Some thoughts after finishing the game [spoilers]

Talk about anything Legend of Grimrock 1 related here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Murphy
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:46 am

Some thoughts after finishing the game [spoilers]

Post by Murphy » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:35 am

(seriously, heavy spoilers up ahead! including story spoilers and puzzle spoilers!)

Having just finished Legend of Grimrock on Normal and loving it, I'd like to share some thoughts or rather constructive criticism.

I absolutely loved the atmosphere! From the main theme over the 3d stones in the walls to the rattling gears in your dreams.

Also loved the strange enemies, like the walking root/mushroom monsters or those tentacle-mouthed creeps later on, as well as the more conventional ones like the undead with shield and spear.
I thought, however, the blue dinos didn't fit as well as the rest of the beasts! Maybe because they were too blue? I know it's meant to signal that they're immune to ice but let's face it, everyone playing an ice-mage still tried to him them once or twice, just in case and it was the little 0 that popped up then that really told us those dinos were immune - not their blue skin. I would have liked them better if they had a more natural look. Darker, less blue but icy white crystal deposits on their leathery skin.. I don't know. You're the artists!

Exemplary puzzles, for the most part! This needs to be said because for a game so focused on puzzles a vast majority of them struck a fantastic balance between being fun to figure out and being possible and intuitive to figure out!

Three examples that really stood out as unfair to me are the following:
Twice left she slithers... I read this scrolls and did its little dance on the spot, thinking bumping into the mosaics on either side of the cell would activate something and sure enough, as I turned around there was a little golden key on the floor! The hole that demanded a sacrifice earlier also spawned its rewards in silence so this wasn't surprising to me. Problem solved, I thought!
Never, in a million years, would I have connected this scroll with the pillared hallway! Even if I hadn't thought of it as done with, it's too far away from the hallway to connect it to it. Maybe a reference to where the scroll is relevant could have been added to the text? "Twice left she slithers around pillars wink wink nudge nudge..." Not that, obviously, but you catch my drift!

Another problem I had was with the three alcoves that needed emptying in order to raise the walls... Took the key, of course. Always taking keys! Took the book too. How could I resist? But I had an ice mage in my party with no use for a lightning scroll so I left that thing where it was! Doomed to forever wander this level - or look up what to do. :/ Either put another item there that everybody wants to take with them or put a clue somewhere that mentions the weight in the central alcoves or whatever.

And lastly, the lights out one. Taking torches off the wall has come up in the game before so naturally that was something I tried. But to turn off the light I was giving off myself is something I wouldn't have considered had I not looked this up.
Thanks to the torch on the wall it's already a crypt full of shadows so the tip of "in the shadows of this..." was a line I just read over thinking it was a poetic description rather than an instruction. It seemed meaningless to me. It's also not something that immediately makes sense like, say, a level being pulled. You push a button or pull a torch from the wall, as it were: a mechanism kicks into gear and something happens. But you turn the lights off and something appears out of thin air?
I appreciate that it's a magical dungeon! It's just not a very intuitive puzzle to solve.
Further, I don't think it's even a necessary puzzle to solve! I haven't tried this but you can stun the cube with shock bombs too, right? And I'm pretty sure there are a couple in a door on his level so even without the secret lightning tuba the boss is doable, no?
Add a line in one of the scrolls that anyone attempting to battle the cube without the secret weapon must surely perish so people don't give up too easily on the lights out puzzle - but make the teleporter available anyway so someone who is completely stumped by that puzzle isn't stuck entirely!

Combat was very enjoyable! From the trailers I watched I thought it would take a back-seat to the puzzles but it was a very fun aspect of the game in its own right! What's also great is that so many different character choices are viable.

Throwing two weapons at once is not only hella convenient it's also hella fun. One problem I had with this mechanic, however, was that if one of the two projectiles was enough to destroy a monster, the other kept flying and had to picked up again separately, a couple of tiles behind the kill. Was this intentional or does it just happen because monsters are removed as soon as they're dead? It would be nice both weapons could stick to the "body" for convenience.

I would have liked to gain more levels (and for the game to go on longerrrr. :D) so I could actually have seen the Master Assassination I was working toward. I had to put 10 points into dagger for an assassin's dagger I found and at the time I thought it prudent to invest a bit in dodging to get light armor proficiency. I can't "import" these characters for a run through on Hard either, only into custom dungeons. Would have been nice to get a bit more out of them in just the main game. Although custom dungeons are my next stop. :3

The game's GUI is pretty comfortable to use.
It would have been nice to be able to open a character's inventory without dropping an item from the cursor. Let's say you have boots for your warrior to wear but her inventory is full. You have to drop them to the ground first, open the warrior's inventory, and then put them into her boot-slot. I don't know how this could be done (while still keeping the game tablet friendly) but that was the only functional problem I had with the GUI.
Visually, it would be nice if the HUD's scale wasn't dictated by the game's resolution. Higher resolution means smaller HUD. Either make it scale so it's always a fixed size, relative to your monitor - or better yet let players scale it with an option in the menu. I would have liked to see the HUD (in particular the items and portraits) larger on my screen, but I also wanted to play at a high resolution...

And lastly, the story! I loved the setting and the beginning. The part of their crimes being forgiven by the "mercy" of the king while they're being plunged to certain doom gave me chills. Very cool introduction to this world. Then the notes you find and the dream messages... thumbs up

It was disappointing, then, when the game basically pulled a Borderlands on me, explaining my struggle actually accidentally freed a super-monster and I had to destroy it again.
I will say, that the boss-fight was magnificent! Great combination of fight and puzzle. I would have maybe preferred the cube to be tougher, maybe with special attacks of its own, and in return: no respawning side monsters - especially monsters that clash with the cube (maybe little robots like the spider thingy that shows you the way in Doom 3 would have fit better?). It stands, though, that from a gameplay perspective it was a grand finale.
I just don't think this game needed a "twist". Letting it play out straight, letting us meet Toorum and leaving with him as planned in that one note, and showing us what awaits outside in an epilogue as subtly awesome as the intro would have been cooler, in my opinion.

No, it wouldn't explain why they reset the traps - but a) neither does this. If "they" wanted to keep people away from the cube why not put a wall somewhere and lock this mother down for good! And b) it just brings new questions with it: who built the cube and why?
Anyway, I didn't like the twist, is what I'm saying.



All in all, I want to say thank you for making this gem of a game! I had a grand ol' time adventuring in this dungeon of yours and I'll go through it at least once more! (I want to see axes, bows and arrows and earth magic in action. :3)
I saw you're working on a sequel to Legend of Grimrock already. For that, all the best, and provided I can run it you have one certain customer. :)



And, tangentially related: this game opened my heart to a genre I unfairly dismissed up to now because I thought the movement would be too clunky for me to bear. Getting myself the first Lands of Lore for Christmas in gog.com's sale. I played the 2nd one as a kid but stayed away from the first. Silly me!

User avatar
Dr.Disaster
Posts: 2845
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Some thoughts after finishing the game [spoilers]

Post by Dr.Disaster » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:31 pm

Murphy wrote:I haven't tried this but you can stun the cube with shock bombs too, right? And I'm pretty sure there are a couple in a door on his level so even without the secret lightning tuba the boss is doable, no?
No. He is frost immune. No freezing him ... :twisted:
Murphy wrote:It would have been nice to be able to open a character's inventory without dropping an item from the cursor.
Oh it is; simply hit the numbers 1 to 4 for the wanted character inventory.

User avatar
Komag
Posts: 3629
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: Boston, USA

Re: Some thoughts after finishing the game [spoilers]

Post by Komag » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:33 pm

Nice comments and "review" Murphy, it was enjoyable to read. I shared many of your helpful criticisms (but not all - for instance, I thought the lights out puzzle was just right).

And of course I have to humbly propose you try Master Quest (on Hard), import your final party (make sure you have a save file handy to import from), and take them to higher character levels just as you wished you could :)
Finished Dungeons - complete mods to play

User avatar
Murphy
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:46 am

Re: Some thoughts after finishing the game [spoilers]

Post by Murphy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:25 pm

Just got done with Time and Tide in Master Quest. :3 You did an awesome job with this mod, Komag.

User avatar
Komag
Posts: 3629
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: Boston, USA

Re: Some thoughts after finishing the game [spoilers]

Post by Komag » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:35 pm

Thanks, glad to hear you're having fun with it :-)
Finished Dungeons - complete mods to play

Post Reply