TLoZ: Ballad of a Bloodline
Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:04 AM
Reviewed by: jerome and Nuvo
I was pretty excited to have had the pleasure of not only playing this quest, but being one of it's many testers. I had read a lot about it and was awaiting it's arrival. So I was excited when I was asked to be a tester. And I was not disappointed. There are so many really cool things in this quest, it's difficult to place them all.
For starters, this quest is done in a very heavily modified DoR tileset. It has a ton of story to it, so you better have your reading glasses ready (if applicable). As said in the quest description, there are 13 custom bosses not counting the final boss. There are many different endings to this quest. I have found 4, and heard there was another (or more?). In this story you will find tons of story twists, humor, little naked people, and dramatic story telling. The only downside I can say on this is 2.10 is not that friendly all of the time to text string heavy quests. So you better save a lot to keep from losing much. This is not a fault of the quest though, just a reminder or head's up.
At first when I started this quest and was running around finding tons of things, but no level, I was kind of frustrated. I played for an hour before finding a level. I had found a lot of cool stuff in the process though. But let patience stay with you and you will find it. The first few levels are in the Light World. But there are more things to do than just those levels. There are some really great ideas like mixing blowing up bushes, melting the rocks, or other things to keep you on your toes. Don't just push rocks, smash the crap out of them! Some things change things, but don't do anything for you. Like burn a bush, it's just gone... that's all. Hit someone with a boomerang to the head, they get angry. Who knew? Don't just look for the obvious in this quest, but LOOK AT EVERYTHING!! If you notice something odd about that spot on the wall, that rock, well the you'd better check it. You never know, it could be your way to better things.
There are so many overworlds in this quest. I believe CastChaos said there are 7-1/2 full overwolds. That's a lot of screens people. That's a lot of area to cover to find things as well. And you will cover it all, and more than once. Others' tastes may differ from mine, but I think the overworlds flow together rather well and look great.
There are lots of custom music to this quest as well. While some sounded like I should know them, there are many that I didn't recognize. And that's because of all of the custom midis that were made for this quest. All of the music seems very fitting to the areas in which they were in as well. So you don't have to worry about intense battle music while just talking to a fairy.
There are many mandatory sidequests in this one. Some are for items, and some are for what you need to do to continue. It can become very difficult if you don't try to find the necessary equipment. And all of the items are in this quest. However, CastChaos was kind enough to put in a surplus of HCPs and HCs throughout this entire quest. I honestly think that if ZC would let you, you could get around 32HCs if you never sacrificed any. So you shouldn't worry so much about this next section as much.
There are a bunch of One Time Events in here as well. Causing lots of changes, both big and small. Some may just open a previously blocked path. One that I recall turns a droughted lake into a huge swamp! Some others will affect how you end your game as well. (Hint, hint.)
As partly already mentioned, there are a lot of HCPs. But did you know there are also a lot of Magic Container Upgrades as well? Well, there are! And they are scattered about the Light World all over the place. Kind of like Easter egg hunts! Kind of makes you wonder what you are going to find when you melt the rock, bomb that wall, or shoot that window. There are a lot of both so you don't have to get frustrated in "Where do I find that last HCP?" searches. Unless, of course you WANT to find them all. Then there's even more of a challenge for you!
That brings us to the next topic. He loves those Money or Life rooms. And he loves to make you pay dearly for them. If you can carry 500, you can expect to pay just that to go on. So you better be willing to sacrifice time (for money searching) or your life quite a bit. But it's never at a cost of not getting something in return.
Dungeons start out decent sized, and continue to grow from there. So the farther you get along, the more lengthy these dungeons are going to get for you. The good thing is that the level difficulty will start out rather low when talking about combat skills. Then it slowly tests your fighting skills. The puzzle skills needed for these start off slightly easy to frustrating. Now I'm not refering to block puzzles here as much as I am of where to go next. There's one level that is adequately named. And it's "Nightmare". That's all I'm going to say about that one other than "AAAAARRRRGGHH!!!!" Some of the later levels are a mixture of Overworld and Dungeons exploring to further befuddle you. Also watchout when you decide you want to go to some of these levels. Once you enter them, you can't leave until finished. None of this "This level's too hard for now, I think I'll come back later." <Insert maniacal laughter>
Now you also have a few things to collect as well. First being three artifacts so you can earn your right to carry the "Master Sword" (level 2 sword). After that you are collecting medals. And if you look closely, you can find the Lightforces as well. Remember, you won't want to skip anything in this quest because there are consequences. The Lightforces are sometimes hidden in or near the level that you just obtained a medal from. Usually these are more of a maze/puzzle than it is about fighting big monsters. Some you won't be able to get right after the level as they require later items. So don't forget to go back to get them!
Custom bosses- not a single one of them are alike, which is really great. Some even mix up some back and forth trash talking between Knil and the bosses to keep you pumped up to destroy them. Make sure to carry a full supply of everything, since you never know what you may need against these creatures.
One complaint I had about some of the levels, and one area of overworld in particular, was the overcast. It was rather annoying at first, but unfortunately was very fitting for the area. You can't have a bunch of rocks burning in lava without a little smoke, or be on top of a ruined mountain and expect crystal clear vision.
I almost forgot about the enemy traps the evil leader has set up in places to stop you. You'll just be walking along, minding your own business when all of a sudden you are surrounded by baddies that you have to beat to get back on track. While at first you might try to avoid them, you will later realize that if you find them, you get more stuff. Though there are some instant death spots as well. I'm not going to say where it is, but I liked the tree one myself.
I think I'd recommend this quest to any player skill level. It will be difficult later for the lesser skilled players, but you can make it through it. Advanced players have no reason not to play this one, so get to cracking on it!
Overall we, the FQotM society, give this quest 3 full points. 1-point for graphics, 1-point for design, and 1-point for overall quest play.
A quest this good, I couldn't just give 1 thumbs up, but I give my full 2 thumbs up on this one, and Nuvo gives 2 thumbs up as well. 4 thumbs up people!
And there's already a sequel in planning!
Remember everyone, this is for discussion of the quest itself as a whole. The help thread is here!
Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:23 AM
While making BB, I always was curious what review I would get... how fortunate that I didn't even have a chance to peek at it before review completion... Love... What an efficient motivation! (Now I can be curious about what review Seasoned Blood will get...)
Posted 16 December 2008 - 12:46 PM
Only one note on the "Lose Money or Life" rooms: CC put loads of secrets around that reward you with a reasonable amount of rupees. Useful!
Posted 18 November 2009 - 10:25 PM
Edited by Harken, 07 December 2009 - 01:32 AM.
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