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Spoilers for minor plot points in AC: Odyssey

Butch:

Hey! Got some in!

Talked to Hippocrates! Thought “Themes! Maybe!” Then he asked me to get him stuff.

That’s right. Hippocrates has a fetch quest for us.

Sigh.

I did some of it. There was fetching. A fort was involved.

Maybe there’ll be themes after it. Maybe. Who knows?

I’m getting annoyed. There should be more blog worthy stuff in this game.

Feminina:

Aw man! I did not talk to Hippocrates. I was heading in that direction, but I got sidetracked by Heitor’s Gonna Hate, and then stumbled into that lovely beachside town where the former Oracle’s cousin asked us to kill his neighbor. Which I did, although I’m not entirely sure he wasn’t making the whole thing up and just wanted to get rid of his neighbor for some reason. When the only option is to accept or refuse a quest, you always wonder if you’re being manipulated.

“Oh, hey, misthios, that guy over there totally stole from me and threatened to murder my sweet little children if I didn’t give him more money, can you take care of him?”

“Sure, I’ll take your word for it he deserves to die! Don’t even give me any payment up front! I’m on it!”

Especially when they say hyperbolic things like “his death will solve everything.”

Uh…no one death solves EVERYTHING, buddy. I’d have to wipe out the entire town for that.

Ha! Just a little hired-killer humor there.

Anyway, perhaps I was especially skeptical having just come from Heitor, who manipulated us in just that way.

“That captain stole your sword!? I will murder him to death for you!!!! Oh. You sold it to him and lied to me.”

“You want me to rescue your friend and murder a bunch of soldiers to death along the way? ON IT! Oh. You actually just wanted to kill him yourself.”

I talked them into not fighting, which was perhaps the happiest ending available, although if I’d been a bit more invested in holding a grudge I might have sided with the rescued guy and attacked Heitor for lying to me and taking advantage of my murderous good nature.

But anyway, that’s what I did. Don’t talk to me about Hippocrates.

Butch:

Oh, I won’t talk about Hippocrates. I can’t, really. I’ve said it all. So far.

Sigh.

Wait….that’s interesting. I met that cousin and killed the neighbor and had exactly the same misgivings you did (it’ll get to the point where everyone in Greece will be all “Hey, if you tell that chick with the bird you’re the Oracle’s cousin, she’ll kill anyone you want!”), but not there. I met him in downtown Argos, right the fuck next door to Hippocrates. Not in any seaside town anywhere close to Heitor. So, what, that means some of these “impact quests” show up where you are, at a certain time instead of a certain place? That’s weird. I can’t remember a game being like that.

But as for Heitor…..

Unlike the pirate betrayal I kinda didn’t see that twist coming, even though, in retrospect, I should have, and I think I know why.

Games pull the “MWHAHA tricked you!” shit with strangers giving you quests all the time. That said, it’s very rare that a friend betrays you. If you hit talk and your character is all “Hey! Dude! Been a while! Remember when we did all that cool shit? Good times, good times,” you can trust that dude. That dude is ALWAYS cool. I can’t remember a single time in any game when the dude you’re automatically chummy with was lying. It’s another game trope this game has turned on its head. That’s pretty good stuff.

Not to mention, it fits the narrative. Kassandra’s “old friends” are people she met being a mercenary, for crissakes. They aren’t going to be nice.

Good stuff.

Which is yet another reason I’m getting annoyed with this game. There’s good stuff here! And a whole lot of fluff. And fetch quests. And forts.

Feminina:

Yeah! He was an old friend! Why would I suspect my old friends? And yet, as you say, these are people I met while we were hanging out pulling scams with Morkos and murdering people. We’re all people who do pretty much whatever we think it takes to get what we want. Why wouldn’t that involve lying to each other about exactly how someone’s favorite sword wound up in the hands of some other guy?

But as you say, this is very rare in games. Friends are usually true. Possibly only because they’re terrified of the PC, who is after all the ass-kicking-est person around.

Sam deceived Nathan/us in Uncharted 4, but I can’t think of other examples offhand.

Interesting that you met the Oracle’s cousin somewhere else. This was definitely not in Argos, it was in…the Gateway to Hope, or something? Hope was definitely in the town name. He was just standing there when I came into town, with an exclamation point on him. And then his neighbor who he said was blackmailing him and threatening to turn in the Oracle, was he also in Argos for you?

Because in my case, he was about 50 feet away in the same town. Maybe the Oracle has many cousins who are passing her around between them trying to keep her out of the Cult’s eye. And they all have nosy blackmailing neighbors. (Plausible! I’m sure my neighbors would blackmail us in a heartbeat if they knew we were hiding someone from the Cult.)

Or maybe the game just wanted us to do that quest at roughly this point in the story? Which suggests that it actually has some kind of impact on something in the future.

I suppose we can only wait and see what happens.

Butch:

Well, “casual” NPC friends are always true. Really, really close, plot point NPC friends can sometimes turn on you, because that’s plot point. Blackwall being a liar, for example. The slight implication (that I think still can be true, but that would be a digression) that Morrigan is Flemeth in DAO. Sylens in HZD. But just random side quest givers? Pretty much, if your character likes them, they’re cool.

Oh yeah, the cousin’s target was, like 50 feet away, too. Like, behind that building close. And right in downtown Argos.

You know, I had another “impact quest” that was quick and easy. Did you meet a woman who was all “Thank you for not killing my husband or something in the fish market [during the whole guy trying to kill the other guy with snakes quest]? We’ve totally gone straight, could you take these shoes to that beggar over there?” Cuz I got that in downtown Athens. Did you get that somewhere else?

Feminina:

No…no-one has asked me to deliver shoes to anyone. So not a plot point that was critical to the story, apparently, or else it was critical in that something different will happen because I missed it.

Sounds like at least an attempt by the game to recognize that you did something good and people will notice that, suggesting that people will also notice when you do something wrong. (Accidentally killing civilians, maybe. Or failing to save them from boar attacks. Or accidentally killing them while trying to save them from boar attacks. Not that I’m speaking from experience.)

Also a good point that more deeply entrenched people can be deceptive because it’s a plot point, but casual friends you run into are generally true. Because you gotta be able to trust your friends! Even though in real life a lot of the friends you’re likely to have as a character in a lot of games are probably highly unreliable.

Butch:

Well, what did you do with those fishermen who got caught up in the plot to poison the dude with snakes? Did you make them see the error of their ways, or did you do something else? Cuz I made them see the error of their ways.

Like, this cousin came to us cuz we spared his “cousin.” Had we killed her, we likely wouldn’t have gotten the quest, right?

Feminina:

Yeah, I also convinced them to see the error of their ways, sparing their lives. I do try to spare people when I can! I even tried to avoid fighting with the pirate lady who tried to cheat me out of the artifact I found for her! I was ready to just bail (after lying and saying I couldn’t find the thing, because screw you I’m not going to just hand it over), but she said “I guess I’ll see if I can find it on your corpse then” or something.

But maybe I failed to save someone else and so they never asked me to deliver any shoes.

Probably they were wisely afraid I would spread the plague.

Butch:

Or maybe you just missed it. You did miss the “I had a vision of the fall of Athens so take this flower to that dude” quest. Maybe you just had a night where you weren’t at your icon noticing peak while in Athens.

Feminina:

Entirely possible. I get so focused on question marks that all other punctuation is invisible to me!

Butch:

Or maybe it was something like:

NPC: Could you please help?
You: What is it?
NPC: I need you to do something very important to Athens and the plot of the ga-
You: It involve killing a captain?
NPC: Uh….no…..
You: Looting three or four chests?
NPC: No. But it’s very import-
You: Fuck off, dude. Hey! What’s that?

Feminina:

That does sound like me.

“How much murder would be involved? None? Hm…I’ll be honest, I don’t usually shine in non-murder jobs. I mean, I’ll take your quest, but it’ll have to go in the queue, and I probably won’t get to it until after I’ve killed every captain and alpha animal in Greece.”

I’m probably carrying those shoes in my inventory right now.

Butch:

It’s the NPC’s fault, really. The dude was fifty feet away. I’m sure now it’s:

Quest giver: She’ll be here any minute, I’m sure.
***time passes***
Quest giver: Yup. Any minute now.
****more time****
Quest giver: Won’t be long now-
Shoeless man: You could’ve just brought them yourself, you know.
Quest giver: Dwayne, we’ve been over this-
Shoeless man: I was right here
Quest giver: Dwayne I-
Shoeless man: Seriously, you could see me.
Quest giver: Dude-
Shoeless man: I was waving at you, saying “Hey, could you bring me my shoes? What are you waiting for?”
Quest giver: But did you come over to me? No. NO!
Shoeless man: Always turning things back on me, aren’t you?
Quest giver: Go walk into a brazier!
Shoeless man: Oh look a wild boar!

Feminina:

Six months later I show up, proudly drop the shoes onto a charred, tusk-mauled corpse, and saunter off, secure in the confidence of a job well done.

Butch:

Chords play, you glow, you miss some banter, guy comes up to you says “Hey, you, yeah, the self satisfied little bitch….I mean, great and noble warrior who helped my cousin…got a job for you….”

Feminina:

The system works!

Butch:

And we thought this game had no bloggage!

Oh, wait. It kinda doesn’t. I’m having to distract myself from the lack of bloggage by making up conversations.

Feminina:

Well, there was a bit of a discussion there about how old friends usually don’t turn out to be messing with you, but Heitor kind of was. And something about how you might get recognized for doing good deeds, or might just get pegged as “that lady who will totally murder anyone for any reason, no questions asked.”

In which context, I guess, ‘good deeds’ just become “you didn’t murder me, thank you so much!”

I do appreciate when people recognize my not-murders. It’s not as if it’s EASY for me, you know. Murder is clearly my first response to everything, so failing to murder takes a real effort. It’s nice when someone acknowledges that.

Ha. Actually, I’m murdering less lately because it eats up so much time. I was seriously annoyed with Heitor’s friend last night because he wouldn’t just sprint off with me…he was slow and kept getting into fights with the guys chasing us, so finally I wound up having to kill them all just to get him out of there. If it had been up to me, I would have run in, freed him, and we’d both have booked it, no murder necessary. And those damn guards!–they could have just let us go!

But no…[put-upon sigh]…some people just aren’t satisfied unless you murder them.

Butch:

YES! That was infuriating! “I’m here to free you! You’re free! Let’s go! Like, GO! NOW! PLEASE!”

Murdering does take up way too much time. It’s why I’m level whatever and you’re more than that. I just don’t have the time to do each thing. Shit, wait until you see the fort I had to get into last night. I mean, I was in, I was out. I wasn’t going to kill anyone. Even when I got into fights it was “I’m just gonna whack you until I can dodge away and flee.” I pretty much took the perk where you don’t take damage from falls JUST so I can scale walls, jump to wherever the fuck and be all “So long, Kevins! Live long, happy lives!”

Feminina:

Oh man, I love that not getting hurt in falls thing. “So long suckers, I’m hurling myself off this 500-foot cliff now!”

I’m at the level where that feat automatically upgrades to “if you intentionally smack the ground when you land, it creates a shock wave that knocks people over,” and I kind of can’t wait to use it when I jump down into a crowd of people, although of course I have yet to remember I have it in time to do that.

Butch:

But watch: I’ll forget I have it, I’ll jump into town or something, do that, and everyone will try to kill me.

Feminina:

Oh yeah, no doubt. It’s only a matter of time.

“Hey, what’s the big idea, jerk?! You think you can just smash down into the middle of a busy agora and knock everyone down?! You’d better be ready to murder 50 guards to back up that claim, missy.”

Butch:

They do tend to overreact. As does the citizenry!

“I’m so mad that, despite your armor and weapons, I will chase you with this REALLY overpowered death broom!”

Them’s some fucking brooms, man.

Feminina:

Oh man, I hate it when the civilians get involved.

“Hey, Walking Death Machine, I’m coming after you with a stick I just picked up so watch out!”

It’s mainly challenging because then I’m dodging around trying not to hit them, because civilians. So I guess in that sense they do make my life more difficult, which perhaps was all they really hoped for.

Butch:

As I once got killed by a broom (not proud), I’ve gotten to the point where they can’t really be ignored. But you kill one, and you get a bounty. So it’s always “Leave me alone! Please! Ah, fuck, take THAT!” ***open menu, pay bounty before dude shows up, repeat***

Feminina:

I can certainly see how one would be wary. I do tend to run away from them to avoid hitting them, I admit it.

“All right, all right, I’m leaving, terrifying broom-wielder! I’ll just sneak back around and loot this treasure later, when you’re not looking.”

I do an awful lot of running and coming back again from the other side. It’s not a brilliant tactic, being fairly obvious, but it works a fair amount of the time.

Butch:

I’ve started running. Just to avoid the indignity of being killed by a broom.

Feminina:

Makes sense to me.

Discretion, valor, etc.

Plus think of all the money you save not paying off bounties!

Butch:

Oh, dude, you have no idea. It’s like 43 coins a kill. Hardly worth it.

I’m not sure who I’m paying it to. Just killing and tossing money in the air every time.

Feminina:

Ha! That’s kind of awesome. Like the Tooth Fairy, only you have to pay her. And she’s the Murder Fairy.

So not actually that much like the Tooth Fairy.

Still: Accidental murder. Toss a handful of money in the air. Continue on way.

Could be worse.

I’ve only paid off a bounty once, though. Usually I just lay low and wait for them to go away, or else fight the bounty hunters when they show up, depending on what I’m in the mood for. I find having a couple of bounty hunters wandering around while I’m trying to kill a captain and loot the treasure in a fort adds an extra spice of danger.

Butch:

Nah, man. Hate those guys. No bounties.

No time for killin’, remember?

Feminina:

Ah, but I need that money to beef up my ship! I refuse to pay the Murder Fairy’s exorbitant rates.

Butch:

Oh the ship’s in trouble. I made the terrible mistake of a) turning on “autocraft” in the arrow section and b) shooting about 209543085495 arrows trying to kill sharks.

I actually ran out of wood. Seriously.

Feminina:

Wow! That’s a lot of arrows. Shooting at sharks is the best, though!

Although often, lately, I just ignore them and try to swim fast to get past them, and a lot of times they don’t even attack, or if they do they bite me once before I loot and return to the boat.

Saving precious time I can then spend killing captains later!

This game seriously hates captains. DO NOT ACCEPT A MILITARY PROMOTION IN ANCIENT GREECE is the message I’m getting.

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