20.



  • When was Cythera first released? | Ambrosia Software, Inc.:

    Cythera 1.0.0 was first released by August 29th of 1999.

    So Cythera’s 20th anniversary is properly at the end of this month (though we already have the soundtrack).

    The Avara crew did an Avara 20th anniversary livestream. I’m considering getting the necessary equipment too (Ares has a 20th at the end of September). Would others be interested in collaborating? I could contribute, but I don’t think I would do Cythera by myself, when @Wizard and @Bryce are really the authorities.



  • Excellent idea, Pallas! I'm happy to help out any way I can 😀

    Cythera's a bit tricky since there's no multiplayer, but we could have a Discord chat running while someone does the playing. Richard Moss' live stream for EV:O had him play while Matt Burch read and answered comments from the chat. Depending on the logistics of when/where/how, I imagine we can have at least a fun discussion and spend some time reminiscing about Cythera. I wonder if we should at least ask Gandreas if he would consider taking part... 🤔



  • I think that one player + chat is the way to go. It would be cool if we could hand off game duty during the stream, but I think that’s probably too difficult.

    If we want to do this, then I think we need to know:

    • When: I would arbitrarily pick Aug 31, 6-8 EDT as the slot. (It’s not a great time for me or Kat, but I can manage)
    • Who would be the main player: I could, but it sounds like you’re set up already and probably have better latency.
    • Who would commentate: it sounds like we’d have you and me. I think we’d want to add at least one or two more, maybe 453 or Bryce.
    • What we’d talk about. Some things off the top of my head:
      • The world (Greek culture, Thera origin, fauna)
      • Plot (Alaric, the Elements, the Houses)
      • Gameplay basics (archetypes, conversation, routines)
      • Loose ends (Third Prophecy, Cipher Manuscript, Tree of Life)
      • Bugs and exploits (fetch, container, Sapphire books, …)
      • Relationships with other games (Theldrow, Coldstone, Ultima, maybe Exile or Odyssey)

    Depending on what we want to cover, it might be a good idea to have characters prepared.



  • I can do anytime that evening, so if adjusting slightly one way or the other works better for you, I'm all for it! I like the topic ideas, and I'm sure we can think of some more during the course of discussion.

    I need to do some experimenting, but now I'm wondering if we could use something like Parsec to allow multiple people for switching player control. It shouldn't preclude OBS to live-stream from the host machine as long as there's sufficient bandwidth. Probably the biggest question is if Parsec would work with Sheepshaver at all, and if not, falling back to the single player plus chat is a good option.



  • The time will work well enough for me. I guess the two important things to nail down that I forgot before are:

    • How to stream (Twitch? YouTube? I believe both the Avara stream and the EV stream mentioned above were streamed to Twitch and later archived to YouTube)
    • Where to announce (Macintosh Garden? Direct emails to Richard Moss and gandreas?)

    I think we should do a stream test run, then send out a few notices as soon as possible.



  • Updates!

    When: We're pushing the livestream back a couple weeks. Tentatively, Sept. 14 @ 8-10pm Central could be a time that works. I remember BW mentioned working weekends, so I'm open to Sept. 13 as well if Pallas is.

    Who: It looks like I'll be hosting and playing, and at least Pallas will help with discussion. It'd be great to have others!

    Where: Regarding the platform, Pallas, Visitor, and I did a test run tonight, and Twitch will be a workable option. I've experimented with Youtube and found the lag to be too long, even on their lowest latency settings, and Microsoft's Mixer service has about the same latency as Twitch with much more jitter.

    I'll check with at least @453 and @Bryce, and once we're happy with the date, we can begin advertising. Probably just Mac Garden, maybe the ASW reddit. I'll have a go at emailing Gandreas as well.

    One other thing: how much of the game do we want to show in the stream? Should we have some save games on hand to show later points or would it be better just to play a new character for a while?



  • Either date is fine for me.

    Probably worth contacting Richard Moss as well (his email address is at the end of his Twitter bio). I’ve also been watching a bunch of videos on the Play Different channel lately, though I’m not sure how to contact him.

    I think it would be worth demonstrating some of the bugs in the game, and to that end it might be helpful to have a more advanced character. Here are some that I think are worth demonstrating:

    • Fetch (obviously)
    • Remote Manipulation on ladders
    • Stealing after moving
    • Mushroom steaks / edible strange devices

    For these it would be convenient to have two prepared characters on hand:

    • A high-level Wizard at Pnyx yet to learn magic. This could demonstrate:

      • Fetch and Remote Manipulation
      • Lindus nagging about learning magic
      • Selinus forgetting your name (“not a bug, he’s just forgetful”)
      • Handing in Sapphire books repeatedly (probably just the one from the dorm)
      • Helen’s initial conversation
      • Forgetting Paris’s name
    • A Rogue ready to join the Ratcatcher’s Guild in Cademia. This could demonstrate:

      • The edible strange device and mushroom steak
      • Stealing (I mean, anyone could, but why not a Rogue?)
      • Aethon not leaving the party
      • Trap detection and removal not working on Halos’s crates

    Some other ideas:

    • Finishing the game. I was thinking about how quick a Cythera speedrun could be. I suspect it would be long-ish, and not a good introduction to the game, so we should be prepared to skip parts of the middle, or not reach the end.

    • Introducing characters from all the elements—Sabinate, Jinrai, Ignae, UrSylph, and Bahoudin. That might fit into a regular playthrough.

    • Using modified data—the Pumpkin Patch, or Bryce’s Fetch/Fishing fixes, or a custom portrait. I wonder if you could make NPCs willing to join the party by default :)

    • The Tree of Life?



  • @Pallas-Athene said in 20.:

    I was thinking about how quick a Cythera speedrun could be. I suspect it would be long-ish, and not a good introduction to the game, so we should be prepared to skip parts of the middle, or not reach the end.

    It might be cool, but yeah, there are probably better uses of stream time. I tried doing a speedrun once, and my first attempt clocked in at a little over two hours. It was a pretty poor speedrun (among other things, I found the time to collect half a dozen sapphire books and talk to Prusa repeatedly, for some reason); I'd guess with practice it can be done in under an hour.



  • @Buzzzzy said in 20.:

    @Pallas-Athene said in 20.:

    I was thinking about how quick a Cythera speedrun could be. I suspect it would be long-ish, and not a good introduction to the game, so we should be prepared to skip parts of the middle, or not reach the end.

    It might be cool, but yeah, there are probably better uses of stream time. I tried doing a speedrun once, and my first attempt clocked in at a little over two hours. It was a pretty poor speedrun (among other things, I found the time to collect half a dozen sapphire books and talk to Prusa repeatedly, for some reason); I'd guess with practice it can be done in under an hour.

    Interesting. That’s faster than I would have thought. Maybe I’ll try a speedrun too. There are a couple of points I’m unclear on, though:

    • After you give Charax the Timeflux book, you have to wait “a while”. Is there a specific timeframe? Seems like a place where advance planning is necessary.
    • Slayer’s Guide indicates that the Opheltius thread is necessary, but it’s not clear why. Does Pelagon not appear in the basement until you finish it (even if you have three Crolna shards)?

    There’s also the question of whether you consider real-time or game-time. I guess beds solve the Charax issue if you’re considering real-time. I’m not sure of a good way to count game-time: you can count days, but the game ends in LKH where you don’t have the sun or a watch. I suppose you could hack the game to make Alaric respond to “time” :)



  • @Pallas-Athene I too was surprised by how much can be done very quickly when playing some yesterday. Selax and I always took time exploring and building characters up, but when I look at the way BW plays the game, she gets basically all the LKH, Odemia, and Catamarca stuff done in one or two visits at the beginning. Plus, you can practically finish the game with next to no fighting, so there's little need to spend time grinding for experience.

    I also toyed with the idea of just playing through the whole thing, but I wonder if we'd need closer to 3 hours. I think it'd be good to leave time to look at dialogue and discuss (not sure how long that'd need), but also showing different archetypes and bugs will take time.

    I'm not sure about the wait for Charax, but for some reason a couple days comes to mind. I agree that the murder investigation seems pointless since there's no real resolution; everyone just shrugs it off afterward. For what it's worth, the hint book claims it's necessary to get the fourth part of the crolna.

    I suppose you could hack the game to make Alaric respond to “time” :)

    😛 That would be hilarious! For speed running purposes, I bet Pandora's box could be used to track the gametime counter as well.



  • @Pallas-Athene said in 20.:

    • After you give Charax the Timeflux book, you have to wait “a while”. Is there a specific timeframe? Seems like a place where advance planning is necessary.
    • Slayer’s Guide indicates that the Opheltius thread is necessary, but it’s not clear why. Does Pelagon not appear in the basement until you finish it (even if you have three Crolna shards)?

    Yep, Pelagon isn't there if you don't wrap up the Opheltius business. Learned that from experience on numerous replays. I think you also have to follow up with "Interview Stentor" if you rushed through the murder thread itself. As for Charax, I'm not sure you actually have to wait. I seem to remember him taking the kelp immediately if you grabbed it unprompted, but I'm not 100% sure.

    @Pallas-Athene said in 20.:

    There’s also the question of whether you consider real-time or game-time. I guess beds solve the Charax issue if you’re considering real-time. I’m not sure of a good way to count game-time: you can count days, but the game ends in LKH where you don’t have the sun or a watch. I suppose you could hack the game to make Alaric respond to “time” :)

    You can use a combination of the estimate time skill and the journal to get an estimate of in-game time. If you finish everything and Direct Nexus into LKH, I think it's safe to assume it takes less than an hour from there to walk over to Alaric and cure him.

    @Wizard said in 20.:

    I also toyed with the idea of just playing through the whole thing, but I wonder if we'd need closer to 3 hours. I think it'd be good to leave time to look at dialogue and discuss (not sure how long that'd need), but also showing different archetypes and bugs will take time.

    Yeah, I agree. Completion still might not be especially valuable; a speedrun by definition blitzes through a lot of interesting or discussion-worthy parts of the game.



  • I'm too tired to think about what I'd like to see in a lifestream. A speedrun could be possible - it really is a short game, and if you opt to skip things like reading books, earning money, grinding, replicating, talking to Prusa 200 times (looks at Sely), and side-quests, it seems like you could finish in a couple of hours. But, it might be more interesting to focus on what aspects of the game you find particularly interesting.

    Game questions- agree with Buzzy, resolving the Opheltius murder is 100% necessary to scare Pelagon into the kesh grotto. It's Stentor telling you that he saw him in Cademia that triggers it.
    You need to give Charax the timeflux book, the deep sea kelp, and the earthheart mushroom, before you can purify the Crolna. If you have all these, you could give them all in one visit (though would require two dialogues). There is no required wait period - if Charax asked you to leave him alone for a while, it's because you didn't give him what he needs yet.

    Edit: I should also mention that the one thing in the game I remember that requires a significant time wait is the gator skin boots. I think it takes Alastor four in game days, but I don't remember exactly. It's why I always try to give him the gator skin on the first day, but I nearly always end up completing the game before he finishes the boots anyway, I assume if you go with a speedrun, you'd just skip it. Other things that require waiting: talking to Halos if you don't know persuasion (see the character schedule for what times of day he's willing to talk), and getting the Sapphire book of Mercy from Itanos (late in the evening only). Or, you know, talking to anyone if it's the middle of the night. The Awareness skill is very helpful for keeping track of the time. Did you know if you have the awareness aptitude, you can start using it before you've even learned it?



  • @453 said in 20.:

    Did you know if you have the awareness aptitude, you can start using it before you've even learned it?

    Ah, no wonder you like the rogue so well! That is certainly the best archetype for a speed run then, although I was pondering an explorer simply to have a balance of mana and casting to show some of the magic.

    Your notes about the schedules are excellent, and it seems like careful planning can make the game very short. Have you tried a speed run, BW? I'm curious how quickly you could do the full game. I'm betting it'd be pretty quick.

    talking to Prusa 200 times (looks at Sely)

    Selax and I used to trade off the awful job of talking to Prusa repeatedly until getting that silly book. No joke! It was one of the worst parts anytime we played the game... Neither of us was clever enough to figure out the simple pattern of what she says on what day. You've saved us three hours of stream time right there! 😜

    @Buzzzzy that's a great idea about the journal for tracking days! It's actually little features like the journal that would be worth showing, and even though it doesn't take much time itself, you're probably right that we'd lose out on a lot of worthwhile discussion blitzing through everything.



  • For those curious where the speed run discussions went, those posts were mostly moved to a new speedrun-oriented topic.

    Regarding the 20th anniversary livestream, I realized I never updated the final date here. It will be Sept. 13, 8-10pm Central. The stream will be on https://www.twitch.tv/cytheraguides.



  • An interesting discovery and a worthy anniversary to commemorate. I hope the livestream goes very well and may try to stop by if time permits.

    It's funny how time flies. It seems just yesterday that Wizard and I were trying Cythera and throwing it away since we couldn't get anything to work. Happily, we tried again and were somewhat more successful on the second try...

    @453

    No one had previously been able to discern any pattern in getting the book from Prusa--hence, the "talk to her a ridiculous number of times" strategy. Your discovery of the pattern does indeed save a lot of time.

    @Wizard

    You probably should also mention that gandreas will be stopping by (or so the chat on Discord indicates).



  • Just a reminder that the livestream is coming up tomorrow night. There's a possibility of Glenn Andreas and/or Richard Moss stopping by!



  • The event has been saved to YouTube: https://youtu.be/gLCl7elzN-s. We ended up completing the full game in a somewhat leisurely speedrun, with frequent interjections to look at things like side quests and characters, bug fixes, and hacks/mods.

    Thanks for getting this started, @Pallas-Athene! It was a lot of fun.

    Glenn Andreas did join us in the text chat, and he offered some interesting points for discussion. I feel satisfied that most of the technical details and leftover in-game content have been addressed, with the most cryptic responses relating to things that would tie into a Cythera sequel. Who knows, maybe we'll see that one day?



  • Thank you for all the work you did figuring out the technology to make this happen, Wizzy and Fiery! Thank you to Gandreas and Bryce for returning to the Cythera community to share some of their extensive Cythera knowledge. And thanks for all the Cytherans who showed up and made the event so fun ^_^ This event revitalized the community for the couple of weeks leading up to it, and that was really pleasant. Thank you for continuing to love Cythera, everyone!

    Edit: I guess I'll see if I can post the text-chat transcript in here. Edit 2: Sorry, I can't figure out. On the old forum I would have used maybe the "code" tag so it wouldn't take over the entire page and the weird symbols like smilie faces wouldn't mess up the whole message.... but the code tag here does not seem to do those things. Sorry, I haven't experimented much with the new forum.



  • Could you upload the transcript as an attachment? We can figure out if there’s a better way from there.



  • @453 said in 20.:

    Thank you for continuing to love Cythera, everyone!

    P.S. The way you said this feels very Japanese to me.

    みんなさん、サイシーラをご愛し続けてありがとうございます!


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