|Lance O Lot
Posted on 03/06/07 @ 03:02 PM (updated 03/14/07
-+- Green Rider -+-
The prairie blows the grasses
And whips the horse’s mane.
They travel, horse and rider,
Through the sea of amber grain
Hills roll by, and clouds pass
But steady are the horse’s hooves
Upon the wind blown grass
As they travel, horse and rider
There is no trail that they follow
No path that can be seen
There they travel, horse and rider
Upon the endless blowing green
On his long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to his expulsion, Kragan G'ladheon ponders his future as he trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But his thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Kragan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a "life and death" message for King Zachary. He begs Kragan to carry his message, warning his not to read it, and when Kragan reluctantly agrees, he makes Kragan swear on his sword to complete the mission "for love of country." As he bestows upon Kragan the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man..."
Kragan's promise changes his life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only his horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, he himself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces he cannot understand, Kragan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.
Stunning Map Design
Cool Sound Effects
This prologue does contain an edited dat file, so I strongly suggest you back up your own dat file (just rename it something else).
Lance O Lot
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
‘Green Rider’ is a cut-scene to an unfinished project, a prologue that is possibly the author’s last submission to the Blacksmith. The story is an adaptation of Kristen Britain’s ‘Green Rider’ novel and captures the life of an abandoned babe in a well, and the malevolent ‘Shadow Man’ who kills innocents to dismiss a prophecy about a ‘rider’ rising up against him. While the cut-scene remains only a prologue, it is so far promising, but sadly for a scenario that will never be completed – the project discontinued. Still a tale of intrigue and mystery is brought forth, together with outstanding artistic merit.
PLAYABILITY: (4.0) -
Playability is the determining category for how well the reviewer enjoyed something, and I must say I really enjoyed ‘Green Rider’. As if the visuals weren’t good enough, the music and sounds were captivating and the story intriguing. I liked that while one story was being told, just beginning, another was ending with a murder in the night. Events unfolded and connections developed. I felt the power and emotion of a baby being retrieved from a well under beautiful music, and the darkness of the land around, of a menacing power stirring –of the innocents being murdered. My experience was truly a powerful one, but more or less a little disappointing to see that the author has discontinued the project. More little other things brought me to my disappointment, however, such as the lack of final polishes to fix various playability inconsistencies, but mainly the encountered bug whereby the patrolling of two characters at the beginning of the cut-scene malfunctioned; basically the two units not stopping at their designated area and instead walking back to where they started. For this the story did not continue the way the author intended, and I was forced to restart so that the cut-scene would function accordingly.
Balance does not pertain to cut-scene scenarios, instead having effect only over playable scenarios where the balance of difficulty is decided and where the author intends for the player a struggle to survive. Instead a scenario such as a cut-scene whereby the player is not expected to struggle, and where the viewer merely sits back and watches as the story unfolds is awarded by review guidelines a perfect rating to justify, and not punish, for its movie merit.
The creativity of this scenario was exemplary. The music and sounds were well chosen and applied, the scenes presented very nicely and the map design with passable bamboo excellent. The well was a nice addition together with the mansion centering a lush, overrun field and the title with sounds of arrows. Additionally the ship scene with thunder and rain and sputtering water was creative, unseen in my experience, and the night scene with fog drawn over units looks good and realistic.
MAP DESIGN: (5.0)
The map design was beautifully crafted, atmospheric and a joy to look at. I liked the realism, the sense of rain and mud, and the lushness of the trees and undergrowth. The gusting sea was good and the town and wharf, nestled within the hills, looks very nice. Here I particularly enjoyed the map copying and placement of buildings. Other places set in the countryside were awesome with nicely placed flowers and plants, trees and hedges and creepy-looking roads. The use of elevation was nice and the tower sitting on top of a snowy hillside, though perhaps could be a little better, still keeps consistent with the dark atmosphere that is around the story.
STORY/ INSTRUCTIONS: (4.0)
Here the category has both a good and disappointing side. The story was powerfully moving, well told and a joy to watch. The instructions were ample, and I even found a little something in the Scouts screen. Nevertheless, the instructions and hints screen seemed to be lacking grammar and I found no bitmap which, though just a comment and causes no deduction, I still felt would certainly improve the score let alone compliment the visuals even more. Some sentences toward the end of the cut-scene were a little disconcerting, with other text messages lacking grammar. All of this seems as though the cut-scene was rushed toward the end, lacking playtesting on the author’s behalf and the final polishes needed to round a scenario off. Additionally the story is an unfinished one, discontinued –my enjoyment and understanding of the story never to be fulfilled.
CONCLUDING: ‘Green Rider’ is an emotional, well-directed and powerfully applied cut-scene. If only the author had taken that extra bit of time to polish off his scenario the results could have been better. Still I strongly recommend this cut-scene to all cut-scene enthusiasts and to those still who appreciate good stories, good music and good visuals. ‘Green Rider’ is without doubt an artistic achievement.
NOTE: The file comes with a .dat file and it is absolutely imperative that it is used. Without its use certain novelties such as walking through the bamboo fields will not work.
In a word – Powerful.
In closing – A must download.
[Edited on 03/24/07 @ 03:51 AM]
Green Rider is a marvelous cut-scene with many great scenes and creative aspects. The music makes everything themed and suits the scenario perfect. There are no bugs, and even without the data-file its playable, although the bamboo-walk dont work as it should.
I enjoywed every second with this and it was a dramatical cut-scene that glued me to the chair. A masterpiece!
No other rating here than a 5 is acceptable for this, according to me.
As it's a pure cut-scene, there are no scenes where you're supposed to fight yourself, and therefore Balance cannot be judged. According to the Review Guidelines, all scenarios with these manners, no playable parts, should be given a 5 in the Balance cathegory.
This cut-scene was very creative. the data file makes the woman walk through the bamboo, symbolising her walking through the bushes, beating away the wood that comes in her way to get out.
The whole concept is new. Although scenarios with the father and mother of the hero are dead, the Green Rider has never been seen before.
Then there's the music that suits the scenario perfectly, the explosions symbolising the pain in the womans chest, and loads of other details that brings this up to a 5.
MAP DESIGN: 5
The design was awesome. It was beautiful everywhere, from the first to the last scene. Well mixed terrain, much eyecandy, the house with the well was hidden so that you only see the well, good elevations and everything a cut-scene needs. Varying terrain for example, and then I mean having both snowy mountains, roadsides and other terrain.
Really great. Another 5.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4+
This is the only cathegory where the cut-scene doesn't score 5.
First off, the instructions aren't very many but they're clear and its hard to make any mistakes with settings.
Second, the story is splendid. The theme, with the Green Rider, has never been used before, although the concept with the hero's parents dead isn't new. The story is told in a great way, meaning the watcher is always glued to the chair (at least I), from the first scene to the last.
I was really sad when the cut-scene ended. I didnt want it to end like this!
And then in the aftermaths, I get to know this will be your (Lance) last work for AoK and that you wont finish the story? How evil are you? >:(
Well that last sentense wasn't serious :P
Anyhow, there is a reason why this doesn't score a full 5.0
It's not a finished story, and it will never be. And that's too bad.
OVERALL: A masterpiece
IN CLOSING: Why not make a Luke Gavaerts and return and make the full version later? :)
[Edited on 03/23/07 @ 06:40 PM]