Faust/Seven Games of the Soul

Posted by: Katsmom

Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 12/23/05 08:16 PM

This is an older game that is basically Windows XP compatible, but may need some tweaking depending on your graphics and sound cards (or chipsets). I'm not going to write a review, per se -- because Becky wrote a wonderful review of the game here years ago, and I couldn't say it better. laugh Here's a link to her review, for details of the game:

http://www.gameboomers.com/reviews/Ff/Faustbybecky.htm

I decided to write about this game to discuss what I call Seeds of Brilliance. I think this game had all the makings of a brilliant, timeless adventure game -- but the seeds were allowed to die on the vine. I can't help thinking about what could have been, if only the writers and creators of this game had invested more time and effort in it. (*Money???)


The plot and storylines are wonderful and creative. It's about the battle between Good and Evil personified -- yet doesn't have an ounce of preachiness or religion in it. If anything, it's raunchy and inappropriate for children. But what a concept! Why, oh why, didn't they make it as great as it could have been? *roll eyes*

Each storyline draws you in, as you learn about a character who was targeted by Mephisto (agent of the Devil) to make a deal to sell his or her soul. If you've ever watched the T.V. show Medium, then you'll have a concept of how things happen in this game. You touch something... and a flashback is triggered. You pick up an object, and a cutscene plays. Then suddenly, you (your character) find yourself having a (relatively) present-day conversation or argument with Mephisto. You're whisked from one place to another, without warning. But it's okay. If you hadn't finished whatever you were supposed to do, you wouldn't budge.

The letdown is... you never do learn the whole story about the characters. You learn enough to give you insight, pieces of the puzzle, and solid theories. You learn enough to care about how that story ends. But you don't actually get to see and experience a resolution to any of the seven souls' stories. Only your own story, as Marcellus Faust, reaches resolution by the end of the game.

If the story writing and computer code writing had matched the quality of the voice-over acting -- this game might have been on the list of top 10 adventure games of all time. But it was not to be.

The technical end of this game's creation and production was a disaster. There are more bugs and glitches in this game than I ever imagined were possible. They didn't even bother with basic Spell Check, as they translated from one language to another (French being the original language).

The game takes place in a surreal, abandoned amusement park. When you open the in-game map, you see the title Dremland Amusemet Park. (*Dreamland Amusement Park) eek

During an in-game Poker game, you see the words YOU LOOSE. lol

My personal favorite glitch... You go into a bathroom, and there's a vanity table with a drawer. You click on and around them, sensing that something might be inside the drawer that you need. But you see nothing. No hotspot, not even a flicker of life. You continue exploring the bathroom, and (like any devoted adventure gamer) -- you pixel-hunt everything. Lo and behold, you get a hotspot on a completely blank wall -- which has no outlines or bumps or anything whatsoever to make you suspect there's a hidden compartment. So you click on it. Out pops a perfectly square picture of the vanity table and drawer that's across the room... and there's a hotspot on the drawer. You open the drawer and find an inventory item... as the chunk of vanity and drawer protrude from the wall - ridiculously out-of-place. You click to make the drawer go back in... and the whole magical "pixel square" of vanity table returns to the blank wall -- leaving no trace of itself behind. think


I must add that at least one walkthrough writer didn't experience this phenomenon, because he displayed the screenshot of the vanity, with the drawer opening where it actually was on the screen. I guess there were multiple versions of this game released, and not all were buggy.

Same scene... I tried to leave the way I came in, through a fabric curtain. But there was no hotspot. No how, no way. mad I refused to panic. I pixel-hunted until I found the exit hotspot over a solid bookshelf... scared Yes, I walked through a wall and ended up right outside that fabric curtain.

I browsed the game files on my computer and on the disks. (*long story...) Anyway, I noticed that the dialogue files (mostly captions/subtitles) were written in multiple languages. That was an ambitious task, I'll admit. But as I checked them out, I noticed that most of the dialogue had partial translations -- and many languages were left blank for most of the game's dialogue. Hmmm... why bother to go multi-language, if you can't be bothered to translate all the words (spelled right or not) into those other languages??? I feel sorry for the Greek gamers who bought this game. slapforehead

One of the walkthrough writers had some fun with the dates in this game. From episode to episode, you're taken to different time periods in the past. The basic time period is from around the 1920's through 1960. Since all seven characters live and work together in the same amusement park, their individual stories are related to each other (though not as thoroughly as they could have been, as already mentioned). Well... this walkthrough writer actually mapped out the timeline for the episodes in the game, and pointed out numerous events that couldn't possibly have happened when they happened in the storyline. For instance, two sisters... one is murdered at a certain point in time; but years later, she's alive and well and performing with her sister. *doh*

I didn't notice all the inconsistent dates, but I'm mentioning it to further demonstrate my point: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul could have been, and should have been, a spectacularly popular game. If only those who'd created it had given it the attention, time, and investment it deserved.

I wouldn't sell my soul to Mephisto for it -- but I do wish that some bright and innovative game company would grab this jewel from the dusty flea market bin and polish it up and heal its code wounds and re-release it one day. thumbsup
Posted by: Becky

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 12/24/05 07:25 AM

Hey Katsmom -- I agree, this is a unique game, and thanks for your review of it! You brought back some fond memories. It's been a long time since I've played it, but I don't remember the bug you described. The game was released in Europe and in North America, which may explain the differences.

I've encountered more than one game lately that was originally published in a language other than English, then translated to English, and errors somehow slipped through in the process of translation. It IS somewhat curious that this is happening -- why not hire a proofreader?
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 12/24/05 09:04 AM

Thanks Katsmom--This is in the to be played when life leaves me alone pile. thanks for bringing it back to my mind!

<img border="0" alt="[Christmas]" title="" src="graemlins/Christmas.gif" />
Posted by: DABhand

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 12/24/05 03:41 PM

Ahhhh Faust, I was enticed by this because I thought it was the long forgotten sequeal to 11th Hour, then I chuckled when I remembered that it was Stauf in the game and not Faust razz


Oh how I laughed ho ho ho smile
Posted by: Becky

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 12/24/05 04:00 PM

lol And you're still laughing. Did you like it better than 7th Guest, or were you disappointed?
Posted by: DABhand

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 12/24/05 09:29 PM

Faust was ok, but I feel that 7th Guest and 11th Hour had more atmosphere to it.
Posted by: Melanie1

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 02/14/06 12:53 PM

I didn't experience those bugs either and absolutely loved this game. I felt that it did do a good job in revealing the stories. I would have loved to see more of each story but since there are so many characters to explore, I can see that it would have made the game much much longer and maybe out of the budget to explore each character more. I thought it did a great job of making me care about each character in just enough space to allow me to know them. I loved the game.

There were some pixel hunts for sure, but this is an old game and I think that also has to be taken into consideration. The translations could have been better but the story was so captivating that it didn't annoy me that much.

Melanie
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 02/14/06 06:00 PM

I played this game quite recently, and thought it was fantastic. Playing it on XP did mean some horrible problems in the sound department, however (speech out of sync, and music that quite often disintegrated to an ear-melting SKREEEEEE with fuzzy distortion, ow ow ow..). But this didn't detract too much from my overall enjoyment of the game.

The stories were fascinating, with a nice touch of black humour to help everything along. I also found the graphics very appealing, particularly so for an older game. For me, this was one of those games that grabs you from the start, and refuses to let go until the final scene. laugh
Posted by: Katsmom

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 04/03/06 12:45 AM

I just finished two more Arxel Tribe games (engine) -- and had the same sound issues with all 3 games. The dialogue suddenly goes silent, while characters are still talking. I found that if you reduce your sound acceleration to "none" that the problem greatly improves. When the dialogue does cut off, quit the game and cool the CD drive for a few minutes. The dialogue will then return and be in sync with the characters. I used my combo CD/DVD drive to play the other two Arxel Tribe games -- because it reads at a slower speed.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 04/03/06 08:20 AM

Thanks Katsmom--
Posted by: Bonitarita

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 01/29/07 12:24 PM

I know this is clutching for straws, but would anyone have a save game after completing the first sealed envelope puzzle. I have been trying to open this for almost 4 hours now and can't. I'm replaying the game on xp with sound accelation tweaking, last time playing in 1999. At that time I was able to open it but I'm not successful this go around. I hope someone can help me. Thanks in advance.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Faust/Seven Games of the Soul - 01/29/07 01:25 PM

Hi Bonitarita, I'm going to copy this request over to Hints and Helps as they might very well have a saved game for you. We just deal with reviews in this forum. Glad to have you visit with us though wave