The Let's Play Archive

Ash of Gods: Redemption

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 39: An aside on Enses

fluffyDeathbringer posted:

I lost track of what the fuck Khama and the Ense's deal was supposed to be like three updates ago and I suspect they just made it up as they went along

Khama really feels like the writers realized they didn't actually explain what the plot was or who the antagonists were and now they had him they were going to stuff as much exposition about them as possible. Of course, this being Ash of Gods, Khama's long exposition dumps are actually kind of contradictory because he's still hearing voices from the mind control or some stupid shit. Putting it together with some of the stuff various characters have said, we get this:

-The Enses are extradimensional aliens from a dead world called "Calz".
-Khama and the Enses' job is to come in and cause as much pain and suffering as possible to power up the menhirs, which is why they do shit like coat blade pyramids in children's blood.
-The menhirs teleport Ense attack squads to them with this power, but also power up the Reapers.
-The Reapers are out of control rampaging through Terminum because it's funny. They used to answer directly to the gods of Khama's world (Calz) but one of the gods went nuts and fought the other four. Those other four apparently died(?). Khama changes his position on whether all the Umbra served the mad god or whether they fought each other, so go nuts.
-Blance (Hopper) and the guys from the prologue ran away and decided to be free, becoming "curros". They were the lesser Umbra who reported to the Reapers.
-The mad god destroyed the Enses' world with acid rain and an evil sun and shit. Why he did this is unclear, but the only time we actually see him in the text he was literally eating children after having Dorpkhal run through a village cutting off boobs and dicks. He was so evil even Dorpkhal was horrified.
-The Enses are under some kind of mind control spell that might be the gods talking to them, which is either the mad god or all the Calz gods or I don't even fucking know this writing is piss.

There's some more shit we really don't care about, like an Ense civil war in the dying world or some kind of "ark" full of Enses that teleported to Terminum, but those are the important points. Khama straight up contradicts himself with some of this because he's still recovering from the magic spell they put him under, and quite frankly some of the contradiction is dumb minutia we don't care about. First Reet breaks the spell that binds him. Then it turns out that's not true, because an evil curse will make him die if he takes off his mask. Said curse is unbreakable. Then we teleport through the Roaming Menhir and suddenly he can not only adjust his mask, but also take it off if he wishes (he does not wish to).

The sad thing is that we still don't know what we're trying to achieve. Chila has sent Thorn and Hopper to Opacum. Now Amma is having us go to Opacum. We don't know why or what we're supposed to do there, aside from bringing Reet and Gleda because they're special. We know there's a threat of the mad god returning, but we don't know how because by all indications the Reapers aren't actually following his orders and have just been pointlessly rampaging because they're assholes.. We can guess that there's a high probability Chila the witch is actually Childao, the archer Reaper from the prologue (given her speeches on how she serves no master and the golden eyes of an Umbra, this is highly likely). We don't know what Amma wants or why she wants to go to Opacum, but we know Dorpkhal was interested in Gleda.

Obviously the writers thought they were crafting an intriguing story and teasing the reader who would be curious to find out what's going on, but the problem is that all the answers that are revealed are stupid and uninteresting. Why are the Enses so brutal and refusing all attempts to communicate? Magic. Where do they come from? Magic. Do they have any clear goals? No, they mostly show up on the road and attack our heroes. Are the Reapers doing anything? No. If our heroes are so important to the Reapers, why aren't they interacting with us at all? Why are we on Chapter 6 of this game where the Reapers are the main antagonists only having interacted with 2 of the 5 briefly? I am getting unpleasant flashbacks to where the black smoke monster appeared rarely to kill and/or judge people, and the ultimate reveal was that he was an evil dude who lived on the crashed slave ship and wanted to destroy the cave powering the afterlife on the island because...he was a bad guy, I guess?

Having said all this, it's clear the dark god was supposed to be the game's main antagonist if you read the online preview chapter of the prologue. Why they made the decision to bury all that in Chapter 6, rather than foreshadow to the player that a dark and hungry god is coming, is a complete mystery to me.