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The moral of the story of Ego Draconis kinda s*cks #672821
23/08/20 07:00 PM
23/08/20 07:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
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Strato Incendus Offline OP
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Strato Incendus  Offline OP
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In parallel to replaying Dragon Knight Saga, I'm currently also replaying the UbiSoft game Hype The Time Quest. Another game from my childhood with a suprisingly deep story, and a game which I sometimes think maybe inspired some of the decisions in the design of Divinity 2. Given that Larian and UbiSoft collaborated on some earlier games of the Divinity series, maybe that isn't too far fetched.

Anyways, it's just now that I started paying attention to the "themes" of the stories of those games. Hype The Time Quest is all about the main character being humble whereas the antagonists are being corrupted by their power. The narrator even asks at the end if there is a moral to the story, and if there is, it would be about humility.

Well, that got me thinking about the moral of the story of Ego Draconis specifically. I don't know if Flames of Vengeance was planned from the beginning, but if it wasn't...

...well, then the moral is kind of that you weren't ideologically blinded enough? And that maintaining your closed dragonslayer world view of dragon knights being the evil ones would have been the right thing to do?

Lucian says the reason you were susceptible to Talana's / Ygerna's manipulation is because your mind was still vulnerable after the initiation. You can clearly see how no other dragonslayer even has the patience to listen to your story (well, except for Kenneth, but being a prisoner of Sentinel Island and at your mercy, he doesn't really have a choice). Throughout your transformation process into a dragon knight, this ideological blindness of the dragonslayers is framed a a bad thing - but ultimately, at least a far as Ego Draconis is concerned, they were right:

Had you just killed "Talana" like you originally intended, Broken Valley wouldn't have been destroyed, Aleroth wouldn't have been overrun by undead, Ygerna wouldn't have been revived. Every other dragonslayer would have been shielded against Ygerna's temptation by their own ideological blindness and zealotry.

Even in Flames of Vengeance, you merely get to rectify your mistake from the main game.

I'm not saying this is the message the developers were intending to send. In fact, the twist at the ending of the game seems to me like an early case of the infamous "subversion of expectations" (Star Wars VIII, Game of Thrones Season 8): A plot twist for plot twist's sake - and maybe even one that runs against the intended theme of the story, causing the plot twist to fail. It only causes frustration for viewers / players, for no apparent reason because it doesn't enhance the message of the story.

Last edited by Strato Incendus; 23/08/20 07:02 PM.
Re: The moral of the story of Ego Draconis kinda s*cks [Re: Strato Incendus] #672832
23/08/20 08:36 PM
23/08/20 08:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 392
Between Ghent and Aleroth
Lotrotk Offline

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Between Ghent and Aleroth
I don't know about the moral, but I sure know the developers learned to regret the ending of Ego Draconis. It turned out many players were very, Very upset with the plot twist.
Me personally, I found it hilarious (I was thinking of all people who would not get the joke, had no idea back then how spot on that statement was).

Sorry that I interrupted your topic, I just wanted to clear out that you may get reactions from people on why they didn't like the plot rather then why there was that plot (and what morals that come with it).

To answer one of your questions though: I don't believe that Flames of Vengeance was originally planned. There was obviously some sequel for Ego Draconis' story in mind but I don't believe it would have had the same storyline if it weren't for people's frustrations with the plot of the previous title. I think the idea was to get Lucian the Divine much more involved in a completely new game.

Eventually the original game got patched in the form of an expansion, to (1) fix all technical issues with ED and (2) give the audience a more satisfying end. The name Flames of Vengeance itself is referring to the ending of ED after all.

The Dragon Knight Saga was put to a pause and thus came Dragon Commander and Original Sin.

I can tell you for sure that Ego Draconis' plot was under heavy debate within the team internally, as it is clearly stated on page 78 of the Developer's Journal.

Last edited by Lotrotk; 23/08/20 09:19 PM.
Re: The moral of the story of Ego Draconis kinda s*cks [Re: Strato Incendus] #672891
24/08/20 09:45 AM
24/08/20 09:45 AM
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Strato Incendus Offline OP
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Thanks for your explanation! wink Is this Developer's Journal included in the Developer's Cut? Maybe I've ignored it so far and should take a look at it (meaning, I do own Developer's Cut, I just didn't spend a lot of time looking at the extra documents). wink

Quote
Me personally, I found it hilarious (I was thinking of all people who would not get the joke, had no idea back then how spot on that statement was).


I guess I'm one of them, then. laugh What joke are you referring to?

Quote
It turned out many players were very, Very upset with the plot twist.


Well, imagine my shock. Star Wars VIII / Game of Thrones Season 8 all over again. Or rather, way before that; maybe the backlash to Ego Draconis should have been a warning to Rian Johnson as well as David Benioff and D.B. Weiss... ^^



I'm bringing up this comparison because of the issue of rewatch / replay value. Game of Thrones Season 8 for example completely ruined the rewatch value of the series to me.

Dragon Knight Saga, in contrast, has a very high replay value in my opinion, but that's because of the great gameplay itself, not because of the course the story takes. In fact, my brother and I agree that the game gets worse and worse the further it progresses:

- the best RPG part is Broken Valley
- Sentinel Island is a little less diverse in its landscape and challenges
- the Orobas Fjords are still fun, but quite disconnected, with various random quests you have to fly to
- the Flying Fortresses start out extremely hard but then become extremely repetitive
- Aleroth is just a small strip of land with a hugely annoying quest
- and then the ending finds a way to make everything even worse

Flames of Vengeance, while giving you the chance to rectify your mistake and providing a new type of experience - more like a crime / horror story set in a fantasy city, with all the investigation and the undead running around - this novelty dies off quickly once you realise the entire game is limited to Aleroth. Which is made worse once you find out that the developers were actually working on another Broken-Valley-type area but ran out of time. The only dragon section in FoV is the opposite of enjoyable, and when you finally finish the game...

I was at least hoping for the soul connection to work as intended, so that my re-killing of Ygerna would also kill Damian. Thus, reviving her made him stronger and was a detour in Ego Draconis, but eventually, you still could have used her as a tool to defeat Damian. Instead, everything is right where you left off when you first met Talana, except a bunch of people are dead now that probably wouldn't be otherwise.

Last edited by Strato Incendus; 24/08/20 09:55 AM.
Re: The moral of the story of Ego Draconis kinda s*cks [Re: Strato Incendus] #672894
24/08/20 10:14 AM
24/08/20 10:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 392
Between Ghent and Aleroth
Lotrotk Offline

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Lotrotk  Offline

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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 392
Between Ghent and Aleroth
Your points are all valid, though I personally disagree on the Aleroth part in FoV, I found it surprisingly amusing!
And at times I found the Orobas Fjords at least as much fun as Broken Valley.
That being sad, I still love Ego Draconis as a whole.

And the Developer's journal also states that Broken Valley was indeed the area that received the most love from it's makers
(actually I find this pattern in pretty much every Divinity game: the first level/area gets the most attention, I would not be surprised if the same goes for BG3).

The Developer's journal is included on gog and the physical edition of Developer's cut, don't know about Steam.

Last edited by Lotrotk; 24/08/20 10:16 AM.
Re: The moral of the story of Ego Draconis kinda s*cks [Re: Strato Incendus] #672895
24/08/20 10:17 AM
24/08/20 10:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 392
Between Ghent and Aleroth
Lotrotk Offline

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Lotrotk  Offline

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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 392
Between Ghent and Aleroth
The joke? The joke was on all us players, who so foolishly thought they had vanquished evil forever! Hah! Boy was I taken by surprise.

Re: The moral of the story of Ego Draconis kinda s*cks [Re: Strato Incendus] #673042
25/08/20 02:18 AM
25/08/20 02:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 701
Eastern Washington state, USA
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caninelegion Offline
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But, then there could be no sequel. smile


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