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Minor spoilers for the Havarl location in Mass Effect: Andromeda


Ok, fuck this planet.

It’s not even that I mind being shot at (T SHIRT!!!!). It’s that it’s a FUCKING MAZE. I’m getting flashbacks…..(cue the hazy fade to flashbacks…..)

Back in ye olden times, and I mean WAAAAY back, my parents, in an effort to encourage my interest in fantasy and computer games (they knew it would pay off and I’d be a blogger!) bought me this for the Commodore 64:

The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight – Wikipedia

Now…they meant well. They did. But here’s the gameplay for this.

You carefully made a party of six D&Desque characters. Then, your characters were loosed in a town where they had to find dungeons. “What’s wrong with that?” you’re thinking. “That sounds like fun! We did that all the damn time in college!” Yes, yes we did. But see that screenshot there on the wiki? The town….was a maze.

The dungeons were all MAZES.

So the gameplay was REALLY 1) make party. 2) get lost. 3) finally find the dungeon. 4) get lost in the dungeon. 5) rage quit.

I’m getting flashbacks. EA has given me flashbacks.

I unfroze dudes, I met the Turians, I picked up a bunch of salvage and a memory trigger, and now I’m at a point where I have to find this old remnant place where I have to take the “Remnant Highway” or something and I CANNOT FIND WHERE TO GO. The only thing I can think of is to fight towards a staircase going down, and I only think that cuz it’s lousy with remnant. It’s the OTHER WAY from the quest marker. Is that right? Is that where I should be going? Should I do that now?



That sounds awesome! Getting lost in dungeons! I must see if a version is available for the PS4! That is really exactly just a maze, though, you’re right. Limited roleplaying potential, perhaps.

I..think you’re supposed to go down, yes. If I’m thinking of the same thing you’re talking about, which is at least possible. You have to go down stairs into this big canyon? And then at the bottom is–stuff. Remnant stuff. And water. It’s probably the way you’re supposed to be going.

But you met the turians, that’s good, and collected their salvage. So, progress.


All right, down it is. They really, REALLY did not do a good job of explaining that. Channeling their old Bard’s Tale instincts.

Gotta get down there somehow. There’s stuff!

Bard’s Tale did have limited role playing potential, it’s true. What with the lack of dialog. Or options past attack and defend. But hey, man, it was 1986. We’re lucky we HAD games.


I think I played Pac-Man once on someone’s computer in the ’80s. Also, A-MAZE-ing. So, yeah, it was basically just mazes all the way with games of the time.

Things have come a long way. Which perhaps explains why we’re still bothering to play. I mean, if it was still nothing but mazes, would we really feel the need to dedicate 900 hours of our lives per game to these things? Probably not. I mean, I kind of hate mazes.


Ooooo fancy! I only had a cheap knock off called “Snack Man” that loaded from a cassette. We didn’t have the actual Pac Man.

I also hate mazes, which is why I am NOT LIKING HAVARL!

It’s also why I don’t have an issue with quest markers. I know people are all “Giving you something to follow holds your hand too much” but these people do not have Bard’s Tale II flashbacks. Had there been quest markers in that, I would have had a happier youth.

Of course, quest markers that do not indicate that you must avoid four massive walls and go down stairs that are in the OTHER DIRECTION sorta defeat the purpose….


I miss my NOMAD.


Yeah, somebody had the good stuff. I honestly don’t remember who…someone we visited one time, and their kid had it maybe, and we played it for one afternoon. Yet the memory lingers! The main thing I remember is that I quickly learned that one of the ghosts would come out in a certain spot and, if you were in ‘view,’ come after you, but if you weren’t, go the other way, so you could lurk until it went the other way and then wander around in that area untroubled. For 10 seconds or whatever until another ghost showed up, but hey, it was something.

And yeah, quest markers that show you every single step to take along the way are handholding. Quest markers that show you where something is, but you still have to figure out how to get around and/or under a mountain to get there are less so.


I don’t care. Hold my hand, game. Hold it! Hold it like Bard’s Tale didn’t!

I have enough issues.


Clutch my hand with the tight grip of grim death, game! Never let it go! Otherwise, I may wander forever alone in this sea of pixels!


Like my six intrepid Bard’s Tale characters. Forever wandering the sewers of whatever that city was called.

Maybe they found their way out. In which case they are wandering around the maze of a city. Or the maze of the outside of the city.

Poor, poor characters.