Serial: A Promise Broken, 11

This is a brief heads-up to let people know that, starting next week and continuing throughout May and likely June, the serial will switch to being updated on Mondays only. As I’m writing this and poking at my scheduling, my situation has not allowed me to continue to build up the buffer I would have liked, so I’m spacing the updates out for a while. I am really sorry for the inconvenience. It certainly wasn’t what I’d planned, but I would rather aim for a slower yet consistent posting schedule (temporarily) than one that becomes spotty.

I don’t want to dwell too much on the hows and whys, but it’s just a case of the months turning out to be emotionally more difficult to deal with than I’d anticipated. It sucks. Hopefully spacing everything out into one update a week lets me rebuild the buffer I had and hopefully writing this and posting this up will help me ensure it will only happen once. Sometimes my brain works that way. We shall have to see.

Again, my apologies. And again, for the duration of May and onwards unless announced otherwise, I’ll be switching to Monday updates only.

A Promise Broken is a WIP serial fantasy novel that updates every Monday for free. You can read more about the project here.

A Promise Broken

Lynn E. O’Connacht

Part 11

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Game Talk: Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok

Not too long ago I discussed Quest for Glory. It was originally titled Hero’s Quest, but that ran into trademark issues and got changed. Heroine’s Quest is, in many ways, a homage to the QfG series and to point-and-click adventure games in general. It’s just, most clearly, a homage to QfG1. It’s most visible in the fact that it has the same character classes and the same “Different classes different solutions” approach to problem solving. Our heroine is a blonde-haired young woman who looks a fair amount like Kyrandia’s Zanthia. (This is not the only reference to classic games you’ll find either. The game is filled with them and quite a lot of them aren’t the least bit subtle about it. I’ve seen Cedric from KG5 (whom, looking at the Steam achievements, looks like he can be killed with the right skill set), Keapon Laffin from QfG2… There’s the babelfish thingie from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis; you can recount stories that aren’t yours to characters — such as Monkey Island and King’s Quest 1 — though you don’t regale them with full recaps; several screens are reminiscent of others. (One has a not-quite-secret hidden in a stream ala QfG4.) Etc. It’s good fun.

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Book Talk: The Privilege of the Sword

PrivilegeoftheswordThe Privilege of the Sword is a book beloved by several of my friends. I don’t think they’ve ever recommended the book to me, but they did encourage me to read it when they learned I had it. It’s taken me a while, but I finally got to reading it. I’ve always been under the impression that this was the first of the Riverside books until I’d finished it. Of course that just shows you how much attention I pay to the order of loose series, but it’s perfectly possible to read this as a stand-alone.

Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city’s ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine’s host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge hereā€”and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it’s up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.

 

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Game Talk: Quest for Glory series

Somehow, I have the feeling that I’ve already discussed these games before – I must have; it’s not been that long since I finished QfG4 for the first time — but I’m going to mention them again anyway. Because if we’re talking about games and things that defined my childhood fantasy love in some form of detail, these need to be mentioned. I should be careful with these. I’ll have nothing new to say next year if I keep it up.

Anyway! Quest for Glory is another set of Sierra’s adventure games. Unlike King’s Quest, QfG throws in RPG elements and all games focus on the same protagonist: an unnamed, blond-haired, would-be hero. You get to play as a fighter, a mage or a thief and which class you pick will determine the way you can solve the puzzles. That said, practically nothing but grinding stands in your way of making your character a multiclassed character. (Well, that and potentially messing up the rest of your games when you get gifts suited to the class you’re not focusing on.)

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Game Talk: Might and Magic franchise, Take 2

I discussed the Might and Magic franchise in more general terms back in January. I focused mostly on the overarching science fictional elements that tie much of the games together into an ongoing saga, some of the history behind the games’ development and some of my memories of playing these games as a child.

This time around, I’d like to focus a little on the fantastical aspects of the games! Which are… shall we say numerous. (M&M7 starts with your beginner level party having to slay dragon. I’m just saying.) Aside from dragons there are elves, dwarves, orcs, griffons, unicorns… It depends a little on the game you’re playing as the world you’re playing on changes and, as a result, so do some of the creatures you’ll face.

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