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Some specific quest-fight spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn

Butch:

So played. Decided to test out my very fetching fire armor by going back to that corrupted zone with the fire bellowback from way back in the Nora lands. Took me a while, but cleared it, didn’t die. Huzzah! Then spent altogether too long looking for a vantage point (the one with the concert stage) as I was convinced it was up on these tall assed rocks, so I climbed the tall assed rocks, and it wasn’t there. It was right next to the campfire. Sigh.

So a neat mechanic: when you’re hurt badly enough the screen is red, you can’t sprint. And she holds her side and limps. I noticed this as I was hurt, was out of healing, and was trying to catch a turkey. Neat mechanic.

But I’m worried. I’ve been playing the hell out of this game. Really, I have. How many blog posts have started with “I’ve got nothing?” Hardly any! I even play on weekends! And I’m DOING stuff, man! Every time, something gets crossed off the list, even if it’s just a corrupted zone. And yet….I feel like I’m nowhere even remotely near being done. Like, I’ll NEVER be done. I don’t just mean 100%. That will never happen. But DAMN there sure seems to be a lot of clouds on that map. I know I’ve only done two of five cauldrons. It says I’m at 49%, and “done” is likely, what, 80? So I SHOULD be making progress, but even when I make progress I still feel like there’s 234978325982 hours of game left.

Now…don’t get me wrong…I am enjoying this game. It’s not that I’m bored and want to just finish this up. But a) I eventually want to play MEA and b) I want to play MEA before you finish both this AND MEA.

I dunno, man. This game feels fucking huge.

Feminina:

That was extremely fetching armor. And OBVIOUSLY fireproof. I mean, no question that’s what I would wear if I had to run into a burning building or face a flamethrowing monster.

You are definitely doing things! And yeah, it’s a big game. I feel like I’m at the “chipping away at side quests rather than follow the main story because I don’t want to finish quite yet” stage, so that time does come, but there’s a lot to do.

Last night I finished the ‘half suns in every trial’ thing and got…a Lodge Blast Sling for my troubles. I’m sure it’s a very nice blast sling, and whatever the next level is will also be very nice, but worth going back for full suns on all those tests? Blazing suns? Nah. I’m done with the hunting grounds.

I’d say I’m done with the Lodge, but I still have to kill a thunderjaw and a stormbird for Talanah. And then probably face Redmaw. So there’s stuff to do there.

I do like the ‘badly hurt’ mechanic. I was noticing that the other night after a particularly nasty fight where I had used all my healing and was THIS CLOSE to killing the thing, and then at the last minute as we both hovered on the brink of death…I did kill it. Whew. Close one, though. So many times that story goes the other way.

It’s nice that it sort of auto-heals you to about a quarter, so at least you’re not dragging around at 3 HP. But the limping and holding her side and the red fog around the edge of the screen is a really nice “hey, you’re injured” note. Makes it seem like there’s actually a difference between being totally fine, and having just been beaten to within an inch of your life by a giant robot.

Nothing some meat potions and/or medicinal herbs won’t cure, of course.

Butch:

Just because you’re fighting terrible things that can kill you, you still gotta rock the look.

They must’ve been being cheeky making THAT armor the fireproof one. Though it might have been even funnier had it been the one that resists cold.

So what percentage do you think “Done” is? I’m thinking/hoping about 80. And I’m JUST at 50. In real time, I sort of want to be done with this no later than four, five weeks (remember, I get things all messed up because Mrs. McP is graduating, there’s that sort of thing). I think I can. There might be some flowers left unfound. One must make choices.

Dude, I, too, am done with the hunting grounds. I don’t need a new blast sling. There’s hunting grounds I haven’t even visited. It’ll have to stay that way. So there. I’m closer to done! Through sheer laziness.

Unless…did you learn a trick that we don’t already know for your troubles? Like the log thing? Is there something really cool I’m not doing? Cuz if there is, I may go learn that. But if not, fuck it.

I have a feeling I’ll just do the thunderjaw and stormbird stuff in the course of play. When I had to get the other trophies, they didn’t come from the parts of the map the quest told me to go to. Any ravager would do. I have a feeling that I’m not going to get through this entire game without killing even one thunderjaw or stormbird, so I figure I’ll just grab those trophies when I happen to do that. Only need one of each.

And considering our pondering about the nature of redmaw, I kinda want to get to that point just to see if we’re right, or what is up with that. Without looking on the internet. Don’t go looking on the internet.

That “THIS close” thing is what happened to me last night with this corrupted zone! And…seriously…had my fetching armor not given me the fire resistance it did I’d’ve died.

Well, I still had some life left. I was hurt. I got to “almost dead” when (don’t laugh) I was climbing the rocks of futility looking for the vantage point that wasn’t up there and I fell a ways. Got down to, maybe, 20 health falling. Falling, I should point out, AFTER I did the fight and BEFORE I thought to save the damn game.

Had I died in that fashion, and had to redo the fight, I may well have gone insane.

The limping is a nice touch. This game gets many of the little things right.

Dude, I am SO low on meat. Fatty meat specifically. Every time I kill an animal I always get the wrong meat. “Damn! A bony turkey!” “Damn, a rich boar!” And then I’ll need bony meat at some point and, watch, every damn animal will have gotten fat.

Feminina:

Man, the WORST is surviving a brutal combat and then dying falling down a cliff before you save. I think that’s a recognized cause of PTSD.

You don’t have to get all the flowers. The dude just gives you some reward boxes for them, and they’re full of high-powered modifications or whatever, but you can only use so many modifications anyway. It’s nothing you can’t live without.

The vantage points, and to a lesser extent the Banuk figurines, are worth tracking down because they have story, but the mugs and flowers, meh.I got them all because of course I got them all, but it’s not as if I got anything awesome out of it. Aside from the trophy, I mean.

I learned about the ravager cannon at a hunting ground. That’s a good trick, but you already know it. Everything else I learned was basically “override machines so they’ll fight for you” (ON IT) and “ropes can tie machines down, if you ever manage to actually hit them.”

So yeah, I think you’re fine ignoring them.

And yeah, good plan waiting to kill a thunderjaw and a stormbird in the course of the action. I happen to have killed a stormbird myself in the course of the action, obviously before this so it doesn’t help me (sigh), but it will totally help you! That’s the only time I’ve fought one so far, so I’m not really looking forward to intentionally antagonizing one for the Lodge, but maybe I’ll just follow up on the main story a bit and see if I meet one as I go.

Butch:

Dude, I saw her falling and it was one of those cheesy slow motion “Nooooooooo” moments in my head. Awful. I went right to the campfire, didn’t care I was hurt. The turkeys and their useless bony meat can wait.

But the flower poem….the beautiful poem….someone took a great deal of time writing that poem….

But fuck it. Can’t be bothered.

The ravager cannon is key. I wish there was a “Find the fucking cannon once you shoot it off” tip, but whatever. It does kinda rock anyway.

And now that I have triple shot, three tearblast arrows at once makes shit go AWAY.

Though…can you use that trick on dudes holding, I dunno, firespitters maybe? That would be handy.

Yeah, I made sure I chatted up Talanah after that whole “Find me a ravager” thing, seeing as I had just killed a couple and had to go kill more. I figured, if she was gonna give me a “go kill things” quest, better to have it before I, inevitably, killed things.

Multitasking, me.

Feminina:

Oh man, tearblast on a dude with a big gun would be sweet. But no, I think it only works on machines.

Multitasking is the way to go. I had a quest to kill a thunderjaw for someone, and conveniently hit up the thunderjaw hunting grounds. Efficient!

If only I’d talked to Talanah first, too…