Spoilers for a late-game side quest in Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds
Hey so I did play some! Hooray! But not much. I trucked up to the next camp there, met Varga, decided hunting sounded fun, killed a bellowback and a stormbird but didn’t feel like the thunderjaw, and it was far away from any discovered campfire, so fuck that. Then I decided the old guy’s quest sounded neat so I traveled up there to start that one, which is where I am.
It was nice to get back to the sundom for a while. Though I did like the kick in the ass to keep going: “Ah…the sun feels nice…maybe we could stay a bit? Nah, best to get back.” “HEY PLAYER! BACK TO WORK!” Nice.
I’m now pretty convinced you missed the murder mystery one, because I have now found all the ones that you mentioned. So boot up that sweet new TV and go do the murder mystery!
There is a lot of game here for 15 bucks.
I had definitely missed the murder mystery. I went back and did it on Saturday. Good stuff.
Speaking of cool new technology, though, I had a terrifying moment near the end of the final battle with the two frostclaws, when one was dead and one was down to its last few hit points (finally–they killed me several times before that), and suddenly the screen went blank and the PS logo came up…I was certain the game was going to reload back at the beginning of the fight, but somehow, miraculously, it came back at the same point so I was able to finish the fight. I think it’s the TV’s fault, not the PlayStation, since if the PS had shut down it would definitely not have remembered where I was in that battle. Plus, almost the same thing happened to O’Jr. this morning while he was watching Voltron–sudden blank screen, shockingly loud static noise, and then the PS logo came up and he could eventually get back to Netflix.
BAD new TV! Very naughty! If you’re not careful, we’ll hook up the old one again. Or, I guess, return you and demand a replacement.
The good news is, after removing a bit of moulding from the basement stairs (honestly, the look of an unfinished wood edge is underrated anyway) the washer and dryer we were afraid were too big DID get into the house after all. And then it turned out the existing dryer hookup is for gas, and our dryer is electric, so we have to get an electrician in. But at least the dryer is in the basement! And the washing machine is hooked up, and we even have a tiny clothesline, so we’re in business.
BUT–talking about the game. Good mystery, some nice tracking and climbing, and the whole bit was very relevant to our previous discussions of ancient tradition and how much reverence we owe it. Also some interesting questions we haven’t covered in this DLC, about and when people ‘move on’ after a war. Those three Banuk couldn’t let it go, and so they took out their anger on Carja who, as the main guy, Inatut, says, were not even the people who hurt them.
Meanwhile that Carja guy is kind of “mistakes were made, but it was the distant past!” but the woman says no, she still has her own scars, so the past wasn’t that distant and it’s not surprising that the Banuk haven’t yet forgiven and forgotten–she seemed to scorn them as barbarians, but also to understand their mistrust a lot more than the guy did. Also, this reminded us that even though the Carja were the aggressors in that war, and therefore the Bad Guys to everyone else, the Carja themselves also suffered under the Mad King’s rule.
Lots of complicated motivations.
Very cool stuff. That dude hated the customs even more than Aloy! We had her saying “Uh…maybe give them a little chance?” Which is unusual.
As for the TV, whoa, hang on. I had something similar happen to me last night. I was changing discs so we could watch a movie on DVD (Mrs. McP lives here, too), and I put the disc in and immediately got a white screen with, like, static snow. I didn’t get a shockingly loud static noise, but total blank screen with snow, controller wouldn’t do anything. The light on the PS4 stayed white, indicating “on,” but nothing. I don’t know if it resolved itself, because I turned off the television to see if it was that, and when I turned it back on all was well. But that’s never happened before. Was there some recent software update that borked something, you think? I’ll have to check those notifications that I never check.
Nice news about the washer/dryer! See, already fixing the home! Nicely done!
I’d give you my extra weirdassed dryer outlet if I could. We have one in the dining room. Seriously. There it is, right there. In the dining room. We’ve never used it, because, well, why would you use a dryer outlet in the dining room?
Home ownership, man. Always interesting.
In game, I also had the chat with Aratuk where he told me that his sister was made to trap machines for the sun ring, and she’s still kinda messed up about that, which is on a similar theme.
Not only, though, was this about moving on after fighting, but it was about what fighting is in the first place. No doubt the three killers there were of the opinion that fighting is war, and war can’t be forgiven or forgotten. But Inatut doesn’t seem to think that way about fighting at all. He was a “fighter,” sure, but more in a hockey goon sense: “I’m doing this to rev up my team, maybe protect a weaker teammate, but it’s not really in anger, and I know the other guy is doing the same.” Fighting, to him, was punches, sure, but it was…not symbolic, but something you did for reasons other than “I hate that person, I will kill him.” Inatut, sure, has a sense of “Why can’t they let bygones be bygones,” but he also has a “Dudes, that’s not what fighting IS. What you’re doing is savage!”
Which is a strange undercurrent of Banuk stuff across the board. Here we have a bunch of warrior dudes, who revere the “best warrior,” but the “best warrior” isn’t necessarily determined to be the best KILLER, per se. Indeed, every time Aloy says something like “You fight,” or “You stand your ground” or anything, a Banuk corrects her to say “The Banuk ENDURE.” Not “conquer,” or “destroy” or “feast on the blood of our enemies,” just “endure.” Even the trail to join the werak we saw wasn’t “Bring me the heads of three carja” or even “Bring me a thunderjaw heart,” it was “Go up there and don’t die.” Which is an interesting take on what a “warrior” is, and, when the three Banuk warriors decided surviving the war, enduring, as it were, wasn’t enough, Inatut didn’t get it.
(Here’s where I point out, again, all this in a side quest in a DLC.)
That’s hilarious that you have a dryer outlet in the dining room. What was someone thinking?
“What if we want to put just a little, economy dryer in, in case someone spills water at the table and we want to throw the tablecloth in right there? WHAT IF, man?! We can’t go all the way downstairs at a time like that!”
Or maybe it was more “we’ll definitely put the laundry room up here, because who wants to hang out upstairs where all the windows are, next to the kitchen? People will totally want to spend all their time in the basement instead. That’s primary living space, and can’t be cluttered up with a dryer.”
Maybe they were vampires, and planned to only come up and do laundry at night. You don’t know, dude. You don’t know the issues they were facing. Let’s not be too quick to judge.
Anyway…good point about the different attitudes toward fighting. You’re right, Inatuk did seem to think of it more almost as a sport, than something you do with any vengeful or murderous intent (unlike us: we’re all murder, all the time). And it’s also true that this meshes a bit better with that Banuk ‘endure’ thing than does the other group’s vengeance. Indeed, the Carja understand this too–they said they didn’t suspect the Banuk in the previous disappearances, because this wasn’t their way, basically.
So the three Banuk assassins were going against their own traditions, in a way we don’t approve of…just showing that there are ways and ways to rebel against ancient customs, and not all of them are actually good.
I think the game does a good job of handling different tribes’ traditions in a fairly neutral way. Aloy doesn’t believe any of their stuff, but she doesn’t actively mock them or try to persuade them out of it. She supports people who want to do different things (she helped the one hunter try to rescue the other hunter), but she doesn’t try to force anything (she let the one hunter return and supported her claim to have passed the trial).
And then we see people questioning different aspects of their own traditions, and some questions lead in a direction Aloy generally approves of, and some don’t, and that’s what you get with different people thinking different things.
That’s not a bad idea about the dryer right there by the table…wish I had thought of that when the kids were learning to use big boy cups.
Our only real theory is that they thought that maybe they’d put in a BIGASSED air conditioner in the window, so we looked into that (cuz hey, AC) and all the ones that big a) won’t fit in the window, b) would, in my small dining room, generate enough wind to knock our pictures down and c) make so much noise as to make dinner conversation impossible.
So there it sits. Like a little sleeping face, waiting in vain to wake from its slumber to deliver 240 volts (or amps or whatever) to a bigassed appliance we will never need nor have. Poor little outlet.
No doubt they were going against tradition. They would have been banished for breaking the law.
But when you say “Not all of them are actually good,” why was it so bad? We’ve killed a whole mess of Carja. Ok, Shadow Carja, but still. Sure, we SAY that that particular Carja had nothing to do with anything, but, for all we know, he was just like the Carja Kevins we so gleefully killed ourselves. Here we are, stumbling into Banuk lands, our midriff baring armor (I still have mine) with Carja blood on it, and we hear them all “Do not murder, so,” and, instantly we pipe up “Yeah, man! What are you THINKING?”
And wait wait wait….that ‘supported her claim’ thing wasn’t her, it was the player. That’s what WE did, but we had a dialog option that would have fucked up either or both of their plans.
We had a dialog option at the end of the murder mystery, too. I told him to go find his own way, but the others were along the lines of “Screw them” and “You are Banuk.” So, while the game doesn’t (I don’t think) let you mock people, per se, the support/don’t support decision is left to the player, which is an interesting bit of game design.
Good point, good point, that was us choosing to support that hunter, not necessarily Aloy. Maybe one of the other options was “she totally cheated, you should throw her out of the werak.”
And I think “not all of them are actually good” because I think Aloy doesn’t approve of killing random people who aren’t trying to kill her, which is why I think she didn’t approve of the three assassins. Who I got the sense she didn’t agree with, although maybe it was just because they did, in fact, try to kill her. Maybe if they’d wanted to sit down and chat and explain their reasoning, she would have gotten behind it–but again, I think her general approach is “mercilessly kill anyone who would kill me if given the chance, but don’t kill anyone else.”
Or is that, again, just the way I play?
As you say, Aloy herself has killed plenty of Carja, so why would she necessarily object to these people killing some Carja?
My reading it that way goes back to the fact that the Carja we’ve killed were all hostile Bad Guy Carja who would have killed us if they could (we know because red dot!).
Random Carja walking down the road, we don’t kill, but I actually don’t know if we can even attack those guys? I never tried. Having never tried, I sort of assumed we couldn’t, and I therefore assumed that this mechanic reflected Aloy’s distaste for unprovoked murder and that this kind of universalizes her own morals to everyone else (screw your cultural relativism again!) and indicates that she disapproves of killing random non-red-dot people.
But as you say, this could be me as a player, not ever attacking people who didn’t show up as red dots first. It might not be the game’s morals (and hence Aloy’s)–maybe it’s always been an option to attack random people on the road. Certainly in games like Fallout there’s the option to attack non-hostile people and make them hostile (even accidentally, which is always exciting). I feel like sometimes during fights with machines where some random soldiers showed up and helped, I’ve accidentally hit them, and they didn’t all turn red on me, but again…I never actively attempted to attack them.
I do think one option was “I helped them,” or something that was more bluntly honest, which would have been the same as “she cheated.” The other was a MORE favorable lie, something like “I didn’t help at all and the other one is dead” or something. Or, given the choice we took wasn’t a blatant lie, so much as a spin, there was a blatant lie choice.
And I do think they “they’re gonna kill you so don’t think on it too much” was part of the quest design. I was pretty surprised that they did just attack without any dialog there. I was expecting a Weighty Moral Choice there, but no, they just turned into elite Kevins, which was a little cheap, I thought. I guess it would’ve complicated the quest too much.
Yeah, I think that was the case, that Aloy disapproves of killing non-red dots. I do know you couldn’t even draw your bow in Meridian, so you couldn’t play as a “kill all Carja” player. Hell, she got all damn flirty with the Carja king! So I guess it is a red dot thing.
But Aloy (or the player) never stops to consider the relativity of the red dot. To these guys, Carja were all red dot. And before you get all “But they weren’t trying to kill the assassins,” we have killed many a Kevin who were just chilling. Dropped on them from above, broke necks, pulled into haystacks and did God knows what. And don’t say “Well, yeah, but they WOULD have tried to kill us,” that’s an “all red dots gonna red dot” argument that would appeal to people who saw people in Carja uniforms kill Banuk for a decade. “He’s going to attack me at some point.” It works for us, right? So yet more relativism.
Hmm…it does work for us, it’s true. We’ve done many a stealth kill of people we didn’t give the opportunity to try to kill us first. But there’s always been a certain immediacy to the potential threat for us, and I think maybe there’s where we can draw the line.
We don’t say “he’s going to attack me at some point,” we say “he’s going to attack me the second he sees me.” Because it’s true. When we have red dots, it means that person will attack us as soon as he or she sees us. That’s how red dots do. If there was some level of orange dot where maybe the person would attack you if you did something suspicious, but otherwise ignores you (like in AC games), that’s a whole other moral calculation. Killing guards on rooftops in AC before they even know you’re there IS questionable, and if this were that kind of game, I’d be with you.
But in this game, if people are hostile, they’re going to be hostile, all the time and instantly. Which is a convenience for us, sure, since one could argue ALOY as a character doesn’t actually know that this one Kevin here might not be the one who would smile and wave her on if he saw her, instead of attacking, so MAYBE we’ve killed some people who wouldn’t actually have killed us.
But that’s not how it works in the actual mechanics of the game. In the actual game, there are plenty of times we’re kind of suspicious of people (heck, in this very DLC we both kind of expected the guy in the dam looking for the mirror to attack us at some point), but we DON’T kill them just on the expectation that they’re going to attack us at some point. We wait around until they’re a red dot, and then we know the fight is on, and they’ll attack us if they see us.
So I think Aloy might argue that these particular Carja have not been actively hostile, the Banuk had no reason to expect that they were going to attack as soon as they saw the Banuk (quite the contrary, since they’d evidently been there peaceably for some time), and that’s why it was wrong to kill them.
Well, that and it was wrong to frame Inatuk for the crime–I actually think she objected more to that than she would have to simple murder. You want to kill a guy over a past (legitimate!) complaint, fine. You want to let another guy take the fall, not fine. If if they’d killed the Carja and then said “yup, we did it, and we’ll do it again, just try and stop us!” that would have been an entirely different story.
And related to that, I agree that it simplified the story to NOT have them do that, and to attack Aloy as soon as she showed up, but I also agree it felt a bit like taking the easy way out of the plot.
It’s one thing to have them still angry over the outrages of the past: it’s another to have them framing their own people for their actions, and yet another to have them attacking on sight a random wanderer who’s neither Carja nor Banuk and therefore should have nothing to do with it.
“She’s not Banuk so it doesn’t matter–kill her!” pretty effectively eliminates the chance that we might have felt some sympathy for them. I mean, OK, mad at the Carja, fine, but I was just passing through (as far as they knew).
It was still a pretty good story, but it could have been even more complex and interesting if they’d let the assassins have a bit more time to argue their case. But it was still pretty good!
Hmm. I’m with you, save for the point about Gildun there. Sure, we were pretty sure he’d attack us, but that was in the vague sense of when you find a guy trapped in an odd place, and he obviously wants something, and is a fast talker, don’t trust him (words to live by, actually). It wasn’t because our people had a long and awful history of being kidnapped, enslaved and murdered by Oseram dudes with mommy issues. If we did have that history, we might have been a little quicker on the draw.
True about the frame-up. That was sleazy, that it was. And not very brave. That was hardly a move that dudes who were all “For the honor of our people!” would take. Not very honorable.
And “she’s not Banuk, kill her” removing sympathy–that, too. I mean, we could be forgiving and say it was a matter of “who cares who she is, she’s seen too much!” or something, but it still felt like a bit of a cop out.
But still pretty good, and, for a side quest in a DLC, very good, indeed.
Fair enough, fair enough: we had no real reason to suspect Gildun beyond being generally suspicious. A better comparison would have been if he’d been dressed in Shadow Carja gear and accompanied by a corrupted watcher, in which case we might have felt justified in stabbing first and asking questions later.
But yeah, I think in the end it was the sneakiness and the disdain for Inatuk that made those guys villains. That whole “That’s what this is about, you feel sorry for that lout Inatuk?” or whatever was just a jerk thing to say.
OWN your feuding, dude. Don’t push it off on some other (fairly decent) guy and let him be exiled for something he didn’t do while you sit around smirking about it because you’re so much cooler and smarter than him or whatever.