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Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Oxxidation posted:

I beat the Fools' Challenge on my second try and cleared the White Palace in thirty minutes and I'd say the latter is way worse because of how inexplicable it is. The rest of the game's zones feel fairly organic (the Deepnest is kind of a stretch but I guess that anyplace that's meant as a domicile for spiders is going to be a house of horrors to begin with) so the King's Palace being chockablock with buzzsaws is just immersion-breaking. Why are these here? Did the King hire a really overzealous home-security bug and didn't have the heart to tell him when enough was enough?

I think the point is that you're not inside the physical King's Palace. You're inside a version of the palace inside the King's (or maybe a Guard's?) dreams. Maybe the King was really possessive of his dreams so he figured out ways to protect them as much as possible.

Yeah, the author's primary motivation was probably just "I want a more difficult series of platforming challenges", but it's not necessarily *entirely* disconnected to the rest of the game.

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Augus
Mar 9, 2015






I don't see how White Palace is so bad. The platforming controls are pretty tight, nothing requires a ridiculous level of reflexes or frame-perfect timing, the obstacles are consistent in their placement, the checkpoints are pretty well-paced. Am I missing something here? It only took me, like, half an hour to 45 minutes to clear?

Mindblast
Jun 28, 2006

Moving at the speed of death.


I think it depends on whether or not you played games like SMB and if you did, how you fared. It wasn't anything worse than what SMB would throw at you(it sure as gently caress isn't Kaizo) so if you got through that fine, the white palace is probably not the worst thing ever. It did, however, feel like a weird switch.

Inexplicable Humblebrag
Sep 20, 2003



don't get me wrong, i found the white palace jarring, and really fuckin' hard, but... the point of the awakened dream nail is to get into the most protected minds.

if you're in the king's dream via the kingmould (i.e. the mindless drone shaped from void and animated by the king), he's probably rather protective of what he's holding. so it does sort of make sense that he'd make the palace an almost impenetrable hellscape of spikes and saws

that said it really ought to have had more checkpoints, and also it should have ramped up slower. the instant you see your first buzzsaw it suddenly becomes super-hard

skasion
Feb 13, 2012

Why don't you perform zazen, facing a wall?


What bothers me about the white palace is that it's really low on payoff. You have to go through the whole thing and then some to get the true ending, but at this point the game has basically nothing else left of value to reward you with, and it's sure not going to be any more forthcoming about the plot, so it just feels like an arbitrary annoyance whose only purpose is to make the true ending a pain to get. It's either going to be endlessly irritating if you don't have hiveblood or irritating and slow if you do.

The inexplicable quality of there being a dream version of the king's house full of saws and spikes plays into this as well. I guess the king adhered to the House Telvanni school of hospitality. If you can't make it upstairs, you probably aren't anyone he wanted to see. But at the same time any butterfingers can brute force his way through if he has hiveblood and some free time. So basically all his traps just make him the king look dumb, they don't really require that you have mastered any important aspect of kingship or anything plot related like you might have expected. You just need to have killed a bunch of poo poo to get in and then either talk to a bee or get really good at jumping. Which is alright for an optional endgame dungeon, but just lacks emotional resonance at what should be a climactic point for the plot.

I also think it kind of hurts that the Queen will just give you her half of the kingsoul if you ask. The King is a dick.

Darth Nat
Aug 24, 2007

It all comes out right in the end.


I think it would be a lot more manageable and enjoyable if it didn't go on and on and on. I thought I would be done with the spikes and buzzsaws when I opened up the elevator to the top of the palace, but nope, there's yet another long, hard section of spikes and buzzsaws. It's like someone had all these crazy ideas for hard platforming sections and desperately wanted to cram every single one into the game, regardless of how long and arduous it made that section.

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Here's the thing; this game doesn't sell itself as being an extremely difficult platformer. Yes, there are difficult platforming sections. However none of them go on for a long time. They are usually about a screen, at most, of hazards before you reach whatever optional reward you were going for. White Palace isn't like this. White Palace is like one of those sections but they make it go on forever. Its ridiculously long with very few checkpoints. Totally devoid of enemies so you don't even have fun combat sections to break up the repeated impaling. Its a total shift from the rest of the game which meshes the platforming and combat together pretty well. It feels more at home in Super Meat Boy than Hollow Knight.

I don't think it works thematically either. Lets just accept that this isn't an accurate representation of the White Palace and rather a mental defense created by the King. Fine, I can buy that. It even explains a bunch of the decorations being covered up because it implies the King is overcome with shame and his memory of the palace is warped by this.The problem is the game tries to make an atmosphere of melancholy with the sparse ornamentation and somber music. It works at first, but it falls apart once you reach these platforming sections. Cause from that point onward its an endless chorus of BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Any atmosphere the level has gets shredded on the buzzsaws like so many little bugs.

Knorth posted:

I kinda don't get calling it poorly designed, it was incredibly tight and acted as the perfect counter-part to the arena. One being about pushing the combat to it's limit and the other about the platforming. They'd teased you with moments of tricky platforming throughout the whole thing and this was the culmination of that

I don't agree with this. I think the arena tests your platforming too when it throws in sections with the spike floors and narrow walls. Its a much more elegant test of your skills than White Palace, as it doesn't throw away half the game to do so. It also helps that the game is straight up calling you a fool for attempting it, as opposed to White Palace being a plot critical area.

Inexplicable Humblebrag
Sep 20, 2003



plot critical is a weird synonym for "optional bonus super-hard area for completionists of an already difficult game"

Knorth
Aug 18, 2014



Buglord

DOWN JACKET FETISH posted:

plot critical is a weird synonym for "optional bonus super-hard area for completionists of an already difficult game"

this, also lol at equating some platforms in the arena with the actual platforming challenge tower

It's weird that people are so ready to tear the White Palace apart with these pretty nit-picky arguments just because they found the combat trials in the game more natural

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


DOWN JACKET FETISH posted:

plot critical is a weird synonym for "optional bonus super-hard area for completionists of an already difficult game"

Explain what's wrong with it. The player is gonna naturally be more inclined to clear the White Palace. Its tied to one of the most important story figured in the game and required for the true ending. You are naturally drawn towards clearing it. I sure was, it was one of the first places I went back too when I got the dream nail. Then when you can't break inside, the mystery about it only grows. You want to get in there and hopefully learn more about what is going on. Granted what you learn is probably something you already pieced together, but its still an important part of the plot.

Compare this to the arena that actively insults you for trying to beat it. The most important contribution the arena makes to the plot is concluding the story of Zote.

Knorth posted:

It's weird that people are so ready to tear the White Palace apart with these pretty nit-picky arguments just because they found the combat trials in the game more natural

Its almost like one of these is fun and the other isn't.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Internet Kraken posted:

Its almost like one of these is fun and the other isn't.

You're free to believe that but don't act like you speak for everyone. I had fun with both the arena and WP, and welcomed both of them as deviation from the main gameplay loop of the game which was getting repetitive. Yes, WP represented a slight breakdown in how immersive the game's atmosphere was. To me that was a sacrifice I gladly made in exchange for fresh gameplay, because I had been playing the game for 25 hours and atmosphere can only carry it so far.

Inexplicable Humblebrag
Sep 20, 2003



Internet Kraken posted:

autistic screeching

did you finish the white palace then

if so, it wasn't too hard

hurrah!

Augus
Mar 9, 2015






Internet Kraken posted:

Its almost like one of these is fun and the other isn't.

the fun one is White Palace and the not-fun one is the Coliseum

Knorth
Aug 18, 2014



Buglord

Augus posted:

the fun one is White Palace and the not-fun one is the Coliseum

I mean, yeah, personally I had a lot more fun with the palace then trying to get that 2nd trial reward, to say nothing of the actual Fool trial

funktopus
Jan 11, 2009



Thanks for this idea. I kind of neglected the spells all through the game (to my detriment). I'm more accustomed to throwing on Mark of Pride/Longnail, Quick Slash, Stalwart Shell, and Nailmaster's Glory and going pure melee. I'll have to try that out.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


funktopus posted:

Thanks for this idea. I kind of neglected the spells all through the game (to my detriment). I'm more accustomed to throwing on Mark of Pride/Longnail, Quick Slash, Stalwart Shell, and Nailmaster's Glory and going pure melee. I'll have to try that out.

Pure melee really isn't a bad idea (it's how I did it, after also going all game using only ever the basic spell). To me it felt like my "attack area" (forward and to the sides of the attack) was increased so much by the two nail upgrades that I rarely had to go long after dodging an attack before I got back to DPS'ing the boss. The first stage of the boss does a lot more large-scale area denial, so there will be long periods where you can't hit at all, but the first stage also has the more straightforward patterns. My suggestion would be get good at those patterns so you can beat stage one fairly consistently, then in stage two you just spend as much time as you can with him at the very tip of your nail and dodge from there while DPS'ing.

VideoGames
Aug 18, 2003


DOWN JACKET FETISH posted:

did you finish the white palace then

if so, it wasn't too hard

hurrah!

I think the 'Autistic Screeching' meme has run it's course right into the ground.
In the future can we avoid using it? Thank you kindly!

Sakurazuka
Jan 24, 2004



nothing

Magic Rabbit Hat
Nov 4, 2006

Strength And Boner!


The White Palace was extremely fun, and it was fun to sequence break the platforming, and many of the skips were put there intentionally; look some of them up if you don't believe me. Trial of Fools was also extremely fun, and a challenge that encouraged me to get better at the combat the game had to offer and try out charm combinations I wouldn't have.

It was cool that there were two challenge areas for combat and platforming in the game and I'm excited to see the new DLC coming out.

funktopus
Jan 11, 2009


Ahhhhh, I finally beat the final boss, and it was an incredible fight. Went with a melee loadout with Quick Slash, Mark of Pride, and Hiveblood. Focused much more on dodging, and I'm certain that Hiveblood won me the fight. By the time I got to the final stage I had 1 health and was a jittering mess.
This game was phenomenal, and I can't wait for the DLC to happen.

LITERALLY MY FETISH
Nov 11, 2010

Could people please stop fighting the avatar war over my avatar. I really appreciate people being nice about it but I'm feeling crappier that people are wasting money because someone is an asshole than I am about the avatar in the first place.


Dancer posted:

You're free to believe that but don't act like you speak for everyone. I had fun with both the arena and WP, and welcomed both of them as deviation from the main gameplay loop of the game which was getting repetitive. Yes, WP represented a slight breakdown in how immersive the game's atmosphere was. To me that was a sacrifice I gladly made in exchange for fresh gameplay, because I had been playing the game for 25 hours and atmosphere can only carry it so far.

I think they could have just made the saw blades silent and it'd be perfect. Like, once you see one saw you know exactly what they all are and then it's creepy going through this empty palace full of weird ghosts and covered up decorations and silent saw blades.

I bought this game on friday and now I'm 40 hours deep and all I have left is a dream boss(soul master's), finishing 2400 focus (I'm at 1800 now iirc), and the trial of the fool. This game was loving amazing all the way down.

So It Goes
Feb 18, 2011


https://www.kickstarter.com/project...t/posts/1887534

Looks like there will be three "free content packs" added to the game before the Hornet DLC. I'm curious what they'll contain.

Knorth
Aug 18, 2014



Buglord

Those watercolours are really pretty

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


What's the max amount of focus you can get anyways? I know you need 1800 total but I ended up getting way more than that by defiling all the memories of ghosts across the land. Don't think it makes any difference though so I was just a jerk for nothing.

VVV You can get more than 2400 by eating all the ghosts scattered across the map. My file is at 2536 and I'd be surprised if I didn't miss some ghosts.

Internet Kraken fucked around with this message at May 17, 2017 around 22:44

Knorth
Aug 18, 2014



Buglord

I think it's like 2400, apparently you get a neat little scene with the moth for getting all of it

lets hang out
Jan 10, 2015



i started playing this and it's really good

Knorth
Aug 18, 2014



Buglord

Huh maybe it's 2600 then I dunno

Try visiting the moth again now, there might just be more than you /need/ for her story

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Knorth posted:

Huh maybe it's 2600 then I dunno

I distinctly remember reading a post on steam forums about someone having 260x soul. It's not a nice round number. They just made sure 2400 was feasible without having to hunt down individual ghosts and left it at that I think.

skasion
Feb 13, 2012

Why don't you perform zazen, facing a wall?


Steam guide says 2608

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Knorth posted:

Huh maybe it's 2600 then I dunno

Try visiting the moth again now, there might just be more than you /need/ for her story

Moth is gone forever after you get 2400. There's no reason to get more after seeing that scene but I felt compelled to eat every ghost because it made my number bigger. After that speech the warrior moth gives I was honestly expecting the game to call me out on it. Its not like eating ghosts even provides a notable amount of focus. I think they all give only 1 each.


Dancer posted:

I distinctly remember reading a post on steam forums about someone having 260x soul. It's not a nice round number. They just made sure 2400 was feasible without having to hunt down individual ghosts and left it at that I think.

Which is smart from a game design standpoint for sure.

Knorth
Aug 18, 2014



Buglord

Internet Kraken posted:

Moth is gone forever after you get 2400. There's no reason to get more after seeing that scene but I felt compelled to eat every ghost because it made my number bigger. After that speech the warrior moth gives I was honestly expecting the game to call me out on it. Its not like eating ghosts even provides a notable amount of focus. I think they all give only 1 each.

Oh you already got the scene, ok

Yeah I was a little disappointed when I heard that she doesn't actually fight you for doing that

Discendo Vox
Mar 21, 2013

This user's endless pedantry is kept grey.

Key words: nutrition, philosophy, regulatory science, law, shallow realpolitik, fake cheese, game design fanfiction.

There's an ingame plot explanation for the White Palace, including the traps. It fits quite well with everything else.

lets hang out
Jan 10, 2015



i finished playing this and it was really good. my only complaint is that i don't think the dark souls stuff improved the game at all. didn't even realize benches respawned enemies until i was carrying a flower from one end of the world to the other. otherwise it was stellar and all of the true ending stuff was really cool.

oh game ran really smoothly except i guess 4gb of ram is just baaaarely enough because it would pretty frequently hitch hard loading sound effects and transitioning between areas. made some parts trickier than they needed to be, like the last arena because it had a ton of different enemies.

lets hang out fucked around with this message at May 21, 2017 around 02:01

lets hang out
Jan 10, 2015



Discendo Vox posted:

There's an ingame plot explanation for the White Palace, including the traps. It fits quite well with everything else.

i'm thinking the king took the whole palace and hid it in a dream and stuffed it with traps because he was that desperate to keep the infection away from him. the guy who buys relics talks about the place just disappearing at some point.

anyway i think i mostly understand the story but i have one question: how did the character you play as wind up on the surface before the game started?

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


lets hang out posted:

i'm thinking the king took the whole palace and hid it in a dream and stuffed it with traps because he was that desperate to keep the infection away from him. the guy who buys relics talks about the place just disappearing at some point.

Yeah I'm pretty sure this is mostly correct. However I also think that eventually he became overcome with shame and depression at his failure, which is why the White Palace is left as such a barren place. The King hid his palace inside the dream to escape the plague but became so disgusted with it that he tried to cover it all up.

quote:

anyway i think i mostly understand the story but i have one question: how did the character you play as wind up on the surface before the game started?

This is something I'd like an answer for as well. I have an answer for most big questions I had about the game but your starting position doesn't seem to make much sense.

lets hang out
Jan 10, 2015



Internet Kraken posted:

This is something I'd like an answer for as well. I have an answer for most big questions I had about the game but your starting position doesn't seem to make much sense.

actually i was rewatching the scene when the dreamers show up and throw you into a dream world and they made it sound like your character crawled out of the abyss however long ago and just left the kingdom entirely. then i guess enough time passed for the kingdom to fall apart before they returned, drawn by the seal weakening but having forgotten everything like Quirrel.

here's a video https://polsy.org.uk/play/yt/?vurl=..._hHo8%3Ft%3D102

SirSamVimes
Jul 21, 2008





lets hang out posted:

actually i was rewatching the scene when the dreamers show up and throw you into a dream world and they made it sound like your character crawled out of the abyss however long ago and just left the kingdom entirely. then i guess enough time passed for the kingdom to fall apart before they returned, drawn by the seal weakening but having forgotten everything like Quirrel.

here's a video https://polsy.org.uk/play/yt/?vurl=..._hHo8%3Ft%3D102


Yeah, but how? The Abyss was sealed shut.

lets hang out
Jan 10, 2015



i mean it takes like 2 minutes to climb out, maybe the king didn't shut the door right away

SirSamVimes
Jul 21, 2008





Didn't the vision of the chosen vessel ascending end with the door slamming shut?

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lets hang out
Jan 10, 2015



oh maybe. there's a lot of rumbling but you don't actually see it close. i dunno

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