Other games similar to Drakan?

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:15 pm

Ah yes fan fiction. I've read some great fanfics but the trouble is that with games especially they seldom get completed when interest in the game wanes and a new game takes the authors interest. One of my friends on Steam has written a fanfiction of the Skyrim story from the perspective of an Argonian. It's a very good read and is currently part way through Arc3 but it looks like it won't be finished.

Link is here along with a PDF version https://okan-zeeus.deviantart.com/art/S ... -565827267

He's written a backstory as well on his character set a few years before the game. Worth reading that first.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10824970/1 ... olls-Story

If you like Skyrim or the elder scrolls games I recommend reading them. These are just two examples of great fanfics that if finished and published would definitely be money makers. A lot of gamers are very good at writing but never publish their work for profit. Some of the drakan fanfics were good as well; Shadow Of Light has written a few good drakan stories.

Of course do not forget <shameful self promotion here> the Order Reborn written by several fans; I re-wrote most of it though.

http://www.arokhslair.net/wp/fan-fiction/
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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:50 pm

The Order Reborn is a good read, it will be nice reference material for my upcoming Let's Play.
I have a question, though: how much of the lore contained therein is actually canon - or at least "plausibly canon" in the absence of official sources?
Other than what obviously comes from either the manuals, or the games themselves.

Also, I've been repeatedly trying to track down that audiobook involving riding a dragon; which my coworker was listening to a couple of months ago.
Unsuccessfully. It's driving me up the wall.
Not remembering any of the characters' names does not make it any easier. (I'm very bad with names, and working with ~200 people doesn't help)

I think it was a Witcher audiobook (maybe? probably?); my moronic coworker was pretty much marathoning the entire series at the time. But it feels like I'm searching in the wrong direction altogether, which isn't a good sign in the slightest.
Unfortunately, I can't just do the obvious thing and ask my coworker about it - he was fired a couple of weeks ago, for good reasons, and in any case I don't want to speak (or otherwise interact) with such buttholes at all, or at least not any more than strictly required by what I am paid to do.


The classic TR games (TR6 and earlier) relied heavily on exploration, and much experimenting with switches and such; at least there was very little (if any) of nonsensical "moon logic" involved.
But there was also at times substantial backtracking, and some of the timed sequences were very unforgiving, artificially inflating the playing time.
Of course if you had no idea what you're doing, then there would be plenty of running around like a headless chicken, in any case :D
TR4 and 5 were pretty much the high point of the classics, gameplay-wise.

As for OOTF's difficulty - the first time I played, it was on 'normal' difficulty (or was it on 'easy'?), and I finished the game with some two dozen healing potions left over.
Although I did reload a bunch of times when I took too much of a bashing - which was largely offset by my poor inventory management, for example I kept Atimar's Blade well over halfway into the game for some bizarre reason, despite frequently finding more weapons than I could feasibly chew through anyway.
For the most part, the puzzle aspect wasn't too bad, either. At least it wasn't like TR's "grab the missing piece/part/key and backtrack halfway across the level to the receptacle" routine.

There was one (optional) puzzle in OOTF which had me totally stumped, though: that intersection of corridors with the pedestal and 4 gates that close when you approach them (and you are trapped in that area until you solve it).
It didn't help that I was already quite tired at that time. Ended up reloading the previous save - which was >30 minutes earlier - and skipping that optional part entirely. Yes, I do feel quite foolish.
It wasn't until much later, when I replayed OOTF, that I managed to solve that one on my own.

Also during my first playthrough, in another area I had failed to notice the broken skylight, and tried several times to melt the "ice" and/or get the fire lit using fire crystals. Of course that didn't work, but I did notice the skylight eventually, though - and the correct answer followed naturally from that.
In any case, my initial attempts made absolutely no sense from a game design standpoint: requiring an uncommon, consumable offensive item as a puzzle solution and not providing at least 1 of said item nearby would constitute very poor and unforgiving design, even by 1999's standards. (Sierra adventure games notwithstanding!)

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:01 pm

The order reborn is based on the games and some discussions I had with the surreal staff many years ago. As for it being canon the time line is more or less correct eg the order ruled for about 4 centuries and it was about 6 centuries since the end of the dark wars.

It's not known how old arokh is so that was another best guess. He's middle aged when he met rynn in my story. He says at various points in cut scenes and conversations he's old but he can't be too old to be able to do what he did in the games.

The bit about where the desert Lords came from was expanded on a bit as there isn't much info as to exactly where they came from. The long forgotten link between drakan and our world in medieval times was a little twist I completely made up myself.

The layout of the worlds landmass other than the drakan tag map isn't documented so some locations are best guess which made the most logical sense.

There's also a time line and a few theories on the main site as well which may be handy.
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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:26 am

OK. That still leaves 2 unexplained mysteries from OOTF, though:

1. How did the Succubi manage to capture Arokh without damaging him in the process?
Did he just faint on the spot from shock, when he saw Shilla? :roll:
More seriously though, I guess he could have just surrendered when confronted with an overwhelming force, especially since he couldn't afford risking a fight to the death?

2. What was the deal with Rimril, and how did he end up dying?
It's heavily implied that by the time of his meeting with Rynn, he was effectively immortal - or at the very least unaging.
Was that somehow related to the Rift Crystal's power, and the fact that Rynn removed it from its resting place? (of course that would lead to the disturbing conclusion that Rynn more or less directly caused Rimril's death :()

Also, is it ever stated whether Arokh is actually fireproof?
He sure isn't hurt by his own fire - and in any case, as a red dragon he should be resistant, if not outright unaffected.
Being injured by the ballista shots can be explained by taking damage not from the fire itself, but from impact of the actual (flaming) projectiles (rocks/bolts?). Or alternatively by having Rynn take the fire damage.
In OOTF he can even land and walk on lava without any injury, although that is likely just a level design oversight.


As for Arokh's reaction to his awakening - even though what's depicted in The Order Reborn is perfectly valid and reasonable, I find OOTF's version more amusing taken at face value:
  • "Inferior upstart!" (What in hell...)
  • (...)
  • "something something my brother captured by Wartoks."
  • "You woke me up for this?" (Bah! This is ludicrous... but wait, the Wartoks are still around, and up to no good? :idea:)
  • (...)
  • "Well, I don't have much of a choice." (Sounds like it could be fun... time for some target practice!)
  • (...)
  • "Let's go!" (Let's roast some evil scum!)
Judging by how quickly he relents, I'd say he just wants to see his enemies burn :D

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:36 pm

I don't think I mentioned how arokh was captured and its left to the imagination. Shilla has let's say a unique attack which may well have worked on arokh. Maybe he was knocked unconscious and put into the rune cage although this would probably have affected rynn too.

As for rimril he's immortal but yet he dies. I'd agree it's because rynn took the crystal so his purpose is no longer relevant. This didn't really make sense and was probably an oversight on the person who wrote the plot. This can be open to speculation as well as how arokh was captured. One would assume the succubi are very powerful than thought. I think it was really just for gameplay reasons even though it does not make sense a dragon and very powerful magi can be overcome by a few succubi.

As for arokh being fireproof he isn't. With any dragon I don't know how their own fire does not burn them. Magic maybe?

As for his awakening I got the impression he was not happy about being awakened and bonded to stop his crystal being used by someone for evil intent. He didn't like rynn and took a while for his opinion to change. Even late in the story the order reborn he's nasty and sarcastic and downright cruel in one chapter. He did not really care about her until around halfway through the TAG part of the story. He was impressed with her combat skills but didn't like her as a person. He thinks she is stupid. Rynn on the other hand started to get feelings about him much earlier especially after the ending of OOTF.
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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:31 pm

Huh, odd. I just tested with a fire crystal, and sure enough, it actually does damage to Arokh. Plenty of it, in fact - on hardest difficulty it could well prove deadly in a single hit.
Developer oversight, or plot hole?
One possible explanation, which seems to fit the facts so far, is that elemental fire magical fire - and Arokh is unaffected by the former (makes sense, it's his element after all), but not resistant to the latter.

It just occured to me that one possible answer to my previous question, which doesn't require knowing about anything that we don't see in the game, involves flame knights. :idea:
They have invisibility powers (great for ambushes!), hit hard, and use magical fire - which Arokh is vulnerable to. It all fits! :!:
It would only take a score or two of them, surrounding and uncloaking around Arokh, weapons at the ready, to make any attempt at resistance futile.

As for Arokh's opinion of Rynn - well, in OOTF I saw it quite differently from what you described:
  • He could've just flat out refused Rynn, showing her the entrance... from the outside. But he didn't. (most likely, Rynn would then find a long plank or somesuch to bridge the pit, and just go pester him again :D)
  • It takes some serious guts to go and awaken an ancient dragon, who has absolutely no reason to offer any help to an outsider. Especially considering the degree of commitment involved.
  • Subsequently proceeding to call him names, and almost punching him, is either very foolhardy or very brave. (possibly both)
  • Presumably, Rynn's appearance was also a factor in Arokh's compliance :wink:
  • Afterwards, he doesn't appear to harbor any real hostility. And even if he does, then he's very good at not showing it.
  • Doesn't even get angry for being whistled at like a dog :roll:
Also, I think it's nice that the game doesn't try to explain everything, instead leaving some aspects open to interpretation. :)
Not like some modern games, which are more like a string of long interactive cutscenes with a bunch of QTEs thrown in.

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:31 pm

Your theory about the flame knights threatening arokh into submission makes sense. Yeah like that explanation.

As for arokh's attitude towards rynn I think a lot of it was unrealistic, it would make more sense he didn't like her and took a while to trust her. Not getting angry at being whistled at like a dog was just a game thing. In my version he didn't like that much. This is why I didn't follow the games events exactly and changed a few things.

I'm not sure if her appearance was a deciding factor, in my tale arokh isn't physically attracted to humans. She is more of an irritation who he has to bond with to prevent him being used for evil intent. His attitude does change once he finds out the dark Union have returned and is less grumpy about being awakened for a pointless task.
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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:15 pm

Well, in OOTF Arokh sure does stare at Rynn quite a lot, especially for someone who doesn't care (and has nearly omnidirectional vision, anyway).
While admiring the view, he even frequently fails to notice nearby approaching Wartoks - at least until they poke him back to his senses :D
Also, I guess he'd much rather be travelling with someone like Rynn, instead of a beauty of Shilla's caliber :roll:
But yeah, it's quite obviously nothing more than that. It'd be quite troubling otherwise - and anyway it's not meant to be that kind of story.

The whistling is quite silly, and also a missed opportunity. Would've been better to have Rynn do that just once (and only once), with Arokh vehemently protesting that he is not a pet :D

It's a shame there's so little interaction between Rynn and Arokh in OOTF, outside of plot reveals and the usual canned lines. More evidence of budget cuts? (feeling a bit lazy, are we?)
For a named hero of legend with 2 centuries of experience, who fought against a mighty, immortal adversary and won, Arokh sure doesn't have much to say :|

I'd also say that it's quite reasonable for Arokh to give Rynn the benefit of the doubt:
  • Centuries have passed since, and the Order is no more,
  • He knows next to nothing about her, to begin with,
  • She appears to be motivated by good, honorable intent,
  • Hordes of marauders stalk the realm, destroying what's left of human civilization,
  • It would be a total disaster if Rynn were to get seriously mad at him for whatever reason, run off somewhere he can't follow (ie. a narrow cave), and get ambushed and killed (or carelessly stumble into a deadly trap) while distracted and angry due to the earlier argument.

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:11 pm

Yeah the conversation between them (in OOTF anyway) was lacking and could have been much more. I know there were a lot of cut lines; I remember downloading a archive of sound clips that were cut from the game but I cannot find them now. One of them was a funny remark about the inside of Rimril's palace; clearly there was much more to the structure in the islands level than what made it into the original game.

From what I remember it was Arokh remarking about how nice he thought the carpet and decorations was with a hint of sarcasm and Rynn commenting on how he'd ruin it if he were not careful. I can't remember much but it seems there was more banter between them which was cut from the game.

My imagining is that Arokh does not have much to say as he thinks either Rynn would not be interested or he just does not feel like making conversation with a common villager however this changes much later in the game. He's much more conversational in Drakan: TAG and comes across as wise and aloof with lots of knowledge and with him meeting Lady Myschala et al he's got someone more on his level to have an intelligent conversation with. There's even a bit of friendly banter between Rynn and Arokh (in the Kragmore level) and his sense of humour is more apparent.

As for Arokh staring at Rynn in OOTF - when you get close he's clearly staring at her breasts. I found that a bit strange but again I think it's just how the game code was written to make Arokh keep looking at his rider. I don't think he is a perv but who knows? Clearly others have thought about Arokh is attracted to Rynn; there's some disturbing pictures and an entire comic strip on the internet somewhere I once came across when searching for fan art where their relationship goes to a 'physical' level but that's something I won't go into here.
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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:46 pm

Excuse me, but I don't often see "common" villagers riding legendary dragons. So that makes Rynn at least an uncommon villager then :)

Huh, Rimril's place must've been quite big indeed, if a dragon could fit inside without getting hopelessly jammed in the doorways and/or corridors. (by my very rough estimate, Arokh is ~7-8m long?)
And I'd be worried about the furnishings, as well.

The OOTF devs also missed a good opportunity for some hilarious situational comedy:
  • (Arokh asks Rynn if she would consider <anything she's unlikely to do>)
  • Rynn: Yeah. Sure, Arokh. When pigs fly.
  • <cue an offscreen giant hurling a Wartok at Rynn, but overshooting and missing>
  • <Arokh and Rynn watch in disbelief as the Wartok soars over their heads>
  • Arokh: You were saying?
It would've made for a good introduction to the giants :mrgreen:

Also, quick testing shows that Arokh appears to actually look towards the center(?) of Rynn's character model (or maybe bounding box?).
If I were to hazard a guess - it's because that was the simplest and fastest way of implementing such behavior.
The end effect is, of course, just as you described.
I'd imagine it wouldn't have gone unnoticed during playtesting, since normal gameplay involves walking right up to Arokh many times over the course of the game.
So I assume it's not entirely unintentional. As for what that implies - well, it's open to interpretation.
And for reference, it's worth keeping in mind that Lara's appearance in the classic TR games was also the result of a coding screwup...

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby yangez93 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:59 pm

Mechanist very nice that your making Let's play. Lots of Let's play are made without inspiration of the game what YouTubers play. I can see your write a lot of posts or even read fan story. Very nice Walkthrough is made by RavagerDX but without reviewing and describing the game.

My suggestion about your Lets play:
Explanation how game is developed(game engine, mechanics, artworks),describing story,plot, some mention about Surreal Company and its history, or playing some matches in multiplayer. And of course reviewing in very interesting way with confidence so it'll attract viewers :) I hope your Let's play will include that.

I remember when I played Drakan first time. I was 10-11 years old and I really like this game even not understanding plot in 100% because of my english. But I was thinking all the time after finish game, what exactly happened to Delon, what is that sacrificial altar at the end? Where are Arokh and Rynn after passing this liveable gateway? There a lot of comments about Drakan ending,I was thinking maybe I did something wrong? Maybe I killed "Evil Delon" right on the edge so he fell :) So I load game and I beat in another way :) I was also disappointed that I could not use Runeblade very often. I wonder about the unused weapons in Drakan like boomerang.

I also wanted to write some Drakan story when I was younger. Now, better make something bigger like game :D Tomb Raider had more popularity so fans made a lot of additional content, created movies, that's why many parts of this game were created. Unfortunately there isn't Drakan movie, even fan movie.

Speaking of similar games to Drakan, I'd like to mention: Disciples game series, very nice strategy that include Dragons :)

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:26 pm

Funny you should mention that, because it's more or less what I intended to do anyway - a completionist LP of OOTF & TAG, aiming to show off as much content as possible.
A lot of said content won't fit neatly into the main LP for narrative/pacing reasons (eg. showing off the game mechanics, glitches, quirks, "behind the scenes" stuff, some player-created levels, multiplayer, etc.), so there will be also a bunch of bonus videos.

Also planned for the bonus content: brief commentated demonstrations of a few other games with a broadly similar premise; something on the order of 10-30 minutes per game: highly condensed, because I'm not doing that to show off their plots, just the gameplay.
As of right now, I can think of 4 such relevant games: Divinity 2:DKS, Skyrim (w. Dragonborn DLC), Divinity:DC, IotD.

I intend to do subtitle commentary for the main LP, but the bonus videos will have voice commentary for the most part.

It goes without saying, but it'd be also nice to do a bonus update or two showing off your progress on OpenOOTF.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy; a simple "guided tour" through the (mostly complete) levels would be perfectly fine. Even if there are no enemies/NPCs, triggers etc.
All that's really needed, is to make it like a "Potemkin village": if it looks good up front (and shows obvious potential), then the rest matters little for the purposes of the demonstration.
I'd say that the bare minimum functionality needed to make such a video exhibition viable, is as follows:
  • level geometry largely complete (already mostly done AFAIK?),
  • reasonably "polished" movement animations for Rynn and Arokh (no flying around as a rigid model, please... it'd look really jarring),
  • working attack animations would also be nice, but not really essential (especially due to the lack of enemies) - and likely too much to ask for at this point, anyway.

A lot of work and preparation is needed to make the end result of the LP be of a good quality.
There are some low-effort LP's of OOTF floating around already - for example, Zergem has one on his YT channel. It's not really bad in an absolute sense, but it really doesn't do the game justice; it's pretty clear he didn't even read the game's manual (also, obviously hasn't done a test run first, either).

Even if I had wanted to, I couldn't have feasibly done the LP much earlier due to hardware limitations: my old computer, already quite ancient by today's standards, isn't really capable of simultaneously rendering the game AND recording fullscreen full-resolution HD video; in fact it struggles to merely play 1080p HD video!
And forget about PS2 emulation & recording at any useable framerate on that hunk of junk. In theory I could record it like a TAS, in PCSX2-rr, and then have it rendered frame-by-frame, at a highly reduced speed, into a 60fps output HD video (which is a normal procedure for recording videos of TAS'es) - but attempting to LP TAG like that would take the patience of a saint!
Never mind that PCSX2-rr also has brutal TAS desync issues.

My new rig is a vast performance improvement; easily up to the task.
I'm still struggling with getting all the software up and running, though - it's a whole lot of "huh, never seen THAT kind of error before... :? ".

On a different note - I can't remember how exactly I happened upon OOTF in the first place, around a decade ago, but it was totally random (either that - or it was fate, as some may prefer to call it).
All that I'm certain about is that it involved being very bored, and idly chaining through YouTube's "related videos" to see if anything interesting turns up. I think it was one of the innumerable "top 10 X about/of Y"-type videos.
So I saw the bit about OOTF and I was like "wait... WHAT?". Downloaded the demo and fired it up - and I didn't need any more convincing than that.

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby UCyborg » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:17 pm

it's pretty clear he didn't even read the game's manual
Is there a manual somewhere on the internet in the PDF format?
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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby Mechanist » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:56 pm

Is there a manual somewhere on the internet in the PDF format?
You bet. Both for OOTF and TAG, in fact.
The scans I've found are of rather low quality, but still readable.

Just Google them and you should find them easily.

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Re: Other games similar to Drakan?

Postby UCyborg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:00 pm

It is blurry alright.
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