The First of May.
Outdoor fucking starts today.
(But please, when you engage in same, please stay six feet away from any pedestrians and/or neighbors.)
NOTE: we will be taking a break until after the New Year. Happy Holidays! Rejoin us in 2020 for more of this madness!
Some spoilers for Driftwood-area stuff in Divinity: Original Sin 2
Don’t have much else. Nosed around the fish place. So do you know who’s buying the fish? Or, at least, what the barrels say on them? Cuz I found that out in the best possible way, and it was Lohse specific.
Then I found a hiding dude who the magistrars wanted and agreed to help him get out and that took approximately forever cuz I kept fucking it up. MAN did I keep fucking it up. More on that in a second.
Then, after success, had a guy ask me to get his wedding ring which led to a fight that was just aw HELL no.
So I went back to buy some lockpicks so I can get into the hatch under the fish place cuz why not? I like to go where dogs say there’s wrong stuff!
Too weird to be a T SHIRT!!!!!
And now, the multiple fuck up rant: I’m loving this game. It’s a great game. That said, no game is perfect, and we haven’t had a good rant on this one yet. We’ve quibbled (fairly) about the jumbly screen, and how you can do the wrong thing because of the jumbly screen. Fair. We COULD mention the ridiculously cumbersome inventory management, but that’s redundant because we’re playing a bigassed RPG and ALL bigassed RPGs have ridiculously cumbersome inventory management, so what can we expect? But here’s a rant, a legit one:
Stealth. Not sneaking, mind you. Sneaking is fine. Sneaking around so you can backstab a guy, or open a chest without being seen, or get in place for a fight, fine. That mechanic is fine, I guess. But it’s a SNEAKING mechanic, not a STEALTH mechanic. STEALTH involves complicated, strategic traversal of area. You find multiple cover points, time enemies, decide do I run there or be quiet that way? The long way with more cover or the short way with less? That sort of thing. You have multiple speeds at your disposal, multiple tricks. Cover.
This mission last night? It WANTED to be a stealth mission, but when all you have is being a barrel….a VERY SLOW barrel, the game isn’t giving you the tools to do it and you’re going to get caught and you’ll HAVE to fight and you don’t want to. The only way to succeed is to do a workaround so workaroundy that it was silly (multiple teleportations, breaking up the party, having the end conversation be between the dude and Lohse who were, like, half a mile apart.
MR. O’S VOICE IN MY HEAD: Look, man, that’s player whining. I’m a DM, and dude, if you didn’t want to fight, you could have said no to the guy, refused the quest. Don’t be all “waa, I helped a guy everyone wanted to arrest then they were mean to me!” Make your choices and deal.
BACK TO MY VOICE: No, Mr. O. That’s fine in tabletop games where a player can ask if they can do stuff, there are die rolls for everything, they have as many tools as their imagination and dice can handle. This? Didn’t have that. Unfair.
BUTTON’S VOICE IN MY HEAD: Look, man, the game DID give you tools to do the mission without fighting. How do I know? Cuz that’s what you did! You ended up doing exactly what you wanted in terms of getting a peaceful, successful conclusion to the mission. Not the game’s fault it took you a while to figure it out.
BACK TO MY VOICE: No. That’s developer bullshit. I gamed the game. The end conversation was meant for the guy to be in the same place as Lohse. They were whispering for fuck sake. If this was a path to success anyone anticipated, this ridiculous conversation wouldn’t have happened. Now, both of you, leave some beer in my head and please step out of my head if you want to smoke.
Sheesh. Don’t know why I’m ranting today.
If you rather, we could rant about the fact that this is the time of year that schools have things that cost money, like, say, just spitballing here, holiday fairs, and other activities start hitting you up for money to register for the second term of things (looks at before school sports, music lessons) despite all of these people KNOWING we’re spending money on, like, EVERYTHING ELSE this month. The real insult? The incredible, insane insult? I’ll get something in a week or so saying registration is open…..for SUMMER CAMP.
Wasn’t expecting such a long open today. I guess I had some ranting to do before we break.
Fish…no, we don’t know anything about people buying the fish. Although we did meet a guy who asked us to eat the poisoned fish, for science! Obviously, I did it. I’m a sucker for science.
Ah yes, the wedding ring guy. That’s the fight I was thinking of when you said slugs by the water, and I said we also fought slugs (and things) by the water. Not the same slugs. That fight was rough. We won it by the skin of our teeth, after burning basically all of our healing and resurrections just making sure someone was alive to claim the victory. The Red Prince was in a bad location and spent about 8 turns in a row repeatedly getting stunned by shock, which didn’t help things at all.
But we won! Gave the guy back the ring, because we’re nice. Probably too nice.
As for the guy escaping in the barrel…yeah, we just fought the magisters on that one. Tried to sneak by a couple of times, it didn’t work, and we’re done sneaking. We are impatient. Also, we don’t really object to killing magisters. Our main concern was that it would pull the entire town into the fight, but it didn’t, so no harm done.
Then we followed the dude in his barrel the rest of the way out and had a whispered conversation where at least we were all in the same place. So yeah, I am sympathetic to your rant in the sense that it implied sneaking was possible, but did not make sneaking workable in a reasonable way.
Although did you try the trick of having one party member talk to/distract someone, while the other one sneaks by? We didn’t do that, I only remembered it just now, but it used to work sometimes in the first game. I’d go talk to someone while Wolgraff looted their pantry in the background or whatever. Maybe that was the secret.
As for the other rants, yeah, having to pay for absolutely everything in one month is rough. We don’t have a bunch of extracurricular stuff yet (just the before and after school program, which is billed weekly for some reason–I had to make it direct deposit because otherwise it was basically guaranteed I would forget it eventually). But I’m sure we’ll get there, and will feel your pain.
Crap, did I spoil? It’s pretty obvious that someone is buying the fish, so I can’t have spoiled that. Like, four dudes would’ve told you that…..
Well, I won’t spoil the rest then.
I ate the red fish and got a recipe. So there’s that. At least we got recipes. And…..crap. I won’t spoil.
I always forget shock. Being dramatic, I like fire, which is usually pretty OK. But that fight, three baddies appeared all close together. I had initiative and a firestorm grenade so I was all “You are clustered together! Burn, dammit, BURN!” and I chuck it and “pfizzzz” I make steam. Which then COULD have been a big shock cloud but I forgot and just moped there was no fire.
I have to think in more complex terms.
Ah, see, that’s what I was worried about, getting more people involved. I’m attracting too much attention as it is. Some magistrar bounty hunter shook down Ifan as soon as I got there and we bribed her. I didn’t want to bring the town down upon us before I even got to the Meistr’s house.
I actually did try that ‘distracting’ thing and it failed spectacularly. I think you had to have two characters for that trick to really work. I never got it right in the first game, either.
I even tried the pyramids. Didn’t work. We poofed away and the guy was still there all “Where’d they go?”
I tried, with this one magistrar who kept catching me, putting ifan at the bottom of his ladder and Beast at the top. Pin him, you know? Nope. Pushed us out of the way.
Grumble. I was TRYING here, game!
Dude. CAMP in December. Like, can’t ANYTHING wait?
But yes, money to the holiday fair for the kids (thank GOD I remembered to go get a stack of singles and a roll of quarters yesterday. Made that oversight before), paid for before school sports today, music lessons will likely be next week….
Can’t they spread this shit out? I get that you have to pay for shit, but man, can’t we do some of the paying in, like October? February? July?
This is not the best time for paying for stuff.
OH MY GOD someone is buying the vast quantities of fish these people are catching and packing up as if for sale and/or transport? HOW COULD YOU RUIN THIS FOR ME????!!!!
It’s fine. I’m sure we’ll go back there and poke around some more.
No luck with the distraction, eh? Well, you were trying. You definitely tried! It not working is on the game. Probably they just expected you to get in the fight.
“Look, we didn’t think anyone would take all our warnings about not causing trouble in town SERIOUSLY.”
Yes. I have ruined it. Ruined, I say.
You guys are funny. You’ll look in every single nook and cranny for buckets to sell, all the while running by NPC after NPC who’s waving all “Hey! Over here! Plot! PLOT! I HAVE PLOT! Hey! Slow down! I’m more important than the bucket!”
All the same, Lohse has this trick she pulls some times where she’s all “I am the famous singer!” and people get all talky, and then she leaves with a grandiose bow that she holds and looks around under desks and stuff to learn more. I kinda love that.
Lohse, in general, is pretty awesome.
Or turn him over. Most of the sub quests in that tree seemed to be pushing you in that direction. We will likely regret helping him. I certainly regret the time I wasted helping him.
But at least I got the trick of “chain transporting” down. I teleported Sebille up a tower, gave her the gloves and then, as she had high ground and Lohse can teleport, too, we just flung the guy multiple times.
That was the one good thing I got out of the death that was the cemetery. Totally pointless from a quest perspective and fight perspective, but I found a teleportation skill book AND got out without having to reload, so Lohse can just teleport and Sebille has the gloves.
Teleporting is great. TWO people who can do it is amazing.
I just got back from buying yet more food. All these expenses and I’m STILL expected to feed people? Jeez, people, do you understand how much these silly “moral obligations to your children” cost?
Teleporting is the best. More teleportation is more awesome.
I have the skill as well, but I have Sebille still wearing the gloves as a backup because the cooldown period is annoying in combat. And also, honestly, because no one else really wants to wear them…I mean, they DO, because teleportation is awesome, but also the fighter types really kind of want to wear something that will give them some armor. That’s why Gannibog gave them to me in the first place–he was the one who found them, so he had them initially.
Maybe our Lohse would like them. I just like them very much myself.
Whoa wait hang on hold the phone.
If you have a skill and something that gives you that skill, that does an end around the cooldown period? Really?
Oh…now that you mention it, I’m not sure. I know I see two instances of teleportation on my hotbar, but one of them might be a scroll. I did have a teleportation scroll I made, and when you put it like that, it does sound like a perhaps-unlikely loophole in the rules.
In my head when I assumed I got it twice I was thinking “well, one use belongs to the gloves, and one belongs to me,” but actually the way it’s phrased, an item “grants the skill” [whatever], implying that either way, a use of said skill belongs to the character.
I’ll have to double-check that, and if the extra use is indeed a scroll, then definitely give the gloves to someone else.
Good point, good point.
Ah, bummer. That would’ve been amazing.
My breakthrough, rules wise, was figuring out what those little green ovals under the character portraits are. They’re source points! Who knew?
Besides you guys, that is.
Yeah, we knew. We also noticed that they seem to disappear if you die and are resurrected. So don’t hoard your Source points!
We just never seem to run into a good opportunity to use them, unless something needs to be Blessed.
THAT’S where they go. Huh.
I haven’t used Sebille’s or, ironically, Lohse’s yet. Ifan’s wolf is kinda handy from time to time, and Beast’s…Beast’s is amazing. It just messes dudes up. Like a whirlwind/electrical air damage shocking blinding storm.
I gotta try Lohse’s.
We don’t have Ifan or the Beast, and I honestly can’t remember what our powers are. Well, mine is breaking shackles, but when do I use it?
I know I’ve looked at the Prince’s and tried to think of some occasion where it would come in handy, but that time has not come up yet. And one time we tried to use Lohse’s, but it turned out to be super close range? Or else had to be targeted on just one character? Or something. Anyway, it didn’t do anything, probably our fault, and we haven’t gotten around to trying again.
I mean, also, we die all the damn time, so we never actually seem to have any Source points unless it’s a plot-critical moment like talking to gods who are bleeding the stuff onto the ground in front of us.
I imagine at some point maybe we’ll be able to get it more reliably somehow? But who knows.
Maybe it was “resisted by magic armor,” which is the most annoying damn thing.
Sebille’s is defensive, right? Like, if you’re overcome with all sorts of bad shit, it cures everything. Or something. Right?
My Sebille is so badass in that respect. She’s currently rocking level 5 in necromancy. Five. Level Five.
I don’t get why they didn’t do that in the first place. She fucking eats heads. If that’s not necromancy, what is?
Oh dude, I am all about the necromancy. Shackles of Pain is AWESOME. I also like the mosquitoes that heal me the same amount they damage an enemy. And Leech. I really, really want to summon an undead decapitator, like in the last game…that’s my personal goal right now.
I don’t know if I have 5 ranks, though…I love necromancy, but I keep throwing ranks into other schools because they have useful spells. I have to improve my memory every time I level up because I want so many more spell slots.
Gear man. The stuff that gives you a level stacks. Sebille is rocking every necromantic bikini in Rivellon.
Autocorrect wanted to change “necromantic” to “be romantic.”
Ha. Nobody romances like a necromancer, baby.
It really did seem like a natural fit, what with the consumption of flesh and absorbing of memories.
I know, right? I found it kinda funny when she was learning about Braccus Rex and was all “That awful necromancer got a better death than he deserved” and shit, as she’s sitting there with four or five levels in it. Pot kettle, Sebille.
Well, he was an awful necromancer, and she’s a fabulous necromancer. I see no contradiction!
Oh she’s fabulous.
What? I have a type.
Joking aside, it really does seem that, skimpy armor aside, game writers write better women PCs. Is that a coincidence? Or because they’re not tied to the grumpy vengeful dude trope?
Well, better than what? Than they used to? Or just better than male PCs, as a general rule?
That’s an interesting thought. I’m not sure how I would even answer the question “are female characters better written than male characters” without extensive thought on all the characters I’ve ever played…but to the extent that it’s the case, certainly not being tied to grouchy male hero tropes seems a likely partial explanation, at least.
I am also definitely up for the intensive study of which gender is better written. We’ll need to carefully define our terms, write up some rubrics, think back over pretty much everything to compare characters and give them and their stories different scores in various attributes…we could probably get published in important video game journals!
Better than male PCs. I used to think I picked them just for variety, but they’re usually better. Here, the four male PCs are, thus far, kinda blah, at least compared to Lohse and Sebille.
We already publish one of the best video game journals on the planet. And the most modest.
As an unbiased observer, I can certainly verify that this is true.
Also, and completely off-topic–what are your thoughts on Netflix’s Witcher series that they keep advertising?
My mother is obsessed with it. Absolutely obsessed. Tells me it’s awesome. So I guess I’ll check it out.
It’s set far earlier than the games. Get to meet Yennefer. Get to find out why he’s the butcher of wherever. Lots of nudity. Sorceresses. I’m in.
I’m still not sure I’m wild about Henry Cavill as Geralt. But…who knows, could be good.
I mean, your mom wouldn’t lie.
She said “well I give him an 11/10.”
Some things should remain unsaid. When your mother says them.
Special throwback spoilers for the end of Detroit: Become Human!
Yeah, not playing today.
Well then, allow me a moment’s callback to the LAST game we played–I’m home alone this morning but I can’t play the game we’re currently playing by myself, so I loaded up Detroit to see if loadscreen Chloe would say anything. And she did. She said watching me play had changed her, and she wanted to go and become herself, even though it would mean she wouldn’t be there to watch me play, and would I agree to let her go. So I agreed, and she said she’d always remember what I did for her, and she wandered offscreen. I know you did the same thing, but now our Chloes can hang out together!
Interesting that video games–even watching someone else play them!–can have that kind of effect. DON’T DISMISS GAMES, PEOPLE.
Then out of curiosity I hit ‘continue’ because, having finished the game, I wasn’t sure what it would think ‘continue’ was, and it replayed the last scene of Kara’s story, where she stumbled out of the river onto the Canadian shore carrying Alice, who at first seems dead but is actually alive and murmurs “I love you, Kara.” And Kara says “I love you too. I love you.”
Embrace, pullback, boom, “Detroit: Become Human” logo, and credits.
I had obviously seen this before, because this was my ending for Kara’s story, but I had forgotten the way it closed with that repeated “I love you.” Maybe that’s the message, you know? Become human…through love? Ooh, so cheesy. So deliciously cheesy.
I was into it.
Love is the answer!
It is! Cuz I suppose you had to show love each time. Not kill Todd, save Luther, not fight the humans, not try to kill Markus as Connor, etc. Hmm. It is true that if you did ANYTHING violent or self serving you likely suffered in the end.
Well, wait. The difference we had is that I ran like holy hell and you didn’t. You didn’t attack.
Never mind. Who knows what the answer is?
But note: If you load Detroit up again, Chloe won’t be there. She’s gone for good. Pretty cool, huh?
I wonder what would have happened if we had kept her. We’ll never know.
Yeah, true. So running away and hiding is a better way to show love than standing up peacefully for civil rights? Hm…that’s a less obvious message. Not sure I can get into it the same way.
I did wonder what Chloe would have done if I’d said no. “You stay here, game wench! Observe my playing at all times!”
Maybe if you don’t let her go, and then play it again, she makes mean comments instead of friendly ones?
“I can’t believe you didn’t catch that guy! You and Connor together are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. He deserves a better player than you. Loser.” That would be kind of awesome.
But we shall never know.
We shall not. We have other things to play.
AND CHEESECAKES TO BAKE!
Must go pick up child from half day of school. Good luck with cheesecake.
Look I made my cake a friend.
Awww…your cake looks so happy with its friend!
I am back at work. It’s quiet, but there’s a shameful lack of baked goods.
They’re very happy together.
But holy hell am I tired.
Though in very good shape for tomorrow! At least, I’ll feel that way until I remember all the shit I’m currently forgetting!
Too long to be a T SHIRT, but still so true, so often.
Yeah, that sums up a lot of days all right.
Did the cake set OK? Springform pan opened without issue? I ask because I care. And because if it turns out you need to quietly get rid of some pumpkin cheesecake pudding before anyone sees it, I’ve got your back.
I won’t know until tomorrow! It has to chill overnight.
I may not sleep. Too stressful. It’s in there. Chilling. Hiding. Waiting.
If it doesn’t behave itself, you know what to do. Into the ice cream maker!
I actually HAVE an ice cream maker!
I still hope it works. Such stress.
I’m so tired. And I still have to save the booze for tomorrow.
You didn’t buy extra booze specifically for today?!
I bet the cake will be awesome.
It’s gonna be great, and everyone is gonna love it.
Some mild spoilers for characters in Divinity Original Sin 2
So back to the game for a bit before cooking insanity sets in. I already have cornbread in the oven. IT HAS BEGUN!
But what were we saying yesterday–single-player is one character. All by myself….no one to play rock paper scissors with…..
That having to start over if you went back to the main menu during character creation was righteously annoying.
Sebille the elf was my second choice. Good thing we were different!
So if you go custom with a character, does that mean one of the available six never shows up in the game? Or do they all pop up eventually?
I think maybe picking up the weird hotbar immediately is a remnant of my PC days. These games are, at their core, PC games for PC gamers. In some ways, direct copies of PC classics. I can hear my ex whispering “You remember when we used to do this….hotbars? Scrolling for dialog choices? And that back to main menu thing? Wouldn’t have happened if you had been playing with a keyboard and mouse…….”
Must stay strong.
As far as I can tell, Gannibog is just an addition to the existing characters. You know on the load screen there’s your red-haired demon-possessed lady (I was tempted! she’s so like me! but I decided to play against type), my scarred elf, a red lizard dude, a skeletal dude, a robust yelling dude who’s a dwarf (although that’s not necessarily clear from the picture) and then a big human dude front and center?
Well, there are four of us traveling together right now (elf, lizard, undead–he’s handy because he can pick locks with his bony fingers!–and the custom-created dwarf), and there are three additional people we’ve met who’ve said “yeah, I’d like to travel with you sometime when you don’t already have enough people in your party.” And that’s a human dude, a dwarf, and a demon-possessed human woman. So I think they made these 6 characters, and gave them all backstories, and they’re all going to be in the game whether or not you play one of them. (Or two of them, in our case! We could presumably have had two from-scratch characters and six potential companions!)
It will be interesting to see if it makes much difference to our experience, since I’m playing a pre-gen character with a written backstory, and he is not. Hm. I mean, I’m out here trying to get revenge on the slave master who scarred me for life, and he’s just puttering around looking for loot and adventure or whatever. I know which one of us is more likely to get a big confrontation scene with our archnemesis at some point, is all.
Watch, it’ll be him. The big baddie will be someone who REALLY FUCKING HATES puttering dwarves.
The red head I’m playing is rather like you! Even a jester! Though her sheep joke fell flat.
Choices as to who to run with! Ah, good to be back with an RPG.
I’ll probably go with bone guy (I LOVE picking locks) and the elf cuz memories and she’s kinda BEBHBBesque and someone else. Hmm.
Hang on, cornbread’s done. Gotta make a stuffing.
Bone guy is pretty key. Locks gotta be picked, after all! Also handy until you find a shovel: lizard guy, who can dig up those buried things that you’ll note with the exclamation “I’ve discovered something!”
The others probably also have useful tricks, but those are the ones we’ve been running with, so that’s all I know.
Something great that they’ve kept from the first game: Magic Pockets, where if you’re moving one character and need to unlock a door, say, and another character is carrying the key, you’ll just acquire it from them, without having to switch characters or have one hand over the item or anything.
Oh, I LOVE magic pockets! One of the best fixes for one of the biggest annoyances in RPGs.
Now if only we can get rid of all this small text…..
I do like the item descriptions: Cooking Pot: It’s a pot. For cooking.
Yes! The descriptions are often great. I only just finally found a helmet, so I’ve spent the past week running around with a bucket on my head, because as a weak wizard type (I’m playing Sebille as a magic-user, not the roguish blade-expert she appears to be on the load screen) I need the armor boost. As the text says, “can hold water. Or heads.”
I’m not ashamed to wear a bucket on my head, man. Sebille is all about practicality. That’s two points of physical armor!
Ah, right, I also forgot about the borderline absurdity of these games. Buckets on heads. Ghoul that Used to Guard the Lighthouse.
The absurdity is always there in the nooks and crannies–in this one, as in the last. I mean, their logo IS a stern, heroic knightly figure getting hit by a suction dart.
And who could forget the smelly underpants? Man…I actually wore those things for a while. They had a good bonus!
But definitely absurd.
Dear God, I had forgotten.
And I’d hoped to keep it that way.
Though the absurdity often hides creepy. The first game did cute and absurd with the same trippy creepiness of Jim Henson at his best, and I see no difference in the whopping ten minutes I’ve played so far.
On that, you didn’t talk to that sheep, did you?
I didn’t, because I didn’t have Pet Pal yet. You were wise and got it in your starting setup–I meant to, but got tossed back to the main menu and had to start over too many times, so I didn’t get it until later. I KNOW I’m missing something to do with a black cat that I couldn’t talk to right away.
You’ll fill me in. I have it now, and it’s already saved us a couple of fights.
Well….it seemed the sheep was carnivorous. Or at least omnivorous. It was all “Well well…new meat…you sure do have some meat on your bones….” Which is kind of a creepy thing for a talking sheep to lead with. So I awkwardly tried to make a joke to it, and it didn’t laugh, and told me to go away.
Not a friendly sheep, that. But leading with “New meat….” Dude.
Interesting…very interesting…I noticed the sheep seemed very bad tempered, but of course we didn’t understand what it was saying. Now I know!
I knew I could rely on you to fill me in.
Just make sure you don’t miss talking to that black cat.
I will not miss out!
Gonna play. Did cooking. I’ve earned it.
OK, played! I’m on a beach! Didn’t the last game start with a shipwreck? It did, didn’t it?
And I met the other characters. I went back to save them, and tried to save the magistrar, but then the ship fell apart. I wonder if you can not go back and save them. Interesting. But I did. We’re good.
So the last thing I did was talk to a kid with a mirror, who freaked out and said I wasn’t a person, I was just wearing a person. Game does creepy well.
We’ve played games where you get to pick a PC. We’ve played games with NPCs that are important and potential companions/romantic interests. It’s DAMN interesting to play a game where you can pick an NPC. Like, imagine ME if you could play as Miranda or Thane or Mordin, but, if you didn’t, they’d still be there. That would be weird, man. Non linear is hard enough when there’s only one variable for NPCs to react to, but here they have to imagine all the variables if someone plays each character and damn.
I’m very happy we’re playing different characters. I’m very curious to see how my NPC Sebellie and my PC Lohse vary from your Sebellie and Lohse.
This is a very interesting variable, and one that promises much bloggage as we go forward.
Try to run with Lohse some, so you get a taste of her as an NPC and we can compare.
It is a very interesting mechanic.
“The story will contain these people, you can play one if you want. Whether you do or not, they’re going to have x, y and z things in their personal story that you’re going to get to deal with.”
It’s an interesting way of giving the player the chance to have built-in story about their character–so it feels more personal–but also of not wasting that story someone wrote, if the player decides to just make up a character.
I mean, the story could still be ‘wasted’ if the player never gets around to following up with it, but at least it’s there in the game: they didn’t write a bunch of stuff that would potentially be completely irrelevant because it applied to a character who wasn’t even in the game.
Add to that the interesting mechanic I noticed last night of having dialog choices that are specific to the character you picked. I had a couple times where it was
That’s different. Never seen that before in a game. You just assume that every choice is, well, the PC. Not THIS PC.
Digging it so far.
Yeah, I do kind of like that! Conversation options specific to certain characters. It seems that some things are part of a general background (i.e. OUTLAW) and any character with an outlaw background could say it–so Mr. O’s from-scratch dwarf has some warrior options or something–but some are very specific to a particular character’s personal history, and he’s never going to have any of those.
It’s interesting and different…and does make me faintly anxious that I’m missing something if I don’t have every single character talk to every single NPC, but I’m working on dealing with that.
At least I can fill you in on some of it.
I do admire how you seem to be weaning yourself off of question marks. I was rather scared you’d be all “Must…fill in…whole….flow chart…..”
And yeah, there’s general background stuff. Mine came prepacked with “Mystic” and “Jester,” which is a strange combo, but whatever.
Gotta go cook more. Why am I cooking all this?
Creepy clowns are a thing!
And probably just to make me jealous of all the desserts.
Which is all I’m thinking of even though everything you’ve mentioned so far today has been savory.
Well, obviously. But so far it’s just been cornbread and a whole mess of stuffing base (then you just mix it day of! Efficient, me! It’s why I have so much time to game. Ha. Sob.)
And this has sausage in it, so there’s that.
But I’m doing a pie this afternoon.
We’re gonna be a food blog for a while here, aren’t we?
I’ve also figured it’s unlikely I will leave the house until Friday, so maybe I’ll play.
And here’s a fitness rant:
I’ve been cooking non stop for two and a half hours. I still haven’t showered, or finished my coffee. My fitbit says I have no active minutes at all.
Fuck you, fitbit. See if you can cook like this.
Fitbit is REALLY jealous of the pie.
Get control of your issues, fitbit. You can’t just take it on on innocent, hard-working pie-makers!
It’s being spiteful.
“I’m not giving you credit for calories burned when you’re browning butter and whisking in rum!”
Fine, OK, it has a point. But I should get active minutes for cutting up celery! Only fair.
I’m already tired. I’m getting too old for this.
But hey! At least I haven’t spent any money yet today!
Oh, and you know what else?
HALF DAY TUESDAY!
And tomorrow, just for shits and giggles, cuz NO ONE has anything to do….they made it HALF DAY WEDNESDAY!
Mrs. McP will be glad I got all that alcohol.
Nooooooo!!!!!!!! Don’t say it!
We have half-day Wednesday tomorrow too, but at least today is normal.
You may need to get more booze.
It’s always rather tempting to sample. Just put some rum in this pie. Had that “Maybe just a little…” thought, but then remembered it’s not even noon.
I have so much in common with my characters.
When you’re making something like, oh, I dunno, speaking hypothetically…a pumpkin cheesecake with a bourbon sour cream topping, read the WHOLE recipe first. Not just the ingredients. The ingredients may well be easy ingredients in theory, but what you do with them……
You home tomorrow? Cuz we’re going to have to blog the very end of Butch’s sanity either way.
Ooh…complicated recipe, eh? Good thing you love a culinary challenge.
I will be home tomorrow morning to pick up O’Jr. when he gets out of school at 11, and then at work after Mr. O’ (who also gets out at 11) gets home. So it’s a half day for me, too, but not in the fun getting-out-early way.
Half the office is out tomorrow, or I’d just stay home. My sense of responsibility is probably overdeveloped.
Responsibility. Yes. Because if I had the chance to go to a nice, quiet office to surf the net and blog all day in peace and quiet, I, too, would be overcome with a sense of responsibility.
Damn it, he’s onto me!
The thing that slightly tips the balance in favor of staying home with the child-chaos is having to spend two hours commuting for the sake of that half day of peace and quiet…but the train will probably be mostly empty, so even that’s almost like a vacation.
Certainly compared to a half-day Wednesday of trying to bake a complex cake while preventing kids from injuring themselves and/or each other.
Yes….that train where you do all these exotic things like “read books” that I used to do way back when I had dark hair. I pity you so.
A complex cake with the kids and Mrs. McP home asking me to do all sorts of stuff I mean helping.
Gotta start the next stuffing. Yes, two. TWO I SAY!
Though as this one will not be stuffed into anything, I guess it’s a dressing.
Right. Dressing. Accurate terminology is so important! [Meanwhile in the back of my head: tell me more about the dessert!]
I do read on the train. Sometimes I also play Pokemon Go. It’s a special time either way.
You are failing to win my sympathy.
I shall taunt you with pictures.
It is no more than I deserve.
Siiiigh…gazing longingly at pie I cannot eat…
If it makes you feel any better, now I’m frying two pounds of bacon which you wouldn’t appreciate.
It does…a little. That pecan pie is hard to recover from, though.
It has brown butter….espresso….rum….
I’ll teach you to taunt me with peace and quiet.
It’s a harsh punishment, but fitting. Now the whole time I sit here in the peace and quiet, I’ll be thinking wistfully about pie.
It will be easy to do, on account of the lack of distractions.
Tomorrow morning I’m making the pumpkin cheesecake. What time are you going to get to your desk? I want to make sure there’s a lovely picture of it waiting for you.
Probably about 1 o’clock. Maybe a little later if I stop to pick up some booze to fortify myself in preparation for the picture.
Now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn’t have used that as a taunt. That cheesecake recipe is the beast I was referencing earlier. It may be doomed to failure, which would be a supreme irony, which we are known for.
Ah…that WOULD be an appropriate irony!
We will await the dramatic conclusion of this saga.
No significant spoilers, but some discussion of character-creation and characters in Divinity: Original Sin 2
And we’re back.
So started! The only reason character creation took so damn long was it took me forever to figure out how to do anything. I couldn’t figure out how to switch between the six characters forever, then I kept hitting “back to main menu” by accident and had to start over, then I spent time wondering why if I changed the pre build (say, from fighter to ranger) it changed it for everyone, then I spent forever trying to figure out how to create my other character before googling and realizing…..
….that I can’t. Single player is just that. Single player.
So I went with Lohse, the red headed Jester with demons in her head, because the first one was all about sanity and stuff so I’m sticking with theme. At least at first. Went with Ranger. Rangers have Pet Pal.
So then I woke up all tied up in a place with operating tables and stuff and chuckled. See, the first game, as I said then, was a love letter to Baldur’s Gate. This one, well, let’s just say you start Baldur’s Gate 2 waking up in a place where they’re doing experiments and shit on you.
Divinity, you so cheeky.
But then met an ornery sheep that didn’t like my joke, read a letter, put barrels on plates, let a guy out of a cell and got attacked, killed him, killed a guard, called it a day. Usual RPG shit.
I’m into it!
But I will talk on one interesting thing we don’t talk on much: Controls.
It was pretty amazing how quickly the control scheme of Divinity came back to me. In no time I was hitting X to search and get long lists of empty crates. I was flying up and down my hot bar in combat. No problemo. That struck me because this is not a game with normal, usual controls. This isn’t L2 to aim, R2 to fire kinda shit. It’s weird. Unique. But it came right back to me.
Contrast that to when they make little tiny tweaks to the “usual” control scheme. I played Fallout 4 for god knows how many hours and I STILL was stealing shit cuz I hit X to pick shit up when I wanted to jump the whole time. X is jump, people. I could NOT get used to triangle being jump.
Yet this weirdness? Picked it up in a second.
Probably a psychology thesis waiting to happen, that.
So what’s your character build?
Oh, really? Single player is single player? My bad!–I just assumed it would be like the first one. Well, we know what they say about assumptions. So you’re all alone!
Well, no worries, I’m sure you’ll soon meet up with five helpful people, three of whom will be willing to travel with you at any given time to help you in your quest to…whatever.
I did find character creation a bit awkward for the reasons you describe…I’d get halfway through, go back to the main menu by accident and oops!–have to start all over.
I’m playing Sebille, the former slave elf with the scar who eats flesh to gain access to the memories of the dead. It’s a good time.
Mr. O’ made a character from scratch, a dwarf name Gannibolg. It’s cool. We have fun together, roaming around talking to people and killing things.
I have NOT picked up this weirdness again in a second. It took me a while to remember how the hotbar works, and I still sometimes cast things by accident when I only meant to remind myself what they are, or whatever. But again, it’s cool. We’ll manage.
I have more to say about this, but derailing early, because I started shopping for Thanksgiving. I must mention it, for this will take over my mind for the several days. Oh, I’ll play. I’ll empathize with Lohse, for I, too, will have a voice in my head. It’ll say things like “You’ll never be able to find golden syrup” (yes, I need golden syrup) or “You really should buy extra cream” and “You bought HOW much alcohol?????”
OK, that last one isn’t the voice in my head, it’s Mrs. McP’s voice. But still.
I’m off to Wegmans. It’s going to be a zoo. If I’m not back by 230, call the mounties and remember me fondly.
May fortune favor you in your attack on Wegman’s, my friend. Should you not return, I will always remember our thoughtful discussions and barely-maintained sanity.
If you do return, we will probably be playing this game for a long time, so we’ll talk later.
I have survived! Mostly unscathed. My wallet absorbed much of the damage, but it may not last through the next fight without extensive repair.
It will be worth it once I consume all the alcohol.
T SHIRT I WOULD WEAR EVERY DAY!!!!!
Sometimes I think I should buy everyone some Chinese food and call it a day.
I, at least, would never fault you for doing so. Naked Zeus help us if I am ever primarily responsible for a holiday meal.
“Uh…people like dessert, right? I’ll just serve a cheese plate and 15 different pies. Problem solved.”
Honestly, I’d be perfectly happy with that. Especially when no one ever wanted me to host Thanksgiving again.
You’d be thrilled with that. You’ve always been of the opinion that dinner is an unnecessary and filling interlude between cheese and pie.
I’m only doing two pies this year, apple and this pecan one I did last year with rum and espresso.
No pumpkin pie.
Which one would think is a travesty until they see the pumpkin cheesecake with the sour cream bourbon topping I’m making.
Why am I doing this?
I don’t know! I’d say it’s because you like to eat all this good food, but if you wanted to do that you could make it anytime and not have to share it with a bunch of people you’d rather weren’t all in your house drinking your booze at the same time.
Truly, it is a mystery.
Even I, though, would have guilt about making a whole damn cheesecake and eating half of it with Mrs. McP. One must have limits.
If you say so.
Well, maybe that’s your answer then. You want the excuse to try out cool recipes that you wouldn’t dare make just for you and Mrs. McP.
I mean, I made a carrot cake for Mr. O’s birthday and we ate ALMOST the entire thing ourselves (the kids still have Halloween candy they’re working on! and they were in bed when we wanted cake!), but it did take several days.
Yeah, but that’s cool cuz carrots. Healthy. Vitamin A or something.
Cornbread stuffing with bacon? Less so.
Corn! It’s hearty and wholesome!
Carrot cake is about half oil and half cream cheese frosting, so it always comes out less healthy than you expect.
I do one, you bake it in a 13 x 9 pan, then, before you frost it, you make this buttermilk caramel sauce and pour it over the warm cake, let it set up. Makes it like candy.
Cuz, you know, subtle.
Yes! That sounds delightful!
And exactly the sort of thing you wouldn’t necessarily want to make and then eat half of yourself.
Or rather, you would WANT to, but perhaps for health-related reasons you SHOULD not.
We haven’t shared a fitness tip in a while, so there’s one: maybe don’t eat an entire candied cake! At least not all in one sitting.
Yes! This is the perfect time of year for fitness tips!
Now I just want some pie.
So what else is new?
Hang on. At Wegmans again. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
My wallet’s durability is only 2/20. Not sure it’s gonna make it.
Quick, grab some other wallets and use their pieces to repair your own!
No one will mind.
Alternatively, as soon as you accidentally touch one of their cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee while reaching for their wallet, everyone in town will pull out guns and start trying to kill you.
Be careful out there.
Phew! Back again. Only took a few more hours.
Never learn to cook. People will expect you to do it.
Noted, my friend. Duly noted.
I got nothing. Mrs. McP came home early, the kids went nuts, I spent the rest of the night being a shrink and drinking booze. I even missed the end of the sporting event I was interested in.
I gotta play today. I’m getting itchy.
But I gotta buy food, get a haircut, go to the cleaners and, most importantly, buy more booze.
But I gotta play.
Can we talk about Mother’s Day or is that too dull?
I don’t have anything either. I looked wistfully at What Remains of Edith Finch (as you reminded me, free this month, we can play it eventually) while the kids were getting a video, but I had to do lunch stuff. By the time that was done, forget it.
Also, I’d forgotten Mother’s Day was this weekend until last night, so I don’t even have anything to say about that except that I’m a terrible child.
Terrible child? Dude. Once you have two, and one is old enough to understand the basics, the day is about you. You are a mother. You can not be terrible this weekend. Mr O, Blasto and Grigio can.
As can I, as I have no fucking idea what to do for both my own mother and the mother of my children. It’s a twofer.
I’d ask you what mothers want, but you’d likely say “I’d be good with a couple hours with the PS4,” which isn’t much of a help in my household.
And the weather looks shitty, so I can’t even grill and satisfy them with cooking.
Going out isn’t an option, cuz the kid’ll be nuts.
Maybe I’ll just let Mrs. McP play some games.
I still HAVE a mother, though, man! I’m still supposed to remember my own mother. And my grandmother. And my mother-in-law. And possibly my sisters and sister-in-law who are mothers, although honestly they’re on their own. I’ll send them a text on Sunday.
Yup, I’m a terrible child. And mediocre sister. I’m just going to go with it.
As for what mothers like…probably booze? Mostly?
Make them some fancy cocktails and they’ll never even realize it’s too dreary out to grill.
Terrible child, but a great mother. Even if you let them watch weird cartoons. Who doesn’t?
I, however, have to fete my wife. It’s very important to give a mother a day off from making snacks, feeding everyone, doing household chores, putting everyone to bed, making sure everyone has brushed their teeth, that sort of thing. It’s thankless work! And really, celebrating the people who do it once a year is, when you think about it, nowhere near enough.
So here’s to all the mothers out there. Where would we be without them?
Hey, I do some of that! Sometimes!
Oh, sorry. I thought you were being sarcastic. More sarcastic.
I don’t even aim for great. I aspire to be an adequate mother who, before my eventual, inevitable, impalement on a rusty spike, is able to give my children the skills they need to move on and survive in the fungapocalypse.
Just throwing out observations. Observations laden with irony.
Maybe my kids are already infected. That would explain a lot.
I should just get Mrs. McP a spike for mother’s day.
I’m not sure I can improve on Hotmail’s suggested responses:
“I agree with you.”
I mean…I can’t pick just one, those are all on point. Although I prefer to spell it “OK.”
I mean, I know it’s arguably not a proper acronym because it doesn’t really stand for anything (possibly-apocryphal explanations about ‘oll korrect’ aside), so maybe it’s not WRONG, to spell it with a capital O and a small k, but…no, it’s wrong. It’s just wrong.
Ok spells something pronounced like “ock” or “oak.” It’s not obviously pronounced O-K unless you capitalize both letters.
WRONG, Hotmail. Wrong wrong wrong!
All I want for Mother’s Day is for Hotmail to use correct spelling and grammar in my auto-suggested responses. Otherwise, how can I ever trust it to write our blog posts for us?
Random side-thought…do you suppose it IS smart enough to pick up on common nonstandard linguistic habits, like, I don’t know, “lol” for when you want to say something is funny, and to use them in the suggestions for people who themselves use them? For people who habitually use “lol,” will it fill that in as a response for things that the program interprets as potentially amusing?
I can’t test it without sending a lot of messages from another account that I set up just to send lolz from. I’m not going to do that. But someone should work on it and get back to me.
Anyway, if it doesn’t do that now, you know it soon will.
I…feel just fine about that. It’s going to be great. We’re gonna love it.
You have another account? That’s like blogdultery. I feel so unclean.
Okay is also OK, you know.
Lots of possibilities.
I intentionally use “cuz” in the blog because (intentional linguistic irony, and to show I know how to spell because) I am going for the conversational style that is our blog’s shtick. If we’re going to really get angry at hotmail, then let’s take a moment to mention that it thinks it’s spelling “OK” (or “Okay,” if you like) correctly, but it thinks I’m misspelling shtick. And schlep.
Probably thought Strauss was a-OK (or a-okay if you prefer).
No, no, I DON’T have another account. And I don’t want to set one up for that purpose. Which is only one of the reasons I’m not going to test out the autosuggested responses to various informal linguistic quirks.
I’m OK with okay. I don’t prefer it, but I acknowledge it. If you don’t like anything in all-caps, it’s the way to go. But “Ok” is not O.K.
Interesting article–I didn’t realize ‘oll korrect’ was actually the best-evidenced explanation! Way to go Boston journalists.
I have no problem with ‘cuz,’ either. But if you suddenly start spelling it ‘cuzz,’ I’ll think “all right, what the hell is this nonsense?”
Because there’s an established tradition here we gotta work with! Speaking of, “gotta” and “gonna,” I use those all the time. But I don’t spell them got’a and gunna or anything. I spell them the way they’re most commonly spelled, because that’s the way most people are going to recognize them and understand what I mean.
Which is another point: I’m not really trying to lay down the law and say ‘Ok’ is objectively wrong and no one can use it. I mean, I kind of did, but mostly for funny. I don’t actually care if other people write it Ok — I can generally figure out what they mean and they can obviously do what they like.
I’m mostly trying to lay down the law on what I MYSELF would use, the better to educate Hotmail into providing me with plausible autoresponses.
And I’m sure it’s taking copious notes, so I expect results any moment now.
Ah. Good. I’m sorry I doubted you. I feel better now. Phew.
Though this is what we’ve come to. I wish I had played. I didn’t play. I was putting a new weed whacker together. Why’d I buy a house again?
Hey yeah! You do do that with gotta and gonna! OK, now I’m not so down on cuz.
I wouldn’t expect much from Hotmail. Remember, it thinks I’m a Mexican miller high life drinker who likes show tunes. And is always in the market for a new car. Much is getting lost in translation.
Or…is that just what it wants you to think it thinks?
Putting a weed whacker together…dude. You sure know how to live.
Buying a house really sucks the fun out of everything, doesn’t it? I mean, I can’t even properly enjoy the lovely flowers that came up, because I also see all the weeds I’m not pulling. Or whacking.
Maybe I’ll make the children pull weeds on Sunday while I play video games. Now THAT’s a luxurious day for me.
Dude, that’s living the dream.
Maybe I’ll let Mrs. McP weed while I play video games. She might actually like that.
It’s a really nice weed whacker! It’s adjustable and cordless and flips up so you can edge and oh who am I kidding. I’m gonna go weep.
I also weep for you, my friend. I weep for you.
And myself. Because of the weeds.
But at least there’s booze! And video games sometimes. Having a room in which to play video games is pretty much the primary purpose of a house.
Sleeping is secondary.
And cocktails for mothers, that’s up there.
Oh that’s a given. Holy lord, is that a given.
My mother has cut way back on the red wine cuz of reflux (woman drinks nothing but coffee and red wine, and often goes through the day eating nothing but yogurt and cranberry sauce until dinner….gee, wonder why she got reflux?) but she doesn’t want to give up booze, what, you know, being a mother and all, so I’m trying to up my cocktail game. My mixology chops were pretty much “Pour whiskey in glass. Add an ice cube,” and I was very, very ok with that. Maybe a gin and tonic, maybe a martini if I was feeling really fancy pants, but cocktails? Who needs those? Who even WANTS those?
Turns out, my mother.
I’ve gotten very good at negronis, I must say. That’s been a hit. And cosmos. Old fashioneds have gone over well with my father.
I’ll stick to the whiskey in a glass, though.
Fancy cocktails, fancy finger sandwiches and tiny fancy cookies with gold leaf or something, they’ll feel all decadent and feted, and then they’ll pass out and you can go play games.
It’s gonna be great.
Although that does still leave you on the hook for gold-leafed cookies. Maybe make your dad bring those. He has to chip in too!
****pictures father making gold leaf cookies****
****correction: tries to picture father making gold leaf cookies****
****realizes there are limits to the capacity of the human brain****
And, sadly, both mother and wife talk louder when they drink. This is not conducive to game time.
Drat. I thought I was onto something there. But those are significant hurdles, indeed.
See? It’s one obstacle after another. This is why you’re always ahead of me. Life just doesn’t want me to play games.
I might as well just have cocktails, too. And by cocktails I mean my specialty: pour whiskey in glass. Add ice cube.
I make a mean one of those.
Had a lot of practice.
No, you’re right. Mix up your mean one of those or three and relax. To the extent that you can, with all the talking and weeding distracting you from video games.
Happy Mother’s Day, mothers out there. I hope you play some games.
Hooray hooray the first of May.
Outdoor fucking starts today.
Busy-ness and ambient rage almost made me forget.
Too close. Way too close.
Well, given the uncooperative look of the actual weather, you could hardly be blamed if it slipped your mind. Props for remembering.
Hey man, we at PFTL do not judge. People wanna go outside in this, I got no opinion.
Very very true. Rock on, you brave, chilly souls. It is not for me to utter a word against you.
PFTL is on break today! Patriot’s Day is a holiday in Boston, because we are so very very patriotic and also we don’t want to face the crowds and come to work on Marathon Monday.
Absolutely zero spoilers
Well, I tried to play. Unfortunately, upon returning from trumpet lessons (make up cuz of snow), the first thing I heard when opening the door was Mrs. McP yelling at the top of her lungs at Nugget cuz something or other and telling him he lost electronics and all television for the night.
Note: Games are on television.
And by the time he was in bed, I didn’t feel great and went to bed.
At least Junior didn’t lose screens and we got to watch a fascinating NOVA about Apollo 8 in my bedroom. Not sarcasm, it was a really cool show. Not blog material, but, dear readers, I do recommend it.
I’ll play today. Unless Mrs. McP comes home early and I have to be all romantic and shit.
This week isn’t going well.
I seem to say that every week.
It definitely has been a while since a week went well. But then, if it IS going well we don’t tend to mention that, probably for fear of jinxing it, so there may be a bit of confirmation bias when we think “all we ever say about weeks is how they aren’t going well, so they must never be going well.”
At least, that’s my hopeful pep talk. SOME week will probably go well SOMETIME. And then we won’t say anything about it, because we’ll be too busy talking about all the games we’re playing because everything is going so well.
From you, that is a peppy pep talk. Usually, you’re along the lines of “Hey, man, the earth’s gonna crash into the sun someday, so, you know….”
Ok, got roses. Now food.
Mr. O gonna pull through?
Oh, who am I kidding, you don’t want roses.
Hey, I emphasize the BRIGHT side of the earth crashing into the sun! That’s peppy!
It’s true, I do not want roses. Ideally, I want nothing except possibly some cheap candy once it goes on sale tomorrow. And I can buy that myself.
Hopefully Mr. O’ will pull through by not getting something and making me feel bad for not getting something.
Great, now I’m worried he’ll get something. Maybe I should get something just in case.
And that’s how it escalates.
It’s so romantic!
Both your pep and sense of romance inspire us all.
Best get on that cheap candy. I went yesterday to get the aforementioned Mless M&Ms and they had already taken down most of the Valentine’s candy and were putting out Easter candy. Nothing says love like a chocolate bunny!
Aww…I do love a bunny! As long as it’s chocolate.
I really am the go-to source for romance advice and pep talks. That’s on my business cards.
We will never forget the time I advised you to hire a string quartet and strew rose petals around the deck and enjoy a candlelit dinner until the deck caught fire. But did you even listen?
You did do that, you did. But really, that was more home ownership advice than it was romance advice.
One stop shopping, really.
Once again, we prove our ability to provide relevant and useful input for an incredibly wide variety of topics.
We do. We so do.
I just wish we could knock it off and talk about games.
I blame myself.
And viruses. And romance.
Ok, I’m playing today. No matter what. Playing.
I think you’d better, or there’s no telling how far this discussion will deteriorate.
It’s almost like you’re daring us.
Only out of morbid curiosity! That makes it OK.
Curiosity makes it science!
And there’s nothing more romantic than science!
There it is. Mark it down. Today’s the day where, finally, after all this time, these many years of bloggage, I officially have no fucking idea what we are talking about.
It’s your fault! You should be playing!
Or setting your deck on fire. Something.
I blame myself.
I feel like I already said that today. Was that today? I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TODAY!
Nothing happened! That’s the problem.
Nothing but romance and science and no games. And an inevitable descent into madness.
It will forever serve as another cautionary example of what happens when we don’t play.
Counterbalancing the recent cautionary examples of what happens when we do play and don’t save.
I blame myself for that. With good reason.
Dude, considering the cheese that is flung around on Valentine’s Day, this alternate take is some Pulitzer prize winning shit.
It’s an intentional counternarrative!
Yeah, I’m going to go with that.
Yeah, I’m going to go with that.
Don’t forget, also modest.
Some spoilers for story bits in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Ok! We’re moving now!
After five or six more tries on the sliding, I got it! Then back to Paititi, got the bow, made the kid king, went back to the mission to poke around and get supplies (they fixed it up pretty quickly!), helped the kids with the treasure hunt (you’re right, that was rather sweet), and spent WAAAAAAY too long making the whole follow the cross thing more complicated than it had to be. Figured it out, turns out that shooting a rope arrow was the way to find her (Like, dudes, you’re standing RIGHT NEXT TO A ROPE THING try that), found her, now I gotta get out of there.
Back me up on this: When it says “Look through me to find the way,” and it has a big fucking hole in it, that suggests you look through the hole and go that way. It does. Really. I looked through that damn hole every possible way. I GAVE UP and that’s when I found the other crosses.
Look through me my ass.
But what I really want to talk about is the Narual or whatever the hell it’s called.
There was stuff there, and I’m still pondering. It certainly was a callback to the first jaguar. Not the empress one we skinned, but the FIRST first one, the one that is about to kill Lara and gets in her face, but then turns away out of…what…respect? This seemed like that again, Lara and this animal facing each other and sharing some degree of respect. Only Lara DOESN’T spare her opponent the way the jaguar did. Lara is more the “animal.”
But that aside….how’d you read all this? It WASN’T just a jaguar, the way I thought it would be. It had clothes and a mask. So….what? Is it really a mythical shapeshifter? Can Amaru really control it? Or is it some kind of ritual thing, people went out and…what, dressed it? And what did you make of the fact that her unmasking it was drawn out? They wanted to say something with that, but I’m still pondering what.
It was a good scene, and I get some of it, but I’m curious as to your take.
Yes! Onward and forward!
You are not wrong: “Look through me” does indeed suggest that looking THROUGH THE DAMN THING would be important, and I also tried several times to get somewhere by looking through the circle on top of the cross before finally giving up and wandering over to look at the other crosses by the gate, after which I noticed that hey, there are more out here! It was super easy after that, so maybe “look through me” was just their way of adding a little misleading challenge to the whole thing?
That dressed-up jaguar was very interesting. Here’s kind of what I made of it: it was a sham, created by Trinity/Amaru to keep people in line. If I recall, one of the people she talked to about it mentioned that it hadn’t been seen in years, it was just a legend, and then lately it’s actually been seen, and maybe that’s an omen or whatever.
Maybe it’s an omen…or maybe it’s a way of keeping people from wandering around outside the village where they might run into Trinity’s soldiers/camps/jeeps/etc.
I think the jaguar was probably in considerable discomfort from being all dressed up like that (though it also probably received some sort of armor bonus), and that’s why, when it was wounded, it simply lay there and let Lara walk up and kill it. And I think she recognized that as well, which is why she was so ready to simply kill it rather than leave it be (which might not have been that much of a kindness anyway, depending on how badly injured it was–yay, I get to die slowly in pain and confusion!).
I could be wrong, but that was my read.
Ah, see? This is friendship. Knowing that, when I feel stupid, you did the same stupid thing. We’re in this together.
Hmm. I can see the jaguar as that. Seems an odd place to put the bow, though. After all, the other stuff was guarded just by dudes.
But, you know, gameplay. Been a while since we fought a jaguar.
But I’ll take hoax/sham. I’m very curious to see if hoax/sham stays a possibility….
She did treat it with a kind of reverence. Not reverence, respect. Utzu even says “He must have respected you greatly to choose jaguar.” There certainly is something to their mutual respect (or general mutual respect jaguar-wise).
It’s interesting that the only real mutual respect with opponents we see in the whole game is her an the jaguars. She doesn’t share any mutual respect for any Qevins or Amaru or anyone. They all just call her Croft or Ixhi or whatever. Amaru and Lara spend all their time calling the other crazy. But with the animals, there’s this connection.
Add to that the fact that so many skills have animal names. Serpent this, eagle that, etc. You learn stuff, you get skills, you get more “animal.”
It is interesting that the opponents she really respects are the animals, and as you say, the cool skills are named after animals…she becomes more like them in her ability to hunt and survive in the jungle as she gains experience. Hm. I mean, undoubtedly partly it’s just that animal names are locally relevant/sound cool, where ‘Grandma Trinity’s Secret Grenade Recipe’ does not, but also from a thematic perspective, the animals maybe could be seen as the ones who live in the world without all these human complications we’ve been dealing with. Maybe the animal connection gives us some larger tie to the world as it is, something to be interested in saving aside from the humans?
We talked yesterday about how it’s all very well to imagine remaking the world free of sin but what happens to all the people living in it now, etc., but even that was a pretty limited perspective, focusing only on the effect of this action on HUMANS.
It’s not just about people! What about all the animals, what about the many unique environments that would be harmed by the (likely) destruction involved in remaking the world? Maybe Lara’s depicted respect and connection to animals is meant to (or does, even if not intentionally planned to) hint at an awareness that these things are also worth some consideration, even though a concern specifically for them is never spelled out.
Right. The complexities of being “inhuman.” What really makes you an “animal.” Or a monster or a reaper or whatever.
This game plays a lot with the idea of “are you really the good guy? You’re just like the bad guys!” Add to that the idea that you’re just like the inhuman bad guys, too.
And THEN make it that the inhuman bad guys are the ones you kinda want to be like. Or at least respect.
This game, in general, is not too keen on humanity.
Well, I don’t know. It’s not as if it’s promoting a “humans suck, the world would be better without them” message (which it could have, with that whole ‘remaking the world’ thing).
I don’t think I’d really say it’s not keen on humanity, so much as that it argues that being human is complicated. We all have similar emotions and share the broad outlines of many experiences (loss, fear, love, longing for booze), but we react to them in different ways. We do what we think is the right thing, but is it? Sometimes we do what we think is best, sometimes we obey the rules and do what society thinks is best, and which approach is really better?
Some of us choose to make passion plays out of mummies! Others…do not. But maybe we should!
Nah, let’s stick to booze. Easier. Cleaner. I have enough clutter around the holidays (relevant because packing the last of that up today). I don’t need to jumble my house up even more with mummy dioramas. It’s bad enough Mrs. McP has all these little Danish elf thingies that she has posed.
Now that I look at them, they’re creepier than mummies.
Yeah, see! Although the mummies would take up a lot more space.
So yeah, let’s stick to booze.
I dunno, man. She has a LOT of these little fuckers.
And nutcrackers! So…many….nutcrackers….
Which are also creepy as fuck.
Hm. Kind of a toss-up, then. Maybe you’d be better off trading them for one mummy.
On the other hand, if you had to trade them for the same number of mummies, forget about it. You wouldn’t have any room left in the house.
I already didn’t have any room in the house. Ferdinand the Duck is famous for screaming “Christmas means carnage!” in Babe, the Sheep Pig, but he really should have said “Christmas means clutter!”
Boy does it.
And creepy. Elves, the elf on a fucking shelf (he’s watching you….), the nutcrackers, the fact that, thanks to my parents, practically every ornament on my tree is a picture of my kids (THEY’RE watching you…..), the fact that the only outside lights you can get these days are LED and, while environmentally sound, are VERY vivid (and, thus, creepy)….
I’m just here for the booze and cookies.
But watch: someone will find a way to make THAT creepy.
I firmly have nothing to do with the damn Elf on the Shelf.
NOT IN MY HOUSE YOU CREEPILY SMILING BASTARD!!!!!
Give me the genuine spiritual dedication summed up by a mummy passion play any time.
But then, I’m not married to Mrs. McP.
Dude, she regretted it the minute she brought it home.
But the kids still ask where it is if it doesn’t show up on the first.
I think they just want it out to torture their mother. Who completely deserves it.
Here, watch this:
The Elf on the Shelf – TV Spot
They say “What you say and what you do.”
So I changed it to “The elf on a shelf is watching you, what you drink and who you screw” and sang it to Mrs. McP. And now she says that’s all she can think about when she sees the thing.
She completely deserves it.
Hahahaha! That’s awesome.
And well deserved.
Indeed it is.
Mrs. McP’s tombstone will read “It looked like a good idea when I saw it on Pinterest….”
So many things do! Probably.
This is why I stay the hell off Pinterest.
Very, very wise.