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    Default Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    So I've always wondered why there wasn't a thread for Prequel around these parts. Given that it finally updated after a three months hiatus, I figured this is as good an opportunity as any to start one myself.

    For those who don't know, Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure is a semi-interactive webcomic (that is, the readers can submit suggestions for what the protagonist should do, though at times she rather follows her own will) set in the Elder Scrolls world, just prior to Oblivion (hence the name), following the (mis)adventures of a female Khajiit who, basically, sucks at life, yet keeps on trying to create an existence that she could respect for herself. The comic also frequently includes flash sequences and even minigames (that also keep telling the story).

    And it's my #1 most favourite webcomic at the moment, and by a rather large margin, too. It manages to weave really funny humour with really serious drama rather well, I feel, and does not shy from tackling serious matters (for what it's worth - as someone who suffers from depression himself - I don't recall any piece of work that, I felt, had a better understanding of what depression actually feels like). I wouldn't call it a cheerful story by any stretch (though, as said, when it chooses to go for humour, it is hilarious), as it depicts a character who has pretty much hit rock bottom, but there is a constant glimmer of hope, however faint.

    (I guess I should also issue the warning that, early on, there is a single somewhat NSFW scene, so, if you are the kind of person who gets offended by pixelated nudity, you should probably skip either the scene or the comic - though, I would argue, you would be doing yourself a rather big disfavour with the latter. )

    __

    So with the introductory thingy out of the way, to the actual update.

    I'll have to admit, without that aid that pops up at later tries, I don't know how long this would have taken me. On the plus side, there are like four or five different endings, depending on when you finish it, so, given the multitude of dialogue, I don't even mind.

    I keep being amazed at how Aggy is completely, absolutely, stark raving insane, yet (almost) everything he says actually makes absolute, perfect sense, when you think about it.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Another fan here. Definitely a fun update. 'specially the bit with Katya's ears in the "Witch Hunter Robe"
    Last edited by Squark; 2014-03-04 at 10:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Prequel updated!?

    GottagoberightbackIloveitbytheway

    *rushes off*
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Finally got the puzzle done on my second try. I'd definitely recommend trying to get it done in two tries and even on the first try- You get a lot of info from Aggie you wouldn't get if you did it on the Mouth part or later.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    [...] that is, the readers can submit suggestions for what the protagonist should do, though at times she rather follows her own will [...]
    And sometimes Kazerad seems to delight in plucking the one suggestion that sets Katia back to square one... But then it wouldn't really be called 'Making a Cat Cry' if we could do whatever we wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    I'll have to admit, without that aid that pops up at later tries, I don't know how long this would have taken me.
    Personally I tried it once, then wastedspent several hours hammering together a script that'd solve it for me. Though I was able to adapt the script to find failures of various lengths so I could farm as many dialog variations as I could find, so... yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    On the plus side, there are like four or five different endings, depending on when you finish it, so, given the multitude of dialogue, I don't even mind.
    I make it...
    Spoiler: Minigame dialogues
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    4 possible win endings ('first!', 'Katia the cunning linguist', 'thinking with your mouth', 'telekinesis time!'), 7 sets of loss dialogue (with the 7th repeating if you keep failing), and then a 'you managed to do even worse this time' that can sub in for about half of the regular losses. This is not counting minor variations where it just changes the references to how many goes it's taken you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    I keep being amazed at how Aggy is completely, absolutely, stark raving insane, yet (almost) everything he says actually makes absolute, perfect sense, when you think about it.
    He's shaping up to be a fan-favourite side character all right. Which probably means Kaz will find some way for him to double-die soon. Be interesting to see how that turns out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    'specially the bit with Katya's ears in the "Witch Hunter Robe"

    ?

    Might sort-a count as a call-back to when Katia met Stephane...

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    Finally got the puzzle done on my second try. I'd definitely recommend trying to get it done in two tries and even on the first try- You get a lot of info from Aggie you wouldn't get if you did it on the Mouth part or later.
    In case anyone's interested, here's the solution (as I wrote it down for myself in order to get all of the various endings):
    Spoiler
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    If you name the spots as follows:
    ....A
    ...BC
    ..DEF
    .GHIJ
    KLMNO

    then the sequence goes:
    N->E
    L->N
    D->M
    C->H
    N->L
    K->D
    J->C
    B->G
    A->F
    G->I
    F->M
    L->N
    O->M

    Of course, if you wish, you can mirror it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Keris View Post
    And sometimes Kazerad seems to delight in plucking the one suggestion that sets Katia back to square one... But then it wouldn't really be called 'Making a Cat Cry' if we could do whatever we wanted.
    If thoughts could kill, I imagine the guy who wrote "drop and break everything." at the end of the sequence in the ancient ruins would be like the god of death at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keris View Post
    I make it...
    Spoiler: Minigame dialogues
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    4 possible win endings ('first!', 'Katia the cunning linguist', 'thinking with your mouth', 'telekinesis time!'), 7 sets of loss dialogue (with the 7th repeating if you keep failing), and then a 'you managed to do even worse this time' that can sub in for about half of the regular losses. This is not counting minor variations where it just changes the references to how many goes it's taken you.
    Yeah, sounds about right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keris View Post
    He's shaping up to be a fan-favourite side character all right. Which probably means Kaz will find some way for him to double-die soon. Be interesting to see how that turns out.
    Well, I don't think he will be sticking around forever, in any case; it wouldn't seem fitting with the tone the story usually adopts otherwise.

    Perhaps he will be
    Spoiler: Wild speculation
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    perma-killed or abducted or such by "the King"?

    Not having playing the TES games (much) myself, what would be capable of ending a ghost therein?
    Last edited by Winterwind; 2014-03-04 at 06:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Has the author gone back on their statement that they're really just yanking people's chains and are never actually going to let our protagonist succeed at anything and/or find happiness?
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    Has the author gone back on their statement that they're really just yanking people's chains and are never actually going to let our protagonist succeed at anything and/or find happiness?
    Source for that statement?

    Though, actually, nevermind - even if Kaz said that, I'd consider it almost certain that he was joking. Yanking people's chains is something he would do, yes, but I think the way he would do that would be by making a statement such as this.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Source for that statement?

    Though, actually, nevermind - even if Kaz said that, I'd consider it almost certain that he was joking. Yanking people's chains is something he would do, yes, but I think the way he would do that would be by making a statement such as this.
    I'll go digging for the original quote. It was a good ways ago, and I dropped the series because of it; I had enough of that from Brian Clevinger.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    I'll go digging for the original quote. It was a good ways ago, and I dropped the series because of it; I had enough of that from Brian Clevinger.
    The characters staying the same all the time was kind of the point of 8bit Theatre though (I'd argue there were some subtle developments - like Red Mage going from plans that fail 100% of the time to plans that, against all probability, actually succeed sometimes (and fail spectacularly the rest of the time) - but overall, they never changed). It was pretty much the central motif of the whole story.

    Prequel, on the other hand, has major character development all the time. And Katia doesn't always fail - and while her successes, all too often, serve just to make her next fall all the harder, it keeps making her stronger, both in terms of her abilities and (or so I would argue) in terms of her character.

    Almost as if all of the setbacks are supposed to forge her into some kind of hero, in case something like, oh, let's say a Daedra-caused crisis should come around.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Oh, no, I was talking about how Clevinger deliberately gutted his (genuinely interesting and engaging!) story of payoffs or depth because he wanted to prank the readers. It's what put me off his body of work entirely; no amount of assurances that Atomic Robo is good can get me to trust him again :P
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    Has the author gone back on their statement that they're really just yanking people's chains and are never actually going to let our protagonist succeed at anything and/or find happiness?
    Having just read the entire comic in the last few hours, that's definitely less of an issue as time goes on. Katia still thinks of herself as a failure, but she hasn't been for quite some time. Her lowest point was back HERE. It bothered me for the same reasons you mention, and almost made me stop reading, but I'm glad I didn't.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    Oh, no, I was talking about how Clevinger deliberately gutted his (genuinely interesting and engaging!) story of payoffs or depth because he wanted to prank the readers. It's what put me off his body of work entirely; no amount of assurances that Atomic Robo is good can get me to trust him again :P
    Oh, I see. My apologies for misunderstanding.

    Hmmm... I very much doubt Kaz would tell anything less than the best story he could, just so that he could troll people. This said, it is probably not unlikely that Katia will still be poor and homeless when that story is said and told, simply because
    Spoiler: Speculation on how the story is going to end
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    there is a good chance she will end up without possessions in the dungeons of the Imperial City, because that is the situation in which the Oblivion protagonist starts.

    I don't think it matters though. Prequel is, at its core, a story about personal development, and it has that in spades. Whether Katia ends up with money, a home to call her own, etc., is secondary to her change from a nigh complete failure to a person that is, frankly, quite formidable - and I would say there is plenty of evidence for precisely that happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo_Nym View Post
    Having just read the entire comic in the last few hours, that's definitely less of an issue as time goes on. Katia still thinks of herself as a failure, but she hasn't been for quite some time. Her lowest point was back HERE. It bothered me for the same reasons you mention, and almost made me stop reading, but I'm glad I didn't.
    In terms of being a failure, yeah, I fully agree, that would have to be it. In terms of what happens to her, the nadir of her fortunes is probably more like here - but that's kind of my point: While in this scene, she is completely down on her luck, it is the very same scene in which she demonstrates just how much she has grown as a person (when she shatters that bottle, instead of drinking it).
    Last edited by Winterwind; 2014-03-05 at 07:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    While I imagine most people are aware by now (given that it happened a week ago, just as the GitP forums went down), there's a new update!

    So, for working telekinesis, one needs to
    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katia
    "reverse engineer bird puns into a logical argument for why inanimate objects should move by their own accord, which I then use to tame a metaphorical unicorn into affecting the world around me"

    I feel like that's a riddle intended for us to solve! Anybody got any ideas?
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Our ghostly mentor continues to be bat-**** insane and spew seemingly random ideas from his mouth. And yet everything he says makes an odd, twisted sort of sense. So yeah, reverse-engineering bird puns is totally a thing we should be trying to decipher. I'm not feeling all too inspired though... something something running afowl of the laws of physics?
    Last edited by SlyGuyMcFly; 2014-03-31 at 01:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyGuyMcFly View Post
    Our ghostly mentor continues to be bat-**** insane and spew seemingly random ideas from his mouth. And yet everything he says makes an odd, twisted sort of sense. So yeah, reverse-engineering bird puns is totally a thing we should be trying to decipher. I'm not feeling all too inspired though... something something running afowl of the laws of physics?
    Heh.

    I'm thinking along the lines of, just like a word is sometimes something that it is not, the same applies to the laws of nature. Like, usually a word is what it actually means. But sometimes, it's actually a bird. And just the same, usually inanimate objects stay that. Except sometimes, they don't? Am I making some amount of nonsensical sense here?
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Not having playing the TES games (much) myself, what would be capable of ending a ghost therein?
    Magical weapons, destruction spells, and certain restoration spells.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyGuyMcFly View Post
    Our ghostly mentor continues to be bat-**** insane and spew seemingly random ideas from his mouth.
    Go back and read some of the books in the TES games (text available online). Yeah, casters can read as really insane, but when you figure what they're doing, it makes sense. They're getting the world to do things that normally it wouldn't. So you have to think in a way that the world doesn't operate, then apply magic and will to make the world operate the way you want it to for a short time.

    Eventually the world wins out, but for a short time...
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by CRtwenty View Post
    Magical weapons, destruction spells, and certain restoration spells.
    Ah. Thanks.

    So, at the moment, it would seem that barring a cat-pun-induced accident, Aggy should be reasonably safe for now.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    huh.

    read the entire thing.

    and so I want to give Katia a hug. its really a different kind of story than one I'm used to, and just makes me wish I could help her somehow.

    though the way things are going, it does seem she will someday get better....

    Edit: hey I think I know the reason why the bad dreams about kings and cultists...
    Spoiler
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    In Oblivion's opening, in jail you meet Uriel Septim, the king. what does Katia fear? kings. so what I'm thinking, the bad dreams are designed to try and make her unable to cooperate with Uriel Septim at the beginning, this is important: its only because the protagonist cooperates with Uriel to bring a certain pendant to other people that the plot kicks off and the protagonist saves Cyrodil from the Daedra. therefore, the dreams are designed to prevent her from doing that.

    as for the cultists- the guys a guard in Kvatch. whats the first city that gets invaded by the Daedra/Oblivion or whatever? Kvatch. what things do you face in Kvatch? cultists. these dreams are designed to alter the outcome of the events of Oblivion, meaning whatever entity that is sending them these dreams can see the future, but I don't know enough about Elder Scrolls to know which one- I played both Morrowind and Oblivion, but never got all that far on either, but its probably being sent by the guy who is leading the Oblivion invasion thing, whoever they are.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2014-04-02 at 05:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    huh.

    read the entire thing.

    and so I want to give Katia a hug. its really a different kind of story than one I'm used to, and just makes me wish I could help her somehow.
    We all do. Oh, believe me, we all do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    though the way things are going, it does seem she will someday get better....
    True, though I guess just before she got out of the ancient ruins and broke everything, or right before she got robbed by Sigrid, it likewise seemed she would get better, and then, well.

    But she keeps on getting stronger with each such ordeal, so, who knows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Edit: hey I think I know the reason why the bad dreams about kings and cultists...
    Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking as well. We got a nice preview of what those dreams did to Katia with regards to the main Oblivion storyline in the Excelsior! update, when
    Spoiler
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    she spoke, if you can even call it that, with Brother Martin
    Spoiler
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    Who is Emperor Uriel Septim's bastard son.
    and was terrified out of her wits.
    Last edited by Winterwind; 2014-04-02 at 06:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
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    these dreams can see the future, but I don't know enough about Elder Scrolls to know which one-
    Spoiler
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    The Elder Scrolls allow the reader to glimpse possible futures as well as other things. Comes with a bit of a cost unless you're a Moth Priest - you can go blind. Even Moth Priests aren't immune - their continued reading of the Scrolls slowly robs them of their sight.
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    True, though I guess just before she got out of the ancient ruins and broke everything, or right before she got robbed by Sigrid, it likewise seemed she would get better, and then, well.

    But she keeps on getting stronger with each such ordeal, so, who knows.
    well, the theme of the story seems to be much like something my brother once told me: Success is built upon a thousand failures. You fail over and over again- until you succeed.

    yes, every failure seems to strengthen her, every step back seems to teach her something, harden her so that she might rise again.

    consider in contrast the lucky orc- he is lucky and therefore is not changing, he remains the same in his good fortune. he may look like he has it better now, but I think at the end of the story we will see how luck vs hard work plays out and who wins.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    I enjoy it but I'm seeing an inherent problem:

    The story hinges around Katia's life sucking, and so she can never really develop. I quit when the witch stole all her stuff and months worth of updates were made pointless.....Again. For the third time.

    Also the grey robed dudes reasoning for the witch getting away for being a horrible monster of a person is stupid and insane. Katia stealing her stuff wouldn't teach her responsibility. It would teach her to up her security. Thats it. Its immensely contrived.

    The input system is really irrelevant as the author will do whatever with the character so its a distracting gimmick at best. Its more akin to us being on a railroad and the author just picks what s/he wants to add some set-dressin to the story.


    Its a good story struggling for direction with inherent flaws in its premise that just hurt it in so many ways.
    Any time I make a statement be sure to add "This is my opinion" in front of it as I may sometimes forget to do so myself.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    I enjoy it but I'm seeing an inherent problem:

    The story hinges around Katia's life sucking, and so she can never really develop. I quit when the witch stole all her stuff and months worth of updates were made pointless.....Again. For the third time.
    What do you mean that Katia can never really develop? Each of those instances eventually made her stronger, once she started moving again. She's also gained new skills each time, making her (slightly) more competent for the next run. Do you think the Katia we saw at the beginning of the strip would have been willing to run down somebody in a rooftop chase in an attempt to reclaim some stolen property? No way, she would have just gotten drunk and wound up in somebody's bed again.

    Yeah terrible things happen to her, but she's getting better and better each time.

    Also the cloaked priest's excuse is pretty heavily tied into the lore of the Elder Scrolls universe. He believes Sigrid is a Hero, which is a very specific term used to refer to people who fulfill the prophecies of the Elder Scrolls themselves and exist outside of the usual will of Fate. If he was correct (which he isn't) than attempting to assist Sigrid towards more noble purposes would be about the best thing he could do, since as a Hero she's destined to mess around with the Fate of everybody she encounters anyway. Katia stealing from her is just him attempting to remind her that she's not invincible, and that not everybody is under her control. He knows it's probably a long shot, but as he said he views Katia as "expendable" so it really doesn't matter if she succeeds or not.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by CRtwenty View Post
    What do you mean that Katia can never really develop? Each of those instances eventually made her stronger, once she started moving again. She's also gained new skills each time, making her (slightly) more competent for the next run. Do you think the Katia we saw at the beginning of the strip would have been willing to run down somebody in a rooftop chase in an attempt to reclaim some stolen property? No way, she would have just gotten drunk and wound up in somebody's bed again.

    Yeah terrible things happen to her, but she's getting better and better each time.
    Yeah, precisely that.

    Anyone who claims she doesn't develop did not think about the significance of this update very much. The first three panels in particular.
    Last edited by Winterwind; 2014-04-14 at 03:01 AM.
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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by CRtwenty View Post
    Magical weapons, destruction spells, and certain restoration spells.
    I feel odd quoting myself, but I figured I should add something I forgot.
    Silver also hurts ghosts, and can do so without needing any form of enchantment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
    The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy
    Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    New update!

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    Yeah, if telekinesis was powered by confusion, then I'm pretty sure this whole conversation with Aggy would have enabled Katia to lift the whole tavern by now, nevermind the table, nevernevermind the puzzle pegs.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Your right to say I'm wrong about development. Katia could develop as a character. What I should have said was that I was annoyed by the writers contrived writing.

    I phrased what I meant improperly and Im sorry for that.

    I felt like if the writer was willing to strip the Katia of everything but her fur whenever she felt like it, I didn't feel like reading.

    Katia's string of bad luck did not feel natural to me. It didn't feel like really bad luck. It felt like bad writing.

    There.
    Any time I make a statement be sure to add "This is my opinion" in front of it as I may sometimes forget to do so myself.

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    Default Re: Prequel - or - Making a Cat Cry: The Adventure

    Ah. Yeah, that's much more understandable.

    I don't agree, but I do see how one would arrive at that conclusion. I think that's probably a rather subjective matter though, difficult to objectively prove one way or the other, so I fear we'll just have to agree to disagree on that part.
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