Gothic - You Are Not Special

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Gothic - You Are Not Special

Gothic is a classic dark fantasy RPG where your hero is rarely treated like the long-awaited chosen one.

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Oh yeah, this game was so good when it got released. Shame it's not as well known as it deserves, perharps because Morrowind came out a year later. Whenever I think of action-RPGs, I think of the Gothic franchise. Stats are cool and all, but damn you could ace this game if you knew your way around the combat mechanics. Fencing with NPCs was my favourite. Non-lethal duels were a great idea, and smacking folks into the mud fit well into the whole penal colony atmosphere.

If you enjoyed this one, you should have a great time with the sequel, it's generally considered the best of the Gothic games. I think they're both absolutely wonderful. Just be prepared if you're playing the sequel with the expansion installed: it makes the game a GREAT deal more difficult. That was Piranha Bytes' reaction to criticism by the fans that the sequel was too easy, they released an expansion to kick everybody's ass. You may even want to play the sequel without the expansion first, as strange as that sounds, and then replay it with the expansion afterwards. It really is brutal, far more brutal than the first game in fact, and you were correct in stating that this is already a pretty unforgiving experience. I just thought you deserved a sufficient warning.

And Gothic 3 is, in my opinion, a total piece of crap. And then the first Risen was a lot better, 2 was atrocious, and 3 was pretty mediocre. I find it a bit insane that in all the years since Gothic 2, Piranha Bytes hasn't been able to release a game that was better than their first two in a lot of ways.

Hmmm...now I feel like replaying the first game...

Fat_Hippo:
If you enjoyed this one, you should have a great time with the sequel, it's generally considered the best of the Gothic games. I think they're both absolutely wonderful. Just be prepared if you're playing the sequel with the expansion installed: it makes the game a GREAT deal more difficult. That was Piranha Bytes' reaction to criticism by the fans that the sequel was too easy, they released an expansion to kick everybody's ass. You may even want to play the sequel without the expansion first, as strange as that sounds, and then replay it with the expansion afterwards. It really is brutal, far more brutal than the first game in fact, and you were correct in stating that this is already a pretty unforgiving experience. I just thought you deserved a sufficient warning.

And Gothic 3 is, in my opinion, a total piece of crap. And then the first Risen was a lot better, 2 was atrocious, and 3 was pretty mediocre. I find it a bit insane that in all the years since Gothic 2, Piranha Bytes hasn't been able to release a game that was better than their first two in a lot of ways.

Hmmm...now I feel like replaying the first game...

Yeah, Gothic 1 is fantastic, and Gothic II managed to be the rare kind of sequel that improves on an already excellent game.

In Gothic 3 the developers really overextended themselves. The world is just so freaking huge and there are so many quests that there was no more time to polish the gameplay. So unfortunately it's true that the combat and balancing has suffered and is probably the worst of the series. But after installing the latest community patches, I found it to be a great, epic experience, if you can suffer through the somewhat frustrating combat. Also the world is masterfully created and great for exploration.

Risen 1 was like back to the roots. More like Gothic 1 and 2. I guess not quite as good, but still worth playing. I just finished Risen 2 a while ago and it was probably the weakest game of them all, but a good game in its own right. Also, the pirate theme is quite unique and there is not anything else quite like it.

Now I'm taking a break of PB games to dive into Risen 3 at some point.

Imre Csete:
Oh yeah, this game was so good when it got released. Shame it's not as well known as it deserves, perharps because Morrowind came out a year later. Whenever I think of action-RPGs, I think of the Gothic franchise. Stats are cool and all, but damn you could ace this game if you knew your way around the combat mechanics. Fencing with NPCs was my favourite. Non-lethal duels were a great idea, and smacking folks into the mud fit well into the whole penal colony atmosphere.

Yeah, non-lethal duels is one of the things I like most about Gothic games. It's great so smack somebody up to show'em who's boss, without outright killing them. Strange that this feature hasn't found its way into other games.
And its also oh-so-satisfying to finish somebody off that has pissed you off for the last time, with a finisher move.

And now everybody knows why we Germans do our best to keep PB alive.
Because we live in eternal hope that one day the stars will align and a new Gothic will be born.

Didn't read anything about the frustrating combat. You press a key to swing your sword and it either doesn't recognise it, swings too late. I could handle Gothic II which was the first I played but going back to 1 was too much.

Piranha Bytes still has the best worlds of any open RPG. The Gothic and Risen series are satisfying and fun to explore, which I can't say for many open games.

Pick the collection of them all up a while back but never got around to playing it. Anyone got an opinion on ArcaniaA, the the supposed 4th in the series?

Imre Csete:
Oh yeah, this game was so good when it got released. Shame it's not as well known as it deserves, perharps because Morrowind came out a year later. Whenever I think of action-RPGs, I think of the Gothic franchise. Stats are cool and all, but damn you could ace this game if you knew your way around the combat mechanics. Fencing with NPCs was my favourite. Non-lethal duels were a great idea, and smacking folks into the mud fit well into the whole penal colony atmosphere.

One thing I'm surprised he didn't bring up was how as your skills went up in combat related stuff your character would actually improve his technique. It literally wasn't just "you get +5% damage", your character would actually adopt a better stance, make faster and more efficacious swings, and generally start resembling a fighter more than a farmer trying to figure out which end is sharp.

Also nonlethal duels with literally everyone not wearing nice armor was how I funded my early game, but like he said everyone pisses you off, lies to you, and tries to screw you over. Which leads me to another handy thing: you could only non-lethal plot central characters, and the moment they weren't necessary, they lost that protection. There were what, 4, characters still unkillable at the end of the game (Diego, Lester, Xardas, and the one guy from the New Camp), out of what started as a pretty large cast.

Also, orcs can take falling damage, and are just as bad at not falling off very tall cliffs as you are. This is a good way to get some orc weapons to sell early on. I mean, they're better than early game weapons, but they are shit for the strength requirement they have.

Another neat thing, talking about survival, is that mobs don't respawn over time, new mobs are only added at the start of each chapter. Which means that you can clear a path somewhere and it will probably be clear for the rest of the chapter (barring something else nearby wandering a short distance).

Also, armor maters in a way that it just doesn't in other games. Armor has a severe effect on how much damage weapons do, both to you and your enemies. You only get armor upgrades by moving higher in the ranks in one of the camps (or the end game armor which gets supplied by Xardas).

One last thing: You actually are special. You just don't realize it, and only one character the entire game does, and that one keeps it close to his chest. The truth comes out later in the series. Everyone in Gothic is an asshole acting in their own best interest.

So glad to see Gothic getting some recognition - it's still one of my all-time favourite RPGs.

The world is smaller than many of its contemporaries, but so much richer. The controls are terrible to a newcomer, but once you've gotten over the initial hurdle, combat is surprisingly intuitive when it comes to blocking, parrying and side-swiping. We've all killed a million orcs, but your first orc in Gothic is pretty much guaranteed to wipe the floor with you so hard you'll savour the achievement of killing a simple scout.

There's some Chosen One/divine favour elements in the sequels, but they're not what you think and they don't mean what they usually do, which goes for a nice change. Gothic 2 makes the controls more approachable but Gothic 3 simplified them a bit too much, for my tastes.

The smaller area and tighter writing means you get some nice touches you didn't get elsewhere at the time - like fully-voiced characters from start to finish, from the lowliest mine scrub to the major players and the "hero" himself. Sure there's only a handful of voice-actors, which leads to some overlap, but they're used carefully enough to avoid having two dudes with the same voice talking to each other. The smaller world also means that any time something significant happens, it happens in a place where you've already spent a lot of time - and are thus more invested in.

Fantasy staple creatures kick your ass for the most part: orcs are like raging gorillas; skeletons are fast and zombies are nigh-on indestructible; golems will send you flying if you're lucky and one-shot you if you're not; a single ghost is usually more trouble than it's worth; the few trolls you'll find are more like giants than the fuzzy apes you'll find in TES; and don't even get me started on the Death Knights...

On top of that you have new creatures either unique to the world or with much more impact than you're used to - wolves will be your first real problem, the humble meat-bug has a small but significant role and don't even think about going near that Shadow Beast until you're well-equipped. Then of course there's the iconic Scavenger. Nothing special, but the simple sight of one reminds you you're on Khorinis (the G3 trailer hit me right in the nostalgia-feels).

Not the easiest game to get into, and certainly not the most fair, but very much worth the investment and one of relatively few games I've actually bothered playing through on every side. The three camps' stories all diverge and merge at one stage or another, but they also encourage different play-styles and offer their own rewards (also, follow-up to the spoiler in the article: the recipient for your letter only defects under certain circumstances, usually when you've advanced far enough with the New Camp that the game thinks you'll join them instead of the Old Camp).

Most surprising though is the little touches and the immersion they bring - the satisfaction of forging swords from scratch and making a little money on the side; sharing a drink or a joint with your camp-mates; stirring a pot of soup while you cook it; even just taking time out to sit around the camp fire and play the guitar.

Far from perfect, but I love it.

Also, who didn't love Chromanin...

MacabreHeart:
Pick the collection of them all up a while back but never got around to playing it. Anyone got an opinion on ArcaniaA, the the supposed 4th in the series?

Do you want the sort of official German opinion about it?

There is no Gothic 4.
There is no Arcania.
There doesn't even exist an expansion for Gothic 3.
The Gothic series ended after Gothic 3 the main game and nothing came after it.

I'm serious ask any gamer in Germany and you will get this answer.

Schadrach:
One thing I'm surprised he didn't bring up was how as your skills went up in combat related stuff your character would actually improve his technique. It literally wasn't just "you get +5% damage", your character would actually adopt a better stance, make faster and more efficacious swings, and generally start resembling a fighter more than a farmer trying to figure out which end is sharp

Yeah, spamming side swiping after you got to master was hillariously broken. And once I mastered acrobatics I never walked, ever. It made 24/7 bunny jumping people in MMOs look pretty normal in comparison. :D

MacabreHeart:
Pick the collection of them all up a while back but never got around to playing it. Anyone got an opinion on ArcaniaA, the the supposed 4th in the series?

I played "Gothic 4" Arcania, and you won't miss a thing by skipping it. It's an entirely different game, linear and heavily action oriented. The first half of the game is merely "OK", and it is evident that development was rushed in the second half of the game, because there is practically no more plot or NPCs anymore, just bashing monsters. Overall, its a mediocre game in the best moments, and just plain bad in the worst. With all the great games we have these days, not really worth spending time with something like Arcania.

Never played the game in English, but the German VA was very enjoyable.

One funny anecdote is that the world's rough tone isn't entirely due to the prison setting. The following games are no longer in such a setting, yet retain the tone. When I asked them during the fan-demonstration of Risen 2 why the tone was so very different from your standard fantasy game, I got a few strange looks in return. The chief devs themselves of PB talk quite a bit like that, rough and openly. Makes them appear very down to earth.

The game itself was great back then and the second part improved on it organically. If you can work with the controls, which are very weird, it's an experience worth having. You can see pretty much everything in one go, but for most people it'll have a reasonably large replay value.
The third game is a curious case. The world is FAR larger, but feels a bit empty. Playing it when it went on sale was a huge mistake, considering that it suffered from lots of issues.
Risen was a very decent game, though it had awkward graphics and camera angles. Risen 2 suffered from a lot everything and I have yet to play Risen 3.

Huh? What are you saying? An Add-on to Gothic 3? There was no add-on to Gothic 3 and certainly no part 4!!!!! (With a friendly wave at Dornedas)

captcha: Good Luck.

Well, captcha is right. You'll need luck in this game.

Yes, Gothic 1 and 2 are great RPGs just because of the logical consequences of your actions. Now, if only I could get my Steam versions to work...

Gothic and Gothic 2 are amazing games, because they follow their own rules. They are unapologetically harder in the beginning than they are in the end, so your quest for power feels like it has meaning, and isn't just thrown in there to keep you playing. The world is tiny, but it's jam packed with stuff to find and explore, and because it's so small it become familiar to you in ways that other games don't manage. The biggest thing I love about Gothic is the power level though, because the most powerful enemies in the game are orcs and trolls. Having a 7 foot tall orc warrior swinging a man sized axe at you means something in Gothic. Orcs aren't just a noob enemy, they are scary as hell, and being strong enough to fight one as a human means you are a major badass. There are a few trolls in hidden places in the game, and you often have to recruit some friends to even take them on.

Fat_Hippo:
If you enjoyed this one, you should have a great time with the sequel, it's generally considered the best of the Gothic games. I think they're both absolutely wonderful. Just be prepared if you're playing the sequel with the expansion installed: it makes the game a GREAT deal more difficult. That was Piranha Bytes' reaction to criticism by the fans that the sequel was too easy, they released an expansion to kick everybody's ass. You may even want to play the sequel without the expansion first, as strange as that sounds, and then replay it with the expansion afterwards. It really is brutal, far more brutal than the first game in fact, and you were correct in stating that this is already a pretty unforgiving experience. I just thought you deserved a sufficient warning.

And Gothic 3 is, in my opinion, a total piece of crap. And then the first Risen was a lot better, 2 was atrocious, and 3 was pretty mediocre. I find it a bit insane that in all the years since Gothic 2, Piranha Bytes hasn't been able to release a game that was better than their first two in a lot of ways.

Hmmm...now I feel like replaying the first game...

I actually didn't care about Gothic 2 too much because it lacks the defining aspect that made Gothic 1 great as mentioned in the article: you being no one special.

That was the best part of the first game for me. The second did improve much in many areas, but the story (except the last part) just didn't click with me.

If you can, also play this game with the German voice-overs, they're a million times better than the English ones.

Fdzzaigl:
I actually didn't care about Gothic 2 too much because it lacks the defining aspect that made Gothic 1 great as mentioned in the article: you being no one special.

That was the best part of the first game for me. The second did improve much in many areas, but the story (except the last part) just didn't click with me.

If you can, also play this game with the German voice-overs, they're a million times better than the English ones.

Yeah, I prefered the story in Gothic 1 far more as well. The whole "prison colony" thing was awesome, and being given almost a bit of "chosen one" status in the second game was lame. But at least people didn't realize you were trying to save everyone, so they still treated you like shit. BRING IT PEOPLE I NEED YOUR ABUSE!

And being a native German speaker, of course I played them in German! It really adds a lot of atmosphere. Especially the copious German swearing.

Aetrion:
The biggest thing I love about Gothic is the power level though, because the most powerful enemies in the game are orcs and trolls. Having a 7 foot tall orc warrior swinging a man sized axe at you means something in Gothic. Orcs aren't just a noob enemy, they are scary as hell, and being strong enough to fight one as a human means you are a major badass. There are a few trolls in hidden places in the game, and you often have to recruit some friends to even take them on.

This is so true. But I also love that a lot of these hurdles can be overcome with sufficient mastery of the combat system, as clunky as it may seem when you first start playing. With the right tactic, even a troll can be defeated alone without losing a single hitpoint...it just takes awhile. Pretty satisfying to solo trolls early on in Gothic 2.

This was a game I always suspected I'd have enjoyed and after reading the article am quite reassured that would have been the case.

I really wish I'd have played it back on or around the release for the full effect.
Now I've been spoiled by modern graphics and conveniences woven into the newer games that most old games just don't seem to gel with me.

Another game that slipped by but I wish I'd played in a similar vein was arx fatalis.

Very interesting article.

Aah,Gothic. Four words,followed by a fist to the face are all the introduction you need to the first game. Take it away,Bullit!

"Welcome to the Colony!" <Facepunch'd>

Tough as nails,but rewarding. It makes Demon's Souls look like kindergarten.

I only played 2, not 1. And... I got a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. I did love exploring the open world and how the strongest creature in the manual was 30 feet of the starting path was a great introduction into the brutality of the world.

But the combat was very bad. Okay, it was actually fine against a single opponent, but against more than one the whole timing your swings to counter the enemy attacks went right out the window. Instead, it was a frantic buttonmash before your target's friend rammed his sword up your ass. And once you almost got your first target down, the two enemies would get near each other. At that point the lock-on system, which I presume was developed by Satan himself, would switch your target to the other full-health enemy while your previous victim would happily proceed to give you a double edged prostate exam. And just forget about manually switching targets in the heat of battle. It got so bad that I completed most of the game by taking potshots at a group, running away as soon as they got close and kiting them until they lost interest. Rinse, repeat, until there was only one left and you could fight him properly.

Also, the ending was a massive anti-climax IMHO. The final boss, who's been hidden all this time and when you meet him taunts about how everything you did to get to him was all part of the plan to destroy you is... another dragon. With the exact same moveset as the previous 4 dragon bosses*. Oh, but this one is a skeletal dragon... meaning it's vulnerable to the highly damaging Destroy Undead spell. On my sorcerer playthrough I killed him within 5 seconds by just casting that spell a few times. Yeah, how's that master plan of leading me to your lair working out for you now?

*Incidentally, the dragon AI was amusingly predictable. They had nasty attacks that made it hard to get close, but they'd always switch targets if another creature hit them twice. I always used summon spells or scrolls. Wait until they target the summon, then run up and get a few good hits in, retreat and let the summon get aggro.

Man, I still play this game sometime.

I...I've killed so many miners and meatbugs.

I loved Gothic. Orginally, the only fantasy RPG I even considered playing (Elder Scrolls and Baldurs Gate now joined those ranks, but that's still about it). And due living in the country where the game was developed in, I also had the perk of way better voice acting with NO bad performance at all from any of the cast.

Controls are really the only thing that, if the game ever got any form of update or remake, that would require a rework. The basic idea behind them still works (have an interaction key you hold and another to start and end interactions) and general movement worked, but as soon as combat was involved, it was really just barely working at the best of times due its auto aim and because it was 100% keyboard controlled.
And yet, it was working that well, Gothic 2 even got a "use Gothic 1 controls" as option to play instead of the improved ones the sequel got and most people used them.

As an addional note: For any Ultima players, that were upset about Ultima 9 back in the days and still are, you guys should certainly take a look at Gothic 1. That thing is basically "what if Ultima 9 was good?" - obviously not fixing any story issues Ultima 9 had and the engine is still running, at times, about as stable as a wet biscuit. But the overall gameplay is really "Ultima 9, but good"

This review makes Gothic sounds like a wonderful game. It's a game I should try again...if I could ever get over its horrible controls. :(

Gothic was my first RPG i ever played on the PC.
It conditioned me so deeply that i even today, but back when i played Morrowind especialy, i questioned every price and thought "Back in the Mining colony, Books were worth a fortune" and "All those cups and plates and stuff, i had to steal back in the day and here they are found in a dumpster" and "How can food be so cheap? I had to steal everything back in the colony"

So he is right about prison culture i guess

I played this game so much (=I lived in prison so long) that i cant adapt, even years later, to living in freedom (playing Elderscrolls games for ex.)
And it didn't help, that you start as a prisoner who gets released somehow

Saying the world of Gothic is not as big as Witcher 3 is kind of unfair. Gothic is easily as big as Witcher 1 and Gothic 3 is easily as big as Witcher 3 (though unplayble without the community patch).

For anyone interested in the series I'd like to point out that Gothic 4 (Arcadia, a Gothic tale or something) is not really Gothic 4, Risen is. Developer and Publisher split after Gothic 3 and the Publisher kept the name and let another studio create a 4th Gothic game while the developer started a similar series with Risen (Risen 2, Risen 3). Unsurprisingly, the developer's new game is more like Gothic than the publisher's.

I tried to like Gothic but the game's controls feel so clunky and unintuitive it's like trying to use my hands to replicate a spider. And the fact that the game barely even tells you how to play is another huge knock against it. I like the theme and the ideas but the execution has not aged well.

devilmore:
Saying the world of Gothic is not as big as Witcher 3 is kind of unfair. Gothic is easily as big as Witcher 1 and Gothic 3 is easily as big as Witcher 3 (though unplayble without the community patch).

For anyone interested in the series I'd like to point out that Gothic 4 (Arcadia, a Gothic tale or something) is not really Gothic 4, Risen is. Developer and Publisher split after Gothic 3 and the Publisher kept the name and let another studio create a 4th Gothic game while the developer started a similar series with Risen (Risen 2, Risen 3). Unsurprisingly, the developer's new game is more like Gothic than the publisher's.

Arcania actually.

Dornedas:

MacabreHeart:
Pick the collection of them all up a while back but never got around to playing it. Anyone got an opinion on ArcaniaA, the the supposed 4th in the series?

Do you want the sort of official German opinion about it?

There is no Gothic 4.
There is no Arcania.
There doesn't even exist an expansion for Gothic 3.
The Gothic series ended after Gothic 3 the main game and nothing came after it.

I'm serious ask any gamer in Germany and you will get this answer.

Gothic 3? You mean the game that crushed my dreams harder than any game before or after it ever? I had over 10 playthroughs of Gothic 2 and not quite as many in G1. I was never more hyped for a game then for G3 (maybe D3) and when it hit it was just... nothing.
You coudldn't play it. It was a wonder in and of itself if you could even start the game. Characters and limbs were sized wrongly, half the quests didn't work, there was 0 balancing - no, that's no hyperbole!
They forgot to put values on ARMOR! You could use whatever you wanted, it didnt increase your protection. Every animal had an attack animation so fast, that i could stun lock you once you got hit. I've seen 2 boars clear the whole main city by stunlocking all the guards to death.

It was horrible! Not even the most horrible game releases we had in the last 5 years comes close to the disaster Gothic 3 was.

Gothic only has 2 games and 1 expansion. The rest doesn't exist. Risen is pretty nice, but they never catched the spirit + tone of the original Gothic series, sadly :(

Adeptus Aspartem:

It was horrible! Not even the most horrible game releases we had in the last 5 years comes close to the disaster Gothic 3 was.

I completed it out of spite. I locked myself out of content in some city you had to liberate from the skeletons, because looting there counted as stealing retroactively. I turned in the quest then aggroed the whole city.

Thanks for saving our settlement brave hero! Here, have this peasant NPC zergrush as a reward!

What a disaster. I went for the neutral ending, so after grinding reputation in every city to liberate it, which was repetitive as fuck, I had to kill everyone everywhere. And my reward was a poor slideshow narration.

When I first played this game, I was in early middle school, I had absolutely no expectations out of it. It turned out it was actually one of the finest games in its genre, it blindsided me completely and I ended up replaying it at least 10 more times, each time learning something else about it, there was simply so much hidden stuff.

Then came the sequel which was just as good!

Then came another sequel which was absolutely terrible

MacabreHeart:
Pick the collection of them all up a while back but never got around to playing it. Anyone got an opinion on ArcaniaA, the the supposed 4th in the series?

I played Arcania and its expansion....it was, well....try Gothic out first. Arcania had stopped mid-development and was released prematurely "as-is" I have heard, and it really shows. It's a fun but frustrating and sometimes glitchy game, and not nearly as well-conceived as the Gothic series, or the Risen series.

Imre Csete:
What a disaster. I went for the neutral ending, so after grinding reputation in every city to liberate it, which was repetitive as fuck, I had to kill everyone everywhere. And my reward was a poor slideshow narration.

And that's why the ending of Mass Effect 3 was quite acceptable to me. At least the journey there was really good.

Schadrach:
One thing I'm surprised he didn't bring up was how as your skills went up in combat related stuff your character would actually improve his technique. It literally wasn't just "you get +5% damage", your character would actually adopt a better stance, make faster and more efficacious swings, and generally start resembling a fighter more than a farmer trying to figure out which end is sharp.

Also, the teacher* would actually tell you (as in voiced dialog) what to do better and the animation would change accordingly. I only noticed it the second time. If i recall right, every teacher for every skill and upgrade would talk for half a minute or more. Especially for the magical tiers, called circles, it could go on.

*System was: You level up. You get learning points. You talk to a teacher to exchange LP and money for new skills and skill upgrades.

Ah, Gothic... good memories.
Strange as it may sound - I quite liked the controls. Really. I even changed Gothic 2 control scheme to that old one.
Also, I finished Gothic 1 four times - once per camp and extra one for different route (mage, instead of fighter) with Old Camp.
Maybe we'll see a HD 15th anniversary edition next year?

Also - it was really a shame that copyright laws killed in-game In Extremo concert in non-German editions (unless you had mods/used cheat-mode)...

Probably the second most played game of mine, only the sequel topping it.

Spent about 15 playthroughs on this, many more on the sequel. There were times when I could remember most of the game. Completely. I think I still could hand-draw an accurate map of the whole of Gothic II DndR, which would in part include the prequel.

Same with Heart of Darkness, actually.

K.ur:

Schadrach:
One thing I'm surprised he didn't bring up was how as your skills went up in combat related stuff your character would actually improve his technique. It literally wasn't just "you get +5% damage", your character would actually adopt a better stance, make faster and more efficacious swings, and generally start resembling a fighter more than a farmer trying to figure out which end is sharp.

Also, the teacher* would actually tell you (as in voiced dialog) what to do better and the animation would change accordingly. I only noticed it the second time. If i recall right, every teacher for every skill and upgrade would talk for half a minute or more. Especially for the magical tiers, called circles, it could go on.

With the magic, it was the least noticable (but personally, I never used magic), most with the first level up in one-handed. As you literally start using one-handed weapons with one hand from then on, not two when totally untrained. Hell, the entire first training session is "one-handed weapons are called that because you use them with one hand!"

Also something I might want to let people know:
Some folks made the entire first game into two hour long movie. More of a two-hour machinema of the game, but still. They even got the original Voice Actor of the hero to add a few new lines and expand on the original game (e.g. having NPCs help where they don't exist in the actual game - making the finale look more interesting overall).
The only downside: It's in german, so most people here probably don't understand a word. Still, if you want to watch it, it's available for download.
http://www.worldofgothic.de/dl/download_246.htm

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