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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for the end of Horizon Zero Dawn Frozen Wilds DLC

Butch:

Ok, quick note: I finished up and that was a lot so I’m just writing general stuff to talk about when I have time so I don’t forget.

1) We didn’t get an explanation of what Firebreak actually did other than “Stuff that made volcano not boom,” right? I mean, what WAS all that shit? Do we care?

2) So Sylens was listening all along. Hmm. That was some mutually threatening shit.

3) We never really dished on the relationship between Chau, Anita and CYAN, and there was a lot there. We should dish on it.

4) Fireclaws suck.

5) No, really, fireclaws suck.

[later]

OK, it’s good I wrote that, because without going back, I only remembered I wanted to talk about Anita, Chau and CYAN and all that relationship and how it fit into themes. But there were two other things, and fuck if I remember what they were.

But Anita, Chau, CYAN. It was a compelling story, for sure. A little odd, in that what we saw were two people who loved each other? Did Anita love him back? Hard to say, but I digress. You had two people who didn’t turn out ok, or never even started a relationship, who had, let’s face it, a child. There’s no doubt CYAN thinks of them as her parents, so we have this superthing that has parent issues (much like Aloy herself).

I’ve been turning it over in my head, and there’s a lot going on there. Where do you stand on it?

(Also, before I forget, as I have been forgetting stuff of late because busy, it is not lost on me that CYAN is a shade of blue, and that Ourea’s blue stuff glowed and sparked when she overrode CYAN. Just sayin’.)

Feminina:

Well, I mean, plus there’s the Blue Light. Banuk are all about the Blue Light. So yeah, I did note the appropriateness of CYAN being blue, and the possibility that CYAN has been their divinity all along in some form. She only recently (in her terms) started talking to Ourea, but maybe she made contact with someone else early in Banuk history. We did hear their origin myth about the woman who went into the blue light and learned to control machines, after all.

I do think there’s a lot of empathy and a sense of connection between Aloy and CYAN. Parent issues, the sense of having been mysteriously created for some big purpose. What did you have her tell CYAN to do about talking to the Banuk? I told her to use her judgement. So it seemed like she was going to be telling them some of the truth, but in a slow way, not all at once.

As for the love story, yeah, it was interestingly melancholy. His realizing that all along, she just didn’t care as much as he did, but he was still willing to drop everything and go help their child, essentially. This game doesn’t do a lot of happy love stories.

The other issues you mentioned included Firebreak and how we don’t know exactly what it did other than make caldera not go boom. Which, yeah, we don’t know exactly how it was supposed to work. I think something about redirecting kinetic energy so it didn’t build up? Presumably using said energy to fuel the system. But yeah, details were scanty.

Also, how Sylens apparently WAS listening in, and the very tense conversation they had about his history. That was pretty grim, that “THEY didn’t get the courtesy of a warning. Leave it.” Dude REALLY doesn’t like to talk about his past.

Aloy being Aloy, we’re obviously going to keep investigating anyway. One of these days, if the series goes long enough, we’ll probably have to fight him.

Your 4th and 5th points were “fireclaws suck.” Which, yes, they do. You know, if you want to do more in this game, you can hunt down and kill five of them! There’s a trophy involved.

Butch:

Well…CYAN does say that the last contact she had with any human was with Chau when he put her to “sleep.” I suppose someone could have come in and learned stuff without waking her, but I’m not sure. All the same, we still don’t know what the light IS. Until that moment, it could have been some chemical that was cosmetic and ritualistic. This is the first time we’ve seen it do anything or react to something.

Though it is interesting that we learn that Anita goes to work for/with Sobeck when she left Firebreak, so Sobeck is, at least, sorta connected to all this.

Of course I said that to CYAN, as we are the same. I wonder if it will matter.

I do have some degree of hope that our choices will matter in a sequel. Unlike, say, DA, there weren’t that many of them that were weighty, so maybe. We can hope.

You read that love story as happy? Damn, Femmy. I sort of read him as a Romeo without a Juliet, doomed to die wondering if she cared or even noticed him. Well, noticed him that way.

Which I’m ok with. One mistake that a lot of Sci Fi things make is feeling the need to provide explanations, which often come out as a lot of cheesy, confusing mumbo jumbo. Sure, it’s good they explained Zero Dawn, as that is very important to the story, but this? No need.

Oh, no doubt we’ll have to fight Sylens someday. That last “See you down the trail” or something from Aloy was certainly accepting that point. She doesn’t trust him. Him, too. There was certainly some mutual threat there.

Which, again, makes me wonder if the original plan was to make this after the end of the main game. When Aloy last sees Sylens, there’s no reason for her to think that Sylens is a “bad guy” per se. She might not trust him, but there’s no real reason for her to think “This is a guy I’m gonna have to kill/stop to save the world.” Hell, the DLC started with him telling her to go save the world from HADES. She has no idea, at this point, that he’ll end up with HADES in a lamp or whatever.

Feminina:

Oh lord no, I didn’t read that love story as happy. It resolved to a sort of “I’ve made my peace with the fact that you don’t love me” so it wasn’t completely miserable, but certainly not happy. When I said this game doesn’t do a lot of happy love stories, I was including this as an example of the not-happy many.

And if you’re not going to hunt down the five fireclaws, I’ll tell you the limited story involved. You go back to the village and talk to what’s-his-name, Ourea’s apprentice, and he tells you about the five fireclaws that escaped from the forge. You hunt them and fight them and die a lot. At one point you find two of them together, and Aratak is there too and helps you fight them. You share a comradely farewell with Aratak–keep looking after the werak or something. Then after you kill them all, you go back and talk to the apprentice again and he gives you some bluegleam and stuff.

That’s about it. A chance to talk to a couple of people again, a chance to fight some terribly monsters and get a trophy. Good times. But since Chloe is waiting, not good enough that you have to have them.

Butch:

Ah. Yeah, it did fit with that. This game is not big on love, that’s for sure. Sadly.

That’s it? Fuck that. I already had my nice goodbye with Aratak. All “They had a great chief once (and then they had a better one for a while, you know, me) and they will again (talking about you here).” (I added some stuff). I’m ok with that. And really, they can keep the bluegleam.

And the trophy.

Feminina:

Yeah, its record on love does not bode well for our own chances of ending up in a vine-covered cottage eating warm cake. But you never know!

The whole village is going to be sitting around, polishing this trophy they made for you for saving them from the depredations of fireclaws, thinking “surely she’ll come for this soon…surely no more of us must die…”

Ha. They’ll be fine. Just, you know, walk AROUND the fireclaw area, people.

Butch:

Watch, at the end, the only one who’ll cook warm cakes will be Brin.

Not only are they polishing the trophy I will never come back to get, they’re likely doing it in the dark, shivering, next to the one campfire I couldn’t be bothered to light. They’ll see me changing the disc tonight all “Oh COME on! You know we can’t light these ourselves!”

But it’s cool. They’ll be fine. Unless they mow the grass.

Feminina:

Never, ever, ever mow the grass. This is a principle I live by.

Unless I’m Kevin, in which case I really should mow. I mean, we’re all the PC in our own lives, but can I rely on that?

I really would like to never mow the grass, is the thing.

Butch:

See? You’ll be fine. After all, the fireclaw thing was a total afterthought. It was probably done to appease the dude who invented it. It probably went all:

Dev: “WHAT? I spent a year of my life designing that, and it makes ONE appearance? ONE? And half the people who fought it turned down the difficulty??? THIS is the thanks I get?!?!?!”

Boss Dev: “Hmm…you do have a point Roger.”

Dev: “I just want to feel appreciated, you know?”

Boss: “I hear you I-“

Dev: “All those hours….”

Boss: “Roger, don’t make this awkward-“

Dev: “And it gets ONE appearance??”

Boss: “Hey, Roger, look, it was a boss fight, and, we talked about this, boss fights are very important and you should be proud that you designed a boss and….Roger, are you crying again? Roger? Ah, man, you know I hate it when you….oh, look, ok, how about we tack on an extra quest where you have to track one down?”

Dev: “Just one?”

Boss: “Uh….ok, two? No, stop crying…three? C’mon, Roger, don’t do this…ok, five. You ok with five? Thatta boy…buck up…Hey, I’ll let you work on the romance bits in the sequel. Would that help?”

Dev: ***sniffle*** “Petra?”

Boss: “Uh…well…I already promised Jerry Petra’s stuff…I was thinking the guy from that murder mystery case oh please don’t cry again.”

Feminina:

I DID YOUR QUEST, Roger! All five of them! It’s cool, man! Fireclaws are so badass and really, really terrifying!

Also, that guy from the murder mystery has potential.

Butch:

You’ve made Roger’s New Year just a little bit happier. Your good deed for the day.

We started out so well…..

Feminina:

“Look, another person got the trophy that means they finished my quest!”

It’s late in the week. We’re getting punchy.

Plus I didn’t play anything recently, except Pokemon Go. Um…there are new Pokemon with the latest update! A month ago or something! I caught some! I need to catch some more!

This has been your Pokemon Go News Moment.

Butch:

Sweet surfing California Jesus you’re still doing that? That’s so 2016, man.

Feminina:

Dude, Pokemon was the big fad news story of 2016 that DIDN’T end in crippling despair and the imminent death of the republic. I’m sticking with it for the nostalgia value. It reminds me of a happier time, back when we had hope.

Butch:

Fair point on the Pokemon.

Also, looking back over the game, I forgot how cute that one hunter was. She was cute. Almost Petra cute. She might be a love interest, too.

Feminina:

There are many good options for love interests, should Aloy ever be moved to pursue affairs of the heart.

I love this game so much! I’ll just reiterate that, as a closing statement.

Butch:

The option of bad assed cutie who bares her midriff or bad assed cutie with the cleavage baring work apron.

Tough choice.

Feminina:

Someday, I’d like to play a game where you don’t have to make these difficult choices. Where polyamorous and open relationships are recognized and valued.

Where I can gaze into the eyes of my beloved and say “I also love this other person over here. Cool?” and have him or her say “cool, as it happens I also love that other person over there.”

I want ALL THE ROMANCE, games. Is that so much to ask?

Butch:

You did play that game. Fallout 4. Remember?

Speaking of other games……

So UC is kinda short, so maybe we have to start thinking about the future.

We could do Tales from Borderlands, or the new Life is Strange (which looks good cuz Life is Strange). But those are short. So, in pondering backlogged stuff we missed, may I put out for consideration:

Pillars of Eternity

or:

Divinity: Original Sin

The sequel to Divinity is winning a whole bunch of Game of the Year honors.

Ponder. We need something soon.

Feminina:

Oh, good point. EVERYONE MUST LOVE MEEEEEEE!!!!!

And they did! It was great. Very validating.

Except for…what’s his name…the knight…the loss of his love haunts me still, even though I can’t remember his name.

Danse. I remembered his name!–and now it haunts me even more.

ANYWAY. Another good point, we will need something to play while we wait for Horizon Zero Lost Weekend. Your suggestions are intriguing. I will ponder.

Butch:

Meh. He couldn’t get out of that armor.

I had my fling with Piper, wound up with Cait.

Basically, I have a terrible weakness for Claudia Black and Katie Townsend. I mean, Cait, then Suvi. 2 for 2.

Those have been on my list of “we should play that when we have time” list, and when Divinity 2 got such great reviews I was reminded.

Cuz we might actually have time here. We are not being mocked by discs in cellophane. We must take advantage of this.

And I must save you from Pokemon.

Feminina:

I appreciate the thought, but you cannot save me from Pokemon. No one can save me from Pokemon, except Pokemon making an update that’s too big for my phone.

I do it while I’m out walking around, and because it only takes up time I wasn’t using to play anything else anyway, it is very difficult to dislodge.

As to other things…hm. Those both look worth trying. I’m a little torn. Divinity reviews make much of its split screen co-op mode, which we would probably ignore, so maybe that’s a point against it, if it has some fancy option we won’t use?

Or maybe we would…but that would just be weird, wouldn’t it? I can just see us actually trying to play TOGETHER and it destroying the blog because OH MY GOD will you stop trying to get every last moldy flag fragment NO I WILL NEVER STOP etc.

Butch:

There’s no romance in pokemon, though. Right? RIGHT? Please say right.

I did notice that. But the reviews are good, and the sequel was praised for being so spectacular in the writing department, which we like.

We wouldn’t fight if we played co-op. It would mostly be weird because it would be like synchronized swimming, two gamers doing exactly the same thing all the time. More creepy than anything else.

Feminina:

Ha! That is likely true.

Silently, in unison, we pick the most helpful option or the heart dialogue or the path that seems most likely to lead to a fancy dress ball.

We do like writing, it’s true.

And no, no romance in Pokemon. That is a major downside. Or upside, I suppose.

Extremely limited plot, too.

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