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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for the Lost Tales about the bad day and the daughters of someplace

Butch:

That was interesting! I love it when you have quests that kinda mirror each other.

So you finished both, right? I’ll wait to see if you did.

I’m really still pondering my reactions to them, or why my reactions were so different.

But my reactions were a) genuine surprise that the horse lady actually jumped off a cliff (I thought we’d be able to save her), b) chuckling despite how awful it was that that smith died (was that the same smith from Supideo?) c) telling the truth about all of it to the general, d) not killing the general, e) not banging the “eagle bearer,” f) asking the eagle bearer to join my crew.

There’s a LOT to unpack from these two quests. If you’ve finished, unpack we shall.

(I will say once, and only once today, as we have beat this horse well past its demise, that this game is SO GOOD when you’re doing the blue stuff and not when you’re not.) (OK, that’s off my chest.)

Feminina:

Yeah, those were very interesting quests to do right next to each other. I did finish them both, and they’re really mirror-images, in a way: the ‘straight’ heroic helper version where you come in, try to help people, and do, and the twist version where you try to help but everything goes horribly wrong.

In funny yet horrible ways! I mean…damn, it was not my fault all those people believed that other Eagle Bearer’s nonsense! Riding a horse off a cliff, or demanding to be set on fire, that’s just plain stupid! That’s not on me!

The blacksmith, that was just a tragic accident…and yes, sadly amusing as one thing after another lands on him. Kassandra’s face! Ouch. We don’t that often see video game characters making facial expressions other than stoic determination or battle rage (or seductive glances, if we’re lucky!), so I kind of appreciated–while feeling bad for her–the way she looked so disturbed and disheartened at some points during this quest. I think that’s also kind of why we love goofy interludes like drunken parties or singing contests or whatever. It’s just fun to see the character in another setting.

Anyway…yeah. Most of that wasn’t my fault! And yet it interestingly WAS almost my fault, because that guy basically did do exactly what I do: show up and promise to fix everything. And people believed him, in part, because of people like me who do this kind of thing and succeed. Which is another interesting idea: in a world that does contain semi-divine, basically superpowered people, you have to assume there would also be plenty of people pretending to be those people for purposes of scams, drawing on the common understanding that such people exist.

And in ancient Greece, where there was a common understanding that the gods sometimes walk among us, or have children who walk among us…

It was really quite a fascinating little adventure.

Butch:

It was! And it’s interesting you bring up gods cuz that was something that occurred to me as well. We’ll do this first. Then we can talk on the ends of the quests….

So the women’s village: That went far better, right? And with them, they wanted to learn from the eagle bearer. Their approach was “Teach us. Teach us to hunt, teach us to fight.” Also, to some extent, it was “YOU believe in US.” Kassandra actually says “I believe in you” to the daughter of the blacksmith. Confidence and critical thinking win the day.

In the “cursed” village, they believe in the “eagle bearer’ blindly. “He said this fruit will make the horse fly! Good enough for me!” Their “hero” wasn’t someone who wanted to spar to fight better. Their “hero” was a doofus who believed, blindly and erroneously, that his helmet made him immortal. Faith dooms them (or comes damn close to dooming them), makes them blind to the real hazards and, in the eyes of the player, makes them absurd.

As does their lack of faith in themselves. They keep saying “We’re doomed. We suck.” They don’t listen to Kassandra telling them they can.

It seems the game is saying “Believing in gods is dumb. Believe in facts, believe in yourselves.” Which goes to the “themes” of the main game, such as they are. Right?

Feminina:

Yes, there was some of that for sure. The women really did seem to want help in learning how to handle things themselves, but assumed that they would be doing a lot of work, whereas the other village kind of just wanted a magic fix. “Bring us our immortal hero! Give magic Pegasos berries to the horse!”

The women didn’t really talk about any kind of supernatural aid (other than, as we all do, hoping for the favor of the gods): they were concerned about needing to know how to hunt, needing the confidence to work as a smith, etc. The Ore of Aphrodite was a bit magical, but then, it might also have just been really pure and therefore easier to work with: there was no claim that it would form itself into weapons with no effort or anything.

So yes, an interesting focus on “let’s get this done ourselves” in one case, and “let’s find some magic to do this for us!” on the other.

Which, as you say, relates interestingly to the larger question in the game of whether gods are real, whether they help people, whether we need to just do things ourselves, etc.

Butch:

Yeah, it was all pretty striking. In the end, after saving a bunch of the villagers, I wasn’t exactly proud. I was happy I saved the daughters of whatever. This village? I kinda found myself saying “Man, fuck these guys.” They were just so stupid.

But, as Mrs. McP is home and I’m busy, we must get to the ending.

So before, when I was asking about how things might be different in the daughters had we been playing as a man, what I wanted to discuss was the whole “Hey, you did it! You get to bang the hottie as a reward!” You couldn’t complete the quest until you talked to her and had the option to seduce her. Sex as a reward is an icky, awful trope. I didn’t feel it was icky, though, as Kassandra isn’t a man. Perhaps I’m wrong in that regard.

I was pretty stunned when you had the option to bang the other guy. I didn’t, for some reason, and I’m troubled by that. Was it just cuz he was ooky? I hope so, because the alternative is that I didn’t feel I “earned a reward” for this quest, which implies I DID “earn a reward” for the last one. If I subconsciously felt that, then I have some pondering to do. I’m telling myself it was just because he was ooky…..but I’m troubled. I don’t want to think that I felt all high and mighty on the last quest only to fall for the ooky trope on this one.

How’d you read into all that?

Feminina:

I thought about that briefly, but also we very often have the option to seduce people as a ‘reward’ for finishing a quest, so I didn’t feel this opportunity was egregious.

Think of what’s her name, Odessa?–the first romance we got, who we could sleep with after solving her problem with the guys trying to steal her farm, or the handsome doctor we could sleep with after solving the problem with his former-Oracle aunt or whatever, or, as you say, the fake Eagle Bearer, or probably others I’m forgetting.

So I was pretty fine with it. I mean, yeah, it’s a trope, but given its frequent appearance in this game (and the fact that I want romance!), it didn’t strike me as a specifically sexist trope here.

I DID sleep with the fake Eagle Bearer, although I agree, he was ooky. He seemed so oily and sneaky…but my policy has been to romance anything with a ‘heart’ dialogue option, and I wasn’t going to let a little matter of personal taste get in the way of that proud tradition!

And as he argued, he didn’t personally kill anyone, just took advantage of their gullibility. Plus, I did find his chicken ‘Chikaros’ amusing. I appreciate someone who makes me laugh, even if it’s in a rather cheesy way.

Then I recruited him for my ship. And of course also the woman, Tyria or whoever. Sleep with ’em and bring ’em on board, then never speak to them again, that’s my way.

I’ve got a lot of one-eyed people on board these days! (Did you get that story on Mykonos, where Barnabas was in love with a one-eyed woman you could recruit? It was not an option to sleep with her, though. She was only into Barnabas.)

Butch:

I recruited them as well. They’re actually pretty good companions, bonus wise.

Even if it’s not sexist, I think the sheer ookiness of the guy was meant to make you think “Wait….” The game was all “Hey, you’re used to sex as a reward, here. Sex. Enjoy,” with someone who was totally not enjoyable. It was an interesting twist.

And no! I didn’t get that for Barnabas! But maybe that’s because I haven’t finished up with the whole Leda thing….

So were are you off to next? Back to the main story?

Feminina:

I’m tempted to go straight into another tale of ancient Greece, because that’s where the drama has been, but I suppose at some point we should return to the main story.

Maybe I’ll do one step in the main story and then go on to another lost tale. At this point, I’m thinking it’s definitely worth finishing those.

Hitting all the forts and killing all the captains…a less important goal.

Butch:

Sorry. Got busy.

We’re gonna have to finish this game eventually you know.

Though I am enjoying the blue stuff….