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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« on: September 20, 2021, 04:13:32 PM »
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The one.

The O.G. Black Sheep of the family.

Rolfe's Bane.


Egoraptor's Lament.

The one called... SIMON'S QUEST.

For some reason (probably something to do with me plugging my Switch Dock into the TV for the first time since April -- long story), I'm revisiting this game for the first time in over a decade, and with a walkthrough this time. Thanks to the guide, I'm... actually having fun this time. Like, yes I'm being told what to do and where to go. Yes, I'm totally using a special password to give myself a BIT of a head start, but... I'm actually HAVING FUN.

Strategy guides and walkthroughs have something of a bum rap in video games in general, and I think undeservedly so. Like cheating in a single player game, if it enables you to have fun that you weren't having before, I say go all-in on what makes you happy. Strat Guides and cheats only become a problem when they infringe on OTHER people's fun, and Simon's Quest is one of those games where other people's experience doesn't mean diddly squat to mine, nor vice versa.

So, I'm being told what to do and where to go. Normally this is something that at least stands a risk of diminishing my experience with a game. You do, after all, lose out on that sense of exploration and wonder that typically comes through hacking through that jungle of pixels on your own, which is why I advise people to give games an honest try on their own merits and only resort to guides or cheats when you're truly stuck, but... anyone who has played Simon's Quest without a guide knows...





Simon's Quest is so in/famously convoluted that it's just... not fun. It's vexing and aggravating, especially compared to modern games (though it was also vexing and aggravating in 1987/88, just ask the Nintendo Power Help Line workers!). So, that's a trade I was willing to make. And you know what? Giving up the "wonder" and "exploration" of Simon's Quest is... liberating. I find myself enjoying the art more. I can focus my mind of traversing the world and combat. I can navigate mansions without being a nervous wreck, spamming holy water every few steps to look for fake floors. It's finally a GAME for me and I can focus more on the stuff it does right. Combat feels better than in Castlevania 1 (to me at least), and navigating the environments QUICKLY (because for once I actually know where I'm going) makes me feel like a badass.

But I still die plenty because fuck that jump.
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Offline X

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2021, 06:14:58 PM »
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Nice to hear that you are enjoying yourself with an infamous yet convoluted title  :) This was the first game in the series for me to try and it's still just as memorable.

Quote
Combat feels better than in Castlevania 1 (to me at least)

I noticed this as well. The combat mechanics are better programmed then in the original game. In fact I'd much prefer it over the original combat mechanics. It's a shame they didn't keep it for CVIII though.
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Offline Inccubus

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 12:59:57 AM »
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Some day I'll actually get those remakes done dammit!! :shake fist:
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Offline Bloo

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 09:01:01 AM »
+1
Hearing about struggling with exploration and misdirection takes me back to my childhood. CV2 and SotN were among the very first games I ever beat. When I was a kid, I always had my dad or my older brother or friends over at my house, and that way you had multiple people solving the problems. They never beat the game and I never used a strategy guide, but with multiple minds working together we were able to piece together the solutions. It's mostly a circumstantial situation, but infinitely more rewarding to explore that way than by looking it up anywhere.
I'll never forget screaming in excitement the first time I ever opened SotN's clock tower to get the glasses. Or how absolutely stupid I thought it was when crouching around against a wall gets you carried away by a tornado!!!
Simon's Quest deliberately employs misdirection all the time, but I think it was meant for a different era and mindset of gaming. The puzzles / roadblocks in it are more akin to point and click adventure games than anything you'd see in future metroidvania titles.
I have to agree that the game becomes much more fun after you know where everything is, though. Simon is incredibly satisfying to control and attack with.
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Offline X

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2021, 09:05:40 AM »
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Quote
Some day I'll actually get those remakes done dammit!! :shake fist:

lol. Yeah, how is that custom CV game engine you were working on coming along? Had to ask, ya know  ;D
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Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2021, 10:47:09 AM »
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I couldn't figure out Simon's Quest without a walkthrough either. Playing with a guide eliminates most of the problems I have with the game. I wish I could fast forward the night segments when in town, or at least keep shops open at night, but other than that, its a solid experience when you know what to do and where to go.

Offline Aridale

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2021, 01:51:15 PM »
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Aridale Noblebrook Belmont

Offline PFG9000

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2021, 06:18:05 PM »
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Other than the BS things you need to do with the crystals, and the pushovers they give you for bosses, I think it's a pretty stellar game.  I love playing through it every year or two.

Offline Super Waffle

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Re: Revisiting THAT Castlevania
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2021, 10:44:34 PM »
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Equip a red jewel and kneel in an arbitrary corner so a tornado can teleport you to the next level or whatever.

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