Video Game: Return To Krondor
Return to Krondor
is a role-playing video game set in Raymond Feist's fictional fantasy setting of Midkemia. A sequel to 1993's Betrayal at Krondor
, it was released for Windows 95 on the PC in time for the 1998 Christmas season. Within the game, the player commands a group of heroes with different attributes, strengths, and weaknesses which the player may upgrade over the course of the game. Feist later wrote a novelization of this game, entitled Krondor: Tear of the Gods
. It is the third part of his Riftwar Legacy
trilogy; the first part of which was a novelization of Betrayal at Krondor
entitled Krondor: The Betrayal
Provides Examples Of:
- A God Am I: Bear is certainly aiming for this. He already wears an amulet that makes him invulnerable to magic, physical damage, and almost everything else. He is trying to get the Tear of the Gods, which will allow him to communicate with the gods. He did not even get the Tear of the Gods, but when a character asks what if the gods are displeased, Bear responds "Like who? Heh, heh. The lesser gods? With the Tear and this amulet, I'm invincible! Who will rival me? Sung the Pure? Kahooli? Hia Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaaaaaa!"
- Always Chaotic Evil: Demons, Shadows, Goblins, Trolls, Ghouls, Vampires, Nighthawks, Zombies, Sidi's Necromancers, Izmali Assassins, and Bear's Mercenaries. Does that cover it? Oh, and at least two of these groups will form into alliances against you and James will wonder how that could be.
- Artifact of Doom: The amulet Bear wears makes him invulnerable to all magic and weapon attacks. Bear can also use it suck up portions of your character's health and add it to his own (which is overkill, given his invulnerability). It was shaped by a Lich Priest in a temple that worships the Dark God, and the Dark God's voice filled it with power. The necromancer leader Sidi puts the amulet back together and it reveals Glowing Eyes of Doom as he says "Have patience, Dark One! Soon, you will be free! Sidi swears it! And so shall it be!"
- Bears Are Bad News: The game does not have any actual bears, but it has Big Bad Bear. He is taller than everyone else. He has muscles to match his height. He is a mercenary and a pirate leader. He will kill men, women, and children who get in his way. In the game, one small-time pirate name Knute left him and was thrown in jail. Bear broke into the jail with an army of mercenaries, killing just about everyone they encountered. He personally went down to the cells where Knute was held in and ripped Knute's cell door right off its hinges and told Knute to follow him. Then he grabbed Knute by the throat and demanded to know "Where is it?" and "What had Knute done with it?" Knute just kept screaming that he did not do anything. Bear called Knute a liar and sliced him to pieces. When you finally fight Bear yourself, you will find that he wears the best armour and uses the best swords. Oh, and you will find that he is completely immune to your attacks. He wears an amulet that makes him immune to your attacks.
- Big Bad: Bear fits this role like a glove. Actually, he was supposed to The Dragon to Big Bad Sidi, but Bear became the Big Bad. However, after his death, the ending indicates that Sidi will be the next Big Bad or at least The Dragon to the Dark God. The Crawler could possibly be a Big Bad, because Bear is his agent.
- Big "NO!": Big Bad Bear yells this at the beginning: "WHAT?! No, Noooo! It's mine! I had in my hannnnnds!" and much more impressively at the end: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo! I'm...bleeding! I can feel...pain! But...I can't die! I CAN'T! YOU PROMISED ME! YOU SAID I'D NEVER DIE! You said...I couldn't...die." William cries this out a couple times: "No, Talia!" Both times, he was expressing anguish over Talia being raped and murdered by Bear.
- Canon Immigrant: Jazhara made her first appearance in this game. She was then incorporated into canon when Feist wrote a novelization for the game and made references to her in later books.
- Creating Life: The necromancers encountered throughout the game turn out to be doing this. The sewer monsters were humans that were transformed into green beasts with poisoned claws that could make eggs if a male one and female one came together. It is possible to transform one of them back to a human via an alchemical catalyst. Also, in the middle of the game, it is possible to encounter a two-headed red beast that seems to be similar to an Air Elemental but this one can inflict fire damage. Jazhara comments that that thing was an abomination. That creature may have been one of the experiments conducted by Sidi's necromancers.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Dark God is apparently this. An entity that is very dangerous and had to be sealed away. A group of depraved individuals worship this god, and want to release it into the land of Midkemia. Releasing it would be a very bad thing to do.
- Franchise Killer: Betrayal at Krondor was supposed to be the first of a revolutionary series of games that combine adventure novel-style storytelling with interactive gameplay, in a setting based on The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond Feist. And while the game itself was very much successful, its Sequel, Return to Krondor, was ruined by Executive Meddling and license problems and was released woefully unfinished and underpolished, making this a bad enough experience for Feist that he's been unwilling to risk a repeat experience.
- Not really. Betrayal at Krondor wasn't intended to be a series — it wasn't expected to do anywhere near as well as it did (it was just a licensed game, after all), so the team that made it was broken up after it was completed and before anyone realized what a classic it would be. Return To Krondor was made by a totally different team, hastily assembled when it became obvious that there was demand for a sequel; ironically, Return really was intended to kickstart a longer series, but it flopped. The main writer for Krondor actually did write some basic things for a potential sequel on his own time, but because the team was broken up and he wasn't part of the actual sequel, they never got used.
- God of Evil: Return To Krondor has Narlor, the Dark God. A god that had to be sealed away. A god that if released, could prove to be an Eldritch Abomination for Midkemia.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: There is a character called the Crawler. The Crawler is never seen or heard, only mentioned through conversations and letters. What is known for certain is that the Crawler is some sort of crime boss, and is assumed to be male. He has an agent named Bear, who is very dangerous on his own. He also has powerful connections (one letter from a powerful man in a land called Kesh warns his niece to "Beware the master of Durbin. The Crawler's plot is a web within a web."). It is too bad a game has not made where you actually get to fight this guy.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The voice actors who took part in this game are listed as follows: Beverly Holloway, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Earl Boen, Edita Brychta, Jamie Cronin, Jennifer Hale, John Carroll Lynch, Ken Givens, Michael Lynch, Nick Jameson, Pete Taylor, Rick Peters, Susan Denaker, and Tom Kane.
- Hollywood Density: Averted by Return To Krondor, where coinage had a definite weight. However, it wasn't very noticeable for the first few chapters of the game, where it would auto-exchange coins for high-value gems whenever you visited a shop. Towards the middle of the game, there's a chapter that involves traveling from Krondor to a small village, with no shops to stop in along the way to exchange coins. You will inevitably be leaving behind quite a large amount of treasure on monster corpses before the chapter is up.
- Betrayal at Krondor, the predecessor to Return, used weightless money. Then again, inventories were so small that requiring an inventory slot for money would've been outright painful.
- Left Hanging: The ending was clearly intended as a Sequel Hook. Let's see... Sidi is still alive and active, and puts the amulet back together. He intends to release the Dark God into Midkemia and the amulet is clearly a part of his plan. Meanwhile, there is the matter of the Crawler still alive and and active...somewhere. A sequel has never been made.
- Level Grinding: The game will have you doing this a lot, especially in the first four chapters. You can easily spend hours going through doors and getting into random fights, in the hopes of getting to the next level. At least by going up a number of levels, you will have a higher number of weapons strikes, and more effectiveness with weapons and magic. There are less and less opportunities to level grind as you progress through the game, which may or may not be a good thing.
- MacGuffin: The Tear of the Gods. A lot of people fight over this artifact, and it is supposed to allow mortals to communicate to the gods of Midkemia. However, when you finally get the artifact, you will find that it is does not do anything for you.
- Mercy Rewarded: Arguably invoked in Return To Krondor. There are many situations in Return To Krondor where you get XP for avoiding a fight with various groups, but generally the reward is less than what you get if just kill them.
- Mugging the Monster: Early in Return To Krondor, two random muggers attempt to rob legendary thief Jimmy the Hand — who in fact scolds them for not recognizing a dangerous mark when they see one, yet they try it anyway.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Bear. See the Bears Are Bad News entry.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Played straight, at the beginning of the game no less. You can tear down a sweatshop that uses children as labourers. Now while this may give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, it turns out that there are consequences. The owner of the sweatshop, Yusef, worked for Jazhara's uncle in Kesh. You will encounter Izmali assassins - ninja-like killers who will attack you with poisoned daggers. They were apparently paid by Jazhara's uncle to kill you for meddling in the affairs of Kesh. You will encounter a group of them in the third chapter of the game, and another group roughly halfway through the game. In the second last chapter, you will find a dead group of these assassins. If you search their bodies, you will find out in a letter written by Jazhara's uncle that The Crawler, who Yusef was an agent for, pulled strings and is the one actually responsible for these assassins being sent in the first place. Jazhara's uncle is trying to tell her that he knows she was not meddling in the affairs of Kesh, and that there is little he can actually do, due to the Crawler being quite powerful and elusive. You can decide not to even investigate the sweatshop, and you will never be accosted by the Izmali assassins.
- Obviously Evil: Bear, for starters. The head scribe for the jail, due to his shrill voice that sounds like a talking weasel. Journeyman Jorath, due to his oily voice, and his politically incorrect, racist attitudes toward Keshians. The necromancer leader Sidi, although he certainly did an impressive job sounding calm and normal at one point.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: There are five music tracks that can qualify as this. The first track plays whenever the Tear of the Gods appears, even though the chanting in the tracks sounds more peaceful than ominous. The second track, which definitely sounds like a singing church choir, plays when the characters fight against a demon, death nagas, and shadows. The third track, which has some choir singing in it, plays when a group of vampires are finally vanquished and in one battle when a fake priest revives dead townspeople as zombies. The fourth track, containing some ominous chanting, plays when a vision of an evil wizard opening a portal for a dark god is shown and when one character has a nightmare of his murdered girlfriend. The fifth track, consisting entirely of ominous chanting, plays during some fights in the second last chapter and during a fight with a dragon soul in the final chapter.
- Orphaned Series: Betrayal at Krondor enjoyed immense success and is now a cult classic. The team that put it together was just starting to work on a sequel when the studio broke up the RPG department and crashed the whole project. A Spiritual Successor, Betrayal in Antara, and a thematic successor, Return To Krondor, eventually appeared, but the first had nothing in common with its predecessor except for the general game engine, and the latter was a sequel in name only. The actual project intended by the creators of Betrayal to expand on that storyline and tie off all the loose ends, called Thief of Dreams, never saw the light of day.
- Rape as Drama: Bear is strongly implied to have done this to Talia, as well as fatally wounding (make that murdering) her. This story is a product of British culture, which treats rape and a number of sexual topics as unspeakable and taboo.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Big Bad Bear did this to Talia. You can bet that everyone wants him stone dead for that and other crimes he committed.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Dark God is presented as this. The Dark God does not get released, but the ending makes it clear that the person trying to unseal it has not given up.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Return to Krondor is much easier than it's predecessor, Betrayal at Krondor. This is largely due to the Genre Shift from a traditional dungeon-crawler to an adventure game with non-random RPG combat encounters.
- Stone Wall: Solon is this combined with The Big Guy. Just put him between the enemy and your characters. This will allow your characters to pummel the enemy without too much damage.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Talia, William's girlfriend is raped and fatally wounded by Bear. Her body is left on the floor of her father's bar and William gets to speak with her before she dies. Her death causes William to start a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Bear. Talia is a follower of Kahooli, the God of Vengeance. Her ghost possesses William's body at the end of the game, turning him into an avatar of Kahooli, and is able to beat Bear in a Curb-Stomp Battle. They have one last conversation and one last kiss. She then disappears into the afterlife.
- The Big Guy: Solon is definitely in this role. William has this role when he is with James.
- The Chick: Jazhara is put into this role.
- The Hero: James fits in this role. William is also in this role when he is not with James.
- The Lancer: Jazhara is put in this role. Possibly Kendaric.
- The Man Behind the Man: Sidi is the one who hired Bear to attack the Ishapian vessel and get the Tear of the Gods. Sidi wants to use it to create a portal to allow the Dark God to enter the land of Midkemia. He also gave Bear the amulet. However, Bear turned against him and Sidi had to get rid of him. The Crawler could also qualify, because Bear is his agent and he causes trouble at some points in the game.
- The Smart Guy: Jazhara shares this role with Kendaric, due to the fact that they can use spells and alchemy.
- Vendor Trash: You could collect plenty of vendor trash in Betrayal At Krondor, and some in its lackluster sequel, Return To Krondor. Return was perhaps notable for the fact that gems weren't vendor trash, because the game actually assigned a weight value to money. Vendors would automatically convert your coinage into lighter-weight gems. The large mid-game section where you're free to explore the coastal wilderness near Krondor without any easily-accessible vendors could easily lead to serious weight problems just from all the cash you weren't able to convert to gems (not to mention all the potion-making crap both your wizards were likely carrying around).
- Really, if you want to get rich, just strip every enemy you kill of all their stuff and sell it. It takes time, but you will be filthy rich after awhile. Some of the gems you find are fake, however.
- Wallet of Holding: Averted. In the sequel to Betrayal At Krondor, Return To Krondor, gold is heavy, but the characters always buy small low-quality gems when they leave a town, so that wealth is easily transportable. But if you don't visit a town for a while, you have a problem...
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted to the point of being shattered to a million pieces. Bear not only hit Talia, but he murdered her and worse. There are only a few enemies that are female, but your male characters can kill them without any comment (the one female character you play makes no comment about that, either). Those few female enemies would cheerfully kill you anyway. The mostly male enemies are completely willing to kill anyone, regardless of gender. In fact, Big Bad Bear says "You will give me the Tear, or we will slaughter you to the last man! And...wooman!" That does not even cover the goblins, vampires, ghouls and other creatures.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Averted. In the first chapter, a ten year old girl who is a thief and an orphan living in the streets truly does not want to go to The Order of the Yellow Shield, a group that owns an orphanage. That is because men who pretend to be members of The Order of the Yellow Shield lure kids like her to a sweatshop. At this sweatshop, they work the kids hard, hurt them, lock them up in cages, as well as giving them food that have live rats and squirmy things in it. She also says about how the bad children (i.e. kids who refuse to work or try to run away) just disappear and never come back. Investigating the sweatshop reveals that everything she said is true. You will find a cage with kids locked in it, and depending on your decisions, you will find the bloody corpse of a child in one of the boxes next to the entrance door. James will be very unhappy with that discovery and refer to the owner of the sweatshop as a "child-killer". A camp of goblins sacrificed a boy, cutting him in two, and they were going to do the same to baby twin girls. Vampires killed and converted kids as well as adults to vampires. Ghouls are explicitly said to feast on human flesh - and that would include children. There is also a priest who is devoted to Sung the Pure named Father Roweland who is trying to help children recover from a fatal disease, but he causes the fatal "disease". He actually killed a little boy with evil spells, and was going to do the same to a little girl with an evil amulet magically disguised as a good amulet, as well as evil spells. A woodcutter, his wife and child disappear, but the woodcutter and his wife (not really his wife) sacrificed their child (not really his child) to try to power up a Nightstone. The Nightstone is found on a small skeleton, which could very well be the child's remains. Bear also used explosives to set an orphanage on fire while escaping Krondor - with the kids still in it.