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My personal TlJ Story


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#1 April01

April01

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 21:15

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After discussing a lot yet about this whole saga and especially the role of April Ryan, it is now time for me to tell something else. It is time for something very positive, trying to explain what "TlJ" means to me. This is not easy, of course, but I want to try. I want to try to explain, how I could get in love with "TlJ" so much, and even not changing until today. It is my tribute for my best adventure game of all time...

 

Well, let me start with the beginning. And the beginning is not "TlJ", but starting with my very first PC at home and discovering the world of PC games. At first I even wasn't an adventure gamer from the beginning, I started with action games. It was the very exciting time of the first games presented in 3D - really fascinating and really not as normal as today. But soon after those first steps in action worlds, I searched for more, trying to explore much more fantastic worlds in games and trying different genres. I quickly learned about what I only wanted to play - only games with 3rd Person View - and this limited my possibilities a lot, of course.

 

My first encounter with an adventure game was in 1998, still the year I started with my first PC. The name was "Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars", and soon after this one "Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror". Those two animatic adventure games fascinated me a lot, and to get a fan of this whole genre afterwards - I guess it would never had been without the "Broken Sword" saga at all. I am a fan of those games until today, and in fact they had paved the way to "TlJ". Because afterwards I really was hungry for more, and since then I always looked for new interesting adventure games to play...

 

Two years later. It was in 2000, as TlJ finally was released in my country, by a distributor named "egmont-interactive". I can not tell any more, which exactly date it was to find this game in my favorite store the first time. But I do remember the moment, as I had it in my hands, this big package with a wonderful front motive and interesting information on the back. At this time there was no publicity for games like today, no fast internet as today - instead I informed myself in stores with reading information on packages. The covers and designing them was the main factor for me to buy a game or not - the real opposite of today, where the trend goes to downloading games without all physical content. Not my world, still today I love those wonderful big game packages, and this was the German Box at this time for TlJ at the first release:

 

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Really, a wonderful box set for the first release of the game, at this time in a normal A4 format. Certainly bad for your shelf because of the size, but wonderful looking otherwise. For me this German first publication was the best one ever, and the cover really was so pleasing at once. I saw it, I saw the screenshots and I read the text - and the I was caught up yet totally from this game. I really did not know at this moment, what I could expect, but I knew I would be pleased. Somehow I simply knew...

 

I bought this game at once then. No more thinking, no hesitating at all, the game was mine the next moment. Back at home again I installed it on my PC with no problems, and then I was ready for my first step into this new adventure world, ready to start "The longest Journey". I was so curious...

 

...and I should not be disappointed. Not at all. Yet with my first playing I knew, this game was really something very special, not similar to anything I ever played before. And from the view of today - also not similar to anything I ever played so far...

 

Why is this so? Why could I get in love with a game so much? And why could the main character, April Ryan, grew dear to my heart so much? Can I somehow explain and answer those questions? At least I will try...

 

Of course it is not only one thing, one element, but a lot of factors to be responsible that a game can cause such strong emotions inside me. Since my first PC I have played such a lot of games, which I liked more or less, but not one more of them could capture my heart as much as TlJ.

 

First, when I play a game I prefer non realistic worlds to explore. I don't play any girl depending on real life, because real life is what I want to leave behind for some time, when I play. My favorite genres are fantasy and science-fiction - and TlJ has both of them. A very special combination, not often to meet in games, and the setting was simply perfect here. Just the world I wanted to explore...

 

Of course, from the view of today, the graphics of TlJ is no more suitable. But that doesn't matter, at the time I bought and played the game it was okay. Not perfect, but really enough to enjoy the game. This is always an important factor for me in a game, and TlJ did a good job for such a extensive adventure game.

 

The length. Next point. Games of today barely still have such a length like games from the past. An old saw tells us "Brevity is the soul of wit ". But it isn't, not for games by all means. TlJ still is a game you need a lot of time for, if you want to see, try and do all possible things. Just the way a game should be...

 

One more factor, to find, see and hear new things I missed so far when I play this game next time is also very fascinating. I often thought i really had done all what would be ever possible in the game, and there was still one sentence not spoken yet, one thing April could do not done so far...

 

Of course it is also important that all elements in a game fit together in an as perfect way as possible. Graphics, sound effects, music, puzzles, conversations. And for me all elements worked together in such a perfect way in this game, I couldn't imagine any better. Also the very different characters which each in his own story, where I though of very much talking never got bored at all...

 

And finally, the main character, of course. If a main character, the one I play in a game, doesn't work and doesn't cause any positive emotions, then a game has lost from the beginning and I even do not play it until the end. April starts as a whole normal young girl, with her own problems and sorrows, searching her way in life and future. Thereby she "Stumbles" into this great adventure, learns so much, and grows far beyond herself in the end. She grows to a special hero, not with muscles or weapons, but with her character. I could identify with her so much, and every time playing again still more. And so my feelings and love for this game grew with every further playing, nothing could change this until today. It was and is the game of my life. But sadly this wonderful story wasn't over yet at this point, hard days should still follow..

 

Well, first after the release of TlJ there was even a little merchandise. Not really much, as for example there were no figures from them game you could get to collect, for example. But other things, like a Base-Cap, a T-Shirt or a Mouse pad....

 

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Sadly I did not buy a T-Shirt at this time, but the Mouse pad is still in my possession. And of course there was an official game guide, a really thick book with 208 pages. But not only with help for the game in extensive form, also questions and answers for the puzzles only, a gallery and an exclusive interview with Ragnar Tornquist. This was simply a "must-have" book, and it is also still in my possession...

 

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And so the years went by, while I played this game really often. Until the day I got my newest PC with a new operating system - the shock then was heavy. The game did not run any longer, it was not compatible any more. And even worse, meanwhile the publisher in my country was bankrupt, it existed no longer, and no other publisher did continue this distribution. For the next few years the game was totally lost, and I could not play the first edition any longer. Really sad days for me, as I had to believe TlJ would not be published again, and of course there was no sign of Dreamfall yet...

 

The days as Dreamfall was announced then brought new hope into all of it. And indeed, these days a new publisher also was found for TlJ, and a new special edition of my favorite game was released. I almost couldn't believe, and of course I bought it at once. The game now runs perfectly again, first with Windows XP, and today also with Windows 7. I was so happy again, TlJ was back to life...

 

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This was my personal special TlJ story. Perhaps I could explain my love for this game, and why I am totally sure this love will never fade away...

 

EDITION:

 

Oh, I almost forgot about something further important. What I also love so much about TlJ are those lots of small little things to do beyond the normal way to go. Reading the continuing diary is really exciting, visting the Fringe Cafe, using the jukebox, standing there while listening and dreaming. I really visited this place much more than necessary in the game. And of course all those funny little comments of April on what she hears, feels and sees - I would never want to miss this. Also klicking more tna once on the same item, not to miss anything she could say...

 

There are not much games offering such intense content. This is what I really loce about TlJ so much, this and all other content like I told here. TlJ is unique to me, and I believe it will stay like this. At least I wanted to tell it here once, to explain my feelings for this great game...


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