Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

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Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Collector » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:50 am

Here is an amusing YouTube of several different way you can die in Torin's Passage. Perhaps it is time to play it again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8waQBhADYQ
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Datadog » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:05 pm

That bagpipe one will always be a favorite of mine.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Maiandra » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:53 pm

I wonder which Sierra game has the most ways to die? The Colonel's Bequest seemed to have a ton of them. I recall spending an afternoon trying to find them all because I was stuck on what to do next. That's part of the fun!

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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Tawmis » Sat May 01, 2010 12:34 am

Maiandra wrote:I wonder which Sierra game has the most ways to die? The Colonel's Bequest seemed to have a ton of them. I recall spending an afternoon trying to find them all because I was stuck on what to do next. That's part of the fun!
CB did have a ton of deaths... but more than any of the given (early) SQ games? SQ1 to SQ3 seemed to be LOADED with death screens/possibilities!

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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Collector » Sat May 01, 2010 12:51 am

This is getting at the crux of the difference between LA fans and Sierra fans. The amusing thing is that the same people that whine about the death scenes in the Sierra games have no problems with the possibility of death in a modern shooter. It probably is just childish memories getting in the way of more adult perceptions.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat May 01, 2010 2:53 am

Collector wrote:This is getting at the crux of the difference between LA fans and Sierra fans. The amusing thing is that the same people that whine about the death scenes in the Sierra games have no problems with the possibility of death in a modern shooter. It probably is just childish memories getting in the way of more adult perceptions.
I generally liked LucasArts games more than Sierra's, but that had nothing to do with dying. I thought LA's games were simply more entertaining. :P

As for death... I suppose part of the issue is that in many early Sierra games, you could die by performing even the most mundane tasks. For instance... in the beginning of SQ3, Roger could die by touching a piece of metal and then bleeding to death. Was that piece of metal sharp? Maybe, maybe not. The point, however, is that dying from a seemingly innocuous action was completely unnecessary.

Contrast that with modern FPS games where death comes in the form of getting set on fire, shot or sliced (among other possibilities). When facing down an enemy who's armed with an MP5, you know death is a very real possibility. In some ways, you even expect it. Why? Because it makes sense.

And no, being on guard for anything potentially dangerous doesn't make you more alert or somehow "more intelligent" than an FPS gamer. All it does is make you paranoid within the game world.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Datadog » Sat May 01, 2010 1:50 pm

In Colonel's Bequest, you could die just by opening a door or walking down a hallway. In fact, it seemed like the scariest areas were often the safest, and vice versa. But I think what really separated adventure game fans was how LEC games didn't allow you to get stuck anywhere (as of where in a Sierra game, you could hop on a boat, travel eight months around South America, stave off scurvy, find yourself in California and be completely lost because you forgot to type LOOK DOWN in a gazebo back home.)

Still, it might be interesting to dig up the actual numbers and come up with some Sierra game statistics.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Maiandra » Sat May 01, 2010 6:26 pm

Datadog wrote:In Colonel's Bequest, you could die just by opening a door or walking down a hallway. In fact, it seemed like the scariest areas were often the safest, and vice versa.
Plus, areas that were previously safe, were not safe later on. I actually like that in some ways.

I don't like it when games make it impossible for you to die, even in very dangerous situations. That just reinforces that it's a game. However, if you are going to die, I would like the reason actually make sense. In the earlier games, it was almost like they used avoiding death as another form of puzzle. I think they began to move away from that the same time they moved into third-person narration (instead of the second-person) and the characters actually began to have common sense and more of a personality independent of the player.

I prefer how risk of death was done the GK games. It was virtually impossible to die in the earlier chapters, but in the ending chapters you could die in specific situations where pretty much anyone would die. Even though I found the last chapter of Phantasmagoria frustrating (and would consider it as much action as any shooter), I have to admit that it actually made sense to have the risk of death so prominent there. If the death doesn't make sense, then it's just like any other poorly planned puzzle.

However, if you accept the fact that your character is a moron and needs to be told when to wipe their nose, then the death messages can be kind of amusing, if you remember to "save, save, save!". ;)
Datadog wrote: But I think what really separated adventure game fans was how LEC games didn't allow you to get stuck anywhere (as of where in a Sierra game, you could hop on a boat, travel eight months around South America, stave off scurvy, find yourself in California and be completely lost because you forgot to type LOOK DOWN in a gazebo back home.)

I'm really noticing this in the Tales of Monkey Island. They definitely give you a good safety net. I also notice that, despite the cannonballs raining down around Guybrush in the harbour, he miraculously stays alive, which does break the immersion.

Both styles seem to be opposite ends of the spectrum and both have their merits and drawbacks.

I will admit a soft spot for Sierra games, despite the constant threat of death, since I grew up playing them. I didn't actually try any LucasArts games until I was in university.

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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by BBP » Sun May 02, 2010 8:01 am

Hey Datadog, that sounds like a cool idea, cataloguing the different ways to die in all Sierra games, but it's a bit difficult to count.
In Phantasmagoria: (this is in spoiler tags, just in case)
you could count 5 ways to die if you count only the method and the culprit: strangulation by Don, sliced at pendulum by Don, sliced at pendulum by you, fall to death at the chasm, get face ripped by demon. But it makes a difference if you die at the Throne by doing nothing, or showing the snowman and then doing nothing, or hitting Don with the hammer (personal favourite)...

In Torin's Passage I found 8 different ways to die in the scene with the peat moss, to put on my web site. That video didn't find as many.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Datadog » Sun May 02, 2010 4:57 pm

BBP wrote:Hey Datadog, that sounds like a cool idea, cataloguing the different ways to die in all Sierra games, but it's a bit difficult to count.
In Phantasmagoria: (this is in spoiler tags, just in case)
you could count 5 ways to die if you count only the method and the culprit: strangulation by Don, sliced at pendulum by Don, sliced at pendulum by you, fall to death at the chasm, get face ripped by demon. But it makes a difference if you die at the Throne by doing nothing, or showing the snowman and then doing nothing, or hitting Don with the hammer (personal favourite)...
Good catch! I'd categorize them according to "Action taken" with a "Minor Differences" sub-category. Like in Phantasmagoria, when you're in the throne, "doing nothing" would count as one death - and if the death sequence changes based on whether he has the snowman (is it a different video?) then that can be an additional death. So including the hammer, that would bring the Chapter 7 total up to... seven deaths (funny, it seemed like a lot more!)
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by DeadPoolX » Sun May 02, 2010 7:11 pm

Don't get Maia started on the numerous -- and often quite gory -- death scenes in Phantasmagoria. Half the time I heard "Ewww! That's disgusting!" while she was playing. :P
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Tawmis » Mon May 03, 2010 4:30 pm

DeadPoolX wrote: As for death... I suppose part of the issue is that in many early Sierra games, you could die by performing even the most mundane tasks. For instance... in the beginning of SQ3, Roger could die by touching a piece of metal and then bleeding to death. Was that piece of metal sharp? Maybe, maybe not. The point, however, is that dying from a seemingly innocuous action was completely unnecessary.
See, I think I learned early on to Save Early, Save Often (Thanks Al!). So if I did do something stupid that got me killed, it was hardly ever a big deal. It was a matter of simple restore, doing a few things, using a few things here or there, and being right back where you were. Thankfully, Sierra games (back then) didn't have hordes of NPCs you'd have to fight to get past or anything, that was an overwhelming task that may be left up to chance and skill.

And more often than not the deaths were quite entertaining which made it very bearable to endure. :lol:

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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by DeadPoolX » Mon May 03, 2010 5:25 pm

Tawmis wrote:See, I think I learned early on to Save Early, Save Often (Thanks Al!). So if I did do something stupid that got me killed, it was hardly ever a big deal. It was a matter of simple restore, doing a few things, using a few things here or there, and being right back where you were.
I know (and still practice) the "save early, save often" mantra. However, the crux of my argument isn't about saving the game. That's important to do in ANY game of any genre, even ones where death isn't a possibility.

My point is that getting punished for exploring the game world is poorly implemented design at best and at worst, completely unnecessary. I realize death messages were "part of the game" in most Sierra titles; however, I feel that death often occurred in bizarre and often unintuitive ways.

The best way to handle death is to do it like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Death was relatively uncommon, but it could happen at various times (often denoted by a change in the music). That allows the player to explore freely, without the constant threat of dying, but still places death as a risk in certain situations.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Datadog » Tue May 04, 2010 12:51 am

I still prefer the "Try Again" option found in most games. In Indy 4, the big drawback was that you weren't really aware you could die until it actually happened, and even then, it was a "Restore Only" game over.
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Re: Ways to Die in Torin's Passage

Post by Tawmis » Thu May 06, 2010 2:43 pm

I will agree, the "Try Again" option is probably the best.

That way you could do a bunch of stupid things (just to see the death messages) and not have to go far back.

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