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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Entropy (Loosely themed puzzles and a custom monster)
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8.9/10 (18 votes)
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Author Name:Dischorran
Submitted By:Dischorran
Hold Name:Entropy
Theme:Loosely themed puzzles and a custom monster
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Number of Levels:6
Number of Rooms:127
Number of Monsters:838
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:4 (+4 / -0)
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File: Entropy.hold (67.2 KB)
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License: Other
From: Unspecified
icon Entropy  
The right man in the right place can change the world. But the world does not always change for the better.

This is my second major hold, and with any luck incorporates everything I've learned about architecture and the playing of DROD since the creation of Beethro's Brain. The Guardians from the Al Dente 2 contest make a return, and a new storyline runs through the hold. Enjoy!

Many thanks to my beta testers! To Blondbeard, Rheb, and larrymurk for detailed comments and criticism on the rooms, to NiroZ, Chaco, and vittro for general comments, and an extra special thanks to CuriousShyRabbit for particularly intensive playtesting over the course of multiple versions of the hold.
08-14-2008 at 10:19 PM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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icon Re: Entropy (+1)  
Sharpen your swords and get ready to wreak havoc in an up-and-coming architect's carefully designed puzzles!

The coherence of this hold is very impressive. The unique story, level design, and puzzle themes fit together perfectly. Even the non-puzzle "decorations" are carefully thought out to display a changing world at different points in time. Of all the levels, I think the fourth level has my favorite theme and puzzles.

This hold features the return of Dischorran's custom monster, the Guardian, that he first used in his Holds al Dente 2 contest entry. Here, it has new custom sprites and its puzzle potential has been fully explored. While Guardians are not used in all the puzzles in this hold, many of my favorite puzzles do use them. These include 2S2W and 1S1E on the second level, 2S1W on the third level, and 3S1E on the fifth level.

If this hold has a weakness, it would be that while some of the puzzles are great, others are forgettable. But those others did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the hold.

Highly recommended! :)
08-14-2008 at 10:38 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Entropy (+1)  
As a major contributor, I'll once again emphasize the story.

Between bouts of puzzle-solving in levels that work alongside the narrative in an interesting manner, our protagonist (non-canon Beethro) learns some important truths and does change the world. Dischorran has once again created an intriguing hold that is well worth playing. :)

____________________________
Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Chaco at 08-14-2008 10:46 PM]
08-14-2008 at 10:45 PM
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Dischorran
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File: Guardian.png (1.4 KB)
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License: Public Domain
icon Re: Entropy (+1)  
The custom monster of this hold is free for use and modification. Scripting details are in this post in the secret tag, but I recommend that anyone not familiar with the Guardians discover them on their own in the hold first. Their original appearance is here, which may serve as a good introduction for anyone struggling with learning their behavior.

Click here to view the secret text


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08-21-2008 at 11:02 PM
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akakij_akakijewitsch
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icon Re: Entropy (+2)  
What a pity that this hold has so few explorers. Among the non-official levels I played so far, 'Entropy' has got to be my favorite. And even so it has been said before, I too want to stress how well the architecture, puzzles and story complement each other.

While the hold has a few rooms that I thought were a bit, mhm, cumbersome,
Click here to view the secret text
most are well thought out, original, not too difficult and fun. Level 4 was a pure joy to play.

Furthermore, while I certainly don't dislike the whacky storylines of many holds, it was refreshing to have a more serious one for a change.

6-7 brains, 9 for fun. Highly recommended!

05-02-2009 at 11:31 AM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Entropy (+2)  
I've finally finished this hold (well, other than a secret room, and not the one Akakij mentions above). Folks, I know it's hard; I had to resort to hints (from H&S or from Curious Shy Rabbit in the in-game chat) more than once.

But it's worth making it through. The plot and the level design are exquisite. Keep at this one; don't give up.
05-29-2009 at 02:26 AM
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Dischorran
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File: Delta S.hold (34.3 KB)
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License: Public Domain
icon Re: Entropy (+1)  
One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that while most holds of this length have some post-mastery content, this one doesn't. In this case, this is a rather significant oversight given that the first level was completely reworked after the hold was fairly well along in beta. So why didn't I add the original version in as bonus content? Good question.

Attached to this post is the original design of the first two levels of Entropy. I suspect it won't be too hard to see why they needed to be redesigned. Also, this version precedes the custom Guardian graphics, so if the citizen is trying to kill you, it's a Guardian. One might also note that a few of the more notorious rooms were late additions to the hold.

You're on the honor system to master the hold before downloading this postmastery content. ;)

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07-17-2009 at 09:37 PM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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icon Re: Entropy (0)  
Ooooh cool, I'm glad this is still around! The visual design of the original first level was just stunning. The current first level is indeed well crafted, but I don't think it comes anywhere close to the original.

Anyway, it's definitely worth a look. :)
07-17-2009 at 10:02 PM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: Entropy (+4)  
This hold has the strongest atmosphere and most coherent mood out of any DROD levels I've ever played, and that's including the official ones. It's pretty darn impressive - especially since that atmosphere never gets in the way or distracts from the puzzles while you're solving them. Which isn't to say the puzzles themselves don't contribute to the atmosphere, because they do very well. There are a couple of occasions where moving between puzzles is kind of annoying as a result (uninteresting guard killing, narrow winding paths) and the, uh, well, without spoilers, if you've reached the final level you can probably guess what about completing it might bug me. These will occupy by far the minority of your time though.

The core puzzles were equally enjoyable. The first level has a some cool individual layouts with a variety of puzzles and a few clever ideas. Later levels stick more closely to a theme each, but there's still never anything that feels monotonous or like filler. Sometimes you'll recognise a familiar type of puzzle (eg. "Oh, it's 'a defend yourself from a horde while guiding a fegundos elsewhere' room") but they're well designed and brisk enough that it won't bother you. Difficulty varies quite a bit room-by-room probably depending on your own strengths or preferences ... some will be easy, some will be *hard*, but none should be especially arduous to execute once you've figured out the tricks or given up, looked at hints and felt stupid for missing them.

Guardians are just awesome, and imma be sad if I don't ever see a version of them make it into the game officially. Simple idea, huge range of puzzle implementations. They're worth sticking around for even if you're not that interested by the first level.

If I could rate this hold 11 overall, I would. But I cannot. So you must accept my lowly, unworthy 10. :(
06-12-2013 at 10:22 AM
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PMIT
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icon Re: Entropy (+2)  
I recently finished this hold, and I also have a lot of praise for it. If you haven't played it, it is absolutely worth trying out.

The atmosphere and themes explored are easily among the best of the holds I've played, and the actions Beethro takes definitely feel like they have weight. The dialogue and narration help sell the story, but the excellent environmental design does an even better job. There was a moment a few levels in where I noticed an environmental detail that gave me chills due to how it related to the setting of the hold. The puzzles also help build the mood; even when there doesn't appear to be a theme on a puzzle-by-puzzle basis, what you're doing always relates to Beethro's goals and the general 'feel' of the level.

As for the puzzles themselves, they make what you need to do clear, but for most of them you'll have to think a bit to come up with a solution. Some straightforward-seeming rooms ended up being surprisingly tricky, while others that looked daunting ended up being quite nice once I got into a rhythm. As mentioned earlier in the thread, don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

Finally, many of the rooms after the first level feature a custom-monster with simple rules but a wide range of applications. Each time I thought that their puzzle potential had been explored fully, there was a new challenge that forced me to think about them in new ways. I liked their inclusion a lot and definitely wouldn't mind seeing them again in another hold.

Again, this hold is great and worth playing.

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09-05-2015 at 04:51 AM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: Entropy (+3)  
I actually finished this hold quite a while ago now. The reason I'm writing this review now is because I recently thought about how to write a plot exploring Beethro's darker sides. Then I realized that even if I were a much better writer than I am, I could never add anything to this masterpiece.

Though I'm pretty much just repeating what others said before me, this hold has one of, if not the best storyline of all DROD holds. Including official ones. And that's not an easy thing to do.

The hold name is brilliant. The level names are brilliant. The final level is brilliant. I don't want to say much more about it, but if you enjoy a good, darker and edgier plot with a spot-on characterization of the protagonist and haven't conquered this hold yet, you should definitely do so. Trust me. Even if things are getting a little tricky, it's worth sticking around.

I've already praised the aesthetics in another thread, but if you can't remember that: They are brilliant. As far as I remember, the puzzles were also quite neat, though I think they're actually the weak point of the hold.

So yeah, altogether one of my very favourite holds ever, even more than two years after conquering it. Though I admire his more experimental efforts, this one makes me wish Dischorran would give us another plot-centric hold in the future.
02-25-2016 at 10:35 AM
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Dischorran
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Thanks!

I don't disagree about the puzzles; Hinterlands was practice in making a puzzle focused hold. The trouble with plot-focused holds is that they need to be biggish, and I'm lazy. Plus, it's more fun not to repeat myself conceptually.

But, if you were to treat Beethro's Brain through Hinterlands as a unified plot, you would perhaps not be far off...

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02-28-2016 at 02:55 AM
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