Part 62: The Real Deal: Part 7: Hye Hye Hye, Feh Feh FehTHE REAL DEAL: PART 7
Is it just me or did this look like a body blow? Apparently anything in video games can KO someone as long as it's a sucker punch. Can't wait for Avalon Code 2's protagonist to be subdued by surprise nipple twist.
So hot...I can't stand deserts. I can't use my Forest power here.
Ooh! Thank goodness you're here! So nice and coool!
Damn, where are they taking us?
It's hard to get a feel for the passage of time or how big Avalon Code's setting is supposed to be. However, considering they managed to cart Yumil this far into the desert before he woke up, I'm starting to wonder if the world is as small at it feels and you really can get from Rhoan to Samiad in only a few minutes.
That's all the dialogue here, by the way. Next scene is us arriving at Olly's palace.
I am Ohriemed Aof. Chief of the Samiad.
What's this wrinkled up prune want?!
There is an important reason why we had the Kaleilan hero come. I have a favour to ask of you.
Give me a break! Why should we help her?!
No? You're searching for the Lightning Spirit, correct?
Hye hye hye...then, listen closely. I want access into the Site of Cyril nearby. But a seal lies deep within that I cannot pass. I want you to use the Book to lift that seal. The Lightning Spirit dwells there, too.
So we'd both gain from this.
Neaki's against it. She says it smells like a trap.
Hye hye hye...refuse if you wish. But if you help me, then you can help your friend.
I already had Yumil point out how stupid this is, but it bears repeating. Why didn't Olly just ask us to come? It's not a bad deal for us and we wouldn't have a choice in the first place. Kidnapping gets her nothing but distrust, both from the characters and the player. We yawn when she stabs us in the back, because we knew it was only a question of when.
I suppose the idea of a villain who pretends to be friendly and helpful when they're actually not was a little too complex for this game. This ain't a fuckin' mystery thriller, let's not go overboard here.
Not that we wouldn't instantly recognise her as a villain regardless. How about switching the designs and making Ellie the evil one? Play with our expectations a little bit? Just a little bit? It's not much to ask!
So of course you can choose not to help, and of course it's a waste of time. Rempo, of all people, stops you from leaving.
Damn right! You march back in there and help her achieve her goals, Yumil! That'll show her!
First, I'll teach you a vital weapon and move to reach the ruins. It's normally not open to outsiders, but I'll make an exception for this. But before that...as master of the Southern Flight school, I must test your strength.
Hye hye hye...don't worry. I'll recover you first. And I'll only use my daggers to fight. If you win, I'll teach you "Dancing Dagger."
Cue boss fight.
I can't accuse Avalon Code of inventing the "I must test your strength" bullshit, but I can still blame it for using it in such a daft way. Our worthiness to learn your special technique is kind of moot if we need it to help you, isn't it? But again, Yumil already took her to task over it, so let's move on.
It's that guy from before!
He ignored us?! Forget him and let's move!
Neaki says this man doesn't have a heart.
It's metaphorical, I know, but she's so matter-of-fact that it sounds like he's literally missing a vital organ.
Thanks for telling us that his character arc will be the "alleged emotionless person learns how to feel" one, though. His ellipses weren't quite standoffish enough to get the point across.
Hmph! It's a waste of our time!
Yes, this is happening again. It's not a mistake.
Anwar...like the desert winds.
For a second, his heart flickered.
That was quick!
Look, if all it takes to awaken your dormant, withered soul is someone asking what your name is, you might not actually have a problem.
But it's useless to persist. I am heartless, like the desert wind. I slice down those who get close. I live by the sword, until the end. Talking to me is a waste of time.
DOES HE WANT A COOKIE
DOES ANWAR WANT A COOKIE
OH YES HE LIKES A COOKIE DOESN'T HE, OH YES WHO'S A GOOD BOY YES HE IS, I WILL SCRATCH HIS EARS
You are so playing this up.
Aha! There it is! That's it!
That makes all of us!
Awful. Not just because he's addressing the spirits, who should already know this, but having met blind people before, I can tell you they do not introduce themselves with "I can't see! Hello!"
How come Neaki didn't do this? "Though mute, I can still communicate!" Or Mieli? "Though having chained legs, I can still fly everywhere! Kinda got off lightly, considering!"
In any case...the world's destruction seems to have come earlier than expected. How can that be?
An alarm starts going off here, so he isn't saying this out of nowhere. Although I think it's a bit silly for this ancient desert ruin to have a modern day ding-dong security system.
The Site of Cyril is a weapons control centre built by the Ancients. An ancient military installation, of sorts.
No idea who the Ancients are, won't ever find out. I'll just assume they're the ones from Final Fantasy VII.
Here it comes! Let's do it!
As impatient as ever, I see. First calmly analyze your enemy. No rushing.
A lecture already?
Let's see...weakness...weakness...well, it's square. And made of stone. And really, really hard...
Yumil, calm down and find the enemy's weakness.
it's a rock it doesn't have any vulnerable spots
Cue boss fight.
Put simply, it's an ancient weapon of mass destruction. An inheritance from the old world.
I saw tons of them in the last world! You should've seen the size of the guys who used it! Now let's head back!
Wait! Someone's coming!
Hye hye hye...thank you for fulfilling my request. As promised, the Lightning Spirit is now yours.
Set your jaws, folks. This is gonna hurt.
First, this "Great Spear" doohickey. Ur and Rempo's dialogue implies that they were just really big weapons used by really big dudes. So, fair enough. Spear the size of a skyscraper? That'll do some damage.
How does Olly, a normal-sized old woman who needs a flying dinner plate to get anywhere, plan to use it? Is it more than a colossal pointy stick? Is there some kind of magical power to be harnessed? I don't know! They never tell us! It's just a Great Spear. Hell, y'all know what that is, right? Sure you do. No worries.
This is all the more infuriating since there is otherwise rarely a time when a character isn't over-explaining something, be it their background, their motivations, or, as we're about to see with Olly, their intent.
In my version, Yumil told Olly that, having learned about the Great Spear from Ur, he didn't plan on leaving it in her hands. You might have found that a little abrupt, a little forced. I wouldn't blame you. However, the alternative was pure, distilled, Explain My Evil Scheme For The Audience monologuing.
Are you prepared? Here it is.
Hye hye hye! With the Great Spear in my grasp, the world will bend to my will! Now I'll threaten everyone and use it if I have to! The legend says that the humans used it to crush the giants who used them. I'm merely doing the same!
To condense that for you: "I'm going to take over the world, I'm going to take over the world, I'm going to take over the world, giants, I'm going to take over the world."
Since you've already got her telling us things she has no earthly reason to be telling us, here's a compromise. Why not drop the last "I'm going to take over the world" and expand on that legend she was talking about? The one that explains how humans defeated their giant overlords with the spear, even though giants were the ones who used them? 'Cause that seems like it might be useful to know.
I put a curse on you when I brought you to the desert. The Desert's Curse. Your body is paralysed, and you'll soon turn to sand!
Now I want you to understand exactly what's happening here. First, we see a close-up of the book. Then a close-up of Olly, staring at the book. Then the above gif, in which she reaches down to grab the book, but is stopped.
The point is, she wants the book. I'd like you to keep that in mind. Okay? Okay.
You're not getting the Book!
Impudent bugs! So this is the sprits' power? Then try this on for size!
*fade to black, splashing sound*
From. Fucking. Where. Who the hell could possibly have told her about that. Come on, people. I know you needed the spirits out of commission, but nobody is buying this pathetic excuse for a handwave. Either come up with a decent reason or let the spirits kick some ass for once and don't have us taken prisoner.
THOUGH BLIND I CAN STILL SENSE argharghargh
Now you're in real trouble. I think you should spend some time in a prison cell to think it over!
Or you could just kill him now. That would work. But if you're really determined to let him suffer, you could at least, I don't know, take the book off him, now that you explicitly know the spirits can't stop you.
She obviously wanted it! We saw her reaching for the damn thing! And even if she changed her mind, she should at least keep it away from Yumil so he can't use it to escape!
Why is this happening? This is abysmal! This game has more holes in it than Sonny Corleone!
Feh feh feh...bet you thought I was Olly.
could someone in this game please just laugh like a normal person
Don't worry. I'm Ellie. I'm not like my twin sister.
She looks just like that witch, but there's something different!
You wouldn't believe the looks we got when we were both young.
I think you're still pretty.
You have the Desert's Curse, hm? You will die in 7 days time, and turn to sand. You'll need medicine to heal it. But I don't have the ingredients. All I have is this empty bottle for holding medicine. I'm terribly sorry. There is no hope for you.
It's okay, Yumil.
The Book of Prophecy can heal you. There's no need to give up.
Interestingly, though you have to confirm it four times, you can indeed choose to give up on life here, and it will end the game.
Every other dialogue choice has been a pointless "But Thou Must" deal, and if there's anywhere you'd expect that to still apply, it's here. But no. They let your decision matter on the one occasion you'd never want it to.
Thanks. Thanks so much. I feel so liberated now.
I like how Neaki is the one who finally punts you to the Game Over screen. Everyone else is shouting "No, you can't give up, you're the chosen one etc. etc." but Neaki's just like "Seriously? Alright, see ya. Ha ha, except I won't."
I admire kids who never give up. I'll restore your power. You are welcome to use anything in this room.
Oh, like that big, shiny metalize tablet behind you?
Another change I couldn't help but make. Why can't Ellie explain how to make the cure? Instead, the recipe just happens to be right there in the prison cell. Along with the bottle to put it in. And the key to the fucking door. Everything we need to escape, handed to us on a platter. What's the point of this sequence?
Amazing! It must be a miracle! So the curse couldn't withstand it!
I come from a line of shamans. It's our duty to foretell the future. But to see the Book of Prophecy before me now...It can only mean one thing...
And as always, you seem to be thrilled about that.
I have lived a very long time. I have no more regrets. But it's just not fair to young folk.
It's my grandchild I worry about. She betrayed, turned to witchcraft, and even stole a sacred tablet. But I can't bear the thought of her meeting her end with this world.
Grandchild? Tablet? Prophecies? Wait a minute! Is she talking about that Rhoan witch--Nanai?!
She actually looks at Rempo here. I swear to god. This isn't her incidentally staring off to one side. She turns her head in response to his question and looks right at him.
CAN PEOPLE SEE THE SPIRITS OR NOT. I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS.
You were able to read the tablet?
You're the only one, outside of the shaman line, to be able to read it. Even Werman couldn't read it.
Yes. Long ago...my sister, Werman and myself were classmates together. But my sister and Werman soon got caught up in their power. My sister sought after the Great Spear to take over the world. Werman, meanwhile, sought the great Demon Lord of legend.
He snuck past me and transcribed what he saw on the tablet. (What?)
Now the prophecy is coming true. The monsters, locusts, earthquakes...I have a bad feeling about my sister and Werman. I fear both their ambitions will bring chaos to the world.
A cursed door. Please use my key.
So now we're talking about Werman as if we've met him, even though we only saw him once from a mile away, and only know his name because the developers forgot to give him a [???] tag. And apparently he and Ellie and Olly were classmates. In what? Shaman school? Kindergarten? And then he and Olly decided to take over the world. Just because. I suppose it beats joining a fraternity.
Then Nanai stole that green tablet for no reason and "turned to witchcraft", which Ellie says like it's a bad thing. Ellie the witch.
And Ellie has the key to her own cell.
She has the key to her own cell.
You must go, Chosen One of the Book of Prophecy. There is something I must do here. I was unable to stop those two all those years ago. But the Book has now appeared. My beliefs were right. There is no time for fear and doubt. It is my duty to stop them.
It's possible I'm misremembering, but I'm almost sure she doesn't do shit for the rest of the game.
There is something you must do. And also...if you see my grandchild Nanai, please show her this.
I am indebted to Ellie, but I cannot let you go.
Let them go! Anwar!
I could complain about how little convincing that took, but honestly, why bother. That'd be like complaining about wet socks after a flood destroys my house.
This is where I gave up. The gameplay wasn't getting any better, and by now, I knew the plot wouldn't either. All that kept me playing was bloody-minded inertia.
What a mess. What a goddamned mess.