Tags

, , , , ,

Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for AC: Odyssey storylines

Butch:

Played a little. Got a bit through the blue quest with the dude putting on the play.

But you’re….gasp….behind me, so if you did the minotaur, the main quest, and the main quest bit about….sports….then we can blab about that sort of thing.

Did you get my very depressing screenshot full of new exclamation points?

Feminina:

Dude, I did the Minotaur and then went to Kythera to look for the next mythical monster. I’m trying to finish up dad’s thing here!

So no, sadly I have not done any main quest involving sports or anything else, other than looking for mythical monsters.

But when I met the kid talking about the minotaur, I said “that’s just a man in a mask! And not much of a man,” and he said “those idiots in Pephka don’t know what they’re talking about” or something.

So there was no particular extra content based on my having spent all that time in Pephka. I found the Swordfish, found the caretaker, etc. etc. I must say, I kind of loved Knossos Palace as an environment. So much ruin and so many nooks and crannies, such lingering majesty–it was just cool. Although I could NOT find the tree to which that ainigmata ostraka referred.

Anyway, when you get to the minotaur, maybe just turn it down to easy. It’s another one of those “I have fully 8 billion hit points and your challenge is to stay alive in this confined space long enough to chip them away a few at a time bwahahaha!!!!” fights. It was all right on easy. Would have driven me bonkers with frustration otherwise.

Of course, I did forget to change into the Armor of Theseus that that one guy was so insistent I wear, so it’s possible it would have been easier if I’d done that. It just didn’t show up on the inventory screen as better than my regular armor, so unless it has special bonuses versus mythical beasts (possible!), I don’t know how. But you always check that sort of thing, you’ll figure it out.

I did get your screenshot! But you ARE making progress! Towards more map icons!

And I’m making excellent progress towards another monster.

Although actually that’s not true, I’m not sure what this one is and haven’t heard anyone talking about anything suggestive yet. But the Cult is all over this island, so if I poke around long enough, I’ll find it.

Butch:

We’re gonna be playing forever, aren’t we? We are. Now I’m starting to think that me saying “I’ll stop when you’re done” should’ve been “Promise me you’ll stop when I’m done.”

OK, so when I stumbled on the kid, I was all “Pfft. Everyone knows the Minotaur is in Pephka,” and he was all “That’s a scam. And I know scams.” And then, next I look, no more quest in Pephka.

Which is interesting cuz a) it meant that Kassandra genuinely thought that the Minotaur was in Pephka and b) she instantly believed the kid cuz the quest disappeared THEN, not when I, you know, found the Minotaur.

I felt kinda bad for the Swordfish. I also thought that it was, again, a missed opportunity in terms of narrative. The cultist who wants out would’ve been a cool RPG moment. The game could’ve given us the choice: kill him cuz CULT MUST DIE or do something like negotiate a way to get his clue or something. I really didn’t want to kill the guy. I figured there’d be a way to work things out, but no. Game wouldn’t let me do that. Game, you had so many chances.

Still, I kinda liked the way that the kid mirrored Kassandra. Here’s the scrappy street urchin, making his way. But, in this case, we had a) a cultist who wanted out, as opposed to Elpinor, and b) more importantly, a caretaker who abandoned him because he felt like a failure. He was the anti-Markos. Markos was a train wreck of a father figure who kept Kassandra around out of his own sense of self preservation. Here, we have a caretaker who genuinely wants to be good. That said, this kid’s caretaker left, which isn’t really great parenting.

That’s not even getting to the idea that both Kassandra and the kid both have hopes about their parents that are likely not going to end well.

As I didn’t actually finish any of that quest, what happens if you give the kid his dead father’s ring? Go ahead and spoil. Not eager to go back to this shit.

Feminina:

Interestingly, it was a choice to just keep the ring. You break it to the kid that his father is dead and say he needs to move on, and he says “I’m afraid I’ll forget him if I do,” and you can either lie (with the ‘lie’ symbol and everything) and say “there’s nothing I can do,” or you can give him the ring to remember his father by.

Which I did, because dude, hanging onto some random ring I don’t care about when it could comfort a grieving child is low. And I’ve done some things I’m not proud of, but I’m not that low.

Then he was comforted, and then the caretaker showed up and said he was sorry for not being there for him but he’d try harder, and the kid said he was sorry for stealing from the caretaker, and they went off together.

As you say, an interesting comparison to Kassandra and Morkos. This caretaker just couldn’t face talking about tough subjects and so completely withdrew, leaving the kid to be a scamp on his own. Morkos is way more practical, and used Kassandra’s (and Phoibe’s) scampiness for his own ends. That guy was kindhearted but maybe too sensitive for the job–Morkos is completely unsentimental, but helped focus his foundlings.

And I agree, I kind of wanted to be sympathetic to the Swordfish, whose attempts to leave the Cult I could appreciate. On the other hand, that whole “rule the fishing village through terror and violence” thing was a bit of a downer. Cutting up all those bodies to attract sharks to protect his hideout…creative idea! Can’t really get behind it from a moral standpoint.

It would have been interesting if there’d been more there than just another fight, though. Maybe he could have offered to cut you in on his rule of the village if you helped defend him against the other cultists or something. Ah well. This game isn’t super into complexity.

Butch:

Huh. That’s interesting, that it was a greed choice. I was soft selling the kid on the whole “He’s dead” thing. Each time I was like “Uh….yeah….I’ll…..find your father….yup….” so I figured that you could a) tell the kid he’s dead and give him the ring (as you did) or b) keep the ring but in the context of “I didn’t find him. I’m sure he got out, and is missing you….[insert Kassandra’s personal story here],” in order to keep the kid happy. It’s interesting that you couldn’t keep up the lying (or at least misleading) about the father maybe not being dead after that point.

Morkos helped? He did? I found Morkos completely unsympathetic in this game, period. He’s an asshole. I think I was supposed to like him, and, had his last quest there given him some depth or remorse or sorrow for Phoibe or something maybe I’d’ve liked him a little, but, as it is, I totally dislike him. I don’t think he helped his foundlings one damn bit.

I sort of saw Morkos and the caretaker asking the question who was better, the con man who tried to convince everyone he was a good parent when he really wasn’t and wasn’t trying to be, or the caretaker who left, hoping his kid would find someone better? Of course, the BEST thing to do is to try your best to be a better parent every day, but that’s too easy an option for a couple of quests designed to make you ponder.

Because, given Morkos and the caretaker, I found myself not liking Morkos at all and kinda liking the caretaker, or, at least, pitying him. As a father myself, I’m not sure why I liked or pitied him. If, in real life, I saw someone all “well, I suck at parenting, so bu bye, I’m out,” I would think “That asshole is a terrible human for abandoning his kids.” That said, I didn’t have that reaction to the caretaker, and I’m not sure why I didn’t.

What they should’ve and could’ve done with the Swordfish was make him less of a crazy murderer type. Make him more of a strongman who isn’t all that evil, but doesn’t know how to be anything BUT a strongman, a bad guy who really does want to change. I kinda hope we do see that (soon) at some point in this game. I have a feeling that, if this game ever does end (it won’t), there’ll be that sort of “can he be redeemed, does he want to be redeemed” deal with Alexios. If the game is smart (and it won’t be), we’d see a preview of that sort of struggle with a cultist ahead of time.

But we won’t. The game isn’t into complexity and it will never end.

Have I mentioned I don’t want to play this game forever?

Feminina:

Oh, no, there was actually the choice to say “I couldn’t find him” (implication: “he could still be alive!”) or “He’s dead,” before I had the choice to keep or give the ring. So I could have continued to let him hold onto his hope, even though it was pretty far-fetched even at the beginning (though I too, figuring I didn’t know for sure, went pretty lightly on it at first, saying “yeah, I’ll find him,” instead of “give it up, kid,” or whatever). It’s just that once you’d found the body, it was an outright lie, instead of an unlikely hope. I don’t like to lie. Not sure why.

“I’ll murder dudes all day long, but don’t ask me to lie to them!”

Speaking of the few things that are too low even for me, did you get the quest from the guy who wanted you to assassinate a herald in order to provoke a war so he’d be able to take charge of the town? I didn’t do that.

Again, I’ll do a lot of things! I’ll murder a lot of people! But that was a step too far. At least for an optional quest. I suppose if the guy had said “also, I’m the only one who can get you to the Minotaur,” I would have stomped on my principles and done it.

But if you’re going to come right out and say “kill this man of peace [his words] so I can get the town into a devastating [his word] war that will result in me being in charge…” yeah, you’re not selling that very well. Again, at least you aren’t if you don’t have something I really, really want. Like some forward momentum in the story.

Butch:

Ah, I see. So you could keep up the charade. Makes sense.

Though, on the “don’t like the lie” front, how did you end up ending that quest with the girl building “friends” out of mud? Cuz my first instinct was to lie. I DID lie, then reloaded when Kassandra’s banter was so ominous afterward.

Cuz if you’re gonna lie about mud men….

C’mon, dude, we lie all the time.

No, I didn’t get the one with the herald! But I would’ve turned it down, too. Much like I didn’t take the quest from that dude who wanted the Heratae all to himself or something. I’m a principled murderer.

I don’t believe you want forward momentum in the story. You are not acting like someone who wants forward momentum in the story. You are acting as if you view forward momentum in the story as something as likable as having a raccoon latrine on your deck.

Which isn’t very likable at all.

I was out cleaning that up.

Oh, did I forget to say? It wasn’t just deck poop. It was a raccoon latrine. That’s really what it’s called. And….yeah.

That’s how you’re treating forward momentum.

Feminina:

Dude, I’m looking for the final mythical monster! So I can go back to dad and finish up his story! So I can move forward! With momentum!

Heading back to mom now probably only means I’ll have to come back to dad later, unless you’ve gotten far enough to be quite confident that dad’s story is irrelevant. In that case, I suppose I am indeed guilty of not having enough interest in momentum, but I already did three of these damn things, so I’m GOING to do the fourth.

I can’t stop! I won’t stop! I want to find the last mythical beast!

I hope it’s Cerberus. Or Kerberos, as they probably would spell it here. I’ll soon find out! Or not if it’s not that. Maybe it’s just a real Siren or a Cyclops.

Also, I did not lie about the mud men. I told the girl she needed real friends. She wasn’t happy, but I stuck to it. “Not gonna lie to you, kid, these ‘friends’ are just mud.”

Sometimes the truth hurts.

Butch:

Hey, if it’s a real siren, there might be ACTUAL nudity! I mean, weirdassed monster nudity, but nudity!

On it.

I’m not entirely sure what’s up with mom. Cuz once you get to the meat of Sparta, there’s her thing, but first you have to do….two other things…thus making three things before the end of the chapter.

Because of COURSE this fucking game man.

Feminina:

Yeah, I arrived on this island, checked out a yellow exclamation point that turned out to be a priestess of Aphrodite who’s being hassled by the Cult (promising, right?), asked her what she knew about the Cult and she needs…three things…before she can tell me.

So it goes.

Butch:

Oooooooffffff course.

Is there any chance we’re done with this in a month when we’ve got stuff actually out we want to play? ANY chance?

Even if we’re done in a month, that’s six damn months we’ve been playing this. We gotta start at least considering the future here.

Feminina:

There’s…some chance? I would say some chance?

Because Mr. O’ finished every trophy in the game at 138 hours, and I’m already at 113. Logically, one would think there shouldn’t be THAT much more content available, since I’m not going to be pursuing obscure trophy activities. And if there’s about 25 hours left (assuming I don’t pursue every trophy, but maybe pursue some question marks he didn’t, or took longer with some combats because he maximizes gear and skills better than I do), that would be a bit less than a month at an hour a day.

So yeah. Some chance.

Some chance! We must cling to it.

Butch:

Well, I’m rooting for you. I am. Because I’m telling you now, that if I wasn’t blogging with you about this, I’d be out.

And it’s not even out of sheer rage, like you almost quit RDR2. I’m not mad at this game. I don’t even really hate this game. It’s not a bad game. There’s just too damn much of it, and not enough variety in what there is of it. Like, I love pizza, but I do not want pizza every damn night.

And we’ve been eating pizza for five months here.

And, I dunno, maybe we (like usual) are the weirdos. We know, joking aside, that this game has an end. Eventually, we will not be playing it. But shit, look at the success of games like League of Legends, or World of Warcraft, or the Sims, or the mother of them all: Minecraft. People play these games incessantly, and they have no end. We’re all nope at 138 hours, but shit, my relatively sane kids have spent 9237539875298457 hours building (admittedly very creative) shit in minecraft over the course of several years, and they STILL don’t seem to be getting tired of it.

It’s just stunning. This amazing art form with so much to offer, and people LIKE doing the same thing over and over and over.

But we are not these people.

Feminina:

Hm. It’s true. People do just play things forever, with no intention of actually finishing. But with something like Minecraft or the Sims or whatever, there’s no real victory condition. You don’t actually have a story that you need or expect to finish. You just build stuff until you don’t feel like building stuff anymore.

And it’s true, maybe there is some attempt, with these huge, huge open world games, to try to capture some of that audience. “If people want to just mess around in a game forever without any expectation of finishing, we can do that!”

But, I agree, that’s not what you and I are looking for. We like a story. And yet we’re compulsive enough (in my case) or the game is unforgiving enough (in yours) that we have to do way more of the aimless-messing-around stuff than we really genuinely want to or enjoy.

Because we can certainly argue that my case is my own damn fault because I refuse to get counseling to address my inability to ignore question marks, but it is a bit harsh that the game has basically told YOU, “sorry, go do some more aimless messing around even though you don’t care about it, or you won’t have enough levels to proceed.”

I mean, maybe if you’d had it on ‘easy’? Or, as I think TW3 specifically called it, “just the story.” Should we start playing big games on ‘easy’ by default because we’re interested in the story but we know we don’t want to spend six months on the side stuff? It would be an approach.

Butch:

Confession:

I’ve had it on easy for a few weeks.

This IS just the story.

Still endless. Still no nudity.

Feminina:

Ah.

That’s unfortunate. Not that you turned it down, but that it didn’t make any significant difference to the feeling of slog.