Part 12: The FinalePart 012: The Finale
And so, we're off to finish the game. I greatly overestimated how long this would take. For comparison, it took me about 4 hours to get through the last update, and this one took me about an hour, and that only because I made a mistake that gave me a chance to read some books. We'll get to that.
Off to Umajo Kenta.
Find the path through the boulder field. I'm not sure if you can pay Ohl to show you again, but otherwise once you realize you need to go all the way out to the coastline and then find a way in, it's not too hard as there aren't any extensive false paths.
Through the little cave and once you're out on the other side, the game takes over and fades to black as the party sneaks into the Toronto.
You find a little map of the area which is charmingly pointless since there are literally no side corridors along this entire path.
Along the way, Tom keeps making these jinxing statements that seem to constantly invite disaster.
In defiance of all narrative conventions, none of these immediately precede any disasters, alarms, fights or encounters with guards.
I'll try to keep Ned from noticing what we're up to for as long as possible.
As soon as he does, he'll probably throw everything he has at us. Get ready for a fight, everyone.
Finally, I was getting tired of all the sneaking.
The security team doesn't put up with our bullshit for long.
Since they've got guns, everything inside the Toronto tends to hit pretty hard and mercilessly so, as well as having ranged attacks, so your backliners are in no way safe. I elect to not vaporize the initial battle with Wrath of the Goddess because I wanted to collect some of their firearms and ammo for Joe, so he can contribute to fights, too. They've got the same type of Pistol we've been lugging around since Update 1, but there's better to find here. The real win is the ammo since we were down to all of five bullets.
They've also got tazers and, for some reason, this is literally the only time in the game where, fighting humanoid enemies, we decide to steal their shoes. If you don't have better weapons than the tazers by this point, though, I have no idea how you made it through the game.
While you're heading down, however, pick up this screwdriver. There are a couple of them on the way, but nothing in the game ever indicates that they're important. They're not quest items, you could pick them up and throw them away if you wanted and as far as I can tell that would allow you to semi-softlock the game. It would certainly make finishing the final area a huge pain in the ass.
Over to this code panel leading down to the last 3D dungeon of the game. Nothing indicates the code, so hope you remember that it's been 1712 the last two times or you've got a problem. I forget if Joe pipes up with the correct code if you fuck it up, but knowing this game, he probably doesn't.
The formerly peaceful service bots are now hostile.
Fortunately they're slow, have no ranged attack, don't drop anything we care about and are not immune to getting vaporized and sent into space.
Once past them, you reach the reason why you need to get one of those screwdrivers.
While you can brute force some of the game's other traps by just walking through them and eating a health loss, these will instantly kill characters who touch them. Sufficiently high Luck gives you a roll to take no damage and slip through unharmed. But when I experimented with it, on average, I would have one survivor, and often-times none. So it would be pretty punishing, especially if you weren't loaded up with an industrial amount of medicine like I was, since this last dungeon also doesn't permit ordinary Resting. Your only options for recovery are through Harriett's spells or potions.
You'll run around looking for whatever it is Joe's talking about, and then you'll find this:
Since you cannot interact with it, you will almost certainly forget about it. Do not forget about it. Note it down to spare yourself some pain.
Eventually you'll find this, this is one of the panels you can open. Literally the same as the normal wall textures, just with four big ugly screws on them.
Then interact with it to fuck up the electronics. You can still do this part without Joe, but if anyone other than Joe does it, the party takes a fat load of electrical damage as they literally just reach in there and rip out a fistful of wires with their bare hands because they're cavemen.
This door will utterly baffle you. I can't tell if it's intentional or bad programming, but if you activate the button, the door isn't timed. It'll stay open until you approach it, then slam shut, making you think you're missing something. Except if you're squeezed up right against the door before activating it, it won't close until after you've moved through it. It took me a few baffled circles to figure this out.
Head into the next hall full of laser fences and let out this non-aggressive maintenance bot.
He'll follow you, but in a straight line, and slowly. So run over to the other side of these fences, he'll bungle into them and block some of them with his corpse. Seems relatively simple, but I'll note again it's something the game has never done or hinted at before, so it's a new type of puzzle with zero tutorial.
By a circuitous route this allows you to reach another panel that allows you to turn off another wall of zap lasers.
A big hall with a few hostile service bots, allowing you access to the one specific thing Joe can interact with that no one else can: this broken panel. It allows you to bypass a series of honestly extremely simple, unless you somehow failed to reach Harriett her capstone spell and didn't bring Sira, but also extremely tedious fights.
It opens the southern door of the big room, but the trick is, you still need to go in through that eastern door to access a "disable lasers"-panel, which is non-obvious since most people would think "oh boy we just need to use the secret pathway and we're scot free!"
Thus prompting me running around in circles for a while not being sure what panel I missed. This is what Joe lets you avoid, by the way:
I didn't time it exactly, but I believe I got to enjoy like 25 minutes of battles here, 99% of which was just me waiting for the animations from Harriett's spells to play out so the fight was over. I did manage to read like a full chapter of The Third God, though, so that's nice, and I got a few levels for everyone which I thought were just for bragging rights but which later turned out to be extremely vital.
More lasers go down, but these flicker on and off and so need to be dodged, and then...
If it isn't King Asshole himself.
Tom Driscoll, please stop interfering with the operations of the Toronto and turn yourself in.
Does he actually believe that's going to work?
Probably not, but it gives him plausible deniability that he tried to offer us a peaceful out before attacking.
This is the part where I go rampant and attempt to shoot you.
AI bodies are the threat from here on out, they come in two variants. Level 1's, that get vaporized by Wrath of the Goddess, and Level 2's that no-sell it. The Level 2's are also, predictably, even more heavily armed, though killing this solo one does give Joe a weapons upgrade. The AI bodies also hand out truly absurd amounts of damage, if a level 2 body lands all its hits on a party member, it can kill pretty much everyone, and keep in mind they're wearing the best protective options and we've ignored no chances to level them up for more HP.
More tedious disabling of laser fences occurs, allowing access to another couple of coloured panels.
If you've been paying attention, at this point you'll have four coloured combinations and four rows of floor plates to enter them into. You don't know which order they're meant to be entered into, but that's not so bad since the number of combinations is quite limited. What is bad is that if you forgot to note them down as you came across them, you'll need to trek all the way back to the start of the level and then some in order to get them.
Your reward for solving the puzzle is one of the few times I almost got killed by straight-up fighting.
There are eight or so android body squads here, each of which has at least one, sometimes two, level 2's, and all of which are faster than the party. That means it's not uncommon for them to wipe out 2 or more party members before Harriett(if she isn't among the ones shot) wipes out the level 1's with a Wrath of the Goddess, leaving Khunag and whatever physical combat guys survive to whittle down the level 2's before they're killed.
At one point I was reduced to, because I couldn't manage to revive people with potions between the fights, fending off a squad of androids with only Drirr and Khunag. I made it, but damn it was a close call.
This is literally the last challenge that Ned and the Toronto throws at you, however. Or, well, possibly the last challenge. There's one last optional challenge and one last... not really a challenge challenge.
Priver! Give us a chance to explain what's going on!
There's nothing to explain, Driscoll. Put the weapon down, and lie flat on the ground.
So this is actually one of the better bits of dialogue in the game because it's an extended conversation with multiple choices at almost every step, allowing you to either be a threatening fuckface and escalate things to a violent confrontation or to talk Priver down. I believe there are even multiple branching dialogue paths it can end up going down, though several options will just outright make Priver order his men to attack you. Nothing in this following segment is anything I've written, it's all straight from the big dialogue file which has been INVALUABLE to allow me to not go insane transcribing conversations.
Let's stay calm for a moment, Priver.
By all means. Stay calm Driscoll, and nothing will happen to you.
Did you see the documentary about this world on the video screens?
Do you believe we'd let ourselves be influenced by your ridiculous propaganda film, Driscoll?
Would you be so good as to look at my companions? Do they look as if they came from this ship? What other proof do you need? The recordings are real. That's what the world we are destroying looks like!
What should I care about that film you've brought with you. It won't make us ignore our orders.
The documentary has been seen everywhere on board. Some probably don't believe it, some probably don't care. However, you know the personality profiles of the crew. Most of them are not ready to destroy a life-filled world. Aside from the fact that the crew was deceived by the company just as you and your men were.
One of Colonel Priver's men interjects: "With all due respect, Sir, he is not wrong."
Nonsense. Don't let yourself be influenced by all this chatter.
Think about all the creatures you had to fight during the mining. How could there be such beings on a planet which supposedly has no life? You and your people are being fooled by the company!
Unrest spreads among Priver's people. Voices agreeing with Tom's arguments are raised.
I've never given in to talk, Driscoll.
Please, Priver, forget for a moment that we can't stand each other personally, and think about the situation. The truth about this world can't be suppressed forever. It's just a desperate act of the company which has risked bankruptcy with this ship. We have the motivation to save this world from destruction. What motivation do you have now?
Priver's people are now openly calling for agreement. Tom has convinced most of them.
It looks as if you've won, Driscoll. An awful situation. I can't wait to find out what's going to happen now. Men, you're saying that this troublemaker is right? Just bear in mind that we must all face the consequences together, whatever they may be. Withdraw!
Surprisingly despite Priver being an obstinate fuckface, he will actually leave peacefully with his men if he senses that they won't back him in the fight.
Where was that consideration for human life with the last group of guards we killed?
Oh, I owed some of them money.
That's the AI's housing! That thing is impregnable!
We've fought demons, animals, monsters and cultists, and now we're supposed to be afraid of a barrel? It doesn't look that scary to me.
Normally I'd agree, but I think that thing on the side is a high-powered laser...
So the final battle of the game... can't be won. The AI will no-sell more or less all magic except for one of Sira's spells. If you bring her and she gets it off in time, before getting wasted, she can permanently lock down the AI and allow you to slowly, slowly whittle it down to nothing(which will take a while since most attacks will do zero or almost zero damage). I'm not aware of this changing anything, and honestly it's not what you're supposed to do. You're either supposed to flee, or get badly mauled. The latter won't take long as the AI will just outright kill 1 or 2 party members per round.
Goddammit, this thing is indestructible! It can't end like this!
Tom, look! The seed is beginning to glow!
Fuck it! If we're going down, we're taking you with us, Ned!
Shit, so much for this part of the planet. And us.
...huh, I thought we were dead for a moment, there.
...potions can fix them, right?
Let's get out of here before this place collapses on our heads, I don't trust plants to be a structurally sound.
And that's the somewhat underwhelming end of Albion.
Playing this game again for the LP has been both a positive and a negative experience. On the one hand, I got to show it off for a lot of people who either didn't know about it or never completed it, on the other hand, it kind of forced me to realize that a game I enjoyed a lot as a kid kind of wasn't all that great. It also gave me a lot more appreciation for people who do LP's in general since it's a lot more work than it seems at first. At the beginning I almost gave up just thanks to the mess that was finding the right software for dealing with videos and bulk amount of images.
But it has given me a taste for doing more LP's, so if you enjoyed this, please tune in next time, where I play a better game, as well as one that will permit a considerably greater amount of audience participation: Wizardry 8.