What was the point? *SPOILERS*

#1Cinder6Posted 4/14/2012 12:04:13 AM
I don't mean "what's the point" in a negative way. I just finished the game, and while I may have missed some vital clue, I just can't figure out a satisfying explanation. It could also be that we're not meant to know, but it's a bit annoying if that's the case.

What's the point of the dungeon? Why throw prisoners in? My only answer is that the King wants to resurrect the Undying One--but why? And if that's his wish, why not simply send in soldiers--lots of them? That'd be a lot more efficient, and effective. I'm not even going to get into my questions as to why we're fighting an overgrown Companion Cube.

I guess what's annoying is that it doesn't deliver on its promises. To me, the narrative (light though it may be) promised three things:

1. To explain the mystery of Grimrock. This is partially explained if you infer things, but some important details aren't (see above).
2. To show us who Toorum is/was. Toorum is your only link to the world, really, and his musings on the creators of the dungeon and the King's reasons were interesting. This ties back into 1.
3. To either let you gain freedom, or have a surprising and satisfying twist that explains why you can't. A random load-bearing boss doesn't cut it.

But, as I said, maybe I missed a couple notes. I tried to be very thorough, not moving on to the next level until I'd mapped out the current one, but as we all know, there are a lot of hidden switches, and they are easy to miss. I did really enjoy the game, but I find myself dissatisfied with the end. (And I'm going to laugh if it turns out there's an alternate ending that you can trigger somehow, such as by jumping down to 13 after you kill Cubey, but before it goes Samson on us).

Thoughts?
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#2tzuydPosted 4/15/2012 3:09:09 AM
From what I gathered from the in game notes, the King likely didn't know what was at the bottom of the mountain; only that nobody has ever returned.

Sounds like a great way to alleviate an overcrowded prison system. And if anybody ever actually makes it out, they can come back and tell the King what's there. It's a win-win.

As far as I can tell, your points 1 and 3 are answered satisfactorily.

The only plot hole-type thing that bothered me was that Big Bad was supposed to only be incapacitatable; but instead it exploded.
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#3BettyUboaPosted 4/15/2012 6:05:17 AM
I was waiting for one of these to pop up. I streamed the entirety of the game, and some of the people watching were rather dis-satisfied with the ending. Personally, I didn't care much, as these games have historically always had completely terrible endings. For instance, Eye of the Beholder's original ending.

The mountain was basically just used as a glorified execution. You toss people into a death pit nobody has ever come back from to get rid of them. It's doubtful anyone even knew what was inside to any degree at all.

It's hard to fully infer the whole Mindflayer/Clockwork Cube relation thing and how stuff got done originally, but they do state there's multiple cubes at one point. Whether Clockwork Cube/Undying One was the only one they couldn't figure out how to disable or was just the only one they managed to beat isn't made clear. Neither is the random nuclear explosion at the end, that was just kind of '..what'.

The one thing that people seemed to complain about most when I was doing it was that Clockwork Cube had no motivation for turning on you at all. You've killed his captors, repaired his body, set him free, and all you want is for him to roll over to a door and go 'Oh yeah, the exit's right here, have fun.' There is just no reason for it to risk death by going after you. I know they want a final boss and all, but why does it have to be so random and out of place? Clockwork Cube being some kind of machine was hinted strongly through the whole thing, as was the whole 'elder god/Cthulhu' vibe going on, but they didn't really have to have it turn on you in such a cliche manner.

Also from a gameplay perspective, that final boss fight was a pain. Keys that open caches of entirely useless goods while a cube rolls at you that can instagib you while a dozen and a half respawning small fry get in your way so he can squash you. Once I got him disassembled, I killed him in literally 2 combat rounds. It wasn't even a challenge, just tedious and somewhat annoying.
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#4Cinder6(Topic Creator)Posted 4/15/2012 10:00:40 AM
I apparently missed Toorum's last note, so I did not realize that he had died. Point #2 is taken care of.

But there are still certain aspects of Grimrock itself that aren't explained well. Why was it designed so that you had to travel down, not up? The implication is so that Cubey couldn't escape. But...why build such an elaborate set of dungeons to house an inert cube? Here's all you have to do: Disassemble the thing and destroy the pieces (if you can) or scatter them across the world (if you can't). If you can't fully disassemble him, just take those four pieces and drop them in the ocean. And then fill the slots they went in with cement (which they obviously had the technology for at one point) or clay.

#3 isn't satisfied, because a plot-hole explosion wiping you out isn't satisfying.

My thought that the King wanted to revive the cube was because of something the cube says when you do just that. It says something like "Your only purpose was to release me". I may reload the save right before that point just to see exactly what it said.

Like I said, I really enjoyed the game, and I've started a second play through. And I know these games usually have crap stories, but I actually had some decent expectations for this one, both because storytelling in gaming has improved a bit and because it was actually pretty intriguing in the beginning. The story detracts from the end, though. I personally thought the high-tech stuff in levels 12 and 13 were too jarring and broke the immersion of the game. I would have preferred a more "standard" biological elder god scenario.

(Actually, I was expecting something like the end of Shadow of the Colossus for some reason.)

Again, I'm not trying to troll, just to generate discussion beyond the "OMG I hate casting" topics.
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stop picking on balloon fight. - kuddy53
PSN: Cinder6 | My backlog: http://backloggery.com/cinder6
#5cloakedboltzPosted 4/15/2012 10:54:29 AM

From: BettyUboa | #003
Clockwork Cube being some kind of machine was hinted strongly through the whole thing, as was the whole 'elder god/Cthulhu' vibe going on, but they didn't really have to have it turn on you in such a cliche manner.


Yeah it's a machine, so you would think it used logic, but noooo...
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#6BettyUboaPosted 4/15/2012 4:10:03 PM
I wouldn't say the machinery in the end was really all that advanced. It was just basic gearwork, and they had stuff equally advanced in ancient egypt. How exactly did you think all the other machinery worked in the earlier levels? It wasn't ALL magic.
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Die the death! Sentence to death! Great equalizer is the death!
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#7Cinder6(Topic Creator)Posted 4/15/2012 4:54:47 PM
The manufacturing process simply to create the walls of the place were far more advanced than in earlier levels. They also had electricity.
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stop picking on balloon fight. - kuddy53
PSN: Cinder6 | My backlog: http://backloggery.com/cinder6
#8larryboy_dragonPosted 4/15/2012 5:00:00 PM
Well...
The Classic rpgs this game is based on didn't really have strong stories. The plot in Grimrock is about par for the genre.
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#9PZSFirebirdPosted 4/15/2012 5:42:01 PM
i missed a few notes so i never did realize he actually died,other than that i have to admit the ending felt pretty empty wich is one of the few reasons i would not consider this game "perfect" and mostly i felt the cube very very weak,i understand him being undiying and all but it felt like building 10 floors of traps and puzzles just to keep a pretty slow moving cube asleep was overkill,i do hope we get an "expansion" that explains more and gives us a satisfiying end to the adventurers, since i realized you're supposed to be able to choose wich dungeon to run when starting a new game i think that might have been tought out already,and about the kind trowing prisoners down there i think he did not know what was the purpose of the dungeon
#10Ginrummy33Posted 4/15/2012 6:23:39 PM
There is a secret room on the level above where all those ogres and the column/level puzzle was that has Toorum's final note and a pile of his bones (and a nice axe). If you take those bones and touch them to a blue crystal you get the "Friend of Toorum" achievement.