best endgames

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Stacy the Procrastinating

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Jun 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/29/98
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OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
consider to be the best game endings? Now that I've played through to the
ending (<insert sheepish look here>), I'm wildly impressed by it. On the
other hand, I don't think my all-time favourite game, AMFV, had a terribly
innovative end. So which game endings are the classic and the brilliant
ones?

- Stacy

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Weird Beard

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Jun 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/29/98
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Stacy the Procrastinating wrote in message ...


>OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
>consider to be the best game endings? Now that I've played through to the
>ending (<insert sheepish look here>), I'm wildly impressed by it. On the
>other hand, I don't think my all-time favourite game, AMFV, had a terribly
>innovative end. So which game endings are the classic and the brilliant
>ones?


My choices grouped by genre in alphabetical order:

TEXT
Infidel
Spellbreaker
Trinity

GRAPHIC
Day of the Tentacle
Full Throttle
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Weird Beard
weird...@prodigy.net
"That's my house! And this is my garden! I'm home! I'm home! I'm
home!....Eh."
Dalboz of Gurth: Zork Grand Inquisitor

JID

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Jun 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/29/98
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I still have a fondness for the end of Zork Zero. I love the way it brings
the series full circle, architecturally speaking. ;-) (that was a coded
spoiler as a compromise for the spoiler space/no spoiler space debate)

--
Johanna (aka Joey): ow...@best.com
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It got so sharp that sometimes he couldn't look at
himself in the mirror."
-- James Ellroy, "L.A. Confidential"
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Jay Goemmer

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Jun 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/30/98
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Stacy the Procrastinating <sc...@barnard.columbia.edu> wrote:

> OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
> consider to be the best game endings? Now that I've played through to the
> ending (<insert sheepish look here>), I'm wildly impressed by it.

Actually, I thought it reeked a bit *too* much of the Star Trek "time
loop" syndrome, even though Trinity was written well before "The Next
Generation" overused this particular device.

--Gome


Steven Marsh

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Jun 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/30/98
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On Mon, 29 Jun 1998 22:57:34 -0400, Stacy the Procrastinating
<sc...@barnard.columbia.edu> wrote:

>OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
>consider to be the best game endings? Now that I've played through to the

>ending (<insert sheepish look here>), I'm wildly impressed by it. On the
>other hand, I don't think my all-time favourite game, AMFV, had a terribly
>innovative end. So which game endings are the classic and the brilliant
>ones?
>

"Wonderland". Bwah-hah-hah! (That was sarcasm, folks; I've ranted
before 'bout that one.)

I've always liked the Zork series; Zork III, Zork Zero, and Beyond
Zork, in particular, felt satisfying to me. The Legend games (a
vastly underrated set of text adventures, IMO), too, had good endings;
Timequest springs to mind as having a fitting ending.

In graphic adventures, I heartily agree with the choice of Monkey
Island II. I'd also put a vote in for Fool's Errand, Most of the
Sierra games (young and old) also had satisfying endings; the early
Leisure Suit Larry adventures are a mental stand-out.

Then there's the non-endings... ways games end, without being the
"correct" ending. My personal favorite is the "lose at
Fire-Water-Grue in Zork: Grand Inquisitor." (I lost on purpose, BTW.)
-That- ending had me thinking for days.

Steven Marsh
ma...@nettally.com

michael...@ey.com

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Jun 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/30/98
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In article <Pine.SOL.3.96.980629225527.25247A-100000@eclipse>,

Stacy the Procrastinating <sc...@barnard.columbia.edu> wrote:
>
> OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
> consider to be the best game endings? Now that I've played through to the
> ending (<insert sheepish look here>), I'm wildly impressed by it. On the
> other hand, I don't think my all-time favourite game, AMFV, had a terribly
> innovative end. So which game endings are the classic and the brilliant
> ones?
>
> - Stacy

Spider & Web is my favorite. By contrast, I didn't think So Far had such a hot
ending.

--M.

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http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum

David Monaghan

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Jun 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/30/98
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On Mon, 29 Jun 1998 22:24:41 -0000, "Weird Beard"
<WEIRD...@prodigy.net> wrote:

>
>Stacy the Procrastinating wrote in message ...

>>OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
>>consider to be the best game endings?

Snip

>>So which game endings are the classic and the brilliant
>>ones?

>My choices grouped by genre in alphabetical order:

>TEXT
>Infidel

Agreed. A unique and - in its own way - satisfying finish.

DaveM

Joe Mason

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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Steven Marsh wrote:
>
> I've always liked the Zork series; Zork III, Zork Zero, and Beyond
> Zork, in particular, felt satisfying to me. The Legend games (a

Really? I've only played ZI and BZ so far, and ZI didn't actually END,
so it doesn't count. But I didn't like the ending of BZ at all. It
seemed to come out of nowhere and have no relation to the rest of the
game.

> In graphic adventures, I heartily agree with the choice of Monkey
> Island II. I'd also put a vote in for Fool's Errand, Most of the
> Sierra games (young and old) also had satisfying endings; the early
> Leisure Suit Larry adventures are a mental stand-out.

The first Gabriel Knight game. (Didn't finish the second.)

I also liked the ending to Zork: Nemesis, although not as much as I
liked the opening.

Joe

Steven Marsh

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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On Wed, 01 Jul 1998 02:14:52 -0400, Joe Mason <jcm...@execulink.com>
wrote:

>Steven Marsh wrote:
>>
>> I've always liked the Zork series; Zork III, Zork Zero, and Beyond
>> Zork, in particular, felt satisfying to me. The Legend games (a
>
>Really? I've only played ZI and BZ so far, and ZI didn't actually END,
>so it doesn't count.

Welllll.... It -ends- kinda in the same way that Empire Strikes Back
ends. It may not particularly satisfying in its own right (ie with
story resolution and the like), but you end up with the distinct
feeling that this "book" is done, in the better tradition of fantasy
book cycles. (Compare this with Back to the Future II; not
particularly satisfying, IMO.) It could have ended with me saying,
"Oh, no! I don't want to go thru that -again-!" But instead,
whenever I solved Zork I & II, I always felt, "Wow! What's going to
happen next?!?"

> But I didn't like the ending of BZ at all. It
>seemed to come out of nowhere and have no relation to the rest of the
>game.
>

Ah. That's 'cause it dove-tails in with the Enchanter
trilogy. It provides an out for the ending of Spellbreaker.

<snip>

>I also liked the ending to Zork: Nemesis, although not as much as I
>liked the opening.

Really? Hmmm...

<SPOILER ALERT FOR NEMESIS AND GRAND INQUISITOR>

I really felt that Nemesis had a pitiful ending compared to
the rest of the game. ( And I'm talking about the -ending-; ie. once
you stop doing stuff; the end game itself is fairly interesting.) I
mean, it's like, "Well, you defeated the Nemesis. Congrats! We're
outa here to be happy. Enjoy the credits!"
Same trouble I had with Grand Inqusitor. After a WONDERFUL
opening, it just says, "Well, let everyone be magical if they want.
Congrats! You did it!" I would have liked them to revisit the whole
newsreel atmosphere, at the end.

<END ALERT>

Steven Marsh
ma...@nettally.com


Weird Beard

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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Joe Mason wrote in message <3599D3DC...@execulink.com>...

>Really? I've only played ZI and BZ so far, and ZI didn't actually END,

>so it doesn't count. But I didn't like the ending of BZ at all. It


>seemed to come out of nowhere and have no relation to the rest of the
>game.


And it doesn't *really* end until you play ZGI (Yes! That's right! A
graphical Zork wich actually has something to do with a text Zork! Amazing,
isn't it?)


SPOILER SPACE (on how ZGI ties in with the rest of the canon) BELOW

This space would have been blank if I hadn't put this here, and it would
have been so intentionally.


Part of the plot involves recovering 3 lost objects from the history of Zork
1. The Skull of Yoruk (ZN)
2. The Magic Cube of Foundation (Spellbreaker)
3. The Coconut of Quendor (BZ)
Also, the top rank is Dungeon Master (#4 this time)

PS The only reason I put spoiler space in is because this thread has nothing
to do with ZGI. If this thread had been about ZGI, I would not have.

Phil Goetz

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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I'm feeling left out here, because I've not played any of the games
that people said they liked the endgames of. If you post that you
liked or disliked a particular endgame, can you say a few words
describing the endgame and why you liked/disliked it?

Phil Go...@zoesis.com

Darin Johnson

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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go...@cs.buffalo.edu (Phil Goetz) writes:

I like the endgames that give you something to do. Too often you
collect the various things you need, and the game prints a few
messages and ends. Ugh. The endgame needs to be climactic, and needs
a reward. Here's some I liked:

Zork-III, and Dungeon. This is a good end game, although the Zork
version allows a way to bypass it. I prefer the Dungeon version,
since part of the puzzle is actually *finding* the endgame.
Basically, you're in a place where you can't save the game, and
there's a moderately complex puzzle (and easy puzzle once you
visualize it); followed by a trivia quiz; followed by another simple
puzzle, that leads to the final reward. This is a classic, and really
shouldn't be spoiled.

Compare this to Zork-I, which has a classic "bad" endgame. You gather
all the pieces, then an opening outside the house appears to let you
continue on in Zork-II.

Also good was Stationfall. You had to make some critical decisions at
the end. Here, the build up to the climax is more gradual, and
there's not a clear divider line between the normal game and the
endgame (as I remember it anyway). The puzzles are pretty easy, but
the payoff is good.

Finally, it's not text, but I liked the endgame of Monkey Island II.
It had a small set of rooms containing a puzzle to solve. While
trying to solve it, you're being chased by the villain (I don't think
he actually hurts you, I don't remember, but he does make things
harder). You also get a few jokes and some revelations. Stay for the
closing credits.

The common theme of the endgames I like, is that at the end you say
"yeah, I did it". You don't say "that's it?".

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Weird Beard

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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Phil Goetz wrote in message <6ndl3u$6ap$1...@prometheus.acsu.buffalo.edu>...


>I'm feeling left out here, because I've not played any of the games
>that people said they liked the endgames of. If you post that you
>liked or disliked a particular endgame, can you say a few words
>describing the endgame and why you liked/disliked it?
>

>Phil Go...@zoesis.com

The endgames for my graphical choices are all bizzarely funny in some way.
Text game endings usually don't thrill me quite as much. Sorry I can't be
more specific, but a good endgame should be a reward or surprise. Saying
anything about them is like giving away the ending to a mystery.

Julian Fleetwood

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Jul 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/1/98
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Stacy the Procrastinating wrote in message ...
>OK, the recent Trinity thread has got me wondering--what does everyone
>consider to be the best game endings? Now that I've played through to the
>ending (<insert sheepish look here>), I'm wildly impressed by it. On the
>other hand, I don't think my all-time favourite game, AMFV, had a terribly
>innovative end. So which game endings are the classic and the brilliant
>ones?

Text games...
The Pawn
Losing Your Grip

Graphic games...
Myst's ending was pretty innovative (ie the lack of an ending)
Monkey Island I and II
Sam and Max Hit the Road


Julian Fleetwood
--
Keen supporter of the 'Train Spotting as an Olympic sport' campaign
Home Page: http://www.tip.net.au/~mfleetwo/index.htm
Interactive Fiction Dimension: http://www.tip.net.au/~mfleetwo/if/if.htm
Comic Book Guy Page: http://www.tip.net.au/~mfleetwo/cbg/comic.htm

Joe Mason

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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*** SPOILERS ***

This space intentionally left blank.

Steven Marsh wrote:
>
> > But I didn't like the ending of BZ at all. It
> >seemed to come out of nowhere and have no relation to the rest of the
> >game.
> >

> Ah. That's 'cause it dove-tails in with the Enchanter
> trilogy. It provides an out for the ending of Spellbreaker.

No, I'm talking about the specifics of it. I know that the game is
about finding the Coconut of Quendor and hiding it away to preserve the
essence of magic. But the game doesn't have much to do with that. You
wander around doing stuff, until you blunder upon the Implementors and
an Ur-Grue steals the Coconut from them. Then you wander around some
more until your blunder on the Ur-Grue, defeat it and get the Coconut.

I'm not saying that's BAD, because the wandering around parts were a lot
of fun. The only problem is that, as you said, the very ending ties in
with the story - and nothing else up to that point does. The only thing
I can think of which is even close is the Thriff section, which has
Orkin's glyphs failing.

Anyway, the point is that when you get to the area with the Ur-Grue in
it, you've been wandering around doing only semi-connected things. But
when you get in to the Ur-Grue caves, things are even less connected.
There's NO indication why these lucksuckers are coming at you except as
a random obstacle, there's NO indication why the Ur-Grue is lurking
behind the convenient walls except as a random obstacle, the Ur-Grue has
NO characterization, NO motivation, and NO background. Pretty pathetic
for a major villian.

This didn't really phase me considering that the rest of the game was
fragmentary too. However, the final ending text was written very
beautifully, but it tried to make it seem as if all of this meant
something, which it patently didn't. I didn't think it fit the game at
all. If they'd built up to that a bit by trying to inject a hint of
plot towards the end, it would have gone over better. If they'd just
left it at "Congratulations, you've beaten the final obstacle and found
the treasure", that would have been pedestrian but would have fit the
game.

The tie-in with Spellbreaker is immaterial. We knew how it tied in with
Spellbreaker right from the beginning. It's not like the ending gave us
any new information about that.

> >I also liked the ending to Zork: Nemesis, although not as much as I
> >liked the opening.
>
> Really? Hmmm...
>
> <SPOILER ALERT FOR NEMESIS AND GRAND INQUISITOR>
>
> I really felt that Nemesis had a pitiful ending compared to
> the rest of the game. ( And I'm talking about the -ending-; ie. once
> you stop doing stuff; the end game itself is fairly interesting.) I
> mean, it's like, "Well, you defeated the Nemesis. Congrats! We're
> outa here to be happy. Enjoy the credits!"

Oh. I was talking about the end game. I agree with you that the ending
itself wasn't GREAT, but I thought it had the right atmosphere. But the
end game (starting as soon as you return to the Temple) was pretty
good. Come to think of it, though, I'm not sure why I put Nemesis on
that list. I liked it, but I don't think the ending deserves to be
ranked under "best".

Joe

Joe Mason

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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Darin Johnson wrote:
>
> Also good was Stationfall. You had to make some critical decisions at
> the end. Here, the build up to the climax is more gradual, and
> there's not a clear divider line between the normal game and the
> endgame (as I remember it anyway). The puzzles are pretty easy, but
> the payoff is good.

Speaking of which, Planetfall. The sequence after you fix the computer
was the most pulse-pounding I can imagine in a text adventure.

Joe

Stephen Robert Norris

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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In article <6nejte$6i9m$1...@newssvr04-int.news.prodigy.com>,
"Weird Beard" <WEIRD...@prodigy.net> intoned:

>
> Phil Goetz wrote in message <6ndl3u$6ap$1...@prometheus.acsu.buffalo.edu>...
>>I'm feeling left out here, because I've not played any of the games
>>that people said they liked the endgames of. If you post that you
>>liked or disliked a particular endgame, can you say a few words
>>describing the endgame and why you liked/disliked it?
>>
>>Phil Go...@zoesis.com

The best endgame I've got to has got to be Anchorhead. It sent a real
shiver down my spine.

Stephen

Matthew Murray

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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I'm not sure I really agree with any of this. I don't think
you're putting Beyond Zork in exactly the proper context.
I think you have a few good points, especially about the Ur-Grue
characterization, but it's important to remember that Beyond Zork was
never intended to be a stand-alone game at all. It was intended to be the
first game in a mini-series (like the Enchanter Trilogy) within the larger
Zorkian structure. Therefore, they could get away with the things they
did because, most likely, everything would be brought together at a later
point, and connectivity would have been proved.
The same as the ending to Zork I isn't completely satisfying
because it was broken down from a much larger game, neither is Beyond Zork
a completely fulfilling experience. Had it been designed as a stand-alone
game, I would have to agree with your description of its faults. But I
have to believe that everything that happened would have, had the other
games been allowd to reach fruition, would have demonstrated a more
complex and fascinating structure than we eventually saw. (I am also 100%
convinced of the same thing about Journey as well.) The later "Zork"
games (Return to Zork, Beyond Zork, and Zork: Grand Inquisitor) aren't
fulfilling in the same way--whether they were meant to continue the story
or not (which I rather doubt), they were after-the-fact creations, not
organic extensions of the thematic devices in Beyond Zork. Likewise, I
remain completely convinced that the Beyond Zork games we never got to see
would have been some of Infocom's best games.
I think Beyond Zork had some good things going for it, but it
suffered mostly because of what came after: Nothing. Had the graphical
Zork games tied in with it (which would have required a very, very strong
respect and concerted effort which the designers of those games could
apparently not provide), or had the other games in the Beyond Zork series
come to pass, I think most of the problems you had with it would have been
addressed and we would have seen the completion of the Zork series as was
always intended. As it was, I was happy with Zork Zero, but seeing that
wonderful game after the intended completion of the series would have been
even more powerful.
Oh well... In terms of text games, I'm pretty happy with what we
have. Beyond Zork isn't perfect, but as with Journey, I'm more than
content with everything that "might-have-been," and, as my mind devised
the most breathtaking graphics ever seen for all the Zork games, also has
it devised a conclusion to take the place of the one we've never seen.
Regrets, yes, but you have to make due with what you are given. And, in
the case of the Zork series, we were still given an awful lot.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew A. Murray | Over 180 computer game reviews covering
mmu...@cc.wwu.edu | games from 1979 to the present!
http://www.wwu.edu/~mmurray | http://www.wwu.edu/~mmurray/Reviews.html
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Matthew Murray

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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I guess I'm somewhat surprised to see not very many people have
mentioned A Mind Forever Voyaging yet. There is a wonderful endgame if
ever I've seen one. The combination of emotion and powerful writing in
the Epilogue creates a conclusion that, in my mind, has yet to be matched
in the entire history of computer games.
Simply thinking about AMFV and its wonderful ending just makes me
ask one question over and over: Who needs graphics?!?

Darin Johnson

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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Matthew Murray <mmu...@cc.wwu.edu> writes:

> Simply thinking about AMFV and its wonderful ending just makes me
> ask one question over and over: Who needs graphics?!?

AMFV is one of those games where either you LOVE it, or you HATE it.
There appear to be few fence straddlers. Personally, I was in the
latter group.

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Weird Beard

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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Darin Johnson wrote in message ...


>Matthew Murray <mmu...@cc.wwu.edu> writes:
>AMFV is one of those games where either you LOVE it, or you HATE it.
>There appear to be few fence straddlers. Personally, I was in the
>latter group.

Although it's maybe the 7th best endings I've seen, there's one thing about
it that bugs me. The game goes to great lengths to show that utopias don't
work, but that's exactly what the ending is, a utopia. And they don't bother
to explain any reason *why* it works, either. It just does.

I know that an ending like that is *expected* for a game, but still it's
slightly irritating.

Dave Doty

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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Darin Johnson wrote:

> AMFV is one of those games where either you LOVE it, or you HATE it.
> There appear to be few fence straddlers. Personally, I was in the
> latter group.

At the risk of being argumentative <g>, I am a fence-straddler.

Spoilers. . . .

I thought the story was nice, but too linear. I got through the first two
parts in
one sitting, and I am *not* a good player, I just enjoy trying. Basically,
you can
wander around and complete 2/3 of the game with almost no risk or difficulty.

I also thought the complex setup was neat, but underutilized. You can play
almost the entire game in simulation mode or one location, only going into
interface mode at the end to perform two simple tasks. Most of the computers

with which you could interface were entirely pointless. What's the use in
creating a complex setup with which the player interacts with the IF world
if you're going to use so little of it? A neat idea, very poorly executed.

Dave Doty

Dave Doty

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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Matthew Murray

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Jul 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/2/98
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On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Weird Beard wrote:

> Although it's maybe the 7th best endings I've seen, there's one thing about
> it that bugs me. The game goes to great lengths to show that utopias don't
> work, but that's exactly what the ending is, a utopia. And they don't bother
> to explain any reason *why* it works, either. It just does.
>
> I know that an ending like that is *expected* for a game, but still it's
> slightly irritating.

It always made sense to me. The idea was that it's difficult to
maintain perfection in society for very long. But, if you aim at the root
of the problems, and fix those first, perfection will attend to itself.

Joe Mason

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Jul 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/3/98
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Weird Beard wrote:
>
> Although it's maybe the 7th best endings I've seen, there's one thing about
> it that bugs me. The game goes to great lengths to show that utopias don't
> work, but that's exactly what the ending is, a utopia. And they don't bother
> to explain any reason *why* it works, either. It just does.
>
> I know that an ending like that is *expected* for a game, but still it's
> slightly irritating.

Well, its not like it was a REAL utopia, was it? That's why I didn't
like the ending - it wasn't real. It was like PRISM was retreating into
his own mind for the rest of time, which I find pretty depressing...

Well, actually I liked it. But I don't think it was a *happy* ending.

Joe

Joe Mason

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Jul 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/3/98
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Dave Doty wrote:
>
> I also thought the complex setup was neat, but underutilized. You can play
> almost the entire game in simulation mode or one location, only going into
> interface mode at the end to perform two simple tasks. Most of the computers
>
> with which you could interface were entirely pointless. What's the use in
> creating a complex setup with which the player interacts with the IF world
> if you're going to use so little of it? A neat idea, very poorly executed.

I agree that the non-simulation modes could have been used much better,
but having them even in a limited form gave the game a lot more depth
than not having them would. I thought they made it feel much more
realistic.

Joe

Weird Beard

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Jul 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/3/98
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Joe Mason wrote in message <359D6B32...@execulink.com>...
>Weird Beard wrote:

>Well, its not like it was a REAL utopia, was it?

Supposedly it's a world based on The Project (The program that replaced The
Plan). If PRISM can accurately predict what The Plan will do, I guess he can
do the same for The Project.

>That's why I didn't
>like the ending - it wasn't real. It was like PRISM was retreating into
>his own mind for the rest of time, which I find pretty depressing...
>
>Well, actually I liked it. But I don't think it was a *happy* ending.

He's not retreating. He's living life the way he had been for the first
20some years of his existence. He didn't ask to troubleshoot government
projects, and since he's sentient he doesn't have to (I wonder if he could
sue them for some of the goings-on in parts 1-3).

Anyways, if IIRC, living a simulation of a normal life was what he was
originally created for and if he's happy doing that, I'm happy.

Weird Beard
weird...@prodigy.net
"Your sword's blowing glue!....Let me try that again....Your sword's glowing
blue!"

Adam J. Thornton

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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These, by the way, are _endings_, not endgames.

Trinity, for the bleakness.

Anchorhead, for the horror.

Infidel, for the justice.

I guess I just don't like happy endings.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"There's a border to somewhere waiting, and a tank full of time." - J. Steinman

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