Interesting suggesting. Autonous came to mind as a character who doesn't respond to the typical human dialogue prompts, but I didn't think about his connection to a "bank."
Posts made by 453
RE: Who is Stephen Banks?
This is really interesting! ^_^ I need to take the time to poke around the links you've provided, but when I read this post, the first thing that came to mind was, remember the time gandreas promised to make a custom Cythera portrait for the winner of a chron contest, but never followed through? Isn't the most likely scenario that Stephan Banks' character was unfortunately never added to the game? :( I've read and transcribed every word of dialogue that Bryce could find in the data files, and nothing about this dude was in there. If Mr Banks is somehow a character in the actual game, I could only speculate that he's some kind of inanimate object or mayyyybe a creature you'd expect to be mute like a chicken or something. In this case, would it be possible for this one weird dialogue to be stored in a completely separate place from the other dialogues?
The Immortal Prophecies of Neleneus the Savant
This is a repeat thread, these topics have been discussed multiple times throughout this community’s history. However, there isn’t much new to talk about, so I thought I’d try to revive this discussion.
First off, the prophecies of Neleneus the Savant, starting with #1:
The day of the Tyrants shall be numbered,
And it shall end with a new order.
The exiles shall return,
And with them, a new leader.
The people shall rejoice,
And Six of them shall rise.
When the Voice of a God speaks
So shall be the first sign.
That which was Lost shall try to return,
But now is not the time for that to be.
The Voice must be destroyed,
For it speaks not the truth.
So shall the last act of the Tyrant be,
Before the Wanderer comes.
With the guidance of a fool,
So shall a new Age begin.
The first prophecy seems pretty straightforward, not as ambiguous as its sequels. It seems clearly to prophesy Alaric’s rise to power (though that does make me wonder, how long ago did Neleneus live?). The only thing slightly confusing to me is "that which was lost shall try to return." I’m assuming that refers to the Abydos mages? But what does trying to return mean - trying to rejoin the rest of civilization in eastern Cythera? They must have had some presence in eastern Cythera, because they initiated people into their cult in the maze under Cademia. Perhaps the Undine always teleported them there and back, like Omen did Bellerophon? (Or is Omen’s Test merely a replica of the original Maze of Initiation?) I’m guessing the prophecy just means "the Cult of Scylla mages snuck back into eastern Cythera and tried to be accepted there, but it ultimately didn’t work out because the Tyrant decided to kill them."
The second prophecy:
Ye shall know the Signs of the Coming of the Second End.
They shall be plague, violence, and treachery.
The Traitors shall be guided as the Hidden were before them.
The Traitors shall not, however, fail as the Hidden.
Look ye, then, for the Omens Five, Proof of the End of the Age.
Sons shall slay fathers, in a game of Power. So is the first Omen.
The Seas shall rise, and the Dead shall walk. This is the second Omen.
A Stranger shall come, and with him Nightmares. This is the third Omen.
The Hidden joining the Traitors, to overcome the Master. This is the fourth Omen.
That which was sundered to four shall be joined, Opener of Ways. This is the fifth Omen.
Against these five Omens, none can stand.
And so shall pass the Age of the Unifier.
First off, the phrase "Second End" - refers to Alaric’s death? Without our knowledge of the plans for Cythera 2, Cythera appears to be a game about saving Alaric. But I wonder if "Second End" is a hint.
"Traitors" - most obvious interpretation is that the Traitors are the Comana brothers, but it’s puzzling that the prophecy says that they will not fail. They seemed to be dead by the end of the game.
"the Hidden" - could refer to the Undine (then who is guiding them?) or the Cult of Scylla mages/liches (then how do they join the Traitors?).
"the Master" - seems like it must refer to Alaric, though in the game fake-Pelagon is the one referred to as master.
I’ve asked Shorty about the prophecy and his explanation was something like this:
"The Comana Bros will be guided (by Undine) as the Cult of Scylla was before them, but the Comana Bros will not fail to upset the balance. …. The Undine (referred to by the same term as the Cult of Scylla because they became part of the cult) will join the Comana Bros to overcome Alaric."
I feel that this must be how we’re expected to interpret the prophecy, but I’m not altogether satisfied with the Hidden referring to different things in different places. Any other interpretations to post? I know we had some interesting ones generated during a Discord discussion a couple of months back.
And in the End of the Second Age, the Great Unifier shall pass.
Upon this leaving, shall chaos and disaster come.
Land and Sea shall part, the middle can not hold.
Air and Fire shall wreck havoc, and Night shall fall.
From the Night to the Next Dawn, what was One shall become Many.
The Bird of Two will bemoan his fate, and that of the Third.
The World shall be sundered before the Coming of the Dawn.
And shattered shall it be ever after.
The void shall not keep the parts of the Whole,
For the powers of the Four Directions shall form a Fifth.
The Four parts of the Opener of Ways, Made One.
This shall be the Key to the Fifth Element.
Those that walk the Fifth Element will Bring the Dawn.
And from those Walkers will be brought a New Order.
Only the Walkers of the New Order shall have the Unified Power,
And those of the Four Directions shall be at their mercy.
How much, do you think, of this prophecy would have taken place behind the scenes before Cythera 2 began, and how much would have taken place during the game?
The first half of this prophecy seems to make sense because of clues that Gandreas has given us. Alaric will die, the island of Cythera will shatter, Magpie will grieve. But all that about the fifth element (aren’t humans the fifth element?), I feel like we haven’t heard much about.
Since any discussion about the third prophecy is also a discussion about Cythera 2, I’m going to include some Gandreas quotes with hints about Cythera 2 (mostly from Seldane’s previous Gandreas quotes topic, but also from the 20th anniversary livestream):
It will involve the Undine, but it will involve some very big events..
The sequel is set "a ways" in the future from the first - and its critical that your character leave for certain key events to happen. Basically, the Undine have lost their most powerful artifact to the hands of their most hated enemy, who now has the opportunity to learn to use it and transcend even his current ability. And the sequel is set after that is "resolved".
(The sequel also requires a new engine, since a certain critical "feature" of the world isn't possible with the current one, and, as far as I know, has never been done in any other CRPG).
Omen will actually be part of "Cythera II:Shattered Realm" (or perhaps "Cythera II:Quest for Alaric") - after all, he has a major score to settle, and can turn up like the cockroach he is (though this time you might even have to trust what he is saying, or then again, maybe not).
Gandreas: Hint: Don't trust anyone - they may be helpful but everyone has their own motives.
This applies to Omen, Magpie, all the Seldane, urSlyph, Tavara, the Mages, even Alaric - basically everybody that has any interests in the actions of the hero/heroine. There is no "good" or "evil" there.
gandreas13: After 20 years, here’s the spoiler: [The Crolna] is an anagram for Loc Nar, which is from the film Heavy Metal.
gandreas13: It was supposed to hint that "hey, this might give me power, but it will go bad for me in the end if I use it"
gandreas13: Don't trust anyone
Mercy453: Don't trust anyone... sounds like a hint about Cythera 2
Mercy453: We trusted the Seldane when we beat the game, now there's going to be consequences
gandreas13: Cythera 2 would have had the subtitle "Shattered Realm"
Mercy453: I wonder if the island of Cythera would have been shattered, or the entire Reality.
gandreas13: It would have been broken into separate floating chunks (which would occasionally line up to let you get from one to the other)
gandreas13: Yeah, one of the first parts would have caused you to find Magpie, who would be driving around a cart with an ornate coffin in the back
Mercy453: Oh my! Was Alaric in the coffin? :o
Neleneus prophecies discussion in "Omen’s little reward"
First prophecy discussion
Second and third prophecy discussion
Third prophecy discussion
Seldane’s collection of Glenn Andreas quotes
Thanks Wizzy! I'll test this out:
This is kinda weird, it appeared as a separate document somehow inside my textedit document, but meh, whatever works.
I had tried the code block thing earlier, but maybe I did it wrong. It didn't seem any different than any other text.
It's so much cuter when you do it in Japanese ^_^ I don't know how to upload attachments either. I can only see eight buttons when I'm typing a message so my options are super limited. There's a button to upload an image (I'm not sure if I could lie and say the text is an image?) but I don't have image-uploading privileges.
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.
RE: Cythera Speedruns
Wow, that checklist has everything! I can see that I would need to make something similar if I were to truly speedrun the game. But I probably won't, since I find it more stressful than enjoyable :\ But watching you and Wizzy do it is fun!
Notes on Buzzy's fourth (18 min) video:
- How did you come up with the brilliant name 'abc'?
- Hector had way too easy a time with those polyps in the citadel!
- Did you speed up the going to sleep and waking up process? I know that just clicking the mouse can speed up the fade-out, but this seemed faster than I’ve seen before.
- Attack a trapdoor. "You could have simply opened it." I kinda agree with the log there - was 'A' easier to hit than 'U'?
- Maayti: Another instance of giant crabs being considered dead bodies or blood @_@ I never knew crabs were so glitchy.
- Did I ever mention how awesome I think it is that your Cythera machine has lasted at least 3149 days? ^_^
RE: Cythera Speedruns
Comments on Buzzy's third (20 min) video:
- Do you think it was quite safe to throw the map onto the lamp?
- So one bomb doesn’t kill Eudoxus?
- I appreciate that you included the log in the video ^_^ Especially when you were attempting to get the kelp from the vat of wine. "The vat isn’t locked…" "You can’t take a vat!" (: I love it because that’s totally me when I’m trying to be fast. (I also hate how you have to actually click on a locked door to use your keys, you can’t just use an arrow button.)
- You made that Sapphire glitch look so easy! I always thought the glitch required throwing the false books on the floor and picking them back up. It looked like you could move them from your pouch into your inventory, while still keeping them in your pouch?
Idea: Would the Cythera Menu Patch save any walking time?
I tried to do a "speedrun" using Ignae as my character (invincible, can fly), but it still took me about an hour! I forgot to check exactly how long. Speed is so stressful for me, I want to do everything "right" and I end up having to backtrack. I also neglected to get any followers, which forced me to fight my way out from enemies surrounding me on a few occasions. I obviously was a pretty weak character, so that was time consuming even though I was in no danger. Got slowed down by harpies both times I visited Jhiaxus...
In summary, I have much respect for how well you've been able to speed through the game, Wizzy and Buzzy ^_^
Edit: I've installed the menu patch now and I feel like it speeds up travel significantly. However, it may also make it harder to control your character, so I'm curious whether this feature would be helpful for a speedrun.
RE: Cythera Speedruns
Comments on Wizzy's third (23 min) video:
- Did you mess up the final buttons-puzzle, but finish it just as quickly anyway? Nice.
- Polyp cave didn’t go great… Hector died and then Timon refused to go through the hole, costing precious seconds! (And then later Timon died, so maybe his reluctance to descend to the next level of the cave was justified?)
Not much to comment on anymore since y'all seem to seriously have this down to a science. I don't know how I feel about skipping the whole Jhiaxus plot, which I feel like the game really intends to be mandatory, but it is undeniably effective at reducing play time ^_^
RE: Cythera Speedruns
I think you can actually just kill the beggar without anyone caring. Would even technically increase your karma... Kinda sad.
I experimented a little bit with awakening Charax to set up the distiller. I'm now pretty sure Wizzy's mistake was in his position. In Cythera, characters can not move around obstacles diagonally. So when Wizzy stood between the wine urn and the desk, he effectively blocked Charax from getting to the distiller. This can be fixed by standing by the head of Charax's bed when awakening him (though if you have any followers, you probably have to make sure they're out of the way too). My original idea of blocking the door was a terrible one; if Charax can't get to the distiller, it doesn't matter if he's inside or outside. I crashed my game too :x
RE: Cythera Speedruns
Interesting, thanks Wizzy! I want to experiment with that a little bit sometime.
Comments on Buzzy's second (29 min) video:
- Ahh, so that’s how you got the bombs! I was wondering if you’d found some way to skirt around Omen teleporting you back to LKH, so that you could steal the bombs there. You could potentially get a fourth bomb, if it would be worthwhile, just by taking the one intended to complete the test.
- In contrast with Wizzy’s videos, you took the time to beg Emesa for food. Food seems like it could be worthwhile, to protect your followers’ regeneration rates. However, you can’t divide food without risking someone eating Jinrai’s bread…
- Do you always play as a female character? Or does she just look faster than the guy?
- You took Eudoxus’ helmet, but not his mace. I think if I try this again, I’ll try mace as my primary weapon. It’s nearly as good as a short sword, and much better at bashing doors.
- I can’t believe Ariadne never gets killed by Eudoxus’ henchies. Once I forgot to destroy the spike trap and she was killed by that on the way back through -_-
- You must have been so frustrated when a random beggar blocked you in an alley and wasted five seconds :P
- I am super confused. When you’re going up toward the magic staff, it sounds like three spells are being cast. The log isn’t shown in the video, so I have no clue what’s going on. You haven’t learned magic, and don’t have Timon in the party…
- For a second I thought Dryas was going to get blasted by the bomb! Good thing you didn’t have any followers besides him and Hector!
- Interesting - there’s no need to get Halos’s side of the story at all during the murder.
- Steal a potion in order to get Palaestra to stop teaching her class and talk to you about wine was really clever! I would not have thought of that.
- The number of arrows or Mystic Arrows that are needed to take down the hydra seems to vary wildly :\
RE: Cythera Speedruns
As far as I can tell, Ake will talk to you as long as no other NPC is on the screen. I've had her tell me everything through the window if the other NPCs are out of sight, but it's definitely easier to go into the house.
Really? That is interesting! I always thought she had to be closed off. Why then did she refuse to talk to you un the video? Because there were chickens on screen?
RE: Cythera Speedruns
Comments on Wizzy's second (32 minute) video:
- A bit of time wasted talking to Ake. Remember, you need to close the doors and window shutters so that you cannot see outside in order for her to divulge any information (and even then, she'll only ask you for a midnight garden meeting unless you know persuasion).
- Going from LKH to iron mine: You took the seldane portal to headwater. Is that faster than just taking the underground to titan’s pass? You have to load the Ayrit and Headwater zones, your way.
- Don’t the undine say the crolna is a weapon? I feel like you should be able to use it to blast away all those crabs.
- Speaking of crabs. What on earth was going on when you were mystic arrow-ing them? You seemed to be attacking a living crab, but the log said you "reduced its body to ooze" and then "blood critically wounded" what??
- Oh dear, several seconds wasted on paralysis :( I guess waking up a mage by force is a dangerous undertaking. (Actually I didn’t notice if Charax or Timon paralyzed you, but Charax seemed super ticked off.)
- You’re going to go to sleep while your follower is poisoned? (You wake up and step carefully around Timon’s dead body) Yeah, saw that coming.
- Another paralysis? :o Dude don’t step on the moss!
Very impressive video though! I can't believe how fast you could finish, without any cheating or bug exploitation, and that's with two paralyses and a second journey to Charax!
RE: Cythera Speedruns
I was wondering if I could Fetch away the secret door in Kosha, thereby allowing the Odemia arc to be skipped.
Yep, due to the Tlepolemus-pipes bug, using Fetch is the only way into the grotto in you let Ariadne die. Even that won’t work with the bugfix patch, but maybe someday someone will fix the Tlepolemus thing so you can buy pipes from him ^_^
The Sapphire Book bug can be used so that only one book need be found. Unfortunately, the game bugged out on me in the sixth hall,
What happened? I guess I’ll find out when I watch Buzzy’s video, but I remember that the Sapphire glitch had some unpleasant side-effects, like deleting myself from the game (I was just an empty space with no items or skills). It’s not a trick I really recommend abusing..
Unfortunately, while it’s clear where the progression from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 are, I can’t find the code that starts the murder thread itself. Maybe it’s in some common subroutine that I haven’t disassembled. Does anyone know what exactly triggers it?
I remember one of the first times I played Cythera (close to 20 years ago, I guess), I just could not get the murder to trigger. I’d keep going to Cademia and scream “go to jail, Halos! >:[“ to no avail. My brother said I just needed to accuse Pelagon of being dead, but that didn’t work. I was frustrated because I so desperately wanted Dryas to join my party. Eventually I managed to trigger it by meeting Myus. Or so I thought... now I guess Myus had nothing to do with it, but my point was that triggering the murder is a little more complicated that it seems. It looks like you need to resolve the kidnapping and plague, take Stentor his net and discuss Pelagon’s death, meet Halos, and accuse Pelagon of being dead, but I wonder how I had missed any of those back in the day.
RE: Cythera Speedruns
I did wind up learning Resist Fire for the 29m run, but going back out the volcano isn't really worth it. Resist Fire + the potion don't quite get you through the lava twice, so you'll still usually need Timon to heal you a couple times on the way out (which wastes time), and the volcano itself is three maps long, which isn't much shorter than just heading back to the mine the long way.
I am puzzled. I feel certain that in most Cythera games I've played, I've used Resist Fire just one time to get across the lava field and back. It lasts way longer than the potion. I feel like the duration should be plenty for both directions.
I didn't think about the path through the volcano to the mine nearly equalling the path from LKH to the mine. You guys really map it out!
Both Speedy McSpeedface (37m) and Run! (29m) reached level 4 and just used the sword from the beginning.
Nice! I think that proves that you receive experience from completing tasks even if you never bothered to get assigned those tasks ^_^
RE: Cythera Speedruns
If you're going to cheat your character species, go with a ghost :P Can fly, and also invincible. But cheating does take the challenge away. I've watched the first two videos now, won't have time to watch the second two today, but wanted to post my comments:
Buzzy's first video:
- I thought it clever how you stole Emesa dough instead of mixing and kneading your own. Scummy, but time saving! ^_^
- Using the death strike scroll on Eudoxus seems a very good use of it! But leaving the other ruffians alive and leading Ariadne through them was risky!
- One thing I failed at when I attempted a speedplay was not bothering to get tasks before completing them. I've always wanted my to-do list to be full of check-off items, but this isn't practical in a speed-run. Buzzy has it down ^_^
- Not bothering to talk to Mantinea. Yeah, I guess if you're not bothering to get Aethan, she's just a waste of time.
- You could have saved a few seconds from going to Ayrit directly from Timon's ruins, rather than taking the long way around. I guess that doesn't really matter.
- Not having a full conversation with Halos was my favourite part of the whole video :D You seriously learned Persuasion and talked to Propontis just to say hi and bye to Halos. Seriously, imagine a stranger approached you and you had the following conversation:
You: I am really quite busy now, could you come back later?
Stranger: But please, this is important.
You: Very well.
Stranger: Your brother sent me to talk to you.
You: Oh? That does sound important.
Stranger: Bye. leaves.
... some people would call that rude ^_^ (Now imagine you later discovered the only reason the stranger initiated the conversation was so that you'd be unfairly thrown in jail.)
- I don't think there's any need to talk to Berossus before getting Dryas and talking to Stentor.
- I think grabbing LKH's Smith's Friend Potion would have been worthwhile for Land's End. It's very short-lasting though. I feel like Resist Fire is worthwhile to learn, because it saves you having to cast Directed Nexus to get out of there, and you could get back to Jhiaxus faster.
- You don't need to walk all the way through the lava, just most of it. You could skip the last three steps or so and throw the bread from there.
- Your character sounded like she had a weapon when she attacked a crab. What weapon did you give her? I completely missed that.
- I guess that leads into a whole other point about the video only showing the game screen. I miss a lot from not being able to see the log and the character windows. It's nice being able to see a bigger picture though.
- What level did you get to by the end of the game? I am curious because without defeating enemies or completing quests, it's hard to imagine you got past level two or three...
- I wonder whether bashing open doors would be a worthwhile use of time. Killing eudoxus is mandatory (well, I guess not mandatory, but much faster than tricking the game into deciding you've already completed that quest, I think), so there's a guaranteed free mace. Could save you the trouble of sleeping until Alaric's on duty (or save Wizzy the trouble of blindly searching the closed off room for him ^_^).
- I also would have picked up the light staff while getting the timeflux book. This has been a dark video!
- Lots of death in the polyp cave. I don't see how that can be avoided without leveling up :(
- After talking to Sabinate, why not take the portal to Headwater?
Overall, this speedplay was amazing! I don't think I could ever even come close! Speed is definitely stressful for me, and I want to complete everything and get strong. I'm not sure if I'll try again, but I think Buzzy and Wizzy are killing it ^_^
I wanted to comment on Wizzy's first video too, but I've run out of time :\ Maybe someday I'll catch up with this thread!
Also, I was totally surprised to hear crabs of all things are one of the main problems. I guess I never appreciated just how formidable a crab can be when you have total-newbie stats.
Edit: Actually I'm going to try to pound out those comments really quick. I don't have many, because I covered most stuff when commenting on Buzzy's video.
Wizzy's first video:
- I'm not a fan of asking followers to "attack target" because it seems to undue whatever other strategy you asked them to do. It's just a pain to micromanage. I always used Attack Strongest, Weakest, or Nearest. Not sure which one is the best, but "weakest" would make sense, since followers have no sense of direction, and taking out the weakest enemy first seems wise.
- You took an extra step to get the seldane disks placed. I honestly always do it the same way and never considered other solutions to that simple little puzzle.
- My favourite part of this video was when you had Timon heal you... then quickly fled from the battle, leaving your followers to be devoured by crabs ^_^
- In Maayti: you backtracked even though you could have gotten through going ahead, then got cornered by crabs. You may have gotten cornered anyway, but...
- When trying to find Alaric through the locked door later: You’re searching way too high ^_^ Seems faster to bash the door, if you’d grabbed Eudoxus’ mace..
- Why (in the polyp cave) did you move light-staff from Timon to you? Is it because you knew he'd die?
- You know that when you get resurrected from the dead, the first thing you want to do is monologue about your research and how joining a band of adventurers will aid it :D
- Just noticed you have no regeneration ring o_O
- You skirted the coast to get to Charax’s house. This confused me, I actually thought you must be going to the scylla temple, but I couldn’t see how that would be worthwhile in a speedrun. Is the coastal route less likely to be ambushed by polyps?
- The ending was sad. The first two times you used Awaken on him were fine, but when he tried to go to his distiller, he accidentally went outside and couldn’t figure out how to get back in… The moral of this story is, don’t wake up scientists from a dead sleep and ask them to perform huge world-changing experiments. (He was even labelled "person sleeping" while you talked to him, he was obviously not fully awake). I do wonder if you had locked the door shut (or blocked it), maybe it would have worked?
RE: Cythera Speedruns
I had a go a speedrun and wasn't able to beat Buzzy's time. I clocked in at 1hr47m. Speedrunning is hard! I definitely wasted time doing extra things like killing enemies and gathering sapphire books, but even so, I skipped most of the side-quests. I also had trouble fumbling with the controls a lot because I've just finished playing Exile II and have gotten used to its much-more-awkward controls @_@ Anyway, I think it would take a lot of practice to get a speedrun under an hour.
RE: Cythera Speedruns
Nice, Buzzy! I'm sure I've never beat the game that quickly, I always get distracted wanting to build up my character and experiment on things. (Unless you count a cheating-playthrough, but I don't think I've ever timed that either.) Running around in the dark could be solved by sleeping until the sun rises or using the major embrightenment / daylight spell (the spell isn't great because it's buggy and goes out when you kill thing that turn into corpses). The magic staff, available pretty close to the beginning of the game, is another option for light, though does not light up the whole screen. But any of these options will probably add a little time to the playthrough.
To learn Awareness, you need to scare Meleager by showing him a scary creature like a Seldane or a demon. So the fastest way to do it without risking being killed by a demon, would be to visit Jhiaxus right away. But unless you visited Sabinate first, you won't be able to understand him, so you'll have to come back again later, which wastes time...