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Some spoilers for Cyseal quests in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

It’s funny how much the house stays clean when you’re asocial.

Starting the week with a T SHIRT!!!!! Was going to have people over, but not feeling well. Slightly better now, and at least things are still tidy.

Ok, got into the church. That was my accomplishment. Well, not really. Talked to the ghosts. If you did that, he’ll mention a cat, and I know cats, so I talked to a cat. Then decided to move on.

Now….

You said that when you got to the courtyard, waypoint, etc., you looked ahead and saw a fight and did it. You did NOT say you saw an impossible fight with a fucking battlemage and poison zombies and evilness. That. Took. Forever. FOREVER! So much dying. So very much.

Like, dude, that was not a “We looked ahead and did it cuz whatevs” fight. That sucked.

But I did it, and talked the statues into letting me in and got in. But that’s it. I didn’t really go past the one first thing there.

So that’s where I am. If you got in, we can dish on that.

Feminina:

Sorry…We didn’t have that much trouble with that battle mage fight. I mean, they were nasty, but we stayed back and picked at them and only lost Bairdotr. I didn’t mean to mislead you!

Then we talked to the ghosts, thought “man, if only one of us could talk to cats about that cat,” pressed on, dug up another chest with a key in it, talked to the statues outside the church, didn’t talk them into letting us in with Delios’ intimidate, got into a fight with them, died, tried again and did talk them into it with my display of piety…

Yeah. We can talk about the church, and also the End of Time, where we finally got around to going. We are avatars of ancient gods or something? Heavy, man.

Otherwise, the Hall of Heroes was kind of empty. I did steal all the tableware to sell later, of course. I don’t miss that kind of opportunity.

“Wow, thanks for the weird info, Astarte! I’ll totally ponder that. While I’m at it, don’t mind me taking these roasted pigs no one else seems to be eating…I think better when my pockets are stuffed with pork and gold spoons.”

Butch:

After all that, it’s all about the spoons.

ANOTHER T SHIRT!!!!

Ok…so….

Yeah, that whole “You’ve become so weak guardian…” bit. And the hall of heroes, I think, is supposed to be empty for now. I got questions.

Why do your companions go there? Ok, we’re special and stuff, if weak. But my Madora is up there eating the pork I left behind (you monster).

The hell were we guarding?????

And the woman who seems to WANT to destroy everything….

Now, I got some theories:

1) We’re…how to say…Eve figures. Purveyors of the titular Original Sin. We’re not in the tapestry (yet) as we haven’t left some sort of Eden. Or we did leave and have gone back. I’m still working on that theory.

2) None of this is real, and we’re insane. Hear me out: We’re in a place we don’t fit. People are trying to end this whole place. It reads as someone who is in a delusion, with people trying to “fix” That delusion by eliminating that reality entirely. We can (or I can) do some crazy things, like talk to animals and (as you said) bring back the dead, that other people can’t do, much like someone in their own delusion. That and I’ve found a couple things that seem to come from the “real world,” things that say “Made in Japan.” The first time I thought it was a joke, but…. And we’re weak! “You’re so much weaker than when I saw you” is something you say to someone in a hospital. Right?

I don’t know how either of those things relate to our “sin to survive” or “sin is necessary” theme, but I’m starting to ponder….

Or I’m just really tired. Maybe it’s the tired.

Feminina:

I think better with pork! Don’t hassle me about my thought processes!

So did you take that guy up on his offer to give you some ‘better’ companions? We were like, “uh, no, weird dude, we’re fine, thanks.”

Again, I figure at some point we’ll have to swap our companions in order to get maximum companion questage out of them (uh…and get to know different people in order to be social?…), so we’ll go back and talk to him again, but we haven’t even begun to do a damn thing towards helping Bairdotr or Wolgraff, so I’m not sure we need more quests at this moment.

I’m intrigued by your theories about our place in all this. Another, equally outlandish speculation I had was, what if we’re not in the tapestry because we’re the thing that’s destroying time? Maybe we ARE the thing that we’re working to stop?

Also, in a largely unrelated point–at least, a point that relates fairly equally to any theory we might come up with–we have to keep in mind that since we’re dealing with time, it’s conceivable that anything people tell us about what we HAVE been, could actually be about what we’re GOING to be. Maybe Astarte knew/will know us in our future when we become mighty (by using the power of destroyed time? by successfully preventing the destruction of time?).

That time weaver lady said something like “I see you leading great armies,” right? And it seemed as if she was referring to something that had happened, but that phrasing could equally well apply to a prophecy of what’s still to come.

I’m also very interested to know if the story ever explicitly addresses the dual nature of the PC here. We are two people, but in a plot sense only one: this key dialogue about our once/future mightiness seems to be addressed equally to either of the PCs, depending on who happens to talk to someone. Were we born at the same moment (or moments, if we’ve reincarnated) and thus share a single fate?

Are we a split soul that happened to end up in two bodies conveniently traveling together? Maybe in the end of the game we’re going to reunite somehow? (No, not by becoming romantically involved, I meant more like if they both dissolve into a being made of pure light or something, although I guess becoming romantically involved would also be interesting…)

Many questions. Many, many questions.

No answers!–but plenty of questions. Which I would not have come up with without pork, so don’t argue with my methods.

Butch:

Also, on “sin is good,” what did you make of having to fight/lie to get INTO a church? An “abandoned church “ at that? Not “desecrated” or “demonic” or anything. Just abandoned. Like everyone just left. There’s a lot to chew on here.

Like tying to my “there’s echoes of our world” bit: that church was overtly cross shaped. It was set up as a Christian church. You don’t always see that in fantasy games.

So we had to lie to get into a cross shaped abandoned church. Or fast talk. I told the guardians WHO WERE TRYING TO KEEP ME OUT OF A CHURCH “didn’t they think they were wasting their time asking people silly questions about what they believed?” And they bought that!

I mean…. many, many things going on here.

Feminina:

A cross-shaped church that is explicitly abandoned (none of that religion’s worshippers are around anymore?), and that is now guarded by animated statues that talk about protecting it for the use of a goddess who drenches everything in blood.

And, as you say, a church that one must now either fight or lie one’s way into (I went with “Of course I know her name but I have too much respect for her magnificence to speak it aloud.” A good spin, I thought.) And, once inside, a church where one will be compelled to kill several people (or die in the attempt).

A lot going on.

Butch:

“I think better with pork.” Three T SHIRTS before lunch!

Nah, don’t bother with that guy in the hall. He has, like, 100 companions for you to “hire,” so I get the sense these are not questy companions. I browsed, but they were all just folks with stats. I could be wrong, but there’s no way they wrote all of those characters. I think they’re just mercenaries. I mean, Bairdotr, Wolgraff, Madora and the wizard I haven’t met are written, but that means that unlike other fantasy games, you can’t really experience each character class (cuz there’s lots), so I think this was just a mechanic to let you “play” each class. But I could be wrong.

Hmm. I like that about the memory/phophecy! I always forget time shit. But it also makes sense of the “You’ve become so weak guardian” bit.

We’ll file these away.

And as for our split soul, Ok, do the twin dungeons. Next. Cuz….well….do them. Before we forget about this particular line of bloggage.

We have no answers, not yet….We’re still early, you know. Those hireable companions went up to levels in the high 20s. (You can’t afford them, so don’t bother). So we’re still early. There’s still most of the map, and the other dimension…and and and.

Though I got the sense that the goddess the statues were talking about wasn’t the same thing as the priestess there. Did I misread that? That the Goddess wasn’t trying to like, end everything that ever was. And if they’re different, begs the question: How did conduit person get in?

Later, we will dish on what she’s a conduit between, and how Braccius fits into all this. I’m sure we’ll meet him in time.

Feminina:

Yeah, I didn’t have the sense that they were talking about a goddess that wanted to end time or destroy the world: more one who just likes a bit of human sacrifice now and then (and who among us can’t say the same?).

I feel that we’re kind of meant to conclude at this point that Jake was such a sacrifice? Since our investigation of the murder led us here and all.

Speaking of which, did you go out to the backyard area of the church and talk to that mysterious stranger who said he was just keeping an eye on the place or whatever?

Butch:

Again, though, did you read it that way? Human sacrifice? I sort of read it in a “crusades” sort of way…we will fight those that stand against the Goddess…you know..sin.

I’m not ready to make any conclusions yet. Jake being a sacrifice certainly is a very viable theory.

But you say “Led us here…” It didn’t. Evelyn’s cave thing is the other way. Totally on the other side of Cyseal. Sure, the murder led us to Cyseal, but investigating the undead wasn’t part of our orders. Not directly. Sure, this woman seems to be the (a?) conduit, and Evelyn had a diary with same, but this wasn’t on the path to Evelyn. And the game, I think, wanted us to do all this before facing Evelyn. I went out that way, thinking BEACH! and everything out there was level 8 or 9. This stuff is all six and seven, so just by that the game was hoping we’d do all this before we got to Evelyn.

The backyard…Not yet. I beat those four cult dudes (which was easy) and was so tired from all that battle mage stuff which was so not easy that I stopped.

But I know it’s out there! The game did one of those “Scarlett has spotted something” deals when the something was on the other side of a wall that one probably has to do some work to get to. Thanks, Scarlett.

Feminina:

Hm. I was thinking of the murder investigation leading to Evelyn and Evelyn’s diary mentioning the Conduit as being a direct path to this, but I suppose you’re right, that doesn’t mean THIS weird thing has anything to do with the MURDER, necessarily. Evelyn could be involved in more than one sinister plot.

“Look, I have a lot of different things going on!” she might be saying if she were real and here right now.

Oh, hey…I bet you’re right, I bet that’s what was going on! When we first got to the church door we got a “Wolgraff notices something” message (Wolgraff is our designated noticer), and we went round and round trying to figure out what on earth he’d spotted since the last several things turned out to be dirt piles that were pretty obvious. We couldn’t figure it out here, and eventually just went ahead with talking to the statues. But I bet it WAS the place behind the door.

Don’t worry, though, you don’t really have to do any work. Just poke around in the church, which you were going to do anyway.

Butch:

Well, maybe the murder made us stumble upon this mess. I gotta admit, I didn’t expect anyone saying “I am the conduit” in this church. I thought the conduit was going to be some late(r) game reveal, like a secondary boss (there is always a secondary boss). When she was all “I am the conduit” I was thinking “You are? But I’m only, like, level 6….” Maybe she is level 82 or something, but still. We weren’t on this path going “This way is the conduit, who shall shed light on the murder.”

Yeah, the thing Wolgraff noticed was behind the door. When someone notices something, said thing (which is often a pile of dirt) gets a certain white glimmer to it, and I saw said glimmer on the other side of the trees. And rocks. And things I couldn’t get by.

Figures it was through the door. I was tempted by the hatch I found, though….maybe I’ll wait to go down there….

Did you pick that lock? And find the book on the table?

On picking…and gear…I’ve noticed that rings that give you +1 to whatever stack. So Roderick is wearing two loremaster rings which lets him identify all sorts of good shit. Wolgraff is wearing a ring and bracers for lockpick, which makes him able to pick everything I’ve found so far. Do it!

Feminina:

Stacking bonuses rule!

Dude, the hatch…just goes to the backyard. There, I’ve spoiled it. But you’ve already done all the work.

So yes, we picked that lock and got to that hatch. Wolgraff noticed it!

I…was kind of here thinking “this Conduit shall shed light on the murder”? Because…Evelyn’s diary, etc. etc. We haven’t even gone out the gate to find Evelyn’s lair yet (we’re maybe doing it more in the order you suspect they wanted us to). We’re kind of like, “well, let’s follow up THIS lead Evelyn mentioned that’s not outside a gate where the guards keep making frantical “no, no, not yet!!!!” signals, and maybe it will tell us something.”

So I dunno, man, with your out-of-order playing YOU may be checking on the undead as a side gig, but we’re kind of looking at this as related somehow, even though we don’t have any idea how.

And we were also kind of surprised to actually find the self-proclaimed Conduit right there, but…we didn’t actually fight her, right? She took off and left us a few measly young cultists to spar with. So she could still turn up later as a secondary boss, or at any rate a bigger deal opponent than “hey, we wandered into your church, let’s fight.”

Butch:

Oh. I was thinking “This is gonna lead under something and fights and stuff and fuck that.” I guess I should’ve gone through.

Did you find the “Blasphemy!” book? Cuz…hmm.

My Wolgraff also noticed! Scarlett is usually really good at that, and I always imagine them saying/passing notes saying “I saw it first.” “No, I did!” “NO, I DID!”

Yeah, I ignored the frantic “Not yets” and it didn’t really matter because the monsters thereafter and the repeated deaths were a fine way for the game to say “No, really, dude, not yet.” There isn’t really a way to do the cave first. Unless you cheat or something.

True, maybe this was a “see the boss, save for later” deal, like seeing Asav through binoculars or having the Carja dude cut Aloy and kill Rost and then not turn up again for several levels. Games often do a “Hey, nice to meet you. We’ll likely fight in about 10 levels, I’ll say some stuff that advances the plot then escape, and you’ll kill me 10 levels after that.” Maybe this was that sort of thing.

Feminina:

Yeah, I was thinking it was kind of like that. “Haha, you’ll never catch me! Until some future point when you will totally catch me and we’ll fight, but for now, bye!”

I feel a little bad for the young cultists left behind to cover her escape, but I suppose they were probably glad to do it. Sacrifice and all.

Oh, and I did find the Blasphemy book, but I think I forgot to read it. The weird inventory system means half the time when I go to check out something I just picked up, I can’t find it.

Butch:

Well, when you sign up for being a “cultist.”

They were all probably named Kevin.

And dude…read it. It’s interesting. Much more about atheism, which you don’t find in games much. Lots of “Why should I ponder some spirit when I can ponder the reality of the flowers and birds?” and stuff. Usually “Blasphemy” games is all “My Goddess shall slay your demon!” and shit. Not anything so secular. This was straight up secular.

A good trick? Before you pick it up, go to actions and hit read. You can even get recipes and stuff that way, without even picking it up. Then you read it without losing it!

Feminina:

Ooh, can you do that trick on books belonging to other people? That is, read them without having to steal them? I’ve seen a few books on peoples’ desks that I wanted to check for recipes and spells, but the person was standing right there so I didn’t.

Butch:

Oh that’s a good question! I don’t think I’ve ever tried. I’m still getting over this stealing thing. I fear angering people! I gotta try that.

And I have to remember what skill books I have. You know how you keep forgetting to learn pet pal (which you should learn)? I have all these books that are all “you need a rank in geomancer” so I say “ok, really want that skill, must remember to take a rank in that” and then I promptly forget to remember. So I carry them around and forget what they are.

Feminina:

Yeah, skill books. I finally did remember to get the levels I needed to read the two I had, so score! Also, I eventually remembered to give Delios the one I had that was for him. That has proved useful for all of us since his improved combat skills can only improve our chances of survival.

Still can’t talk to animals, though.

Siiiiigh. It seemed like such a good fit for Bairdotr!

Butch:

I’m so surprised she can’t. It’s important to enough quests that it seems like something they’d pretty much give you if you chose the right companion. I wouldn’t go back to the ghosts until you have it. Not sure how you can.

Ah well. Work those xp.

Feminina:

We will. Eventually we will. Those Talents, though…rare and precious things. Who knows when we’ll get another one?