Initial Confusion and Frustration on Saves
June 4, 2022 at 3:17 pm #6095
Very minor spoilers about the beginning of the game below…
So I don’t remember if the original game let you manually save and reload, but the Steam/GOG version doesn’t let you. Your game is being auto saved at every screen transition.
This was confusing because I was constantly being reset back to the very beginning of the game after breaking out of jail. I assumed it wasn’t saving but that wasn’t the case. You get sent back to the very start if you get captured and must redo the entire initial sequence all over. What a frustrating first impression!
Here are some tips to avoid this.
– If an elephant shoots a homing sphere at you, it will one shot you and send you back the beginning. You have enough time to press escape and quit the game before it hits you to reload the screen
– You can also manually copy your auto save so that you can reload it if you get caught again.June 4, 2022 at 9:09 pm #6098
Honestly most of the mechanics of this game are pretty frustrating haha
It is true that the save/load system is quite unintuitive. It mostly just auto-saves and you have to assume it will be ok? I have the GOG-version too and I have hard time believing the original was like this, but I can’t remember.
I think some general tips to play/enjoy the game:
– Take it very slow
– Don’t run if you don’t have to
– Plan your moves
– Sneaking is good
– Avoid direct confrontations if you can
– Running away is fine
– Running past an enemy is fine too
That being said, you do get more powerful as the game progresses, so do the tables do turn as you get further into the game. By the end you’re pretty bad-ass haha
All in all it is a frustrating game, and you will likely do some sections over dozens of times. But if you can somehow get into it, then there is a lot to enjoy here. The world, the characters, the story, it is really quite good. Just don’t expect to breeze through it, because it will bite you.June 5, 2022 at 2:10 am #6099
Thanks Martijn for the tips! I really do not remember all the frustrating game design aspects but I think I had much more patience as a child for these types of games.
The economy for picking up health and magic makes zero sense haha. It seems like it takes 100 hearts to refill your health and I find one at a time searching every waste bin and barrel.
I’m in the Temple of Bu doing my best to save scum but even the save system is frustrating. I’ll create a copy of my save but if I reload that one, I have to create ANOTHER copy or that one is ruined when I die. Having to redo that entire tedious statue moving part because you get one shot by a saw blade on the next screen is unforgivable!
Mr CreosoteParticipantJune 5, 2022 at 7:10 am #6100
This auto-saving is exactly how the original works. I assume the idea was to take the load of managing manual save states off the player. “Just play, we’ll take care of this for you.” Also, encourage/enable one continuous “experience” in playing. You get captured, you get captured. Live with it and play on instead of restoring.
It’s funny that next month’s game, The Last Express, also goes a similar way of handling all this automatically. Though in a vastly superior way.
In LBA, I remember spending hours at the water tower farming for resources. Just going in, grabbing everything, out and entering again. Rinse and repeat.June 5, 2022 at 10:55 pm #6104
Yeah, I also had way more patience as a child. You definitely have to hoard hearts and coins. Like Mr Creosote says, once you find a good spot with lots of loot, go in and out several times and stash up.
Lots of luck to anyone who makes it to the Temple of Bu by the way. It is the Dark Souls of DOS gaming hahaJune 6, 2022 at 2:01 am #6108
I’m almost to the end. I think I’ll beat it tonight or tomorrow but I’m using a guide to tell me where to go next. Like Martijn said it expects you to remember every detail to know where to go next and the backtracking is tedious as it is, I don’t want to explore without a guide at this point.
I will say if you can get past Temple of Bu, it’s all downhill from there. In fact I’ve been enjoying it a lot since beating that part. Save copies are your friend to get through the temple!
f2bnpParticipantJune 6, 2022 at 8:30 am #6111
Yep, that’s pretty much how the original was! Thankfully, the sequel allowed you to save anywhere.
PixParticipantPodcasterJune 6, 2022 at 11:35 am #6115
It says in the manual that they want you to “relax and enjoy playing the game, not worry about saving games”. It sounds like this didn’t really work out too well.
I’ve not looked into this copying save games mechanic yet. There was an addendum sheet to the manual which literally says not to use it as it only copies your inventory and not the location. Possibly a bug in an early release? I’ve not got to this temple yet, maybe I need to find a patch before I do…
I’m using a walkthrough already anyway. It’s not that easy a game even with that to follow and it does save a whole heap of trial and error. There are so many frustrating aspects to LBA but I’m still enjoying it – can’t think of much else I’ve played that’s quite like it. The nearest would be those old isometric games like Alien 8.June 6, 2022 at 11:40 am #6116
Yeah it is very unique and a lot of effort and care has gone into making these characters and locations. It’s so great, but also so terrible. The pinnacle of DOS gaming honestly hahaJune 10, 2022 at 8:40 pm #6152
After playing some more, I think you kind of have to forget about the save system. Just go with it. Whatever happens happens. It’s not the end of the world to die, and even going game over often doesn’t mean you have to start over from the beginning. So yeah… just keep on going, I think?
f2bnpParticipantJune 12, 2022 at 8:16 pm #6160
The above reads like some sort of inspirational YOLO post on Facebook a few years ago. “Fuck your job, make love, go on a trip, live your life to the max!”
There must have been some sort of unspoken movement back in the mid and late 90s, mainly from French studios (off the top of my head I recall most Cryo games doing this)
that pulled this sort of saving scheme. Not a huge fan either.June 12, 2022 at 8:34 pm #6161
Yeah it’s not really a great success. I guess that’s why they had “normal” saving in the sequel. I get that they want you to “relax” and “just play”, but honestly one way of relaxing is knowing my game is saved properly and I can go back to a previous state, which is just not the case most of the time.
sorceressParticipantJune 15, 2022 at 6:45 pm #6176
I can imagine the saving mechanic was a consequence of earlier parts of the game’s design.
Designer’s Thought #1 : The world is too big to be active all at once, with all these NPCs moving around at once, and all the speech data to load. So let’s split it into sectors, and have a scene transition between sectors. Also we can change environments this way, loading a different tileset for the town/desert/ice worlds, and we only need to buffer speech data for each sector.
Designer’s Thought #2 : If the player kills all of the pre-placed mobs, the world will be free of those mobs, and is pretty much saved without all the adventuring. So let’s have the mobs respawn – and we can do this on sector change. Little puzzles like getting a key to open a door can also respawn if not completed. These puzzles can be self-contained within each sector, which simplifies the mental model for the player since they can’t carry a key half way across the world – it’ll disappear from their hand once they change sector.
Designer’s Thought #3 : If sectors are going to respawn on (re)load, we don’t need to store very much data in the save game, only the sector we are in and a few global variables like player lives/magic and what parts of the story are unlocked.Yeah, and we’ve seen this in other games, so there is precedent.
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