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Old 09-04-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
Pavlos
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[NWN2] What is, was, and could have been... or something like that

I rather like that title .

First of all: NWN2 is with its flaws, like all games - the majority of Act 1 is boring as hell. But I also love the OC for characters like Sand and Grobnar, and for amazing sequences - like the siege on Crossroad Keep, the trial, Ammon Jerro's Haven, and the assault on Castle Never (that one's just there for sheer 'epicness' and the histrionic battle music ).

Anyway: the ending, I think we can all agree, is something of a downer - the betrayals are nicely implemented and show good use of the influence system but the anticlimactic "the building collapses" PowerPoint presentation is horrific - mostly for the voice acting but it's still not exactly the pinnacle of story telling. Anyway... what is curious is that the ending, while it seems it has always been "the building collapses", used to be slightly more climactic and made it obvious that the player was going to continue his adventures in the expansion (which we now know to be true, anyway). So... once you defeated the King of Shadows, this was supposed to happen:

Khelgar: {A little to himself, understatement as fortress is blowing up}Well, now we've done it.

Grobnar: {Looking around, in awe, as fortress collapses}My, it's like a festival... well, with more collapsing stones - and very large ones, too.

Khelgar: {Smug, watching the evil fortress collapse}Bet that shadowy beast regrets messing with us now, eh?

Elanee: {Urgent, fortress is collapsing}Everyone, look - we need to go, now.

Ammon: {Beats}Agreed - this place will not survive its master's passing. We must make haste.

Zhjaeve: | SCRIPTER: Show Zhajeve and Player in this shot, preferably with player looking toward destruction |{Urgent, fortress is collapsing}<b>Kalach-cha,</b> this part of the journey is done - come, there is little time.

| SCRIPTER: The camera focuses on the exit as rubble crashes around everywhere. The player, Ammon Jerro, Zhjaeve, Elanee, Khelgar and Grobnar furiously race towards the exit. |{AUDIO: Music reaches a crescendo}

Khelgar: {Running, trying to escape explosion}Move, Grobnar, move!

Grobnar: {Alarmed, trying to avoid being caught in explosion, running}I <i>am</i> moving, just not as fast as everyone else!

Ammon: {Urgency}Keep running! We...

Elanee: {To herself, doomed recognition}We're not going to make it.

Zhjaeve: {Finality, and quietly, like speaking a prayer, as explosion engulfs them}And so this journey ends.

| SCRIPTER: Player and companions run toward camera, view is slightly offset. Suddenly the whole structure collapses and rubble falls between the player and the camera, burying the camera. |{ AUDIO: Music stinger that is sorrowful, but triumphant, a suitable requiem to a hero who just gave up their life.}

| SCRIPTER: Camera shot changes to the heavens, where artificial night has loomed for months. Cracks appear in the darkness and light starts coming through. Energy from below flings towards the heavens. |

| SCRAP: The last sequence shows Sir Nevalle, Aldanon, Bevil Starling and the people of Crossroad Keep standing on the ramparts, watching as the artificial night evaporates. Many people in the crowd cheer, but Sir Nevalle is grim-faced. |

Bevil: {Watching the evil shadows dissipate over the kingdom, in awe}I don't believe it... the shadows... they're going away.

Nevalle: {Watching the evil darkness over the kingdom dissipate}It seems we have won, but at what cost? {Beat}Aldanon... is the Knight-Captain...?

Aldanon: {Confused, just seen a building collapse on the player}I... I do not know. {Beat}I do not know.

| SCRIPTER: The last shots of the night fade and bright beams of sunlight emerge. |

| SCRIPTER: Fade out and then play credits. Note, at the end of the credits there should be a shot of the player's dusty cape that he got during his knighthood ceremony. The caption reads "Knight-Captain of Crossroad Keep ...?"|

Voice overs (3430_ending_0000 to 3430_ending_0019) can be found in your main NWN2 directory (not My Documents) under Data/VO.zip.

I don't know about you but I think that's much more climactic than what we have currently. And what nags at me specifically is that they had all the voice work for it. Either it's a case of bad time management (would've made sense to cut one dungeon from the whole Old Own Well fiasco and spend time implementing this) or it was intentionally cut in case they didn't get the opportunity to make an expansion. The latter doesn't really make much sense because that ending is as much a cliff hanger as the cut one.

There are other things; Sand seems to have been able to figure out how to stop the Animus elemental from attacking Qara - you'd have to use your influence to either persuade her to learn self control - thus cutting the elemental off - or to let loose with all her power and overload it. Grobnar also seems to have been able to write a song that would have positive effects on you and negative effects on your enemies. From the sounds of things, it would have worked much as Morte's picking up of insults did in Torment (he says that things on his travels inspire him, and sometimes he gets bitten by the "inspiration beetle").

Interesting stuff, anyway.


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Last edited by Pavlos; 09-04-2007 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
Jae Onasi
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I hate the fact that they get crushed like bugs at all. It's like this: "Hey, you just defeated the King of Shadows, who owns the powerful magic of the Shadow Weave! Too bad you get squashed by some totally mundane rocks on your way out." They could have done so much more with this.


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Old 09-04-2007, 11:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Anyway... what is curious is that the ending, while it seems it has always been "the building collapses", used to be slightly more climactic and made it obvious that the player was going to continue his adventures in the expansion
That variant did strike me as more final in its "the player dies!" proclamation. While the current one just says that the building collapses over the PC and they're never heard from again, this one seems to insinuate more strongly that they are killed by the collapse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I hate the fact that they get crushed like bugs at all. It's like this: "Hey, you just defeated the King of Shadows, who owns the powerful magic of the Shadow Weave! Too bad you get squashed by some totally mundane rocks on your way out."
Which begs the question... since D&D seems to have rules governing pretty much everything, how much (bludgeoning?) damage would a collapsing pile of rubble deal? You'd think a lot, but seeing how something like non-magical fire only deals 1d6 damage per round, and you can survive a fall from pretty much any height if you only have a lot of hitpoints, I somehow doubt that damage would be guaranteed lethal for at least the level 20 fighter-types in the party.

And perhaps not the mages either, since Stoneskin should work if the building isn't made from adamantine, and each boulder deals damage individually.


Last edited by stoffe; 09-04-2007 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
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I can't find a source to back this up, but I recall from age 10 thinking "Wow, Wall of Stone can cause 10d10 damage when dropped!"

I'd imagine you'd also take crushing damage every round that you were pinned down.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:16 PM   #5
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This sounds like a job for the ever-punctual Team Gizka.

I've got the sound files for this handy if anyone wants to hear them... there's also a few other bits of cut dialogue that are quite cool, too.

It seems like the ending directly leads into the XP1 campaign, so I don't mind the whole roof collapsing thing so much; its just the presentation that is severely lacking. That dorky-sounding voice over guy, and the slideshow, are just not satisfying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
That variant did strike me as more final in its "the player dies!" proclamation. While the current one just says that the building collapses over the PC and they're never heard from again, this one seems to insinuate more strongly that they are killed by the collapse.
I don't know about that. Pavlos has a point: the fact that Zhjaeve refers to the previous three chapters as "this part of the journey" seems to suggest that the KC's adventures are not yet over.

Then again, the regular ending explicitly states that no body was found, so perhaps you're right.

But I would surmise that, originally, both 'endings' were intended to be shown - the slideshow directly after the collapse of the Vale of Merdelain. They probably cut this sequence because it was too difficult to make it look realistic with the engine that they had.


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Old 09-04-2007, 03:32 PM   #6
Lantzen
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Well, thats intresting, i think that ending would have been better then the current one.

And since we are on the topic of cut contents, are there any mods that restore contents that i can have on my next playthru ?
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:56 PM   #7
Pavlos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantzen
Well, thats intresting, i think that ending would have been better then the current one.

And since we are on the topic of cut contents, are there any mods that restore contents that i can have on my next playthru ?
If someone with 3dsMax downloaded the Expotron plugin and then modelled and animated a falling rock placeable - or animated the tile itself, for that matter - it would be relatively easy to implement. The hard part is, of course, the modelling and the animating - and making the created animations realistic.

I mean, it's entirely possible to implement without the falling rocks thing but then again... it would look kind of silly to have them all yelling about things falling and collapsing if nothing was happening .


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