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Thread: The Seventh Crystal (mostly about the ending, not about playing the FM)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee

    The Seventh Crystal (mostly about the ending, not about playing the FM)

    I just finished "The Seventh Crystal" by Saturnine, and I was rather impressed overall by everything...except the "ending." And I put that in quotation marks because that's exactly what I want to ask about for those who've played this FM. Unless I somehow only have part of the FM, or unless there's a sequel, it seems like a story only told halfway--*way* too many loose ends and unanswered questions and just plain "What was the point of *that*???" kind of things, and not in a good "mysterious ending" sort of way. I'll elaborate in a spoiler tag so I won't ruin anything for anyone who hasn't played it.

    spoiler:
    For example, what was the deal with the cards with "M" on them--the one lying with the murdered bodies of Bradey and Elizabeth, and the one in the doorway of the servant's wing after that door "mysertiously" opens after you get the sapphire from the museum? I figured the entire time that Lorcan was the one who committed the murders (I also figured he was Alexandria's lover--it was pretty obvious), but the "M" doesn't make sense--it doesn't stand for Lorcan, Alexandria, Garrett, or anything else I can figure out (except maybe something cheesy and unlikely like "Murder" or "Mystery," which would be the storytelling equivalent of begging the question). And why were there cards left at the scene at all, especially if they were planning the entire time to frame Garrett?

    And what about Saturnine and Alexandria's dead child? How did she die? Her death is played up in the journals and scrolls and such, but it ends up utterly anti-climactic because nothing is ever resolved or elaborated on regarding that--you get the sense that the child (whose ghost is obviously haunting the mansion and talks to you occassionally) is somehow important and that her death is also somehow important and then...you're left completely hanging as if the author forgot about the dead daughter entirely. The "resolution" regarding the daughter--if one could call it that--is rather disproportionate and unfitting to the hints at her importance and the clues about her death.

    Also--and very directly related to the title of the FM itself--what about the other six crystals??? A title like "The Seventh Crystal" implies that, while the seventh is the most important in the story, the other six will make an appearance and be part of the story in some meaningful way beyond a mere off-handed mention near the very end. What about the other six "Books of Truth" mentioned on Cerulean's tomb placard? What is the significance of the crystals and the books? They're played up with an immense air of foreboding mystery, and then, much like with the dead daughter, they're seemingly forgotten about. In fact, the ending of the FM is more like an ending to a completely different story--it's like the FM started with one plotline and ended with a different one.

    And finally, that ending...okay, so Lorcan and Alexandria (posing as Seraphina) conspired to steal the crystal from Saturnine and then frame Garret for the theft and murder (and, apparently, arson of some sort, according to the charges read in court in the ending scene). Okie-dokie--that works. However, after he's sentenced to death by hanging and the credits have rolled, a voice in the darkness gives Garrett lockpicks (presumably so he can break out) and compells him to meet said Voice on the bridge urgently and quickly....and that's it. What kind of ending it that??? Who is this person (beyond obviously beyong the narrator of the introductory cinematic)? Why are they helping Garrett break out? Why do they want Garrett to meet them on the bridge? What's so urgent? And what about the crystals and all the supernatural hoodoo surrounding them? Like I said, it's like the FM begins with one plotline and ends with a completely different one...and with a *lot* of unanswered questions.

    Do I just not have the whole FM? Or is there a sequel, maybe, that picks up where this one leaves off? It feels like a story half-told, like I've been torn away in the middle chapters of a novel. The structure of a story is exposition --> complication --> climax --> resolution (there being room for several sub-complications and mini-climaxes before the final climax that leads to the resolution of the main plotline, depending on length and pacing). The exposition of this FM was the introductory cinematic (constructed as a fly-through non-playable mission called Act 1) and the begginning stages of the first playable mission (Act 2). The complication stage began in the second half of Act 2, specifically regarding finding the murdered bodies of Bradey and Elizabeth and reading the clues about Lorcan's unpleasant character and actions and about Alexandria's affair. The climax stage began in Act 3, in which you descend into the crypt below the library and begin to uncover the roots of the mysery surrounding the crystal and the crypt, and the climax culminates in the beginning of the final cinematic non-playable mission (Act 4) in which you learn that Seraphina is actually Alexandria and wanted to steal the sapphire from her husband to spite him for drawing away from her and you are then knocked out cold by the hiding Lorcan (after trying to explain that there's more to the crystals than she realizes). And then....the resolution is where the problem happens.

    In theory, the last half of Act 4, in the courtroon, *should* be where the resolution takes place...but it doesn't. It's a resolution to a plotline that wasn't the plotline for the preceding exposition, complication, and climax. The original plotline is abandoned completely and the resolution jumps in as the resolution for a story that wasn't the one that had been being told. The only way this works from a storytelling perspective is if that *isn't* actually the resolution, but rather is still part of the climax, and the story isn't yet over.

    So is there a second half or a sequel to "The Seventh Crystal"? Or is that the whole story, start to finish? Like I said, I was rather impressed by the FM over all (and having played and adored "Calendra's Legacy" by Puruh, I had pretty high expectations considering that Purah was partially involved in making "The Seventh Crystal" and wrote a very positive and enticing text intro/teaser for it for DarkLoader). The missions were well-designed and innovative, the voice acting was superb (and by the way, who is it that does the voice of Garret in this and in "Calendra's Legacy"? He manages to sound as close to Stephen Russell's Garrett as anyone I've yet heard), the cinematic missions were a nice touch and were a creative alternative to the usual cinematics, and the visuals were often stunning. My only complaint is with the story, and only with the ending--or lack thereof. I just feel like I'm missing half the story or something.


    Okay, sorry that way so long. That's going to be a *really* big block of blue when I post it. ;-)

    --Jennifer

  2. #2
    It's a "to be continued..." ending, so those loose threads are most likely going to be answered in the sequel, which Saturnine is currently working on. It's going to pick up where the first part ended.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: See the wrench in the shadows?

    Re: The Seventh Crystal (mostly about the ending, not about playing the FM)

    Mmmm, blue!

    spoiler:
    Okay, let's see here, I'm gonna be throwing out mostly opinions, I warn you now. I'm not totally positive, but I thought the woman who narrated part of Act I was the one leaving the cards, and helping Garrett along. She was likely a keeper, she later shows up to give Garrett the lockpicks on their behalf. Also, why would another person in the house be leading a gas mine present for Bradey and Elizabeth? (Maybe it was a gas arrow, but both of them are still alive when you find them.) What was up with the cards and why Garrett was being helped I'll never know, atleast not until the sequel.

    I couldn't figure out the whole M card bit either, my best guess was it was a tip of the hat to MsLedd, if her character was the one helping Garrett along. Loanstar voiced Garrett in this mission, btw. It was in the readme file. But don't feel dumb, I feel like the world's biggest idiot. I had no clue that Lorcan was Alexandria's lover! I can't believe I never clued in, I really am slow at these things.

    I kinda wished at some point you find out what happened to the dead daughter too, but I think that wasn't totally necessary. There's enough little facts thrown in that you can put together what you think happened, but when the plot took the twist that it did (heading into an underground crypt and all that) it kinda made sense that the little girl's fate was never found out. I always thought the crystal thing was a bit weird, and I never, ever EVER made sense of the plaque on the grave! Can somebody explain? I don't know if maybe it's a Thief 1 reference, but it left me

    The ending, though, it just screamed that there was a sequel, one's kind of neccessary. The woman gives Garrett the lockpicks on behalf of the Keepers, so they probably had something to do with this situation. Garrett's been framed for murder, so he's gonna want to get Seraphina back, all that. It'd probably be the biggest unresolved cliffhanger in FM history if there's no sequel.


    I think I'm gonna stop with the overtired ramblings and just post this thing, then get some sleep.
    She's not a maniac, a raving thing, she just goes a little mad sometimes.
    I'm not suffering from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee
    Originally posted by Eshaktaar
    It's a "to be continued..." ending, so those loose threads are most likely going to be answered in the sequel, which Saturnine is currently working on. It's going to pick up where the first part ended.
    Aaaahhhhh...thank you! That makes complete sense now. I thought there *had* to be more to the story, but I'd never seen a sequel to "The Seventh Crystal" in any FM lists, so I had no idea what the deal was.

    So any input on Saturnine's prgress on the sequel? I've had the first one for a long time without playing it (it was sent to me on CD by an online friend about a year ago along with "Calendra's Legacy" and ThieveryUT, since my pitiful dial-up connection can't reasonably handle downloading really really big files), so it's obviously been out for a while (though I realize making really big, really good fan missions also takes a while :-). I usually don't read the announcements about FMs-in-progress on Thief-TheCircle.Com or other Thief sites because it's kinda just torture for me on this connection, being that I'll probably be unable to download any of the really good missions anyway...but this one I will somehow make an exception for, if it kills me. I *have* to know what happens, gosh darn it!

    Anyway, thanks for letter me know about the upcoming sequel...everything makes sense now and all is right again in my world. :-)

    --Jennifer

  5. #5
    There's a thread in the Editor's Guild from last September with a couple of breathtaking screenshots: clicky

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee
    Oh yes, thank you again! :-D Those screenshots--while torturous since the FM's not finished and I can't actually *play* it yet (kinda like the Thief: DS screenshots, in a way :-P)--are incredible...I can't wait to play it when it's done (and finally have answers to at least *some* of those questions I mentioned). That thread was made 6 months ago...I wonder how much farther Saturnine's gotten with the FM? I'll read through the whole thread when I have time and see if there are any mentions of progress. Anyways, thanks again! :-)

    --Jennifer

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    One important thing to remember (from the number of people who assume otherwise it's probably not as obvious as it should be) is that bradey and elizabeth are not dead, merely unconcious.

    The rest of your questions should all be answered in the sequel if it ever gets finished, (hopefully it'll get done after t2x is out) and you're right, that was a slightly awkward place to leave it but I don't think anyone was expecting it to take this long to finish the story off.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Finland, Earth
    Huh! I never knew they were unconscious either, I assumed they'd been murdered.
    spoiler:
    Lorcan seems like less of a prick now

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee
    I didn't realize they were unconscious either...but now that I think about it, I'm a complete *moron* for not realizing it, because I actually accidentally picked up Bradey's body when I was getting his room key off his belt, and now that I think about it, it said "Unconscious Body" and not "Corpse" when I did so. It just didn't register at the time because I was already under the impression that I'd stumbled upon a murder (like when you find Sheriff Truart's body in T2...except, of course, you've already heard before you ever see the body that he's dead because all the guards are up in arms about it). I wonder how that'll work out in the sequel...that opens up a *lot* of interesting possibilities and twists. Now I *really* can't wait to play the sequel. :-D

    --Jennifer

  10. #10
    Oh, and there's this theory:

    spoiler:

    The "M" is Mercedes, from Calendra's Cistern/Legacy

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee
    Originally posted by EmperorSteele
    Oh, and there's this theory:

    spoiler:

    The "M" is Mercedes, from Calendra's Cistern/Legacy
    Ha!--that'd be something. ;-) Well, considering the connections between the two FM's in that many of the same parties were involved in both, anything's possible. It's certainly an interesting thing to think about. :-)

    --Jennifer

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Err when I start Act 4 nothing happens, the camera just slowly moves over to Garrett and Serafina, and then nothing happens. I can see a guy with the eyepatch in the shadows. So I don't get to see the ending.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: See the wrench in the shadows?
    First, try restarting the act a few times. If it doesn't work, start over, and use ctrl+alt+shift+end to skip to the end of each mission, and start Act IV again. If that doesn't work, then you're gonna have to install DromEd. If you already have it installed, open miss20.mis, and go into game mode and it should work. I had this same trouble, but in DromEd it's always worked.

    If you don't have DromEd installed, then you get to install it. DromEd comes on the first Thief 2 CD, not the one you use to play the game with. It should be in a folder called 'EDITOR,' there's a readme file that walks you through it. Once it's installed, open miss20.mis, and give it a minute or two to load. Once it's finished loading, hold down alt+G, and it should go into game mode.

    The sound won't start until a few second before the Act 4 writing shows up on the screen. If it still won't run, even in DromEd, then you've got a mighty big problem on your hands.
    She's not a maniac, a raving thing, she just goes a little mad sometimes.
    I'm not suffering from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: PA, USA
    Originally posted by Vigil
    Huh! I never knew they were unconscious either, I assumed they'd been murdered.
    spoiler:
    Lorcan seems like less of a prick now
    *eyebrow raise* No offense, but why the hell is that? He was never the one who touched Bradey and Elizabeth here. I thought that was obvious.

    spoiler:
    'M' of the intro was helping Garrett. She left her name's first letter on a note near the bodies.

    Also, there was never any blood or arrows sticking out of them or anything. So, with that added to the "unconscious body" title when you pick them up, I am really confused as to why anyone would think they were murdered.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Finland, Earth
    Because it's sort of the thriller-movie convention for people who would impart important plot information to get killed before they can do so. Knocking them unconscious instead is...well, watering the drama down a bit

    It's been too long since I played it, so I can't remember why they had to be taken out, but I definitely didn't connect their deaths (ok, KOs) with the intro narrator at the time. I assumed after I'd finished the mission that it was Lorcan, since he was meant to be the bad guy, and killing/knocking them out sure seemed like getting in Garrett's way rather than helping him out. May be obvious to you, but certainly wasn't to me

    I also never picked them up to check...suppose I usually assume bodies are dead, since it's so rare for an AI to be knocked out instead.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Australia
    I always thought 'M' stood for Mara...

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: See the wrench in the shadows?
    Mara? Where'd you pick the name up from? And what the hell happened to my post? My computer's going insane, it's official!
    She's not a maniac, a raving thing, she just goes a little mad sometimes.
    I'm not suffering from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee
    Yup, Vigil pretty much explained exactly why I thought they were dead--that's the automatic assumption in thriller fiction when you encounter the prone bodies of people that had important information to share. I'm also confused as to how knocking Bradey and Elizabeth out could be *helpful* to Garrett, exactly. It helped him get Bradey's room key, sure, but that could have been done by tracking Bradey and getting it off his belt (like I assumed I was going to have to do when I overhead Bradey's and Elizabeth's conversation and Bradey took off to his room. I waited for ten whole minutes in the hallway outside the servant's wing, ready to grab Bradey's key on his way by, but he never showed, and it was only when I got sick of waiting that I made my way upstairs and found his and Elizabeth's bodies).

    Also, I only picked one of them up by accident (and put them back down immediately, because I was trying to get the key *off* the body, not the body itself), so were it not for that, I would never have thought to pick them up at all in order to have the chance to see that it said "Unconscious Body" rather than "Corpse." In a mission that purports to be the "Alfred Hitchcock thriller of FM's," and which is filled with foreboding hints of Very Bad Things, it's rather natural to assume that when you stumble upon a pair of bodies, they're dead, and the card beside them is their murderer's "calling card." It never occurred to me (nor to most of the others in here who've played it, it would seem) to think they were knocked unconscious by the mysterious Voice who was trying to *help* Garrett.

    And Wynne, your name looks familiar--did you work on "The Seventh Crystal," by any chance? Or maybe it was "Calendra's Legacy"--I know I've seen your name recently in the credits of an FM I've played, but I'm not sure which one.

    Oh, and one other question that I'm lead to since we've cleared up that Bradey and Elizabeth weren't murdered--if they weren't murdered, then who *was* murdered? When the charges against Garrett are read, they include murder (which is why he is to be hanged)--so who got killed? I assumed the murder in question was Bradey's and Elizabeth's, but if they weren't dead, that's obviously not the case. Was it Lord Saturnine himself, perhaps? (And what was the arson charge all about....?)


    --Jennifer

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: See the wrench in the shadows?
    Well, I don't have all the answers, but I'll throw out a couple guesses. For why Bradey was stopped, my guess is maybe Saturnine wanted us to not have a time limit on when we could get there. I don't know if version 1 had a map or not, if it didn't then he might've thought that it might be pretty hard for some taffers to get ahead of him, so he stopped him, then liked the idea of the player stumbling across the bodies and kept it.

    Since my one post kinda disappeared into thin air, I guess I'll rewrite one thing I thought about the cards. First off, why would Lorcan leave 2 cards with 'M' on them if he was the one helping Garrett? After all, 'M' couldn't exactly mean anything when there was only an open door. Hello sudden idea. Plus, why would Lorcan open the door to Bradey's room? He would've gone into the deal only knowing about the crystal, and he'd have no reason to help Garrett get something he didn't know existed.

    I think Wynne did some plot work on this FM, (what exactly was the plot work, if I got that right?) but I'm pretty sure she did the voice for Seraphina. Not sure if she did voice acting for anyone else, but if she did I'd guess Elizabeth. Plus, I seem to remember she's done ALOT of voice acting.

    About the murder charge bit, for some stupid reason, lack of sleep probably, I just had a weird idea. What if Garrett was charged with Alexandria's murder? Obviously she's still alive, but the police might not think so. The money/wife exchange couldn't have gone through, and in the letter the "kidnappers" made it clear if it was messed up she'd die.

    If they hadn't found her, and had no suspects, who better to point the finger at than somebody already in jail for breaking into the mansion where she lived? They thought he hid the crystal well enough that they couldn't find it, then why couldn't they think he was able to hide Alexandria just as well?

    But there's two huge problems. A. Wouldn't they have searched more than a week before giving up? B. Why no charges of kidnapping or mention that Garrett murdered a noble in closing arguements?

    Ah well, it was only a weird idea my overtired mind thought of. And now, I better go sleep before I say anything else even stupider than that, lol.
    She's not a maniac, a raving thing, she just goes a little mad sometimes.
    I'm not suffering from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: PA, USA
    Originally posted by Yametha
    I always thought 'M' stood for Mara...
    Me too. Mara was the lovely, talented voice actress of the woman in the intro. Very hard act to follow!

    WhiteFantom--You recognized me! *clings* I do voices on quite a few FMs; Calendra's Legacy was indeed one of those (I played the dowager duchess who sounded like she was grating orange peels in her throat when she talked) and Seventh Crystal is as well.

    As NightTerror mentioned (another person who recognized me! *clings to Night too* ), I did some plot work and voices. Mostly I wrote some little diaries for guests, servants, and Alexandria to complement Saturnine's plot--but honestly, he's a really good writer; I think he could've done everything I did, if he'd had the time. As to the voicing, I did Seraphina and Elizabeth--good call, NT!

    I don't know if Sat will have me do anything for the sequel, if he's still working on it, but either way I am totally hankering to play it. *daydreams and drools*

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Originally posted by Walker
    Err when I start Act 4 nothing happens, the camera just slowly moves over to Garrett and Serafina, and then nothing happens. I can see a guy with the eyepatch in the shadows. So I don't get to see the ending.
    There's a patch for that around here somewhere....

    http://80.255.219.180/t7c-v2C-patch.zip

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Location: Wherever there is loot
    About the ending when the misteryous voice sais "It's from the keepers" I thought that the 7th Crystal actually took part BEFORE TDP! That's really absurd, but it's a pont. Well, with what people said there's going to have a sequel, so...


    I finished the FM some time ago too. I also have lots of questions, but it isn't something I really need to know. I'll survive wihout knowing this.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Tennessee
    *snaps*--that's exactly where I remembered your name, Wynne, as the voice of the duchess in "Calendra's Legacy" (I was also pretty sure I remembered your name in "The Seventh Crystal," but I had a very strong memory of a specific *voice*, but I couldn't put my figure on who. It was the duchess:-). And good job on the Seraphina voice--that voice was *perfect* for her character. :-)

    I wish I could voice act...it'd be so much fun to do. But alas, I couldn't act my way out of a wet paper bag. Guess I'll stick to theiving instead. ;-)

    --Jennifer

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Originally posted by NeKoeNMa
    About the ending when the misteryous voice sais "It's from the keepers" I thought that the 7th Crystal actually took part BEFORE TDP! That's really absurd, but it's a pont. Well, with what people said there's going to have a sequel, so...
    t7c is set between baffords and cragscleft

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Lost in the BSP...
    Originally posted by Wynne
    Me too. Mara was the lovely, talented voice actress of the woman in the intro. Very hard act to follow!
    **pshaw!!** I say.

    No offense to MsLedd intended, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. That one line "...Not to me. That damn crystal is all I've heard about since he found it..." which is in snd/Noble2/English/No20802g.wav in the zip file ended that mission for me. Everything came together right there and I finally caught onto what was going on. Passionate, and well done! The rest was just filler.

    Just to clear things up: Mara = Mara Ledd, or MsLedd.

    I also thought Bradey and Elizabeth were dead, but I'll forgive Wynne her "obvious" comment because she's such a talented voice actress. Keep acting, keep acting...please.

    Maybe the reference in the trial about Garrett committing murder applies to his crimes he's never been prosecuted for in the past? I mean, the charges might not refer to just events in T7C, although that's stretching it a bit.

    Either way, damn fine mission that NEEDS a sequel!! I've actually wandered around the sequel a bit and it, well, pretty much ...ROCKS!! But alas, I'm not on the official design team so I don't have access to the file anymore. I think it got lost in the last hard drive format I had to go through. Banging my head against the wall.....**NOW**.

    If I ever get to the point of releasing another FM, Wynne has to be in it somewhere, no doubt about it. Amazing. I'll haul burrick dung every day for a month for her, whatever it takes.

    Here's hoping.

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