Reviews for Emerald Mountain

Note: Hints included in some reviews. You have been warned.

Below are some reviewers comments which we thought might help you decide on whether or not you'd like to play the scenario. This page is not a list of all the reviews the scenario received, only those that had thoughful and/or useful comments to make.


Comments:This was a very enjoyable scenario. It had a good plot and no bugs that I could find. I found the custom creatures fun to kill, though some were a bit annoying(hence the rating). I strongly recommend this scenario. It is the best scenario out so far.


Comments:Neat terraining and graphics use, if a bit quirky in places - the end effect is something very different and very nifty. The game sure told me I was going the wrong way a lot, even when I only stepped to the side of the road in some places. Plot is engaging, if short. Unlike RoR, I didn't feel that the villains were lame or that words were being stuffed into my mouth. Was painfully difficult at times - something you expect from TM, really. Better than VoDT, I'd say, but still, it's only 3 towns - most of my time was spent reloading as I kept getting killed by slimes.


Comments:Its well worth playing, better then any of the other 3rd party scenarios currently out. The combat is well balanced, and the town design is wonderful. It is quite short comprising of only 3 towns. Play it and you should enjoy it, but while its one of the best out as of 8/13/04, I'm sure that as time goes by better scenarios will come out.


Comments:The plotline was very basic with no real surprises, but at least it was solid. Gameplay was very linear - you are forced to do things in a certain order, including exploring areas that should be open to you. When finished speaking to NPCs the talk icon sometimes remains and you have to do something else to get it to release. Opening information is a little too lengthy, but all the pertinent information is there. Even with the weaknesses, though, it was a mildly entertaining hour or so and worth the download time. There were some creative items to be gotten, good spells to be bought, and the battles were reasonably difficult. There weren't really enough bad guys to fight to build yourself up at all, but if you're already strong enough the fights are fairy fun. If there was a way to take on the (outrageously strong) killer monster rather than avoiding it, though, I never found it. I think that part should have been developed further. Overall it was a short, slightly buggy but mostly entertaining scenario, and it was nice to see an addition to the scenarios list. Good effort.


Comments:Small scenario, but good, with a cohesive plot, interesting characters, and a satisfying ending.

Pros: Custom items, characters. Some special items were useful even to my late-30s level party. Custom graphics and information, well-written messages.

Cons: Messages are used a lot instead of dialogue. Still a shorter-style scenario, so don't come looking for long adventures.


Comments: Before my comments I should mention that nothing concerning difficulty will matter in my review because i played with a party much stronger than the scenario recommends, other than that i will give my honest opinion on whatever other aspects of the game I can.

Plot - 4.5 The story at the beginning was simple (the world simple was actually used MANY times in the story) but it did not consider you party as 4 separate people, it instead treats you like a single person. So unless you are playing solo, it doesn't make complete sense. There are some good plot twists that offered a good surprise to the plot now and then, keeps it interesting. Thatís all I can say so as not to give away any of the storyÖ

Characters - 4 The important characters' personalities are well described and also shown well by their actions. They are developed well.

Enemies - 3.5 I thought I wouldn't need to comment much on this game, but as fought the enemies it seemed they were doing considerable damage to my characters, and also some enemies could withstand multiple blows from even my strongest warrior. Keep in mind my party consists of people near lvl 40. Which is much more than the 15-20 rating. I think the rating may need to be increased a bit, as a level 15 party would have great difficulty with many of the enemies. I'm thinking more like 18-23 or something like that. Also, which may be considered good or bad, is the lack of random monsters outside. the majority of fighting is by special encounters when outdoors.

Items/Shops - 3 Items won randomly from enemies seemed to fit the level recommendation for the scenario. A few items even seemed useful for stronger characters like level 30+. So overall u should be happy with your winnings. Although the winnings were good, there was a shortage of good shops with items/magic for sale.

Towns - 3 The towns do not have as much variety as most scenarios; it seems to be mostly just guards. Also there are messages asking to jump off ledges in several places that are actually just hills, which is odd.

Outdoors - 3 There are supposed to be women working farms for the settlement, but there is not as much farmland shown outdoors as I was expecting. Itís a bit small, and there didnít seem to be any side quests, although I may just not be good at finding them.

Pictures - 2.5 The pictures shown in certain parts of the story seem to be real photographs, and usually relate to the story like they are supposed to, so they do add a bit of excitement to the story. One of the pictures is supposed to be of a man brutally cut, stabbed, and killed by a sharp weapon, but there are no wounds or blood visible in the picture, so it doesnít match the description at all.

General Opinion - 4 I think there was a good story, well played out, excellent plot twists, and meaningful quests. Overall it was a decent scenario.

Average - 3.5 This is the average of all the above scores and the rating I gave the scenario. I enjoyed the game even with a mismatched party, worth the download so you can try it. And besides, there are many Blades of Avernum scenarios out so it is always good to try out a new one. Hopefully some creative designers will create more interesting scenarios like this one.


Comments:(sry for my poor english)

I'am not a big talker so I make it short

Idea: Nice but not new. You are portecting a gem and it get stolen. You have to go after it.

Gameplay: It is overall too short and not really balaced. If you need new items this you will find them here maybe some are to powerfull but still good.

  • + not too easy
  • + you can meet the Death (but you cant kill him. really)
  • + weapons you dont find in the 4 original Secnarios
  • - to strict gameplay, not much exploring
  • - if you kill all befor getting able to leave the town you ar stuck.

Thats is got nothig more to say. This is juast something to kill some time.


Comments:This is by far the best user created scenario so far. The graphics are interesting. There are several powerful new items. The fights are well done. There is one fight with a creature which you cannot defeat Lyfan which is very good. The opening splash pages are very nicely done. The story is very straightforward and interesting. This is the first time that a town has been designed to be built directly as a series of small caverns. The goblin fights are well down. It creates a whole new set of much tougher goblins. There is also a nice new set of slimes. Excellent overall.


Comments:in my opinion the best user-scenario out now. the design of the city is marvelous. the flow of the story is really good. i didn't find any bug. the only thing, which holds me from giving a 5 is the shortness. carry on!


Comments:As I mentioned in my review of Roses of Reckoning, this author shows a lot of promise.  This scenario is very much a hop, skip, and step ahead of RoR.  Being part of a small clan of warriors was interesting, and defintiely a nice change from the typical storyline of "You're mercenaries and someone hired you to kill something, but then everything goes wrong!"  I was a little frustrated at how linear the scenario was in the beginning, but I was more than impressed with the possibility of two different endings. The custom items were an intersting novelty, and rather than making "god-items," the author actually chose to create items with value.  (Example: the breast plate with almost no physical defense but high elemental defense) The undefeatable godbeast monster was a good idea, and his existence added depth to the story, but it could have been handled differently.  There is no warning that you're approaching where the god-beast is, and if you happen to stumble upon him, you basically are dead unless you revert to a save or use the character editor to pull yourself out of town. All in all, I was very happy with this scenario, and I hope to see a longer scenario (8 to 10 hours?) rather than several small ones.


Comments:Town design is excellent, especially the starting town and the technical stuff is extremely competent and well done but as a scenario I thought it was pretty poor. Story is weak, not to mention extremely unimaginative and uninspired/ing. Custom monsters suffered from the same problem. Just because you stuck 'Hill' on the front doesn't make it any less a goblin and in fact it probably makes it worse. At least a simple 'Goblin' has no pretences. And some kind of magical slime beast? In Exile 3 they were fun. By the time we met them for the tenth time in Blades of Exile Scenarios it was starting to wear. Also found the scenario to be too short.


Comments:While intereasting, there are a number of major flaws. The 'invisible wall' problem of having special encounters pop up telling you were to go is very, very annoying. The south end of the first city has some errors resulting in invisible ledges along the exit, and the frequent use of special encounters for dialouge is annoying and frequently causes a problem where the game doesn't realize you actually talked to anyone and keeps the select a person to talk to thing up. Also, if you decide to go for the more difficult ending, when you walk to the shaman's house the guard lets you in and tells you that you have permission to speak with him, but he is missing completely. And then there is the uber-golem that easily wiped out my lvl 41 cheat party that I sent after it. The reference to the empire is nice, could have been more there.


Comments: Emerald Mountain is definitely the best of the 4 user-created scenarios to date. That having been said, it still has a few problems. Also keep in mind that I play with a party of two PCs.
However, by problems, I do not mean bugs. I haven't found any major bugs in the scenario.
The plot is the best indication of Terror's Martyr's experiance with scenario design. It stands on solid ground and comes together at the end.
The scenario's 3 town levels are also decently put together, containing their own plot hints and foes. The main town looks very nice, even if does have inane jumping-off points. However, the blacksmith could use some signage out from. I explore pretty thouroughly, and I found Smid on about the third time I was in the town. Magos was more obvious, and his spells were of appropriate level. I do wonder why dialog boxes are used instead of actual talking dialog.
My main problems with the scenario involve play balance and the intended level (Should be 17ish to 24+ish)
The items you gain from this scenario are very powerful. Wihcaser's Spear is more powerful than a standard Blessed Pike, and Claymores are two steps above greatswords. The weapons in this scenario take weapon damage up another notch. I don't really like this.
On the other hand, the monsters are very powerful as well. My characters would not have survived without one of them being divinely touched. I only have major complaints about the Goblin Assassin. I'm fine with the Dervishes. However, when a blessed, divinely touched 15th level fighter/priest with decent melee skill has a 5% hit chance, you know the assassins are too darn fast (+20 Dex, I checked). I eventually had to Fire Bolt the things to death. That took a while...
Despite that long list of balance complaints, this is still the best scenario out right now. If you're looking to kill a few hours, this is the scenario to do it with. I thank Terror's Martyr for putting in the time and effort necessary to put this together so that we can enjoy it.


Comments:Very nice. A very cohesive plot, great cutscenes, and a beautiful landscape made this what it is: awesome. However, there were a few problems:

-It's very annoying to keep funneling the party down an incredibly specific path (i.e.: You can't go there yet, you need to go back to the town!)

-Very annoying to have the Lyfer... or whatever it was called... be virtually impossible to kill. I also noticed you had nothing lined up for if it WAS killed. Rather poor form to have someone go all that way to kill a level 100 creature, and then have nothing happen (granted, I know you're not supposed to kill it, but...).

-Underground dungeon seemed almost pointless. Why would goblins - even the advanced kind that were mentioned - have built such a weird place (or built on top of it)?

-About those special items... why put them at almost the end of the scenario, when you've only got one fight left?

-Why not use normal dialogue nodes like everyone else? The dialogue boxes were very annoying when a simple conversation would've done just fine.

If there was anything else, I'm forgetting it. Besides those points, very well done.


Comments:I'm very suprised that this scenario is ranked lower than A Perfect Forest. It's not that APF isn't good, but I really feel this scenario is better done. The custom graphics are superb, and plot is engaging, albeit rather linear. The combat requires careful planning, (especially on torment.... had to drop down to normal to finish it!) yet is not so difficult that it gets annoying. It is short, but considering the time required to make a decent scenario, i belive it will be a year or two before we seen any decent lengthy scenarios. The messages telling you that you're going the wrong way are a little annoying, but it does fit with the concept of the pc's being loyal tribesmen (or tribeswomen... or tribesnephil or tribeslith for that matter...). In a lot of ways, this scenario reminds me of nethergate... A lot of the same feel anyway... At any rate, its a solid, short, challenging scenario with a believable feel and a rather interesting plot (the whole Empire exper iment thing is getting a little old, though...).



Okay, good points first:

- No bugs that I could find.

- The cutscenes were a nice touch.

- Combat was alright. Nothing original, but enough to keep one mildly entertained. Sort of like chewing gum.

Uh, that's about it. The things that brought this down were:

- Forcing hilariously cheesy morals on the player. A tribe that holds the tenets of honor, pride and blueberry cupcakes (or whatever it was, I forget) is bad enough. Making the player be a part of this tribe is worse. Making the player say "IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND CHEAP LIQUOR, I SHALL NOBLY SLAY YOU FOR THE ATROCITIES THAT YOU HAVE COMMITTED, EVIL FIEND!" is unforgivable.

- Extreme lack of plot flexibility.

- An abundance of corny clichés. I'm surprised the villain didn't say, "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you pesky kids".

- Lack of maturity that underlies everything from the storyline and setting to the dialog. Some of it was, for lack of a better word, lame. It felt like walking into a bad flick halfway through: you don't know any of the characters, they have no aspects that make them remotely interesting and you could care less what happens to them. "Oh no, this guy's done so-and-so. How supposedly dramatic."

- The prosthetic plot elements/devices. A sacred stone with no significance other than the fact it's meant to be holy. Wow, how original. Or how about a secret lab where people were working making the ultimate weapon/creature, except it went out of control and killed them all? That's never been done before! If you're going to recycle concepts, give them an original twist or execute them with style. I know there's always a temptation to make some omnipotent monster and show it off, but there's really not a lot of point.

- I would complain about the length, but I didn't enjoy playing it. The ending was kind of a relief, actually.


Comments:The plot is thin and contrived, the dialogue is borderline childish, some of the battles are much too difficult (should be at least levels 25-30, especially for a singleton), and the loot is overpowered.

But the first town is beautiful. It's probably the most visually pleasing town I've seen in any Avernum, though there's not much to it. It's worth downloading this scenario just to see that.
The scenario isn't bad, exactly, but it seems like it could have used some more testing and polishing. Tone down the fights a bit, remove a couple pieces of treasure, rework some of the dialogue and motives, and you'd have a solid, fun scenario.

Comments:Overall, I thought Emerald Mountain was a good scenario. The combat was interesting (especially the dividing/spellcasting slimes), the reward items were nice (although the rune reading one is probably too good), and the plot was well developed. That said, there are a few things that could have been done better:

1) Lyfan was rather lame. Either you avoided him and he did nothing, or you met him and you loaded the game. It would be more interesting if he periodically appeared and did random bad things to the party (such as cursing, weakening, slowing, webbing, etc.)

2) There was virtually no dialogue in the game. The main characters could be better developed if they actually talked.

3) Until the very last moment, the scenario was completely linear (so linear that you couldn't even walk across town at the wrong time.) It felt very artificial to suddenly have an alternate ending at the very end.

Comments:From an interactive point of view absolutely the worst scenario I have "played". In fact, one does not play this scenario so much as simply follow/be forcibly led by the author to the next task to accomplish. Your only "task" as a player is to complete the battles.

The scenario is partially redeemed by the fact that the battles are difficult and interesting tasks, and show the potential for BOA to remain interesting even at high levels of party development. But, the plot/character development has to come first otherwise there is nothing compelling to return to the scenario.


Comments:From an interactive point of view absolutely the worst scenario I have "played". In fact, one does not play this scenario so much as simply follow/be forcibly led by the author to the next task to accomplish. Your only "task" as a player is to complete the battles.

The scenario is partially redeemed by the fact that the battles are difficult and interesting tasks, and show the potential for BOA to remain interesting even at high levels of party development. But, the plot/character development has to come first otherwise there is nothing compelling to return to the scenario.

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