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Minor spoilers for Blood Ties and the Baba Yaga story, in the Rise of the Tomb Raider DLC

Butch:

Played and played and played.

First the Witness, which, it turns out, is both a shit ton more complicated and a shit ton BETTER than I thought, and I thought it was pretty damn good.

Yes, yes, yes, we have a “When we have time” pile, but this one should be at the top of your “when I have time” pile. Might even be worth spending 20 bucks.

Then I finished Blood Ties, which you actually played.

Which I liked. Not at all sure why having a tomb in your house means your uncle can’t have it, but ok, whatever.

Good balance of puzzle. Not too hard, but made it so you felt you did something. You solved the magic map mystery!

And many layers. It was a coming of age story, in a way. You “raid” her first “tomb” with her, and then she “raids” a tomb where the secret isn’t something like we’ve had in the main game (in which tombs reward us with “ancient secrets”), but a secret all the same. Very clever how they used the raiding of tomb as metaphor.

But see…..

You seem to be of the opinion that this stuff wasn’t important story to the main game. I’m not ready to say that yet. Now, in the back of my head, I know that for the poor X1 players, this HAD to have been played AFTER the main game, so maybe a twist where mom is alive isn’t in the cards….here (though I wouldn’t be THAT surprised). But the next game? Who knows?

We didn’t see a body. No body, anything can happen. Shit, even when there IS a body, we’ve been to Yamatai.

I mean, the similarities to Baba Yaga are too sharp. Baba Yaga was a story about two estranged lovers and their daughter. The father and daughter had been left behind by someone who drifted away, then left, then couldn’t get back, etc., to the point where father/daughter became convinced that mother was dead. Here, in Croft manor, we have a mother who drifted away, then left, then “died,” leaving a father and daughter to wonder and search. Then BOOM! Baba Yaga’s alive and it’s MOM!

Hmm.

And, just to add a dash of WILD INTERNET SPECULATION: If we can believe that game three is “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” who is in who’s shadow? Hmmmmmmm?

Mom ain’t dead, I say.

Feminina:

Interesting. I will keep the Witness in mind, in case I ever have any free time. You never know!

I played only a bit last night. Toodled about collecting coin caches and so forth, then ran out of things on the map that I could go get, so followed the main story for about 15 minutes before I had to get laundry out of the dryer and get ready for bed.

Spoiler: more battles!

Re: Blood Ties…it’s true, we don’t actually see her mom’s body, but her dad claimed to, so HE thought she was dead enough to bury, right? I’m unconvinced they can plausibly (even within the flexible definition of ‘plausible’ enjoyed by a game like this) resurrect her at this point, unless dad was flat-out lying about what he saw, or else mom’s been all Poisoned Snow White hibernating in that coffin for the past 20 years or whatever.

It’s true that she seems to have been frozen, and must have looked close enough to alive that dad felt it was worthwhile to try bringing her back to life (presumably if she’d been half-decayed already he wouldn’t have bothered), so it’s POSSIBLE she’s been in some sort of suspended animation since his attempt failed, and that Lara (or someone) will eventually try again and be more successful. Or, I suppose, it’s possible that dad’s journal records were telling the truth at the time, but that he later updated them with new discoveries, and he actually knew she WAS alive, but for whatever reason was keeping the secret all those years.

Certainly Blood Ties needn’t be the end of that little saga, but it seems like it would be a bit of a stretch if it’s not.

Not that “a bit of a stretch” is any real impediment! So you could totally be right…I just don’t have the same sense of confidence in that possibility. If I were Lara, I wouldn’t be betting on ever seeing mom again, is all I’m saying.

Butch:

The Witness is also a game that you can put down for, like, six weeks, then come back to. The story, such as it is, isn’t exactly….well….hard to describe. Let’s just say it’s something that can fill in a couple weeks here, couple weeks there over a long time and still be good. That’s pretty much how we’ve been playing it. I got it in March, and lordy knows I’ve played other stuff since.

More battles?

No. Way.

But yeah, man! There’s some SHIT we’ve seen!

And (WILD INTERNET SPECULATION) Square Enix has a) talked about the “Tomb Raider trilogy” in interviews, b) see “Shadow” in the next title, c) this DLC, coming AFTER the second game is completed (for most) indicates it’s a bridge to the next game and not part of this one, and d) superheroes (and Lara has been around 20 years, she counts in the canon of superheroes) ALWAYS have parent issues. Usually Daddy issues, but they’re usually men. Would be cool to see a female superhero with a Mommy issue.

Feminina:

True, true. The parent issues do tend to loom. And as you say, “Shadow” suggests some specific person’s shadow that she must emerge from (or descend into?), and it would be interesting if that were the mom rather than the dad. They already did dad in the movie series: it should totally be mom in the game!

Also, mom is at least possibly frozen/suspended, while dad, we’re led to believe, is pretty thoroughly dead in that he apparently shot himself in the head. And Lara found him, so since we’re her,we trust this information as much as we trust any information: she, at least, believes it to be true, and there’s no real doubt cast on the details.

A story COULD get around that (faked his own death with horror movie makeup! escaped into the wilderness to look for…whatever!), but someone who’s been frozen AND has already had some mystical attempt made to revive them (maybe it didn’t work, but did preserve her enough so a later attempt will!) is a better bet.

So, yeah, if there’s going to be a parent turning up in the next game (or, for all we know, the end of this one, because we carefully don’t read spoilers), it’s more likely to be the mother.

Butch:

Yeah? I never did see the movies. I just know they involved Angelina Jolie and shorts.

I should have seen the movies.

I think dad is pretty damn dead. I mean, WE saw the body in that flashback.

But I still say….why’d he STAY obsessed with eternal life? Not for him. We see in that last journal entry he wanted to lie down and die himself. This was not a man that wanted to live without his wife. He certainly didn’t want to live FOREVER without his wife.

There’s something, there is.

But yeah, if it turns out to be the mother, there’s a twist for sure. I mean, I don’t think we’ve met Boss Remnant. Jacob? Ok, he’s cool and all, but I have a feeling that a band of spiritual hermit types with an ancient mission probably have someone more spiritual and missionary leading them than Jacob. There’s some grand poobah of the Remnants, I am sure.

Feminina:

Why didn’t you see the movies!? Dude! Even I saw the movies, and I cared approximately zip about the character at that point. Of course, I used to see a LOT of movies.

Anyway, there was a bit in (I think) the second one where her presumed-dead father shows up to provide some information or other…it was a long time ago and the details are hazy for me now, but it was meant to be very emotional and what-not, especially since her father was played by Jon Voight, who for those following along at home is Angelina Jolie’s father, so I remember considerable discussion about how meta it was or whatever. The emotional resonance of a scene with two somewhat estranged, related actors playing estranged, related characters!

Point is: been there, done that, let’s see what kind of emotional resonance we can get from bringing back a presumed-dead mother. Ideally, they’ll get Lara’s voice actor’s actual mother to do the voice, but I won’t insist on that.

Butch:

I somehow missed them. Didn’t play the first crop of games, either, they being console exclusives. I was busy playing fallout and civilization and other things that did not have Angelina Jolie and shorts. I wasted my youth.

The whole meta parent thing has been done. Morrigan’s kid was voiced by Claudia Black’s real kid.

Meta.

Feminina:

I didn’t play them either. It was before I was into games. I also wasted my youth.

Butch:

Yes, but you’re blogging, and that matters.

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