Fatal Hearts (GxB/G, now free)

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Jake
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#46 Post by Jake » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:17 pm

I was about to answer more or less the same thing as Papillon - you might also forgive two of those puzzles if you presume the player has a working knowledge of German - mine's pretty dodgy but it was enough for the rune sheet, for example.
Not to mention that
observant players might even have noticed that the password's actually engraved into the front of the short table halfway up the stairs in the entrance hall... which is a huge security no-no. Bastian is totally not getting his certification.


But yeah, the safe is pretty definitely pretty fourth-wall-breaking, particularly since in-game the girls mention that they can't get at the bookshelves full of occult books 'cause they're downstairs. I'd have wondered about the viability of making the player rely on Internet resources, but I guess you need an internet connection to buy the game...


BellosTheMighty wrote:the last two runes on the safe I had some trouble determining, because they're too obscure.


The last two symbols I just guessed, and tried both ways around. ;-)

BellosTheMighty wrote:The cooking puzzle seems like an odd digression- Papillion was probably trying to say something about Bastian, but it didn't quite come off. Actually, that my be a problem with the plotline as a whole- I don't get much of a sense for Bastian. I'm not getting the idea that his affection for Kirsten is genuine, which is why the Bastian endings didn't grab me.


No? I got the distinct impression in the non-wolf branches (the lower two on the gallery chart, IIRC) that Bastian was (as I think he says, more or less) definitely in love with Kirsten, but misguided and allowed his followers too much of a free reign; he seemed fairly remorseful and respectful of Christina's individual choice - I mean, he let her leave unmolested if that's what she chose, right? To me, the kitchen scene was just an illustration of that - that he's just some guy who doesn't think of Christina as an object, and just happens to be a vampire.

That puzzle amused me for many reasons, though. Firstly because I knew too many people at university even who didn't know how to cook pasta, so I wondered how many players would need to do extra research to find out how to stop it boiling over; secondly because having a graphics tablet makes grating the cheese a fairly quick affair, and I really wish it was that simple in real life... ;-)

The weird thing is that the wolf branches
make him out to be much more malevolent and nastier. I seem to recall hints that it was him and not the Wolfriemen who had killed Kirsten in the first place, even...
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#47 Post by papillon » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:23 pm

... I probably shouldn't answer that. I will mention that late-night-star-trek reran "A Matter Of Perspective" recently... :)

particularly since in-game the girls mention that they can't get at the bookshelves full of occult books 'cause they're downstairs.


However, you do still have Lucy to nudge and ask questions and remind. When I handed this puzzle to someone with a bit of a pagan background, e pretty much immediately input the right code without ever looking up the book or any of the symbols. Apparently this is all standard stuff, other than the last two symbols which had to be guessed.

So, given that Lucy's parents have been training her, it's not impossible that the information you get from the web could be badgered out of her. It's also possible that she knows perfectly well what the combination is and is stalling you on purpose...


I admit it's slightly cheating, but it's not totally impossible. :)

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#48 Post by PrettySammy09 » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:47 pm

Yay! I got my happy ending!

So wait...was Katie the true Kirstin? Or was it Christina? Or did it change depending on the branch you took? Either way, that ending was quite nice. :) It made me smile. Although I would have loved to see more interaction between Bastien and Katie. I loved it when she ran to him though, as if knowing who it was all along. And the locket picture is adorable. I'm only missing one CG! And one ending...I wonder which one it is.

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#49 Post by BellosTheMighty » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:57 am

No? I got the distinct impression in the non-wolf branches (the lower two on the gallery chart, IIRC) that Bastian was (as I think he says, more or less) definitely in love with Kirsten, but misguided and allowed his followers too much of a free reign; he seemed fairly remorseful and respectful of Christina's individual choice - I mean, he let her leave unmolested if that's what she chose, right? To me, the kitchen scene was just an illustration of that - that he's just some guy who doesn't think of Christina as an object, and just happens to be a vampire.


That's the idea, I know. It just didn't ring true to me. I didn't feel the emotion there. It might also matter that
he talked about needing someone to teach him about the human world, and at the very beginning, when asked what Christina wanted to do with her life, I said "Teacher". That led me to believe that he found out- maybe Lucy told him- and was just saying what she *wanted* to hear. Actually, I got more of a sense of his emotion from the low wolf path.


As for Sierra- times have changed, dudette. ^_^ Back then we got two games a year- Xmas and Birthday- so we wanted a lot of play out of them, and honestly we weren't very picky. The early Dragon Warriors, with their pain-in-the-ass powerleveling, was considered awesome in it's day mainly because it kept you occupied for a long time. But now it's painful to play through. Another thing is that older games killed you off frequently and often capriciously, so saving was a necessity. With modern adventure games, the rule, unless otherwise warned, is that you can't die or make a fatal mistake. So people don't save as often. Plus, with Fatal Hearts you have limited save slots, so you have a similar problem if you save relentlessly- you wind up overwriting old stuff and missing things.

Anyway, long story short I don't like it and neither do a lot of people. So there. :P

On to brighter matters- Playthrough #3, the low wolf path leading to endings 13 and 14. Much, much more satisfying then the lowest path. A change of pace from the others I've played so far- there the heroine was more or less a spectator who struggled just to find out what was going on- but here she takes a more active role. I'm also noticing that, despite the differing foci of the plotlines, they complement each other rather then creating plotholes and contradictions. Each path tells the same story, but along each you find different details, so you slowly learn the truth about what happened 200 years ago... and what's going on now. The latest playthrough reveals
that someone else may have been pulling Sebastian's strings- and that it seems falling for Kirsten was part of some plot.
My only complaint is that the ending kinda comes out of nowhere- I had hoped the fateful meeting would have been a bit more expanded, but it just kinda stopped on a
one-hit kill and quick epilogue. It also said that Eric died, when he actually survived- at least the way it played out for me.


The puzzles are also much more enjoyable- shopping and the dream maze are standouts. The leaf puzzle is good too, but the timer is unnecessary. Graphics are awesome, but a bit TOO awesome. The ones with
Randy meeting Christine outside her house
were too different- more like paintings then the other art, and they clash.

My opinion's moving up again. More to come. ^_^
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#50 Post by Jake » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:45 am

BellosTheMighty wrote:The puzzles are also much more enjoyable- shopping and the dream maze are standouts.


As much as I'd agree that those were two of the better puzzles, the shopping one did go a long way toward convincing me that all three of those characters were morons... "go over there. ... no! not that way! Go the other way! You...! Just no! What are you thinking?!"

I'm forced to assume that someone went in an remodelled the mall overnight and none of them have visited since. ;-)
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#51 Post by papillon » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:02 am

I know the girl who did some of the Randy art is very different from the rest of the art - time and money did make me split things up between a lot of people, and sometimes it wasn't apparent how well things would blend or not blend until too late. (Also, she does make Randy kinda sexy, in my humble opinion. :) ) If this ever gets a deluxe release I'll have those pictures redone and just ship the originals as bonus art.


(I have an amusing mental image of the girls running around the mall in trenchcoats and fedoras yelling commands at each other...)

So people don't save as often. Plus, with Fatal Hearts you have limited save slots, so you have a similar problem if you save relentlessly- you wind up overwriting old stuff and missing things.


Fatal Hearts also has *autosave*, making it simple to go back and read that letter that was just in your hand even if you didn't have the sense to make a note of 'Hrm, this is marked strangely'. :)

There is a puzzle in a different branch where you can fairly complain about having to reload, you'll know it when you see it. I don't think Bastian's letter is unfair. The other situation, you can whine and I will look sheepish and apologetic. :)

on endings 13/14
Eric's dead, dude. When they stumble into Bastian, he uses superhuman strength to throw Eric against the wall, where his head impacts with a 'sickening crunch'. Massive head injury. He's already dead. Tim, on the other hand, is just temporarily disabled, and will get back up in a minute, as seen in one of the endings.

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#52 Post by Jake » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:01 pm

papillon wrote:
Eric's dead, dude.



What's up with that, anyway? It's Eric who gets killed, it's Eric who gets captured, it's Eric who gets sacrificed, he's got a crappy number of hitpoints in the battle scene, he doesn't get a romantic pairing [that I've seen] - what have you got against Eric?

It's like you only stuck him in there to be the token German in an otherwise All-American Pseudo-Werewolf Hit Squad! ;-)
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#53 Post by papillon » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:34 pm

Funny thing, that...

All through development I kept joking about how what a little victim Elizabeth was, and how she keeps getting killed... Then it suddenly occurred to me that actually, she only dies in one branch, and Eric was already outdoing her in deaths. (this was before the Tim branch was written)

Obviously I have a subconscious dislike for the letter E.

So by the time I was writing those last two endings, I killed him partly because he dies all the time anyway. And if Elizabeth had been able to whine loudly enough to actually get brought along on the final expedition, I could have dropped a bridge on her!

... I'm joking. Really. :)

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#54 Post by BellosTheMighty » Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:46 pm

papillon wrote:
Fatal Hearts also has *autosave*, making it simple to go back and read that letter that was just in your hand even if you didn't have the sense to make a note of 'Hrm, this is marked strangely'. :)


But it only saves on one side of a puzzle, meaning you have to re-solve an annoying one if it's in the way. (Unless "Skip Puzzle" is turned on before you complete the branch. Is it? I... err... can't remember if I checked. ^_^;;;;;;; )

on endings 13/14
Eric's dead, dude. When they stumble into Bastian, he uses superhuman strength to throw Eric against the wall, where his head impacts with a 'sickening crunch'. Massive head injury. He's already dead. Tim, on the other hand, is just temporarily disabled, and will get back up in a minute, as seen in one of the endings.


Eh? I thought that was Tim... Sorry, I was kinda in a hurry to finish it up before Death Note came on. Must have missed that. ^_^;;;;;

(BTW, Can your subconscious explain why you named the main characters "Christina" and "Lucy"? Because I can't see any conscious reason for it...)
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#55 Post by PrettySammy09 » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:00 pm

Jake wrote:
What's up with that, anyway? It's Eric who gets killed, it's Eric who gets captured, it's Eric who gets sacrificed, he's got a crappy number of hitpoints in the battle scene, he doesn't get a romantic pairing [that I've seen] - what have you got against Eric?

It's like you only stuck him in there to be the token German in an otherwise All-American Pseudo-Werewolf Hit Squad! ;-)


Yeah, poor Eric. He gets so much abuse, just cause he's the random German who seems to have lived a lot longer than he looks.

In my fan-game, there'll be an entire Eric path with lots of awesome stuff happening to Eric.

Epilogue:
Eric got married to Halley Barry after he won the lottery and found a Ferrari in an abandoned parking lot with the keys on the hood and a note saying, "take it please!".


XD

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#56 Post by papillon » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:17 pm

Well, Christina wasn't her original name.

If I tell you the characters in the very first plot sketches were named *Mina* and Lucy, will you get the reference then? :)

(And then it was "Minako" and then it was "Why am I giving her a Japanese name when this game isn't set in Japan?" so it became "Christina" which has a similar sound to Mina, and then it was easy to switch to "Kirsten", a name which I'm fond of... I left Minako as her middle name, which comes up once or twice.)


(And yes, 'Skip Puzzle' is available as soon as you've reached the other side of it. It checks to see if the exit point has been marked previously-read.)

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#57 Post by Jake » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:48 pm

papillon wrote:If I tell you the characters in the very first plot sketches were named *Mina* and Lucy, will you get the reference then? :)


'Mina' as in 'Wilhemina', perhaps?
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#58 Post by papillon » Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:51 pm

Yup.

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Re: Fatal Hearts

#59 Post by BellosTheMighty » Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:09 pm

papillon wrote:Well, Christina wasn't her original name.

If I tell you the characters in the very first plot sketches were named *Mina* and Lucy, will you get the reference then? :)


Umm... no. ^_^;;;;;;

But my Net-fu is strong, and my Wikipedia style crushes all! Except Tae Kwon L33t, but that's another story...

Anyway, changing the name might have been a good idea, artistically. One of the things you did early in the game was try and create ambiguity about just what was going on. A reference so overt would have killed that. Well, once the player got the reference, anyway...
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Re: Fatal Hearts

#60 Post by BellosTheMighty » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:22 pm

Playthrough #4- took the high path. Decent stuff, the branching point from the previous path was right where I expected. Get to know Randy, then the author starts channeling Shyamalan at the start of Chapter 4. Then, puzzles. More research for the Dreamcatcher puzzle, but once I looked it up that was pretty easy. Breaking the code was fun, but I like those kind of things generally. Work my way through to ending 5- not very satisfying, but that seems to be the point. Use some savegame mojo to re-work things from the high/low junction- endings 6 and 7. Neither what I was shooting for.

Messed up... back to the lab again. Going to restart from the beginning, see if I can make things right with the knowledge that I have now.

... Well, maybe not just yet. This is looking like the "optimal ending" that I'm stalking here, so maybe it'd be a good idea to hunt down the others first. So instead I reload a save file from two plays ago and try to suss out any new endings along the low path. I find 9 and a more satisfying path to 11.

More later.
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