How much does Heroes Rise Improve? Spoilers of course

So with the recent release of the final chapter in the Heroes Rise series I’m really starting to wonder just why it is apparently so popular. Someone told me in the thread about Prodigal that they liked her in this last game and that really confused me.

I mean, in the first she was a severely delusional psychopath who was inexplicably capable of planning and orchestrating a scheme that miraculously encompassed pretty much every single action your character took during the plot including stuff she could not have possibly controlled or predicted with the abilities she’s actually stated as having. It’s pretty much confirmed at the end that she was somehow responsible for every single thing that happened to you during the game except for the part where Madame Vice is killed in a ridiculously implausible way. That was apparently perpetrated by her former boss in the form of invisible ghost with a knife and super speed blood draining powers who was also apparently capable of suppressing Black Magic’s powers without her realizing it. All of which are powers he never displayed in life before Prodigal killed him. Actually, I’d love to know if that part was ever explained as well.

I played the demo of Hero Project and it didn’t seem to be much better than the first with the story starting you off right back at square -1, butt monkey of the world. I recently started to try the demo of the last game, but I just lost interest completely after reading the summary of Hero Project and discovering that my suspicions that you were once again just a freaking puppet for the entire game were confirmed. Heck in the first game the mechanics even beat the crap out of you by mind controlling you if you make choices it judges must be based on certain intentions, all culminating in the idiotic premise that the only truly heroic thing to do is to unhesitatingly put the life of their powered sidekick over the life of an unpowered civilian… And then it punishes you for the fact that it forced you to make that choice. So considering that you’ve got two super hero games here in a series that are both basically all about the author beating the crap out of your character with the plot. I just don’t see why the third game would be better, and for that matter how it could redeem the series. I really need some outside input.

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Its really really really BETTER. And i hate the other ones. And by first time your character is not a puppet and discover the truth. The only bad is fact is terribly easy the game take your hand like you have two years. Telling you what is the best choice each time . But the story is good and for first time you arent retarded in game and real fight like an hero and save people or let them die.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the first game. I went in having read all the criticism on the forum about it, and finding the demo itself lacked in choice, but when I actually played it I thought there was enough variations.

In such a long game you just can’t branch that much. The Choice of Games are never going to have as much sheer choice as some of the Hosted Games. They do have a focus on story and for those stories certain plot points have to happen.

Batman’s parents have to die in front of him for him to become the hero he is. Uncle Ben must die for Peter Parker to truly become Spiderman.

I’m not saying I didn’t find some of those frustrating because I did. I think a few of those no-choices could have been handled a bit more elegantly, but I provided that sort of feedback while beta-testing.

Your choices in the first game (and the second) do influence the third game which was nice. Yes, there’s still parts that are completely unavoidable but I don’t think it matters.

I liked the chance to play as a Superhero. I’d love to see another superhero game.

I feel that Zachary’s grown and learned as an author throughout the series. I’ve enjoyed it all and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with his next series.

@poison_mara Did you have the warning system? The warning system’s an in-app purchase which will actually make the game easier by telling you what to do.

Nope i didnt buy it in the second game i never buy the iap. This game is too easy choices are obvious.


You can also buy the warning system with in-game cash (I.e what your character has). So you might have got it that way.

@FairyGodfeather Can you actually give me some examples of meaningful variations? The only ones I can think of are if you choose too many of one type of arbitrarily judged moral choice or the other your character gets mind controlled by the game out of making any choices later, which just counts against the game, and the actual choices that would have been locked out, if you manage to avoid getting them locked, which are all too little too late to have any significant impact.

This game really wasn’t all THAT long, and if you’re talking quality over quantity, when it comes to basically any non-essential item I’d rather enjoy a smaller amount of something good than not enjoy a larger amount of something worse, but there were so few meaningful variations at all that this isn’t really a meaningful point. There were tons of things they could have allowed without breaking the main plot, but they didn’t.

And our protagonist has their parents put in prison for life by a corrupt politician just to throw his weight around, for an accident that it later turns out never even happened. That was the origin story. The adventures of the universal butt monkey parts one and two are the first two story arcs of the MC’s series.

I provided that feedback in beta testing too. I’m not really sure what you’re saying here. The fact that people gave that feedback and it was ignored makes it worse, not better.

Are there parts that are unavoidable? Or parts that are avoidable? The latter seems like the proper terminology to describe the first game.

I would have loved the chance to play as a superhero, but the first game didn’t give it to me. What I’ve played of this series didn’t give it to me. What I got was a game where you play a total butt monkey lead along by the nose from one implausibly unpleasant situation to the next, who just so happens to have some super powers.

Also, was that Madame Vice thing ever explained?

I enjoyed HeroFall quite a bit! With the whole story (sans prologue) taking place in just 48 hours, it felt extremely tight and fast paced. I almost wanted a mental break somewhere in the middle (I guess the Gay Gardens scene was the closest thing to a break), but at the same time the fast place made me appreciate the strain the MC was experiencing.

I enjoyed how Zachary sprinkled in almost every character from the previous two stories, although the sheer number of heroes, villains and others limited character development only to Prodigal, an unhinged psychopath who I could never feel any sympathy for, regardless of her difficult upbringing.

I thought the author did a great job presenting some truly difficult decisions. I was torn about how much to rely on Prodigal, not because I wanted to befriend her, but because I was pretty much helpless without her. Also, fighting against a corrupt regime presented a lot of the inevitable “do I go easy on the front line police, soldiers, etc who are just following orders?” type decisions. Also, trying to decide how much to use my unreliable powers made me pause several times and stare at the choices.

It felt more like a movie to me than pretty much any other CoG, again probably because of the fast pace, tons of action scenes, strong narrative of underdog against the world, and somewhat linear storyline.

In the first game, from what I remember, there’s three meaningful choices which carry over.

What sidekick you choose has quite an influence on what happens in the first game. It has minor effects in the later games.

Whether you choose to save your sidekick or choose to save the reporter (who isn’t non-powered.)

Whether you choose to accept Black Magic’s secret or not. (Also whether you choose to date Black Magic or not).

Those are the main choices that impact the later games.

There’s also minor ones like whether or not you kill Prodigal. Actually that one annoyed me that it was so minor yet the game guilted you immensely about the decision.

In Heroes Rise 2 you have more choices. Whether you ally with the Popular Alliance or the Underdogs. You have an impact on who’s voted out. At the end there’s a major choice you need to make which does have an impact.

The third game had more choice than the second, which had more than the first.

All three games combined are long.

Actually my feedback in the second game wasn’t ignored. There was a point where Jenny’s shot at, you dive in the way and take the bullet (so to speak). I said there needed to be a choice there. The game does rely on you getting hit, but your reasons for being hit are different.

I think the series just isn’t for you.

One thing, Sonja Challa isn’t an unPowered civilian, she is in fact Powered.

It sounds like you were not a big fan of the linear way of the story. I’d say confidently that 3 is not nearly so linear as the previous 2. I only wish it was longer!

I’m inclined to agree with FairyGodfeather. It seems like you just aren’t feeling it.

@Shoelip I’m really glad I started that “Who is your MC” thread because I understand why you dislike this game now. Its also easy to see why Mara disliked the first two as well.

In the first game the author took advantage of the illusion of choice to get us to feel what our character is feeling. It made us feel frustrated, weak, and powerless. The game led us on with the promise of power and success, but smashed us to the ground each time we nearly reached it. At the end we finally get the chance to be the hero we were trying to be the entire game and it makes victory all the sweeter. Basically, the author wanted us to struggle through hell so that we would feel like we earned our happy ending…

Unfortunately, a lot of people pointed out that we never really had a choice in the matter anyways, and it backfired. Spectacularly. Especially for people like you who don’t like to be forced into the role of a weakling. (Or Mara who would like to be the manipulator rather than manipulatee)

So yeah, its really easy to see why this game isn’t for you.

I also can imagine why so many people like the third. It does the one thing Bioware seems incapable of. Making a good ending where your choices from the previous games actually matter. If you play it from scratch you will likely feel cheated, but that’s mainly because your choices in the second (and the first to some degree) play a major role in developing the setting of the third. Without the other two to give the third branches, the third game would probably feel pretty linear and flat.

I’m not sure if I’d say Heroes Rise backfired spectacularly. It’s one of the most popular of the Choice Games. I think that they did a reasonable job of addressing the major problems people had (no choice in regards to Black Magic) in patches.

I think taken as a whole the series is better than the sum of its parts. It’s an interesting story about a Hero’s Rise to fame and power.

@From_Beginnings Exactly i feel totally that way.

I totally understand @Shoelip because when playing the prodigy I was like WTF! Too many things got shoved down your throat and it seemed no matter what you do you end up at the same end.
Since the writing and story concept were good I bought the hero project which to my surprise was better, it also gave you far more meaningful choices. Could it been better? Of course, was it bad? Definitely not.
And hero fall just made everything right; it made a good story in to a great one and gave you all that the other 2 lacked. And the fact that some of the choices are tied in to the previous 2 games makes it even better cause now you can go back and play through it again with different ways you didn’t think to do.

@FairyGodfeather You’re right, I suppose I should have said it just didn’t work for some people. I see it getting a lot of mixed reviews on the forum, but it definitely has a lot of sales in the app store and almost all of those reviews are positive.

@Shoelip, I’ve only beta tested Herofall – haven’t yet played through my Steam copy – but it didn’t feel fundamentally different than the other two in terms of choice structure. In all three, having a long game peppered with choices gives an illusion of more choice than there really is; many of the choices are significant in terms of getting a perfect legend score, but few are significant in terms of the plot and its outcomes.

I had a lot of fun reading all three nonetheless; I think they transcend their flaws. But I wouldn’t expect anyone who was allergic to HR1 to enjoy the sequels. I don’t think you’d get much out of reading Herofall besides heartburn (and another opportunity or fifty to use the phrase “butt monkey”).

Thanks to every for responding in constructively. I’m actually kind of surprised that there wasn’t a single obvious troll response here… Well, I guess this is a rather small, obscure community. Hell, when Heroes Rise first came out on steam I made a few posts on it’s forum promoting CoG in general while expressing my dislike for this game in particular. It does really bug me that I just can’t seem to understand why people like it so much as I consider it a personal failing on my part.

@FairyGodfeather You mentioned that CoG official games can’t be expected to have as many choices as a user created game, and I forgot to talk about that, but it was something that caught my attention. The way I see it, why shouldn’t they? They’re the official face of CoG. Shouldn’t they strive to be the best at it? I would strongly disagree about your choice of sidekick having a major effect. They all do the same things, lead you down the same path, and then get kidnapped by Prodigal. I suppose if you pick the rich girl then you actually get an option that doesn’t result in someone dying… assuming you pick the less heroic choice. The problem with the black magic choice is that it stems specifically from the game’s almost total lack of choices. You’re forced into this relationship with black magic by prodigal’s magic fate powers it’s never actually said she has. And the choice is not meaningful until the next game. And I don’t mean any offense with this, but if you felt that the first game gave you so many more choices than I felt it did, I can’t really trust that your interpretation of the second game isn’t similarly dissimilar from what mine would be.

I though you were talking about feedback given to the first game.

@Everyone It’s kind of interesting if you think about it. One of the few times you actually have the power to affect things in the first game is when you choose whether or not to let Prodigal live. Before that, basically everything was controlled by Prodigal’s unofficial super power of writing the plot to suit her whims. Then it turns out that that choice was actually negated, by Prodigal’s unofficial super power to write the plot to suit her whims. Then in the end your power to affect things in relation to Prodigal is taken away once again, this time finally officially by the Author themselves. Then again I find it kind of interesting to entertain the idea that it was in fact Prodigal’s final act of psychotic manipulative violence. Using her unofficial super power to rewrite the plot to suit her whims to take away the PC’s love interest, herself, as one final act of idiotic revenge. After all, prodigal’s mom wasn’t actually killed by your parents, but that doesn’t change the fact that she had to live as if they had been for all that time… If your parents hadn’t existed in the first place they wouldn’t have been able to be used to hurt her. That seems like something a violent psychopath would come up with.

To everyone saying that Sonja wasn’t powered. Ok, she had some weird eye thing or something. Nothing she could possibly have used to defend herself. My point is that the game considers it more heroic to rescue someone who willingly put themselves in harms way knowing the risks and had previously proven their ability to defend themselves versus someone who was relatively helpless and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or would have been if Prodigal’s powers of arbitrarily limited omnipotence hadn’t put her into that position in the first place.

@From_Beginnings Here’s the thing. You can easily experience being helpless and impotent in the real world. It’s an entirely unpleasant experience, and at least in the real world you don’t know it’s being written that way by another human being. The game was marketted as a super hero game. That was basically a lie. You never actually get to be a super hero in the first game. Just a sucker forced to carry the idiot ball as you’re lead around by the nose until the very end when you’re saved by an almost literal Deus Ex Machina. The fact that you finally win in the end feels hollow and empty, because you didn’t win based on any effort you put in. Only the fact that you had a hidden more powerful power inside you that was barely foreshadowed. Let me see if I can give an example. It’s like if Naruto basically made no progress whatsoever in making friends throughout the entire first series, up until he fights Gaara. Then he just wins because of his Kyuubi powers. Naruto won because his love for the friends he worked so hard to make despite being a social pariah for reasons he barely understood motivated him more than Gaara’s hatred and apathy due to similar circumstances. And in the end Naruto’s real super power isn’t actually the Kyuubi, it’s his ability to touch the hearts and minds of those around him with his communicative abilities.

It’s rather disturbing to me to read that I basically have to play through the first two games and get an endgame save file in order to actually enjoy the third. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

I started off on gamebooks, which for all their multiple choices ultimately you died, or you reached one of the few endings. There were a lot of blind choices, a lot of dying, flat characters and shallow storylines for the most part. But they were also fun.

I love the adventure game genre and the stories they tell, but again your actual ability to influence the plot is rather limited, if you have a chance to influence it at all. But ultimately, it didn’t matter to me because I enjoyed participating in the story.

Heroes Rise is a little like that. It’s not my favourite choice game but I do appreciate it for what it is.

There’s differences between the good Hosted Games and the good Choice Of games. I’ll dig up some of the links about it when I get a chance. It’s really something for its own thread (I can’t remember if it had one or not.)

I’d disagree with you. Sparrow, Tarana Rain and Pressie, are all different, their stories are different, their reasons for betrayal are different. That does have an impact on the story.

I didn’t beta-test the first game.

I think Jason talks a little about it here. I know there’s comments in other parts of the forum too.

@FairyGodfeather I started off on CYOA books too. I felt they were far too linear for something called “Choose your own adventure.” It was more like “choose your own artificially arbitrary death.”

Adventure games were never about choices. They were about solving puzzles and following a story. Games like Dragons Lair may have been called adventure games, but only because they didn’t fit better in any other genre. The recent TWD series and games like it are more of a hybrid between Dragon’s Lair style, CYOA books, and point and click adventure games. They have an inherently different design philosophy than any of the genres that make them up, but utilize aspects of them. The thing is, they constantly talk about “choice” in CoG games, and how it affects the narrative, so one expects that to be an important factor. In Heroes Rise though it mostly just applies to the way the medium is presented. As a multiple choice display.

The thing is that all your sidekicks’ differences are pretty much completely self contained. They each take the exact same actions, serve the exact same purpose, and with the exact same results. Their differences are inconsequential. Just what impact does that have on the story because right now the only one I can think of is that if you don’t choose the rich girl and save Sonja then Prodigal doesn’t kill anyone, but you don’t ever meet the homeless woman you supposedly save if you choose Sparrow. Or is that because prodigal kills her anyway? I don’t remember it really being mentioned.

And also, this all seems to ignore the biggest issue with the game overall. That all of the lack of choice and everything is explained as being due to a clearly delusional violent psychopath somehow managing to orchestrate practically every event in your life to the point where she has to be affecting probability in some parts. The whole premise of the game is a plot hole with a well crafted cover.

@Everyone So I guess I should take it that the Madame Vice thing is just left as a plot hole?

I’d agree with you if it had gone the route of some of the other choice games, whereing there was just a sidekick variable and it put in the name into the exact same paragraphs and the only differences were minor.

However, I think that there was choice there. We might have different ideas of what significant choices are.