Forgotten Dungeons [EN]

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Mattanja
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Part 10: "Brave Old World, Part II"
Minor Spoilers for the main quest and 'The brotherhood of Kor'!

First of all we pay a visit to the wonderful Thalgard, that can be seen in early discarded versions on old screenshots (here and there). None of those versions is still in the game, but in the release-version of the game, there are a cell and a worldspace, that contain another variant of the place:
We enter the 'Caves of Thalgard' either through a big gate or a small door in a tower and follow a rather large cave until we enter the main cavern through another gate.
[+] The Entrance
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Tha path leads us on a ledge around the huge rocky cavern, whose walls are studded with fortifications and columns. With the help of stairs and catwalks we reach the large gorge in the center of the cavern, that was eroded by a stream at its bottom.
[+] The Cavern
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Depending of the version, there is either a stone or wooden bridge leading over the gorge to the golden entrance of the fortress, that was built in the rock.
[+] The Bridge
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As there is nothing to be found behind the door, we leave Thalgard behind and head straight for the deeps of the Living Temple, to look for an alternative station of the undertrain.
Surprisingly the station does not look as old as we expected it to be, being a remain of the pyreans. Because after entering the waiting area from an icy cave, we realize that it is indeed completely abandoned, but still in a pretty good condition.
[+] Waiting Area
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So we enter through the door next to the deserted ticket counter and follow the hallway to the train platforms. Everything seems, as if people had just left and would return any second (nobody shows up though). A train seems to be ready for departure at platform 2, the room is lit by bright lights below the ceiling, there is a notice board with various notes and the balustrades on the upper floor are decorated with colourful cloth.
[+] The Platforms
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At last we visit the idyllic island of the Kor and examine an alternative cave beneath the village. The cave turns out to be a lot smaller than the one, we can actually find, because after entering it underwater and swimming around two corners, we already find ourselves in the occult chamber containing the huge demon statue, we know from the game.
[+] Cave of the Kor
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This marks the end of our small trip into a parallel universe of Enderal today, but you can look forward to the next chapter, where we are going to explore one of the most mysterious places of this series...
Mattanja
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Part 11: "A Gloomy Adventure"

So after a long break this series is back with hopefully more regular updates than every few months :) But as I was pretty occupied with work and uni, I did not really find the time to write something or play FS at all and was keeping away from the forum to avoid spoilers.

This trip takes us for one last time into a larger area that only existed in the release-version of the game and was removed from the game shortly after. It is maybe one of the most interesting and mysterious unfinished dungeons of the game...
We start our journey in the Gloomstonecave, a completely overgrown cave system, where we follow dim hallways full of bushes, moss and fern. Here and there we have to walk over rock bridges and ledges to move forward through the mist.
[+] The Gloomstonecave
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After hurrying through the green cave for some time and almost getting lost at some junctions, we end up in a larger room. There are huge moss curtains hanging from the ceiling, the ground is covered in puddles and there are several stone pillars spread around the cavern. At the other end we spot a wide staircase, lined with fires, that leads to an archway. On the other side of it behind a water curtain, we discover the corpse of a bandit and a few skeletons, that seemed to have had some form of quarrel with the former.
[+] The Room
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We continue around a few more corners and suddenly find ourselves at a dilapidated wooden bridge, leading over a deep pit. On the other side the path leads us further down until we end up below the bridge, that we can still spot above our head in the fog.
[+] The pit
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We follow a ledge down until we reach the bottom, where an archway in the wall leads us deeper through the caves to the "Valley of eternal Imprisonment".

The view is not much better here and the trees we can spot in the huge cavern start disappearing into a green-brown mist after a few meters. A wide stairway leads us down to a small creek, running around trees and rocks. Using some boards as a walkway we follow the course of the water to the left. After a few meters we end up at a small lake, where we see a small camp on the other shore. Having a closer look we discover that besides a simple tent, a few crates and a fireplace a safe chest is waiting for us to store our belongings in.
[+] In the Valley
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As the path seems to end here, we turn around and return to the entrance where we follow the trail to the right. We slowly reach more open terrain, that is dominated by bare trees. After a few steps, the way forks up and we decide to take the right path, that leads us into some sort of small village. A village is almost an overstatement, as it only consists of two houses, one seemingly inhabitated the other one just being a ruin, a well and a field.
[+] Settlement
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But as we do not find anything of interest there, we leave the small settlement and cross a small bridge to follow the path deeper into the mist. We almost miss a small path to the right, that we can hardly see because it is very overgrown, but decide to follow it. We pass though a coniferous forest and reach a stairway that feels reminiscent of the one at the valley's entrance. But the gateway on top is filled with rubble and not passable, so we return to the path and keep following it.
[+] Unpassable exit
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Soon there is another path on our right that we take and after a few meters a fortress slowly appears out of the fog. The gate is locked though and the drawbridge is pulled up. Luckily we find a weird sphere in front of the entrance that fits on a pedestal and opens the gate for us. Inside the walls we are welcomed by impaled skulls on spears.
[+] Fortress
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After unsuccessfully trying to open the gate to the castle's interior, we head back and hurry to leave this place behind.
The path continues through a dreary field until we spot some sort of camp to our right. Inside of it, there is nothing of interest besides a few secure chests and tents that seem to belong to us, as they are labeled 'My tent'. Supposedly the remains of the planned camping-system (Ch. 3.13), that was cut out before the release.
[+] Camp
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Moving on we discover a small graveyard with a few tombstones and an inscription saying "Cover the graves with large stones, so that the undead remain forever under the earth."
[+] Graves
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Next we find some sort of construction with four fire bowls and a grating on top of a shaft leading deep down.
[+] Altar
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Every bowl has a lever beneath it and after making sure, we stand on the bars (what could go wrong?) we activate each lever. The ground gives way and we fall into the depths of the 'temple of solitude'...


*Splat!* We dive into an underground lake and are lucky not to be impaled by some spears beneath the surface. Just like in the cave, moss and fern have conquered the area completely. In the adjacent chamber we stumble upon a few skewed archways, that lead the way through the cave.
[+] Underground Lake
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Leaving the last archway behind, we find ourselves on a ledge, above the gate to an old temple. The rooms and hallways we pass through on the other side could not stop the moss either and it seems at if it has been a long time since someone was here. Suddenly we find ourselves swimming underwater after entering through some sort of invisible wall. (Probably just a bug in a script that was never fixed, as there is a lot of torches and fires burning under water)
[+] The temple of Solitude
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We keep swimming and eventually reach a large hall with a locked gate. There is a passage on each side, where we find pressure plates that can be activated by placing an item on them. (At least in theory, as this puzzle relying on gravity is rather awkward under water :dumb:) But after a few tries, we can get to the other site where we can enter a shaft directly below the ceiling.
[+] Flooded area
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It leads us into an unbelievably large canal system in some sort of cavern. Unfortunately this is where our journey ends as this part of the dungeon was never completed.
[+] Canals
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(Minor spoilers for the main quest ahead)
As there is another water surface underwater I assume that the water was actually meant to rise after activating the pressure plates, but the scripts for that did not work in this version which resulted in both versions of the water being there from the beginning.
The whole place including cave, valley and the temple looks really promising and atmospheric and I really wonder what quest or story was supposed to take place here. The naming ("temple of solitude", "valley of eternal imprisonment") kind of reminds me of some sort of trial, that takes place in the player's mind, just like the one before the consecration. But this is merely speculation and unfortunately I did not find any real clue, that would explain what the purpose of the dungeon really was.
So we are pretty much done with the whole dungeon complex, even though there is still a few paths in the valley that we did not take. But all those are either dead ends or lead back to another part of the path, which makes the whole place really confusing in the beginning and one can get lost in the fog pretty easily. If anyone is interested in where which location was, I created a small map of the valley:
[+] Map of the valley
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As the dungeon only exists in the very first release version of Enderal, there are no Cell-Ids today.
jacksp
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This is incredible. Even more so if I think that all these locations were thoroughly designed even though they didn't reach the final stage to be added to the game.

I absolutely admire the devs work and love this thread, it's so amazing to be able to discover every secret buried in Enderal's world. Keep 'em coming!
haidaboy
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Sadly, these 'easter eggs' have been removed in the updated Steam version of Forgotten Stories. My old Shards of Order install still has them though.

I wish Enderal had some of the easter eggs similar to Nehrim. I'm thinking of Sven's Disco, The SureAI rooms under that dam and the German rock band in the theatre specifically. I liked that artistic touch.
Mattanja
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Part 12: "The city below the desert"


The next installment of our journey leads us once again beneath the desert. Through a natural passage that is half-filled with sand, we enter an initially quite small and narrow cave, but after a few meters it leads us into some kind of big crater, covered in rubble and with some columns, towers and arcades in the walls. On the opposing side we enter a corridor that leads us up and repeatedely allows us a view down into the crater.
[+] Entrance and Crater
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Once we reach the top, the sunlight does not reach us anymore and we are standing in a dark cave, which is only sparsely illuminated by some blue crystal lanterns suspended from trees. All around us we see the ruins of old impressive buildings, which could be either from the starlings or the pyreans.
[+] Dark hall
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But none of the buildings can be entered anymore and a few stairs that lead up to a wooden construction are the only way that allows us to continue. We get back to the edge of the crater and get a nice overview from some sort of large balcony.
[+] The balcony
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From here on we follow a narrow stone staircase that leads us to a deserted town (probably called 'Alt Jormungrad'), which is not very big, but whose buildings carved into the rock look quite impressive.
[+] Old Jormungrad
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While it is also very gloomy in large parts of the city, we repeatedly notice that we are only just below the surface when sunlight and plants enter through an artificial shaft in the ceiling.
[+] The City
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Through narrow alleys we pass some empty or unfinished houses and even come across the quite spacious but sparsely furnished tavern 'The weary Marauder'.
[+] Alleys and Tavern
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The weary Marauder:
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In another alley we come across another door that leads us to the so-called 'rat farm'. After only a few meters we come across barred cells in which rats were probably kept.
[+] The rat farm
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For the fact that we are in a 'rat farm', we encounter surprisingly few rodents. The only ones we meet are roasting on sticks and probably tell us the purpose of the facility: food.
[+] Rats
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The farm illuminated by crystal lamps is not very large, but in the end we come across a breakthrough in a wall that leads us into a kind of canal system that contains even very unhealthy looking brackish water.
[+] In the canal
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Interestingly, the canal also seems to function as a connection between some scientific institutions or similar. The first passage we find takes us into a laboratory full of pipes, machines, switches and displays. The purpose of the construction is not quite clear to us, but in the following room we find the working and living space of the researcher living here, including a bed and a fully functional toilet.
[+] The laboratory
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The second branch of the now dried up canal leads us into a huge room, which is almost completely filled by a huge metal sphere with rings and crystals. Below the sphere there is a control unit with a control panel and an energy column leading from the floor to the sphere.
[+] Metallic Sphere
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The rest of the canal unfortunately turns out to be either a dead end or not finished.


Again, the dungeon simply seems to lack completion. Interestingly enough, Old Jormungrad is from the same designer as the Glass Fist (part 6) or the Tanks (part 5) and some more that are still on my list. In fact, not a single dungeon marked with its abbreviation is in the game (except the modified tavern "The hollow Hand"). So either they dropped out at some point during development or the finished dungeons have simply been renamed.
[+] Cell-ID
  • FFAltJormungrad
Mattanja
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Part 13: The shards of the forest"

Now that I've finally played through FS after ages, I can say that I was very happy to find some formerly not included dungeons in the game (like the "Forgotten Temple" from part 9 or the Theater of the Lower City)!

Today we take a look at and into a few dungeons, which all probably would be located in the Dark Valley, as one can conclude from some parallels in the naming (see the end).

Somewhere deep in the Dark Valley we first come across an abandoned battery tower, which looks quite inconspicuous at first. The way up to the roof is filled up and guarded by an undead and one floor below we only come across hanging laundry.
[+] tower
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At the foot of the tower, however, we realize that we are probably in a larger fortified complex that seems to be buried or at least overgrown by now. Through the collapsed ceiling, light shines into a big hall, at the end of which we stand in front of a closed door. In order to get deeper into it, we first have to push some buttons in the right order. We descend further down a narrow corridor fastened with wooden planks and after a short while we come across another vault supported by columns and arches. Unfortunately, the path doesn't really lead any further here and we have to turn to the next remnant of the forest.
[+] old structure
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Starting from the monastery Westgard we come across some ancient caves whose entrance was lost over time. The underground passages, which were built either by the Pyraeans or the Starlings, are mostly illuminated by huge metal chandeliers, giving off an almost violet light and emiting steam.
[+] The first halls
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Guided by the unusual light sources, we pass a vast number of pipes and walk through natural and artificially constructed passages, until a wide cavern opens up in front of us. This one too is illuminated by a chandelier of enormous dimensions, hanging diagonally from the ceiling on a long pole and looks as if it would start swinging like a big pendulum at any moment.
[+] Cavern
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The next two large caves are also dominated by similar light sources, and wooden platforms above the abyss allow us to admire the intricate mechanics of the machines on the walls. After that we slowly return to more natural underground areas and possibly closer to the surface, as we slowly ascend again over wooden walkways.
[+] More lights
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(The dungeon doesn't really have any design similarities to the monastery (except for the end), but due to the naming of the cells 'WaldKlosterUebergang' (= Forest-monastery-transition) and 'WaldKloster1' (= Forest-monastery) for Westgard, a connection is quite likely. Alternatively, it could refer to another monastery, e.g. the lost Academy of Apothecaries in the North Wind Mountains.



At last we turn to the largest undiscovered complex, that we start to discover by entering the glimmershaft. We can easily see where its name stems from, as many blue crystals subtly illuminate the entrance of the cave. After a few metres, we are already standing in a bigger partially collapsed cave, with beams and pieces of wall scattered all over the floor. On the other side of the cave, which probably once served as a storage area, is the buried entrance of some kind of tower, to our right is an old loading crane and in a large rock niche to the left we find green crystals.
[+] Glimmershaft
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Over a few steps we climb up to a door that leads us into the so-called connecting shaft. Some green crystals light our way through dark corridors and again we find ourselves in a small cave that resembles the previous one a bit.
[+] Connecting Shaft
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We go on and pass through some rooms with low hanging ceilings that look as if the rotten beams can't really hold them anymore and their collapse seems to be only a matter of time.
[+] Hurry up
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So we do not stay long at all but hurry to get further and finally reach a bigger hall in the middle of which there is a hole in the ground leading further into the deep. Through a barred shaft in the ceiling, supported by columns, a little light falls in and next to an old cart with a barrel there is an artfully made statue. It seems that the way down is our only option and so we start to descend into the shaft.
[+] Deeper down
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(At this point there is no real connection between the dungeons, but the cave with the statue just described can be found almost identically both at the end of the Glimmershaft and the beginning of the Dark Water Cave)
After a few meters in the dark water cave we are at a fork in the road. The right passage quickly turns out to be a dead end with a crucified skeleton and some raw meat. It seems that we are now in the ruins of an old branched temple of the Pyreans.
[+] Ruine in the dark water cave
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The narrow corridors bifurcate again and again, but most of the times, the path merges again after a few metres or ends in a room marking a dead end. The ruin is partly rock-hewn and partly made out of bricks and reinforced by columns and arches. From the walls of the temple, huge stone faces are staring at us, which are painted with curious patterns and forms.
[+] Narrow passages
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We eventually enter a larger cave room where a waterfall falls from an opening in the ceiling where some light shines through. After walking up a wide stone staircase we enter the next part of the temple complex through a massive wooden gate. After passing through a few more rooms, we reach a rocky gorge that is spanned by a bridge.
[+] Deeper inside
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On the other side we are standing in front of three corridors: The middle one is blocked by several lattice doors, the other two lead into a room with a metal chain. If you pull on both of them several times in the right order, the path in the middle opens up and we descend a little deeper, leaving the temple to end up in an old mine.
[+] Puzzle
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The rock on the walls and ceiling is secured by massive beams and we approach a large cavern where the path spectacularly leads over some planks and rock needles that are protruding out of the abyss below. We continue to follow the rails of the mine railway and finally enter a small natural cave where a ladder in the ground seemingly leads us further. As this is not connected to anything, the exploration of the cave ends at this point. (Not quite true, just wait for the next part ;) )
[+] The Mine
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There is another part that belongs to the same complex, but is also not connected, and consists only of a huge hall with columns, as we are familiar with from some other pyraeic ruins. I suspect that this is an old version of the second part, as the entrance seems to be optically the exact counterpart of the gate at the waterfall.
[+] The cloister
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What almost all of today's locations have in common is the lighting mood that prevails here, which makes the dungeons look much darker than most in the game due to a much higher contrast and sometimes stronger bloom. Since such high-contrast locations don't really fit the rather pale current state of the Dark Valley, I suspect that they may have been designed at a time, when the forest itself had a different name and design. I don't have any real proof of this, but I suspect these two old screenshots of the "Dark Forest" and the "Forest of the Lost Ones" to be possible predecessors, both looking much darker.
Why of all places so many ruins are unfinished at this place, I can't quite explain either. Maybe it's just another designer who's dropped out. In any case, they look interesting and are all beautifully designed. Maybe some of them are also connected to the abandoned alchemist camp in the Dark Valley (german link :/ ). At least the last dungeon I can imagine is the ruin mentioned in the mysterious note (at the bottom) and a monastery is also mentioned that may be related to the monastery crossing. Ultimately, however, the purpose of the dungeons remains unclear and it is difficult to say exactly what they were about.


[+] Cell-IDs
(No longer accessible in the current version)
  • WaldBanditenTurm
  • WaldKlosterUebergang
  • WaldGlimmerschacht
  • WaldOldTempleRuin
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