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Beyond Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

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Original Thread: Beyond Divinity: "Tickling spiders?! Death-Knights DO. NOT. TICKLE!"

If you liked this LP, you might also like Resident Evil 4 by The Dark Id, Banjo-Kazooie by Rooreelooo and Super Mario RPG by mastajake

Introduction

Beyond Divinity

Thread Title: Beyond Divinity:So now we're ecowarriors? I hate doing favours for foliage!
Previous Thread Title:Beyond Divinity: "Tickling spiders?! Death-Knights DO. NOT. TICKLE!"
Previous Previous Thread Title: Beyond Divinity: One's a Paladin, One's a Demon, now they're life partners!



Beyond Divinity is a spin-off to Divine Divinity, and it was released in 2004. I'm not calling it a sequel, because even the developers didn't, with the release of Divinity 2: Ego Draconis last year, and the re-mastered version Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga three weeks ago. Divine Divinity was a Diablo 2 clone, but with more emphasis on surprisingly intricate quests and a living world.

Music - "Beyond Divinity"
Download (Thanks to Grawl for hosting these.)


Beyond Divinity OST (Thanks to Grawl for hosting these.) This isn't technically all the music in the game, it's missing the tracks that appeared in Divine Divinity, but I'll link those in when they show up.

For a while in development, Beyond Divinity was known as "Riftrunner", referring to the practice of using dimensional rifts for travel.

Beyond Divinity is available for $5.99 USD on Good Old Games. It comes with the Beyond Divinity Novella "Child of Chaos" (55 pages), written by Rhianna Pratchett, and the complete soundtrack, by Russian composer Kirill Pokrovsky.

The following story synopsis has spoilers for the end of Divine Divinity.


Story
It has been 20 years since the Divine One, Lucian, first battled the army of crazed mercenaries and evil wizards known as the Black Ring. He slew the Demon of Lies at the Black Lake in the desert wasteland of Yuthul Gor, but he was too late to prevent the ritual that summoned the Lord of Chaos into the body of an innocent boy. Even knowing the darkness that was forever bound to the boy, Lucian refused to slay the child. Instead, he named the boy Damian, and raised him as his son.

( The events of that are revealed in-depth in the prequel story to Beyond Divinity, "Child of Chaos", written by Rhianna Pratchett. She also was one of the writers for Beyond Divinity.)

You can get the Novella for yourself here.

I'm not going to say that it's REQUIRED reading, but much later on, there are characters in the game who are only properly introduced in the novel, so they won't have a lot of significance if you skip it, and it is a really good read.)

In the course of his continuing battles against the Black Ring, Lucian discovered the Temple of Rifts, a place where the borders between dimensions are weak, and travel between them is possible.

When Damian was 15, he met a young girl named Ygerna, a witch. They fell in love. However, Ygerna was part of the Black Ring, sent to unlock the potential awaken the powerful magic that he contained. She taught Damian the use of magic, and he secretly became a powerful wizard.

When Lucian discovered Ygerna was Black Ring, he had her arrested, and he personally executed her. But at the exact moment of her beheading, Damian performed a soul forge between himself and Ygerna. Damian had arrived just in time to witness his foster father kill the woman he loved.

Damian fled and joined the Black Ring, who told him the truth about his heritage. Lucian was still unwilling to admit to himself that he had failed, and so he was still unwilling to kill Damian. Instead, he lured Damian to the Temple of Rifts, and overpowered him. Lucian took the unconscious Damian through a rift to the world Nemesis, sealed his memories, and used his Divine powers to block Damian from returning to Rivellon.

Beyond Divinity takes place approximately five years later… (I think. In any case, it's about 20 years after the end of Divine Divinity.)


Gameplay differences from Divine Divinity

Beyond Divinity is… where Larian Studios decided to experiment around a bit.




Instead of being a solo adventurer, now there are two party members - both of which are load-bearing. Instead of the open world which let you roam and explore practically the entire game world, the game is divided into discrete acts, and once you leave an act, you can't return to it (this is not a bad thing, just different from Divinity 1).



The usefulness of magic was nerfed into oblivion. The attributes, skill system, and resistances were all made substantially more complicated, to the detriment of the game.

There are fewer quests, and they're generally simpler with only one solution to them. There aren't a lot of "evil" options for quests, and there isn't as much dialogue choice as there was in Divine Divinity.

There are items you can find that let you visit "Battlefields", which are randomly generated dungeons with merchants handing out randomly-generated quests.


(The safe zone of the first "Battlefield")


It's possibly the most transparent kind of grinding ever seen in a game, and it may not be strictly necessary, but it's generally worth it for the money, experience, and items. Plus, the Battlefield merchants can teach you new skills.



(Two party members target different enemies in a randomly generated Battlefield dungeon.)

The engine has been modified, now all characters and creatures are full 3-D models. However, the backgrounds and pickups are still 2-D. The game is almost fully voice-acted, except for the battlefields and a few missed lines.

All party members can be moved individually, or together. You can now scroll the screen in any direction without party members being on it, and you can zoom in and out.




The format of this LP

I will be doing this LP in a different style than my Divine Divinity LP. I do not have a long intricate backstory for the characters, I haven't added an additional story for this LP, I will be sticking much more closely to the actual game.

Unlike Divine Divinity, almost the entire game is voice-acted (not that well, though), so there will be a lot of videos, and most importantly, this time there will be reader participation.

I'll be playing on the second-highest difficulty, Tactical. The highest difficulty, "Hardcore" is possible to play on, but it's rather tedious. The number of normal enemies is doubled, and there's a 30% chance for a bonus skill point for a character when levelling up, but you pretty much can only move in Sneak mode or risk getting overwhelmed, and that makes would make things much more tedious for both you and me.

I'll do all my grinding in the Battlefields off-screen because they aren't interesting.




There are puzzles that I'll ask you to attempt to solve, and I'll let you influence how my characters get built, although I reserve the right to veto some choices (because the game isn't balanced properly).

I've also decided to make a distinction between real and fake dialogue. Real dialogue is in plain, fake stuff I add in is in bold, and thought-dialogue are italicized.

This is real dialogue, spoken out loud.
And this is also real dialogue, human, but since I can't speak out loud, only you can hear me!
I am a special case. No one can hear ME.
This is fake mental dialogue.

And this is fake "out loud" dialogue.



This game takes place on the planet Nemesis, not Rivellon, and the natives have their own alphabet, so I've decided to do fancy act/chapter titles showing both languages off. The developers probably meant to have the natives use a base 16 numbering system, but they messed up by including the numbers 0 through 16 as unique symbols, which makes it actually in base 17.

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