I played Four Serpents on Kongregate and I accidentally discovered that there is a sequel but on itch.io instead. Great game just like the first one. Will there be a third?
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As a starving The Thing fan I simply had to try this. Takes about 5 minutes to finish and that's only because of the incredibly slow movement speed.
I also wish there was an option to disable head bobbing and the black bars, but I understand they are there for the "cinematic" experience. I'd still want them disabled.
The fleshlight was pretty much useless too.
Will come back if more gets released. If anyone knows more The Thing inspired fan games, please do let me know in the replies.
Marking down their locations was never a part of this guide.
Besides, most (all?) of them you will have to interact with for the main story. Don't think you can miss anyone in this game.
And when you see them once, you can always use the library place to fight them again regardless of their original location.
I don't really play this game outside of major updates.
But I updated it now based on the information that a friend provided on our Discord server. Go test them out cause I haven't done it myself.
Just went through the current Ken route and everything was fantastic.
The music, the starry night sky in the backgrounds, the character designs, the story from start to finish was engaging and a rollercoaster of emotions.
Ken himself is just perfect. Both visually and as a character. He's not your generic, dangerous-looking, perfect boy with no flaws. He's damaged, his dark past shaping him into a person he has to be now instead of being the person he wants to be. The conflict between the two is a great way to develop a character. It's also a great way to get the reader interested in the character and crave for more.
That's where I'm at now myself. I can't wait to see so much more of Ken and where the "road" will take him next.
Oh and one last thing, Nikko's art style is a blessing for the eyeballs.
Peculiar, I rebooted the game now (haven't played it since I posted this comment, nor have I rebooted my PC) just to check if I can reproduce the issue with Beton and jack off/toy play. But both work now.
Can't check the Beryllus dialogue though cause I can't trigger the discussion again.
One difference now is that I can no longer get kicked out to the main menu after I do the romance scene. Maybe one of those broke something?
My steps today were to unlock everyone's last romance option for the first time, so after each one I got the credits roll and then back to main menu. Eventually I came to Beton and just got empty text fields and no sprites. Clicked through it and it put me back in the game. Opened his replay scene for the affinity tab and same thing. Then I went to use the toys/jack off for it to be evening so that I can get to the Twins and a few underwear, but I couldn't click on the icon in the bottom right corner. Had to close the game using Alt + F4, but the same thing happened again after a reboot.
Very odd cause now everything seems to work.
Yes, I know there is another thread about this now. But since I've been doing this for over a year I might as well continue with the updates.
The guide has been updated to the current version (v0.10.5)
When Beryllus talks to Liam at the end, there's one sentence where Beryllus tells Liam that he's a great storyteller. But the nametag for Beryllus is not visible.
In 0.10.5 Beton's romance scene doesn't play. Just empty text boxes and suddenly the credits roll.
If you decide to play with your toys or jack off, you can't stop the scene.
I went into this game expecting nothing. Was bored and just needed something to pass the time.
The next thing I knew it was 3am and I should really go get some rest, but the "just one more thing" vibe was strong.
Definitely going to play more of this and pay attention to future updates.
Best character ever? Tuon the blacksmith. He's absolutely precious.
Went into this last night expecting nothing cause I knew nothing about this project. Assumed wrongly that this is your standard FVN made for hornies.
Ended up having a stupid amount of fun. Finished it in one sitting and I laughed often and facepalmed while I chuckled even more.
It's like a cartoon you used to like as a teen, but now as an adult you love it cause you finally understand the jokes.
The cast is so loveable, the story I am not buying at the moment but who cares cause I definitely want to see more.
New reader, just finished the whole thing.
Art style => Amazing. maybe some things could be refined, but that's just me being nitpicky. For example, Mark's mouth movement is a little bit odd to me. Maybe Grey's shoulders look slightly dislocated. Again, just nitpicks for the sake of nitpicks. The billboard text in one of the background images gave me a good laugh.
OST => God tier, think I am going to listen to some of these tracks while I am at work or while I read a book.
SFX => To me, this is probably the best thing in the game so far. I'm a huge sucker for VNs that use SFX properly, and boy does this project use them well. Makes everything come to life. Love love LOVE it!
Immersiveness => When I saw how much attention to detail was put in this, my jaw dropped. When Grey's sprite shrunk that one time to give the illusion of him moving towards a door in the background. More of that, please. And don't get me started on many many other things that sprites do while they are on the screen to additionally amplify their emotions and their movements based on the dialogue. Combine that with some font animations and how only the sprite that is currently talking lights up while others go dark and you get some high quality immersive experience.
Story => Not sure I am buying everything that the story is selling so far, but that's probably because we are in the "early game/setting the stage" and a lot of stuff is still vague on purpose. I assume that things will pick up the pace fairly soon and it'll become a true page-turner. The mature theme of it all and a creepy atmosphere makes the whole project very very enjoyable as well. I am so bored of the never ending number of projects that are just about generic slice of life romance stories usually with a cast of characters in high school. That's why projects like this are so refreshing and very welcome in my opinion.
Keep up the amazing work, I am definitely coming back for more!
As I said in my OP, the start of the game, especially build 1, felt like a template of a story that the creator wanted to tell. But released it before they sat down and fleshed out the whats whos and whies.
Which lead to the stuff I've commented above and the issue you mentioned as well.
Rotshild said that there is a good chance of a rewrite/fleshing out happening for the start of the game so now we can only hope. That would be a good thing mostly for their sake. Not everyone is gonna stick around with a story if the intro is not that interesting and has glaring issues. The promise of it being better later is not enough for everyone.
I don't know what happened behind the scenes, but my assumption is that TTOF is a mix of a passion project and a learning experience for the dev(s). They are passionate about the story they want to tell, but also use it as "go with the flow and learn along the way". I mean, they are not even sure yet if the story will have multiple endings or not.
Reading their responses to various comments they seem to be very respectful and capable of taking in both the positive and the negative feedback to improve the game. I even joined their Discord to report the bugs I've seen and was informed that they were swiftly resolved.
Based on that I think the project is in good hands and it'll get refined and improved as they go along. We all have to start somewhere. If they use TTOF to practice this format of storytelling, then so be it. That only means their potential next game will start much better.
Just finished reading TToF from start to the end of Build 4 for the first time and would like to offer some feedback for possible improvements and a bit of my opinion.
While I am fully aware of the text that says that this is still in development and stuff is prone to change, I can only judge the project based on what it is now, not on what it'll become.
Minor spoilers may be found in my "review".
Ok, so let me start with the art style. Love it. I am the type of a person who judges a book by its cover first. If the cover interests me, I'll pick it up and read the synopsis on the back. And then check the contents inside.
That is exactly how I got here, the screenshots for this project appealed to me and I clicked. Happy to say that the in game sprites and CGs are, for my tastes, beautiful. Most BGs have a "WIP" aspect to them, but they still do a good job portraying the scene.
I won't talk about the art style further, even though I could cause I truly enjoyed it. So I'll just end this part by saying that I wouldn't change anything about the art direction except to refine what is already there.
The overall plot is something that I am currently in the mindset for. The feelings of a grand adventure, exploration, meeting new people who over time grow on you and you start to develop all sorts of emotions for them. All that fits.
Which now leads me to my personal issues with this project.
As a person who only read this now, I don't truly know where each build ended. So I'll be talking about stuff as they happened. First off, the pacing. Especially in the beginning. Was just, to me, bad. In the first 10 minutes of reading we were walking down the road, got assaulted by the Rhino bandit, saved and dragged away by Valos, had a moment with him, spent the night and escaped only to be attacked by the Rhino again and saved again.
I don't know, maybe I was reading that part too quickly or time flew by without me noticing. But there's a whole arc here that could have happened, but it didn't. It mostly felt like a checklist of things that the author knew wanted to happen in the story at the beginning. Wrote the template for that with a plan to add meat/content to it later on. Which never happened and the early part of the game was released in its slightly above template phase.
So many things could have happened here to expand the intro of the story. Especially during the scene with Valos at the campfire. Instead, it felt like we were jumping from scene to scene. As a reader, I didn't feel like I got the time for things to settle in before we were moving on to the next set piece.
And that's a shame, cause for me the intro in a fantasy adventure story needs to have that depth, that intrigue so that the reader is gripped instantly. I personally did not get it here.
This does improve later on, but it takes a while to get there. The ending part of the story, which I assume is build 4 content, is done much much better. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We are at the inn now which I assume was build 2. Things are improving a bit here, but a lot of missed opportunities as well. For example the first three days are just a time skip. I did not like that at all. I thought we'd finally settle down and explore our surroundings a bit, get a bit of world lore, talk to Hershel about humans. I REALLY wanted to have a lengthy chat with Hershel and answer all of his questions. That could have been used to warm up to the character as a reader. But alas, we were only told that he is having a huge craving to know about humans and that's about it. The next following days just happened. Valos was out doing fetch quests and the MC was just sitting in the room occasionally reading the history book.
Ah, the history book. Another missed opportunity. As a fantasy story you create your own world that you have to describe in interesting details to your audience for us to understand what is going on, to get the scale of things and our placement in it all. Sadly I didn't feel like I got any of that. When the MC opened the book I was like "Ok, here we go, time to finally get the answers to all my questions about this universe". Nope. Apparently it was mostly a boring book. I really want to know more about this world, the borders, about the conflict between species. How did it happen, why did it happen, how often does it happen, who is winning, who is losing, are there factions? A few breadcrumbs here and there, but ultimately I was left hungry for more. I probably would have been invested much more in the story if I got the needed world building.
And then the map fell from one of the later books. I was so happy to finally see this world even though the map lacks details. It was a step in the right direction for sure. Maybe games like Pervader spoiled me cause in that fantasy world we get the full world map right from the get go so I can pinpoint where we are and how far away certain establishments are from one another. Get at least some sense about the scale of it all. More of that, please. I understand that the MC doesn't know much of the world either, that's why he started his journey. But that's the perfect way for us readers to learn about the fantasy world, through the eyes of the main character who is also curious to see and learn.
Build 3 I assume was the whole scene where we leave the room and go to the kitchen. Definitely another improvement, especially for character development. Here we finally sit down a bit with Hershel and have a conversation with him. Which should have happened in build 2 in my opinion but oh well, better late than never. Overall definitely a much better section of the game.
Build 4, again I assume, is the scene where Valos helps the MC with some fighting skills and then the hot spring section. So much yes. The quality of build 4 is where stuff should have been at since the beginning. I very much enjoyed the conversations here and the descriptions of everything. Nothing felt too rushed or forced. Things just naturally happened and it no longer felt like we're just jumping from one checkpoint scene to the next.
I think build 4 is where the author of this story is finally settling in themselves. Finding their style and improving as they go. In the perfect world the initial parts of this project would be revamped to the standards of build 4.
And now to wrap it all up with some pet peeves and issues I've seen:
When Valos attacks the Rhino with the sword, his sprite is not properly placed so Valos is floating.
valos--pose--1--edit-2.png is the only sprite that is very blurry. Probably an oversight.
Later in the game Valos is using his shocked sprite every time he talks for some reason. It doesn't fit the type of conversation that they are having and looks out of place. Sure he gets shocked when the MC exposes him for being a noble. But he continues to have a shocked expression during the entire conversation.
Valos gets a nickname too quickly in my opinion. The MC calls him "Val" a few times in the inner monologue. The first time when he wakes up in the inn I believe. And it's so out of place to me. Possibly cause we exchanged like 10 sentences with him prior to that. Would probably be okay if the entire build 1 was fleshed out more as I mentioned above. But as it is now that random "Val" drop had me "slow down horny boy".
Twice the MC's inner monologue used brackets to describe something. Which could have just been a normal part of a sentence or something. Specifically:
"The rhino struck me with the handle of his axe (luckily it wasn't the sharp edge), and I fell to the ground..."
"I just nod as the dragon squeezes through the door (despite being larger than normal, it's still not quite large enough for him) and closes it behind him."
Near the ending of build 4 Hershel was typed as Herschel. Also near the ending a sentence that starts with "I could use one as well. Take a breather" is repeated twice in a row.
The intro warning has a typo, "This game is contains artistic...". That is, is not needed.
I know that the music will be added later, but I have to mention it. Had to put on an album from CBL in the background while I played TToF cause the silence of it all was not doing the story any justice.
Valos is being TOO good and TOO kind. I get it, it's probably the whole "dragons are very protective of their treasure" trope. But, as I said above, the lack of content and dialogue in build 1 just amplifies his personality to an uncomfortable level initially. He started to grow on me in build 4 finally where we spend some quality time with him.
And that is all. Ultimately a project that has potential but came out before it was done cooking in the oven. Which is a shame cause it does get better later and certain people won't stick for that long if they don't find what they are looking for at the start.
Again, these are just my opinions that are not shared by everyone so no one should take anything I said close to heart. My goal is only to offer constructive feedback so that the project may improve if the developers find anything useful in my wall of text.
I'll definitely come back for Build 5.
Glad to see an update to the project.
As for the sprite change, for my personal tastes, I must admit that I am not truly sold on the new Tora. I got so used to the one you made originally for Homecoming. Made your project stand out for me and lure me in cause it looked new and unique. Now he's like the old Tora but refined I suppose. Great for the old fans of course! Not for me who has no nostalgia for the OG.
Also, the sprites being cut off at the waist is a shame. I read the official statement of why it was done, and as much as I understand the reasoning behind it, I still don't like it. But it is what it is I suppose.
Everwind is love, Everwind is life.
But in all seriousness, yet another fantastic update. Giga is yet to disappoint.
That evening scene background though, if I could put it directly in my veins, I would.
The guide has been updated with the currently latest v.6.4 update.
There was a lot of rebalancing and a lot of previous skills have been changed. All of that has been updated. If you notice a mistake in any of these please let me know.