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#87676 - 09/25/01 01:19 PM Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
syd Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/12/99
Posts: 12306
Loc: Body in California/Heart in Ha...
Arthur’s Knights : Tales of The Chivalry and Secrets of Merlin
Cyro/Wanadoo
W98
Keyboard/Mouse – 3rd Person


I’m combining both games into one review because as far as I'm concerned they are one long game. The Secrets of Merlin starts exactly where Tales of the Chivalry leaves off and movement, gameplay etc is identical in both (except Secrets of Merlin has a map feature).

Story –

Master Foulque is a story teller and he has written a tale of Bradwen a knight in King Arthur’s court. Actually Master Foulque has written two stories about Bradwen – one about Bradwen the Celtic Knight and the other about Bradwen the Christian Knight. Your first assignment is to choose which story you want to hear first – Celtic Knight is the red book, Christian knight is the white book.

You are then transported to the Kingdom of the Atrebates as Bradwen the illegitmate son of Cadfanan, the king of the Atrebates. Your half brother Morganor is heir to the throne. Your relationship with Morganor is strained at best. Okay to be perfectly honest, Morganor hates the very sight of you. Which is understandable. I mean you are tall, dark, handsome and built like a greek god and Morganor is........well, Morganor isn’t. As soon as you arrive home from your battle with the Saxons Morganor informs you that the king is ill and you have to go find a cure for what ails him. And so begins your quest – first to find a cure for your sick father and then to ultimately find your destiny. Along the way you visit The Forests of Arden, Avalon, Magovenium, and Camelot. You meet ogres, Saxons, fairies, unicorns, dragons, knights, kings, Merlin and the very devil himself.

Gameplay –

Arrow keys move Bradwen around and are very simple to use. The mouse brings up the conversation tree, the inventory and the save/load option. You use the spacebar to initiate action – ie start a conversation or perform a function like open doors, hand something to someone, pick something up etc. There is also a book that fills in as you play so you can read the story as you go. The only thing is, if you don’t do things in the exact order the developers of the game did, you will miss lines in the story. It doesn’t stop you from progressing with the game – it just becomes a obsession to figure out what the missing lines are and how you can get them into the story book.

You can make Bradwen and his horse move faster by holding down the Shift key at the same time as the arrow key. As a matter of fact I loved to get Bradwen running then lift my finger off the shift key and watch him come to a screetching hault - I kept hoping he'd fall on his fanny but he never did.

Graphics and Sound

Absolutely superb. While in the forest you hear and see birds chirpping, bears growling, wolves howling, fairies laughing, and fish jumping out of the water. I honestly felt like I was in a forest or by a stream, or on a rocky tower listening to the wind blow.

Cons –

There are some – getting Bradwen positioned correctly in order to open a door or talk to someone was a pain until you got used to where he needed to stand. I got plenty tired of the shoulder shrug let me tell you. I know some people had problems with events not triggering for some reason or another. The only time that happened to me was when I would forget to scroll to the end of the conversation tree and make sure I had talked to everyone about everything. And sometimes the trudging back and forth got to me but most games I’ve played you trudge back and forth.

In Conclusion

I knew after about 10 minutes I was going to love the game. That’s all the time it took to draw me in, wrap it’s arms around me and hook me. It has everything I had been looking for a great story and characters I actually cared about (in fact I got so involved with them I had to quit playing because something happened to two of the characters) And as far as the endings ----both games have terrific endings that actually end the game.


[This message has been edited by syd (edited 09-25-2001).]
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#87677 - 09/25/01 04:42 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
foofoobunny Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 967
Loc: New Hampshire
Sorry if this is a bad place to ask, but is this one going to be available stateside, or should I just go ahead and bother softwarefirst as usual?

ta

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#87678 - 09/25/01 07:47 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
Marian Offline
Moderator
Graduate Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 19562
Loc: near Yosemite in California
Great review, Syd. I have yet to start the first Arthur but believe me I am looking forward to it.

Foof, the first game is available here in the States. Initially I thought the second one was not going to be released here at all, but now Amazon has it listed as being released here next January; I hope someone can confirm that as I am not too eager to order from overseas (but will if I have to).

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#87679 - 09/25/01 07:59 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10308
Well done Sydders!!

Wonderful descriptions - I can't think of why anypne would pass up a chance to get this wonderful series after reading your review. You done good - Sir Lost A Lot

You know how I feel about this game. This is one of the best game series I have ever played. I rank it with Tex and Gabe. I still am suffering slight pains of Bradwen withdrawal and it's been weeks. Sigh.

I would defintely urge people to buy these together - like The Legend games - they really need to be played one after another. When I do my replay - I am going to start with the Celtic side and play straight through both games. Then start over as the Paladin. Whew - definitely near the top of my twisty list next year

Laura
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#87680 - 10/02/01 07:40 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
hedgehog10 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 585
Loc: USA
Syd,
I agree with you about the game and plan to get the next one, Merlin. I too, loved to speed up the horse and to tell you the truth, the folks at Dreamcatchers did their research on riding. Bradwen looked as if he was posting when his horse was at a full gallop. I too, enjoyed making Bradwen screech to a stop............ kinda like a hockey player. I did, however get a surprise when Bradwen's horse talked to him when they took a wrong turn on the road. The music and laughter of the fairies was very lilting and I think they did alot to make you feel YOU WERE BRADWEN. I'm glad there is a second game out there.

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#87681 - 08/01/02 10:02 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
Reenie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/01/00
Posts: 2776
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Seems I'm in the minority on this one. I'm almost finished playing AK1 and aside from the fantastic scenery, I'm not all that impressed. Neither is my playing partner, but I'll leave her to speak (or not) for herself. As for me, I doubt I will even play the "second" game in AK1 because I haven't been impressed with the first. These are my reasons:

1. All the endless running around in circles. You can get hopelessly stumped if you can't find the one trigger to push the game to the next phase. I know all games have this, but in AK1, it seems excessive. In one egregious case, a lady sent Bradwen off to battle a guy, but didn't tell him he had to ask the guy to go somewhere else to fight. Bradwen rides all the way over there, tries to fight the guy, and its a draw. Bradwen wanders around the entire area, looking for the next trigger event, until he finally comes back to the lady and THEN the conversation line is triggered when she gives him the extra, essential clue about moving the combat site. That happened several times.

2. Excessive pixel hunting. If, as Syd mentioned, you aren't standing in EXACTLY the right spot, you could be doing the right thing but nothing happens. So you wander away, thinking you're on the wrong track, and after trying everything else, you finally come back and try again. Also, there are no hot spots to tell you when you should pick something up. Most of the stuff is only eye candy, so you get used to NOT picking stuff up. Then, you get really stuck because there are one or two things you DO need to pick up but you didn't. After getting burned, you start trying picking up every piece of scenery you see, just in case. This is a pain.

3. Game bug. I experienced this several times. Suddenly, my pop-up dialogue icon no longer functioned, no could I access my game menu bar by right-clicking. I could not even "quit game" because of the malfunctioning menu bar. I had to reboot my computer to escape the game.

4. Disc #1 reload requirement. I think it is just laziness when game designers issue a 3-CD game that requires you to always insert Disk #1 to start, then swap to the disk your current game is on to play it.

Hedgie, I was tickled by your comment about the horse. Didn't you feel sorry for the poor thing, having to run around so much! lol ).

Anyway, we don't all have to like every game, right? I just thought I'd add my comments to broaden the response range. If you are happy enough with really great eye candy, you don't care if there are any puzzles, and you're ready for a break from plot-heavy games, AK1 will probably be just the thing.
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#87682 - 08/02/02 08:08 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10308
Reenie,

Glad to see a counter point on this game. It definitely is not a game that everyone would like or even enjoy enough to finish. It is totally 3rd person and I know that our resident first person fans would never play this game.

Anyway - I enjoyed reading your comments (as always) and could definitely see why you felt that way. smile

Laura
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#87683 - 08/03/02 11:02 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
Adept Boomer

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
Sure this game has some problems, including having to place the main character in exactly the right place to open a door, to perform an action, etc. But beyond minor annoyances, I think this is a lovely game, with a good story, reasonable puzzles using inventory items, and an intriguing glimpse into the magical world of Arden. For those that are at all interested in the legends of King Arthur and Merlin, this is an interesting angle, especially with the ability to play two different characters in the same world. The length of the game is surprising and satisfying. Arthur 2 also has the wonderful addition of a map interface, and much of the extra riding and getting lost can be avoided.
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#87684 - 08/13/02 05:01 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
tigger Offline
Graduate Boomer

Registered: 04/02/01
Posts: 15679
Loc: England
I picked up AK2 recently, left it on my to play pile as I thought it had some fighting elements in. Well, Alistair badgered me to let him load up and he is now happily riding around the countryside!!

Hugs

Tig wave
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#87685 - 08/17/02 10:01 AM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
MaG Offline
Administrator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 12/28/99
Posts: 65693
Hahahahaha!!

Now, what are you going to do if Bradwen is on his rump on the ground --- pick him up??

Great as usual, Syddie!

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#87686 - 09/01/02 06:34 AM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
gsd Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 85
Loc: Sacramento, Ca. USA
I have just completed Arthur's Knights 1 and 2 (both books in each game) which represent about 60 hrs of gameplay. After all of this, I am in a great deal of agreement with both the pro and con posts. I did enjoy the games because I liked the story and I felt the graphics and voice acting were especially good. I also have no problem with keyboard control and there weren't any tricky manuevers, so even those who avoid keyboard controls would probably find these games easy enough to handle. In the end, however, my main complaint is that I spent perhaps half of my gaming hours moving Bradwen from place to place. Although you could jump to a destination, you couldn't jump to anyplace within a destination and very soon these routes became very very repetitive, and ultimately, tedious. I think this was a mistake on the developers part to extend game play this way. Perhaps they wanted to force a leisurely pace in keeping with the spirit of the times, and to some extent, I can understand this. But in my opinion, it was excessive. It bogged down the pace of the story and became a distraction. There were times when my mind wandered to extraneous things while trotting Bradwen along a route I'd taken a dozen times. And placing Bradwen in just the proper position to elicit a response was it's own challenge. I was stuck so many times until I got wise enough to position him in multiple ways when I thought he should interact with something. But this shouldn't be necessary. With no cursor to highlight something, there should be a broad berth for character interaction. Nevertheless, and despite my frustrations, I feel that these two games are well worth playing for the strength of story, the beautiful and realistic graphics and the overall depth of gameplay. Unfortunately, what could have two awesome games turned into a bit less.

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#87687 - 08/03/03 02:16 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
SuMac Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: New Hampshire
After reading the two reviews and comments, mostly very positive, I have decided to give this game another chance. I recently posted a minor rant about the cumbersome interface on another forum, but it seems a lot of Boomers really like AK and AKII. I also found a better WT - MaG's - and I think it will help me get through some of the rough spots.

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#87688 - 08/03/03 02:20 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
BacardiJim Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 07/27/03
Posts: 2202
Loc: USA
Neither LR nor I remembered to mention this game (Secrets of Merlin) in the "Games You Gave Up On" thread, but this one we took back to EB 2 hours after we bought it. We spent that two hours trying to get back out the door of the first building we entered.
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#87689 - 08/03/03 03:13 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
syd Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/12/99
Posts: 12306
Loc: Body in California/Heart in Ha...
BJ you are besmirching a game that I loved???? It's a good thing I'm a benevolent ruler or else heads would roll wink

I know, I know, the doors were a pain in the you know what and I got sick and tired of the shoulder shrug and there was way too much to-ing and fro-ing, but for some unknown strange reason this game hit a cord with me and I forgave quite a bit simply because I fell in love with the story and the characters. What can I say - I liked Mystery of the Druids too lol
_________________________
Dark Side : Risen
Light Side:

I can only please one person a day. Today isn't your day. Tomorrow's not looking good either.

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#87690 - 08/03/03 04:46 PM Re: Arthur's Knights: Tales of the Chivalry and The Secrets of Merlin
BacardiJim Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 07/27/03
Posts: 2202
Loc: USA
Sorry about that, syd. Every time I hear mention of that game I Hulk out. It is one of a very few adventure games that actually offended my sensibilities.

Sadly, my head will continue to rant and ramble even after you have it severed. Old habits die hard. wink smile
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