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The Adventure of Kain, the return of Ganon.

Overview Feature Quest
Creator: dr_henke Genre: NES-style Updated: 04 Mar 2019 ZC Version: 2.50.2 Downloads: 419 Rating[?]: Rating: 4.29/5 (6 ratings) Download Quest
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Eddy  
Rating: 3/5

Posted 05 March 2019 - 04:20 PM
Note: I see this has been updated today, and considering I finished this yesterday, if anything I mention here has already been fixed up or adjusted, then feel free to ignore what I say.

With about 11 hours in, 22 hearts and almost all items, I finished this last night and I'm a little mixed in some places. It wasn't so bad for some things and usually it was fine for some stuff, but then it follows with some questionable design choices, which I'll get to later, but overall it was quite pleasant.

To begin with, the good parts of the quest. The quest itself plays pretty nicely. Progression is quite nice and the quest flows quite nicely. I did get stuck a few times, but usually it's because I miss obvious things, so it's not a problem there. The difficulty progression is quite good and manageable and nothing ever felt too hard or insane. The overworld design and the overworld itself is probably the high point of the quest for me. It looks really nicely done with all the custom spritework and I really like how the areas are uniquely made too. It's also quite fun to navigate through and finding secrets felt quite rewarding (when they aren't door repairs at least), as well any other bonus stuff that you can come across. Soundtrack was pretty nice too and I liked a lot of the songs.

Now for the negatives, and there's one big one I feel the need to mention. The dungeons are the low points of the quest for me, which came off as being a bit lacking and badly designed for the most part in my opinion (with the exception of Level 6 which was well made). There are two main issues with the dungeons, the design and the layouts. The dungeons seem quite similar to Z1 with the square rooms and typical block formations on the screen and all. This is not a bad thing by any means, but the issue comes when there's quite a lot of empty rooms with just enemies on them. It wouldn't hurt to maybe add a bit more things on the screen or some floor designs to these rather than using just one floor tile to cover the entire screen and then litter it with enemies. There may be a few times where that's fine, but I found myself seeing these rooms quite often, so something to add to will be nice to see. In addition to detail, that would be something you can add to all the other rooms as well. Assuming you are using a heavily modified NewFirst here, I'm sure there are some floor border tiles from A Link to the Past that can be used to border the walls and blocks. Using these to detail rooms would make things look a lot nicer and cleaner. I do like the Zelda 1 style walls though, that looks cool. In addition, I would personally stick to one floor type/colour throughout the dungeons. Going from one room with normal floor and blocks to another room with neon green floor and dark blue blocks can look really bizarre, and so I would prefer to be consistent and keep the colours the same.

The other issue I have with dungeons are the layouts. Before getting the magic key, traversing through some of these was a pain. The biggest reason for this is because the dungeons are designed so you are presented with 2 key doors for 1 key in some cases. One door may take you to another key and progress, and the other door may take you to an item. In many cases, I ended up going for the second option and got myself stuck where I had to leave the dungeon and buy a key to progress (thank god for this tbh). But in the future, I would definitely try to plan the dungeons more carefully so you prevent situations like this, usually avoiding placing keys in dead-ends after key doors. A good way to work around this is to provide enough keys to unlock all the key doors from the start of each dungeon until you get a dungeon item or something, in which you can do something similar with that. This will also end up making dungeons less linear and more complex, which can make for some interesting design. And a minor thing, but the custom sound effects can be a little grating and annoying at times, especially with the people. They were pretty humourous though, I'll give it that lol.

There are also a ton of smaller things I've found while playing that I compiled up together in this imgur algum: Click here
(Like I said at the beginning, sorry if anything has already been fixed up, and if you have any questions about anything I said feel free to ask!)

One crucial thing I didn't screenshot: you can actually sequence break the quest pretty badly after getting the Hammer, as you can see from some good equipment I got from the screenshots. How did this happen? In the rainy area at the bottom of the northern lands, I managed to use the Hookshot to pass a river at a precise position so I didn't get stuck on the river, and then I managed to get into late game stuff. This can easily be fixed by removing the tree along the river. And one last thing, I was really confused by the events that follow Level 7. If I go through the portals, I end up going through some story sequence after fighting the wizard guy and then it just boots me right back to the end of Level 7. I have no idea what's going on there, is that an alternate ending or something? It wasn't clear to me, but I think I'm probably at fault for not getting it, so clarification would be nice.

Overall though, this was quite good for the most part. I think the dungeons were the biggest problem for me and a couple other inconsistencies that I found in a lot of places that brought down the experience a little bit. I'll give this one a solid 3/5. For a quest being made over a long period of time, I really commend the dedication to finish this. I think with a few fixes and upgrades, it can definitely be better. Should you decide to make more quests, I wish you luck!
  • dr_henke likes this
 

Marv Albert  
Rating: 5/5

Edited 21 January 2019 - 10:38 AM
What is Adventure of Kain?

Here we have a highly customized, refined, and true to form (if not a bit less linear) NES-style quest that delivers on the promise of playing the role of the villain. It makes you wonder if all of Ganon's other minions are as self-aware and reflective as Kain. I could expound on that thought with some philosophy about whether or not we should feel bad about wasting so many of Ganon's minions, if some or all of them are like Kain, but instead I will review some pros and cons I found during my playthrough of AoK.

Pros:

- Interesting custom designed screens throughout, such as buildings and map and screen design.

- Customized enemies with interesting rare drops. Many enemies have customized sound effects as well. As warned in the text file, there is a lot of the Isle-of-Rebirth style death groans and screams, which are kind of amusing as well.

- Between the whistle and the warp system, getting around the overworld(s) is pretty fast and easy.

- Tons of little secrets to find, and some potentially challenge-breaking big secrets to find relatively early before the last level. There are quite a bit of sidequests to do and things to find between levels.

- AoK might have the best balance of rupees:things to buy that I have ever seen in a ZC quest. One of my ZC-peevs is virtually every quest throws more rupees at the player than the player can possibly hold or spend. Contrarily, in AoK, thanks to the "big wallet" right from the start, I found myself actually behind the curve in terms of rupees and short on money for things to buy.

- Difficulty ranges from "about right" to "a bit too easy," but with a bias towards being mild-moderate. There are some uphill difficulty curves, especially if the player wants to go exploring in overworld screens that are not necessarily intended to be visited yet. I found the optional dragon fights to be much more challenging than the level boss fights, but I think I did those dragon fights early than intended and before obtaining helpful sword/armor upgrades.

- The aforementioned plot.

Cons:

- I don't like how every single dungeon room seems to be flagged to make enemies always respawn. This makes navigating and traversing the later dungeons a pain. The overworld screens appear to have the same "feature," but usually at least on the overworld, there isn't also an abundance of trap doors that only open after defeating all enemies.

- There are far too many key doors in the dungeons that lead to a dead end, or a useless prize, essentially wasting keys. Now, of course the player can buy keys in this quest, which is a good thing because several times, doing so is actually mandatory due to a key lock right at the beginning of a dungeon. This key situation is also not balanced by being able to find a sufficient amount of keys within a given dungeon to open all of the key doors in that dungeon.

- Dungeon design is heavily inspired by the original LoZ, but pretty bland a lot of the time with very simple paths and navigation. Many times, I could bypass getting things like the compass or map, or even the dungeon treasure and go straight to the boss with the boss key. There is a heavy reliance on bombable walls and walk-through walls that can be frustrating if one doesn't find bomb-capacity upgrades, the lens, or get the spin-attack skill in order to tap walls. Be sure to go exploring!
Spoiler


- Like the original LoZ, there are a lot of "pay me for the door repair charge" caves. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, because it helps the player from obtaining too many rupees, but I bet many players will be frustrated.


Overall, I really enjoyed AoK and got a solid 18 hours or so of gameplay out of it. AoK is a solid 4.5/5, which I round up to a 5.
  • Epsalon ZX and dr_henke like this