ELFQUEST
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Nowth

http://www.robinhood-game.com/web/en/randompict.php?pict=screenshot_014.jpg
http://www.robinhood-game.com/web/en/randompict.php?pict=screenshot_007.jpg
http://www.robinhood-game.com/web/en/randompict.php?pict=screenshot_018.jpg

Maybe something like this could work? Each of your "heroes" has unique skills like "throwing purses", "always carries food with him", "herbal medicine healer", "reconnaisance and espionage".

I'd much prefer that to the RPG model with statistics where you spend ages hacking your way through random monsters to level up. Yawn.

Seems suited to EQ too - with skills like sending, plant shaping, howling and riding-giant-hawks you would have to solve one and the same problem in radically different ways, depending on the characters chosen. Just like Rayek and Cutter used different skills in the trial of head. (Well, Cutter used a magnet, but still.)

I liked that about Maniac Mansion. If you picked the novelist and the punk rocker, the game would involve improving a manuscript and recording a song. Always multiple keys for the same door.

So maybe less strategy than in Robin Hood. Fewer battles - instead more adventurey clue-hunting and problem-solving, interacting with characters and objects in various ways, and if it's just "take/drop" and "use" or something like that...

It's a quest, after all. None of the Wolfriders had any idea about anything in the beginning. From the troll tunnels to Sorrow's End, the key in New Moon, the Hoan G'Tay Sho, Gliders, the Egg, Two-Edge rockshaping, the Palace and their lost home among the stars - it was one mystery after another.

It'd be such a shame to see that find-out-big-stuff element lost or relegated to cut-scenes. Doesn't anyone else feel cheated by in-game movies? First I have to do all the grunt work, then some pre-determined story-bit happens without me... granted, if that's what it takes to get an EQ animated movie... :)

As for the looks, I do prefer a scrolling "painted" world as in the screenshots above, or as in Diablo II or Ultima 8 or something -- not wallpapers plastered to the side of,er, geometry... - okay, so I'm still biased against 3D. Especially first person POV 3D. Especially for keeping track of multiple characters. I just get lost that way.

And it would have to be alive. Like, with rainswept nights and howling wind, and birds rising from the trees, and snow! And fireflies! Everything! The kind of game that'll make you want to move in! *gibber*

And it would be an action game too! You could run and climb and jump and ride and float and dance and sing and do cartwheels!

And!

Stuff.