The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 38: Lo Pheng and the Parade of Magic Bullshit

Lo Pheng and the Parade of Magic Bullshit

When we last left Lo Pheng, he was contemplating whether to murder one of his companions to do some teleporty bullshit with a magic rock.

: We should spill blood.

: Reet speaks up. "When the Reaping began, everything changed. We must leave the plain, but the Roaming Menhir might not appear in time. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what it'll take to lure it out. All I know is that blood must be spilled."


Ok, breaking this down this is kind of ironic. Shannet is a lying liar, but she HAS been brutalized at the hands of the temple. Her going for revenge is completely in character.

The irony is, of course, that Alus got kicked out of the church for refusing to brutalize women.

Oh, and if you didn't put your sacrificial stone in Reet immediately? You don't save Khama and Alus gets murdered. You can avoid this by killing off Shannet in battle.

Why does this card exist? It's fuck awful!

We have got Lo Pheng, and they have not. Though Lo Pheng's party members are really coming into their own. The archers are still good, Khama is actually obscenely good because his heavy hitting attack is on a cooldown and gives him energy (and is also an AoE) and Shannet has a ranged attack that life drains.

Also the archers get back health on killing people making their dead shot usage more survivable.

Of course, Lo Pheng will absolutely dominate any section of the battlefield you put him in thanks to the almighty Cloud Tower, free counterattacks, and vicious array of sword strikes.

The only possible outcome!

The menhir teleports in with a pretty nifty animation that is utterly lost by my poor screenshotting skills.

: You look around. "Help? With what? Are the Gells not all dead?"

Yea...we seem to be breaking our rules on third person/first person again.

: Reet shakes her head. "Enses. I can sense them already. They flock to the menhirs like bees to flowers. Prepare to fight."

Oh, look, our friend the Ense warlock.

Git gud scrubs! I missed the screenshot, but he used his Pillar of Ash fire attack on Lo Pheng, who completely no-sold it with Cloud Tower.

This game is a lot better when you're not saddled with Thorn's useless ass.

: Nod to the stranger.

: Either the stranger did not see it, or he did not interpret your nod as a greeting.

That's...probably bad.

We have some chatty companions this update! We start with Alus, who is terrified after the attempted murder.

: I will keep an eye on Shannet.

You know all the women can hear you right!

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:


: I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.


:Uh, bye.

This increases his loyalty. Now let's talk to Khama.

: Who destroyed your world?

: I know not. When I could still hear, I heard that a mad god did it. But I cannot be certain. There was the sun that burned everything. And poison, falling like rain.

Brutal, dude.

: I am trying to understand you, Khama. What drives you? Is it your duty? Your faith? Repentance?

: Why did you rush to Alus' defense? Why did you stop Shannet? Out of mercy?

The first option kinda pisses him off, so let's not do that.

: You knew about this?

: True, but I acted as if in a fog-as if I was drunk. Now, my eyes are open. I understand the truth. Spilling innocent blood is a quick way into the abyss, nowhere else. Wisdom-that is what drives me.

For example, if you write a game about pointless misery people will give it bad reviews and not want to play it.

: What do you talk about with Reet?

: Who are you now?

Khama is just like Lo Pheng, a monster regaining some measure of humanity. Unlike Lo Pheng, he is more open and communicative, outwardly admitting that what he did was wrong and he seeks to correct it.

Lo Pheng has just been silently improving and becoming more human, whether it's joking with Swarty (who has herself progressed from being terrified to kinda into him) or saving women from fires.

He's also been showing a lot more emotion and seems to be forcing himself to be somewhat detached.

: How much time do you have?

: As long as the Reaping lasts. Perhaps less. We feed on the power of the menhirs, but not because we cannot eat food. The spells binding us need the power of the menhirs. Those same spells kill us when the Reaping ends. These spells cannot be broken.

Didn't that? Khama's here because she broke the spell on him.

: The longer the Reaping, the longer your life?

It seems kinda stupid to throw away your whole army for...we still don't know what the point of the Reaping is, do we? Presumably the Reapers can still run around killing people?

I think this game's plot needs a bonus update.

: How much time does this world have?

: I do not know. It is not as bad as it was in my world... yet. But it does not take long for water to boil over flames. If the one who destroyed my world comes here, it will be over quickly.

:Will you sense his arrival?

: We will talk again, Khama.

: If our fates are willing and our fortunes align.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I don't understand you, Khama. You're fighting your own people. You saved Alus from Shannet. Why?

: Oh, I used to be mind controlled and nuts, but then Reet cured me and my conscience works again! She's wise! (Also kinda hot!) Anyway, I'm an outcast now and I will only live till the end of the Reaping.

: Ok. Tell me about this apocalypse?

: My world turned into a metal album cover. Acid rained from the sky! The sun burned our flesh! It sucked!

: You said a dark god destroyed your world. Will we know if he shows up here?

: Yup! Just wait for the sensation of being completely fucked!

Let's talk to the crazy woman who tried to murder Alus.

Now that I think about it, do any of these characters know Lo Pheng's name? Did he ever tell them?

: You must not kill for pleasure.

: You knew the Gells were approaching. You probably heard them!

Didn't we kill a man for doing this?

: What are you playing at, Shannet? Why did you escape Wodan if you seek death? Is there something I should know?

: Try not to tear apart the lives of others.

: Look who's talking! Do Eikons not kill over trifling matters? Do they value the lives of others?

: To each his own. People find relief their own way-get drunk their own way, breathe their own way, and die their own way.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Why are you so happy? Because you didn't kill him?

: I don't give a FUUUUUU-

: You knew there was no point in killing him. What the hell?

: You're not my real dad!

: Shannet, please don't kill people over stupid shit.

: FUCK YOU I DO WHAT I WANT! (Have this bribe). I have a tragic backstory too you know! That justifies my actions!

:Yea that's gonna get you killed.

Finally let's talk to the magic teleporting man.

We just saw it teleport. I believe Khama mentioned the menhirs teleport you. Why are we skeptical?

I suppose this is better than Thorn blinking dumbly every time Chila shows up to give him free shit.

: How does one kill a Reaper?

Why would you ask this? The Reapers are assholes who murder children and castrate people.

At that point, even an answer of "I want to flay Dorpkhal alive and hear his screams" is good enough.

: To oppose the Reaper!

Are those questions? Where was the editor. Why is this so bad.

: I know a bit about it. Hundreds of years ago, fourteen stone knives were fashioned-each as powerful as a small menhir. The chance to use them against the Reapers never came. Still, the price for them was high. The Ashen Wasteland is proof of that.

Also, they were forged by child murder. This completely spits in the face of the "do the right thing" theme they've been going for. More on that later.

: At the battle of Drowsy Deep, twelve curros-runaway servants of the gods-had to kill themselves with these stone knives. There was no other way to stop the five Reapers that stood against them. One knife remained with Blance, the thirteenth curro. Another was stolen.

We know Amma has the knife. What we don't know is why the 13 guys from the intro didn't just stab the Reapers. Seriously, Lo Pheng beat the shit out of Atraakh in hand to hand combat twice.

Are you sure? Lo Pheng looks as exasperated with this stupid shit as I am.

: Where will this shortcut take me?

:: What keeps the stone afloat?

: I say we can move on.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Orkan, this is...huh, I never actually learned your name. Oh well! You two can handle this!

: Good thing you brought Reet. Otherwise I'd have cutscene teleported you to Atraakh and you would have been cutscene killed*. Anyway, I love emo music, so get cutting!

: How do you kill a Reaper?

: Heavens! Why would you want to do that?

: ...because the Reapers are evil monsters who have to be stopped?

: Good point. Let me tell you a story. A long time ago, some angels/demons/whatever the fuck they are ran away from their masters, and made some stone knives in a process that involved child murder and some kind of nuclear explosion that lets people use necromancy. Anyway, these geniuses got into a fight with some Reapers, and the only way to stop the Reapers was to commit mass suicide. Except Blanche, he sucks. Anyway, if you got one of those knives you could permanently kill a Reaper. Questions?

: Why didn't they just stab the Reapers with their knives?


: Fine. Where are we going?

: Wherever the plot demands!

: Ok, can you at least tell me how the stone floats?

: By the power of cryptic nonsense!

: ...Let's just go.

*This really happens! Be sure to save Khama or Lo Pheng's entire party dies.

This is probably the most romantic thing any woman has ever said to Lo Pheng.

: Why would you want to die by my side?

: Because if I die by your side, I'd know death was the only option. If it were anyone else, I'd be afraid of dying far less nobly.

: Let me tell you something else. Look closely at Reet. It could be the color of her eyes...or their shape...can't put my finger on it, but she could be Orkan's daughter. Or granddaughter. Or great-granddaughter.

Orkan looks like an ancient lich with red hair and Reet is a hot redhed in maybe her 20s? Clearly, a resemblance.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Are you alright? You're rubbing your neck again.

: No! The pain is gone near the menhir! Orkan is scary, but I know you'll protect me. I want to be with you forever, till I die!

: I'm sorry, what?

: Play it cool Swarty. Reet would be pretty upset if you did this. She's your friend, dammit. I love yo - er, if I die by your side it means I died a noble death. Smooth. Change the subject. That Orkan looks like he could be related to Reet, but how?

: Is it the red hair? Eh, seems legit.

So the developers have Lo Pheng and Reet as the official couple, but it seems like Lo Pheng and Swarty have actual chemistry while Reet acts as an exposition fairy. Lo Pheng is certainly interested in her, so I can't tell if Reet is just bad at showing her feelings toward him for giving her the magic rock, naturally reserved, or the traditional Ash of Gods excuse of "bad writing."

That said, I am really glad the devs didn't try to put in some kind of awkward sex scene.

"Appease existence"? I don't understand what that means.

: What do we have to do?

Kinky! I guess I spoke too soon!

: What are we going to see?

I don't - what does this even mean when talking about space? This is barely allowable when discussing metaphorical darkness as evil.

: What are we going to feel?

: How much more time do you need?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: How does this work? Anything I can do?

: *mutters cryptic nonsense*

: Why do I do this to myself?


It's a big fucking rock!

: Ask Orkan whose blood he needs.

: Orkan chuckles. "Mine is sufficient. It's only human blood, regardless of what you may think. Your blood is needed elsewhere. Save it for now.

That's not ominous at all!

: You stand transfixed. In a flash, you see into the heart of the steppe roamer-a thousand years of pain and longing.

We immediately get the battle preparation screen.

How is this Lo Pheng's fault? This was Reet's idea!

Maybe she just has a thing for Swarty.

Whatever happens, we have got
Eikon Lo Pheng, and they have not

This might be the most characters we've ever seen in the Dialogue Zone (tm)

: (Adjusting his mask) I have forgotten what the snow and cold feel like. You have beautiful mountains here! Everything else fits. There is a metallic taste in my mouth. It is what a pathway should feel like.

Given the way the characters are placed I will offer an alternative explanation for "beautiful mountains".

This is probably not what the writers intended posted:

Ok, yes, it's immature, but when you don't have your writing and art teams talk to each other this is what happens. Khama is adjusting his mask staring at Reet's sideboob while talking about beautiful mountains. If you don't want your readers to draw these conclusions, coordinate your art and writing!

Not shown: footprints.

: I see no footprints.

: If anyone can see footsteps here, it would be a Qimra. A dog can track scents no man can detect.

...She just called herself a bitch.

: (In a detached manner) Orkan could have been more precise. He could have at least warned us. I thought he liked you.

: We should try to find our way.

: That's what I'm doing.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Oooh, yeah, nice "mountains" there Reet - er, and the snow. Yes. Snow.

: We need to find shelter before we freeze to death. If only I was wearing a shirt!

: I thought Orkan liked you and wasn't trying to kill us?

: He sent us where the plot demanded. Look, Ense footprints!

: Oh come on!

: The plot is guiding me! Follow, everyone!

Ha ha holy shit. Go back and look at the very first update.

We've been teleported to Amma's house! Remember her?

It's super convenient because she has Hopper's knife.

: There is no menhir or altar in sight, but you can immediately tell that the decrepit hut is inhabited...and that a group of Enses blocks your way, ready for battle.

Not pictured: Enses.

We get pitched into a fight and the usual happens.

Instead of ineffectually burning Lo Pheng for 0 damage, join my party. Come on.

Your loss.

Be honest. Did you really think they were just going to leave Amma out of the plot?

Oh, shit! She's right incidentally, you can't get here if you stick to the Eikon teachings and you get cutscene killed.

: Who are you? Why do you look familiar?

: Do you think we have much time?

: An ignorant man is fearless. Those who have little time do not prize it above all because they never recognize its true value.

: I have heard that fortunetellers give vague answers that are open to many interpretations. You are no fortuneteller-that much is clear. But how can you be a seeress or healer without another living soul around?

You might be getting the impression that Amma doesn't put a high value on human life. It gets worse.

: What does the future hold for me, Amma?

How does that follow at all? Also, she literally said "I will see the future for you".

Amma kind of sucks.

: Does Orkan know that we are here?

: How long will the Reaping last?

: What are Gells doing here, Amma?

To repeat: We slaughtered her personal guard and she refers to those men as "it". She can see the future and instead of ordering them to let us through, she had them fight to the death against an Eikon warrior of peace.

Given what we've seen of Umbra magic (Hopper is able to use a lot of mind control) it is highly likely that those men were not there by choice but rather enslaved.

Amma is a monster. It gets worse!

: Where will you go?

We have no reason to go there.

: I'm headed in a different direction.

: You know not where you're going yet. But you're headed the right way, despite your past blunders.

Yea...that's not ominous at all.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: She's a witch and a seeress! She knows the future! Be careful!

: Whispering is rude, you know.

: Who are you, and why do you look familiar?

: I'll tell you eventually. Anyway, I'm a seer, so, any questions?

: If you're a healer and seer, why do you live alone?

: I kill people. Tee hee!

: If you can tell the future, what's ahead for me? Did Orkan mean to send us here? How long is the Reaping?

: Go fuck yourself! I have an errand for you to run, so you should do that.

: What about those guys we fought?

: Oh, they were my slaves. You killed them all. Tee hee.

: Let me make you an offer you can't refuse. We're going to Opacum. Bye!

Khama we've talked to you at least twice this update already.

Yea that's not suspicious at all!

: You are learning our language quickly.

: I absorb everything like a sponge. My world ceased to exist. I can feel it. So, I must now absorb this world...and its tongue.

: (In a detached manner) Will you take your mask off?

: Is it the rock herself?

: Where I come from, they are akin to terrible demons. They served the gods... one of them at least. The more insane he was, the more terrible his servants became. Only now do I understand this.

: How many Umbra servants are there?

This raises an excellent question: Where the fuck is Atraakh, and why hasn't he attacked us?

: Who are the Reapers?

: High Umbra who have absorbed the spirit of their divinity. Since nobody controls them, they become Reapers and gorge themselves on the menhirs' power. I cannot guarantee any of the Umbra will not become Reapers.

Tibibar gets like 1 line at the end of the game

: What can you tell me of the gods from your world?

Wow, great job editors!

: And the last question for now...

I think we're missing an "is" there, Lo.

: They are not the only remnants, Eikon... Somewhere in the depths of Terminum, there lies an ark full of my kin, waiting to be rescued. It is possible that I was suspended within it all these years. It is also possible that the Reaping is meant to purge this world for us to rule.

Seeing as you all die post-Reaping, I wouldn't count on that.

: Are you prepared to kill me to reduce this risk?

Old Lo Pheng wouldn't have hesitated.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: How's it going?

: Amma's an Umbra. They were terrible demons in my world. Be very careful.

: Give me the lowdown on the gods and Umbra.

: There are 5 higher umbra who became Reapers - Dorphkhal, Adna, Tibibar, Childao, and Atraakh. They're just running amok feeding on pain. There's an insane god coming who eats children, and he maybe killed the other 4 gods of my world when they tried to stop him. That's all I know, mind control. Also, there's a random ark full of Enses we brought over. You gonna kill me?

: Why the hell would I do that?

This is gonna be stupid, isn't it?

: Were you thinking of approaching her?

: You always expect wine from an uncorked barrel to be sweeter than the open cask. Imagine it poured into a silver jug... but I'll not climb that high. Too easy to break one's neck.

Good, he's not a complete moron.

: This is what I cannot grasp. She probably is wise... and likely still deft. But what is her power?

Seeing the future?

Are you telling me we could have fought necromancers this whole time? Or witches?

Then again, we nearly fought a shaman but the effects budget ran out.

: The ones that can make warriors fearless?

I cannot tell if this is supposed to be because he wants to insert his penis or because she's using witchcraft.

: I suppose so... What do you know about Opacum?

: It's a large, enchanted fortress. Sorcerers feel nauseous in its proximity, and it heats certain amulets. Legend says it's never been taken, yet every ship eventually sinks.

: Do you think the time has come?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Damn, that Amma! Woo! I wish to insert my penis repeatedly into that woman!

: Are you really stupid enough to do that?

: She's hot that you mention it, maybe sexually harassing a powerful witch who can see the future is an awful idea. But damn does she turn me on!

: Gotta change the subject before this idiot gets us all killed. What do you know of Opacum?

: It's a magic fort that's supposedly invincible but might fall.

You can't be detached with an exclamation point!

: What exactly do you mean by "fine"?

So the characters will blink if the screen is left alone. It's why Bolla looks like she's rhapsodizing here.

: (In a detached manner) I care not who you are or who you think you are. You cannot see yourself from the inside, can you? Why should I care who you are now if you will just change after a moment. If you want to know where the arrow will strike...

: Are you like a seed eager to impregnate the soil?

: (Smirking) Take your pick. I care not if it's the soil, the womb or a flower pot. But I can tell you one thing, Eikon-never again will I be a slave.

Can any ladies in the thread confirm how this works?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Wow, how are you not freezing?

: I'm almost home! Gonna get married, have kids, not get murdered! Everything is going great!

: What do you think about Amma?

: Using my woman-to-woman telepathy, I can tell you she has a very tragic backstory.

Last conversation, yes!

: What kind of deeds?

: She foresees the future. That's quite something. Believe me, guarding a floating menhir is not the strangest thing in Terminum. That woman, though, she is a mystery...

I need to step back a bit. Thorn's dialogue with Chila made it sound like seers were rare but not unheard of. Now Reet, our local Cutscene Magic Expert, is completely lost. Huh?

: (Taken aback) Tell me, what troubles you? What could happen if Amma says something to make me accompany her?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:


Taking the Nintendo Power advice lets us talk to Amma. Are you ready for a doozy?


Uh, how do you know what's in the Eikon temple?

: The temple is hundreds of years old. Have you forgotten the generations of sculptors and stonemasons who worked on it?

I do like that Lo Pheng is willing to entertain the possibility that some Eikons might just...tell their girlfriends sacred secrets or whatever.

: (In a detached manner) What wisdom do you speak of?

: (Flabbergasted) Who are you, Amma? Why do you look so familiar?

We've actually had the Great Ancestress briefly, briefly mentioned:

Earlier in the game posted:

That's, uh, something alright.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: So, why would I go with you?

: Do you remember the words on the Eikon temple? I do.

: You could have read that in a book, talked to an Eikon, talked to a stonemason...

: Silly Eikon. We kill all the stonemasons who work on the Temple, remember? Anyway, I'm the Great Ancestress. The one who set all the laws of the clan? Yea, you're coming with me. You don't have a choice.

Amma is a monster.

Lo Pheng's memories posted:

Remember all these? How Lo Pheng was forced to kill his family? Foreigners? Tortured endlessly? How this has been done generation after generation to produce the best warriors?

Now we know why. So that Amma, in this moment, here and now, can get an escort.

Amma is a monster.

And this idiot has terrible taste in women.