United Lore

THE Blog On All Artix Entertainment Games

  • Featured Poll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Subscribe

DragonFable: Critique on the Release of July 24, 2009

Posted by perpetualenigma on July 26, 2009

There isn’t much for this week’s release, but DF more than makes up for that with a stellar quest that advances the highly-acclaimed Great Fire War. Rolith has arrived in Falconreach, to replace its heroes heading East to aid Yulgar. However, Demento decides to stay behind to investigate Konnan’s mysterious disappearance. This could only add up to an impressive lot of action and drama.

Flash Point / Packing Up

About:

Somewhere east of Falconreach, Yulgar has set up a make-shift forge at the crossroads of the adventuring paths. This is conceivably Battleon; however, it is little more than a dense scattering of tents. A warrior named Chaz approaches the blacksmith at his ‘forge’, bearing news that another group of fighters were returning from the front lines, and would need equipment and repairs. Battleon’s defenders are still losing ground; Chaz doesn’t know how much longer they could keep fighting. Suddenly he is suddenly cut off by a cry: the fire elementals have breached their defenses and are attacking Battleon as they speak.

In the meantime, back to the west, the heroes and our character are all set to go, except for Demento. Galanoth’s brother has discovered some curious scraps of red metal at Yulgar’s forge; remnants of Konnan’s smithing. He decides to stay back in Falconreach for further investigation, saying that he would catch up with us later. Galanoth asks him to be safe before leaving; Demento returns the blessing. We watch them ride off, with Aria and Twilly stowing away in a straw-covered cart. Back at Falconreach, Demento returns to the forge and his musings; was Konnan kidnapped, or had he fled? He knows very well that the apprentice is grieving, but… something tells him that Konnan has turned to anger. Later, on the deserted battlefields of the Great Fire War, perhaps hoping to find Konnan, Demento discovers that not all the fire monsters are minions of the Fire Wyrm; a Sun Warrior’s axe bears the brand of Xan (made in Taiwan). He would have to look for Konnan later, as another seems to be taking leadership in the realm of fire.

The scene shifts to Xan’s volcanic lair, where the hot-headed (literally) mage cackles to himself in triumph over his latest plan of using Konnan. He is just planning the details of Warlic’s demise, when Drakonnan appears in a burst of flame, insisting that he and Xan delay and destroy the heroes before they move too far east. Yet once Xan realizes that Warlic is not among them, he immediately loses interest. Drakonnan screams with rage and fire… while a hidden Demento watches on and discovers his identity. Before he could leave however, Xan spots him, and bids Konnan to kill the eavesdropper. His apprentice cries that he would crush the heroes for daring to spy on them. Before he leaves however, Xan sternly orders him to bring them back alive; Konnan quells his fury and gives his word.

Demento manages to escape Xan’s lair unscathed, and vows to warn us before Drakonnan arrives. He leaps onto his horse and rides hard through the dark forest, before a flash of fire knocks him clean off his horse. It was Drakonnan. A fierce fight ensues between the warrior and the new fire mage, ending with Drakonnan unleashing the Fire Orb and hurling a great spear of flame right through Demento. Sad music follows this fatal blow.

At that exact moment, somewhere to the east, Galanoth seizes up; something terrible has happened to Demento. They must turn back immediately.

As the fallen warrior lay dying, Drakonnan snarls that a quick death is too good for him, one of those who had failed to slay Akriloth at the beginning. Drakonnan does not care about Xan’s orders; he will go east, summon a fire army with his Orb and destroy the heroes. This world would be left a cinder. Just as he disappears, we see Demento clench his fist.

Later, our character and Galanoth arrive on the outskirts of the same forest, and fight through an array of Fire-Eaters and Enslaved Red Dragons to make our way to Demento. We arrive in time to catch his final words, that Konnan, who had gone mad with grief, mad with power, had done this to him. He dies on the spot, and Galanoth cries out in grief, before he goes off to attack an Enslaved Red Dragon that took off to the sky. Our character remains by Demento, wondering over what Konnan had become.

Pros:

Another spectacular quest from DF’s developers. Other than the battles, there was absolutely no filler content within this quest. Every detail flowed with one another as they geared towards the advancement of the storyline (and quite possibly the formation of Battleon); exactly the way every quest should be. This time, the focus was not on our character, but unfortunate Demento. He, one of the few NPCs who could change facial expressions, played the role of the heroic detective with an unerring sense of logic and adamancy. Sheer luck was involved, but that was only because Demento knew where to look; he was what we could safely call resourceful and analytical, traits that it seemed only mages could ever possess. His logic also nicely complemented Drakonnan’s cunning; the ex-blacksmith proved himself to be a truly terrifying villain, with his private disregard of Xan’s orders, his secrecy when possessing the Fire Orb, and ambushing Demento. He could have given everything to Xan, or he could have killed him, yet Drakonnan did neither and simply kept his best friend complacent on the sidelines. This added new layers of complexity to this up-and-coming villain, rather than just having him raze the entire world with his master in madness. Then there was the clash between the unlucky protagonist and the twisted antagonist. Overall, the fight was superbly choreographed and animated, showing off both the combat prowess of the two men and their temperaments; Drakonnan with his arrogance and fiery willpower, and Demento with his protective sense of justice. The music accompanying the fight was the same as last week’s battle against Akriloth, yet it suited the tense ambiance all the same. Once Demento fell, a simple yet haunting melody took center-stage, and continued to do so as we battled through the dark forest. It was a pleasant change to see the DF remakes of AQ’s classic fire monsters. They may have been few, but they provided a fair challenge to the skilled adventurer with their multi-hit attacks. And finally, there was the bitter scene at the end, where the stalwart detective dies after bringing his co-stars closer and closer to the truth with mounting tension. Galanoth’s anguish and our character’s quiet dismay provided a beautiful contrast with the action-packed prelude, as well as a twisted yet rational ending to a simple tale. Now we can see why Galanoth is a fanatic of dragon-slaying, and how our character finds an additional reason to defeat Drakonnan.

Cons:

There were a few bugs in the quest: Galanoth’s spear head appeared in the upper-left corner of the first cutscenes, and the Dragonslayer and our pet faced backwards at the start of the first battle. Another flaw would be awkward single-hit attacks of the Fire-Eater and the Enslaved Red Dragon. For the Fire-Eater, a fireball materializes at his chest, and passes his arm before it moves forward. As for the Dragon, it appears to hit us with its forehead rather than snapping with its teeth. Besides these bugs (and sort-of bugs), there was also the matter of Demento’s hiding place. To peer out from atop a pillar (or whatever that was) seemed far from inconspicuous, and it was a wonder how he managed to evade detection till the very end, when he was suddenly ‘spotted’ by a laughing Xan. Then there was the fight between Drakonnan and Demento. The first few clashes seemed awkward and choppy, with shots that snatched back and forth between the two men, instead of seamlessly moving from one combatant to his assailant, or including both together in the shot. My last complaint would have to be availability of the weapon drops for all players; even the lower level silver weapons were exclusively for guardians. Yet other than these minor faults, this quest managed to surpass its predecessor in quality.

Grade:

I had said all that I had to say, and am now simply speechless. This quest deserves an outstanding 9.75/10 from this critic.

.

Rolith in Falconreach

About:

No stone goes unturned for me, or in this case, no weekly novelty goes unmissed (except for DA only quests, and I doubt that that’s permanent). The neurotic Captain of the Pactagonal Knights has taken Ash’s place in front of Serenity’s Inn, claiming that since the town’s defenders were heading east, he would be here to defend Falconreach in our place.

Pros:

Well, Rolith’s getting some more limelight. That’s a pro in itself. And it appeared that he arrived into Falconreach riding a big orange tog, which stands by his side as his loyal steed. That’s another point for hilarity.

Cons:

Again, I still see a little lack of logic in here. It’s a shame that they had to replace stalwart young Ash, but where exactly did he go, if Rolith had, at least temporarily, replaced him? Did he ride with the rest of us to the east, or was he still in Falconreach but kicked out of his prized spot by the more powerful Captain? Furthermore, I would have thought that Rolith’s primary concern would be the well-being of Oaklore Keep, where he was stationed by King Alteon. Regardless of the beseeching no doubt extended to him by the citizens of Falconreach, leaving the Keep in the hands of those dysfunctional knights was just plain irresponsible, especially since a wave of fire monsters might land there. There is also the question of functionality: what does Rolith have to offer besides replacing Ash as a personality in front of the Inn? Absolutely nothing; we still manage to acquire Ash as a guest, receive his old letters, access his old quests and have our answers to beginner’s questions. Even the dialogue appears little changed. So, sorry Rolith, you’re a nice guy, but you’re pretty useless for the moment.

Grade:

(Again, this portion is miniscule, and practically inconsequential in the overall grade of the release. But nevertheless, I will add it in here.) We finally get to see the Captain of the Pactagonal Knights once again, and with his trademark tog steed on top of that. However, a brief laugh is all that we get out of him replacing Ash, and nothing else. Poor Rolith deserves a 4/10 for sticking his nose into Falconreach’s business.

Final Grade of the Release

My instincts were spot on when I predicted the potential of this release. It met my expectations, and then went on to exceed them. Though Rolith’s appearance proved to be little better than a dud, it could not greatly bring down the intrigue, magnitude and power of the latest quest. Overall, this week’s release receives a remarkable 9.5/10 from me.

Advertisements

8 Responses to “DragonFable: Critique on the Release of July 24, 2009”

  1. First of all just let me say: Wow. PE, you do a great job of blogging. You and Peanut are definitely the best I’ve ever seen.

    Anyway, I liked this week’s release. It was interesting to see the events of AQ take place in the DF timeline, with much improved graphics and effects, of course.

    That said, I think it would have been better to have something more in the Fire War saga talking about Demento. We did hear about who he was, how he met Galanoth, and things like that, but we still didn’t have that connection we have to say, Warlic. A simple cutscene with Demento as the star could have fixed this, and is well within AE’s means, considering all the cinematics that we’ve had as of late.

    However, that’s just a minor gripe. This week was great, and I look forward to just what Drakonnan will do next. Oh wait.. I already know! 😛

  2. Mhm. I haven’t played the release. But you are among the best bloggers we’ve had. (Even if we haven’t had many xP) you certainly are much better than me. Congrats on the first post. I am glad to know I left DF in good hands.

  3. Dorigo said

    This is the second post…. Just saying… XD

    But you are doing great Enigma. Extremely detailed and a great overall analysis. Keep it up

    • perpetualenigma said

      Thanks you guys; whenever I care to blog about something, I put my heart in it. It’s great to know that there are others who actually read and like my posts.

      @ Lemmy
      Bet you’ll do great with Warpforce coming up. 🙂

      @ Dorigo
      Technically, this is my second post on DF’s releases, and my third overall post (my first was a commentary on Warpforce’s weak concept).

  4. I played the realesed party but when i came back its all gone

  5. perpetualenigma said

    Again (for this happened in my previous post), unless you have constructive criticism or remarks on this release to add, don’t leave a comment. This isn’t the place for things that you’ve just talked about.
    You’re probably experiencing a bug, as I could access the quest perfectly well in Yulgar’s forge. I hope you don’t mind if I ask that you take your comment to the staff instead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: