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Spoilers for Fort Joy stuff in Divinity: Original Sin 2

Butch:

Did a bunch last night, and I have questions.

So decided that Fane was more interesting, and Ibn/Sebille was going to go badly, so switched back to Fane (I keep typing Thane. It’s really, really like these guys were bioware fans). Went back to the elf cave to fill everyone in, and the same thing happened with Lohse. Decided to ride it out, figured the game wouldn’t kill me. So the fight happened and they subdued me. What was interesting was that I still controlled Lohse, and I could opt to pass or whatever. Everyone was an enemy, but it wasn’t one of those deals where the computer takes over and makes Lohse attack. So I passed, and they subdued me, and I apologized and all that. The elf understood.

So I talked to my party, and Beast and Fane were all “The FUCK man,” (paraphrasing) but…Sebille was all “Interesting…I understand…”

Hmm.

So then spent WAAAAY too long looking for the button to get into the hatch to get out. Found it, went down, was confronted with a door I couldn’t open. Was pissed.

So went back out, went to the beach, used that sand pile the elf told me about.

Did a whole bit with fire slugs. Did you do the bit with fire slugs?

Then got into the prison bit, which, it seems, is where I would’ve gotten had I been able to open the door. All roads lead to the prison bit. Or at least two do.

Talked to dudes. Notably, I talked to a dwarf who was in an unlocked cell. He told me all about the “thing” in my head, and said his master could help, and that they were both experts on “head demons.” What did he say to you?

And then talked to the guy who had been tortured. Now, if you missed it….remember the magistar lizard that got executed for helping people escape? Well, if you ate (eww) a piece of her, the memory was of this guy. Had that chat….

I am VERY curious: What was the very, very last thing he said to you?

Then I found the houndmaster. Oh dear, the houndmaster.

The houndmaster killed me. A couple times. I….killed his dog? Once?

Gave up on the houndmaster.

And here’s where I have questions.

There is this big door. It goes to the main floor. I opened it (or Fane did), and everyone was all “are you sure? There’s probably a lot of magistrars….”

Now, usually when a game does that it means “you’re not tough enough to be here yet.” But the game sure seems to be herding me that way. I can’t think of anything else to do.

On the other hand, I do not doubt my wimpiness. I have shitty gear, I’m level three, I suck. But I have no idea what else to do!

What do I do??????

Feminina:

Wow…I’ve been eating pieces of people on occasion, but I do not remember talking to a guy that the dead Magister remembered. Missed that bit, I guess.

We also talked to the dwarf, but there was nothing of significance in the conversation, perhaps because Lohse wasn’t with us. We may get her soon!–Mr. O’ is kind of tired of how often Fane dies, especially because we have no way to heal him in combat since potions are damaging. So we’ll see.

We talked to the fire slugs! I told them Braccus Rex was dead and agreed to spread the word that the princess was accepting offers of marriage, and we didn’t have to fight them. Thanks, fire slugs!

And the dungeon…we eventually got through the fight with the houndmaster, and some more fighting. There’s a sort of master-torturer down there that you have to defeat. Eventually you can win past everyone in the dungeon and there’s a way out through the sewers into the Hollow Marshes, or a random kid with a boat who will take you to pretty much the same place. We went with the kid on the boat.

But there’s a lot of fighting in that there dungeon first. Conveniently, the ‘silent monks’ basically ignore you, but there are other people who aren’t so polite.

Butch:

Well, shit. So should I be there? Am I ready to be there? I can’t think of any other way to toughen up, though. Did I miss a bunch of quests? What level were you?

OK, so, if you eat the dead magistrar, the memory is just “Verdas! Verdas! Verdas! Noooo!”

So, after the fire slugs, I suppose you met a scared lizard who was escaping and all anxious. She mentioned the guy being tortured in the next cell. I go into the next cell, and there’s that poor guy who’s a mess and dying what do you know, it’s Verdas! He’s all a mess, like he’s “feeling every emotion at once.” He talks about being “Hollowed out from the inside,” almost like he’s….you know what I think about this game. Like he’s someone who, in real life, is a patient here, being “cured” by these experts.

So, at the end, he did something that made me ponder what I’ve been pondering all along: He’s all “I’ve seen you before….” then, in a new dialog screen, which makes me think this could be different based on who was talking to him, he “reared back his head and roared like a bear, and said no more.”

A bear.

And now…….my theory.

I think we’re still in the metaphorical delusion of the first game. I think we’re seeing the same story, or a continuation thereof, from a different perspective, but I still think we’re dealing with, not just people struggling with their own sanity….not just people, THE SAME PEOPLE.

Hear me out.

Our six characters:
A pain in the ass, full of himself Prince (kinda like Jahan, no?)
A fighter who was betrayed by his superiors and is now working against them (Sounds kinda like Madora, doesn’t it?)
A wild haired woman who is struggling between finding her freedom or obeying something she doesn’t want to obey, who just got roared at like a bear by someone who saw her before and who likes to sing (Bairdotr),
Someone who can pick locks who is missing a crucial piece of his identity (Wolgraff)
Someone who can know the fates, know the thoughts of others, almost as if she has been here before (Scarlett) and
Someone who is strong, a protector, and actually says “I can be anything you want me to be” BEFORE the whole “what class thing,” almost like he’s a dream (Roderick.)

Could be trope, sure. But these guys are good writers. Very good writers.

You put this with the human cat, the quasi hospital, the fact this game started with a shipwreck…..

I’m keeping an eye on this.

Feminina:

Interesting theory. Very interesting. It’s odd that Scarlett and Roderick were the key players in the last one, the two without whom the story does not move forward, but they’re just interchangable members of the ensemble here–but I suppose the last one could have been their specific delusion while this is…an ensemble delusion…?

Or was your theory really that the whole thing (i.e., the world of Rivellon) was SCARLETT’s delusion last time, and she and Roderick were the same person? I know I speculated for a while that they were actually aspects of the same person, although that interpretation wasn’t really supported by the story at the end.

And oh yeah, I do remember talking to Verdas before he died, and how he said he was being hollowed out. Hm. I kind of took it as, this ‘cure’ takes away the Source, so the victims are being ‘hollowed out’ in that their connection with this power in being forcibly pulled out of them somehow. But the power could certainly be a metaphor for their madness. Another interesting bit here is that in this game all the characters are Source users, with specific powers that are currently ‘muted’ by the collars…that wasn’t the case for all the characters in the first game, right? But under your theory, maybe they’re all just delving deeper into their dreamworld and setting up this key connection in their minds, or whatever. Or ‘Scarlett’ (or whoever is the primary dreamer) is doing it…I guess…

Back to the…uh…real-game-world…in the dungeon,I would say you need to be there, since that’s how we got out, but that might not be the only way out.

There was also the guy who said he could take ONE person out but not a group, and maybe that would be another way? We discounted him utterly because we’re playing together, but as a single player, maybe you could teleport out with him and then plan to come back for your companions later? (Returning to Fort Joy once you’ve been out IS an option, the waypoints for the beach, etc., continue to be available for fast travel.) I have no advice on that because we didn’t deal with him, but you might consider it.

Also, there’s the Beast’s plan to take a boat…we haven’t traveled with the Beast yet, so we didn’t pursue his plan at all either, but again, it might be a way out if you want to add him to your party. Considering how complicated this game is, it’s entirely possible that the way we got out is not the only way to get out. I mean, just the way the journal entry sets it up “take the well-known way, take the hard way, make your own way” or whatever, that suggests that there are multiple options. I initially assumed that all the options would eventually lead to one path–say, the dungeon–but that might not be true at all.

I think we did it through the dungeon when we were the same level as the people we were fighting, so…3 or 4? But you’re right, we also found that after a while there wasn’t much else we could do to toughen up: we’d fought everything we could find to fight around the fort and on the beaches (void turtles, etc.). We did fight Griff and all his people, as well as Migo, so we got some XP for that. Presumably that would not enough to make the difference between “you can handle this dungeon now!” and “you’d better not come in here…” IF the dungeons are the only way out, but if there are other ways, it might be key.

As long as you’re there, are there any doors with locks that Fane’s bony fingers can pick? Have you gotten to the part of the dungeon where you deal with Withermore’s soul jars? I feel like maybe that was on a different floor from the houndmaster. Is there a way to go down? I think maybe it was down.

Honestly, though, I got very confused every time we went to the dungeon, there are so many doors and levels, so I can’t swear to the accuracy of my memory of the place even though we were there only a couple of days ago.

Again, maybe talk to that dude who wanted to take one person, and/or the Beast? Sorry. This answer is less than helpful.

Butch:

I’ve not met that guy, and Beast is no help. Sigh.

Well, it may just be that this world is all just a metaphor for insanity, or, put another way, what sanity really means. After all, I still do think our heroes are in an asylum…yet they’re our heroes and those that would “help” aren’t. It’s sort of an extension of our “what is human” talk in the last game. Because, if you want to go forth with titles, which we did in the last game, why “original sin?” Original Sin is knowledge, right? Opening your eyes to see what’s “real.” There’s nothing inherently Biblical in these games, and yet there’s that term in the title. That term is there for some reason, and imploring the player to think on “who’s eaten the apple” and “is that a good thing” is as good a reason as any.

I’m going with Rivellon being a metaphor for in/sanity. One of the last images of the first one was Zixzax telling a crowd of elves that “there are many more stories,” in a room of files, like a record room. Rivellon could just be one real world hospital, and all these people patients, and the game superimposing a metaphor on them all.

There’s just too much in these games like that. This isn’t grasping at shit because there’s no other shit to grasp onto.

Well, this is the first time we’ve been in something that screams “hospital.” Here we are, our “powers” muted, waiting to be “cured,” wearing identical gowns, eating bad food, allowed some freedom but not allowed to leave. That’s….I mean, c’mon.

And, well, Scarlett and Roderick were Source users tasked to hunt down bad source users, I think. They would’ve been chucked into Fort Joy, for sure.

Interesting you said “dreamer.” When I met the expert dwarf, he did some thing where he put hands on Lohse, and was shocked, and said “It’s too power to know for sure, but it could be a ghost, a demon, or a WAYWARD LUCID DREAMER.” Emphasis mine. Whatever that is.

Beast did mention that plan when I met him, but I’ve been travelling with him ever since and he hasn’t said boo about building a boat since that first meeting. Maybe it’s a FONV deal where I have to be at the right place with him at the right time, but, at least for now, he seems to have moved on from that.

There must be multiple options. I still don’t know how the whole “press the button in the statue” thing is supposed to go, because all that got me was a locked door. Where’s the key? Or do I just have to be good at picking?

True, I didn’t fight Griff or Migo. I got XP for handling it, though. And I haven’t fought those turtles. But still, that can’t be, like, three levels worth of XP. And my gear still really sucks! I have dudes with no real armor! That isn’t helping.

I have not found the soul jars. I did pick everything I could find, and successfully, too (save for that one door right when I came down the hatch, but that’s cool, cuz going through slug land gets you to the other side of it). Maybe there’s some shit past the houndmaster? I dunno. I have not been past the houndmaster.

Dungeons be confusing like that.

The good news is that, on the main floor, where I am now, there seems to be a red flag on the map, some lever or other. Red flags are good. Red flags mean progress.

Or certain doom. Or both!

Progress and certain doom are not mutually exclusive.

T SHIRT!!!!!

Feminina:

That guy (whose name escapes me) is wandering around Fort Joy with a red flag on him. Which suggests that he is potentially a useful plot point for something–possibly escape!

Maybe check the map for people with flags on them in Fort Joy and go talk to him. As I said, he was very insistent that he could help ONE person escape, which was no good to us, but might be worth exploring for you.

Although you’ll have to go back and fight the void turtles, because one of them ate the teleportation gauntlets the guy needs to make his brilliant plan work. Maybe you’re tough enough for the turtles now. This could be the break you’ve been looking for!

Butch:

Man, I’ve talked to all the red flags that I can find….is he in the fort itself?

The other frustrating one is I talked to a woman who claims she can remove the collars, but won’t, and now she’s a red flag, and she said “I won’t because I don’t respect you” or some shit, and gave no clue as to how to earn said respect. The quest is all “Get her to remove the collar” and…..HOW?

Have you done that?

Feminina:

Oh, Nebora…yeah, we talked to her, and she doesn’t respect us enough to take them off either. I assume we have to go out and do brilliant deeds in the world to impress her, but I’m not sure–we haven’t made any progress in that regard. Did you go into the Arena? Another group of people we apparently have to do something impressive to make headway with, although I’m not at all clear on what they can even potentially do for us.

This guy with the teleportation plan was totally walking around inside the fort proper. Just ambling around on his own, and when we talked to him he said he’s looking for one person to help him with this plan. He’s got to be there!

Hm…the internet says his name is Gawin. And apparently it’s not turtles that have the thing he needs, it’s crocodiles. I get monsters confused. Anyway. Some XP there so even if you don’t want to split up the party (which seems like a bad idea if we’ve ever seen a movie), you might be able to level up enough to face the houndsmaster and get out through the dungeon the way we did.

The internet also suggests that if you sneak successfully you can avoid the Magisters and get out through the keep into the swamp, and/or pick up (I assume this means steal) useful gear inside…which perhaps would equip you better for fights in the dungeon. We did not do this: none of us are really sneaking at all. But if you’re sneaky, you could give it a shot.

Butch:

WHAT swamp? There’s a swamp? Where?

Jeez.

Well, I played some, and killed the houndmaster. Yay? I used up pretty much everything I had (yay?) and got nothing in return save a prison key (which, may be handy? Yay?) and a pendant that I can’t wear cuz collar. Yay.

I’m not sure that was worth it……

But hey! XP! And I feel good about myself!

Why did I do that? Was that important at all?

And dude, you can totally steal from your companions in combat. Why did you sweat the fact that only one person had resurrection scrolls? I had my dudes drinking potions out of other’s magic pockets the whole fight.

Feminina:

Even when the other person is dead? Because that would be handy.

Transferring things among ourselves while we’re all alive is not the problem–losing access to someone’s stuff when they die is where we’ve been concerned. Although maybe we just didn’t look at them from the right angle to get the ‘loot’ button the first time, and then assumed it was impossible and never tried again! That would be silly of us, but is entirely possible.

Yay you! You killed the houndsmaster! And yes, killing him and getting the prison key is what we did. I think we also used up pretty much everything we had in the fight. Because all that stuff is no good to us dead! Now go unlock some doors with the prison key, get in some more fights…you’ll be out in no time!

Maybe go back out of the dungeon and buy some more potions from Nebora before proceeding. I believe that’s also what we did. Because there are more fights ahead!

Have you discovered sleep-healing yet? That kind of changed our lives. If there’s a bed, you can lie down in it and sleep and recover! Not in combat, obviously, but afterwards. If you haven’t discovered that, now you know! Enjoy!

By ‘swamp’ I just meant the Hollow Marshes, which is where you end up when you flee via the dungeon. It’s outside the fort. Don’t even worry about it.

Butch:

Dunno, man. I didn’t die.

Hooray. So that key is useful?

Dude, if I go back to Nebora, I’d have to go all the way through slug land to get back. The damn teleport shrine is on the other side of that locked door, and, for some reason, the prison key doesn’t open that. If I zoop out, I’ll zoop back to the locked door. This is possible, but an incredible pain in the ass.

I did discover that about bedrolls! We all have a nice lie down after every fight. Nothing shakes off hideous burns and poison like a good power nap next to a bone pile.

So the thing you use to escape the fort is….outside the fort?

That seems a tad redundant.

Feminina:

Noooo…the swamp/Hollow Marshes IS what’s outside the fort. It’s not useful FOR getting out, it’s just where you end up when you DO get out. It’s literally just a location. You’ll end up there at some point. Don’t even worry about it.

And it’s true, going back to buy more potions does mean slogging all the way back to/through the dungeon again. We did that a couple of times. It’s a lot of trekking and hassle, but we really wanted the potions/scrolls because we were afraid of death. Your mileage may vary.

Butch:

So you never figured out the whole point of the Most Useless Waypoint Ever. I was so happy when I found that, cuz I was all “Phew! A way out to restock then zoop back” but no. What’s the point of a waypoint in an impossibly locked room? And kinda unfair that you could find it if you did it one way, but if you did it through slug land no waypoint for you.

This game seems less generous with waypoints than the last game. This is not an improvement.

Feminina:

As far as we’ve seen to date, that waypoint isn’t right next to a way out, but we’ve used it just to zoop to the dungeon and then walk to the part that does have a way out. Which comes after some more fighting and a stunning (not that stunning) revelation about what the Magisters are doing down there.

So yeah, it’s not AMAZINGLY useful, but it’s not nothing. And yes, there do seem to be fewer waypoints, although maybe we’re looking back through waypoint-colored glasses, because when I think about it I also distinctly remember frequently having to walk about 50 miles from wherever the closest point was, to get to where we actually wanted to be. Like that whole lower right section of that one map, it was all kind of a maze with one inconveniently located fast-travel point in a random place.

Butch:

True, there was that. But Cyseal proper had one every three feet.

Although, now that I think on it, it wouldn’t do me much good cuz I’m kinda poor as well.

I should’ve killed everyone.

Feminina:

We’re still very poor. We keep spending all our money on resurrection scrolls. It’s obviously worth it in the sense that we’re still alive, or more accurately alive again, but it does mean we have very little spare cash.

Butch:

Yeah, those are very, very key.

But somewhere along the way I learned restoration as a skill.

I gotta get teleport and resurrect as well. But restoration is pretty great, especially when every damn thing is on fire.

Feminina:

I have first aid. It’s pretty handy, although it doesn’t help Fane at all.

I also got Bloodsucker as a spell, which lets you absorb the blood you’re standing in and heal a bit. Cleaning up AND feeling better! It’s a win-win.

I want to get Leech eventually, which does the same thing but for free as an attribute, not an action. Seems appropriate for a character who eats flesh.

Butch:

Leech was so great. Scarlet had it. And this game has blood everywhere. It’s like every enemy just explodes into a healing potion.

Feminina:

I like that. Enemies exploding into healing potions! Heh.

I also want to get Morning Person, so I come back at full health after resurrection. That’s great in the middle of a battle. But it takes a long time to be able to load up on those attributes.

Butch:

Yeah they’re stingy with them. And I still get confused with abilities vs skills.

Game is a tad complicated.

Feminina:

A trifle. Almost like…some old physical-world game we used to play, with a lot of rules…turn-based combat…lots of stats…weird effects to keep track of…what was it again?

It’s no use, the memory is lost in the mists of time.

Butch:

I remember that! It involved pizza and annoying rules lawyers.

And pizza.

Feminina:

At least this game tracks its own weird rules.

Butch:

But lacks pizza.

Now I want pizza.