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Some spoilers for Baba Yaga DLC in Rise of the Tomb Raider


Well. That. Sucked.

No, really. That. Sucked.

So I went back to the wicked vale……

And there was some cool stuff. Good story, good mood….I won’t spoil. But then…without spoilers:

There was a big, BIG tomb sort of thing that was timing. You know how I love timing things. And I got frustrated. So frustrated that I kept missing the rope that got me back to where I had to be to start the timing bit. When you keep missing the damn RESET rope, you’re tired. I should have stopped. But I didn’t.


Because Lara was all (after some stuff….we’ll talk, later) “She’s in there…this ends…now.” “Now.” She said “Now.”

We have a VERY different interpretation of “now.”

Because her definition of “now” is “Half an hour of fighting and we’re STILL not done.”


There are boss fights….and there is Baba Yaga.

And you know what? I didn’t die once. Not. Once. It’s timing. It’s a TIMING boss fight. You don’t DIE, you just have to try and try and do and do and try and try. And it does. Not. End. There were FOUR TIMES I thought “Phew! Got her! And moving on….wait…there’s more.” FOUR TIMES! And I’m STILL NOT DONE.

I’m not sure if it’s cuz I was frustrated from the tomb thing or not. Maybe I’ll sit down next time and kill her in two minutes. But this was an OH FUCK THIS game session. And not because it was hard. Again, didn’t die once. But there was SO MUCH OF IT. So…very…much…. and it was all kinda the same.

Without spoiling: When you first meet Baba Yaga there, there’s this sort of trick thing you’ll have to do a couple of times to get her. Get good at this. Like, VERY GOOD at this. Because you’ll have to do it again. And again. And again. And…..again……..

But now I’m at a save point in the middle of this mess. Only one way to go….and that’s….more…..


Wow. I…can’t wait. Timing challenges are just the BEST. I guess they’re marginally better than driving challenges…sometimes…

I made my way through some story, with a lively murderfest that I had to try many times to complete, but it wasn’t a maddening timing thing, just the usual waves of dudes. Then eventually I got to a campsite from whence I could fast-travel, at 34% of the game, so I headed back to the Vale and called it a night. I certainly look forward to pursuing this line of investigation next time I play.

Although, wait, I didn’t make the deer liver potion yet! Damn it.

Never mind, Baba Yaga! I’ll just be heading back to the Soviet Installation, where I will probably be distracted by some relics or something. I’ll totally swing by again sometime, though!


Nah man. If the pink skull icon thing is in the vale, you’re good. Stay focused on the pink skull thing.

You’ll tear through it in no time just to piss me off.


Pink skull thing. Creepy pink skull thing. I should have been doing this on Halloween.


Yeah. If your skull thingy is still at the copper mill, then you gotta go get the pesticide stuff. But you “make the stuff” as soon as you pick up the pesticide. How? No one knows. But you do. So if your skull thingy is the the wicked vale, then boom! Tricky timing shit ahoy!

It’s not all bad. There’s some good stuff. But there’s also tricky timing shit. Lots of tricky timing shit.

Oh, and water. Did I mention the water?


I did go to the copper mine, and I did pick up the pesticide, so yeah, I might have auto-crafted the stuff.

All it takes is picking up one substance while having another substance on your person! Man, if I’d known chemistry was that easy, I’d have taken a few classes in college and become a professional…brewer of anti-hallucinogenic spore potions.

I suppose that’s actually a pretty small field.


You’d be surprised. I think we knew people that majored in it.

But yeah. You’re ready to jump and shoot and fall and swear.


Can. Not. Wait.

[muttered cursing]


You watch. It’ll be one of those things you tear through in six minutes, and you’ll write all “I don’t think I got to the hard part you were talking about yet….” and I’ll say “Uh….that was the hard part….” and it’ll be awkward, just like always.

I have no pride.


Well, that kind of thing can cut both ways. Remember I was all “the end fight in Transistor took me 7 hours!” and “if only Manny could sprint!” and you come back with “that fight took me 37 seconds…but you’re right, there’s absolutely no way to make Manny move faster than a crawl, and no human will ever discover one, that is the worst.”


It’s funny that you bring up the sprint thing, as the sprint thing will do you wonders in this Baba Yaga mess. Remember you have it!

That said, it screwed me up just as often. (By the way, it’s pushing L3.) I HATE L3. Why? Because in the heat of the battle, I often over push and sprint, like, off that cliff and back into the aforementioned water. When it’s L3, I never sprint when I WANT to sprint (cuz I forget to) and always when I don’t (see aforementioned water).

Still don’t know what the transistor thing was about. When in doubt, PING!



That T shirt will make the ONE person in the universe who gets it very happy.

I saw someone in a New California Republic shirt the other day. Had to give them props. And then duck in case we were in opposing factions. Panicked and couldn’t remember if I was dressed in Caesar’s Legion armor again, you know.


Give them mad props.

We’re behaving way too normally for a Friday, so I have to push the whole T SHIRT thing.