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Spoilers for Maradino story in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Well…I think I did most of the endgame. There’s some interesting stuff. Very interesting stuff.

I did the interesting stuff. Then got to a big fight (Spoiler: there’s at least one big fight at the end of a video game!) and fought for an hour, and came THIS close…and lost. I hate that. But that was on normal. If I drop the difficulty, I should be ok. I think.

But, when you do the endgame, plan for a time consuming fight.

Hardly a spoiler.

I HOPE it’s the final battle. Might not be.

This game is large.

You?

Feminina:

WHAT?! A big fight?!

No. Way.

Well, we didn’t do much, but I did read Maradino’s notes. And made the potion of courage (from an apple and a pumpkin, in fact) and gave it to the imp, who said “I think I feel brave enough to face Master!” and went skipping out.

And then he was probably instantly killed by Master, because that’s how things go in our world, but we haven’t seen either of them again, so I don’t know for sure. Safest to just assume he’s dead, though.

And that’s basically it for us–but at least we can talk about Maradino!

About that…I agree that Maradino was entirely occupied with a child’s concerns, but I’m not convinced he was an actual child. He did talk a lot about mother, and being afraid of storms, and having to return in disgrace to his father’s house after the raindrops ruined the underground lair he was trying to dig. This is totally all stuff a kid would say, I agree with that.

But he didn’t say it LIKE a kid. His language was all ornate flourishes and complicated, flowery (and grammatically correct) sentences, almost exactly unlike any child.

And true, he’s presumably not an ordinary child so he might be linguistically advanced, and true, if he’s a child he’s intentionally acting/speaking like his own melodramatic idea of a powerful wizard, so maybe your interpretation is correct.

But I just can’t buy “never a crumb of delicate pastry graced Maradino’s appreciative lips” (or something along those lines) as a kid’s sentence construction.

I think Maradino IS technically a grown-up, but that he’s trapped by his own past, obsessing about things that troubled him when he was a child: an adult who can’t get over his own childhood, rather than a child pretending to be an adult.

At one point I thought “Oh yeah, he IS a dead kid!” because the pastry story seems to end with “only an occasional ‘stop’ or ‘rat poison’ penetrated through Maradino’s protesting wails” or something, but then I read on and it ACTUALLY ends with him sulking about having had to eat a bunch of charcoal to counteract the poison. So I think he survived that particular incident.

Either way, he’s certainly an interesting character choice for “the mighty wizard Maradino.” Not what you necessarily expect for the inner life a powerful magic-user, though as you said, his outer presentation certainly matched, with all the posturing and the dramatic voice, and the ever-so-fantasy-game names of his undead companions.

Also, you mentioned that he said “join me” or “come with me” or something to your characters? I didn’t notice him saying anything like that to us (he did summon his undead servants back to unlife with somewhat similar lines). Although since I am infamous for missing dialogue, I suppose we can’t conclude anything on the basis of my not hearing it. But our characters didn’t react in any meaningful way to him, and he didn’t seem to try to interact in any non-attack way with them, so I’m not sure he wanted them to join him except in the general sense that any ghostly enemy wants us to join them in death. Which is a legitimate sense, but not a very personal one.

Butch:

Sorry, dude. I spoiled it.

Yeah, you likely killed the imp. But his master was dead in my game, so he was a happy imp!

Agreed, that’s not a kid’s voice. But then, this is a delusional world. He didn’t LOOK like a kid either. This is a world where things are warped. Intricate swords are made in Japan. That sort of thing. If you’re going to perceive a real child as freakishly large/powerful/important, then that delusion would extend to the notes, just as what may well be a toy sword looks real/appropriate for the world.

I DON’T think he’s dead, capital D, really dead. My theory is that “dead” people exist in our world. I think he’s very much a real kid, in our real world, trying to “kill” Scarlett. Shit, maybe it’s even HER kid, elevated in her mind to something important (he is referenced all over the place, remember?) and powerful.

And he didn’t interact with me, either. Except the fights. But he DID say all that “come with me, come back to me” stuff that he said to his minions when he WASN’T summoning them. He was saying that, in my fight, like, every other turn. So if it wasn’t to his minions, who was it to? Only other folks there were the four characters.

It was another case of this game being just vague enough to make you think.

Feminina:

Sigh. Poor imp. We meant well, little dude! At least in death you will find true freedom! Or whatever.

Yeah, I suppose it’s true…magic. Anybody can appear to be anything, on any level of perception, with magic. We can’t trust the ‘reality’ of anything we perceive.

We shall probably never know the truth.

Oh, but I also read the spell for getting to the troll king’s cave, so we’ll probably do that. Because we always want to find more things and kill them and gain more levels so that we can eventually become all-powerful and be tempted to invite disaster by glancing at each other just for a moment.

Also, random point, intricate swords ARE in fact made in Japan, though the fine, traditionally crafted ones probably don’t usually say ‘made in Japan’ on them. Is the illusion the fact that a cheap toy looks like a magnificent weapon, or that a magnificent weapon proclaims its origin like a cheap toy?

Who knows? Trust nothing!

Butch:

He should’ve run. From you. Not towards master. Or stayed there. Or hoped he never met you. Probably the latter.

The glancing, that was in the past, man. Or was it?

I wouldn’t bother much with the troll cave. There wasn’t anything there except the tenebrium I needed for the guy and some loot you don’t need. No themes or anything. Maybe there was something about making Archibald king but…well…we know what happened there, don’t we?

No, real, honest to God, bad assed Japanese swords do not say “Made in Japan” like cheap toys. They do not. Which is why this read “cheap toy” more than “great sword.” It wasn’t called “Masterwork Katana” or anything (like they are in some games…what’s with that?). It was “Peter Lee’s sword.” That’s it. Read like a toy.

I dunno man….I dunno….

That endgame…..

Feminina:

Yeah, yeah, endgame. Don’t finish without us!

Or do: you deserve it. Finish without us, and we’ll putter around for a while, try to make it to level 20. THEN the endgame.

It’s gonna be great.

Butch:

Well, you’ll likely be at 20 before the endgame even without the puttering. You still have two, maybe three fights doing Cassandra’s bit, then the source temple which’ll net you a bunch. You’re good if you stick to the quests. Ignore the trolls.

Feminina:

Hm. I’ll take your advice into consideration, but I have to say ignoring things that aren’t major storylines doesn’t sound like the kind of thing we do.

I mean, if the trolls were a plot-critical episode, we’d ignore it for months, obviously. At least until we figured out how to stop the attack on the end of time.

But meaningless, themeless combat and pointless loot? Yeah…not sure we’re going to be able to pass that up.

Butch:

I’d laugh if it wasn’t true.

Ah, well. At least be quick about it.

Then Cassandra.

Feminina:

Oh, we’ll probably ignore Cassandra.

I’d laugh, but…

Butch:

But then Wolgraff will stay mute! Think of all the witty quips!

Which you’ll totally miss….

This isn’t funny.

Feminina:

Oh, good point. Wolgraff’s story.

All right, all right.

Butch:

Boy does he quip.

You WILL miss all the very creative ways Jahan tells him that he liked him better mute.

Good times, good times.

Feminina:

Hm. Will we come to feel we liked him better mute ourselves?

We have commented before on the restful silence of Wolgraff.

Butch:

Nah, he’s great. He doesn’t say “Good as a new penny” or anything. Just witty quips.

And one request….

Feminina:

Oh great. A request. Twenty minutes (well, 10 hours and 20 minutes) from the endgame, and we’re getting companion requests.

Butch:

No no. It’s one dialog. It’s kinda funny. And interesting themeage.

That Wolgraff.

Feminina:

Ah, Wolgraff! All right, we’ll get his voice. Having wrecked the stories of half our companions, it would be a shame not to get to the end of Wolgraff’s to see what we can do to mess that up.

Butch:

You’re more than halfway there if you already killed the guy. And you have to go to where the voice is to do Cassandra’s bit, so you might as well.

And there’s fights! And XP! And themes! And even a shop!

In other updates, my deck is gonna look good. Coming together quite well.

Which is kinda too bad cuz when they’re done they want more money.

Feminina:

Just think of how you’ll enjoy drinking cheap booze on the deck with the little money you have left!

Butch:

That’s the dream, man. That’s the dream.

At least I won’t have to worry about fiery death.

Feminina:

Well, not from THAT source…

As long as you have even a few bucks left, you’re golden.

Butch:

There were a lot of blossoms on the pear tree. We’re good.

And when you’re into NAKED pirate sorceresses, saves on the burlap budget.

NEW SENTENCE!!!!!

Feminina:

Ooh, nice! Way to focus on the practicalities.

Just maybe lay aside a little money for some mosquito netting or a citronella candle out there.

Butch:

Dude, SORCERESS. That’s what MAGIC’S for. Especially when you don’t have to spend your magical energy making your clothes disappear.

You know, I’ve noticed that, this week, after a couple weeks of rather down the middle bloggage, we’re a) actually playing and b) hitting both ends of the erudition spectrum. Like, the EXTREME ends.

Interesting.

Feminina:

True, that SHOULD be what magic is for, but that’s never on anyone’s spell list, is it? It’s all meteor swarms and teleporting people into lava, which is great when you need it, but, let’s face it, is kind of overkill for a relaxing evening on the deck.

There are so many tiny cantrips that would actually come in incredibly handy in day-to-day life, that no magic system ever bothers to include.

Keeping bugs off, keeping warm in the cold or cool in the heat, keeping your hair from getting in your eyes on windy days, turning pear blossoms into brandy…I mean, it goes on and on. I always thought ‘mending’ was probably the most actually-useful-to-normal-people spell in D&D.

Hole in your sock? Not anymore! Chipped a wineglass knocking it over onto the nice new deck? No problem!

Butch:

Every sorceress should certainly know “repel bugs.” What the point of MAKING bugs like so many sorceresses can?

That should be tops on the list. Well, second behind the whole clothes/sparkles deal.

Christ, it’s not even Friday. Making up for lost time.

We’re doomed. Play so we at least talk about games tomorrow until, like, what, noon?

Feminina:

I’ll try. It’s on Mr. O’. He had a huge thing due at work yesterday so hopefully he won’t want to just relax and zone out tonight.

Killing things is very relaxing!

Butch:

We’re totally doomed.

Especially as I seem to have done something awful to my hand right where my finger rests on the controller. It hurts.

Totally doomed.

I’m with you: Games ARE relaxing! They stave off insanity!

Feminina:

As our recent inexorable descent into madness, and then our gradual retreat back to semi-normalcy, clearly demonstrate.

The blog is a compelling case study for the value of games in a comprehensive mental health maintenance program, and someone should write a paper on it. Not us: it would eat into our playing time, and anyway we’re not objective. But someone.

Butch:

THIS has been semi-normalcy? I’m addressing the benefits of naked pirate sorceresses on one’s burlap budget.

But now that I think about it, by our standards that is pretty normal.

I feel better.

Feminina:

Yeah, dude, that is definitely normal. For us.

I mean, sanity is contextual.

 

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