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Minor spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Blood Ties DLC: some plot spoilers for other things that have happened in the game

Butch:

Did play. Only a little.

Toodled around Croft manor. Still liking it. Just got the lighter and the secret map.

I really like the bit in the passages there, the fake tomb. Or her first tomb, depending. A little maze, just confusing enough, fake treasures.

But it begs the question: is it a metaphor? The “main treasure” was a “real treasure,” one of Lord Croft’s immortality artifacts. That’s what young Lara was trying to find. So is that what she’s still doing? Playing games (meta) in order to find something that is inherently useless? That has value only to her?

We see Lord Croft sort of refusing to grow up, refusing to put aside his own self for his wife, his child, his wife’s career, etc. He’s still a weird little kid chasing treasures. Is Lara?

Good stuff.

And well placed….if you’re us. A bit of narrative that asks metaphorical questions (and I do think this does) belongs in the flow of a narrative, not after the narrative ends. We don’t want an ending and THEN a bunch of questions. It should go when you’re, I don’t know, about 35% in.

Feminina:

I played a bit too. Took a break from the story and went back to toodle around the valley and the Soviet installation, collecting coins and documents and so forth. Went through a tomb or two, completed some ally missions for the Remnant…you know.

Anyway, didn’t make any progress on the main story, but collected a number of items, gained some skill points, picked up a trophy or two. I’m at 51% of the game, I think. Strangely, I am not yet incredibly wealthy: you really don’t accumulate cash loot very fast in this game. Not that it really matters, since there’s not much to buy. I just picked up the ‘improvement pack’ or whatever it was called, that allows you to put additional improvements on your weapons. Not that I care very much about improving my weapons, which aside from the bow (explosive arrows!) are not that exciting, but it was cheap and more things to craft = more XP, right?

Plus, I had to get my toodling in.

Butch:

51%? Are you way ahead of me story wise? Or are we starting to think that the percentage is really all about the toodling? Are we gonna finish the story at, like, 63%?

Feminina:

Yeah, I thought the percentage was all about the story, but now I think toodling has to count for something too…it definitely went up a bit over the weekend, from 47% to 51%, even though I did zero story and am not that far ahead of you. (A few fights, basically.)

I do wonder if that means we could finish the story and be only 60% done, as you said…I guess we’ll find out. Or not, if we toodle with enough determination.

Butch:

That sure is a lot of toodling. I hope it doesn’t come to that. A game should not be half toodling. Or at least feel like it is.

Well, we have next game lined up.

Though, if you’re only a couple fights ahead, we can’t be THAT close. I don’t FEEL that close. And it seems there are still quite a few “hidden trophies” that are right there between the story trophies and the “complete the game” trophy to win. So I don’t think we’re really, really close to the end.

Maybe you’re just very good at toodling.

Feminina:

Well, 51% is barely more than half finished, which means there’s still a lot of ground to cover. Or toodle over, but it can’t be ALL toodling. There’s got to be some sort of formula where toodling counts for less than story, or something.

Maybe I’m just rationalizing in hopes that the story isn’t about to end with one more battle, and the other 30 hours of gameplay is chasing relics.

Not that I don’t love that.

Butch:

I’m putting faith in the trophies. And you haven’t gotten any hidden trophies I haven’t got, so I think we’re cool.

I hope. Because, you know me, it’s time for me to make plans that will never, EVER come to fruition. I figure Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture isn’t all that long. Couple weeks, maybe. Then, really, the next AAA game we have coming down the pipe isn’t until the end of February…..

Unless it gets terrible reviews, I’ll probably get The Last Guardian for Jr. for Xmas. That might be worth it. If only to say we finally got to play The Last Guardian.

And I continue to recommend the Witness.

But we, or at least I, will lose a lot of game time to the Holidays. You get to do the guerilla eat, leave, play thing. I am not so lucky. Indeed, I just spent the last couple hours vacuuming. MAN the house was dirty. At least, when the in laws come, I have a motivation to clean.

Feminina:

It’s true, people coming over does always motivate me to clean. It never STAYS clean, that’s the eternal problem.

However, I won’t be cleaning OR getting much gaming done over Christmas, because we’re going to be out of town. Going to the west coast, far away from our console and our games. Leaving Christmas Eve, back the 30th. So we’ll have a long weekend’s worth of time at home, but on the whole, no more gametime than usual. You can get way ahead in The Last Guardian!

I’m not counting on getting any hidden trophies. Ooh, I did cut down all the flags last night, and got a trophy for that! Or for completing missions for the Remnant, I don’t know. Something popped up–I don’t care enough to look into why.

Butch:

No no. The hidden ones are for story. “Survive the avalanche”. “Light up the beacon”. Etc.

Old trophy trick. Count how many hidden trophies are between they first story one and “complete the game.”

They only hide them to prevent spoilers.

Feminina:

Ah! Clever. It’s true, we don’t want spoilers.

Of course, in my case there could be a non-hidden trophy for every single plot point (discover that Ana is working against you! Discover that she’s Konstantin’s sister! Remember that your father shot himself! Meet Jacob! Discover that he and his people are guarding the ancient secret!) and I’d still never know.

“Wow, seriously? Those two are related? Huh.”

I thought hidden would be some totally random thing you’d never even know there was a trophy for until it popped up, like “shoot at 50 rabbits and miss them all” or something. I probably only thought that because for me, that’s pretty much every trophy.

“Wow, seriously? There’s a trophy for completing missions? Huh.”

I suppose that would be pretty unfair for people trying to get platinum, though. “Just wander around doing random things and hope for the best!” would be pretty obnoxious. Of course it would actually translate to “look it on the internet,” since that’s what everyone would immediately do. And who could blame them, either?

Butch:

Actually, the last system update included a “reveal hidden trophies” so if you didn’t care about spoiler and DID care about platinum you could avoid the pesky internet.

Some joke trophies are hidden. Like the “recreate the glitch” trophy in uc4.

But yeah, if you look and there’s a “find out Sam lied!” Trophy you don’t have, that would be a bummer. Best to hide.

But you can still count. “Ok, five more between now and finish? Cool.”

Feminina:

That makes sense. Keep track of, in general, how much story is left, without too many spoilers (“discover Jacob was working with Ana all along! Discover that Lara’s mother is alive but has turned into a scary body-stealing monster like on Yamatai!!!”).

I will not be bothering to reveal hidden trophies, however. I want the exciting reveal of Lara’s mother’s monstrousness and her father’s rising from the grave as a zombie to come as the complete surprise the writers intended.

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