Spoilers for some quests in AC: Odyssey
Got some in. Did two of the three things in the heratae quest line (once, in game, I’d love to find someone important who’ll be all “Yeah, sure, I’ll talk”) and I’m irked. If you’ve done it, we’ll talk. If not, we’ll talk later. We will always talk about that which irks.
So hopefully you did Divine Intervention, A Brother’s Seduction.
I finished up with the haeterae, so you can be irked. And then, being right there in Korinth, I checked up on those Tales of Ancient Greece! (You’re right, they’re blue! But I’m also right, the player-contributed content is blue too. They’re different shades of blue, but apparently my brain just wrote them all off as unworthy of notice.)
I did not finish the Divine Intervention quest, although I got to the point that I needed to go back to Attika to retrieve a key, and then I had to be in Athens anyway because that’s what happens at the end of the haeterae quest, so that’s where I am now.
And before that, I did finish up with the Brother’s Seduction. That was an interesting little story! Neither one of them, apparently, realizing that their father was kind of a loser…both trying to live up to his artificially heroic image…the hints of lingering mental trauma from war…
Oh, and I obviously seduced both brothers. Then at the end I picked neither and told them I liked them both as friends. Which seemed like the only way I could leave THEM still friends, which kind of felt like the best resolution of that story. They’re all they each have left in the world! I would have hated to pick one person and have that be a point of contention between two brothers who were just starting to be close again and support each other after their father’s death. Plus, I mean…I didn’t actually WANT to swear lasting love to either of them, given we’d only known each other about a week, and I have all these other things to do.
I mean, if I could have said I liked them both as lovers, I would have tried that!–but no. I can sleep my way across Greece, that’s cool, but trying to actually maintain some kind of relationship with more than one person? IMPOSSIBLY RADICAL.
Huzzah! We FINALLY have bloggage! And you’re back ahead of me.
The universe is aligning. And school’s back in! Phew. Normality.
Heratae stuff: I don’t like the sex dynamic. It’s bad enough that we’re falling into the whole “bad guy who is terrorizing city is also a sexual deviant” (remember Junior from TW3?), but doing that against the backdrop of the heratae opposing him doesn’t sit well. Sexually empowered women vs. a sexual deviant just seems…..ooky. I don’t say this often, but I hope this ISN’T themes. If they are trying to say something about women’s empowerment, or the interaction between sex and love (I take it you banged Allie in the temple cuz you’re you), or whether love/attraction is divine or not or whatever, then they could have done all that without the dynamic of women opposing someone who is committing sexual violence against women. It’s ham handed, it’s tropey and it’s irksome.
Divine Intervention: We’ll talk. Later.
Brother’s Seduction: I kinda loved that quest line. Romance aside, it finally, FINALLY, got us back into the overall theme of faith (which we will also talk about. Later. When you finish the other thing). What was so great was that it didn’t involve faith in gods, but faith in family: their father and each other. They had to pick some version of what to believe about their own history and own origins. On that, what did you do with the armor? I bought the dad’s armor and lied to the brothers. Then regretted it. In the end, they wind up realizing that their faith was both misplaced (he wasn’t the best guy in the world), but also something that was worthwhile (they ended up closer as brothers because of their experiences with their father). There was also the wrinkle that the one who followed his father’s wishes wound up unhappy and suffering from PTSD, where the one who “disobeyed” the father figure, feared disappointing him, wound up much happier. (By the way, what did you do regarding the poet’s career? I told him to become a cook).
But it also made me think of something we haven’t really spoken on: Faith in Kassandra. We’ve had so very many chances to have Kassandra say either “I’m a god” or “I’m just a mercenary.” The game is going down the “who is the hero? What makes you worth believing in?” with the main character. Both brothers look to Kassandra for guidance and SHE GIVES IT. She is, in some real sense, providing what everyone looks to the gods to do, she gives comfort, advice, absolution.
She’s been doing that all along. EVERY video game PC does that all along.
Which is starting to make me think about each time we’re asked “are you a god?” in this game.
By far the best quest line in the game so far.
Finish Divine Intervention. We’ll talk. Later.
Very true! We do provide this guidance! Maybe Kassandra IS a god!
I bought the cheaper armor, both because I’m cheap and because I wasn’t sure I wanted to explain how I got the father’s original armor. The military brother, Timotheus, just said “this will do” and was perfectly satisfied with it, so I didn’t have to say anything. On that note, I’m not sure they ever really DID completely face up to the truth about their father in my version…that bandit leader came along to say “he worked with me and then stole my money,” but they both expressed disbelief. I’m not sure if they wound up still thinking he was an uncomplicated hero, or not. (I did let the bandit go rather than fighting him, and maybe saying “there’s been enough bloodshed” was a gentle way of me saying I thought the guy was telling the truth.)
Like you, I told Lykinos to become a cook, and I talked Timotheus through his mania or whatever. I like to think I left them both feeling better. They were pretty cool about me saying I just wanted to be friends, which was nice.
Apparently (based on internet spoilers) it was actually kind of complicated…if you only romanced one of them and then said you wanted him at the end, you COULD end up with a lasting relationship! But if you romanced both and then picked one, the other would get mad, and then they’d both be mad at you. So I dodged a bullet there. But also, unwittingly, dodged a lasting romance with either a brooding guy with a tragic past (if only he still wore heavy armor! but I bet he’d dress up for me), OR a handsome chef with the soul of a poet. Sigh.
And it speaks to the “maybe we’re all in our own simulations, gods ourselves” idea you floated (though if I am in a simulation, how come I didn’t pick the one with fancy dress balls and hot sorceresses?).
I bought the armor then lied and said something something saved it from bandits. They were so happy, and when the baddie came by they looked at me and said “You….hid the truth? You should have told us…..” See? Lack of faith. “Why did the ersatz god lie?”
Ah, see, I DIDN’T romance the soldier. Damn. I could have had good food forever.
But then I probably couldn’t keep banging everyone, and, really, who wants that?
Dude! I bet he would have kept a vine-covered cottage for you! You could have had warm cakes!!!!! YOU COULD HAVE HAD LOVE!
Ah well. As you say, that cuts down on the opportunities to sleep with hot sorceresses, should any show up.
As for the Monger, yeah, that was icky. Like Junior. I think juxtaposing it with the haetarae is maybe trying (somewhat clumsily) to say that just because these women sell certain kinds of services, doesn’t mean they’re objects that someone can do whatever they want with. The other mission about the Monger was destroying all his trade goods, right? So it’s setting him up as someone who’s strongly interested in objects that he can own and sell, and it kind of logically follows that he sees people as objects he can own and sell. Maybe people in general, but certainly people who do work that is often described (at least in English-speaking history) as “selling themselves.” To him, these women are just things he can procure and use up as he sees fit.
I think they certainly could have made the point that this attitude towards other human beings is wrong, without needing to make him a sexual torturer: that’s blunt and obvious. We already had some material in here on the idea of slavery, and what it means to be a slave in this particular context. People CAN be objects to own and sell in this society, so the Monger could have just been a slave dealer if that was the point.
Or they could have tried to actually examine how does the status of slave relates to the work of the haetaerae, who ‘sell’ themselves. But I don’t know that they really did that. It kind of wound up just being…icky. And giving us a good reason to kill a guy that we really didn’t need any particular reason to kill, because we kill people all the time for far less cause (someone said you were threatening to turn in the Oracle! An old friend of mine said you stole his sword! Alkibiades talked me into delivering a message to someone and you were in the way!).
If it was meant to be an empowering message about how women don’t like being raped and tortured to death, and will hire a mercenary to help them get revenge…uh…yeah. I mean, yeah, good for them standing up for themselves, but honestly, it would have worked just as well if what they were standing up for was stopping some guy’s attempt to take over their business, which is how it started.
And like us, did the haetaerae really need a “better” reason to oppose the Monger, than that he was taking over their business, robbing their clients, threatening them and taking their profits? Does someone have to get raped and tortured to death before women’s concerns about their work and their economic security are worth taking seriously? Were the writers concerned that we wouldn’t be sympathetic enough to these women’s complaints if no one was murdered?
“Oh, he’s just setting himself up as the Pimp Overlord of the city and taking all their money, no biggie. They probably need a man to manage the business side of things anyway. But this sex-murder habit, that’s a bit over the line, I suppose we’ll have to take action.”
But I do have a great story about the end of this mission when I had to fight the Monger (spoiler! You have to fight the Monger!).
Oh, also I finally tracked down Nyx the spymaster in Athens and got her spear fragment. Only one piece away from upgrading the spear! And the only remaining cultist I know about who’s at my level is…in the Arena. Wherever that is. Siiiiigh.
Gotta find the Arena, or else some more cultist clues.
Exactly. What’s the point of warm cakes without the sorceress?
On the Monger: Right. There are many options here, indeed, options that would make sense themewise with a lot of what we’ve already done.
Hmph, indeed. Especially as, in addition to its narrative failings, there just HAD to be the “stumbling upon the dungeon” bit that we also had in TW3. That sort of thing just seems leery, and that’s even worse. Did we really need a whole quest point of Kassandra investigating all that? No, no we did not.
And if it was undermining the “empowerment” deal by saying “being a pimp isn’t bad enough,” then double mhph. I didn’t even think of that.
I don’t know. Whole thing didn’t sit right.
Man, that whole level deal with the cultists. Grumble.
I am kinda annoyed that the clues/cultists seem to be the only thing that’s off levelwise. This game (if you avoid the magpie) has been pretty good about things being right at your level when it guides you to them with main story quests…..except the cultists. I was underleveled for Korinth before, but, now that I’m there on main story business it’s all good. Excellent. Fine. I find a cultist clue there. I think “Cool! Everything else here is level appropriate. This guy’s going down what the hell he’s level 45.”
Makes no sense. Especially as everything else has made sense in terms of level.
Yeah, I have a guy who’s level 49 that I know about. I won’t be going after him for a bit. Everyone else is still masked. I need to hunt up some more clues, I guess.
Or just keep following the main story and assume that clues will be doled out sooner or later because the game wants me to kill them all.
Although Mr. O’ was just complaining that the last few he had to deal with are naval battles, and he hates naval combat in this game. So we have that to look forward to! As we suspected.
The level 45 guy was a clue I BOUGHT in Korinth. Seems weird. What can you do?
I, too, kinda sorta hate naval combat. The boat in general, too.
Speaking of which…..
Is there a way to turn off the diamonds that say “Hey! Quest!” Because Barnabas and now the woman who was escaping have diamonds on them permanently, and that’s kinda annoying on the high seas.
I have a diamond for her too! “Yeah, yeah, stick with me, I’ll totally drop you off at Mykonos or wherever. Eventually.”
That was kind of an “oops!” there.
“Hey, I hired this boat to take me away from here!”
In fairness…she could have told the people who were worried about her that she was leaving, and saved us some trouble. And all of those sailors their lives.
Yeah, I didn’t see that coming.
You don’t have the Barnabas one? It’s blue. Tales of Greece. It’s…..interesting. You didn’t go to the land of the lotus eaters yet?
But it means every single fucking time I’m anywhere NEAR my boat it’s all “There is an untracked quest nearby!” Yes, game, I know. I FUCKING KNOW.
No, I haven’t heard anything from Barnabas! You must have to pick it up in some specific location, and I was still ignoring blue exclamation marks because I thought they were all player-created content.
I’ll get there! Maybe.
Oh dude, you HAVE to go to the land of the Lotus eaters. It’s….dude. And it leads to more….dude. Just….dude.
After some googling….
The quest is called “Odyssey into the past.” Check the message board on your boat (which I NEVER do) and it’ll pop. Track it. It’s MORE than worth it.
Ah, the boat message board!
Yeah, I never check that. But OK, I will.
I never, ever do either. I have no idea why I did. It’s the only time I did.
Ooo! Actually, I think I do know! Remember way back when after I “sank” that boat at the end of Kleon’s quest and I missed dialog? I checked it to see what I missed!
Check it. There’s drugs. And trips. And companion quests!
That does sound irresistible!
Throw in some romance, and you’ve got a real party. Maybe Alkibiades would come along.
Not with barnabas.
Say no more! I’m on it.