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Some vague and confusing spoilers for locations in Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Butch:

You know what’s worse than the kids all being home? The fact that they have mandatory half day Thursdays. It never ends, Femmy. It never ends.

Did get a little in. Saw that Dominguez is, like, Aztec god man, did a monolith, did the weird burning blood puzzles, got the silver thingy, said “Dude, you do all that, it’s like a Raiders treasure room and you just are gonna leave?” Wondered “So….if the kid knew this was there, why didn’t trinity?” Then forgave the game because it didn’t make me swim out of there (Dude, when he was all “You can escape through the irrigation system” I was so mad…so mad that it didn’t occur to me to say “What? There’s an irrigation canal that goes right by the secret treasure room and trinity hasn’t noticed the secret treasure room?”), then did a chase scene where I died a lot which broke the tension and now that’s where I am.

Oh, and got mad at myself cuz I didn’t have the money for the good knife and then found two places where I needed the good knife.

But seriously….that was the least secret secret treasure room I’ve ever seen. What’s trinity’s damn problem? The only way that could have been less secret was if there was a merchant selling mystical silver end of the world thingies in the market. Maybe trinity thinks that’s too easy.

Merchant: Hey, wanna buy the silver thingy you’ve been searching for?

Trinity: What?

Merchant: I have the thing you’ve been scouring the earth for. Yours for, say, 275 gold.

Trinity: I don’t know……would I have to blow up a shit ton of dynamite in inefficient places all the while telling Kevin to hurry up because Dominguez is coming?

Merchant: Well, no. I’d just sell it to you.

Trinity: Hmm…..not really my thing without the dynamite and telling Kevin to hurry up.

Merchant: Have it your way.

Trinity: But I will take a jaguar pelt.

Merchant: Excellent choice.

Also, I’m liking this game. I am. But man, there’s some weird narrative choices.

So I did the side quest where you had to get one, no, two, maybe three? no, two things for the bald guy so the guy you’re SUPPOSED to be rescuing can become king.

This, much like Santangelo, felt a little like a phantom limb of narrative. I’ll bet, in an earlier draft, you DID have to get all three, and, for whatever reason, they threw in the towel. But the way it was presented “Get this, but it’s cool, I got guys on the other two.” “Well, they other two didn’t come back, so if you could…” “Oh, thanks, but he came back, and, even though the other guy isn’t back yet, I’m sure he’ll be fine. Quest over” was almost laughable. Add to that the very strange “rescue the herb thief” bit. It’s like the guard was all “HE IS SENTENCED TO DEATH! Oh, wait, he ran away from the jail that DIDN’T HAVE A DOOR, so…no hard feelings. I guess I’ll just leave his family and everyone else alone.”

Kind of scattershot in the narrative.

But, hey, not a bad bit of gameplay. The gameplay is great. I LIKE the gameplay. I even didn’t mind the “swim up and up” bits.

But there’s some serious stupid in the narrative.

Feminina:

Ha! I only talked to the guy about the three quests, no, make that one quest. I haven’t actually done any of it yet.

I’ve been poking around in tombs, man! I went back and got into those crypts I needed shotguns or rope ascenders or whatever for. Got all caught up. Did a couple of challenges, though a bunch more remain half completed because I can’t be bothered to spend all my time looking for feathers and totems and so forth. Except when I can.

And then there’s this one place I can’t figure out how to get into, not in the sense that I need some specific equipment, but in the more general sense that I can’t find the door. Maybe it will be related to a quest later.

So…uh…it sounds like we’re pretty much at the same place in terms of the story? Have you been all through the underground place with the…things? Looking for the box?

Butch:

I have the box! That was the reference to the secret treasure room right by the irrigation canal that, like, even nine year olds know about. Lots of bodies? Weird burning blood traps? That sort of thing?

“Go to the very secret treasure room. I’m nine. I’ll show you the door. And tell you how to get out. Very secret room. No one’s been there for ages. Cuz Secret.”

Later.

“Oh, you have the box! You went to the very secret treasure room that’s over there!”

Yup.

Now the kid is kidnapped and I have to go get him but he can wait cuz tombs.

But first I gotta buy the enhanced knife. I STILL don’t have a shotgun! Where’s the fucking shotgun? I sorta figured that you had rescued the kid and that’s where you got the shotgun!

Feminina:

Oh, OK. We’re not talking about the same box. You got the thing that looks like a coiled snake? I got that. Burning blood, etc., check. Went after the kid, check.

I guess I just ignored the “horn of destiny” sidequest or whatever until recently because I was…doing other things. Like getting the shotgun. It took me a while to go talk to the people in the super secret rebel hideout cave, is what I guess I’m saying.

But yeah, you really have to wonder what Trinity has been up to, missing all this super secret stuff right under their noses. Maybe that’s the problem with demanding worship from your followers…if they’re always worrying about displaying the proper reverence and zeal when you go by, they’re not busy talking to 9-year-olds about the secret treasure rooms.

Butch:

Yes, that. The snake thingy. That Meatball, who was hanging around, said “That looks like poop.”

Have to go after the kid. But I’m probably just gonna magpie.

But you had to talk to them to get the “go after kid” bit, that I haven’t done, and the quest giver is right there. You NEVER resist quest givers. Ever. Who are you, anyway?

It’s a double edged sword, the emotional neediness. And really, they are a needy bunch, trinity.

But you know what REALLY sucks? Sitting down to play a game so you can get some magpie out of the way on a cold day and finding out it has a six and half gig upgrade. It’s massive!

[Later]

Wow, you know what suck? Of course you do. Wolves. Wolves suck.

I’m in the tomb with the wolves and the oil. And wolves suck.

Know what I wish I had? A shotgun. Could use a shotgun right about now.

Feminina:

The wolves and the oil…hm…you mean the one where you can fall off the ledges and the wolves eat you?

Or is that the place outside Paititi that I stumbled into once, died, and never went back because I ran into the kid?

We seem to be doing a lot of talking past each other today.

“Are you in the place?”

“No, I thought you were in the place, I’m over on the thing.”

“You mean the thing with the stuff?”

“No, I don’t know what stuff you’re talking about, I just finished the thing with the guy.”

Funny we managed to lose each other so nicely in a fairly linear game.

Butch:

And very ironic that we stayed in relative lock step in the open world game we just finished.

I’m not sure what’s confusing us so much here. Maybe because things don’t have names? Tombs, I mean. Mafia, we could say “Ok, I’m doing the garbage thing in Barclay” and boom. We knew what we were talking about. This? It’s kinda hard to describe past “the thing with the stuff.” “You know, wolves, fire….” And when there’s lots of wolves and lots of fire and lots of climbing, gets a little vague.

But the wolves and the oil, that’s the one. The one where you have to fight the wolves. Which sucked.

Have you done that one? Like, all of it? I’m halfway through.

No idea what you’re talking about on the other one.

Feminina:

I think you’re right…it is kind of hard to differentiate the tombs and crypts (I can’t even remember which one a specific area is most of the time). There’s a lot of climbing, a lot of oil, a lot of swimming. A lot of wolves. And, as you say, not a lot of things with clear names and features like “the garbage in Barclay.” It’s all “the underground crypt in the jungle.”

“Oh, yeah, that place!”

If we’re definitely talking about the same one, with the ledges and the wolves and the wind and the burning oil (man, you’re so right that a shotgun would have been helpful in that wolf fight, those things suck), I HAVE gotten all the way through it, but I have to confess, I looked it up on the internet at one point because I totally couldn’t figure out a step. Then it turned out the answer was something I had tried, but it didn’t seem to work, so I had moved on. So…if you do a thing that seems like a good idea, but it doesn’t work, keep trying?

It’s tough when you’re not really sure if something doesn’t work because it’s the wrong approach and it will never work, or if you just need to adjust the timing or the angle or whatever. I’m actually in the middle of an annoying tomb right now that is apparently all timing. I think. Unless that will never work, and I really need to be trying something completely different.

Butch:

Right! And even the places that do have names are confusing.

Wait, did you go to hard on puzzles? Cuz my Lara never shuts up about what to do.

OK! Guess what? I got a……LIBRARIAN QUESTION!!!!

So Junior is making a presentation for school. In said presentation, he is including some very good screenshots that he took in Horizon. As screenshots are both products of the game and the player, what’s the citation (if any)? If his teacher disagrees, I’m gonna drop your name, what you being a badass librarian.

Feminina:

Ooh, citation questions! Of course you must cite your screenshots. Always cite everything, that’s what I must tell you as a librarian.

As a librarian, I would also caution that different citation styles may have different rules for various types of reference, and when in doubt, you should consult the manual for the specific citation style you’re using (i.e. APA, MLA, etc.). However, it turns out there is not a lot of specific guidance for video game screenshots yet. (Yet.) Also, it’s possible that no specific style was assigned for this project, which means you could pretty much just make something up.

Here’s an example based on MLA style for game screenshots https://library.carleton.ca/find/images/citing-images/citing-screenshot

And another suggestion: https://rhetoricofgaming.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/so-how-do-i-cite-this/

Basically, looking at these examples, I think you probably want to reference the work from which the screenshot is taken (much as if you were referencing a novel from which you quoted a sentence), and also–either at the beginning or the end, the two examples aren’t entirely consistent–state the name of the person who took the screenshot (which is where it’s different from quoting a sentence from a novel).

Assuming he wasn’t given a particular citation style to use, I would probably go with something simple like:

“Aloy admires the sunset.” Horizon Zero Dawn, Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2017. Screenshot by Butch McPuncherson Jr., Dec. 5, 2018.

Basically, a short descriptive title, the resource from which the image was taken, and the name of the person who captured the shot. If he published the screenshots online somewhere, he could also put a link to the online image.

But as I always tell the students, your professor has the final word on what makes a correct citation: librarians can only offer general advice.

And I did NOT go ‘hard’ on puzzles, but her hints were not helpful! She just kept saying “there must be some way to [mumble mumble].” Basically, she told me what to do, but not how to do it. Many, many times I know WHAT to do, but it doesn’t mean I CAN do it. Though as I said, it turned out I actually did figure it out, but gave up too soon.

You’re gonna love it. Just keep…doing the thing.

Unless it’s the wrong thing, in which case it’s never going to work.

Butch:

You just got to go all librarian on a topic relevant to the blog.

This is your favorite day in our long blogging history, isn’t it?

Feminina:

It’s hard to say, we’ve had a lot of good days, but this was certainly up there.

Microsoft’s suggested responses:

  • “Thank you for the article.”
  • “I’m looking forward to reading it.”
  • “I look forward to reading it.”

Uh…no. That is incorrect, Hotmail. That is not what was going on in that message.

Interesting that it put the same concept with different tenses. Testing which one people like more? Giving people a choice to help make it sound more like them so they can pretend a robot isn’t writing their replies for them?

Now I’m sitting here wondering…”DO I look forward to reading the imaginary article Butch didn’t send me, or AM I looking forward to it?” Tough call.

Butch:

Hey man, it would have been a fascinating article if it had existed. Or it would be a fascinating article had it been in existence. You would have expressed gratitude.

Feminina:

I spent several minutes trying to think of another complex linguistic joke to follow up, but it’s getting late, so I’ll just go with “shoulda coulda woulda, but didna.”

Because I’m all sophisticated-like at the end of the day.

Butch:

Fucken A, dood. Fucken A.