Who wrote the original HIV campaigns storyline?

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Who wrote the original HIV campaigns storyline?

Postby Elwin » Nov 18 2007, 1:30

He should deserve a pat on the back.
In the diameter of the Universe, we are but a single flame. To say that we're insignificant is to give us....too little credit. But if the universe chooses you to be part of its plans, then you better let go because it makes it more fun when you don't know what's about to happen next!

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Postby Darmani » Nov 18 2007, 5:11

That's what many say.

I've actually come to realize that most of the H4 stories are blah. They pretty much all follow this same formula:

1)Hero is introduced
2)Hero aspires to power
3)Hero becomes powerful
4)An antagonist slowly becomes apparent
5)Hero must defeat antagonist

(Yes, said formula may be a bit generic, but not that generic. Especially step 4.)

What is great, however, is the writing. Whoever wrote those texts could put most professional fantasy writers to shame with the quality and intrigue created out of otherwise generic plotlines. While the Gauldoth Half-Dead storyline may be dull, it is certainly not dull to read Gauldoth discuss why not to conquer Great Arcan, or his relationship with the woman in the third scenario.

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Postby Corlagon » Nov 18 2007, 11:34

According to the credits, it was a guy called Terry Ray. He also wrote the Heroes Chronicles story texts, hence the similarities in quality.

If only Heroes V had somebody competent like him...

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Postby Meandor » Nov 18 2007, 16:51

Well then we wouldn`t have such perls as "griffin eternal!"
...

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Postby Elwin » Nov 18 2007, 18:14

None of the storylines, in my opinion, are dull. The best ones I think should be Emilia's, Elwin's, and Tawni's.

By the way, what are the Heroes Chronicles again?
In the diameter of the Universe, we are but a single flame. To say that we're insignificant is to give us....too little credit. But if the universe chooses you to be part of its plans, then you better let go because it makes it more fun when you don't know what's about to happen next!

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Postby Koni » Nov 18 2007, 18:20

Elwin wrote:By the way, what are the Heroes Chronicles again?


You should read the informations HIER. :)

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Postby Corlagon » Nov 18 2007, 18:39

Well then we wouldn`t have such perls as "griffin eternal!"


My point exactly :)

None of the storylines, in my opinion, are dull. The best ones I think should be Emilia's, Elwin's, and Tawni's.


I agree entirely, though I prefer Emilia's, Gauldoth's and Waerjak's - they are the longest, most interesting and most full of references to Antagarich, respectively. If only LotA Book 2 would come out already.

By the way, what are the Heroes Chronicles again?


In (relatively) short - they are eight campaigns focused around the Immortal Hero Tarnum (from Waerjak's campaign) and his exploits throughout the continent of Antagarich. The events span from centuries before Heroes I up until after Armageddon's Blade. There's a pretty detailed plot summary on Wikipedia, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_Chronicles

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Postby Elwin » Nov 18 2007, 23:51

All of them are good, really. I find an interest in more "natural" stories, so I didn't particularly like Gauldoth's story because it had too much of the "bleak" and "death" genre in it. Lysander's was boring and it was Way_Too_Easy. Waerjak's story was interesting for the first part until the gameplay got too boring becaue there was always that one leftover Berserker or Centaur running around in the Fog of War. Emilia had a long story and I really like the way that it was written, and Elwin's story was really good in conventions, but not the actual story, just the way he wrote it. And Tawni's storyline was interesting once past the third scenario because of all the betrayal and text....

The only thing that can rival the Heroes IV stories, in my opinion, are that of Squaresoft (the company's).
In the diameter of the Universe, we are but a single flame. To say that we're insignificant is to give us....too little credit. But if the universe chooses you to be part of its plans, then you better let go because it makes it more fun when you don't know what's about to happen next!

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Postby Darmani » Nov 19 2007, 0:04

None of the storylines, in my opinion, are dull. The best ones I think should be Emilia's, Elwin's, and Tawni's.


I make strong distinction between the story half and the writing half. Considering I was taught this distinction by my father, I know I'm not alone in doing so, but I'm not sure you all do. I'll demonstrate what I mean:

Tawni Balfour's story (as I remember it):

-Born the bastard of a pirate and a barmaid
-Was given a dagger by her father as a teen
-Ran away and joined her father's ship
-Ship sailed through portal during Reckoning
-Assumed command after alleged father's death
-Decides to conquer the Gold Sea, starting with the Strait of Storms.
-Is attacked by another pirate, and goes out to kill said pirate
-Attempts to expand empire
-Is attacked by the forces of the Mermaid Queen
-Finds some medusa-witch in a prison
-Is betrayed by a subordinate
-Kills said subordinate
-Decides to go destroy the Mermaid Queen
-Finds out that her father is not Black Talfour but Eight-Fingered Oba

Reduced to the pure-plot level, all the H4 stories are pretty straightforward. In fact, there are very few video game storylines that are not dull when reduced down to such a level.

However, the story is only half of writing - the other half is the actual writing, and Terry Ray certainly deserves six pats on the back for that. While the plots are all dull, there is nary a dull line of text in the game.

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Postby Muszka » Nov 19 2007, 2:39

I like the Wearjak's campaign, and I'm pretty sure that it's because of Tarnum.
Don't get meg wrong, the writing is excelent, it can be seen, that the writer put his soul in it. But the stories... I don't think they are the ones you'll remember and you tell to your grandchildren.
When I play a storybased scenario/campaign I tend to compare it automatically with the maps of Timoty Duncan (back in H3). I think his maps have the most original story of all. Compared to those I think we can easyly proclaim the H4 stories dull.
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Postby pepak » Nov 19 2007, 13:01

Darmani wrote:Reduced to the pure-plot level, all the H4 stories are pretty straightforward. In fact, there are very few video game storylines that are not dull when reduced down to such a level.

I wonder why the emphasis on "video game" - pretty much the same thing could be said about almost all movies and quite a lot of books, too.

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Postby Corlagon » Nov 19 2007, 19:55

But the stories... I don't think they are the ones you'll remember and you tell to your grandchildren.
When I play a storybased scenario/campaign I tend to compare it automatically with the maps of Timoty Duncan (back in H3). I think his maps have the most original story of all. Compared to those I think we can easyly proclaim the H4 stories dull.


I don't think I'll be telling Timothy Duncan's stories to my grandchildren (not at all because I dislike them, simply because they weren't finished)... I still think Gauldoth's story has to be the most interesting one in the entire history of the game, fan-made or not. I see nothing dull whatsoever about it. Playing as a guy who doesn't know why he's (half) alive, who questions the very Universe itself while struggling against his master's plots - just about as complex a character as anyone's ever going to see. The only poor part IMO was the thing with the God of Death - who was he anyway?

Suraze and Hadrin get killed in LotA though, ah well :)

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Postby Elwin » Nov 19 2007, 21:43

^YES! Exactly what I was thinking. They should write sequels to some of the campaigns, and the two that I am most anticipating for are Gauldoth's and Tawni's. I wonder what happens now that Tawni is the queen of the gold sea and who the heck the God of Death really is, I mean it would be nice if all of Axeoth's nations clashed together in a huge war....
In the diameter of the Universe, we are but a single flame. To say that we're insignificant is to give us....too little credit. But if the universe chooses you to be part of its plans, then you better let go because it makes it more fun when you don't know what's about to happen next!

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Postby Corribus » Nov 19 2007, 21:49

Corlagon wrote:I don't think I'll be telling Timothy Duncan's stories to my grandchildren (not at all because I dislike them, simply because they weren't finished)...

*sigh*
I guess I deserved that. :)

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Postby Corlagon » Nov 19 2007, 22:02

Ah no offence, I did really like the story, but I mean... what happened after Toran's Rift? Cliffhangers are all well and good, but even after three years...?

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Postby Corribus » Nov 19 2007, 22:07

Corlagon wrote:Ah no offence, I did really like the story, but I mean... what happened after Toran's Rift? Cliffhangers are all well and good, but even after three years...?

Well, the good news is that that story *has* been finished. If you have H2, the rest of the maps are available and have been for nearly a decade. ;) (has it been that long??) If you don't have H2 then... well... maybe I can export the text from those maps or something. If you want me to give you the ending in a nutshell, I can also do that. I'd like to finish them some day, but I don't know if Fnord is even still alive, much less willing to do all the scripting! (Actually, Cave of Dreams, Map 4, was probably over half done before we stopped work - mostly my fault.)

My Traemask trilogy (well... at the moment a trilogy-minus-one) is another issue. I need to finish it, if only to stop the emails from coming.
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Postby Darmani » Nov 19 2007, 22:08

Corlagon wrote:I still think Gauldoth's story has to be the most interesting one in the entire history of the game, fan-made or not. I see nothing dull whatsoever about it. Playing as a guy who doesn't know why he's (half) alive, who questions the very Universe itself while struggling against his master's plots - just about as complex a character as anyone's ever going to see.


Gauldoth doesn't know why he's half alive? What do you mean? I'm pretty sure it has something to do with casting a necromancy spell on himself as everything around him burned. I don't recall getting any different impression

As for the questioning of the Universe, I'm not sure whether to put that in "story," "writing," both, or neither. I'm having definition wars with myself on that. Anyway, no comment.

And lastly, I think Lucca, Frog, and Magus from Chrono Trigger are each more complex than Gauldoth. :) (Chrono Trigger is one of the few video games whose story itself I think is very interesting.)

Anyway, I actually only played the Gauldoth campaign relatively recently. I had heard a lot of people say it was the best, and I was personally disappointed. While the texts in the first two or three scenarios were superb, save for some slip-ups such as changing between first and second person, it really took a downturn in the last two scenarios. (I am so with you on the God of Death.)

Personally, my favorites are Elwin's, Emilia's, and Tawni's stories.

Darmani wrote:
Reduced to the pure-plot level, all the H4 stories are pretty straightforward. In fact, there are very few video game storylines that are not dull when reduced down to such a level.

I wonder why the emphasis on "video game" - pretty much the same thing could be said about almost all movies and quite a lot of books, too.


Emphasis on video game because.....well, HoMM is a video game. And the number of movies and books with interesting stories is above "very few."

But that's irrelevant to what I was trying to say. I was just trying to say that H4 certainly isn't alone (and thus, relatively dull story is not something to be too ashamed of). :D

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Postby Corlagon » Nov 19 2007, 23:43

Well, the good news is that that story *has* been finished. If you have H2, the rest of the maps are available and have been for nearly a decade. (has it been that long??) If you don't have H2 then... well... maybe I can export the text from those maps or something. If you want me to give you the ending in a nutshell, I can also do that. I'd like to finish them some day, but I don't know if Fnord is even still alive, much less willing to do all the scripting! (Actually, Cave of Dreams, Map 4, was probably over half done before we stopped work - mostly my fault.)


I see. I've got Heroes II, didn't realise the maps were out there so I'll give them a look sometime soon. Thanks a lot. :)

Gauldoth doesn't know why he's half alive? What do you mean? I'm pretty sure it has something to do with casting a necromancy spell on himself as everything around him burned. I don't recall getting any different impression


Ties in with the Universe thing, check his bio -

Gauldoth's earliest memory is the bite of a vampire. During the Reckoning, a fire consumed most of his body, and due to an errant spell he was made into a contradiction both in body and spirit. He is half-living and half-undead, endlessly seeking to understand what kind of universe would create a being such as him.


I suppose he basically doesn't understand why the Universe spared him from the fire - hence he doesn't know why it's keeping him (half) alive.

As for the questioning of the Universe, I'm not sure whether to put that in "story," "writing," both, or neither. I'm having definition wars with myself on that. Anyway, no comment.


Fair enough - I felt it was a pretty unique story element, playing as a half-dead necromancer / druid / philosopher.

And lastly, I think Lucca, Frog, and Magus from Chrono Trigger are each more complex than Gauldoth. (Chrono Trigger is one of the few video games whose story itself I think is very interesting.)


I guess it's really a matter of opinion. For me, Raziel from Legacy of Kain is the most complex character I've ever seen. Still, it can't be denied that Gauldoth has (had?) a lot going for him.

Anyway, I actually only played the Gauldoth campaign relatively recently. I had heard a lot of people say it was the best, and I was personally disappointed. While the texts in the first two or three scenarios were superb, save for some slip-ups such as changing between first and second person, it really took a downturn in the last two scenarios. (I am so with you on the God of Death.)


I can't disagree... Malvich had no story behind him, Kalibarr's motives had no explanation... meh, the texts still didn't disappoint much.

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Postby Corribus » Nov 20 2007, 2:12

Corlagon wrote:
Well, the good news is that that story *has* been finished. If you have H2, the rest of the maps are available and have been for nearly a decade. (has it been that long??) If you don't have H2 then... well... maybe I can export the text from those maps or something. If you want me to give you the ending in a nutshell, I can also do that. I'd like to finish them some day, but I don't know if Fnord is even still alive, much less willing to do all the scripting! (Actually, Cave of Dreams, Map 4, was probably over half done before we stopped work - mostly my fault.)


I see. I've got Heroes II, didn't realise the maps were out there so I'll give them a look sometime soon. Thanks a lot. :)

Just to finish up this little mini-diversion to the thread - while the H2 and H3 versions follow the same general plot, the H3 version has more characters and is more complex story-wise than the H2 version. If you resume playing with the H2 version, you WILL find out how the story ends, but there may be some minor inconsistencies and plot holes. Just thought you should know. :)
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Postby Elwin » Nov 20 2007, 3:21

Chrono Trigger may have an excellent story but I still prefer that of Final Fantasy.

"The God of Death?" That is simply too glitched, I think. And I would love to see how he really actually looked, then later hire a bunch of level 70 heroes to beat him up (although I'm not sure whether it is possible to beat up a god or not, maybe Tarnum can). Gauldoth's tale has an intrigueing philosophy but it lacks one thing - backstory. And that is what most (except for Tawni's campaign) of the original H4 campaigns fail in: they would have been far better if you knew a little more about how each hero grew up to be like.

Maybe that should invent a "God of Life, God of Nature, God of Order, and God of Chaos." Or maybe they'll appear again, someday.
In the diameter of the Universe, we are but a single flame. To say that we're insignificant is to give us....too little credit. But if the universe chooses you to be part of its plans, then you better let go because it makes it more fun when you don't know what's about to happen next!


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