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Spoilers for a side quest and a bit of plot stuff in Horizon Zero Dawn

Butch:

Ok, did the three mourners bit.

Interesting. Nice use of a gay man there. That was a bit of a surprise.

Yet another blown up game trope. Here, we have people trying to make their loved ones “immortal” in a sense. The woman with the seeds, the man with the statue, the man with the mark. They’re all trying to do something to make their loved ones last. Usually, in games, the hero is all about that. The hero is the one who becomes legend, remembered by all forever. Here, Aloy doesn’t seem into that. “This place won’t stay safe for long. Hurry up.” “They defaced it because they hated what it stood for. It’s just a statue.” She doesn’t believe in anything that isn’t transient. Usually heroes are the opposite.

The man was pretty fascinating. Being upset because they destroyed, not a symbol of hate, but art of the slaves. That was pretty damn thought provoking. Hmm.

Good quest.

Though fucking GLINTHAWKS man.

I did figure out something helpful: I have the “double shot arrow” thing now. I found out that if you pump two tearblast arrows AT ONCE into their bellies there, it’ll knock off the freeze cannon, which makes things a lot easier. Now….this is not exactly easy to do when they’re flying around with their friends….but it is a help.

Feminina:

Yeah, I liked that quest. Some interesting story. And as you say, nice “oh yeah, my partner was a man, no big deal, the bigger deal is the rest of the story.” I thought that was well done, the guy wanting to see the work of his beloved’s hands again, and then that interesting tension you mentioned, where he’s sad that people destroyed a work of art, but Aloy (and we) can completely understand why people didn’t want that statue of that guy looming over the place.

And yeah, definitely the sense that Aloy respects their need to mourn, but also is very aware of the fact that things don’t stand still. “Do your grieving and move on, dangerous stuff is coming.”

I also wondered if this is meant to in any way reflect on the fact that Aloy herself took basically no time to mourn Rost. Her focus on moving forward could be in part due to the fact that she herself is trying to do that, and is, perhaps, not dealing with her own feelings of loss.

“OK, he’s dead, that’s sad, let’s move along now, chop chop.” His death did get pretty short shrift in the story: understandably so because it happened in the middle of a whirlwind of other dramatic events, but I do wonder if maybe she’ll take a moment at some point later in the story to go back and remember him. Light a lantern for him, or whatever the Nora do for the dead.

I just got double arrow! I’ll try knocking off the freeze cannon, because yeah, that sucks.

Butch:

Interesting for a side quest. And, kinda cool that the game decided to make a thought provoking point that was outside of the overarching themes of the game (I think). Usually, when we praise a themey side quest, the side quest has taken the big theme and twisted it a bit. It’s a rare game that just takes you aside and says “Hey, just for a minute, let me say this….ok back to the theme.”

Aloy says this…and then they don’t move on. Aloy says all that to the woman by the snapmaw lake, but the woman doesn’t go. You walk away from her, and there she is, still there. She doesn’t do that “Ok, I’ll go” and then runs away like oh so many NPCs. The game lets you wonder whether she mourned for a couple minutes then left or if she ignored Aloy entirely and stayed there, grieving, until the snapmaws returned.

I think Aloy’s avoiding. Every time she talks to someone who is all “I’ve lost someone….” her reaction isn’t empathy, it’s “Yeah, me, too….” icily. She does NOT want to talk about it. Interestingly, the one time I DID try to talk was to Erand there. I had the dialog choice about how to respond when he was drunk and sad, and I picked the nice one. “I’ve lost someone, too,” and HE got mad. “Why does everyone want to talk about themselves when they’re trying to make you feel better?” But Aloy obviously cares.

I mean, Rost keeps coming up. Over and over. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this turns into a Obi Wan Kenobi thing, lots of ghostly memories and flashbacks and dream sequences. I think his death got short shrift because he’ll be back, somehow, some way. Not that he’s alive, no.

But then…..did we SEE him die? Really? We saw a boom.

Either way: I have a feeling that he’ll be back. Probably in the sequel, too. Every sequel.

Knocking off the cannon rocks. When you remember to do it. Which is rarely.

Feminina:

I said that to Erend too! Trying to be all sympathetic, and then he’s a little irritated: “Why do people say that? Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

And then Aloy was kind of like “yeah, why DO they say that?”

So we got to sympathize after all, in a way, and also she got to be a bit self-deprecating…a “sorry, not the right thing to say there” kind of moment.

On a vaguely related note, who does Erend remind me of? I keep thinking Kiefer Sutherland, but I’m not sure that’s quite right.

Although… [internet internet] yeah, it’s pretty right, I guess.

Edited to add:

Butch:

This had me looking at imdb (Erand isn’t Keifer Sutherland, what are you talking about?) and I find it profoundly ironic that here in a game that doesn’t have gratuitous, impossible to explain British accents, TWO major roles (Erand and Olin) are played by British people.

Feminina:

You don’t think so? I don’t mean he’s PLAYED by Kiefer Sutherland, I never thought that–I just mean he has that kind of air about him. A sort of Kiefer-Sutherland-esque look about the eyes.

But hey, I don’t know, I don’t see movies or TV anymore so I no longer know what any actors look or sound like.

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