Spoilers for things that may or may not happen very near the end of Divinity: Original Sin
C’mon, you must’ve done something.
Oh, indeed we did.
We went back to the end of time and talked to Zixzax, went to the ‘trader’s emporium’ or whatever, ran into Astarte who said she was weakening and we needed to hurry to join her in her fight against the void.
Thought, “hm.” Couldn’t talk to the Alfie/Ralfie creature, didn’t want any of the trader’s stuff because our own loot was better, went to the Earth Elemental door and bought a nifty Invulnerability spell we haven’t bothered to learn yet…and STILL were lacking one freaking stone to be ‘whole.’
DAMN, we were apparently terrible at looting in this game!
Went back to the internet and found out there was a bloodstone in the talking iron maiden in Hiberheim prison, so we went back and destroyed that. I guess the lesson is, we haven’t been quite destructive enough. We’re leaving every living thing we meet dead, but not bothering the inanimate objects, and that’s where we missed some stones. Next time: destroy everything, living or dead!
Anyway, took that bloodstone back to the end of time, went to the chapel (didn’t, in fact, have to use the bloodstone in order to get there, so using them wasn’t actually part of the process, it seems, we just didn’t have enough of them before).
The Trife talked to us about how it had tried to be our friend, and we should just relax and accept the gift of the void or whatever. Zixzax talked to us about how we were the Guardians and they’re back and the void is so close to winning but we’re so close to stopping it!
We must get to the temple!
Went to the temple, poked around, opened doors, eventually found the wounded Zandalor. Learned that we have to go back to the end of time to use the final portal to reach the final battle and fight the void dragon! So much drama!
Went to bed. We’ll fight the final battle next time.
Oh thank God. And thank you for not being witty and being all “What? Games? No, we worked on our stamp collection.”
Ok…let’s start with meeting the weakening Astarte.
Yes, the trader’s place. I found that all rather interesting. For starters, that dude, once again, mentioned a whole lot of other planes AND the idea of being unstuck in time. Sure, we know some about planes, but this guy seemed completely all “yeah, I do that.”
And yes, I do agree his loot wasn’t great. Hell, his loot wasn’t as cool as the skillbooks and shit in the elemental places. Which was interesting as to why they put him so late. The dudes from the planes, late.
But one thing I found REALLY interesting there was the other guy….did you talk to the other guy? The guy from…before?
Can we talk about the guy from…before?
You still needed a stone?
I have no idea how I managed to cruise through all this. I didn’t destroy the totem. Nor did I know about a talking iron maiden. Go figure.
But OK. The chapel. I have thoughts on the chapel. Alessa? And that skull….did you notice the skull? I have thoughts on the skull.
Can we talk on Alessa?
The trife: Yes. “We’re your friend, accept the void.” That.
You know how I feel about that. The bad guys wanting to “end Rivellon.” Yup.
WHOA LOOK AT YOU!
I was worried you’d hit a wall there. There was some puzzly shit! That’s not usually your forte. I was playing through that thinking “Shit. This is not a KILL EVERYTHING thing. They don’t really DO that….” but LOOK AT YOU!
But…talking point three…what do you make of Zandilor? I can’t really get behind Zandilor. We have a game chock full of fleshed out characters, many of whom have metaphor attached, but Zandilor…unless I’m missing something you caught. He seems to be that narrative clunker we see sometimes: “We’ve been talking about this important dude for the whole game. You’ve never met him, and you don’t know much about him, and he’s not developed at all, but we DID say he’s important and here he is so CARE DEEPLY!”
I found it hard to care deeply. Like, “Yeah…ok…important. I get it. But, like, dude, we just met…..”
Games do this. I don’t like it when games do this.
Well….you’ll go through the next portal for sure….we still have some things to chat about before you fight the final battle. You’ll see.
Depends on how long you play. The final battle’s in reach! But, without spoiling, I thought “Yes! Through this portal and dragon! BOOM!” And…not so much. There’s….you’ll see.
Yes, I did notice the trader’s casual approach to planes and time. It does potentially either explain why Japanese swords are showing up in Rivellon when we have no idea where Japan is, or, as you say, suggest that we’re insane. I guess.
I don’t know. We’re all insane!
Dude, the puzzly bits were annoying. At the end when we were trying to light the candles, we just cheated and went to the internet. Because we were trying to make the instructions from all three books fit together in one event, which was obviously impossible. “How can we light the center and yet not light the center!?” we kept saying. Gah. We’re idiots.
As for Zandalor, I agree, he felt like someone who was just sort of tossed in there, but I also didn’t feel that we were SUPPOSED to care deeply about him? I felt kind of that it was totally OK that we didn’t know him or care about him, because we were both just plot points in each others’ dramas, in a way. He’s been a McGuffin for us most of the game, and then it turns out he’s willing to fight beside us, and…OK, fine, join up, whatever.
As for the rest of your notes…uh…the guy from before? I guess we didn’t talk to him, because that rings no bells, unless you mean the Dark Underlord of the imps, which you probably don’t.
Also…uh…Alessa? Was that her? I thought that was Astarte again. Damn A names. That I skim over in passing while in a hurry to get to the text. And the skull: I think we just picked it up to sell later, the way we do with everything we can carry. We did not think about it, any more than we think about all the other bones we run across and loot without thought or hesitation.
So…we’re kind of getting to the point where we feel like we’re about ready to be done with this game. Perhaps that shows through in our inability to be patient with puzzles or read names carefully or think about skulls. (Although it might also have been helpful if either of the characters had seemed in any way surprised to see someone they thought was dead, rather than calmly taking it in stride the way they have every time they meet Astarte.)
So I don’t actually have anything intelligent to say about Alessa, because I thought she was Astarte. I was really sensing Astarte’s urgency at that point! She kept showing up to encourage us to hurry! Which I was totally ready to do!
Now I can’t find a walkthrough that gives away that part of the plot, because they all want to avoid spoilers (JUST SPOIL, that’s what I want right now!!!!), so I can’t review what she said to comment on it in this new light. I only remember it was more “come join me in this fight” stuff.
You talk about that.
I’ll be over here regretting my game life choices. Next game: more destroying, and more attention to NPC names. Or less. I don’t know, maybe I’ll just aim to kill them all instead.
Oh man….figures you spent a lot of time on the puzzle. That was….kinda simple. Ah, well. Good for the internet.
Ok….in the trader’s place, I bumped into the “Mysterious Stranger,” the guy who showed up by the church way back when, and a couple other times. Who asks us something, and makes a face, and disappears. That guy.
So he asked me “So what have you come to think of Rivellon in your travels?” and you could choose something like “I have never discovered such wonders! I have come to love it so!” or “I have found all the evils and ugliness and have lost my love of it” or something or other. I told him I love it so (cuz I’m staying in character), and he beamed this ecstatic grin and poofed away forever, like his work was done.
I don’t know what to make of that guy, either, but he sure was glad he liked Rivellon.
Ok….so there was a grave, and a ghost thingy came and talked to you, right? That was Alessa. She talked a lot about the battle where you left her to die. Ringing bells?
And the skull was the the thing past that that was selling the “resist everything” potions? Did you see that?
I’m kinda getting that you’re basically done. What made you so tired of it all of a sudden? Are you just becoming Mr. O?
Well, you’re close. And there’s a lot of themeage if you bother to, you know, listen.
As for Alessa….what she did was forgive us. She basically said that she understood why we left her, that she still loved us (!) and that, in her mind, we didn’t do anything wrong.
Which was some interesting timing. Here we are, very close to the end of the game, and we find ourselves in a chapel (one of the few religious places we’ve seen that isn’t abandoned or otherwise “bad”) being forgiven, which, in a game about sin, a game where we’ve “sinned to win” so often, is rather interesting. After all this sinning, HAVING to sin, which pissed Mr. O off, we have to be absolved before we continue, before we are whole. But, see NOT by the god (like you thought) but by the person we thought we wronged. Or did wrong.
That was kind of important, Femmy. What’s gotten into you?
You’re just playing like Mr. O. Fast. Without thought of bloggage. Soon, you won’t be the same person anymore and you’ll be back to insane, Scarlett self.
Uh…no. We did not meet the mysterious stranger. I know who you mean, we’ve met him several times before, but not recently, and not with those dialogue options. Where did you find him again?
And also no. That conversation doesn’t particularly ring bells. We talked to SOMEONE in the chapel, and I thought it was Astarte, and she said something about coming to fight alongside her again. I don’t recall anything about either “I still love you” or “I forgive you.”
So maybe the person we talked to WAS Astarte. I mean, I don’t know how we would have missed another person with an important conversation, we walked all around the place clicking ‘search,’ but at this point I guess I can’t trust us to accomplish anything, so we probably did manage to miss it.
Or we’re insane. Or you’re insane! I don’t rule out anything.
We did get an exclamation point conversation between the PCs there that gave us the option to either say that we/the Guardians had completely messed up, or that maybe ‘our only choice’ was to try to erase ourselves from reality the way we did, so something meaningful had happened, but…I don’t know. I wish I could find a game video of that bit to review, but no luck.
INTERNET WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME. You had my back with Wolgraff’s voice!
As for the potion selling, we saw the altar that if you click ‘use’ will talk and sell you potions, but I didn’t associate a skull with it. It was just a talking altar. Which…I mean, we’ve seen stranger things. The ‘huge’ potions were rather nice, and I kind of liked the way it said “in battles past, you found protection from the elements useful…perhaps you will again.”
Well, I wasn’t really thinking specifically about that, but now that you mention it, perhaps we will! More useful than the trader’s random loot, which, you’re right, was a bit odd to find here near the end of the game.
“Just in case you’ve been an utter failure at collecting anything good throughout the entirety of the game, here’s this guy with some OK gear to make sure you don’t go into the final battle COMPLETELY underequipped.” I guess?
And honestly, I think the thing that’s made us suddenly kind of tired of it has been these last few sessions of having to go poking around looking for star stones, and trying to figure out if star stones and bloodstones were the same, and wondering if we had to USE bloodstones for them to count, and so forth. Which is our bad for missing so many of them the first time through, for sure, but it’s just been a lot of annoying backtracking trying to figure out where they were and which ones we’d gotten and where we had to go to get the others.
It would have been a lot MORE annoying if we’d continued trying to do it honestly, finding the stones we needed using the treasure maps, but we almost immediately realized that was going to make us hate everything forever, especially since the little treasure chest icons don’t change to indicate whether or not you’ve collected a treasure, so we decided to go to the internet.
But that in itself kind of feels like failure, and once you’ve failed you start to disengage a little from the whole thing, and then it starts to feel like “OK, let’s just get this over with.”
Meh. I mean, I don’t want to give the wrong impression, it’s not that we hate it now or are totally over it and only finishing it as a chore or whatever. We’ve enjoyed it, and we’re still into it, but definitely with a “this will be good to finish up with” sense.
The Mysterious Stranger was in the trader’s place. I guess you went down the stairway to the right, cuz he was on the landing on the left. Just standing there. Like he does.
Well…hm. She did lead with that “Come fight again!” stuff, and there were a whole bunch of dialog options, some of which were more apologetic than others. Maybe to get the “forgiveness” you had to say “We’re sorry! We’re awful!” because some were really like that. Like, “We’re not worthy! We’re cowards!” I’m paraphrasing here, but you get it. Though I don’t think any actually said “We’re sorry.” They were all like “Hey, man. War. War happens” or “We’re not worthy of your friendship and respect.” Maybe if you picked the “Hey man…whatevs” ones you got different dialog.
And I wonder how this plays into something you’ll see in about five minutes of gameplay. We’ll talk. Hopefully tomorrow.
So I noticed (and you didn’t) that over said altar was a skull, like a stone skull. It had a moving mouth, and big assed eyes that moved side to side and up and down. But what was interesting is that the thing was, yes, a skull, but evocative of a cheap animatronic thing, like something you’d see at a cheesy carnival. It was, needless to say, out of place in a chapel. So what I said before about this being the first religious place that seemed straight up was undermined, cuz here, at the back wall, was this thing you’d see by a carny funhouse or something. It made the whole thing look ridiculous. Fake. Yet creepy as hell.
And very fakey and cheap at this place that was selling the most powerful potions we’ve seen.
This isn’t real, I tell you.
If you go back there, get close and make sure you look above the altar. It’s….interesting. See if you read it like I did.
I dunno, man. I think it’s telling that you got MAD gear at the temple place (I finally made Scarlett wear something sensible…it was just too good) and then that trader had crap. I don’t think he was there to sell you stuff. I think he was there to make a point about the planes, and how mundane they are. Like, “here is this stuff from interesting places!” that, you know, aren’t that interesting. Like places where people have houses and jobs.
This place isn’t real, I tell you.
Well, we did talk about how this game had a major narrative hiccup by making everything grind to a halt by having the attack at the end of time, so it IS prone to major narrative hiccups. What’s so weird is that the attack at the end of time was unavoidable, whereas this mess with the star stones wasn’t. I didn’t hit that roadblock. I cruised right into the temple first try, and it was all a downhill sprint from there. I didn’t even have to go back to find ONE stone. Found the door, “hey, you’re whole!” “Uh, I wasn’t? Whatever,” off I went. And we did the same stuff! Right? Shit, you got the goblin one, the iron maiden one…
So I really have no idea why that happened.
But yes, it is a very fair criticism of the game that this kind of narrative roadblock, this kind of narrative disengagement, was even possible. There really was no reason for the game to make you do all of that. So yeah, sure, I can say “Well, it was cool for me,” but games shouldn’t put possibilities in that are so destructive to the narrative unless they have a real strong point. And it sure doesn’t sound like what the game did to you had a point. Shit, I still don’t think making everything stop for the attack at the end of time had a point.
Very strange. I still have no idea what I did that you didn’t do.
Well…unless there’s something I’m REALLY missing, you should have smooth sailing until the end. This isn’t a big spoiler, but that final portal is the point of no return (They’ll tell you that), and once one hits that in games, blammo. Smooth sailing until the end. So rest easy that the backtracking and all that is over. If you so choose. And it sounds like you so choose.
But stuff still happens. Lots of stuff. We’ll talk. Later.
Dude…this is just weird.
Because we went all the way around in the emporium! We went down the left side, I think, but even if we didn’t, we went up on the side we hadn’t gone down on, to make sure we’d done a full search of the area. As one does. I’m (almost) entirely certain of this, because there are two of us, and so while one of us was talking to the trader, the other was wandering around looking for things to loot, and vice versa. That means we had TWO ROUNDS of people looking for things of interest. (I suppose I can’t be ENTIRELY entirely certain of anything, since we’re obviously incompetent and possibly insane, but I’m PRETTY certain.) Anyway, we did not encounter the mysterious stranger on either side. Or in the middle. The man was not there.
Also, I really think maybe we didn’t actually meet Alessa, because…dialogue options? I swear the person we saw (who may in fact have been Astarte) didn’t have any dialogue options, it was just a “here’s what I have to say, hit X to continue/end” deal.
The only dialogue we’ve had that included “oh, this was all our fault, we’re terrible” or “we were doing the best we could, I can’t blame us” options has been the PCs talking to each other. And we could get +1 to our forgiving/vindictive traits for that, but it didn’t seem related in any way to how anyone ELSE felt about us.
So either you’re hallucinating (still not ruling out that you’re insane!), or some things just didn’t happen for us.
Hm. Maybe we’ll go back. Or not.
And yeah, it’s very weird how being ‘whole’ was a non-issue for you, and a somewhat game-derailing issue for us. But then, combat recently has been a non-issue for us and a problem for you, so maybe whatever we did that made us good in combat was stuff that was far away from all the stones you found…or something.
I don’t know. It’s odd. You wouldn’t think the experience would diverge so widely in these critical areas for no apparent reason. I mean, you wouldn’t necessarily think it would diverge so widely at all, but if it did, you might expect it would be possible to pinpoint the different approaches, like, “oh, you’ve been skulking and sneaking everywhere and we’ve been really practicing our tank skills, so it makes sense that this big combat was easier for us,” or whatever.
We’d might still complain about that, if there wasn’t an alternative route that allowed one to use more-developed sneaking skills, because that’s usually how these things work. But at least we’d understand why it happened.
I’m confused. And the internet (you aside) is no help.
Maybe Mr. O just went right by him? Or talked to him and you missed it? Cuz he was totally there.
Alessa…No way, man. This was a conversation. She came out of the grave there at the back of the chapel when you got close. And it was a TALK man. She forgave us and everything.
I dunno…maybe a trait thing?
This is annoying cuz I had SO much bloggage!
Nah, charge on. We’ll talk about the ending.
But watch, you’ll be like “What? The last seven scenes you talked about didn’t happen! We just went through the portal and it was a wendy’s and we had fries and then credits.”
Well, I did cheat myself out of a lot of XP. I was usually a level or so behind you. That mattered. And that was really the only thing that made my lack of combat ability obvious. Because really, my party wasn’t all that different from yours. I had Bairdotr, and Wolgraff, and Roderick was melee and etc.
And that door was nothing. Indeed, when I saw it, I thought “Shit, this is going to be such a THING” and then it wasn’t.
I know, man. I’m looking on the internet, too. I was all excited for bloggage! Forgiveness! Happiness that I liked Rivellon! STUFF!
…dude. We definitely did not have a conversation with a ghost near the altar. Nothing with dialogue options. And we absolutely went over there to the altar, and talked TO the altar, etc., so unless there was some sort of “you have to notice the button and push it” or something…I don’t know. Maybe it was a trait, as you say. Maybe WE had to have a certain level of forgiveness to get the conversation? We were a bit ‘vindictive’ towards ourselves earlier. Maybe we were too harsh and weren’t able to receive the message from the ghost, or something.
And yeah, watch, whatever you wanted to say about the ending, our ending will in no way support that.
“We met the void dragon, it said ‘hey guys, sorry about all the fuss, didn’t realize it was such a problem for you, I’ll just go away now shall I?’ and we said ‘yes thanks,’ and that was the end. That and the fries. There were a lot of themes about hunger and how that leads to miscommunication, and how great potatoes are. Turns out the Spud Club was key all along.”
HA! “Congratulations! You’ve joined the spud club!”
Maybe that’s why that bull was so scared. Burgers go well with fries.
Very weird, though. Might have been a trait, dunno. I will say that it didn’t seem to affect the endgame one bit (at least, not obviously, and some things aren’t obvious in this game). And no, it wasn’t a “notice the button” thing. It was a “get close, poof” thing.
It wouldn’t be the first time a trait mattered. And it wouldn’t be the first time we didn’t KNOW a trait mattered. Even with something important.
Maybe the stuff we said to the Mysterious Stranger also mattered. Like, if you didn’t do something just so, he wouldn’t appear. After all, the last time I saw him he was in a bad way. He was one of Barbereith’s things with a thing on his head. Which makes it all the more interesting that he was a) there and b) liked Rivellon.
This place isn’t real, I tell you.
Or maybe it was previous dialog. Cuz you said “Welp, nothing we could have done,” right? You weren’t hard on YOURSELVES for what you did to Alessa, right? I was. So maybe that was key.
Maybe…hm. Like I said, in about five minutes of game time, something’s gonna happen. And, if we compare notes, this might become clear.
Well, five minutes if you go through the portal. It’s right on the other side of the portal.
All right, we’ll keep an eye open and report.
And man, I would ALMOST forgive everything if it ended with “welcome to the Spud Club!”
It turns out it’s not that we’re insane, it’s that we live in the high-tech future and we’ve been experiencing an elaborate, immersive advertisement for the local shopping center.
Which has probably driven us a little insane.
Oh, even you won’t miss this shit.
As for the high tech future…..Or the insanity…..
Well….we did ask for vague.
I tell ya man….no more roadblocks. Go through the portal. Then…hmm. Couple things….that thing…that other thing….maybe….hm.
Ok, maybe two nights. Or so.
Cuz there’s a part, another part, maybe….three fights? But they aren’t hard. Maybe four fights unless you figure shit out and cheat yourself out of XP.
And then the epilogue…..and that weird scene after the epilogue….
Ok two nights. Or so.
Yeah, yeah. It’s going to be, like, eight easy puzzles we can’t solve, and we’ll sigh and give up.
No puzzles. Well, one trick, really. But no puzzles.
Fights. There are fights. And one trick.
But you do fights well. Very, very well.
We do fights well, that’s true.
OK, we’ll spend ten minutes on the fighting and 7 hours trying to figure out the trick. “Do we light the candle, or not? I DON’T KNOW!!!!!”
This is what can never be forgiven, and explains why Alessa never showed up.
Do you want a hint? I’ll give you a hint.
Enh, give us one go at it on our own. Maybe this will be the time we get lucky.
Speaking of fighting, we’re close to level 21, so maybe we’ll get one more level out of it!
You’ll be fine. I think even the void dragon was only 20.
Kill at will!
We’ll probably kill it by accident while trying to loot something else.
“Hey a potato!” BOOM! “The fuck was that?”
I’m into it. Let’s do this!