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Reviews for "Toll of the Lost 1"

Wow, I seriously wasn't expecting this to be a comedy. It really did seem like a straightforward sci-fi action cartoon at first. It's great to see Kirbopher! Or rather to hear Kirbopher. I wish you'd submit stuff here, dude. Your voice was great as always.

The best part was easily with the dragon. Personally, I'm more of a unicorn guy. The animation was just gorgeous. Everything moved so well. I look forward to more episodes.

Xiphon responds:

It's a very low-key comedy. It's much less of a comedy then it's art style would probably give the impression of I'm sure.

Masterful use of adobe Flash and other programs.
One of the best original stories I've seen on newgrounds in the past year.
Great characters with a lot of personality.

This was great to watch from start to end.

Xiphon responds:

I'd like to expand the software use in the future. Adam Phillips (creator of the Brackenwood series) talks occasionally about how he used to use Flash until it was no longer able to support what he was trying to do with it, and there's some elements of this that have left me feeling similar. The 3-D spinning planets during the opening, for example, were incredibly taxing on the program. Things like all the lighting overlays and effects also were a huge strain, and happen to be things I know other programs do better.

I just happen to have the most animation experience in flash, so I stuck to that, but it may be inevitable I need to make some kind of leap to something else unless Adobe improves certain aspects of it.

Obvious Doctor Who reference, possibly references, but so far it does seem very interesting and overall creative. Hopefully though you won't have Valdoros be too comparable to the Doctor and it was perhaps just that one truly notable reference when introducing himself. The animation is well done, if perhaps more simple though that my simply be teh art style.

Xiphon responds:

I'm a big fan of Dr Who, but I acknowledge it as a guilty pleasure most of the time nowadays. I like some of the fundamental stuff in the show, particularly the classics, but it's gone a little off the rails these days.

The part where Valdoros introduces himself is a reference, but it's directly a parody of how highly the doctor thinks of himself, and how the writers of the show portray him to be the most amazing, most important person in the universe and everyone just goes along with it. Here, he tries to build up this impression of himself, but is immediately mocked for it without having the means to back it up.
Simultaneously, it's a pretty notable moment from David Tennant era Dr Who, and tends to be a fan favorite so everyone recognizes it.

Rest assured, I tend to think there's a lot of flaws with that show, and I'm pretty consciously trying to avoid them, despite any similarities.

This was so cool... I would totally watch this as a series or even a full length animation...
Well done to you all for creating such exceptional work.

Xiphon responds:

Well with any luck, we'll have a full series. I have around 5 episodes planned at the moment and may inject a few more. After that I have rough ideas for more, but you know, everything in time.

That was really cool!!

I have to say, and I've seen that you have recognised this in other review, that the animation it's the episode's weakest point, and I would probably also say that the character designs could use some work. There are some moments that are very well done, considering all.
Regardless of that, I found it really engaging and fun to watch. Like others said, music, voices and script are all great, and I think the animation is good enough to not bring it down.
I wouldn't do the next episodes too much longer than what it is already without improving animation or design on some way, as it could make it tedious. Is much better to have an audience committed to shorter episodes than losing their attention with longer ones.
Also is a good idea to shorten the intro in the next episodes. Tales of Alethrion has a really long intro and I founded it very annoying.

In all, there are professional products that are not as entertaining as this is, so you are doing great!
Congratulations!!

Xiphon responds:

Believe it or not, there's actually a 2 minute version of that opening that I want to release independently on its own, but the episode versions do need to be shorter. This one was 1:30ish, in the future we have a version that's something around 45 seconds.

As far as episode length, it's definitely a balancing act. I think this episode was actually a little too short, after reading reviews and analyzing where this leaves the audience and myself as far as questions that have gone unanswered. Things I intended to be mysteries for people to theorize on that I could later answer, to a few people feel like plotholes. I'm sort of left in a position where there's story aspects I'd love to discuss but it'll be hard in the future to do so while still moving forward with the rest of the plot, and I think that may be an argument for this episode needing to have maybe 10% more focus on the world building, rather than a very strict 'pointA to pointB' rush to the result. If things DO get longer, it won't be by much, I'd say maybe to a max of 12-15 minutes (not counting credits, etc) just to give it some breathing room.

All that said, I ought to do a vlog on all this cause I find the science behind the writing process fascinating. The amount of trial and error in this series is really interesting.