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Some spoilers for near the end plot points and combat in Horizon Zero Dawn

Butch:

OK, a certain thing must be said:

Dude, when your blogmate is about to do a quest that has a motherfucking CORRUPTED THUNDERJAW you gotta give your blogmate a heads up.

Oh, and a rockbreaker followed directly BY a corrupted thunderjaw that’s LEVEL 22?

Fuck that shit, game. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

If I play this game for another 200 hours, and I might at this rate, I will never stop being mad about this level bullshit.

Oh, and that sassy woman with the chiseled abs (those were some abs, man) is also on the list of people who would be romancable in a bioware game and likely will be romancable in the sequel.

“If I see you later, I’ll give you a proper thank you.” HELLO!

Feminina:

Well, I WANTED to tell you, but I was afraid of spoiling. I almost said, “yo, make sure you’re ready to shoot at some digging arms, not that that ever works,” but…I never know if you WANT to know in advance. Sometimes it ruins the adventure to know what’s coming.

And about those chiseled abs…[impressed whistle]. Do you think she’s meant to be trans? Nice, casual inclusion if so. And even if not, I kind of like that they don’t say anything one way or another. ‘Cause, like, what business is it of ours? None! She’s just doing her thing and we’re doing ours, and we’re all good.

Butch:

Dude. Corrupted. Thunderjaw.

I didn’t read trans. I just read “Badass lady.” Flirty badassed lady.

If we are building a list of potential romance options in 2 (I still hope this doesn’t come up in THIS game), she’s so on it. SO on it.

Personally, I think she should run off with Nil. Think of their kids!

Oh, and, please, let the record show….the digging arm trick WORKED thank you very much. It stayed right on the surface, waiting to be killed. Well, waiting to be killed while spewing deadly rocks at me. But it spewed on the surface!

Feminina:

It worked?! Nice. I never made it work.

Butch:

Sure did! I perched up on a ledge there, bunch of tearblasts, done! Even had a place to hide from the rock spew. I was feeling great! First that, then the “place trap” bit where I needed, maybe, a third of the traps I put down, all was well! I was awesome! And then there was a CORRUPTEDMOTHERFUCKINGTHUNDERJAW!!!!

Sigh.

Feminina:

I…yeah. Sorry. A misplaced concern for spoilage. My bad.

To make up for it, I’ll tell you what’s in the final fight: a bunch of corrupted machines and a deathbringer! You weren’t expecting that.

So, you know, when you get to the final fight after pursuing all the random side quests I said didn’t exist, you’ll be prepared.

Also, in the spirit of fair warning, glinthawks and pitchcliff gets long. It sprouts additional quests. Etc. Nothing corrupted-thunderjaw level, but it goes on. So be prepared to spend some time on that.

Butch:

It happens. I admire your attempts.

Dude, I’m really kinda dreading the final battle. I hate endgames. Is it really, really awful? I hate awful.

Or I could, you know…..not do Pitchcliff? Right? That’s an option, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

Whimper.

Feminina:

You COULD not do it. I mean, in theory. Depending on how compulsive you are.

Only you can say whether or not it’s actually possible for you. But I support you regardless of your decision, man. I’m here for you. If you don’t want to do another long side quest, I fully affirm your right to skip it!

And if you compulsively must do it, I fully affirm that I would do the same thing.

However, there is…maybe…something that is useful in the first part of the final battle.

I’m sure that it’s not crucial. But…OK, in the spirit of spoilers and warnings, you can get access to a really big gun that you can fire at machines with later on. And really big guns are great against invading hordes of machines. I was pretty happy to have it, I don’t mind saying: that fight was pretty easy, where I think it might be kind of horrible otherwise. So…the big gun is awesome, and maybe worth doing that series of quests for.

But there’s no way they’d make it so that you HAD to have the big gun in order to finish that battle, so if you figure you need the time more than the gun, I’m sure it will work out.

Butch:

You’re mocking me, aren’t you?

You sure are.

Aaaaaaaand…..I guess I have to make time to kill glinthawks.

Dude, I’m baring my soul here about my fears about the endgame, and you’re all “Oh well, it isn’t scary, unless you don’t do this quest, in which case it’s terrifying, but hey, quest, don’t quest, whatevs.”

You don’t want me to finish, do you? You’re holding onto some vicarious HZD thing, aren’t you?

Feminina:

Dude, I swear, I’m not mocking you! I’m trying to be sincere.

It’s hard for me, but I’m trying.

You SHOULD probably take the time to kill the glinthawks, but I genuinely mean it that you could probably fight off those corrupted machines later on without that big gun.

I mean, they wouldn’t make it impossible. Not after a “you can’t go back after this” moment.

But the big gun was pretty nice.

I AM enjoying the opportunity to keep taking about HZD even though I’m not playing it. Until I meet my brooding alien lover, I’m kind of just killing time here in Andromeda.

And the endgame…it’s not that bad. Honestly. I promise.

You get the big gun and that takes care of waves of machines in Stage One. Then you have one final battle with a deathbringer in Stage Two, so just remember how to fight a deathbringer and you’ll be OK.

I was super frustrated with Stage Two at first, because I wasn’t paying attention to the parts you have to shoot at, and I was thinking “I’m not doing any damage at all, this is impossible, I’m never going to be able to do this!!!” and then I remembered to scan for the vulnerable parts and shoot at them.

Oh, right. Basic combat strategy? Right.

After that it was OK. This is not one of those endless boss fights that you just have to keep dying in 50 times because it’s hard just to be hard. HZD loves us more than that.

You’re gonna do great.

Butch:

See, this is the conundrum. I’m trying to see how I can get to the end here with the minimum of time and frustration. A big gun would reduce time and frustration. That it would. But adding glinthawks and quest lines would ADD time and frustration.

What to do, what to do?

I just turned it on for a while. Got to the gate of the tribe. Killed a corruptor. Wanted a big gun. You know how it goes.

I’ll go through the gate later.

And is it JUST a deathbringer? More than one? Or One with a bunch of evil friends? Like, oh, a deathbringer, sure, with 194373 cultists, a thunderjaw and a flock of stormbirds?

Grumble.

Feminina:

Well, there are a lot of evil friends in Stage One, but that’s when you have the big gun. You can shoot lots of things at once! It’s cathartic.

Stage Two is one deathbringer. I promise. OK, and a few wandering other things, but you can can ignore them because–reasons. Really, it’s fine. I was initially concerned, but ultimately pleased at how fine it was.

Dude, you know me: I hate endless horrible boss fights too. You know how bitterly I complained about that final fight with the supervampire in the Witcher expansion. I fought that fight for days, seething with more frustration all the time.

Consider my low tolerance for endless battles. Consider my volubly expressed dissatisfaction with such battles. Consider how little I complained about the final battle in HZD. Consider I did it in one session, and only died twice. (On Normal, yeah, but even so.)

Trust me when I reassure you it will be fine.

You’re gonna do great.

Butch:

All right, I believe you. But I will be mental unless I get the big gun and the armor.

Because it really, really is the second thing that gets you. Take the corrupted thunderjaw (Which really was a surprise). It would have been hard even on its own, but I had just expended quite a few resources on the rockbreaker. After dying countless times, I eventually had to find high ground and snipe at it with hard point arrows. Hard point arrows! I didn’t think so save, say, tearblast arrows when fighting the rockbreaker! The rockbreaker is supposed to be the hard thing!

I ALWAYS lose track of something important. It’s usually wire. So I stocked up on wire the last time I shopped.

And now I’m fresh out of blaze.

Sigh.

Feminina:

Yes! Wire and blaze! Those were the things I ran out of. I started just buying wire and blaze when I met a merchant, without even bothering to check if I needed any, because I usually did.

Sucks a lot not being able to make arrows or trip wires.

And yeah, in this case there is definitely the nasty second thing, but if you have the big gun for the first stage, you won’t use any of your own resources, just the big gun. So just stock up. Right after the big fight with the guy who’s not a machine. Right before you go fight the machines.

Um…did I mention there’s a big fight with a dude who’s not a machine? Yeah…there’s that. But it’s such a trivial detail, I totally forgot about it until now. It’s just a dude and some cultists. There are supply caches and stuff afterward. You’re gonna do great.

Butch:

The worst is when I remembered to stock up on wire, then stocked up on health, and wondered where my wire went, and realized that you need to trade wire for healing potions.

Even when I remember, I forget.

T SHIRT!!!!!

Um, no…you left that out about the dude who’s not a machine….

You’re failing entirely to make me feel better.

Feminina:

There’s just so much stuff. Plus I’m used to keeping everything secret because I don’t want to spoil.

So…there’s a fight with a dude (that sunring guy, you know you have to face him eventually). Then the swarms of machines. Then the deathbringer.

THAT’s the endgame. And there was no part of it that made me want to throw things at the TV or take to the emails in long rants about how horrible the endless fights were. Remember how I didn’t talk about that for days? It wasn’t because I was being stoic!

Remember where we talked about the last deathbringer fight, the one in the Grave Hoard? That was I think worse than these fights.

POSSIBLY it was on par with the final deathbringer fight, because there’s a lot of similarity what with them both being deathbringers, but I think this last one wasn’t quite as bad as that one. There’s more stuff to hide behind and it didn’t seem to follow you around quite as efficiently.

Plus, your armor is WAY MORE AWESOME once you get that awesome armor, and that makes a huge difference.

Just remember where to shoot it.

You’re gonna do great. Honest.

Butch:

“Once you get that awesome armor.”

Not “if.”

“Once.”

Sigh.

Feminina:

Well, you’re going to be in the places where the power cells are anyway! The mountain, and the…other place.

And once you have the power cells, it’s a simple matter to go pick up the armor.

I mean, once you fight the three corrupted rockbreakers that are guarding it by the time you go back…KIDDING! There’s nothing guarding it. Just walk on in with your power cells and open a door. TOTALLY worth it. That armor is incredibly great.

Butch:

Please allow me to start what I will optimistically think is a post a few days from now:

“Dude, when a bunker is guarded by a CORRUPTEDFLOCKOFMOTHERFUCKINGSTORMBIRDS you gotta warn your blogmate!”

“Hey I didn’t want to spoil! And I forgot.”

Feminina:

Hey, I could forget maybe ONE corrupted stormbird. Not a whole flock. You’ll be fine.

Also, I didn’t want to spoil.

Butch:

I’m doomed.

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