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Spoilers for the bit of the main quest uncovered in the Pirate Isles in AC: Odyssey

Butch:

Well….that was anti-climactic.

I seem to be saying that a lot for an action game.

I said to myself “You know, been a while since I sold stuff. Maybe I’m closer to the fifteen grand than I thought.” So I went to the blacksmith, sold JUST MY TRADE GOODS and bam. Seventeen grand.

Paid Xenia, got cutscene, left Keos.

So you know when I got there, and I was all optimistic cuz black woman and slavery and “ooo, there’s gonna be THEMES man!” Yeah. Well. Yup.

Once again, the themes are a mirage.

But got the cutscene, which, I thought, was rather a stretch.

Then noticed on my quest list that a) the other two things we had to do are still there and b) I had something for Barabas, and it was a place I had been, so I went and did that, and….it was weird. And suggests more weird to come. You do that?

And then went towards where Hippocrates is cuz I thought that would be interesting to do next.

Man, I really thought there were gonna be themes on Keos.

Feminina:

Hm. Yeah. Not that many themes. Lots of lions, though!

I haven’t moved on, I’m still cleaning up all the question marks on Keos. Fighting lions. And got through that fort there and everything. Prompted a conquest battle which I idly considered joining on the side of the Athenians, but then I couldn’t be bothered.

Nice work selling your trade goods to raise the cash, though. I always forget about those too. I rarely visit the blacksmith, really. Occasionally I’ll go in to have my gear upgraded, but even that isn’t that often, since I frequently pick up new gear that works as well or better. I do keep upgrading my shroud, though. I just like wearing that shroud. Makes me feel assassin-y.

And yeah, I did kind of expect a bit of something there in the way of themes. Strong woman of color opposed to slavery! Maybe we’ll hunt down some slavers or something! But nah.

It also thought it was a bit surprising that Kassandra’s mother was a pirate, but I’m not sure why, really. I mean, I’M a freaking mercenary. I earn my living by the sword: why wouldn’t she? She’s the one who gave me the magic spear in the first place, after all. What else would a strong Spartan woman do, but seize what she needed from the world by whatever means necessary?

Being still on Keos, I haven’t done anything for Barnabas. I’m sure I’ll get to it as soon as I’m done with all these lions and what-not.

Butch:

So many lions….and boars. I did pull a stunt where a lion was chasing me and I ran it right into a boar and made them fight each other. Boar won. It was pretty great.

Still haven’t done another one of those conquest battles. Don’t see the point.

I only sold the stuff cuz I didn’t want to do any more fetch quests at that time, and I thought it would be an easy way out (and it was). So there ya go.

Right! It started with that graphically violent treatment of the slaver! At the hands of the strong woman of color! And then nothing. Usually you get that, three quests pop, it’s bloggin’ time! But no. Not in an AC game, I guess.

I couldn’t really be surprised either way, as that scene really didn’t say a whole lot except “She’s not here cuz she went there.” I WANTED it to say more! How’d they meet? How’d these people who were very different on the outside become such close friends? Why did this pirate who didn’t seem to like anyone like her so much? Shit, let’s have some insight into this pirate who I thought was going to be a) a very cool character and b) a lieutenant I could recruit and get to know?

But no. It’s “She’s not here cuz she went there.”

By the way, been a while since I saw someone I could get as a lieutenant. Not since the pirate who lost her lover way the fuck back in the land of Apollo. Am I missing something?

It’s a thing, that Barnabas quest. And ties into the whole “are you silly for believing” deal. And Barnabas is, at least, a character.

Feminina:

I love leading hostile creatures into other hostile creatures! Always happy to have someone else do some of the hard work of killing someone for me.

I have accidentally knocked out a couple of guys instead of killing them, and then been able to recruit them as lieutenants , but they were just random soldiers. I haven’t met any actual quest-related person to recruit since that woman who was going to make a statue of me. (And I’ve yet to see her craft a beautiful new figurehead for the ship, so honestly, no huge loss if you didn’t meet her. Maybe she’s still working on it.)

Butch:

Oh really? You can just recruit any old Kevin? I did not know that. Wondered what “knock out” was for.

Another great disappointment of Keos was not being able to recruit Xenia. I thought for SURE she was going to end up on the boat. Great pirate, friends with the person we’re trying to find, would’ve made perfect sense for Kassandra to be all “Hey, why don’t we team up? Find her together?”

She could’ve been a much cooler character.

Feminina:

True, it would have been cool because she was, potentially, a cool character (I mean, damn, she’s a giant pirate lady with badass scars and clearly takes no nonsense from anyone! if only we knew more!), but given the narrative fate of all the other people we’ve recruited, who show up on the ship screen but have otherwise never been heard from again, I think it would also diminish her.

Why would she want to be reduced to being our lieutenant and be bossed around by some whippersnapper, when she rules a freaking city right now? Kind of a step down, really, to go from Queen of the Pirate Isles to some wandering mercenary’s third-or-fourth-in-command.

And yeah, if you manage to knock someone out without killing them (I think I’ve done it by kicking them, although I’ve never succeeded in doing it on purpose, it just happens sometimes), you can recruit them. Presumably we could be working hard to knock out tough, elite fighters, instead of the total randos I’ve picked up so far, but…I just haven’t gotten the knack of intentionally knocking out. And honestly, in the haze of battle, it’s not really my priority.

Butch:

True. But, let’s face it, we’ve played umpteen games where a core mechanic is “Hey, really cool career hero, I know I’m only level seven, but want to come permanently live at my base/castle/ship and help me out and maybe have sex a bunch?” We LOVE games like that! We’ve never complained about the narrative inconsistency surrounding that! We will NEVER complain!

Feminina:

No, we certainly will not complain, but in those games those characters at least travel around with us sometimes, and usually have character quests that we can go on with them to make them more loyal and cause them to loooooooove uuuuusss. Here, we recruit someone and then–with the exception of Barnabas–that’s the end of their story. (At least so far. Maybe later I’ll get to go on quests with the sculptor lady, but I’m not holding my breath.)

We wouldn’t want to do that to Xenia! I mean, I don’t WANT to do that to anyone, except maybe the random Kevins, but especially not someone who seems that cool to start with.

Butch:

Well, what about Odessa? We “recruited” her, and there she is, still hanging out, waiting for Kassandra to figure out how to go below decks.

(Yup. Said it.)

Feminina:

Nice. Nice one.

And yeah, I know! There she is! She is right there, apparently!

But we haven’t actually SPOKEN to her since we recruited her. Any romantic hanky panky taking place is purely in our own imaginations.

Are we going on quests with her? Helping her fulfill her dreams of adventure and discovery?

I mean…she gets to ride on our ship, right? That counts? But as far as her actual story actually developing…nothin’.

Butch:

This game gets so close so often. If they’re really gonna make rpgs, they gotta follow through.

Feminina:

Yeah. All these dialogue options and choices that can come back to haunt one, those are very RPG touches. Perhaps those are all the touches it technically needs. But the human relationships, those are not really developed, and so it remains RPG-esque in ways that matter to us, i.e., the drawn-out process of making people loooooooove meeeeeee.

Butch:

Hey, besides your obsessions, the personal touches do matter. And if you’re going through the effort of getting this close to cool characters, why not do it?

Feminina:

Baby steps. Maybe they’re just moving slowly and figuring it out.

We’ll have to see what the next several games do.

Butch:

I’m certainly hoping for more character development.

By which I mean nudity.

Feminina:

I honestly think the nudity is going to turn out to be just the statues. Like in RDR2, after all the anticipation, it was some random pictures and some dudes bathing in the lake.

I mean, keep hoping! Dream on, eternal optimist! But I’m doubtful it’ll ever come to more than we’ve seen already. At least there are plenty of statues.

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