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Loom CD Version "Controversy"
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MasterGrazzt



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 16
Loom CD Version "Controversy" 

I was wondering, I've heard about people saying that the CD version actually isn't up to part with the original. I've even heard phrases like "incompetent programming" bandied about. I've never played the floppy version of Loom, just the CD, so... what exactly is this all about? Was something cut out? Is it just that the music doesn't play during except during spoken dialogue and cut scenes? This would be a major help, thanks.

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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:53 pm 
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DrMcCoy
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Joined: 17 Dec 2005
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Location: Braunschweig, Germany
 

quote:
Originally posted by MasterGrazzt
Was something cut out?


About 60% (wild guess Wink) of the dialog (along with a lot of the character close-ups) was cut out in the CD version...
That's why the FM Towns version is so popular, it has all the dialog lines and VGA graphics...
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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:07 pm 
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MasterGrazzt



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 16
 

Hmm, I should probably locate the FM Towns version. Although isn't there a patch to update the original to VGA? Is it possible to play the CD version of Loom in ScummVM with the original text restored? I mean, the voice acting is pretty good, but not worth missing dialogue and close-ups.

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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:15 pm 
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DrMcCoy
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Joined: 17 Dec 2005
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quote:
Originally posted by MasterGrazzt
Hmm, I should probably locate the FM Towns version.


FM Towns games pop up on eBay occasionally, though tend to get quite expensive quickly...
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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:28 pm 
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eriktorbjorn
ScummVM Developer


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
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Re: Loom CD Version "Controversy" 

quote:
Originally posted by MasterGrazzt
I was wondering, I've heard about people saying that the CD version actually isn't up to part with the original. I've even heard phrases like "incompetent programming" bandied about. I've never played the floppy version of Loom, just the CD, so... what exactly is this all about? Was something cut out? Is it just that the music doesn't play during except during spoken dialogue and cut scenes? This would be a major help, thanks.


I haven't done any extensive comparision, but the text in the CD version is considerably shortened in many cases (though in at least one case, it is significantly extended) compared to the floppy version. In other cases, the text has been changed. Perhaps it didn't sound as good when spoken as it did when just written.

Take, for instance, this example from early in the game, so it's only a mild spoiler. First, the floppy version:


quote:

Bobbin: Looks as if the Elders are busy. Wouldn't want to interrupt ...
Atropos: You have heard the findings of the High Council, Dame Hetchel. What have you to say in your defense?
Hetchel: I have no defense or excuses, Elder Atropos. My actions speak for themselves.
Lachesis: No defense? Not the slightest remorse? This reckless defiance is intolerable.
Clothos: Why do you disobey us, Hetchel? You have always upheld the Rules of Membership to the letter. Tell us what is in your heart.
Hetchel: The boy must be told the truth about his birth, Elder Clothos. His talent awakens! Soon he will wield the power of Weaving, whether we choose to guide him or not. We dare not desert Bobbin now.
Lachesis: Stubborn old fool! The secrets you reveal to Cygna's son may be turned against us. That is why his training was forbidden by this Council!
Atropos: Enough, Lachesis. We need not explain our decisions. It grieves me to see your many years of faithful service end in this disgrace. But the wisdom of the Elders may not be questioned. That is the final Rule of Membership. Another one of your students, Lady Cygna, learned the terrible price of defiance in this very chamber seventeen years ago. Better that you had heeded that lesson.
Hetchel: My destiny is in your hands, Elders.
Clothos: Our hands are empty, Hetchel.
Atropos: Gaze once more upon the Great Loom if you would know your destiny. For behold! That destiny is upon you.

(Hetchel is turned into an egg.)

Clothos: A swan's egg. Curious destiny.
Lachesis: That draft has never failed before.
Clothos: Hark! I heard a cry. Outside!

(The swan appears and starts turning the Elders into swans.)

Clothos: The Guild is under attack!
Atropos: Who dares to desecrate the Loom of the Weavers?
Lachesis: This is the work of the demon boy. Kill it while you still can, Atropos!
Atropos: Cursed forever be the name of Cygna's son, the Loom-Child ... Bobbin Threadbare!

(The swans fly away.)

Bobbin: Oh, wonderful. Everyone's flown away! No explanations. No goodbyes. Why do they always leave me behind?



In the CD version, the scene reads like this instead:


quote:

Bobbin: There's Hetchel! And the Elders don't look at all pleased with her.
Atropos: You have heard the findings of this Council, Dame Hetchel. Have you anything to say in your own defense?
Hetchel: My elders, my actions speak for themselves.
Lachesis: This reckless defiance is intolerable. Any secret you share with Cygna's son might be turned against us!
Hetchel: His talent is awakening, and the power is very strong in him. We dare not desert him now!
Lachesis: Stubborn old fool! Who are YOU to decide such things?!
Atropos: Enough, Lachesis. Hetchel, I am grieved to see your many years of service end in such disgrace.
Hetchel: My destiny is yours to weave.
Clothos: Hetchel, the fabric of your life has been woven by your own choices.
Atropos: Gaze once more upon the Great Loom if you would know your ultimate destiny. For that destiny is now upon you!

(Hetchel is turned into an egg.)

Clothos: A swan's egg! What does it mean?
Lachesis: Something is deeply wrong. That draft has never failed before.

(The swan appears and starts turning the Elders into swans.)

Clothos: What is that noise? Outside!
Lachesis: The Guild is under attack!
Atropos: Who dares to desecreate the Great Loom of the Weavers?
Lachesis: This is the work of the demon boy. We should kill him, while we still can!
Atropos: Your name will be cursed forever, Son of Cygna ... Loom Child ... Bobbin Threadbare!

(The swans fly away.)

Bobbin: MY name? But I had nothing to do with this! Wait! Where are you going? No explanations. No goodbyes. And once again, I'm left behind ...



Also, a lot of close-ups of characters are missing from the CD version (see for instance this screenshot from the ScummVM page), though again a few have been added.

Last edited by eriktorbjorn on Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:31 pm 
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MasterGrazzt



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 16
 

Well, it seems that the programmers weren't experienced with CDs. I can understand this. I haven't played the floppy version yet. My father's friend has been adventuring since Zork, and he still has most of his stuff, so he probably has an original copy of Loom.

Oh, and not to complicate things further, but I remember when I was a kid, I had a TurboDuo catalog that I got from a Radio Shack. It advertised Loom. Anyone have a clue what this version was like?

Also, the ending sequence in the CD version is only available on Expert difficulty in the floppy version, says Wikipedia. Correct?

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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:37 pm 
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eriktorbjorn
ScummVM Developer


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
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quote:
Originally posted by MasterGrazzt
Oh, and not to complicate things further, but I remember when I was a kid, I had a TurboDuo catalog that I got from a Radio Shack. It advertised Loom. Anyone have a clue what this version was like?


If you mean the version I think you mean, there are a number of screenshots from it on this page. I believe it uses the same text as the floppy version, CD tracks for the music, and 64-colour graphics. But unfortunately, it's not supported by ScummVM.

quote:
Originally posted by MasterGrazzt
Also, the ending sequence in the CD version is only available on Expert difficulty in the floppy version, says Wikipedia. Correct?


The brief scene showing Cob's fate is always shown in the CD version but only on Expert difficulty in the floppy version. On other difficulties, it cuts straight from Cobb's making the suggestion to Mandible complaining about the noise. At least, that's how I remember it. It's been a while...

Last edited by eriktorbjorn on Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:50 pm 
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The Spoony Hou



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 29
 

quote:
Originally posted by MasterGrazzt
Well, it seems that the programmers weren't experienced with CDs. I can understand this. I haven't played the floppy version yet.


I too haven't played the floppy version, but I have always wanted to. You're right about the programmers lack of experience, because I always found it weird to use audio tracks for the dialogues. I knew they have to cut or edit something.
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Post Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:55 pm 
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Reckless



Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 208
 

Interesting although I've not played either version, I do own a copy on CD (having sold a floppy disk edition to fund it!) Smile

The changes between floppy and CD could have been wanted by the game's director. The team may not have been 'that' experienced with CD but removing text and substituting with audio doesn't exactly sound like a technical decision, more like a design decision.

Perhaps the poeple who say the CD version is a poor comparison of the floopy disk based game dont 'get' why there are differences? Just because there are differences doesn't automatically mean the CD version is 'cut-down' or 'wrong' in any way. I could be wrong of course Very Happy

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Post Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:59 am 
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LogicDeLuxe



Joined: 10 Nov 2005
Posts: 387
 

quote:
Originally posted by Reckless
The team may not have been 'that' experienced with CD but removing text and substituting with audio doesn't exactly sound like a technical decision, more like a design decision.
There is no text substituted with audio. In fact, all audio is still available as subtitles as well. There are many lines substituted by other lines, and there are also many lines removed completely. Read the example some posts ealier!

The missing music and closeups were probably done due to technical reasons. They probably didn't want to install resources on the harddisc (back then, a CD was bigger than the average harddisc), and apparently they didn't want to use a soundcard either. The decission probably wasn't the size of the CD as there is much space left. (There are even about 45 MB unused space between the file system and the audio track.)
quote:
Just because there are differences doesn't automatically mean the CD version is 'cut-down' or 'wrong' in any way. I could be wrong of course Very Happy
It is cut down. The other aspects are pretty much a matter of taste. The talkie-CD is the director's cut, iIrc.
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Post Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:44 am 
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eriktorbjorn
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Joined: 31 Oct 2005
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quote:
Originally posted by Reckless
The changes between floppy and CD could have been wanted by the game's director. The team may not have been 'that' experienced with CD but removing text and substituting with audio doesn't exactly sound like a technical decision, more like a design decision.


Personally, I think both versions are worth playing. There are some story points that I think are better explained in the floppy version, and they tell slightly different stories. All the major events are more or less the same, but they're sometimes presented a bit differently. As a consequence, in the CD version one villain takes a more active part in the unfolding of events (that's the expanded scene I mentioned), while another is diminished to more of a puppet.

At least, that was the impression I got.
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Post Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:00 am 
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Reckless



Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 208
 

I 'couldn't' have [easily] played my floppy copy as it was on 5.25" disks and I've not had a drive for years!! Mind you I'm not sure my 3.5" floppy works too well these either these days Sad Smile

Good to hear some insight about the differences!

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Post Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:11 pm 
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Kaminari



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 274
Location: Paris, France
 

Heh, Loom VGA is often called a director's cut, yet Moriarty is not even mentioned in the credits... It's safe to say that he was not involved at all in it. The directors of this version are actually Jenny Sward and Sara Reeder. The Scumm engine used is a hacked version it seems, the text display code is very sloppy: many dialogues aren't displayed over the graphics or under the distaff but right above it, on a single line which is limited to 48 characters.

The PC Engine (TurboGrafx) version is based on the FM-Towns one. It only displays 64 colours and it's not bilingual, but the soundtrack editing is better.

quote:
Originally posted by DrMcCoy
About 60% (wild guess ;)) of the dialog (along with a lot of the character close-ups) was cut out in the CD version...


Very wild guess ;)

I re-translated both versions (VGA and EGA) in French, I'd say 20% were cut from the floppy version. On the other hand, the tone is more dramatic, a tad less funny (which has its pros and cons). As Erik, I think both versions are enjoyable and provide a different experience.
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Post Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:53 pm 
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MasterGrazzt



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 16
 

Also, Wikipedia says Orson Scott Card wrote the CD version dialogue.

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Post Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:05 pm 
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Kaminari



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 274
Location: Paris, France
 

That's another complete myth.

Everyone credits Card for the dialogs in Loom, but according to himself (on his website), Moriarty was the sole writer of the game. Card was never directly involved in the EGA version nor in the VGA remake.


quote:
My name shows up in the credits for Loom. Lest you think I'm reviewing my own work -- a practice often indulged in but beneath contempt -- I must tell you that my name is there only because Moriarty is generous to a fault. My "contribution" consisted of having said,"Hey, that's neat," several times during a screening of the nearly-finished game. In part because of what I saw at the screening, I have since come to work with Lucasfilm Games as a consultant on future animated games, but I don't participate in their profits.

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Post Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:38 pm 
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