually I have a sense of humor about it.

"Bruce, if that's true then what about the cut-scene that clearly says...."

"Oh... Uhm... Phone must've gone off or something. Missed that one! Ooops" ; )
I think it's because the game already has contradicting information, and others may view it different than you, maybe?
Might be on to something there. Beginning to wonder if I've been making this too hard, and the explanation is really quite simple.

Might sound crazy, but...

...Here goes.

Cut-scene and guy in the jail puzzle both ask same thing. "What is reality anyway?"

Maybe the writer's whole point is he doesn't want us to understand his story!

Believing we can understand something like "reality" (when we're a part of it) is arrogant and "hubris."

So that's our downfall. When a civilization gets to the point where its people think they've got all the answers... It gets nuked by these "high ones" and the whole cycle starts again?
ninjamelody
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The point of the writers don't want us to fully understand the story, totally agree, hardly find anything to debunk this point haha.
BigElectricCat hat geschrieben:
ninjamelody hat geschrieben:
"Am I making guesses and missing some obvious information? How could you miss that?"
So that's our downfall. When a civilization gets to the point where its people think they've got all the answers... It gets nuked by these "high ones" and the whole cycle starts again?
Yep, makes sense. With pride as the main catalyst. As one side seeing the cleansing as a good thing to have, but the other side could see as a terrible upcoming destruction, got the Beacons and stuff, but turned out to be an even more important factor to make the cleansing happen because they and the older civilizations did not get the Numinos.

Aha, the NUMINOS! Is an objectification of what?

My closest guess is humility. The prophet's team's got all the resources, personnel, knowledge, strong desire to save. But yet they fell by pride. The clearest example is Arantheal not listening to his own team, it appeared that he didn't put effort on internal affairs, to make his team actually work like a team, how the loyalty of the Truchesa and Signet leader guy were lost. Also what has already been mentioned many times about Arantheal not being able to admit failure in past missions that failed and ended up killing civilians instead.

Observation: The only few characters that guess he's quite far from pride, are Calia and Arch Magister Lexil.

And how close were the main characters to be able to get the Numinos?

I think we were still far away, very unlikely that Yuslan Sha'Rim will be favor of Arantheal and not to destroy the Numinos. What if Arantheal became humble near the end and admit his faults and failures, will that help anything?

Still kind of bummed out that I can't do anything about investigating Peghast Lishari's murdur, picking up that capdust bottle raised my expectations so high, urghh.
BigElectricCat
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ninjamelody hat geschrieben:
The point of the writers don't want us to fully understand the story, totally agree, hardly find anything to debunk this point haha.
BigElectricCat hat geschrieben:
ninjamelody hat geschrieben:
"Am I making guesses and missing some obvious information? How could you miss that?"
So that's our downfall. When a civilization gets to the point where its people think they've got all the answers... It gets nuked by these "high ones" and the whole cycle starts again?
Yep, makes sense. With pride as the main catalyst. As one side seeing the cleansing as a good thing to have, but the other side could see as a terrible upcoming destruction, got the Beacons and stuff, but turned out to be an even more important factor to make the cleansing happen because they and the older civilizations did not get the Numinos.

Aha, the NUMINOS! Is an objectification of what?

My closest guess is humility. The prophet's team's got all the resources, personnel, knowledge, strong desire to save. But yet they fell by pride. The clearest example is Arantheal not listening to his own team, it appeared that he didn't put effort on internal affairs, to make his team actually work like a team, how the loyalty of the Truchesa and Signet leader guy were lost. Also what has already been mentioned many times about Arantheal not being able to admit failure in past missions that failed and ended up killing civilians instead.

Observation: The only few characters that guess he's quite far from pride, are Calia and Arch Magister Lexil.

And how close were the main characters to be able to get the Numinos?

I think we were still far away, very unlikely that Yuslan Sha'Rim will be favor of Arantheal and not to destroy the Numinos. What if Arantheal became humble near the end and admit his faults and failures, will that help anything?

Still kind of bummed out that I can't do anything about investigating Peghast Lishari's murdur, picking up that capdust bottle raised my expectations so high, urghh.
Hmmm... Hadn't gotten to Numinos now that you mention it.

What does it mean? Define your terms. Heh!

Have to be patient with me.

Did a brief stint as adjunct faculty teaching "Freshman Composition" & later "Introduction to Philosophy." Hated trying to teach people how to write who don't want to learn, but really enjoyed Philosophy. Fun to take the 'opposing side' for sake of discussion. :)

Unless it's German, don't think "Numinos" is a word, but it's very close to "Numinous" which can be taken to mean "deity or spirit over a place." Comes from Latin "numen" & Roman religion mythology.

Nice bit about it at the wiki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numinous

But of course won't find 'deity' in Enderal, so we'll have to scratch that one and perhaps define 'spirit' not as some sort of ghost, but a mood or feeling. "The spirit of the times" as it were.

So humility will work, but what then, is our foolish pride? Thinking we can defeat some sort of ethereal bogey-man called "High Ones?"

But that's part of the Human Condition isn't it? Traditionally, that's seen as the noble lot of man to struggle against all the odds. Struggle against the impossible (avoiding death itself) even when he knows he can't possibly win. It's not about winning or losing; it's about not giving up, or one shirks that responsibility.

What would happen if the "Prophet" (meaning mouth-piece or spokesman for god or gods if not mistaken) decides to hare off and go exploring. Maybe get married and have a family? (Provided he isn't dead of course.)

Then the "High Ones" are basically screwed, or they'll just find another puppet. (At one point, I think they say how disappointed they are in their "Prophet." "You're so boring... We thought you'd be... A little less predictable...")

So Tealor was a young officer who panicked and ended up being responsible for a massacre. Won't forgive himself (bad idea) and maybe that leads to inflexibility. He's *not* going to make that mistake again. "Steady the Buffs!" He will carry out his duty-- even if it means setting off the Bomb! Talk about irony... What's a massacre when it comes to genocide?

The "High Ones" know he will fight to the end, so he's the perfect patsy for them.

And funny you should mention Arch Magister Lexil.

Of all of them, he seems the most level headed and reasonable.

What happened to him? Don't remember that part. Things don't go according to plan (they seldom do) but just when we might need him the most... Where did he go?

Guess I missed that part.

Shouldn't he have been at the beacon? He's basically the guy who built it right?

"Grandmaster this is insane. I cannot let you do this!"


Tealor kills him? He's conveniently written out of the story by someone's treachery again?

Brings up a final question that's certainly not new.

The fate of mankind (or at least Enderal) hangs in the balance, and yet we-- as mere humans-- cannot seem to set aside our petty jealousies, pride, thirst for revenge, etc.

If we're that bad, is our species worth saving?

Are the "High Ones" evil or are we the ones who are evil? What are the "High Ones" anyway? Collective memories of past civilizations? Our civilizations were evil then?

Sort of reduces to a dog chasing its tail. Futile and probably quite dizzy! :sick:

---
Final thought-- Yes! Agree about Lishari's murder. Maybe that was one of those things they had planned as a quest, but to leave out?
MyLongestJourney
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And funny you should mention Arch Magister Lexil.

Of all of them, he seems the most level headed and reasonable.

What happened to him

After Arantheal ignites the Beacon without a core,you can find Lexil in the Sun temple courtyard,delirious with suffering as he slowly burns from inside :(
ninjamelody
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BigElectricCat hat geschrieben:
Hmmm... Hadn't gotten to Numinos now that you mention it.
You mean you haven't finished the game and you came to talk on this?

The comment above said it right about Lexill, he was lying down painfully at the Sun Temple.

As in Enderal has named a lot of things from existing language, Numinos is kind of hard to relate.

I have read a lot of people making alternating stories about the Prophet, like the world would be best if the Prophet didn't meet Jespar then things wouldn't end up as bad as this. Well I'd say the Prophet will likely die of Arcane fever for sure and that wouldn't fit the quality of being a main game character hahahaha. Or maybe the Veiled Woman or High Ones will decide to do something drastic again to get the game going.

If we're that bad, is our species worth saving?
That is totally up to how we deal with our pride I guess. Everybody has some kind of good quality and intentions, but if the pride dominates, then you're screwed.

Are the "High Ones" evil or are we the ones who are evil? What are the "High Ones" anyway? Collective memories of past civilizations? Our civilizations were evil then?
I think the High Ones are US! Our pride that's been excessive but has remained through generations.
BigElectricCat
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MyLongestJourney hat geschrieben:
After Arantheal ignites the Beacon without a core,you can find Lexil in the Sun temple courtyard,delirious with suffering as he slowly burns from inside :(
You keep better notes or have better memory than I do. Thanks! Can't imagine how I missed it, but early AM when finished MQ.
ninjamelody hat geschrieben:
You mean you haven't finished the game and you came to talk on this?
Ha! Going off half-cocked eh?

Thought we'd already talked about the ending. Thought it bummed you out, but maybe that was someone else, or posted at different topic. I chose the "float away" option fwiw.

And the ending (along with other parts of the game) is probably why some gamers have posted they don't like it, or find it depressing.

You (player character) aren't indispensable!

Not a very "feel good" message.

No one likes being told, "Nothing special about you at all. You're just convenient. You're disposable."

(The High Ones sound like Human Resources in a big corporation...) :lol:

So what if you refuse to cooperate or die of acane fever?

"We'll find someone else, but according to our calculations, you are just foolish enough to try and stop us. How amusing..."


Maybe that's what some players don't like. A sense of powerlessness and the whole "destiny" thing. "Why can't my character do something before the dwarf guy goes nuts? Why can't I at least be allowed the *chance* to prevent Yuslan Sha'Rim from the double-cross?"

"This is a game! I want to kick some High One ass! Get enough reality in real life. That's what games are for! Spill. You owe us an explanation at least!"

Maybe they have a point. Arrogant (and juvenile) to say to them, "How dare you complain and make demands? You're too stupid to understand art! Go play Pokemon on your phone and get lost!"

(Thank goodness haven't seen that here, but at another place)

---

One last thought occurred to me last night. Maybe others have thought of it too.

Yuslan is Leshari's killer? He just happens to appear when he does. And isn't he the one who distracts you into checking out the room and starts the "Wonder who's behind this" thing?

Perfect cover because it's only towards end of game that we find out he's been nursing a grudge, and betrays everyone because he refuses to forgive.
Moirai
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I think, for me personally, Enderal was a beautifully crafted one-time experience. What it does, which is to lead the player through a well defined story, it does exceptionally well. However, for me, in that respect, its story is both its strongest point and its weakest point.

In essence, you have an experience with no real replay value, game-wise. For all its pretensions of having RPG elements, like its overhauled skill system, at the end of the day, it is not an RPG but a linear on the rails game. Right from the start, you are slotted straight into a predefined character and then led down a predefined path to a predefined ending.

Now, that, in itself, is not a criticism, as there are many games which provide that style of gameplay. But, if you use that style, and then drive the player towards an (unsatisfying, for me) no win ending, then it pretty much removes any replayability.

Point being, what value is there in investing oneself in any of the characters (with the single exception of your 'companion'), or helping any ancillary characters via side quests, if they are all going to die anyway? Answer, there isn't. After the first playthrough, it really is nothing more than a 'follow the dialogue chevrons' to the end of the game.

That said, it is possible that the devs fully intended for Enderal to be just that; a magnificent single play experience. If that is so, I have no criticisms, because it achieves what it sets out to do in spades. However, if there was any intention for it to be replayable in any way, then it effective painted itself into a dead end corridor.

If the latter is true, then all it would have needed is a actual 'win' ending that would have been achievable via a more difficult or hidden action/dialogue path. For example, if you've played the Metro games you will be familiar with its hidden 'good' ending mechanic, whereby, provided the player performs certain unmarked charitable acts throughout the game, they accrue enough 'karma' points behind the scenes to unlock a different and more satisfying 'good' ending.

If something of that nature have been part and parcel of the Enderal experience, then replay value would have been through the roof as players attempted to find that path to a good satisfying ending. And, suddenly, the core challenge would have been focused on the story, which is where it should have been in the first place, rather than the challenge simply being about...not being killed. As it is, any apparent 'challenge' in the story is rather facile, since you only have a single path to follow.

Enderal isn't alone in this though. There have been a number of games that lead you down a convoluted path to an arguable unsatisfying ending. And, I feel that, in many cases the authors of such stories become so entrenched in their own desire to define and tell that story that they overlook one important aspect of their creation; this is for a game, and games are played by players in order to be able to win. If there is no achievable 'win' scenario, then that story is simply a non interactive 'book/movie' style story told through a media that is intended to be interactive. And no matter how important it is to you to tell your story, in a game you should always allow the player to achieve a sense of satisfaction at the end, so that they feel that all the time and effort that they have invested in the game has been worth it.

By now, you're probably thinking that I have nothing but criticism to level at Enderal. Actually, that could not be further from the truth. I could, in fact, bore you senseless by gushing and elaborating on everything that I truly loved about Enderal and felt it did beautifully. You may take that as a given though, because it did so much of what is right.

As someone who has been into heavily modfying games on an advanced level for as long as game have been moddable in any way, shape or form, and especially with Bethesda's games, I am quite aware and appreciative of the huge amount of time and effort that has been expended by so many talented individuals in order to create Enderal. I am also exceedingly appreciative of the generosity of those individuals in sharing their work with everyone. None of that is up for debate.

However, none of that should blind you into not providing constructive criticism. No-one is perfect, and life is a learning experience to the very end.

Besides, what I've described here is really my only criticism, its ending, and one that I personally felt tripped it up in the final straight to what would have been a magnificent victory.

But, as I've stated, this is just my personal opinion.
ninjamelody
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BigElectricCat
Haha, I may have to check if I started having Alzheimer about our conversation regarding the ending.

"No one likes being told, "Nothing special about you at all. You're just convenient. You're disposable."

(The High Ones sound like Human Resources in a big corporation...)"
Very good point! My disappointment about the story.

Moirai
You made a very good point about re-playing value, it's so hard for me to get up and make a new character (a different built with different attitudes) for Enderal, I know how it's going end, know what other characters are going to say, and the combat system is as bad as Vanilla Skyrim, but since this game is more focused on the story instead of combat. And the most hurtful part, that me (the main character) are a disposable puppet anyway.

Really, first I thought I may have the choice to betray Arantheal for:
1. Confront his past failure and clean up the conflicts he caused within the Holy Order.
2. Actually join Taranor Corack.
3. Get the Numinos without the help of the Holy Order.
BigElectricCat
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Moirai hat geschrieben:
Enderal isn't alone in this though. There have been a number of games that lead you down a convoluted path to an arguable unsatisfying ending. And, I feel that, in many cases the authors of such stories become so entrenched in their own desire to define and tell that story that they overlook one important aspect of their creation; this is for a game, and games are played by players in order to be able to win. If there is no achievable 'win' scenario, then that story is simply a non interactive 'book/movie' style story told through a media that is intended to be interactive. And no matter how important it is to you to tell your story, in a game you should always allow the player to achieve a sense of satisfaction at the end, so that they feel that all the time and effort that they have invested in the game has been worth it.
Very well thought out & written critique. Think that about sums it up!

I hope everyone can 'agree to disagree' on some points and not degenerate into two opposing sides trading insults or resorting to condescending sarcasm. That would be a shame imo.
ninjamelody hat geschrieben:
Get the Numinos without the help of the Holy Order.
Woah! Now there's an idea! Kind of like snagging the Elder Scroll before you even bother with Delphine & the stupid blades.

Should be more than one way to arrive at the end-game as "Moirai" aptly points out.

But back to square one again. <shrug> That's just not what Enderal is, so no use wishing for what the game isn't!

Does lead me to one final observation about MQ.

Remember the 'jail' puzzle?

This is marked as level 2 difficulty, but had me completely stumped. Thought it was probably a bug and had to console to get out of there.

Not so! All you have to do is smack the guy!

But that's not something my character would do. The poor guy is having a nervous breakdown or something "Oh! It's hopeless! Woah is me!"

I would hit someone like this? Violence is the answer? No.

So does that violate a cardinal rule in role play? Player must behave "out of character" just to solve a puzzle & escape. My hand is 'forced' so to speak. Yes, he really isn't what he looks like, but how am I to know that? (Maybe I missed any clues pointing to him being an imposter & me needing to punch him.)

Anyway, guess that's about it! I go back to work tomorrow so won't be nearly as active here with so much free time.

Been nice chatting with you & thanks for putting up with my long posts. I do tend to ramble.

Have fun with it! :)
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