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Spoilers for the quest Eye for an Eye

Butch:

I saw you in Skelleggy on the PSN. Don’t deny it.

As for me, did Eye for an Eye all the way to quest completed, so I hope that’s that. When did it hang up on you?

I also finally, FINALLY killed the band of evil southern archers. FINALLY. That dude stayed put for me, too, but said visit him in Marburydale or something, so I will and see if he went home, now that I liberated that town with Roche.

Gonna mop up a couple of question marks down here, go see if the freed smith is there, then off to the Inn at the Crossroads cuz Gwent, then back to Junior. Right?

Feminina:

Yes, I did it. I went to Skellige. Now I have a whole bunch of new question marks to chase after!

It turns out 16 would have been a perfectly fine level to go there, since there are plenty of lower-level quests/randits to pursue (along with some higher ones). It also turns out that at a certain point the game becomes disgusted with you if you insist on completing quests that are too easy for you. I got 1 XP for finishing something at recommended 7th level. That’s basically just an insult. “Yes. You did it. Good for you. You want to get out of the kiddie pool now?”

But it can still be worth doing those quests, both for the sake of completeness and because sometimes they have recipes or diagrams in their loot. Recipes and diagrams that might have been more useful to me at, say, 7th level, but which I can still add to my vast repertoire. I’m still hoping to at some point find the earlier versions of some potions that I have ‘superior’ formulae for. It’ll be great!

For me, Eye for an Eye broke when I went to visit Roche in his camp to talk about it. He wouldn’t acknowledge me at all. However, I’m glad to say that after I met him somewhere else on some other quest, I went back, and he had been shaken out of his reverie or something, so I was able to finish it after all. Yay!

So we can talk about the funny bit where Roche called Ves on her impractical armor! “You didn’t even stop to put on a breastplate! Just running around with your shirt open to your navel!” I appreciated that the game acknowledged the impractical armor issue, although her response to the challenge was not particularly satisfying.

“You can’t tell me what to do!”

That’s it? So basically women wear impractical armor because…childish rebellion against authority? OKaaaaaaaaay. Good explanation.

But his annoyance was pretty funny.

I let the last surviving Nifgaardian go…not really sure why, I’m sure it won’t do any good in the long run, but Ves’ argument that “he’s seen us” didn’t seem that strong given that the Nilfgaardians already know Roche and his gang are fighting against them, so it didn’t seem like a big secret. And sometimes, just for a change of pace, I like to let people live.

Butch:

It’s ok. I forgive you. It’s not your fault my life is so damn busy. I’ll catch up. Someday.

Kiddie pool: HA! As it should be for low-level challenges. You have no more experience to gain.

I’ll probably go there not too long after I finish up with Jr./Sigi. I’m sort of munching through the side quests now. I have two contracts that are green (I think), and one is at the hacky phase (one of those I got at level 12 and was about to whack when it became clear I did not have the right bombs). I’ll probably leave some question marks on the board, but really, are those randits bothering me? Do I need their Velen Longswords? Do I?

Yeah, earlier version of potions make it worth it. Cuz then it’s not a seventh level bomb, it’s instantly superior! Or it would be if you could find rebis. What the fuck is rebis? Aside from something I need?

Though in doing Eye for an Eye I stumbled across the halfling herbalist that had EVERYTHING except rebis. Including about eight formulae. MAN did I go shopping. The downside is that I am now broke, which is another reason to do those contracts. I think I’m down to 242 gold. For real. I’m seriously tricked out on the bomb front, though.

Though one thing I don’t get yet is “enhanced white honey.” I mean, white honey gets rid of effects and toxicity. So enhancing it does….what?

Weird about Roche and Eye for an Eye. Though glad you finished it.

Ves’ armor, yes. I’m glad you got to see that.

Though, if you’re Geralt, you might want to say “Hey, dude, it’s not like you’re wearing, I dunno, metal or something. I mean, that turban thingy does have a certain appeal, but really, glass houses, stones right now, dude.”

And yeah, her response WASN’T satisfying. Nor was his paternal instincts. I mean, he treats her like a child, and yes, yes I get it, themes, parallels, but a) she did not meet him as a kid like Ciri met Geralt b) she’s a fucking COMMANDO for crissakes and c) unlike Ciri, she was a love interest in 2, and a rape victim. So switching her to a scolded child, given that you (probably) slept with her and knew she was raped WHEN SHE WAS HELPING YOU was….ooky.

As for letting the surviving dude live, good, cuz I didn’t. If you pick that option, it switches to Geralt’s point of view. He says “Roche, I do business with Nilfgaardians a lot. This would not be good for me,” which is interesting. So Roche says “Yes, I suppose you shouldn’t suffer for helping us.”

We shall see how this makes a difference.

Feminina:

Ah, good point…the guy we let go did see ME, as well as them. I wasn’t even worried about myself, because…whatever, I fight anybody I want! But it’s true, I also take contracts from different people. Well, we’ll see if I get hassled about that next time I talk to some Nilfgaardians. Whatever, man! No one tells me what to do!

Speaking of which, yeah, it felt weird, that whole positioning of Ves as the disobedient child. I mean, just disregarding orders to go help some people is one thing: plenty of stories actively glamorize the disobedient heroic loner (hello, Geralt!), the rogue cop who just won’t play by the rules, constantly struggling with hidebound bureaucracy, whatever. But the fact that this event somehow involved skimpy clothing and a “no one tells me what to do” was…awkward.

I feel like they were definitely trying to make a joke about the ubiquitous scanty female armor in games in general, and I did kind of like them for it, but it faltered in the follow-up. And even the way he talked to her was more chiding father than chiding commander. I mean, it could have been “why the hell would you go into battle with no freaking armor?–that’s completely against mercenary practice” (which would be a totally legitimate thing to yell at your soldiers about), but instead it was more like “why did you go off with your skin uncovered?” which made it more about her not being “decent” or something. Weird. So some points for a bit of humor, some points off for overall awkward execution. They can’t all be perfect.

Butch:

What’s funny about the Nilgaardian business contacts is I didn’t even think of me until Geralt said that, and then I was like “Hey…yeah…business.”

I guess the fact that I do not ever think about business is why I have 242 gold right now….

Re: awkwardness–And you’re saying that as someone who didn’t play 2. Think of how I feel.

I think they were going for themes…. and just missed. Or, not so much missed, as, if you just take the story AS the story then there is some degree of Tamara. We’ve been talking of how act 2 is more about the people who stayed put while the world changed, and Roche is VERY much in that vein. And yes, even his loyal number 2 has changed, become impulsive, etc. So ok, thematically consistent. But….it didn’t work with THESE characters, especially because, unlike the baron and Tamara, they aren’t new. You can’t take someone SO adult in 2 and make them a child in 3.

I think, and not to derail this, it’s something games have to deal with as they become more themey without abandoning their love of sequels. If a franchise keeps doing the same themes over and over, well, after hour 180 or so, we might get a tad tired of that. And yet, if you’re going to switch metaphor from game to game, it’s not necessarily going to be easy to switch that metaphor when the characters are staying the same. Something to keep an eye on as we play on.

But yeah. Execution was disappointing. Which kinda sucked cuz I was eager to see Roche and Ves. Frankly, I was eager to see how Ves was doing, as the aforementioned rape scene happened very close to the end of 2, and, as I’ve mentioned, 2’s ending was very sudden and didn’t wrap a lot of things up sufficiently, like, say, Ves’ story. This sort of pretended that that whole bit in 2 didn’t happen. It’s one thing to kinda sorta ignore a minor plot point, but don’t do that with a harrowing, upsetting plot point involving a major character.

Feminina:

Yeah, I think not having played 2, and effectively not knowing either of these characters previously, made it slightly less awkward, though still awkward. If she’s acting all out of character, that’s even weirder.

Although…maybe they’re going for a “she was so damaged by being raped that she’s come unhinged” kind of thing? A ruined woman? Ugh, I hope not.

I don’t think about business much either, but I now have about 30,000 gold. It’s all about cheap blackjacks and collecting witcher tax. Which rhymes! And mostly it’s about never buying anything.

I need to find the halfling herbalist, though. I found someone to buy bear fat from, but there are weird exotic ingredients I lack.

Butch:

Yup. Themes be themes, but….not this one. I mean, Roche is the PERFECT character to have a story around about staying put while life passes you by. He’s a Temerian, who is still “serving Temeria” despite the fact that there is no Temeria any more. It even ties back to the very first bit of the game, in White Orchard, when someone tells the innkeeper to take down the Temerian lillies cuz it doesn’t exist any more. Shit, Geralt is wearing armor (or was until I made him a kettle, then a griffin) with the Temerian patch ripped off. This is perfect!

And then…..this awkwardness. Missed opportunity on a lot of levels. Ah well. You make a 7000 hour game, you’re not gonna bat 1000. However, it would have been nice if the strikeout hadn’t been with such beloved characters.

I hope they’re not doing the ‘ruined woman’ thing. I really, really hope not. Really.

Do we see them again? We must see them again. I dunno, though, cuz my eye for an eye quest is over, and it ended there in the village.

30,000 gold. Shit. You know, those blackjacks are like, 2 each. And the rope ladders are 1. That’s a lot of ladders.

Dude, the halfling herbalist is amazing. Absolutely amazing. The formulae alone. There was shit I hadn’t even heard of. He has a hut right between the chess club where you met Radovid and Roche’s camp.

Feminina:

Must go there!

As to the question, I’ve run into Roche again, but so far haven’t seen any more of Ves. Perhaps later.

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