Video Game: Betrayal In Antara
From left: William, Aren, and KaelynBetrayal in Antara
is a computer Western RPG developed and published by Sierra in 1997. It is a Spiritual Successor
to Betrayal at Krondor
: it is based on the same game engine, but Sierra had lost the rights to use Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar world, so Antara
takes place in a new world.
Outside of a small village, Aren Cordelaine, the son of an innkeeper, fishes, dreaming of far-away lands and adventures. Suddenly, he hears a strange noise, and rushes down to the beach to investigate, where he sees a noble trying to fight off a griffon while another man lies on the sand. Trying to help out, he ends up accidentally blasting the monster to ash. The dying man presses a strange medallion into the hand of the noble, and says his last word, "Consort." The noble introduces himself as William Escobar, youngest son of Lord Escobar. He offers to take Aren to his hometown so that he can apprentice under the family mage and learn how to control his newly-discovered magic. Aren agrees. Soon after, they help Kaelyn Usher fight off bandits in the woods, and she joins the other two to settle her debt with them as they try find a teacher for Aren and discover what has put the Imperial Consort in danger.
takes place over nine chapters. The game has a first-person perspective while exploring the 3-d world, and a third-person perspective during battles. Combat is turn-based and takes place on a grid of hexagons. At the beginning and end of each chapter, there is a voiced cutscene which is told through text and pictures in a book.
As it is based on Krondor
's engine, Antara
keeps many of the gameplay mechanics. There are no experience points or levels; instead, characters gain points in a skill by using it. For example, a character improve the melee skill by using melee weapons. Spells do not use MP; instead, any spells cast use their caster's health/stamina points, although unlike Krondor
, spells are studied over time instead of being learned through scrolls. In addition, the game utilizes some unorthodox RPG elements, such as day/night cycles, including simulation of light levels, puzzle-lock chests, and even a food system.It can be picked up at GOG - along with ''Krondor'' - for $2.99.
Betrayal at Antara provides examples of:
- Accidental Innuendo: "You have an interest in my worm, young man? I will tell you how I coax him to raise his little head." Spoken about charming a small field worm, of course.
- Action Girl: Kaelyn, and how.
- Aerith and Bob: Aren, Kaelyn and Khorus on the Aerith side, William and Scott on the Bob side.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: Which hand a weapon is held in depends on which way a character is facing.
- Anti-Grinding: Practicing skills raises their values, but only up to a certain cap. This cap increases in later chapters. One-time raises can increase a skill beyond the cap, but practice cannot.
- Arranged Marriage: William, for political reasons. Neither he nor the bride is very enthused about the idea.
- Bag of Sharing: Averted. Only money and food are shared between companions.
- Betting Mini-Game: In some of the inns and taverns, you can find gamblers. Your chance of winnning depends on a character's gambling skills, and if your luck is good (or you save and reload a bunch) you can clean the gambler's purse out.
- Blatant Lies: (Almost) Every story in the Liar's Festival. Picking any of the storytellers as the most impressive liar in town gets you the props of their story as a reward. One of the prop sets is the best shield and second best sword (which never degrades in quality) in the game.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Both William and Kaelyn.
- Breakable Weapons: Not quite. Weapons (except staves and one specific sword) and armor degrade with use, becoming less effective. They can be repaired with whetstones, beeswax, and armorer's hammers, depending on the kind. Shields, however, cannot be repaired.
- Except as a possible reward for a sidequest that's so early in the game that it doesn't matter.
- Broken Bridge: The bridges aren't so much broken as blocked by guards or protesting masons.
- And in one incident, blown up.
- However, in a way this trope is often quasi-averted. Most broken bridges are actually represented by the main characters saying something along the lines of "we don't have any business that way" and refusing to travel any further away from their goals, removing the need to justify broken bridges with assorted thin justifications for why they physically couldn't travel that far.
- Though limiting the characters to a large section of the game world at a time brings in a bit of Fridge Logic. Why are the characters willing to travel a few weeks in the wrong direction to go to one out of the way towns, but then arbitrarily refuse to travel any further in the same direction? They are surprisingly willing to take the scenic route for people who complain about having a mission to complete.
- Cast from Hit Points: Really doesn't help Aren's Squishy Wizard tendencies.
- Chess Master: Silverhawk. He manages to keep his very existence secret until the last chapter.
- Deadpan Snarker: William, mostly, though Kaelyn gets some pretty spectacular one-liners too.
- Disappointing Last Level the final level consists of walking through a mansion fighting dogs. It has long corridors without any towns, any NPCS, or any real plot until the very end. Fan consensus tends to be that it's the worst part of the game.
- Disk One Nuke: One of the earliest spells Aren can learn is a lightning bolt that is guaranteed to hit anyone wielding metal. It does almost as much (or more) damage as the best early ranged attacks but for a fraction of the health cost, and unlike the rest it doesn't miss. Most players will find themselves eagerly utilizing this shockingly effective spell often in the start of the game. Sadly, since it does a set amount of damage, its utility drops a little later in the game where 40 damage just isn't as impressive.
- Over reliance on this ability can come back to hurt you. As it will prevent you from increasing your spell accuracy during the early game, you know, since it always hits. In the later part of the game the ranged attack spells are much stronger, but if you never leveled Aren's accuracy in the early game your powerful range spells will miss often
- Drunken Song: There are three different drinking songs, each of which has four verses. You can find people singing one verse of one song in many of the taverns/inns in the game.
- Enemy Scan: The characters can see what spell effects are on the enemy and how high some of their skills are. How many skills they can assess at once depends on their Assessment skill and how far away the enemy is.
- Expy: Aren - the blond, inexperienced, apprentice magician kid who's a foil to an older and more cynical character - bears more than a passing resemblance to Owyn Beleforte from Betrayal at Krondor.
- Fantastic Racism: Against the Grrlf, and two-way with the Montari, Mehrat, and Chuman.
- Flaming Sword: Done with lit oil, and it only lasts for one battle.
- Foreign Queasine: At one point, you meet a mole-man NPC who likes raw lizard guts. When the PC expresses disgust, the NPC counters that he finds unfertilized bird embryos (eggs) equally disgusting.
- Friendly Fireproof: Averted. If your allies step on an area-of-effect spell cast by you, they are affected as well. Both the player and the computer can accidentally shoot an ally who is in front of or behind an enemy.
- Gambit Pileup: The overall story.
- Grid Inventory: The grid is invisible and automatically moves things around to make room.
- Guide Dang It: How to obtain a Circlet of Senaedrin (which helps heal poison): Obtain an emerald. Remember from one of the puzzle chests you did hours ago that the founder of the empire had both a 'saphire' and 'emerald' eye. Don't sell your emerald at Ormede, the town before Ravenne, even though it's one of the few gem stores in the game and you're tired of them cluttering your inventory. In Ravenne, go to the museum and notice that the bust of the founder of the empire has only a sapphire eye, and use your emerald on it. This reveals a secret compartment with the Circlet of Senaedrin. Good luck figuring that out without a guide.
- Improbable Use of a Weapon: Well, you can use a rapier to hack and slash, if you want. It just won't work very well.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Averted. The chests are explained to have been dropped when traveling parties died of illness, or have bandits or pirates defending them.
- Informed Equipment: The player characters appear to fight in their street clothes, though the sound a blow makes changes depending on the armor the character is wearing.
- In-Universe Game Clock: The clock is based on movement - advancing forward advances the clock.
- Karma Houdini: Silverhawk. Apart from the loss of some of his agents, he gets away with his scheme completely unscathed.
- Magic Knight: While Aren is introduced with clear Squishy Wizard feel, the ability to develop any skill in the game means the player can develop Aren into a competent physical warrior who also happens to have magic. Admittedly, the limited damage that Aren's staff can do means that while Aren may graduate to Magic Knight level of melee competence he will never be as strong a physical fighter as his allies.
- The game encourages players the use of Aren as a Magic Knight too. While Aren's magic may be more powerful, especially later in the game, he can only cast spells if there isn't an enemy attacking him, which interrupts his spell casting. Since the enemy AI is wise enough to realize that leaving a mage free to cast the spells that make the peoples fall down is unwise, they will often try to harass Aren to prevent him from casting spells. Aren will often be forced to either defend from physical attacks until his allies can come aid him or take up his staff and bludgeon his foe to death himself.
- Magikarp Power: Most ranged magic can be seen as this. Ranged Accuracy is a skill that needs to be developed, and starts out low. This can be a problem since your allies tend to be standing right next to your enemy, meaning a reasonable chance of wasting Aren's hp only to roast your own ally. Considering that *very* early in the game you get a spell that is guaranteed to hit and does as much damage as the beginning ranged attack for far less health cost, there is little reason to cast the usual ranged attack spell. Unfortunately, the only way to get the accuracy high enough to hit someone is by using ranged spells, and at the end of the game the 40 damage spell grows less effective as the more powerful ranged attack spells grow more efficient. A novice player can find themselves regretting that they didn't develop their accuracy earlier in the game.
- Nice Guy: Aren's a real sweetie.
- Prophet Eyes: A prophet that can be found in one town has these.
- To a locksmith's apprentice: "Good lock!" for "Good luck!"
- "We've been seeing these old locks lately -" "-said the man, to the seller of last week's fish..."
- Talking to Misha, a whore:
- Sequel Hook: In the epilogue, Aren figures out who Silverhawk is. But there's nothing the heroes can do about it, as they have no proof (in fact, they even ended up destroying the only proof they had that there was a mastermind behind the overall scheme in the first place). William states that he's planning to keep an eye on the man in case he decides to come up with another scheme (in the next game). No sequel ever came out.
- Shout-Out: Upon knocking on one house's door, William is driven away by Phoebe and Louie, her Smelly Cat. Phoebe reassures her cat that it's not his fault.
- Simple Staff: Aren and Raal.
- Squishy Wizard: Aren, full stop. Doesn't help that his magic is taken out of HP. And since early in the game at least, he'll be the only one who can do 25 guaranteed damage points a pop... God help you if you lose him early in a battle.
- Though the ability to raise Aren's individual scores as the player sees fit means that Aren could develop his defense attribute to be equal to his allies, and he can equip the same armor. Aren will never be able to wield a shield, which has a slight chance of blocking any physical attack, and will have lower health then William, but close to that of Kaelyn. However, he can still manage to be only slightly more squishy then his allies in theory. The casting from hitpoints will still make him feel like a Squishy Wizard though, even if he has near equal defense.
- The Storyteller: Scott the Joyman.
- Trauma Inn: As in Krondor, characters can also heal by sleeping outside – but only up to eighty percent of their maximum health. In an inn, they can regain all of their health.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. The enemies use the same sorts of equipment that your party does, so you can loot their weapons/armor/rations and use them yourself.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: If a certain Plot Coupon is with the wrong character when the party splits up...
- Actually not unwinnable, just slightly harder. A second copy of the Plot Coupon may be found. Asking the right questions of a certain individual will have him reveal that he had hidden another version of the Plot Coupon in a town a little ways away. It's possible to travel to the town and find the (well-hidden) second Plot Coupon . So while you're punished for sending the plot token to the party that clearly would not want it, ultimately the game ensures you can go on.
- If you fail to obtain rope before the last chapter, you're SOL. It's required to move around and there's nowhere to acquire it.
- If you fail to have a strength potion in a certain chapter, you can't impress an NPC in an arm-wrestling contest, preventing you from advancing the story.
- Vendor Trash: Gems, for the most part.
- Gems have one possible use, storing of money. There is a cap on the maximum amount of money that may be stored in your 'wallet'. Even without exploiting any infinite money trick it's possible for a savvy and cheap player to end up with more money then they can fit in their wallet by the 3 of 10 chapters. Gems are tiny and high quality ones have a high resell value so they can be a way to stockpile more money then you would ever be allowed to have originally; though they sell for far less then you can purchase them so they aren't the most efficient money transportation units.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Silverhawk, the High Priest of Henne.
- Wallet of Holding: Money (like all items) is weightless, but it is stored in a separate limited-space inventory.
- We Buy Anything: Averted. Every store specializes in some subset of items.