The Let's Play Archive


by woodenchicken

Part 1: Useful Information

Obligatory links to Quintin Smith’s outstanding articles on Pathologic at Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
part 1 part 2 part 3
There be some Haruspex spoilers in the third one.


Our little Nameless Town at The Edge of Time is easy to get lost in. Since our LP is not a video presentation, it'd be difficult for a reader to keep track of our movement. NPCs namedrop different locations all the time, and local naming conventions are original, to say the least.
So to give you some kind of sense of place, here’s a short rundown of the town’s locations. Big thanks to the Bachelor and the Local Guy for taking the time out of their busy schedule:

Can I help you?
I'd be grateful if you told me about the layout of your town.
The town consists of three parts. The first one is called Project of the Bulls. The second one is called the Quarters; it's a residential part of town. Then, there's the Polyhedron.
Tell me about the Project of the Bulls.
This is the base of our industry. It includes the railway station, warehouses, factories and slaughterhouses. You should stay away from there. This place isn't for you big city folks. It's dirty and stinky and... well it's not for humans in general.

It's not like I was planning on going there...
Vein and Throat - the two tributaries of the Gorkhon river - divide the town into three boroughs.
What are these boroughs?
The part next to the Abattoir is called «Land». The part between Vein and Throat is called «Knots». And the triangular cape between Throat and Gorkhon is the «Stone Yard». Each borough is divided into several neighborhoods.

That's... complicated.
The Stone Yard consists of two districts: the Bridge Square and Folds. Oh, and the Mistresses' Crypts, of course.
The Land has four residential blocks: Curriers, Tanners, Skinflints and Raw Structures. The Factories are also there.
As for the Knots...

Well? Why did you stop?
I just don't see how any of this could be useful to you... Knots has seven neighborhoods: Kidney, Heart, Rib, Spine, Muzzle, Seat and Womb.


Pathologic has more than 30 major characters, and Klara will have to deal with most of them sooner or later, so if you ever forget who's who, just go back and check this handy character reference. IT WILL EXPLAIN EVERYTHING.

Alexander Saburov: Represents the executive branch of the town’s leadership. Fond of strong-arm tactics in dealing with opposition.

Katherine Saburov: Alexander's wife, Mistress of the Land. After deaths of Nina the Wild and Victoria the Bright, she was the senior Mistress by default, but with Maria Kain and Kapella Olgimsky’s coming of age, her position becomes shakier.

Simon Kain: The town’s spiritual leader, a person more influential than governors or Mistresses, and considered to possess all kinds of incredible and mysterious powers. Died at the tender age of 157, right before the town went to hell. The extent to which he predicted and influenced the events that happened even after his death is hard to estimate. He was the one who selected the future Adherents.

Georg «The Judge» Kain: Simon’s younger brother. After Simon’s death he took over as the governor of all things magical, but doesn’t command the same amount of respect.

Victor Kain: Simon’s even younger brother.

Nina «Scarlet Nina» Kain: Victor’s late wife, Mistress of the Stone Yard. Played a big part in shaping the town in its present form. She also had a sister nobody has seen yet...

Maria Kain: Victor and Nina’s daughter. Quickly turning into a powerful psychic, about to succeed Nina as the clan’s new Mistress.

Caspar «Khan» Kain: The son of Victor and Nina, leader of the children’s gang called «Dogheads» that controls the Polyhedron.

Notkin: Chieftain of the rival child gang, «Dualsouls» that have their headquarters in one of the warehouses.

«Big» Vlad Olgimsky Sr.: Head of the Olgimsky clan, an unscrupulous businessman who controls the entire town’s economy: slaughterhouse, meat-packing plant, the works.

«Young» Vlad Olgimsky Jr.: Vlad’s son. Helps him out with business, but also collects folklore, studies native language and leads the excavation that is supposed to reveal something under the town. Moved out of the mansion to live at the dig site after a falling out with his father

Victoria Olgimsky: Late wife of Big Vlad. She was the third Mistress - Mistress of the Knots.

Victoria «Kapella» Olgimsky Jr.: Teenage daughter of Vlad and Victoria preparing to take over as a Mistress when ready. Has big plans for the town’s younger generation. Both Khan and Notkin recognize and respect her emerging power.

Andrei Stamatin, Petr Stamatin: Famous architects from the capital. They were commissioned by the Kains to design and oversee the construction of the Polyhedron. Stayed in town «because of Nina». Andrey is currently a bootlegger and owner of a local bar. Petr is an alcoholic.

Bachelor Daniel Dankovsky: Scientist from the capital, whose controversial and unsuccessful research of human immortality made him an outcast among peers. When invited in town by Isidore to study Simon Kain’s longevity, he was already desperate and leaped at the opportunity. Simon’s death just before his arrival crushed his last hopes and filled him with vengeance. He later becomes fascinated with Stamatins’ and Kains’ work, and it becomes his new life’s goal to preserve it.

The Order: Society of minorities that work for the Project of the Bulls. Consists of Odonghe (bull herders that belong to the mysterious Worm race) and Butchers. They work in the Abattoir and live in the Apiary. Some worms also live in the wild and collect herbs, away from the Order.

Oyun: Elder of the Abattoir who oversees the slaughter of bulls and manages the Order.

Taya Tychik: Mother Superior of the Apiary. Took over after her father, the old superintendant, died not so long ago. Has almost limitless authority over worms and butchers despite being like 6 years old.

Isidore Burakh: Town’s late doctor. Master of traditional medicine. One of the chosen few for whom dissecting a human body is not taboo. Made great strides in combating Sand Fever during the previous outbreak. Summoned his son home from the university when the situation started getting dire, but didn’t live to see him.

Artemy «Haruspex» Burakh: Son of Isidore. Was studying modern medicine in the big city when he received a letter from his father demanding his immediate return. Arrives in town to find Isidore murdered and himself a suspect. Now his goal is to find his father’s real killer and decipher Isidore’s findings to save the town.

Stanislav Rubin: Isidore's loyal apprentice, ex-military.


So as most people know, there are slight gameplay differences between playable characters here.

Unlike Haruspex, Klara can’t harvest human organs or brew potions out of herbs and gore. So any herbs you collect have to be given to Andrei Stamatin in return for twyrine. Worms will refuse to trade with you, which is just as well, considering how they gouge Haruspex in his playthrough. She has no fancy visor like Bachelor does, and cannot equip any weapons other than a hilarious little derringer. (Thankfully, this derringer will still kill just about anything point blank.) But there is an upside. Instead of an unarmed attack she has a «put one of your hands out in front of you» attack that causes whoever is within a foot’s distance to lose some health.
It’s not super damaging, and certainly is weaker than the derringer, but it’s also FREE.
It’s a game changer.
This alone makes her the most combat-oriented character in the game.
When you engaged in combat as Bachelor or Haruspex, you had the choice: either use guns and pay out of your nose for every bullet, or try melee attacks and get shanked repeatedly. Rounds are very expensive, so combat is only economically feasible if you finish each enemy in one shot. The average drop barely recoups the cost the shot fired. And if either of them faces, say, a plague-carrying rat, they cannot afford to shoot it, and have to run from it around the entire neighbourhood, Benny Hill-style, until there is an unlocked door somewhere.
With Klara, there’s no downside to running around town and killing criminals all night long (or just everybody, if that is how you roll). Enemies eat it reliably after several hits, while you remain out of their melee range. Rats can just be swatted at any moment without any risk of being bitten.

Her reputation goes down constantly, at different rates on different days, so killing criminals is the easiest and most profitable way of grinding it.
The other is to treat Sand Plague sufferers – shambling guys in rags that roam the quarantined districts. They normally walk up to you and start feeling you up, giving you disease. If you try to attack them the same way, Klara performs a short ritual instead, exorcizing the plague and making them sane again – they are even allowed to leave the quarantine!

If you take the title of a thief literally, breaking into people’s homes is the easiest way to accumulate tons of shit very quickly. Empty people’s drawers and cupboards, and if you get spotted – haul it for the exit. You won't lose any reputation, and everyone's aggro will reset when you reenter the house. If you are willing to stoop this low, it makes the most common way of obtaining supplies – collecting trash and trading it to children for items – almost completely irrelevant.

Klara has less storyline quests in the back half of the game. Instead, she’s given some busywork fetch quests that repeat for several days. (I’ll be showing them only once.)
Success in this game is measured by the amount of healing items you have managed to stockpile over the course of 11 days. Normally you receive one through main questline, and the rest is up to you: getting enough for the most informative ending requires some work and a bit of luck.
But these repetitive missions get you 4 of these items guaranteed if you make sure to select the right dialogue options every time. This removes even more challenge from the game; another reason why Klara is basically easy mode.

Impostress is not allowed to fight in the arena like the other two characters – she doesn’t have melee attacks, after all. Rat races are still available to her, which is a good thing, since it’s so easy to capture rats by accident. Might as well earn some money with them!


Like any open-world videogame worth its salt, Pathologic has its own mini-games to distract you from the main story.

The first one will require a live rat. Rats are captured by pressing «use» key while looking at the creature from behind.
Since every time a rat sees you, it homes in on you immediately, ignoring everything else in the world, getting to it from behind may be a bit tricky. One way is to make a loud noise: fire a warning shot, causing the rodent to run in panic. I don’t recommend wasting ammo just to spook rats, but if you happen to be shooting at someone, and some nearby rat hears it and decides to skedaddle, you can use it to your advantage.

The rat will be shook for some time, but it will become aggressive again, so grab it by the tail as fast as you can. You also get an opportunity to catch one if you sneak up on them, or just spawn behind one when you exit a building. It’s not uncommon to catch a rat by accident in the heat of a battle. At first I would just find rats in my inventory without any idea where they came from and what to do with them.

What you do with them is take them to the nondescript storage space #2 somewhere among factory buildings. I mean, duh, right? To make it a little less obvious, the race organizer is only there from day 5 onward, so even if you explore this place on days 1-4 and try every door, you’ll never think to come here again.

This little fella will explain the rules.

Well then; listen up! We are opening a new attraction. Rat races! There are only three rats – let’s call them «Smarty», «Simpleton» and «Pauper». So, Smarty is running along one track, Pauper is running along another, simultaneously – are you following me? – and the...
Why «Simpleton»?
Why do you have to ask such silly questions? And why «Smarty»? Just a catchy name, nothing more.
...All right. What happens next?
Obviously, rats are different every time. It’s the tracks that are the same. Let's say a rat is running along the Smarty track, twelve paces. If it comes first, it wins. Whoever bet on it collects the prize. These are the rules.
And how do I bet?
Oh, you can’t. You just supply the rat. Your rat's track is the nearest one. If your rat wins, we will buy it off you. We’ll give you as much as 500 coins for a strong one!
Is the nearest track called «Simpleton»?
But of course! You are quick on the uptake!
This wasn’t exactly hard to guess... And what if my rat loses?
Then we keep it for ourselves! Ha-ha-ha!
So, what kind of rats do you need?
A new breed has appeared recently – they leap three meters and can snap through a piece of wire with their teeth! I wonder where they came from?
I think I know where...

Give him a rat, and the race will begin. The creatures mostly run forward, but sometimes they get confused and shuffle back and forth. Firing a gun at the ceiling doesn’t make them run faster. If your ratus finishes first, talk to the manager to receive a glorious cash prize!

What a neat ratty, real swift. Here’s the money. We’re running an honest business here!
Treat it well.

The other place of interest is located just outside Ospina’s poor neighbourhood, where the walls of Abattoir and Apiary’s Long Hall form a corner. The Arena is not available right away, since the Apiary is under lockdown at first. Also, it has work hours. Locals who fight each other to death in worship of their own pagan version of Satan are well-unionized.
This arena is permanently closed in Klara’s playthrough, but one of her quests requires her to locate it. Oops. For the sake of continuity, I’ll use its pictures and description from Bachelor’s playthrough when the time comes, and pretend that it’s there.

This is the Circle of Suok, the gulp of blood. The more blood is spilled on earth, the better you serve Suok. You fight hand-to-hand, you can not use weapon. You can use teeth.
What is this all about?
A son of Bodkho and another son of Bodkho. Fight to death without mercy. No one shall leave the circle until the fight is finished. The winner gets the blood of the loser. Suok gets the fluids, Bodkho gets the flesh and bones. So it has always been.
I’m aware of that.
This is not for you. Or do you want to fight too?
I'll give it a try.

You step into the ring and realize what an idiot you are. Trying to fight butchers hand-to-hand instead of revolver-to-face can be a little tricky at first. But you’ll learn the rhythm quickly enough and hopefully will be able to knock him out without suffering too many internal injuries.

Once you have him on the ropes, you’ll be teleported outside the ring again and receive your reward.

This bladder filled with his blood is your reward. You have won, but you didn’t spill much blood on the earth. Suok will starve.
Suok won't remain hungry for long.

It’s a vial of blood! Yay!

ATTACHMENT 5: THEATRE SCENE (repost from previous threads)

You can see this scene in the beginning of the game, before you enter the character selection screen. The action takes place on a stage of an empty theatre, and the player can only watch it from the gallery.

But I'll be using the magic of noclip in order to get us better seats:

Three people who kind of look like the game's main characters:

So you're adept at trickery. Where on Earth did you come from?
No, I don't like to trick people. But when we're about to be fooled, the situation unties our hands. Where are we?
Well, the muscles are contracting. That means we are already inside of it. Looks like one of the ventricles.
What absurd place... It's just a piece of taxidermy! This means everything isn't for real yet... Looks like it hasn't started?
Does it matter what it's made of? It's already absolutely clear to me - something is disturbing it. We'll have to perform Sectio Transversales. Let's make an incision in one of the walls - otherwise we won't be able to get out of here. What else can be done?
I know what to do. The one will be tricked, who is acting straightforward, or thinking logically. Only by miracle it is possible to escape from this place and not ruin anything. But I can make a miracle happen! Untie my hands!

The theatre is an actual location from the game, we are going to visit it many times. But according to the plot, neither of the protagonists could be here prior to the events. Besides, they are not supposed to know each other - but in this scene they seem to know each other very well.

Be quiet, will you... You are a thief and a liar. How can anyone believe you when you deceive even yourself? My goal is the Truth. I'll get to the truth and act by rights, no matter what happens. I'll perform the operation.
Stop ordering us about, medic!! You'll act by rights, but your truth will blind you, and you'll just finish him off. Surgeon's sensitive hands are what's needed here. You step aside.
Your sensitive hands kill more often than they give life. You'll inevitably cause harm. And this know-it-all here won't consider losses at all. Neither of you knows what mercy is.
Hmm... looks like we're not going to get along. Yet there is only one truth.
Will is able to make any decision the right one. So it is.
Only heart can show you which decision will be right. Mind the diseased one, not yourself. He's suffering. I don't see it yet, but I can feel it clearly...
This is not even a trap. This is a grave. I don't have any tender feelings for it.
I can see that. You are full of hatred. Stuffed or not, it still breathes - I can hear it. It is possible to cure, rather than kill.
How is it possible for you not to kill? You'll kill for sure, mark my words. That's exactly what will happen. Now, me on the other hand... I may not kill.
No.. we won't come to a compromise... I suggest that we part ways - the faster the better.
So do we we split up... or not?
Let's get going. Time is running out!

At this point they all get off stage and storm in three different directions until the lights go out. But as we will see in the actual game, the Theater only has one exit, and it's to the right. Which means out of the three, only «The Bachelor» actually gets to leave the building. What I like to think happens after the player has left is this:

Are they gone?
Yeah, I think we can come out now.
Why do I always get the broom closet?
Are you two done there? Come on guys, get it cracking. The sinister tale of a doomed town won't tell itself.
Okay, but once we're out the gate, we all go in different directions, got it?
Yeah whatever. Where are you going anyway?
To the train station. You?
Oh, I'll be staying at the beautiful bachelorette Eva Yahn's house.
Lucky bastard. An...
Don't. Even. Ask.
Hey, look, it's almost dawn. We should hurry.
See y'all!
Break a leg.
Fall down backwards.


This is where I post links to Pathologic’s soundtrack, written by Andriesh Gandrabur. It’s beautiful and a huge part of why the town draws the player in the way it does. List will be updated as we visit more locations.

Pathologic Main Theme
Steppe by Night
Knots: Battle
Steppe pt.1
Stone Bridge: Battle
Stone Bridge by Night
Stone Bridge: Plague
Land: Plague
Stone Bridge
Apiary – Long Hall
Indoor Battle
Knots by Night
Apiary – Short Hall
Knots: Plague
Steppe pt.2
Land: Battle
Steppe: Battle
Andrei Stamatin

Some very unnecessary remixen:
1. Main Menu
2. Knots
3. Plague
4. Stone Bridge
5. Cathedral
6. Whirlpool


EagerSleeper has come up with this interpretation of the game's ending and it makes a weird amount of sense.
WARNING: If you still haven't seen the ending, don't look at the above image.