The Dink Network

Friends Beyond 2: Branches of Destiny

March 24th, 2004
Score : 7.7 good
Peasant He/Him
It's a real shame that people (including the creator, according to the FB1 readme) are so down on this ridiculously ambitious D-Mod, as there is a lot of fun to be had here. All the hallmarks of the series are present and correct and there is a fair amount of variety to be found.

The reason that FB2 is so ambitious is that there are many different routes through the game that you can take, all taking you to different bosses and, potentially, to different endings. These routes are almost completely seperate from each other - make the early decision to train as a wizard, for example, and you won't be able to see the proper ending, although you will see a bunch of things that you won't see if you train as a warrior. Sometimes the branches are based on the success or failure of the missions that you undertake, so in these cases the "correct" route isn't so obscure, but it did seem a little strange to have the game so branched that choosing one route would completely exclude the player from another.

Finding himself having to make his own way on a strange island, Dink has no overriding motive during the game, except to reach the next area. I wouldn't go so far to say that the game has no plot, however - Tenjin is making trouble, and the individual areas have their own story to tell. In a sense, it's like a lot of smaller d-mods strung together into a series of story arcs. You will also occasionally have a Duck to give you hints on what to do, so you won't always be stuck in the enormous maps.

Ahh, the enormous maps. I mentioned the Friends beyond hallmarks earlier, and massive, wide-open spaces are present and correct. In terms of size this D-Mod is epic, using up the vast majority of map screens, and is only a quest because you don't play the various areas in any order. Other hallmarks include warp points which teleport you from one area to the next (creating a unique, although not necessarily coherent, feel) and, of course, bugs, merging with the esoteric design in order to confuse and frustrate you as much as humanly possible. Always use multiple save slots.

Branches of Destiny is frustrating and unique, supposedly having four endings but determinedly preventing you from ever seeing them, vast swathes of unoccupied land peppered with occasional points of interest and originality. This D-Mod is far, far away from being perfect in any sense. But at the same time, in its way, it's also one of the most interesting ones around.
June 12th, 2003
Score : 6.0 fair
Peasant She/Her
Storyline: This is part 2 of the Friends Beyond Trilogy. I was wondering in the first part what the story was about and this part is no better. You start on a boat, then you are suddenly on an island and after that you have to find out for yourself what to do, but I had a hard time figuring that out. You can do several things, but they do not connect in a storyline. That was, I guess, also the idea behind this D-mod, since it is a non-linear game, but a game without any story is boring to play.

Map and graphics: The map is huge – and boring. There are many screens with just borders and no sprites on them.

Music: The music is good.

Good: The idea of a non-linear game is nice, but this one lacks excitement and fun.

Not so good: The main problem about this D-mod is that it is boring to play. Since you do not know what to do, the only thing left to do is to just wander a bit and since the map is huge and boringly empty, that is no fun. You are really glad when you see a house, but then it turns out the house is empty or the character inside says something that is not important and does not add anything to the story.
Some screenlocks do not unlock.

Overall: Huge map, not that much of a story.

Fit for: If you like non-linear games you could give this one a try.
September 24th, 2004
Score : 7.9 good
Peasant She/Her
Lots of things to do but when you. Problems with challenges. When fighting the slayer in the caves on level 4 where there are a number of signs and you fight in that level, you kill the slayer but the screen lock does not come off and you cannot get out of the level good thing I save other games on differnt levels. To much walking from one thing to another. Music good, no swearing.Good ways to level up by killing bugs and slimes.
March 11th, 2002
Score : 6.9 fair
Peasant They/Them
Strengths: The music was good. I liked the plot, which was original and well-done.
The nonlinear plot line was a nice idea, but poorly implemented. You talk to people about some mines; then the mines just appear when they weren't there before. You hear about strange events in a well, then gain the ability to descend when you couldn't before. You choose to save a boy or a grandfather, but you don't find out anything about their personalities and a bug gives you the quest reward for saving the grandfather if you save the boy. The rewards are also very unequal, with the reward for saving the boy being much, much better. I missed most of the plot because of the path that I took (judging from the walkthrough), and I could only get one of the eight possible endings thanks to the screen lock bug noted by DethLord. There were huge numbers of essentially pointless screens that wasted my time. You might want to skip this one and just play the third game in the series, which is vastly better.