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Spoilers for some Hippokrates- and cult-related quests in AC: Odyssey

Butch:

Phew, sorry. Today’s the day we’re celebrating my dad’s birthday, so I was baking a pie, and the recipe was….questionable, so I had to take some time saving it. Still not sure if I did. Of all the reasons to postpone the opening of the blog day, saving pie must be very close to the top if not at the top.

Anyway, I did play! And…well…did you get to Keos? Because I was all excited for THEMES when I got to Keos and now…less so.

Which seems to be a theme unto itself. Every time I think THEMES! I am disappointed very quickly.

I was thinking about how maybe Megara was all “Religion is a sham!” and Lokris was maybe “Or maybe it’s not!” and Attika was “You can’t trust philosophy, either!” but maybe I’m grasping at straws cuz I’m desperate. I’ve been trying to come up with good bloggage comparing and contrasting the way chapter three ended (That is, the cult “party”) and chapter four (the party of thinkers and artists) but every time I think I have something good to say it falls apart in my head after three or four sentences.

I do know those were the end of “chapters” because that’s when trophies for finishing said chapters popped: right after the cult thing, and right after Perikles’ thing. So there’s gotta be something there! But…I dunno. Maybe I’m just hoping, the same way I was hopeful when I got to Keos.

You get to Keos?

Feminina:

Of course I went to Keos! I’m deeply wounded by the implication that I might not have gotten to Keos, just because I never get around to going anywhere I say I’m going to go!

First I went back to Athens to help Alkibiades’ friend cheat his way to citizenship, and then I went to the Isle of Salamis to hunt a cultist I’d heard about, who I think turned out to be the guy at the quarry that you were looking for. So, yeah, I thought we were talking about the same thing at one point, but this was a completely different quarry than the one I was looking at before. I’d never set foot on the Isle of Salamis. I was pleased with how it turned out, though: there were a couple of sleeping guards and the cultist sitting right next to them near a canopy, and I just hopped onto him from the canopy and assassinated him without even waking the guards. Then I looted a couple of treasures and ran off. Now that’s successful sneaking!

THEN I went to Keos. Sneaked into the city to talk to Xenia the pirate, learned…stuff. Did you talk to the pirate?

Oh, and if you talked to the pirate, did you notice that the other two leads we had about Kassandra’s mother WENT AWAY? We were sure that wouldn’t happen, but apparently you just have to find the information one time!

I’m actually kind of disappointed because I kind of wanted to talk to the hetaerae–I was interested to see how the game presented that.

I’m also quite curious as to whether that means you learn different things about your mother based on where you go first (and if that’s based on different parts of the same story, or if she literally has a different history), or if you always have to come to the pirate island, but if you go to the other places first, they won’t have any information. In which case, you’d get more game out of it by going somewhere else first. (Not that we NEED more game. But still.)

I don’t know. If you haven’t talked to the pirate yet, maybe follow up on one of the other leads first, just for blogging’s sake and so we can see what happens. But if you did, we can talk about that.

Also, saving a pie is definitely at the top of the list of reasons to postpone blogging. Well done.

Butch:

Don’t jinx it. It’s not out of the oven yet.

I did talk to the pirate, and I was so very happy, as I thought THEMES! Here’s a black woman, who starts the whole thing expressing great anger at slavers. Like, SHIT, right? We’ve been talking about how slavery is everywhere in this game and whether we would someday tackle it. Upon meeting Xenia, I was thinking “OK, here we GO!”

And then I did something else. Meh. Did you do anything else? Or are you so rich you were just like “Oh, hey, here, take the money, whatevs?”

Cuz I gotta come up with some serious drachmae here.

Wait, WHAT? No, I didn’t notice that about the quests! Like the Hippocrates thing? I wanted to do that, too!

Maybe they’re just kinda paused? I did notice that Keos was, in fact, the lowest level of the potential choices, so maybe the game was urging us here, and now is keeping us here. I don’t know what happened to you, cuz you’re rich, but right now the game is pretty much saying to me “Butch? Nothing is going to happen of any consequence until you cough up fifteen grand, and every not boring way to get that fifteen grand is right here, so how about you stay right the fuck here for a spell, m’kay?” Maybe once we’re done with Keos it’ll be all “Ok….and now the next thing….”

Maybe.

Did you google it to see?

But yeah, talked to the pirate. We’ll talk about that.

Though a question before we do: I did that quest for Kleon, forts, etc., which, as you said, ended with me (heh, more on that in a minute) sinking their boat. So I did all that, and I took my sweet time getting to my boat thinking “I’ll let those other boats do most of the work.” So I got on my boat, which I hadn’t been on in some time, and Barabas started yapping (as he will). At that very moment, it turned out that my plan to let the other boats do most of the work turned into “do ALL of the work,” as the target boat sank. This led to the triumphant chords, JUST as Barabas is telling me about new quest and, I think, a cultist. I went to the cult screen, though, and no new clues or anything.

Please tell me I didn’t miss anything and my game isn’t glitched.

Feminina:

Oh, dude. I just handed her the cash on the spot. “Here you go, scary giant pirate lady!”

We won’t talk about what she told me after I paid her, then.

And no, I didn’t check the internet about the other quests, I just couldn’t find them highlighted when I looked at my quest list…but it looks as if this walkthrough here (spoilers, don’t read, just citing sources) that covers chapter five includes mention of hetaerae and Hippokrates, so maybe they just got reclassified since they’re no longer one of three equal possibilities for learning the information I need.

Or maybe I was just selectively blind last night when I was looking for them. Also possible.

OK, never mind that part of the discussion! You’re probably right, it’s more that we’re meant to do them all in a specific order, starting with this one.

As for Kleon’s quest (thank you Barnabas for always talking at inconvenient times), I’m pretty sure you didn’t miss anything. I was also in the middle of a battle (that same battle, in fact) while he was talking about that, so yeah, something something cultist? Whatever. If it was a quest we’re supposed to be doing, it’ll be on our quest list and we’ll get to it eventually. If it was a cultist clue, it would show up on our cultist screen. If it was random background noise, it doesn’t matter. There’s no way it could be a game-critical fact and yet leave no discernible trace on the actual game. I refuse to worry about it.

I’m telling you, it’s part of their clever plan to make us think the story is more complex and full of detail than it is! It’s probably in the code:

“IF ambient_noise > 10 decibels Barnabas share [key plot point]”

I was kind of stupid about that battle, though. I got to the beach, killed all the guys, and then it said “destroy ship” with a quest marker on the ship. So obviously I swam out to the ship and singlehandedly murdered everyone on it and then ran around like a ninny thinking “but how do I destroy it? is there some way to set it on fire? Some explosive device I can set off?” before I thought that since it was a SHIP, maybe I was supposed to attack it with another SHIP, like maybe my own SHIP that I totally have.

So I swam back to the dock to summon the Adrestia, and then when it got there, all we had to do was ram the completely abandoned other ship a few times. While of course also fighting off that mercenary’s ship, since he showed up to join the party.

Good times. Good times.

Butch:

Well, here’s what happened if you didn’t: She’s all “There’s ways to make money on the island, or just go raid that fort.” Seriously. Three side quests popped, though, on the “make money on the island” stuff, so I thought “THEMES! Let me at it!” So I picked one and….it was a fetch quest. Just a fetch quest. With a twist you could see coming from a mile away.

No themes. Not a trace.

I suppose one way of making you catch up after you magpie is just the game being all “FINE! Skip it!”

Ah, the quests are there. There ya go. Sorta figured this wasn’t the kind of game that was gonna pull a Witcher 2 and be all “Hey, you don’t get to see these 30 hours of content if you do XYZ.”

See, that’s what’s so great about the way you game. Totally, blissfully optimistic. Refusing to worry about details, bugs, glitches, whether you’re on the save or load screen…..

HA! That’s awesome, with the ship.

Kassandra: OK! Gonna go destroy that!
Barabas: You know we could help-
Kassandra: Take that! And that!
Odessa: Babe, we’re right here if you need-
Kassandra: Chain attack! BOOM!
Barabas: We’ve sharpened the javelins just this morning-
Kassandra: Wham! Bam! KABOOM!
Odessa: Just let her do her thing. She was like this in bed, too.

See, I sorta figured that my boat would be rather crucial as it was ALREADY THERE when I showed up at the beach despite the fact I had left it hundreds of miles away. You had to call yours? Mine was conveniently pre-delivered for quest purposes. I could sorta see:

Kassandra: How did you know I’d need you?
Barabas: A little bird told me.
Ikaros: Who you calling little, one eye?

You do Heitor’s thing?

Feminina:

Yeah, see, my ship wasn’t there! I had to go summon it, and then sit down and wait overnight (or whatever, you know that “time passing” thing they do) until it got there! Sure, if it had been right there maybe I would have thought to get on it.

I mean, unless it was right there and I missed it and then Barnabas sailed away in a huff and made me wait overnight once I finally thought to call it. Which…I mean, maybe. I’ll believe anything about my lack of attention to detail at this point. But I didn’t SEE my ship there, that’s for sure.

And sure, it could be “letting me catch up after all the magpie,” or it COULD be telling you “dude, shoulda magpied more and you’d have the money already.” It’s all in how you look at it. I didn’t get those fetch quests, so I just hopped merrily around the island checking out question marks. Which let’s be honest I would have done anyway.

Oh, but having killed three cultists over the weekend, I was able to upgrade my spear! Now I really want to kill a bunch more, because I need nine fragments to get to level five and several of my abilities need a spear at level five before I can increase them. I may just hunt cultists for a few sessions.

I did Heitor’s first thing, got his spear back from the fort. Then got sidetracked before following up on his second thing.

Did you do Sokrates’ thing with the stolen horse? Or the one out in the middle of nowhere, about a slave? That was interesting. Interesting the way they’re presenting these rather heavy philosophical questions in this setting.

Butch:

Dude, level four spear is SO two weeks ago. What took you so long?

Yes! The Socrates horse thing led to the Socrates slave thing which is the bit where the guy was all “AHA! I am the cultist you’ve been looking for! Your clue is….wait for it…..I’M THE GUY! Now….can you guess who the guy is?”

It was pretty good how they did it. Especially as, I think, the second talk with Socrates WAS the choice. The one in the slave quest. Baddie is all ‘Kill the woman!” and you know that you have to kill her to save the slave. Then, after talking with Socrates, that’s it. You can’t be all “Hmm. Now I shall ponder that and decide.” What you say in the moment decides, right? Cuz I had the chat, and said “All lives are equal” or something, and boom. Check mark over the soon to be summarily killed cultist. That was that. Can’t kill the woman. The slave is doomed.

And I didn’t expect that. Props to the game for holding you to your own ideals. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

Feminina:

Yeah, I kind of loved that. “Oh, and by the way I’m in the cult, hahahaha you won’t dare touch me though!”

Interesting…I think I said all lives were NOT equal. Meaning that some people are, indeed, worth saving more than other people are. Like, if you’re a murderous cultist, I think you’re worth less than a random innocent, basically.

And then when I was done talking to Sokrates, I turned around and went right back to the cult dude, because I decided that one person’s freedom was not worth more than another person’s life. Right? I hate slavery and people deserve to be free, and I want to help the guy I promised to help, but does he deserve freedom more than some woman deserves to live? I can’t make that call.

Especially not if her dying is what the cult wants. So I just strolled back over and went to talk to the guy and he said “fine, your friend will get an extra ration of hard labor because of this” or something, and then I immediately backstabbed him, hoping that maybe he wouldn’t get around to giving the order to give my friend (who’s probably not actually that fond of me at this point) extra labor. Or order someone else to go kill that woman. (Especially since he previously said he didn’t even remember any of his slaves’ names, so he might not even have known who I was talking about.)

It was nice of him to tell me straight out that he was in the cult, and then not to attempt to defend himself against my assassination. That was also pretty foolish of him, when you think about it. But the cult probably can’t afford to admit members based purely on intelligence.

Butch:

Oh, I got the quest over thing. That was that. Check mark. And yeah, he was all “Ha! Now you made it worse for your friend.” Whatever, dude. I was with you, though. I wasn’t going to do something the cult actually wanted.

Which’ll be a terrible mistake, I’m sure.

But he was quite the doofus, unbelievably so. Cuz it wasn’t that we were just some nameless mercenary: he was all “Ah, the Eagle Bearer” and she was all “You know me?”

So he was all “Ah, yes, I know you. Which is why I will tell you who I am, tell you to do something you totally won’t do, then stand real still, unarmored and unarmed, hoping you’ll just walk away cuz I sneered really well, despite the fact you’re trying to kill everyone in the cult I just told you I was a part of.”

Dude had a lot of faith in that sneer. Too much, it seems.

Just imagine the anti-climax for me, though. I spent SO much time trying to find what turned out to be a non-existent clue to find out who that guy was, and then he just tells me and stands there. I almost wanted him to fight.

Feminina:

Oh, the big red X for failing to help?! I’ve only gotten that a few times. We fear the big red X on a quest. Even though sometimes it may be the right thing to do! Or the terribly wrong one. We may hear more from/about that slave in the days to come.

That cultist must have accomplished a lot in life with sneer power, to have that much confidence in it. And yet somehow, just when he needed it most, it tragically failed to protect him from being totally unexpectedly killed by the outrageously skillful mercenary with the specific goal of killing all cultists, with whom he had just been speaking and against whose attacks he had taken no precautions whatsoever.

He was so helpless I would have felt kind of bad about killing him, if he hadn’t made such a strong case for why he needed a good backstab.

Butch:

Oh he made that case.

Though what ALMOST saved him was quest anxiety. I was sitting there thinking “Wait….can I just kill him? Will that bork a quest?”

Bad guys can always kinda hide behind that. “MWHAHAHA! I’m not a quest objective! If you kill me, you might miss a quest later and YOU’LL NEVER KNOW! But go ahead…take the chance you’ll miss out….”

Gotta admit, that almost saved the guy.

Almost.

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