Spoilers for the Olympics and Old Flame stories in AC: Odyssey
So you know my feelings regarding Tuesdays. I dislike Tuesdays. But maybe, just maybe, Naked Zeus feels a little bit bad for me for he has graced me with today. A quiet day.
Playing will get done. I’m right by the last blue quest (the old flame one). That’s next. That’s today.
Ah…bliss. Thanks, Naked Zeus, for this mercy!
I played some last night. Finished up with the feuding families. Young love!–didn’t really see that coming. “Kill them! We have other children.” Definitely didn’t see that coming. Killed the fathers instead, because young love and a chance to end a family feud, although since they have other children, the feud will probably just carry on through them. Kassandra certainly didn’t seem too optimistic about it.
“We’ll start a new life, founded on love!”
“Well…good luck with that.”
Also finished the one with the thieving street urchin. I have a feeling there was something there I didn’t get. “But what happened to the guy who distracted you while I robbed you?”
“I had to kill him. He would just have enslaved you again.”
And then the kid looked sad, so I think probably she wasn’t his slave, they were probably partners. But Kassandra obliviously continued “no need to thank me! You’re free!” and sauntered cheerfully off, while the kid recovered enough to say “now we can keep everything we steal!”
So that was a little odd.
But anyway, then I went to compete in the pankration, defeated the first two guys (burlap lingerie…the itchiness just spurs me to fight harder!), had a break to learn that Allie was poisoned and Kallias was a cultist, headed to the fort to find the antidote, assassinated the cultist (that’ll teach him to stroll down a moonlit road alone) saved Allie, and now I have to fight the final pankration match but didn’t get to it last night.
Go seek out your old flame. Some moderately interesting stuff there.
Yeah! That one was pretty good. Nice twists. “We have other children” was pretty cold. Interesting that the one thing they didn’t fight about was the fact that they weren’t going to end the feud. They could have said “Well, they’re in love, let’s put this behind us,” but they were willing to kill their children (or have them be killed) JUST so they could keep fighting. Both of them! They agreed on the fact they loved hating each other.
I wonder what they would have done had you killed the kids.
Dude, I’ll raise your odd with the street kids. I was going to ask you about this.
Cuz I did the same as you, and went back, and she was all “What about the guy etc.” and I said, rather jauntily, “I spared him.” I did? When did I do that? When did you kill him? And she was all happy cuz he was nice and gave her extra food, and then was happy cuz they can keep everything they steal and scene. I was going to ask you when we spared him. Guess you don’t have an answer on that one.
Maybe it was glitched? Maybe a timing thing?
But again, nice twist on perception. Here’s Kassandra and the player all looking at this kid, remembering Phoibe, all wistful, protecting the innocent, she’s just like Phoibe so cute “Now we can keep everything we steal.” It ends with the kid being kinda awful. That’s a nice twist in and of itself, but it also forces you to rethink Phoibe in the first place (and Kassandra). We put Phoibe on a pedestal because of her place in the narrative, but she was a thief and a liar, too. We do that all the time in games. We’ve talked a lot about how games make us be awful, yet likable, people. We don’t often see games give a nod to the fact that your companions, even the very likable ones, are just as awful as you.
The cultist was strolling for you, too? I thought that was kinda funny. Though I’m nervous: now I only have one cultist left in that branch, and, when I hover over that undiscovered cultist, it says “Hunt other members of this cult line to get the clue.” Game, I’ve killed the other four. Where’s the clue?
So how do you read Allie being poisoned and living? I’ve been expecting Allie to be the big bad ghost of Kosmos for a while. He’s just too everywhere. Here we have, on one hand, him being poisoned. On the other hand, he was the only one that lived, and that would be a nice cover, right?
I don’t trust him. Do you trust him?
Oh, I trust Allie. He’s too obvious a schemer to be THE schemer.
Killing the guy who worked with the kid was totally an accident for me–I think he was just one of the people I hit with a rain of flaming arrows when the whole camp started chasing me (I tried to sneak in and deal with the captain quietly, but no dice). I remember her saying “there’s that malakas who distracted me in the market, he must be in on it” or something, but I didn’t actually make a note of who she was talking about, or intentionally try to either attack or spare him.
Sparing him was probably equally accidental for you–you either managed to get the captain without rousing the whole camp, or he just wasn’t one of the dudes who got close enough to you to die.
I’m glad we accidentally did different things, though! At least we can compare.
“We have other children” WAS cold! It was kind of shocking to hear. We’re so used to the narrative that children are so incredibly precious to their parents, that this seems unthinkable. And yet, people do kick their kids out of the house for making the wrong choices, and we wouldn’t have been startled at all by that result, so “go ahead and kill them” is really only a step past that. (Admittedly, a big step. From “you’re dead to me,” to “I want you literally dead” is pretty significant. But this is a murder-themed video game, so nothing should surprise us.)
It really did clarify how important the feud was to both of them: as you said, this was the one thing they instantly agreed on. “Yes, definitely kill them, we need to keep this hatred alive.” It wasn’t even a question of “let’s just take our treasure back and disown them and keep feuding”! They had to die.
That’s a serious feud. I do wonder what would have happened if we’d shrugged, said “sorry, kids, they did pay me” and killed the children. Which–returning to our discussion of the law yesterday–IS in fact that more law-approved thing to do! I believe the Greeks were big on filial piety. Obeying your father. Those kids, by taking unapproved lovers AND stealing from their fathers, committed major sins. Just as we ‘should’ have supported the priestess and thrown that woman off the cliff, we probably ‘should’ have gone ahead and killed those kids.
Although, as I noted then, there’s no real in-character reason to think Kassandra would do that, given her own many, many, many casual violations of the law on any given day. It would actually be a lot weirder for her to start citing the letter of the law now, than to continue supporting young lovers and women sneaking into the games.
I dunno, man. I, too, fucked up the stealth and killed everything that moved. But I did overhear, before I fucked up the stealth, the guy being scolded by the captain, and he was all “But the children need food!” and the captain all “Then tell them to steal more!” and “But they’ll be too weak!” and that sort of thing. I never got “That’s the malakas that distracted me.” So maybe it was that? Seems a strange thing to make it contingent upon.
And true about Kassandra’s disregard for the law, but it was different, law wise, in that the sneaky woman was being “tried” by some legal/religious/established authority figure. These were just asshole parents. They were also telling Kassandra “You have a job, we paid you, misthios, blah blah,” so, in character, Kassandra would have been doing it for the money, not a sense of justice or whatever. With the sneaky woman, the dialog choices were “She didn’t do it,” and “She’s guilty” and “do whatever.” There wasn’t anything along the lines of “Hey, money’s money,” which this would be.
That said, we’ve killed for money a whole lot in this game.
I think I would’ve felt ooky either way. Even though I didn’t hesitate to spare the lovers and kill the fathers, I always feel ooky when I’m killing unarmed dudes who really, really can’t hurt me. Shit, one of them was running away. Chasing down an old man to murder him is kinda ooky.
I wonder why they didn’t have a dialog option to try to defuse the situation. It was basically kill the lovers or kill the parents. I would have tried to find a peaceful way. Maybe the game wasn’t going to let us to do that on purpose, not let us off the hook. Interesting.
Yeah, I noticed that as well. It felt like there could have been an option besides killing one of the two sets, but there wasn’t. And yeah, I felt gross killing that one who was running off. I knocked him out first, because sometimes knocking someone out counts as ‘killing’ them (captains and polemarchs in camps, anyway), but it didn’t work.
And I kept thinking “dude, just surrender and promise to be nice to the kids, I’ll let you go!” but he didn’t. So he had to die. Which as you say, when it’s unarmed people fleeing, feels icky. But probably not as icky as if it were the unarmed young man and woman fleeing for their lives.
But it was kind of similar to the woman in that in both cases the people did something they knew they weren’t allowed to (sneak into the games, take their fathers’ money), and then justified it by arguing that they had the ‘right’ (family history! this is our inheritance!). They’re clearly appealing to a moral rather than legal right, and it’s interesting that we see those two concepts opposed in each case.
We did. Though both sneaky woman and the lovers did argue some semblance of legality (“My family had Olympians so it’s legal!” “We’d’ve legally inherited it anyway!”). Flimsy, and we certainly made our choices based on morals, not laws, but we do that all the time in games. Shit, I would argue that a good deal of the escapism of games is the ability to be moral (or, for some people, intentionally immoral) without regard for laws or societal norms. Games where you play stiff, rigid, well behaved dudes don’t tend to be fun (Looking at you, LA Noire). We’re well behaved in real life. We see the system leading to injustice in real life. We don’t need more of that when we’re playing games, too.
Very true. It’s always interesting when they give us any kind of moral decision, because you’re right, we do have the opportunity to do what we think is right regardless of what may be legal (like murdering hundreds of captains!…or, uh, saving young lovers), with minimal consequences, in a way we don’t necessarily have in real life.
I think it’s probably a reason we don’t see so many “cops and robbers” types of games. Usually, we play games where the police are to be feared (see Mafia 3, RDR2). Very rarely do we get the chance to play a good guy in a realistic game. If we want to be a paragon, we have to be a space marine, because being a space marine is cool no matter what. But toeing the line of law and order? I can do that in real life.
Well, a lot of your war-themed games are basically about you as the player being one of the good guys, upholding the rule of right or whatever. Cops and robbers in the sense that Our Side is the Good Guys and Their Side is the Bad Guys.
Or so I assume. I don’t know, we don’t play those. Perhaps they are more morally complicated than I’d expect. I shouldn’t judge!
I will anyway, though.
We always do.
But I just spent a bunch of time playing the endless game we shall play forever!
Did the whole blue quest line. And killed some bears for someone who hates baldness.
I liked the blue quest line! Not sure how themey, but an interesting contrast to the usual. Trying to be domestic, and having to give it up was a cool thing in games. We don’t usually see PCs wistfully getting this close to something normal.
Of course, I urged the boy to farm. It was interesting to basically say “Dude, you don’t want to be a video game hero,” especially after this morning’s talk of how much fun it is to be a video game hero.
And I got all the choices right in the market cuz I’m cool like that.
And now I’m close to mom and what’s his name, so I’ll do that next.
How’d you read the blue quest?
I definitely took it as an interesting reflection on Kassandra’s own choices. Her speech about “every time I see the sunrise, I know it could be my last– when I say goodbye to someone I care about, I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again,” was kind of a summary of the downside of the mercenary life.
And it was just nice to hang out with Anais…finding her a shell, walking through the market knowing she liked the honey-glazed pears best, etc. It was an interesting twist to throw in the robbery of the house while they were gone, and the kid saying “this wouldn’t have happened if you’d trained me to fight!”
But he was still alive, and I wonder what would have happened if we did train him to fight. Would he have fended off the bandits, or would he have attacked them, but gotten killed? He IS just a kid. I feel OK about our choice, anyway.
Amusingly, I was dodging bounty hunters the whole time I was trying to teach him to farm. “Let’s just hide in the grass for a minute and then set these piles on fire…now wait for that guy to go around the corner, then I’ll sneak over here and kill these chickens…” (Also, the return of the Doom Chickens! I don’t know about you, but I did a TERRIBLE job killing those chickens quickly and cleanly. They came at me! All I could do was fight back with my sword! It was awful!)
I could pay off my bounties, sure, but I find evading bounty hunters adds a little spice of adventure to even the most mundane tasks.
Ah, see, some of that WOULD have been cool if I could have found her playing hide and seek without checking the internet, and had it not taken me approximately twelve days to find the shell.
She’s fucking good at hide and seek, that one.
Dude, I was all sneaky, stealthily approaching the chickens, fired an arrow, missed, got swarmed, almost died, had to use the ring of badass (or whatever it’s called) ability and knocked the kid down, too.
Quick. Clean. Heh.
And it was the same with me, but I didn’t even HAVE bounties, save for the automatic “Oh, you’re in Attika? Fuck you” bounty that seems to pop up whenever I’m in Attika. This was more than enough for them to fuck up both my game of hide and seek and my ride to the beach. And you can’t pay that one off!
Was there dialog for you on the ride to the beach? Cuz I was busy getting shot at, and, when I escaped, it was just silence. I miss something?
Hm…no, I don’t remember any particular dialogue on the way to the beach. If there was anything, it was musings on “remember how we used to go to the beach in Kephallonia” or something, not a major point.
That’s weird…it took me about 30 seconds to find her in the field, and I had a quest icon right on the shell, so the most time-consuming part was bringing a boat over so I could shoot those sharks before I went after it. (Because of course I had to be out of combat to interact!)
Random luck, I suppose.
I have five bounty hunters chasing me in Olympia right now, based on all that criminal activity at the fort. I kind of wonder if they’re going to interfere with my final pankration fight. I mean, it’s the Olympics, I would assume they’d be sports fans enough to stand aside until the event was over, but one never knows.
Dude, I got that whole “exploration area” bullshit. No shit, game.
You know if you go to the surface and tread water you can snipe the sharks just like you’re on a boat. Not sure how that’s physically possible, but then, we can jump off buildings, so whatever.
I could not find her for shit. Even after watching it on YouTube, it took me a while. I was genuinely starting to think it was bugged.
That would be awesome if the bounty hunters interrupted your event.
“I am the champion of the Olympics and I will face, you Kassandra and who are those guys?”
***biff, Bam, Pow***
“You done? Can we get on with it who’s that”
“OK, look, respect to your wins and you look fabulous in that burlap-“
“-but some of us aren’t mercenaries-“
“-we’re athletes who have put our whole lives into this sport-“
“-And this is our biggest stage and you’re kinda ruining it-“
“Look, what if I told you I was a captain?”
***Dead silence. Icy stare***
That’s super weird! I just watched her walk into the field in the cutscene as it faded to black, walked right after her as soon as it loaded, and stumbled on her probably 10 seconds later. It felt almost too easy, but I’ll take it compared to having to look it up on the internet. That sucks, in a frustrating, annoying way. Like, it’s not even a super clever puzzle that’s too hard or something, it’s just ‘where specifically in this damn field did she go?’
Ah well. The looking around the farm to see what she would like was fun. I kind of like these little memory test bits they do. It’s a fun change of pace from the usual combat mechanics.
Dude, I KNEW she was in the field. I think I looked at every single stalk of wheat in that damn farm. I think I tripped over her four times before it gave me credit for finding her. I think it only did because it felt sorry for me.
I did like the memory bits. Those are nice.
Sheer dumb luck, then. I certainly take no credit for it.
But the memory bits are nice. I messed up one earlier, trying to tell the story of Theseus to those kids. “How did he solve the riddle?” “He just did, OK?!”
I only got one part wrong, though–they still liked it pretty well.
I wonder if you got the oil right.
Cuz the oil happens.
Oh yeah? I look forward to it. I wondered if I’d ever get to do anything with it, now that Testikles is tragically deceased.
Did you tell the person you were replacing him or that you were him? I told the truth, but I kinda wish I didn’t. I have to stop thinking that lying will shut down the very important quest line.
I said I was his replacement. I didn’t think “I am Testikles” would have been very plausible…although who is some games-committee jerk to tell me what my parents named me!?
“It’s a family name.”
“It was changed when we through Elis island. Used to be Goldfarb.”
I can’t top that.