Spoilers for stuff on Monarch in The Outer Worlds
Well, it’s 1120 and I finally have time to write but hey, better late than never cuz I PLAYED!
Found the poor dude who got eaten by cannibals, took forever to re-equip weapons, got the key to the medicine closet, got the dude his poster, started the quest about the striking workers which is going to be more complex than my left wing brain thinks it’ll be, won’t it?
But let’s talk on the cannibals.
I have resisted mentioning Fallout for a long time, but this time I have to cuz cannibals.
There was a FANTASTIC part of Fallout 3 in which you bump into a normal looking family who turn out to be cannibals. Like many things in that game, which was a rumination of the horrors of the “American Dream,” the cannibals were complicated. They were a metaphor for the dog eat dog competitive culture of the suburbs. The rather chilling line “They always say things like ‘Stop! I have a family in Rivet City!’ Well, I have a family, too!”
It was a great bit. A thought provoking bit.
This…wasn’t. And I think it was a missed opportunity by the game, or me, or both.
Now, this game had a problem re cannibalism that Fallout 3 didn’t have. Fallout 3 was DARK, man. It was the most “end of the world” game of the series, and people turning to cannibalism to get by made a lot more sense in that one than it did in New Vegas or 4. Outer Worlds, not being a end of the world game, really has no reason to go down the whole cannibalism road except that they obviously played Fallout 3 and were copying that scene.
That said, it had the rather interesting potential twist of drugs. The daughter was totally hooked. The son’s mind was rotting (did you read his poetry? How his spelling got worse and worse?) and they seemed to have been tricked into addiction by Braxton. I couldn’t tell if there was revenge, or need, or some addiction angle, or SOMETHING. I was ready to be challenged! So I found the body, and the quest was all “escape the house,” and I was going to sneak out, but I thought “Nah, man! Bloggage! I’m going to go talk to them and it’ll be thought provoking and BLOGGAGE!” So I went down and talked and they were all “You’ve seen too much!” and fight and they died and the end.
Which was so weird! It was set up so well!
Did I pick a wrong dialog choice? Cuz I was all “This from the cannibal….” or something. Could I have been nicer? Or was this really nothing more than “Naughty crazy weirdos?” It was odd. Especially….
Well, did you have Vicar Max with you? I’ve been running with him cuz his companion quest is there and I don’t want to stumble into it without him. He….had things to say….until he didn’t.
I did not have Vicar Max with me for that family. I was also a bit confused about the drug/cannibalism thing. Like, are they getting addicted to human flesh? Is there a drug that’s making them crave human flesh? There was definitely serious mental decay there…is that a kind of reference to the real-world disease that comes from eating human brains? Or was that the drug?
There’s also something going on here with the human flesh angle…remember that Adelaide fertilized the soil with corpses and that’s how she was able to make vegetables grow. So that group was also eating human flesh, in a way but at a much more comfortable remove. I wonder if there’s something in that.
I’m also struck by the description of being so hungry, so hungry all the time, like food doesn’t fill you up anymore…unless you eat people…maybe the way vegetables don’t grow in the soil unless you give it corpses…
I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on here.
The only thing I got when I tried to be nice to them was a conversation option that was basically “don’t kill me! I’ll lure others back to you and you can kill them instead!”
Which is a classic ruse, and I’m into it, but I obviously didn’t plan to actually lure anyone to them, so I immediately went back into the house and they said “did you bring dinner?” and I said “I changed my mind, you monsters!” or something, and then they attacked and I killed them all. So it was not a whole lot of extra plot, except in the sense that you could I suppose have had a moral dilemma, like, “should I intentionally lure others to their grisly death even though I don’t actually have to do it to save my own skin?”
But that’s honestly not much of a dilemma. Though I suppose it would have been interesting to see whether or not there was actually someone I could lure there…if I wanted to be a monster….
But since Vicar Max was not with me, tell me what he said!
Yeah, see? Raised so many questions, so many issues, so many potential metaphors and then it was just “die monster! Die!” This game has been better than that so far. They’ve usually finished what they start, themewise. For the most part. And they did do a very good job setting up….something. Taking the time to make poetry and all that. This didn’t read like some kind of one off. Shit, in Fallout 3, that scene wasn’t even a quest! This was a quest! Not only that, this was a quest that was pretty much impossible to miss! It wasn’t some quest you could only pick up by finding some hidden cave somewhere. Even the name: The Secret People, had some gravitas.
But then it was just a shoot the baddies quest.
Anyway, Vicar Max: So I had him and Felix. Felix immediately is all “Uh, I think I lost my appetite.” No shit, Felix. But Max, upon talking to BOTH of the parents, was all religious. They were all “Thank the law [or whatever] for bringing you to us!” and he was all “Yes, my child, the law provides. Everything is according to plan, trust the design” blah blah blah. It was a cool mess of wondering if Max was a) naive, b) trying to save these people, c) nuts and OK with cannibalism or d) all of the above. So he did that a couple of times, then I went up and talked to the daughter, who was all into drugs. She was all “Drugs yay drugs” and, out of nowhere, Max is all “I think I lost my appetite” and that was that. I have no idea why he said that when he did, but POOF there went all the religious stuff. It was weird. It was yet another thing that made me think this was this great quest on paper that, for some reason, got cut. That happens sometimes in games.
Because, again, the whole cannibal family was a strange thing in the first place. Unless you’re really doing it to make a point (and this game does well with making points), there’s no game world reason for this. All the comparisons to Fallout aside, this is not an end of the world game. People aren’t starving. They may be sick of saltuna and purpleberry crunch, but there’s nothing to suggest that there isn’t enough saltuna or purpleberry crunch to go around. Indeed, a theme is that the corporations DO provide, just not what people may actually want. This ain’t TLOU. It ain’t even Fallout 3.
There were points to be made, for sure. The idea of people off the grid literally living off a company man, a company man that was (we think) exploiting and poisoning them, that has some theme behind it. I can see where they were going. They just….didn’t go there.
Odd in a game that has gone there quite a bit.
It’s true. Everyone does seem to be doing OK. Plenty of saltuna and Purpleberry Crunch, and certainly plenty of booze, to go around. We find it everywhere, after all. (I’m rather fond of the Knock You Oat bar.)
It was a weird little interlude, no denying. I shared your sense of befuddlement as to what it was doing there. I mean, why cannibals? It’s a very good question.
On a side note, I do kind of like their exclamations of “by law!” “thank the law,” etc. It sounds enough like ‘lord’ or ‘god’ to flow off the tongue, and also of course makes sense for their religion. Make up exclamations/curses often walk a fine line…it’s hard to make it sound right for swearing and/or automatically interjecting, and also not be totally silly. (Thank Naked Zeus that would never apply to us.) I actually think “law” works OK here in that regard.
It does. Almost as good as “Thank the Maker!” Though “law” is wonderfully good at blurring the religious and the secular.
But the granddaddy of them all was Baldur’s Gate, with “A pearl to you” being everything from goodbye to thank you to good luck. I think we should work that into daily life.
Naked Zeus knows we could use some change.
And we could use some Knock you oat bars.
“A pearl to you.”
You probably had to be there.
But yeah, “the Maker” is a good one. Works well, makes sense. I think they threw in things like “Andraste’s eyes!” and stuff as well.
I bet you they keep it for BG3 (and we will be there for that). It was rather catchy.
I look forward to it.
Gotta look forward to something, after all.
It’s Larian’s next thing. Which makes sense as the real theme of the Divinity games were:
First one: “Can we make a Baldur’s gate game, please?”
Second one: “No, really, pretty please? With a cherry on top? PLEEEEEEASE?”
You’re right, I’ll be there for that.
Figured. Someday. When it gets made.
In the meantime, Disco Elysium inches towards consoles. They’re bringing it to switch, and, one figures, if they do that, PS is close behind.
Like I’ll ever finish Outer Worlds. Heh.
Yeah, even I am still some distance from the end, I think. Some things are coming together, but there’s still stuff to do.
It is still definitely a lot smaller than some giant sprawling games we’ve played recently, but I’m not feeling cheated on the amount of content.
But at least take heart, in that it’s not one of the giant sprawling games we’ve played recently. You will get to the end!
At some point.
To finish a game, one must play a game. To play a game, one needs time.
Frankly, considering the general condition of my household, I’m stunned I’ve played at all this past month. Or six.
I’m impressed with your perseverance as well. You have prevailed in the face of considerable odds.
Of course, you’re playing to maintain the shreds of your sanity, so it’s kind of an important priority.
Prevailed is past tense. As in it is over. It is not over.
Oh no. I meant prevailed as in, you have prevailed in the past, at different times. Every time you manage to play, for example.
It says nothing about whether or not you will have to continue to prevail in the future. Sadly, you will.
It is not over.
But it will be!
It must be. It has to be. Dreams of us playing on the PS9 in the home.
At least we’ve learned that the booze store delivers. I assume it’ll deliver to the home. We must cling to the dream.
The home is our last hope.
Just booze and the PS12, all day. With breaks for pie.